Instagram and other social media sites are full of pictures of Frenchies because they are so common and adorable. But, now and then, you will come across an image of a French with strikingly beautiful fluffy hair all over its body. This is the Fluffy Frenchie. The name suggests a French Bulldog that somehow happens to have a longer coat. So, is this a true Frenchie and why does it have such a fluffy appearance?
What is a Fluffy French Bulldog?
The fluffy, or long-haired, French Bulldog is the same as a normal pure-bred Frenchie, just fluffier. There is a recessive gene that sometimes appears in litters and causes these animals to grow a longer coat. It is now being intentionally bred across the World.
Understandably, many dog lovers are keen to own one of these fluffier Frenchies as they can appear even cuter than the short-haired variant. However, it is important to understand why these dogs are fluffy, what to expect from them, and also what to expect from breeders.
Are Fluffy Frenchies actually fluffy?
This depends on your definition of the term fluffy. There is certainly a lot more hair on the coats of these dogs than your typical short-haired Frenchie. But, there isn’t so much for them to get a fluffy coat like a Pomeranian. Instead, you should find a nice short layer of soft hair that you can run your hand over. It immediately gives the dog an interesting look compared to its littermates. Some may see it as a more attractive quality as we tend to lean more to fluffy animals than short-coated ones.
So Fluffy French Bulldogs aren’t a crossbreed?
You may come across some French Bulldog hybrids that have a longer coat and other physical differences because of their shared parentage. Here, that is not the case. You can get long-haired French Bulldogs by breeding two pure-bred Frenchies together. This is also true if both parents are standard short-haired dogs. You don’t need to breed two long-haired dogs together to get a long-haired pup.
Why do we get pure-bred Fluffy Frenchies if both parents are short-haired dogs?
That gene for the longer coat is left over from the genetic mix between the animals that originally created the French Bulldog. The Frenchie is considered a pure breed now because it has been around for so long. But, there was a time when it was a “designer” dog too. Breeders brought together English Bulldogs and Ratters, the latter having a longer coat. Therefore, long-haired Frenchies take after that Ratter ancestor.
What is the longhaired gene (L4) and how does it work?
The gene for the longer coat is an autosomal recessive gene called an FGF – a Fibroblast Growth Factor – L4 . Let’s call that the Longhaired (Lh) gene for now. It is a gene that produces a layer of fur that has higher capillary length,
There are pairs of genes in the genetic make-up of Frenchies for their coat type.
You may get a pairing of Sh/Lh, where the Lh gene is canceled out by the more dominant gene for the shorter coat, the Sh gene. This means that you don’t see any impact on the appearance of the dog.
Other dogs will have an Sh/Sh pairing, where the recessive gene isn’t even present.
However, there will be times when there is an Lh/Lh pairing. As the dominant short-haired gene isn’t present, the recessive gene becomes the one that determines the coat type. This doesn’t happen very often, but it isn’t impossible.
Sadly, there is such stigma around the Fluffy Frenchie that there are people that refuse to believe that it is pure-bred. Some owners are almost accused of passing off a hybrid as a pure-bred dog.
It is now commons for owners to order DNA tests to prove the pure lineage of their animal from companies such as Wisdom Panel. The Premium DNA Test identifies the dog’s breed and screens for more than 200 genetic conditions. All you have to do is swab the inside of the dog’s mouth and send it to Wisdom Panel in a prepaid envelope.
Breeding a Fluffy Frenchie – DNA explained
It is very difficult to breed Fluffy French Bulldogs because of the rarity of the dogs and the gene. Let’s say that you have two short-haired dogs that have the recessive gene.
Table 1. Gene combinations required to breed long haired fluffy Frenchies.
|Offspring are all Sh/Sh
|Offspring are all Sh/Lh because of dominant geneThey look like normal Frenchies
|Offspring are all Sh/Lh because of dominant geneThey look like normal Frenchies
|Offspring can be: Sh/Sh, Sh/Lh or Lh/Lh – the fluffy Frenchie pairing
Table 2. Visual appearance of gene combinations in long haired fluffy Frenchies.
The probability for a litter of 4 pups is that 1 will have long hair. Two Sh/Lh dogs allow for pairings of Sh/Sh, Sh/Lh, Sh/Lh, and Lh/Lh. Only one of those leads to the fluffy coa – the Lh/Lh.
If you have a short-haired dog with no recessive gene and a long-haired dog the odds decrease. You get pairings of Sh/Lh, Sh/Lh, Sh/Lh, and Sh/Lh. The dominant gene always wins.
Therefore, the only way to be more certain of breeding a litter of these dogs is to have two long-haired animals carrying the Lh/Lh pairing of genes.
A local breeder promises Fluffy Frenchie puppies. Is this a scam?
It all depends on the parent dogs. If they have two healthy long-haired dogs that they always breed from, there is a strong chance that this is a genuine venture. If they have a short-haired dog in the mix, they can’t promise you that the puppies will have long hair.
That is why it pays to meet the breeders and the parent dogs before committing to buying a puppy. You may find that some breeders hide the parents away and insist that the longer coat will eventually grow on their newborn pups. This is a big red flag.
Then there are those that will create hybrid dogs and try to pass them off as pure long-haired puppies. You might have someone breed their French with a Chihuahua or other small dog to get the longer coat. Again, make sure to do your research and see the parents before you buy. Ask for DNA proof too.
How much will a fluffy French Bulldog cost?
On the subject of local breeders, it is important to watch out for higher prices. The increasing demand for this dog – thanks to its presence on social media – means that dog lovers are keen to get their hands on one.
Breeders can exploit this and start charging 1000s of dollars for this rare version of this popular pet. You may find other breeders with more realistic prices. It all depends on availability in your area.
Table 3. Price of long haired fluffy French Bulldogs (24.12.2020)
|Pets 4 Homes
£3000 for ‘fluffy gene carrier’
£20,000 for KC fluffy guaranteed
|Tom Kings Kennels average price $15,000
|French Bulldog Breed
Of course, you could always stay on the lookout for a Frenchie in a shelter in need of a good home. The ongoing issues about breed standards mean that while many of us adore a Fluffy Frenchie, others find them undesirable.
Rejected dogs could end up in the shelter because breeders can’t enter them into shows. This could be the perfect opportunity to save a life and show other people how wonderful these Fluffy Bulldogs are.
So, Frenchies with fluffy coats are pretty much the same as other Frenchies?
Yes, the only real difference here is the length of the hair on their bodies. Otherwise, you have the same dog under there. Their physical features and build remain the same, which means that you have the same requirements for diet and exercise. Those adorable bat-like ears are the same shape, just a lot hairier. You should also get the same fantastic temperament and goofy personality.
You should also find that the health implications aren’t too different. Sometimes with recessive genes, you find that there is a negative knock-on effect. The biggest risk comes with a breeder working from a shallow gene pool and bringing in other potential defects. Again, always make sure to get the healthiest pups from the best breeders. Also, there are the same health issues regarding their facial structures and problems breathing.
How to groom a fluffy frenchie
You may have to spend a little more time brushing your dog’s coat if they have a longer coat. Regular brushing will help to keep the coat smooth, free from tangles, and in the best possible condition. To be honest, you should provide similar care on short-coated Frenchies because they love the attention and it can help with skin health. Sardines are a good addition to your Frenchie’s diet for a super shiny and healthy coat.
Fluffy French Bulldogs are not hypoallergenic
There is a risk of allergies from the dander and the hair. These long-haired variants might not end up shedding that much more than short-haired dogs, but those hairs are going to be more noticeable. Be prepared to find them all over the home, including your upholstery and clothing. We like to call this ‘Frenchie glitter’.
Can I show a fluffy Frenchie?
Unfortunately, while these dogs are pure Frenchies and deserve to be recognised as such, not everyone agrees. Only dogs with short hair and recognised colours by the AKC and KC can compete in the show ring. They feel that the trait goes against the desirable breed characteristics.
Your longhaired French Bulldogs are not currently able to take part and although we love them, show breeders will not want them and may even euthanise puppies without the ideal appearance.
Do Fluffy French Bulldogs come in different colours and markings?
Yes. There doesn’t appear to be anything about this gene that has any indication of the colour of the dog. They will take on the most dominant coat colour gene from the parents, which can result in a range of browns, blacks, tans, creams, and everything between.
Fluffy French Bulldog Colors ( recognised by the kennel clubs for showing:
- Fawn & White
- Fawn Brindle
- White & Fawn
- Fawn Brindle & White
- Brindle & White
- White & Brindle
Fluffy French Bulldog Colors ( the ‘rare’ colours)
- Blue & Tan
- Chocolate & Tan
- Blue Merle
Fluffy French Bulldog Markings
- Ticked: patches of colors on the coat
- Black Mask: black patches on the face
- Brindle Markings: patches of shading of red with darker pieces of hair
- Piebald: a mostly white coat with spots of color
- White Markings: a dark coat with patches of white
To recap – what is a Fluffy French Bulldog?
While this Fluffy Frenchie looks like a crossbreed, it is actually a cute pure-bred Frenchie with longer hair. This isn’t that common because of the probability of the recessive gene, but they are still true Frenchies. The downside is the ignorance of other Frenchie owners and restrictions on showing the dog. The upside is a gorgeous animal with the same brilliant clown-like personality.