Shade Frenchies: The French Bulldog (or “Frenchie”) remains, without doubt, one of, if not, the most sought-after and adorable breed of dog. It is friendly, sociable, easy to look after and has a cuteness factor that endears itself to everyone it meets, young and old alike.
You will no doubt be familiar with the Frenchie’s typical coat colouration - black, brindle, cream, fawn, piebald and white. However, they also now come in some quite rare, if not unusual, and perhaps even referred to as exotic colours.
Some of the rarer Frenchie colours include Chocolate, Isabella and Lilac, with Isabella seemingly generating the greatest interest among Frenchie fanciers. However, to many, Isabella does not necessarily signify a colour. So, to explain:
So what is an “Isabella colour” in a French Bulldog?
Isabella is a French Bulldog with a somewhat pale red-brown coat that exhibits a greyish-blueish tint. For the technically-minded, if both parents carry the necessary rare recessive gene combination, the brown colouration of the offspring will be diluted. You will also notice that Isabella Frenchies are usually somewhat smaller when compared with the standard Frenchie.
And what about “New Shade”?
There is also the Lilac Isabella. This Frenchie a further and additional pairing of recessive genes resulting in a similar light brown coat, but with a more blueish accent. It is this colouration which is termed New Shade. This in essence refers to the triple gene dilution that has occurred.
With Isabella-coloured Frenchies being rare due to both genetic makeup and French Bulldogs typically producing only very small litters, this implies that new-shade Frenchies are even rarer.
The actual coat
New Shade Frenchies can have either traditional short hair or fluffy hair coats. The fluffy Frenchie will typically exhibit longer hair around the face and ears.
So, do they make good pets?
New Shade Frenchies have precisely the same personality and temperament as regular Frenchies - they are friendly, affectionate, inquisitive, playful and really easy-going, lacking any form of aggressiveness. They are totally at ease with not only children, but with existing family pets, and adore human company and the offer of being made a fuss of combined with a good, old-fashioned cuddle.
Frenchies are known to be rather clever, but they do have a somewhat stubborn streak. Sensible “positive reinforcement” training in their very early years will prove very beneficial in later years.
They like a relatively short walk, and like all Frenchies, are not too keen on very hot weather (they do need to be kept cool during hot spells) and they aren’t swimmers.
With their sensitive skin, they only need a bath once a month, they will need a brush down a few times a week (more deeply during the hair-shedding season), and you must keep their face folds and ears clean with a daily check and wipe. You can also use a special doggy toothpaste a few times a week. Also, ensure Shade Frenchies' nails are kept short if you don’t otherwise regularly walk Shade Frenchies on pavements, which can help naturally with this.
Don’t forget that with their brachycephalic flat faces and short noses can mean they are more vulnerable to respiratory illnesses, so keeping the house dust free and not smoking or vaping around them will certainly help enormously.
Bear in mind that at certain times, Fenchies will breathe more regularly through their mouths than other dog breeds, so excessive “gas” in the digestive system, can at times lead to excessive wind.
The main words of caution are you must never buy a New Shade Frenchies (or any Frenchie) “at a discount” or “good bargain price”. This shouts puppy farm and a lack of ethics, leaving you with no come-back in the event of any problems. Ensure you use a recognised, accredited French Bulldog breeder such as Royal Kennels.