Ask English bulldogs Merle English bulldog - everything you should know

Merle English bulldog – everything you should know

Here is a complete guide to the Merle English Bulldog breed – from origins to care tips and all variations of their specific color!

The Merle English Bulldog is a unique and captivating breed that has gained considerable attention in recent years. Known for its striking coat pattern and distinct physical features, the Merle English Bulldog puppies stand out among their counterparts. So, let’s get to know more about this breed, from its origins, characteristics, health considerations, temperament, training needs, care, and so much more. Whether you are a potential owner or simply intrigued by these adorable dogs, this article is here to provide you with a great overview of the Merle English Bulldog and everything you need to know about this charming companions.

Merle English bulldog breed

Known for their distinctive coat pattern, these Bulldogs stand out from the crowd with their mesmerizing variations of colors and patterns. The Merle coat pattern is characterized by a marbled or dappled effect, resulting in a beautiful combination of colors on the dog’s fur. This captivating pattern is caused by a genetic mutation that affects the distribution of pigments in the hair follicles. While Merle is commonly seen in other breeds, it is relatively rare in English Bulldogs, making them even more special!

Ask English bulldogs Merle English bulldog - everything you should know

Still, even though they are very popular, Merle English bulldog puppies are not recognized by AKC (American Kennel Club) and are not considered purebred. That means that even if you find some Merele English bulldog breeders that claim to have a purebred pup, it is very likely that they do not follow the AKC standards. But we should also mention that since 2016, the Merle British bulldogs have been recognized by the International Olde English Bulldogge Association (IOEBA)! So, we might even say that the opinions about this specific breed are very different and quite tangled, but that should not stop you from finding out more about these adorable wrinkled snouts!

One more important thing that you should know about Merle bullies is that, according to the Royal Veterinary College in London, this breed is genetically predisposed to some health problems! The most common problems are with breathing, eyes and sight and ears and deffnes. To find out more about these problems, keep reading this text! 

Origins of Merle Bulldogs

The Merle Bulldogs are a relatively new coat color in this breed, but now you can find the Merle French bulldogs, American, olde bulldogge, and so much more! The interesting thing about this bulldog coat variation is that it is caused by a special Merle gene – M locus.

The origin of the Merle gene in bulldogs is not clear, but some specialists believe that it is gained from crossbreeding between bulldogs and merle-colored dogs like Collie. Still, merle bulldog breeders nowadays use a similar dog breed with merle genes, like the American bulldog or even the Catahoula Leopard dog. 

Ask English bulldogs Merle English bulldog - everything you should know

Here’s something interesting: the Merle gene is a dominant gene. That means that even if a bulldog only has one copy of this gene, it will still show up in their coat pattern. This pattern and color are recognized by the International Olde English Bulldogge Association (IOEBA), but they are a different association that aims for a healthier bulldog breed – and this genetic mutation still has some health issues. That is why the AKC or the United Kennel Club do not recognize this breed. We should also add that there were some breeders that have contributed to this non-recognition issue since they have mixed merle bulldogs with other merle dogs. Dubble Merle gene has caused some serious health problems in puppies, like deafness, blindness, and other problems.

Merle English Bulldog color variations

One look at a Merle English Bulldog, and you’ll instantly understand why they capture hearts wherever they go. These dogs have a sturdy, muscular build with a distinctively wrinkled face and a powerful stance. Their medium-sized stature gives them an endearing and approachable appearance.

What truly sets the Merle English Bulldog apart, though, is their remarkable coat color and patterns. The Merle gene can create an array of striking combinations, including blue merle English bulldog, red merle, chocolate merle, and even lilac merle. Each dog showcases a unique blend of colors, making them truly one-of-a-kind. It’s like having a walking work of art as your faithful companion.

Blue Merle English Bulldog

Ask English bulldogs Merle English bulldog - everything you should know

Blue Merle Bulldogs are one of those variations that we can say are mesmerizing! They have this wonderful blue-gray color all over their body, and they also have these distinctive patches of black. But the coolest thing about them is in their eyes – they have these stunning blue eyes that will undeniably catch your attention! Blue Merle Bulldog puppies are actually one of the most popular types of Merle bullies out there. So, if you’re looking for a dog that’s unique and has a really cool color pattern, these Bulldogs are definitely worth checking out!

Lilac Merle English bulldog

Ask English bulldogs Merle English bulldog - everything you should know

Lilac Merle English Bulldogs have a super cool coat with colors like lilac, brown, beige, and white all mixed together. It’s like a fancy pattern with spots of different colors all over. The main color is lilac, but you’ll also see patches of brown, beige, and white. These Bulldogs usually have light brown noses, and sometimes you might even spot tiny pink patches on them. And guess what? Many of them have beautiful blue eyes, too!

Red Merle English bulldog

Ask English bulldogs Merle English bulldog - everything you should know

Red Merle Bulldogs are very rare and quite unique! They have this appealing reddish-brown color as their base, and they also have patches of lighter or darker red on their fur. Their coat looks like autumn in its most beautiful colors, and that is their special charm! This unique coat color is the reason why they are so popular, even more than blue or other merle bulldog pups.

Tricolor Merle Bulldog

Ask English bulldogs Merle English bulldog - everything you should know

Tricolor Merle English Bulldogs have white as the basic color and multiple black and tan patches. The color combination on their coat makes them quite special! Tri Merle Bulldogs are actually pretty rare and hard to find. They are pretty popular because their coloring is unique, stands out from the crowd, and simply takes all the attention!

Chocolate Merle bulldog

Ask English bulldogs Merle English bulldog - everything you should know

Merle Bulldogs in chocolate shades have a base color that’s like chocolate and a few more shades of lighter and darker brown. Their unique trait is to often have light blue eyes, and that is such a lovely combination. Since they are a rare type of merle, they are quite popular and a bit hard to find.

Double Merle English bulldogs

Double Merle breeds are extremely rare and present the combination of 2 basic colors and a few more different colored patches. They are so hard to find because breeding two merle bulldogs can have serious health consequences,  and the puppies can have serious genetic defects. Breeding Double Merle bulldogs or any dog breed is not recommended!

Harlequin Merle Bulldogs

Ask English bulldogs Merle English bulldog - everything you should know

One of the most unique coat colors among dogs and bulldogs is definitely Harlequin Merle! These bullies can have a white base color coat with some gray and black patches. They can have wonderful blue eyes or brown or even different-colored eyes (heterochromia)!

The physical characteristics of Merle bulldogs

Merle British bulldog is an exquisite breed with unique physical characteristics. One of its distinguishing features is its size, which typically falls within a medium to large range. Adult males usually stand around 14 to 18 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between 50 to 55 pounds, while females are slightly smaller, measuring approximately 12 to 16 inches and weighing between 40 to 45 pounds. 

Despite being relatively compact in stature, Merle Bulldogs possess a robust build with strong bone structure and muscular bodies. Their broad chests and thick legs provide them with excellent stability and agility, enabling them to display remarkable athleticism despite their stocky appearance. But you should still know that Bulldogs are not great swimmers, so they might need some help with water activities! You can make sure that they are safe with some great bulldog swimming vests! Merle bullies are well-suited for various activities, such as obedience training or participating in dog shows!

Common health issues in Merle Bulldogs

Merle English Bulldogs are a unique and visually striking variant of the traditional English Bulldog breed, but that means that they will also have some different health issues. It is important to note that along with their adorable appearance comes an increased risk of certain health problems, especially with their sight and hearing. 

Merle coloring in dogs results from the presence of a specific gene that can also predispose individuals to various health concerns. One significant concern associated with this gene is blindness or deafness, which can occur due to improper development of the eyes and ears. Ear infections are also pretty common in bulldogs, especialy in Merle kind.

Additionally, Merle Bulldogs may be prone to skin problems such as allergies and sensitivities spots. This problems can manifest as itching, rashes, or even infection. They might also experience breathing difficulties due to their short snouts and compromised airways—a common issue amongst all English Bulldogs. The Olde British Bulldogge is a breed that aims to reverse genetic deformities with the bulldog’s snouts and help them with breathing issues.

As potential owners of these beautiful creatures, it is crucial to provide regular vet checkups. This way you can prevent these problems or salve them on time and without consequences!

Merle Bulldog lifespan

The lifespan of Merle English Bulldogs is comparable to that of standard English Bulldogs. Generally, these dogs have an average lifespan ranging from 8 to 10 years. However, you should note that several factors can impact the life of any dog breed, including genetics, nutrition, exercise routine, and healthcare. Regular veterinary check-ups and vaccinations are crucial in maintaining their overall health and detecting potential issues early on. 

Additionally, responsible breeding practices aimed at reducing genetic health problems can significantly impact the lifespan of Merle English Bulldogs. While some underlying health conditions associated with the Merle gene may affect their lifespan, with proper care and attention, these majestic dogs can lead happy and healthy lives alongside their families for many years.

Merle Bulldog care tips and advice:

In order to effectively care for Merle English Bulldogs, it is very important to prioritize their specific needs. 

  • Firstly, their unique coat pattern requires extra attention! The Merle gene can result in potential health issues such as hearing and vision problems. Bulldogs are generally prone to some health issues with skin or breathing, so vet checkups are a must!
  • You need to watch out for their diet! Nutritious foods and ingredients without any additives or artificial colors and preservatives are the best choices! Merle bulldogs can often develop various food allergies, and you need to take care of this potential problem in time!
  •  Engaging them in regular exercise is vital for their helth! Still, try to avoid overworking them since they do have some trouble with breathing and can get overheated! 
  • Regular grooming sessions should include brushing their short coat to minimize shedding. You should also clean their ears regularly, and trimming nails when needed. 
  • Mental stimulation through training and interactive playtime is also important for keeping these intelligent dogs stimulated and content. 

It is essential for owners of Merle English Bulldogs to educate themselves about breed-specific health concerns! You should also take preventative measures while providing a loving and safe environment for these beautiful companions.

It’s important for you to note that every dog is different! They  may have their own unique features, health risks, even behavior. So, you need to do your research and understand the breed before typing in the search panel something like “ Merle English bulldog for sale” or “ Merle bulldog puppies near me” !

Are there some legal and ethical problems with breeding Merle bulldogs?

The Merle English Bulldogs sale and breeding have raised significant legal and ethical concerns within the canine community. The Merle gene is known to be linked with numerous health problems, including eye abnormalities, deafness, and skin disorders. Breeders who ignore these health risks and continue to produce and sell these dogs may face legal consequences for knowingly breeding unhealthy animals. For example, in Australia, there are law restrictions on breeding, selling, and owning a Merle Chihuahua! Some countries have restrictions on owning dog breeds with various health issues, like Pugs or some kinds of bulldogs. Merle Dachshunds are, for example also extremely beautiful, but not allowed or recognised like a breed everywhere in the world!

One of the most punishable legal and ethical problems is with breeders who still mix double-merle bulldogs regardless of serious genetic health problems! Responsible breeders prioritize the welfare of their animals over profit!

Frequently Asked Questions Q&A

Here are some of the most common questions about Merle English bulldogs and answers:

Merle English Bulldog price

The price of Merle English Bulldogs can vary significantly due to various factors. Factors that can impact the price are pedigree, breeding reputation, quality of the dog, and demand in the market. On average, a Merle English Bulldog puppy can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000 or even more. Merle English Bulldogs are very popular because of their unique coat pattern and striking appearance. 

However, it is important to find breeders who prioritize the health and wellbeing of their dogs rather than just focusing on profit. It is recommended to thoroughly research and ask for documentation regarding the health checks of both parents! Always check everything about the breeders before buying  Merle English Bulldog puppy at any price range.

Are Merle Bulldogs rare (what is the rarest merle bulldog?

Well, first of all, every Merle coat color is rare since breeding is not easy, and it takes a lot of genetic research and tests to get a healthy and beautiful pup! But the rarest of all combinations is definitely the Lilac Merle bulldogs! These lovely puppies have chocolate shades and bluish spots with some whites. They actually have diluted colors, and that can add to health issues, and that is the reason behind their rarity. So, if you are interested in lilac bulldogs, do your research and always keep in mind that they can have some health issues!

Are Merle bulldogs purebred?

Merle English Bulldogs are not considered purebred. The reason is because the Merle coat pattern is not a naturally occurring or recognized coat color in this breed. The merle pattern, characterized by patches or spots of lighter-colored fur on a darker base color, is commonly seen in other breeds like Australian Shepherds or Great Danes. The presence of the merle gene in English Bulldogs can be attributed to crossbreeding with other dog breeds that possess the gene. Although there may be breeders who intentionally choose to produce Merle English Bulldogs for their unique appearance, these dogs do not meet the standards set by kennel clubs such as the American Kennel Club (AKC) or the United Kennel Club (UKC).

Overall on English Merle Bulldogs

The Merle Bulldog is an interesting and fascinating type of dog, and with time, they have gained so much popularity, and they are loved worldwide! Even though some people and experts think the way they’re bred is kind of controversial, the Merle Bulldog has become really popular because of its wonderful coat patterns and loving nature!

But, the Merle Bulldog might not be the best fit for everyone. If you’re willing to spend the time and effort to take care of this breed the right way, you’ll get a super loyal and loving friend in return. It’s important to know that because of how they’re bred! The Merle Bulldog might have more health problems than other dogs. So, if you’re thinking about getting one, you should know about these possible risks.


All in all, the Merle Bulldog needs an owner who will take good care of them and be responsible. If you can give them the right home and care, they’ll be an amazing addition to your family.


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