Merle French Bulldog: The Full Guide ( And Detailed Puppy Care)

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 The Merle French Bulldog is an excellent guard dog that adapts well to family life. Adults don't mind spending the day inside your home, sleeping or playing with the kids.

In 2020, the American Kennel Club ranked them #2 on their long list of most desirable as very hard to obtain.

They get along well with cats and other pets and enjoy being friends with visiting guests and family. It is no wonder that he is the favorite dog of city life in many cities around the world. 

Characteristics of the Merle French Bulldog

We are talking about a small dog that looks like an English Mastiff. His body is stocky and muscular with a broad, square head, recognizable by his creases, wrinkles, and bat-like ears.

He has large, round, dark eyes. his tail is short and often twisted. The coat is very short and soft. His merle or tricolor color is very special, striking, and different from all other exotic French bulldogs; you can see small spots all over his body of different shades and sizes such as blue, brown, and gray.

merle french bulldog 

Genetic

The origin of French bulldogs dates back to the 18th century in France. Where many wanted to have a pet, and they were suited to their personality and size. Little by little they made themselves known and in the same way, they began to be marketed.

To find this type of coat (Merle), they allowed crosses between Brindle French Bulldogs and other dogs containing the Merle gene, called m-locus. Since puppies carrying this gene were born back then, Merle French Bulldogs have been bred to maintain their genetics.

This coat pattern is due to a mutation in the PMEL gene responsible for color dilution.

The Merle French Bulldog is not considered purebred due to its origin, as the parents are not. Additionally, the American Kennel Club does not recognize the Merle French Bulldog as a breed color in the standard.

The different shades that exist

Yes, there is not only a pattern of different colors but also shades. We mean there are blue merle and red merle, which are the most common, it occurs in almost all dog breeds. They are dogs with a black base color interrupted by irregular gray and ash blue or steel blue markings.

You will also find Merle French Bulldogs with grayer shades of fur, i.e. heavily mottled or, on the contrary, others will have practically all of their fur black, so they will be slightly mottled. In contrast, Red Merle has a tan color tone with white edges.

there are Frenchies of other colors:
  • Saber
  • Yellow
  • Fawn
  • Blue
  • Dilute red

 

Due to the crosses that have been done over the years, the Merle French Bulldog has different health issues ranging from skeletal deformities to blindness and deafness, which are increased if two Merles are crossed.

 merle french bulldog

Health

The most important health problems of this exotic French bulldog are: 

  • Intertrigo: Skin becomes inflamed due to pink skin folds.
  • Brachycephalic obstructive syndrome: They may have difficulty breathing due to the small size of the skull
  • Perineal hernia: May suffer from the displacement of the abdominal organs from the pelvis
  • Atopic dermatitis (atopy): They usually have allergies to an environmental substance
  • Epilepsy: May have recurrent seizures

 

Eye and hearing defects such as: 

  • Blindness: Lack of vision in one or both eyes
  • Jagged pupils: The edges of the pupil can be jagged or irregular, this in turn will cause sensitivity to light
  • Microphthalmia: The eyes are unusually small or barely there
  • Cataracts: Cloudiness in the lens
  • Corectipia: The pupil is lower than normal, this will not affect the French Bulldog if he does not suffer from other eye problems

They may suffer from hearing loss, either at birth or ingrowth

 merle french bulldog

French Bulldog Puppy Care

Find out what you need to be amazing in every detail during this stage.

Give him a big welcome

Prepare a comfortable and own space for your French Bulldog. You can use a basket or a blanket.

I chose their feeding space by placing a feeder and drinker.

Set feeding schedules.

From an early age, the French Bulldog needs the care to help him develop healthily and be an incredible dog.

 

Pay attention!

The French Bulldog requires short outings; due to his physiology, it is advisable to avoid running and jumping too much. If you take him on vacation or to a place where there is a pool, lake, or river, it is important that you be attentive since the French Bulldog is a very poor swimmer. In addition, it is very vulnerable to heat stroke. Always try to leave it in a cool, quiet place with a drinker with fresh water nearby. You should never leave him locked up alone inside a vehicle.

 

Skin and hair care

Being a smooth-coated dog, regular grooming with a specific hair brush will help get rid of the abundant dead hair.

A bath once a month, with a neutral soap or a special shampoo for dogs indicated by your veterinarian, will be enough to keep your hair shiny and healthy.

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Ear, eye, and face care

French Bulldogs often have eye discharge, and it tends to accumulate around the eyes. It can be cleaned with a cotton pad and warm water. After cleaning, dry the area with gauze to prevent moisture and fungus formation. It is always advisable to consult with the veterinarian.

The folds of your face should be cleaned with cotton and physiological solution at least 3 times a week to prevent the appearance of fungus, especially in summer. Then it is recommended to dry the area with gauze and put Vaseline on it to avoid risks of infection.

It is recommended to clean the ears once a week and use a suitable solution for the dog's ears, following the veterinarian's instructions. 

Nail care

They should be shortened if they are long, taking care not to reach the vascular-nervous bundle (pink area). Again, consult with your veterinarian about the correct way to do it.

When in doubt, always consult your veterinarian.

 merle french bulldog

His first year

The growth of the French Bulldog puppy lasts 12 months and has 2 different stages, where there are important changes in the following aspects due to growth: 

Energy needs.

Bones.

Muscles.

Digestive system.

The appearance of the first teeth.

 

Changes in the puppy from weaning
  • Digestive system: From weaning, their digestive system develops gradually, so it is not yet ready to assimilate large amounts of food, and it is difficult for them to digest starch properly. That is why it is necessary that his diet adapts to the needs that the puppy needs at this stage and that the food ration provided is the one indicated for his age and weight that he will have as an adult; this information can be consulted on the back of the product.
  • Energy needs: French Bulldog Puppies have Twice as much energy as adult dogs.
  • Bones: The greater amount of phosphorus and calcium to mineralize your bones. The best way to supply them is with Specific Nutrition since an excessive amount of calcium can compromise the normal development of their growth, and an excess of nutrients could make them gain more weight than normal.
  • Formation of first teeth: At 3 weeks, the first teeth begin to appear, which will be replaced by the definitive ones at 5 months. At this stage, the puppy will have the need to bite objects; you can provide him with teethers and toys adapted to his age.
  • Development of the immune system: From the 4th week of life, he will gradually lose the immunity acquired through breast milk, so he must develop his defenses. This process ends around the 12th week of life.
  • Food: During this first period, the puppy goes from liquid to solid food. However, it should be a gradual change, moistening the food. Once this stage is over, the puppy will chew without difficulty, as long as the chosen food is appropriate.

 

Puppy growth from two months 

During this second stage, the French Bulldog puppy will continue to grow at a slower rate, with less "spectacular" changes, but just as important. 

  • Muscles: Their muscles develop rapidly after the consolidation of their skeleton. To build your muscle tissue, you will need 1.6 times more energy input than when he is an adult. That is why it is essential that his diet contains the precise level of calories for the development of muscles, it is recommended not to overdo it to prevent overweight during development.
  • Digestive system: His digestion is still delicate, so it is important to provide him with the right food to avoid diarrhea or other digestive disorders.
  • Tooth development: From 5 months, their permanent teeth are ready for a portion of food that encourages them to chew. The puppy will have to crush it before swallowing it. Doing so, slows down the rate of eating and decreases air intake and regurgitation. 

Final Words

As admirers of the Merle French Bulldog; The intention we seek in this article is only to guide other bulldog lovers interested in getting a pet for personal or family company; or to enter the fascinating world of dog shows and/or contests.

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