English Bulldog Colors: The Standard & Rare Bulldog Coat Colors

Last Updated on March 30, 2023

For English Bulldog breeds, what are some thoughts that come to your mind? Some people may think these dogs are ugly-looking, but we beg to differ. For us, they are mellow, adorable balls of cuteness. 

But we understand that there are many factors to consider regarding pet ownership. One of those factors is what color you want. 

An English Bulldog on a skateboard

That is why we are here to assist you. In this article, you will find all the information you need to help you select the right color for you.

The Genetics of British Bulldog Colors

The color of the English Bulldog is usually determined by its genetics. This breed will acquire one color allele (a pair of genes) from both parents.

These two alleles will give your dog its color genotype. His genes will determine his color as well as coat texture and appearance. 

Tri color English Bulldog
Photo from @coop_the_english_bulldog / IG

What does tri-color English Bulldog mean?

In this breed, the term tri-color refers to the presence of three colors. The solid-body color is generally visible with additional tan, red, or fawn spots around the eyebrows and paws. 

Even if its markings are not yet visible in puppyhood, a genetic test can be performed to identify whether they are specific mixes and colors.

Do their coats change colors as they age?

Yes, English Bulldog puppies can change colors as they grow older. While this doesn’t happen all the time, it’s pretty common.

A dog’s coat starts to change color somewhere between 6 and 18 months old. Puppy coats can also have a different texture from adult coats in this breed.

What are the Different Colors of a Purebred English Bulldog?

When it comes to the color of your English Bulldog, there are a few to choose from. Each color has its factors to consider.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) dictates that they must come in specific colors. We will look further at the different accepted colors for this breed below. 

1. Red English Bulldog

A Red English Bulldog looking up
Source: @sirmagnus22 / IG

This purebred can be seen in various shades of red. These shades range from light ginger to a deep red that might look similar to chocolate.

Red English Bulldogs will have black noses, eye rims, paw pads, and lips. This differentiates them from the chocolate variety with brown noses.

2. White English Bulldog

A White English Bulldog in summer vibes
Source: @jagger_englishbulldog / IG

White is a rare color for this breed. White English Bulldogs are utterly white from head to toe.

They usually don’t have any other marks on their bodies; however, a few freckles of a different shade or tone can occasionally be seen on their fur.

3. Fawn English Bulldog

An underbite Fawn English Bulldog
Source: @motleythebulldog / IG

Fawn can be a popular color for this breed. This light brownish-yellow color can have a variety of different shades of color. Shades can range from a light tan to a deep deer red.

4. Fallow English Bulldog

Fallow and Fawn Bulldogs are the same things. The word Fallow was first recorded to describe this coat coloring in England in 1789.

While the color itself is a popular choice for these dogs, the term Fallow has fallen by the wayside as most people now refer to these dogs as Fawn English Bulldogs.

5. Any combination of the foregoing

A red and white coat English Bulldog
Source: @rocky_red_bulldog / IG

British Bulldogs can come in a mixture of the above colors. This can include one, two, or three of the above colors with various markings. Here are some of the most common combinations.

  • Fawn and Brindle
  • Fawn and White
  • Fawn, Brindle, and White
  • Red and White
  • Red Brindle
  • Red, Brindle, and White

Coat Patterns and Markings

Along with the coat colors mentioned above, English Bulldogs can have various markings on their coats. These include spotted, piebald, or ticked.

1. Brindle

Source: @brodie_bro17 / IG

These are the most common color markings for this breed. Brindle is sometimes referred to as its ‘signature color’.

Brindle English Bulldogs look like they have tiger stripes on their coats. These stripes can be red, silver, liver, tan, or blue. This brindle pattern can be seen in almost all base fur colors.

2. Piebald

Source: @banifastic_fantastic / IG

Piebald simply means a pup with two different colors on his coat. Piebald markings are simply irregular markings of different colors.

These can be a variation of colors, but with the English Bulldog breed, they are usually blue, fallow, red, or brindle on a white base coat. The colors usually occur as spots or saddles on a solid background.

3. With a Ticked Coat

Source: @elliesbabybulldogs / IG

A ticked coat will have flecks or spots of color on white areas of the coat. While this breed will never look spotted as a Dalmatian does, he can have small spots or dicks dotted irregularly around his coat.

These colored specks are also particularly common on Platinum Bulldogs. 

4. With Black Mask

An English Bulldog with a black mask essentially has an entirely black muzzle or snout. Sometimes this black mask will spread to their cheeks and foreheads. Most commonly, the fawn or black Bulldogs are seen with a black mask.

5. With Black Tips

An English Bulldog with black tips
Source: @sonoranbullies / IG

A dog with black tips on the individual strands of its hair is also referred to as a sable. With these dogs, each strand of hair will have two colors: their base coat and black tips.

This can make the base coat look a lot darker than it actually is. These black tips can fade over time to a grey as your dog ages.

6. A minimal amount of solid black in piebalds

The AKC regulations for this breed allow for a minimal amount of solid black in piebalds. With piebald dogs, you might also find the spots and patches of color to be of solid black. This will give him a pretty unique appearance.

7. With White Markings

An English Bulldog with white markings
Source: @mysweetklementine / IG

It is also not uncommon for British Bulldogs to have white spots throughout their coat. Most of the time, these white markings or spots can be found on his stomach, paws, face, and chest.

8. With Tri Pattern

An English Bulldog with tri pattern
Source: @reina_laenglishbulldog / IG

As mentioned previously, English Bulldogs known as Tri Pattern or Tri-Colored dogs display three different colors on their coat.

The third color is usually a light tan or golden brown displayed on his points, such as around the eyes, cheeks, ears, paws, and tail. 

What are the Rarest Colors and Patterns of English Bulldogs?

Some rarer colored English Bulldogs are not recognized by the American Kennel Club. These colors are infrequently found, and so these dogs can fetch considerable amounts of money. This includes Lilac, Chocolate, and Blue.

1. Lilac English Bulldog

A huge Lilac English Bulldog
Source: @rocky.the.englishbulldog / IG

This is one of the less-common color variations of this breed. The color appears to be a beautiful purplish-gray color with blended blue and brown tones. Lilac Bulldogs often have light green or blue eyes.

Lilac can also be combined with other colors or markings, resulting in variations on the Lilac English Bulldog, such as the following.

  • Lilac Sable
  • Lilac Tri-Color

2. Black English Bulldog

A Black Tri-color English Bulldog
Source: @theblackenglishbulldog / IG

Black is a rare color for English Bulldogs. These are mainly pitch black, although they can also come with streaks of white and some tan points on their face, chest, and legs.

They are one of the more common variants of tri-colored Bulldogs. These dogs usually end up having brown eyes.

3. Blue English Bulldog

A Blue Tri-Color English Bulldog
Source: @bonnie_bonbon_blue / IG

A Blue English Bulldog is simply a black Bulldog that has been diluted in color by the dd genotype. The diluted color can range from a deep black color or a lighter blue.

The blue color is more of a shade of grey that changes in certain light angles. Their bluish-green eyes stand out on their light silver coats. 

You may notice tan points on their eyes and chest, in which case your dog could be a Blue Tri-Color or a Blue Sable Color.

4. Chocolate English Bulldog

A Chocolate Tri-Color English Bulldog
Source: @augustus_tevepaw / IG

Chocolate is another distinctive color caused by recessive genes. The bb genotype gives them this gorgeous color. 

A Chocolate Brindle English Bulldog has a different coat which is very rare and very valuable.

This pattern has stripes that are placed along with the fur as well as spots that make the base color of the fur look different. 

5. Seal English Bulldog

This color variation has a distinctive reddish or brownish tone. Also, their tails and legs are usually darker than the rest of their fur.

One of the distinctive characteristics of this Bulldog variety is an undertone color underneath its coat’s true hue.

6. Merle English Bulldog

A Merle English Bulldog
Source: @702englishbulldogs / IG

Merle is a scarce color for this breed; in fact, it may be the rarest of all the color variations. The Merle color is defined by a brown-hued coat with gray speckles and spots or white mixed with other darker hues. 

7. Platinum English Bulldog

An English Bulldog with platinum color
Source: @westfamenglishbulldogs / IG

Platinum English Bulldogs typically lack pigmentation, and only about 10% of their body will have any color at all.

These color patterns are not uniform and can be found on any part of the body or face. These extremely rare dogs can fetch as much as $6,000.

8. Albino English Bulldog

This isn’t a specific color, although the fur appears white, and the nose, ears, eye rims, and paws will be light pink.

Albino dogs have a genetic condition that disables the pigment distribution. This means that they lack color. Breeding dogs to be albino is unethical and can cause many health conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

FAQs about English Bulldog Colors

Is it okay to get a rare color of this breed?

Even though they can’t be recognized or registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC), having a rare-colored English Bulldog isn’t considered an issue. 

That said, be very careful of buying Platinum or Albino British Bulldogs; these dogs typically have a genetic defect that causes this variation, and exploiting these defects to breed puppies can have detrimental effects on a dog’s health.

Do colors affect their behavior?

No, the different colors of an English Bulldog don’t affect their behavior. Although black or chocolate British Bulldogs may look more intimidating than light-colored dogs, they are not more aggressive than Fawn or Fallow Bulldogs.

The AKC states that they should have a kind yet courageous personality that is calm and dignified. 

Do certain colors link to more health issues?

Yes, the color of your dog’s fur can affect its health. For example, White British Bulldogs are prone to going deaf. Congenital disabilities are also common in some lines, scarce colors which may have been inbred.

As with most dogs, they are prone to certain diseases and conditions. These brachycephalic dogs have flat faces and small windpipes and are prone to breathing problems.

They are also very susceptible to heatstroke in warm weather or hot rooms and cars and are also very cold-sensitive.

Due to their skin folds are susceptible to skin infections and hip and knee problems, they are also prone to developing mast cell tumors.

Are Merle English Bulldogs unhealthy?

Yes, unfortunately, merle English Bulldogs are known to carry several health issues.

The same genes that give these dogs their distinctive color combinations are also said to cause eye and ear problems which could ultimately lead them to go blind or deaf.

Taking Care of Your Dog’s Coat

An English Bulldog in a grooming salon
Source: @grooming_salon_groom_room / IG

British Bulldogs shed a lot of hair. Brushing them one to three times a week is advised.

They are also wrinkly dogs, and you may see that their faces have skin piled up into folds, which can lead to skin problems if moisture or dirt gets trapped in the creases. 

When it comes to red, itchy skin, keep an eye out and take them to the vet if necessary to prevent infection. To prevent this from happening, you must regularly clean between the wrinkles. 

Conclusion: Which Color English Bulldog Will You Choose?

Some may see the English Bulldog as an intimidating dog breed, but it is one of the most gentle-natured dogs. They can be affectionate and dependable pets and gentle with children.

They are also known for their courage and excellent guarding abilities. 

British Bulldogs are very much a people’s dog, and a lot of human attention is required for the breed’s happiness.

If you can provide this dog with the love and attention it deserves, then no matter which color you choose, you are guaranteed to have a dog that loves you and that you love in return.

Do you have an English Bulldog? We would love to learn more about him and his coat color in the comments below.

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