The French Bulldog is a popular small dog breed known for its bat ears, squished face, and charming personality. While most Frenchies come in colors like fawn, brindle, white, and black, some rare color variations exist. One such rare color is platinum, which gives the coat a glistening silver or icy gray appearance. This distinctive coloration occurs due to a dilution gene that lightens the coat.
Platinum French Bulldogs are truly a sight to behold. Their shimmery coats glimmer under sunlight, showing off hues of silver, gray, blue, and lilac. This pale coloration makes their dark eyes and nose really stand out. While gorgeous, platinum coats are considered a fault by breed standards. But for owners seeking a unique-looking Frenchie, this rare color is highly desirable.
To better understand what a platinum coat looks like on a French Bulldog, let’s explore this rare color in more detail.
What Causes the Platinum Coat Color in French Bulldogs?
In dogs, coat color is determined by complex genetic factors. For platinum coloring to occur in Frenchies, two copies of the dilution gene must be present. This dilution gene, scientifically known as Chromosome 25, inhibits the production of melanin pigment in the hair follicles. Melanin is what gives hair and skin its color. With less melanin, the coat appears lighter.
The main subtype of dilution that causes platinum coats is called blue dilution. This dilution gene is recessive, meaning two copies, one inherited from each parent, are required to exhibit its effects. When only one copy is present, the dog will still carry the gene but not display the dilute coloration.
Along with blue dilution, other genetic factors also influence the precise shade of platinum. Modifier genes subtly alter the color, while the distribution of melanin affects how it presents. As a result, platinum Frenchies can range from icy white and pale silvery-gray to light ash and blueish-gray shades.
Common Platinum Shades
While individual variation exists, these are some of the most common platinum shades seen in French Bulldogs:
- Silvery-Gray: This gleaming color has an unmistakable metallic sheen, similar to the look of platinum jewelry. The gray background features undertones of silver, nickel, or slate.
- Icy White: Some platinum dogs appear nearly white, but with a subtle icy gray cast. These frosty coats look like powder snow and ice.
- Light Ash Gray: This is a muted ash gray color with brownish undertones. It lacks the bluish hues of most platinums.
- Blue Gray: On the opposite end of the spectrum, some platinum coats verge into blue-gray territory. These have a distinct bluish cast.
- Café Au Lait: In this warm platinum shade, the coat is a light beige-gray, reminiscent of the coffee drink.
As you can see, platinum has quite a range but all share a washed-out, diluted look compared to standard coat colors.
How Rare Are Platinum French Bulldogs?
So just how rare is this unusual color? For a rough estimate, we can look at registration statistics:
- The AKC registered about 52,000 new French Bulldogs in 2020.
- Of those, only around 1 in 100 were registered as “platinum” or blue/gray.
- That puts platinum as one of the rarest Frenchie colors.
Extrapolating from those numbers, only around 500 platinum French Bulldogs were registered in the U.S. in 2020. Compared to the tens of thousands of other colors registered, this makes platinums quite rare – about 1% of the population. However, not all dogs are AKC registered, so the total numbers may be slightly higher.
Additionally, platinum coats seem to be increasing in popularity. More breeders are intentionally breeding blue-to-blue pairings to produce platinum puppies. So while still uncommon, the color should become more readily available for seekers of this rare look.
Platinum French Bulldog Genetics
To better understand how platinum French Bulldogs get their signature color, let’s take a closer look at the genetics involved:
|Chromosome 25 dilution
|Reduces black and brown pigment (eumelanin). Dogs must inherit 2 copies to exhibit dilution.
|Chromosome 5 (white spotting)
|Restricts pigment to certain areas, causing variable white spotting.
|Slightly alter the intensity and hue of the coat color.
Here are some key genetic combinations that can produce platinum:
- dd dilution + dark fur: When a dog inherits two dilute genes (d) and also has genetic coding for black/brown fur, the dark fur becomes diluted to platinum.
- dd dilution + Agouti fur: The Agouti genes (A) code for black-tipped hairs on a fawn background. With two dilute genes, this becomes silvery-tipped hairs on a pale café au lait background.
- dd dilution + white spotting: Adding in the piebald gene produces platinum dogs with white spotting.
These are just a few examples of how various gene combinations interact to create the platinum coat.
Potential Health Issues
While their color is stunning, platinum French Bulldogs do come with some health considerations to keep in mind:
- Skin sensitivities: Less pigment means less protection from the sun. Platinums are prone to sunburn and may need sunscreen and limited sun exposure.
- Hearing problems: Lack of pigment is associated with higher rates of congenital deafness. Testing for deafness is recommended.
- Eye issues: The pale blue eyes of some platinums are predisposed to damage and vision problems. Yearly veterinary eye exams are a must.
- Masking of skin cancers: Lighter skin can make it harder to spot melanomas. Monitoring moles and skin changes is important.
With extra care and vigilance, these risks can be managed. But it’s important to be aware of the potential health implications of diluted coat colors.
Finding a Platinum French Bulldog Puppy
For those set on adding one of these glimmering pups to your family, here are some tips for your search:
- Search for breeders specializing in blue French Bulldogs, as they are most likely to also produce platinums.
- Expect long waitlists, as only a limited number of litters will contain platinum pups.
- Be prepared for higher prices – platinums often cost $1000+ over already pricey French Bulldog puppies.
- Vet prospective breeders thoroughly to ensure health testing protocols are followed.
- Never buy from puppy mills, backyard breeders, or retailers – go through a reputable breeder only.
Take your time finding the perfect platinum Frenchie for your family!
Caring for a Platinum French Bulldog
Here are some key considerations for caring for a platinum Frenchie:
- Use doggy sunscreen and limit sun exposure during peak hours to prevent sunburn.
- Provide eye lubricants and limit eye irritants to protect their light-colored eyes.
- Clean facial folds carefully to prevent infections and dermatitis on their sensitive skin.
- Monitor skin closely and have any odd moles or growths vet-checked asap.
- Do yearly veterinary exams to stay on top of potential health issues.
- Feed high-quality food and avoid chemical-laden products.
- Perform regular ear cleanings to prevent infections.
While high-maintenance in some regards, platinums are still French Bulldogs at heart. With proper care catered to their needs, these glam pups make wonderful companions!
The platinum French Bulldog is a true head-turner. With its shimmering silver coat in gorgeous hues of gray, blue, and lilac, this rare color variant attracts a lot of attention. Caused by a double-dilute gene, platinum is one of the least common Frenchie colors, adding to its appeal for owners wanting something unique. While not without some health considerations, these charming pups can make delightful pets for the right owner. With their dashing good looks and playful personalities, it’s easy to see why platinum Frenchies have such widespread appeal!