Smokey Valley Kennel ( since 1976 )


French Bulldog Coat color identification in photos



For the USA, Canada and FCI, the three largest registering associations in the world, in its most simple forms, French bulldog’s coat colors can be simply described in

 the three original colors of brindle, fawn or Pied, with a variety of possible color/marking patterns. The differences in appearance are all due to variants in marking/patterns.

Brindles are the dark dogs in our breed, the fawns the lighter colored solid dogs in our breed and Pied dogs are all white dogs with spots of brindle or fawn, with or without other


 Please read your registry association Breed Standard, which tells you what characteristics are desirable, and which are considered disqualifications. A reputable breeder will

Coat colors in French Bulldogs
Acceptable colors are - All brindle, fawn, cream, white, brindle and white, white and brindle and any color except those which constitute disqualification. All colors are acceptable

 with the exception of solid black, mouse, liver, black and tan, black and white, and white with black, which are disqualifications. Black means black without a trace of brindle.
French bulldogs come in a variety of colors and coat patterns within the above mentioned colors.


Here are a few photo examples of common - and some not so common - coat colors and coat patterns within the French Bulldog breed. All terms should be taken subjectively,

 as there is a great deal of differences of opinion within the Frenchie community as to which term defines which coat color exactly, this does need to be clarified as of yet. 

With the breed standard for coat color going back for over 100 years now I feel we need some updates as to the actual definitions of coat color and patterns/markings.


Brindle is a coat color modifier so even the very dark brindle dogs that have even one not black hair are brindles and not a solid black dog, as that constitutes a trace.

All brindle dogs can produce dark brindle dogs, as can a wildly brindled one so there is to be no bias towards them. Brindle is the term used for dogs with a coat comprising

of regular to fairly irregular patterns of alternating light and dark hairs on a different colored background all over their entire coat, with the base coat being darker than the lighter

 brindling, the intermixed hairs/stripes. So the dog is a dark based color with lighter colors making up the brindling.


Dark brindles are often also referred to as black or seal brindles, because at first glance they appear to be all black but will, upon further inspection will have a trace of brindle

(or just a few lighter hairs) which is all that is needed to be allowed by the AKC breed standard.

All other dark colored dogs are brindles also, yet within this grouping there are a few other reference terms used to describe the amount of brindle they have.






Medium brindle  dogs that have a medium amount of brindling that is much easier to seen than on the dark brindle or seal brindle dogs.






Well brindled  these dogs are more brindle than the medium brindles but still don’t have the actual strips of the tiger brindles.






Brindle/White These dogs are brindle in any shade and have some white on them that is more than the normal white on chest or small strip on face

or diamond on neck, or small white on feet. They also do NOT have enough white on them to be considered a darkly marked pied but may certainly

carry that. So use this color/marking sparingly and wisely when registering your dog as it is not uncommon to have a dog with a full white chest of with

small amounts of white on the toes or a speck on the back of the neck so use it only when they have it in excess.




Tiger brindle  these dogs are highly brindled and many have actual wide stripes-bands of color on them, like that of a tiger.




Reverse Brindle

They are very much less common, it refers to the fact that the base coat color is light not dark so it is a more fawn or lighter predominantly than the darker

brindling color. (reverse from the above dogs), where the dog is dark and the brindling is lighter) they can also produce a light fawn or cream pups.





Black masked brindle  not common, this is a brindle dog in any shade with a black mask on the face and dark legs as well.

Usually the back of the ears and top of tail are also dark. All as see in the black masked red fawns, which they are usually an offspring of.




Red Brindle  A dog has a red back ground body color with dark brindling, again usually from a black masked bloodline.

Above dog is also a red brindle in its background color.



Creams  are a one shade color of dog that are very nearly white, like milk or an egg shell.

Some darken slightly with age and or when fed foods with artificial colors and become a bit muddier in color, but will always be one shade of color.






Fawns come in a wide variety of color ranges from a deep red to a pale cream, with or without the darker points or a black mask. Like the brindles there

are many other terms used to distinguish which shade of fawn your dog is.


Fawn a two shaded dog with a slight strip down their top line and lighter shading on the sides. A Blonde color, in varying shades of a light sandy or peach color

 but are always no matter how slight a two shaded color dog. Fawns are born quite light the same as creams but start to darken within days.







Apricot fawns are always BORN that color so you know if you have one from birth and are most commonly a two shaded dog but can also be born a solid

colored dog. They have a lot more red tone to their color than the more creamy blonde fawns. They do not have a black mask or the darker points.




Red Fawn again they are born this color and all over red tinted shade but do not have a black mask, note dark skin color where

the above apricot dogs are light skinned ( look inside the ears) both should have black pigments.



White is just that, snow white with no other colors present on the dog, no matter how small. It’s not uncommon to think you have a white

and have some color show up at 8 to 10 weeks. If it does, no matter how small then they are actually a Pied. They do or should have dark eye rims and lips.

A white dog is just that all white and they are uncommon for a reason, as with any all white dog deafness and or blindness can accrue much more often.




Black Masked is a term that is used on dogs that have black muzzles and sometimes across the eyes also, thus giving them the term black masked.

If they have a white muzzle pattern then dogs with the black on the eyes are or

should still be registered as black masked as they are clearly carrying that pattern marking.


Black Masked RED fawn  they are born this color and are a red tint-tone from a deep brick red to a much lighter but still a shade of red, always with

a black mask and dark points.









Black Masked fawn  again they are born this color but have no red tint to them but more of a sandy or dirty fawn color with the dark points on

muzzle, ears tail and sometimes legs. Some may even get the color of a pug with a dark strip down their backs and allot more of that darker shading

elsewhere. Some reference these darker dogs as black masked sables because of the black tips to the hair down the spine.





Black masked Sable notice the much darker points much like a pug. They will also have a strip of dark color down the back.



Black Masked Sable Pied  same sable color on a pied dog




Pied means a white dog with colored spots or patch’s of markings. The proper term is Pied, NOT Pied bald. The proper term for a white dog with dark spots

is Brindle Pied and a white dog with a lighter spot would be a fawn pied. Example: Brindle Pied, the blank is filled in with the color of the spot/markings.

Any placement of spots are acceptable but color over both eyes and ears are most desired all other spot size or placement is of no great importance. Ticking or

 small dots of spots are undesirable. Our standard doesn’t specifically fault them but most know that they are hard to rid your lines of if you get them so avoid

 them when possible.


Brindle Pied this dog is all white with dark colored spots remembering that they are to be brindle and not solid black otherwise the dog would be a Disqualifying

Fault (DQ) color of Black and white. They come in a wide variety of patterns and spot placements should have black nose and dark eye rims.






Red Fawn Pied this dog is all white with red spots but does not have a black mask and black shading around the eyes.

But will/should have dark pigment on the skin around the eyes and lips.




Fawn Pied this is an all white dog with fawn or blonde off colored spots. This dog maybe born all white and get its colored spots as its color matures at about 16

weeks old. Some want to use the term lemon or honey pied but those two colors are not in the color choices for our breed so are an incorrect term and should not be

 used. Usually with light eye rims and nose.




Black Masked is a term that is used on dogs that have solid black muzzles and sometimes across the eyes also, thus giving them the term black masked.

If they have a white muzzle pattern then dogs with the black on the eyes are or

should still be registered as black masked as they are carrying that marking.


Black Masked Red Fawn Pied this dog is all white with red spots, and again they are born this color like the black masked red fawn is.

They also have a black mask and dark around the eyes. If they have a white muzzle the mask maybe covered but they will still have the dark red color and the

dark or black around the eyes. Black nose and eye rims etc.






Black Masked fawn Pied this dog is all white with muddy fawn spots, because this dog usually comes down directly from a black masked red fawn

 dog they can be born with their color but the color is not as red as a red fawn nor as cleanly fawn as the fawns. They do also have the Black mask and dark

around the eyes, black nose and eye rims etc.







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