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Rare Colors

DNA Explained

What are the rare colors?

Lilac Tan Point English Bulldog

Lilac

Rarest Color

Lilac Bulldogs are black dogs that are diluted not  once, but twice.  First by the chocolate gene [bb] and then by the blue [dd] gene.  The [bb] dilutes black to brown and the [dd] dilutes  black to blue. 

The lilac coat should be shiny and looks very similar to a Weimerainer gray color, with many lighter and darker shades possible.  Some lilac coats will have an under color that shines through the coat that may be green or pink or somewhere in between, depending on the lighting.  The nose, paw pads and eyeliner are always some shade of purple/lilac.

Chocolate

Second Rarest Color

Chocolate Bulldogs are black dogs that are diluted by the [bb] gene.

The chocolate coat should be shiny and look brown against black objects or in the sun, unless the seal gene is involved which can give different undertones to the coat.  The dog may or may not have a fawn undercoat when the coat is rubbed backwards.  The nose, paw pads, and eyeliner are always chocolate, even in the chocolate fawn.

Blue

Third Rarest Color

Blue Bulldogs are black dogs that are diluted by the [dd] gene. 

The blue/gray coat should be shiny and look gray against black objects or in the sun unless the dog carries the seal gene, which would show maroon or other color undertones.  Blue dogs may or may not have a fawn undercoat when the coat is rubbed backwards.  The nose, paw pads, and eyeliner will always be blue/gray, but can vary from light to dark and can never be mistaken for black.

Black

Fourth Rarest Color

Black Bulldogs are simply that, black. 

The black should be shiny and look black against black objects or in the sun unless the seal gene is involved which can show a different color undertone to the black coat.  Black dogs may or may not have a fawn undercoat when the coat is rubbed backwards.  The nose, paw pads, and eyeliner are always true black.

Tan Points, Platinum, Fawn vs True Color,
Brindle & Trindle, Seal, and Merle

Tan Points

As in all tri colors, tan points are typically found on the eyebrows, cheeks, front shoulders (directly above the chest area between the front legs), around the tail, and on both the front and back legs.  It is normal for the tan points to be absent in these areas if colored white, which simply indicates lack of pigment).  

Platinum

Platinum is an all-white dog; however, it is acceptable for spots of color that total 10% or less of the body color to be designated as Platinum.  The preferred “true platinum” has an all-white coat.

Fawn vs True Fawn

In fawn (red/yellow) dogs, the only areas affected by the [bb and/or dd] gene(s) are the nose, pawpad, and eyeliner pigments.  Therefore, you have a dog with their true, original coat color and then diluted pigment in the aforementioned areas.  These dogs should be correctly referred to as lilac fawn, chocolate fawn, and blue fawn regardless of what shade of fawn the dog may be. 

In order for a dog to be a TRUE color regardless of being lilac, chocolate, or blue, the dog must have a black base.  

Brindle & Trindle

Brindle is a brownish/tawny color of fur that covers the majority of the dogs body. 

Trindle is a full brindle dog with tri points when in the brindle only shows  on the tri point areas. 

Seal

Dogs shine seal through a different color which is usually red, but can be fawn, gray, or even shades of green, from under the coat.  This is especially noticeable in the sun.  The dog is almost always two colors with the second color being white.  . 

Merle

The merle gene dilutes random sections of the coat to a lighter color leaving patches of the original color.  The patches may look jagged on the outer edges.  When a dog has black, blue, chocolate, or lilac in his/her coat then the coat, eyes, and/or nose will be merled.

Merle English Bulldog

Canine Base Coat Color Genetic Flowchart

Flowchart courtesy of Paw Print Genetics