English Bulldog Colors: The Standard & Rare Bulldog Coat Colors

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When it comes to an English bulldog, 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, English Bulldogs are mellow, adorable balls of cuteness. 

But we understand that there are many factors to consider regarding the English bulldog ownership. One of those factors is what color English Bulldog 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 perfect English bulldog color for you.

How Do English Bulldog Color Genetics Work?

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

These two alleles will give your dog is color genotype. Your Bulldog’s genes will determine his color as well as coat texture and appearance. 

What does tri-color English Bulldog mean?

A tongues out Tri-color English Bulldog
Portrait of a Tri-color English Bulldog with tongue sticking out – Image source

In the English Bulldog dog 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 the markings on English bulldogs are not yet visible in puppyhood, a genetic test can be performed to identify whether they are specific mixes and colors.

Do English Bulldogs’ coats change colors as they age?

Sleeping English Bulldog puppies
Cute English Bulldog puppies with different colors – Image source

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 purebred English Bulldogs must come in specific colors. We will look further at the different accepted colors for the purebred English Bulldog below. 

1. Red English Bulldog

A Red English Bulldog looking up
A Red English Bulldog with a leash looking up – Image source

The purebred English Bulldog 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 English Bulldogs with brown noses.

2. White English Bulldog

A White English Bulldog in summer vibes
A White English Bulldog hangs out on the beach – Image source

White is a rare color for the English Bulldog. 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
An innocent look of an underbite Fawn English Bulldog – Image source

Fawn can be a popular color for the English Bulldog. 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 English Bulldogs and Fawn English 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
A red and white coat English Bulldog on top of the outdoor bench – Image source

English 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 English Bulldog
  • Fawn and White English Bulldog
  • Fawn, Brindle, and White English Bulldog
  • Red and White English Bulldog
  • Red Brindle English Bulldog
  • Red, Brindle, and White English Bulldog

English Bulldog 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 English Bulldog

A Brindle English Bulldog playing a ball
Meet Brodie, a playful Brindle English Bulldog – Image source

These are the most common color markings for the English Bulldog breed. Brindle is sometimes referred to as the ‘signature color’ of the English Bulldog breed.

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 English Bulldog

A Piebald English Bulldog playing ball outdoor
A Piebald English Bulldog playing soccer ball in the backyard – Image source

Piebald simply means an English Bulldog 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. English Bulldog with Ticked Coat

An English Bulldog with ticked coat
Adorable young English Bulldog with ticked coat – Image source

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

These colored specks are also particularly common on Platinum English Bulldogs. 

4. English Bulldog with Black Mask

An English Bulldog with black mask coat
Meet Rocco, an English Bulldog with black mask coat – Image source

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 English Bulldogs are seen with a black mask.

5. English Bulldog with Black Tips

An English Bulldog with black tips
An English Bulldog with black tips or sable – Image source

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 English Bulldogs 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 your English Bulldog a pretty unique appearance.

7. English Bulldog with White Markings

An English Bulldog with white markings
A white marking English Bulldog playing with its owner – Image source

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

8. English Bulldog with Tri Pattern

An English Bulldog with tri pattern
A tri-color English Bulldog wearing pink harness and leash – Image source

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 the dog’s points, such as around the eyes, cheeks, ears, paws, and tail. 

What are the Rarest English Bulldog Colors and Patterns?

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 English Bulldogs.

1. Lilac English Bulldog

A huge Lilac English Bulldog
A huge Tri Lilac English Bulldog with bright blue eyes – Image source

This is one of the less-common English Bulldog color variations. The color appears to be a beautiful purplish-gray color with blended blue and brown tones. Lilac English 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 English Bulldog
  • Lilac Tri Color English Bulldog

2. Black English Bulldog

A Black Tri-color English Bulldog
A Black Tri-color English Bulldog with camouflage harness – Image source

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

and legs. These Black Tri-Color English Bulldogs are one of the more common variants of tri-colored English Bulldogs. These dogs usually end up having brown eyes.

3. Blue English Bulldog

A Blue Tri-Color English Bulldog
A handsome Blue Tri-Color English Bulldog – Image source

A Blue English Bulldog is simply a black English 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 English Bulldog or a Blue Sable Color English Bulldog.

4. Chocolate English Bulldog

A Chocolate Tri-Color English Bulldog
A Chocolate Tri-Color English Bulldog with his owner – Image source

Chocolate is another distinctive English Bulldog color caused by recessive genes. The bb genotype gives English Bulldogs 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. You can also find Chocolate Tri-Color English Bulldogs.

5. Seal English Bulldog

The coats of the Seal English Bulldog have 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 the English Bulldog coat’s true hue.

6. Merle English Bulldog

A Merle English Bulldog
An English Bulldog with white mixed merle coat – Image source

Merle is a scarce color for the English Bulldog 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
A platinum-coated English Bulldog – Image source

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

An albino English Bulldog 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.

Is it okay to get a rare-colored English Bulldog?

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 English 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 English Bulldog Colors Affect Behavior?

Two English Bulldogs with leash
Two English Bulldogs together with their owner – Image source

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

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

Do English Bulldog Colors Affect Health?

A deaf English Bulldog
Meet Deb, a deaf English Bulldog – Image source

Ye, the color of your English Bulldog’s fur can affect their health. For example, White English 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, the English Bulldogs 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 to your dog going blind or deaf.

Do English Bulldogs Change Eye Color?

Yes, the eye colors of your English Bulldog can change color, particularly as they age. Color is also a good indication of your dog’s overall eye health.

Healthy eyes should be a clear blue, brown, or black without any cloudiness or haziness, while the surrounding area should be white without any signs of yellow. 

English Bulldogs generally have poor eyesight and are prone to cherry eye, and any pink or yellow color or cloudiness could indicate eye disease or liver dysfunction. 

What colors can English Bulldogs see?

All dogs, English Bulldogs, can see color but not as vividly as humans. They see the world as yellow, blue, and gray.

Green, orange and yellow may all appear yellow to your English Bulldog, while purple and violet are blue and blue-green is gray.

Taking Care of Your English Bulldog’s Coat

An English Bulldog in a grooming salon
An underbite English Bulldog in a grooming salon – Image source

English bulldogs shed a lot of hair. Brushing them one to three times a week is advised.

English Bulldogs 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 animals and gentle with children.

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

English 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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