Dapple French Bulldog- “COMPETE” Merle Frenchie guide

The Merle or Dapple French Bulldog is a rare color variation of the French Bulldog. Dapple is not a color but a pattern characterized by a light-colored base with darker patches or spots overlaid on top. These Merle Frenchie colors can be black, chocolate, blue, brown, liver, and yellow. 

The base color of a Dapple French bulldog can be cream to white.

This Merle coloration does not affect other qualities of the French Bulldog.

These dogs have pointy ears and are intelligent but love being spoiled and pampered just like other Frenchies.

Are you considering getting this adorable and dapple Bulldog? Keep reading to learn more about this dog.

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dapple french bulldog

About the Dapple French Bulldog

Originating from England, French Bulldogs have taken the world by storm and over the last 20 years, they have surged in popularity to become one of the most popular dog breeds.

They are funny, adorable, lovable, friendly, mischievous, and are known to throw tantrums if they don’t have their way.

Frenchies are great companion dogs for city and apartment dwellers and are classified as non-sporting dogs. 

They come in different color variations and combinations but today we are going to look into the dapple or merle pattern variation.

Purebred French Bulldogs do not carry the dapple gene.

This gene is got by manipulating the dog’s lines, traits, and genetic make by mixing this breed with other breeds that carry this gene such as the Chihuahua.

The Dapple Frenchie is therefore not a purebred dog but more of a mix.

Merle French Bulldog breeding

The dapple Frenchie pattern is a result of gene dilution of the base colors and you are thus left with darker spots and patches on the dog’s coat.

As I have mentioned above purebred Frenchies due not carry the merle and are acquired by genetic manipulation by mating this dog with other breeds that carry the merle gene.

And because the dapple gene is a dominant gene is expressed after dilution of the base color.

Being a dominant gene means that you only need one of the parents to be a carrier of the gene to create a Dapple French Bulldog.

The resulting mixed dapple offsprings can then be mated to create beautiful double dapple Frenchies.

However, double dapple or double merle Frenchies are not only beautiful but can also increase the risk of the canine developing abnormalities. More on that later in this post. 

You may also be interested in the Piebald Dachshund.

Some of the most common dapple colors are;

  • Lilac Dapple French Bulldog
  • Blue Merle French Bulldogs.
  • Black Merle French Bulldogs.

merle frenchies

1. Lilac Dapple French Bulldogs

This is arguably the most sort after Merle Frenchie and cost you upwards of $30,000.

Finding a French Bulldog with this coat color can be difficult.

Lilac Dapple Frenchies can come in variations;

  • Purple-like color
  • Champagne color

The base color of the lilac merle bulldogs is simply a combination of chocolate and blue.

2. Blue Merle French Bulldogs

The Blue Merle Frenchie that is a result of dilution of the base coat color from black to blue or slate gray.

Learn More about the Blue French Bulldog.

These dogs are also born with blue eyes which they retain throughout their lifetime.

Pros and cons


✓ Highly adaptable.

✔ Adorable appearance.

✓ Great for novice dog owners.

✔ Compact and easy to carry around.


✗ Can have an increased risk of certain abnormalities.

✘ Does not tolerate being left alone.

✗ Can be arrogant and pushy.

✘ Needy.

6 Dapple Frenchie Fun Facts

  1. French Bulldogs were first seen in the 17th century.
  2. This is the 4th most popular dog in the US.
  3. Frenchies were originally known as bouledogue Francais.
  4. This breed was a symbol of wealth and was mostly owned by elites and the rich.
  5. They are cuddly and are often used as therapy dogs for seniors which makes them the perfect companion.
  6. Frenchies love to wear boots and dress up.

Dapple French Bulldog appearance and general characteristics

Dapple French Bulldog summary table
Height 11 to 13 inches
Weight 18 to 28 pounds
Lifespan 10 to 14 years 
Breed Type Mixes and more
Purpose Companion dog
Suitable For Children and Apartment living
Grooming requirements Moderate
Color Variations Light base color with darker patches and spots
Health concerns Wondering eye, Coloboma, Missing eye, Deafness
Temperament Affectionate, Loving, Intelligent, Calm but naughty, Gentle
Other names Merle French Bulldog, Merle Frenchi, Dapple clown dog

Height and weight

The Dapple French Bulldog is classified as a Toy breed.

This dog generally has a height of between 11 and 13 inches and weighs between 18 and 28 pounds. 

Physical appearance

This dog is mainly known for his bat-like erect and pointy ears. However, in some instances, they can have wrinkly ears but most of them have smooth ears.

Dapple Frenchies are brachycephalic which means they have flat wrinkly faces and necks that give them an endearing look.

Coat and shedding

The coat of a merle Frenchie is smooth and short.

However, he does shed moderately throughout the year and will need to be groomed to keep him elegant and clean.


Merle French Bulldog Temperament and personality

Frenchies are spoiled dogs but this should not come as surprise since they have enjoyed a fair share of historical royalty and pampering.

If they do not get what they want, they love to throw tantrums but they are one of the most loving canines you are going to meet. They are always ready to show you appreciation with lots of cuddles, hugs, and kisses.

However, he may be a bit unwelcoming to strangers but he eventually warms up to them.

Also, this dapple beauty does not tolerate being left alone for long periods and may bark and howl when you are away until you get back.

Merle Frenchie can also be vocal when they are offended and can a bit touchy.

You should make sure that you are available most of the time for this dog if you are planning on adopting him.

Is the Dapple French Bulldog a good family dog?

The Dapple Frenchie makes an excellent family companion and is very adaptable.

This canine is patient with children and makes a great match and playmate for them. He also does well with other family pets.

You may also be interested in the American Bulldog also known as the Old Country Dog. 

How Much does Merle French Bulldog cost?

On average, you can expect to pay between $1800 and $3500 for a Dapple French Bulldog. However, depending on the merle color variation you decide to go for, you can pay as high as $30,000 for a single puppy.

These dogs are not only expensive because of their rare coat color but also because they are known to have breeding issues. Some of them are born through cesarean section and getting one these puppies can be quite difficult.

dapple french bulldog puppy

How to care for a Dapple Frenchie

French Bulldogs are low maintenance dogs and are very manageable.

However, you can easily spoil this dog and you will need to care for his health by watching his weight and avoid giving him too many treats.

He will also need some level of grooming, training, exercise, and the right diet to be healthy.

Grooming requirements

This pooch’s coat should be brushed at least once a week.

He will also need a bath once a month and will need special care for the wrinkles and folds on his face neck.

If the folds collect dirt or debris that can increase the risk of skin infections.

He will also need to be protected from the cold by dressing him up in some warm doggie clothes.

Exercise needs

The Dapple French is a small dog that does not need to be exercised much.

You can take him for 2 short daily walks and play with him when he is in the mood for it.

Also, avoid pushing them too hard as it can be strenuous for them, especially when the weather is hot.

Daily Exercise Requirements
Minutes 30 minutes
Number of walks 2 (1o minutes each)

dapple frenchie

Dapple Frenchie Diet and nutrition

Good and high-quality food is synonymous with French Bulldogs.

You should make sure that you choose a diet formulated for small dog breeds with protein as the main ingredient.

Merle French Bulldog Daily Food Consumption
Guide 500 calories
Cups of Kibble ~1

How to train a Merle French Bulldog

Merle Frenchies are intelligent dogs but they can also be moody and stubborn from time to time.

But his urge to please and make his owner happy outweighs his stubborn streak which makes him fairly trainable.

These dogs will be happy learning basic commands and tricks but you should pay close attention to house and crate training this dog.

You should make sure that you toilet train him from the moment he gets home because he can be prone to accidents.

With patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement, you should be able to safely train this dog and even move to more complex training.

Socialization is also a crucial part of the Dapple Frenchie training.

He will need to be introduced to other people and animals but pup classes also do wonders.

Double Dapple Frenchie

A Double Dapple Frenchie is a French Bulldog that has been bred from 2 dapple parents to create a beautiful coat pattern and an interesting eye color. Breeders are highly discouraged from breeding 2 French Bulldogs that carry the dominant Merle gene.

But as we mentioned earlier in this post, this can cause complications and abnormalities.

Some double merle Frenchies can be born blind, deaf, or have other abnormalities such as small eyes. Others may even be born without one or both of the eyes.

This can add to some of the health issues that this dog is susceptible to and lower the quality of his life.

Some of these health problems include;

  • Thyroid problems.
  • Skins problems.
  • Wondering eye.
  • Coloboma.

How Long Does a Merle French Bulldog live?

10 to 14 years.


Once you adopt or purchase a Dapple French Bulldog, you will quickly realize why they are adored and loved all over the world.

These dogs are renowned for making their owners happy.

However, you should be vigilant and watch out for backyard breeders and puppy mills that may attempt to sell you an unhealthy merle puppy.

You should also avoid double dapple Frenchies at all costs.

If you are considering adding this dog as your next family addition, let us know in the comment section below.

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