No merle french bulldogs

Rogue colour breeders in Australia & New Zealand have openly advertised the importation and prospective breeding of merle French Bulldogs.  Your club is deeply concerned about this reckless and dangerous practice and urges you all to be aware of what is going on behind the scenes. 

Merle patterning is not found in purebred French Bulldogs - the pattern has been introduced most likely by crossing with merle Chihuahuas.

The causal merle variant is dominant, so shows itself whenever it is present – even as a single copy. Therefore, in most breeds, we know it cannot have been present ‘under the radar’, as can be the case for some recessive variants. As a result, merle cannot suddenly ‘emerge’ in a breed after many years. This is why the Kennel Club is able to take this position in relation to merle as the situation is relatively straightforward, unlike in the vast majority of other colours.”  Dr Tom Lewis, Genetics & Research Manager UK Kennel Club

2013 Press Release from the UK Kennel Club

"At the request of the French Bulldog breed clubs, the Kennel Club has agreed that it will no longer accept the registration of any merle French Bulldogs from 1 January 2013.  Coat colour in the French Bulldog is complex because a range of colours is acceptable.  Merle patterning - patches of lighter colouring appearing in the coat - is the result of the M gene in the dog.  There are two alleles of this gene:  M (merle) and m (non merle), with merle (M) being dominant to non merle (m).  In some breeds, the effect of the M gene is termed 'dapple'.  Unfortunately, the effects of the merle allele (M) are not confined to coat patterning and it is known that there can be an increased risk of impaired hearing and sight associated with it, particularly in dogs that are homozygous for M (dogs that carry two copies of the M allele).  In addition the merle colour is not a naturally occuring colour in this breed, and therefore the Kennel Club General Committee has agreed that it will no longer accept the registration of any merle French Bulldog puppies from this date."

Health risks

To quote Carol Gravestock Taylor:

"Merle French Bulldogs - Making Money off Misery ... These cross bred dogs carry a very high price tag - much higher than the best bred French Bulldog from health tested, well bred litters.  Worse than the scam being perpetrated on the public is the fact that Merles equal misery in far too many cases. ... What do you imagine happens to all of the abnormal, deaf, blind or disfigured puppies that are a by product of producing a handful of Merle French bulldog puppies healthy enough to be offered for sale?"  

How are these dogs being registered?

Imported dogs carry pedigree papers with incorrect colour descriptions.  As with the dilutes and other highly undesirable colours, breeders falsely register the puppies as brindle, fawn or pied.  When re-registering imports in Australia on the main register for breeding, the ANKC and state controlling bodies rely on the export pedigree issued by the country of origin.  In a measure to prevent false registration practices, the ANKC have introduced regulations requiring inspections of imported french bulldogs and litters. 

Be aware that colour breeders have moved to unofficial registries.  The Australian National Kennel Council [ANKC] is the only internationally recognised registry able to issue Certified Pedigrees for purebred dogs.  All other registries are not affiliated with ANKC and cannot issue Certified Pedigrees.

Be vigilant
For the sake of our breed, be vigilant and report any breaches to your state controlling body.  Unfortunately "greed" has come before the breed for too many people.  Do your bit and say "No" to all highly undesirable colours.