The French Bulldog or Frenchie is an adorable pooch that has stolen the hearts of millions of dog lovers everywhere. These pups are cuddly, lively, and playful, making them great companions you just want to love and protect. All Frenchies are special, but the Fluffy Frenchie and the Lilac Frenchie are considered extra special due to their rarity.
Are they real? Yes, they are
Have you ever heard of the Fluffy or Lilac Frenchie? If not, you’re not alone (and yes, they are real). While many dog breeders might have the standard French Bulldog, it’s hard to find someone with these particular variations of Frenchies. While they are equally adorable and cuddly as any other Frenchie, a caveat of their rareness means they’re expensive.
What is a Fluffy Frenchie?
The standard Frenchie is short-haired, which can make it hard to imagine a Frenchie being fluffy. But the Fluffy Frenchie is just that, a long-haired version of French Bulldog that takes the adorableness and cuddliness of the original to the next level. For this reason, you might also hear them being referred to as the long-haired French.
You might be asking yourself why the short-haired French Bulldog is more popular. The answer is simple: the short hair (Sh) gene is dominant over the long hair (Lh) gene. Here’s what will happen during encoding when the gene pair is:
- Sh/Lh: This combination will produce the short-haired Frenchie since the short hair gene is the dominant one. If this pooch has offspring, the puppy will also inherit one Sh and one Lh gene.
- Sh/Sh = Here, the resulting Frenchie will be short-haired since both its genes are short-haired. Since there’s no Lh gene in its lineage, the parent will also pass on both Sh genes to any puppies it gives birth to.
- Lh/Lh = This pairing will create a long-haired Frenchie since there’s no short-haired gene to override any of the long-haired genes. Any pups it has will also inherit both Lh genes.
To increase the chances of getting the Fluffy Frenchie, breeders will usually pair two long-haired French Bulldogs. Otherwise, there’s a 1 in 4 chance that a common Frenchie will produce the Fluffy kind.
What is a Lilac Frenchie?
The common colors for a French Bulldog are white, cream, brindle, and fawn. The coat can be a single color or a mixture of two, such as white and fawn. However, a rare color among Frenchies is lilac, hence the name of Lilac Frenchie (also known as the Isabella Frenchie).
Lilac is a light-blue hue that borderlines silver, but when an Isabella Frenchie is born, it will have a coat similar to the Blue French Bulldog. As the pup grows up, the color will start to saturate until it settles to the one we know them for.
Common Frenchies can produce a puppy with a lilac coat, but the chances are slim. The breeder would have to pair parents with black dilute genes to increase the chances of conceiving a Lilac Frenchie. As you may have guessed, this gene is extremely rare among this breed.
In the end, breeders just result in breeding two Isabella Frenchies to produce more. This pairing is better than hoping that a random mutation will happen by chance in the puppy’s Chromosome 25. This chromosome is responsible for the diluted or light coat colors in dogs.
Are they purebreds?
Yes, the long-haired and Isabella Frenchies are purebreds. The difference between a Fluffy and Lilac Frenchie from a standard French Bulldog is the former’s long fur and the latter’s silver-blue coat. The parents of these rare breeds don’t need to be bred with a different dog breed to produce the long hair or lilac color.
What are Frenchies crossed with to make them long-haired or lilac?
As mentioned earlier, the silver-blue color of the Isabella Frenchie is a healthy variant of the Frenchies coat caused by a mutation. However, the long-hair gene, also known as Fibroblast growth factor (FGF), is not present in English Bulldogs (the Frenchie’s ancestor). This means it had to have come from elsewhere.
As it turns out, the Frenchie was the result of breeding miniature English Bulldogs and local ratter dogs (Terriers) during mid-nineteenth century France. Some breeds of Terrier have long hair, meaning it’s reasonable to assume this is how the Lh gene came to be in the Frenchie’s gene pool.
Are they healthy breeds?
Any potential dog owner needs to know about the overall health of the dog’s breed. Unfortunately, the health profile of the Frenchie is not particularly promising. The French Bulldog is known for being predisposed to many health problems. That means the Fluffy Frenchie and Isabella Frenchies are predisposed to them as well.
The most concerning is respiratory system disorders (a consequence of their small size). Because the breed has a flat face, it is highly likely to develop brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS).
Their flat face also means that they have a short snout, making it hard to pant effectively. Panting is something dogs do to regulate their body temperature. Frenchies can easily suffer from heatstroke on hot days, so owners are advised to keep them indoors during hot weather.
Also, because of the breed’s short back, they are more prone to back, spine, and neck issues when compared to other dogs. These include back pain, neck pain, and inverted disc disease (IVDD). Other common health problems include patella luxation, hip dysplasia, conjunctivitis, corneal ulcers, and skin fold infections.
The Lilac Frenchie, in particular, is more prone to color dilution alopecia (CDA). It usually affects dogs with a diluted coat color like the Isabella French Bulldog. When your pooch has this condition, he will have patches in his coat when he reaches adulthood. Unfortunately, there’s no cure since the disease is inherited. Furthermore, the resulting hair loss is permanent.
The condition your puppy will be in healthwise is always unknown. However, you can do a few things to make sure that you get a healthy pup. Here are a few:
Ask about the parents’ health
Make sure that your puppy’s parents have no history of conditions they can pass on to your Frenchie.
Include returns in the contract
You should be able to return the puppy and get a full refund if inheritable issues pop up. If the breeder refuses to include that in the contract, proceed with caution.
Research the breeder
If you’re buying online, look for reviews. If you’re buying in person, you can speak to past customers (on top of inspecting the puppy yourself). Always ask for a certificate that shows the puppy is genuine and in good health.
Are they hypoallergenic?
If allergies are a problem, you might be wondering if either the long-haired or Lilac Frenchie is hypoallergenic. The short answer is no. All French Bulldogs are medium shedders, meaning that you’ll deal with your fair share of hair but won’t feel like it’s everywhere.
If allergies are a problem, but you still want to be a parent of a long-haired or Isabella Frenchie, here are a few things you can do:
- Regular grooming: Have someone brush the Frenchie every day and bathe them at least once every three months. Skin conditions can also trigger your allergies, so take your pup to the vet regularly to treat any he may have.
- Keep your dog away from others: Unless the other dog’s owner grooms their furry companion as you do, don’t go near them. While socialization with other dogs is important, you need to do it safely.
- Buy air filters: These will ensure that the pet dander in your home is kept to a minimum. While expensive, you should also change them regularly to ensure the air is clean.
- Keep your Frenchie off furniture and beds: This will prevent your pooch from leaving fur in places you like to relax. Establish early on that your pup is not allowed on your furniture or bed. Prepare for your Frenchie to ignore this, as these dogs are big on cuddling.
- Speak with an allergist: It’s more likely your allergist will recommend getting rid of your Frenchie or refraining from getting one in the first place. However, these pups are so adorable that this may not be an option. Your allergist can suggest medication you can take to reduce the chance of your pet’s fur triggering a reaction.
How much are they?
The French Bulldog is already an expensive breed. A Frenchie puppy can go for $1,800 to $5,000. But since the Fluffy and Lilac Frenchies are rare, they are even more expensive than the common breed.
If you want to be the parent of a long-haired Frenchie, it can set your back between $5,000 and $15,000. And for the Lilac breed, you can expect to pay somewhere between $30,000 and $50,000. The Isabella is that expensive because the lilac color is extremely rare among Frenchies and can truly make them stand out (people want the clout). If you take one to the park, you’re sure to get some looks.