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Sable French Bulldog: Uncovering the Charm of This Unique Frenchie Coat!

Photo of Tamsin De La Harpe

Written by Tamsin De La Harpe

sable French Bulldog

The sable French Bulldog carries a unique coat coloring that sets it apart from its solid-colored cousins. You’ve probably seen those cute, smoosh-faced pups with coats that look like they’ve been dipped in a little bit of everything. Yes, we’re talking about sable Frenchies, the ones that sport a fur coat James Bond would envy.

These dogs are adaptable, making them suitable companions for a wide range of environments, from small apartments to spacious homes. Their loving disposition, combined with their moderate exercise needs, makes them perfect for many dog lovers seeking a low-maintenance but high-spirited friend.

As you venture into these enchanting dogs, you’ll quickly discover that their visual allure is just the beginning of what makes them truly special. We’ll help you join the ranks of Sable French Bulldog Puppy enthusiasts through this article that’s founded on tips from experts and Frenchie Guide Books.

Based on the AKC French Bulldog Breed Standard, while sable is not explicitly recognized, a French Bulldog with a fawn sable coat can still be registered. 

This is because fawn sable is technically a variation of the fawn color, fitting within the “fawn” category mentioned in the acceptable colors. The standard specifies “all brindle, fawn, white, brindle and white” as acceptable, without disqualifying variations of these colors. Therefore, as long as the French Bulldog exhibits a fawn base color, even if it has the sable pattern, it aligns with the breed standard and is eligible for registration.

However, more and more, rarer colors are in high demand in Frenchies. So there are quite a few different kinds of sable puppies you can find. The only catch being that most of these are not acceptable colors by the breed standard.

Kinds of Sable Coats In French Bulldogs

Some common sable color variations in French Bulldogs include:

1. Blue Sable

This color features a greyish-blue base with darker blue or black tips on the hairs. The overall appearance can seem like a smoky blue.

2. Red Sable

This variation has a rich, deep reddish-brown base with darker red or brown-tipped hairs. The red sable is often vibrant and eye-catching.

3. Chocolate Sable

This color features a rich, deep brown base color with darker brown or black-tipped hairs. The chocolate sable French Bulldog often has a luxurious, deep-toned coat.

4. Isabella Sable

Isabella sable French Bulldogs have a unique, pale brown or lilac base with lighter or darker tipped hairs. The Isabella color results from a dilution of the chocolate gene, giving a distinctive, soft hue.

5. Lilac Sable

Similar to Isabella, the lilac sable has a cooler, greyish-brown base with a lilac tint, overlaid with darker tipped hairs. This color is also a result of genetic dilution, leading to its unique, muted tone.

6. Sable

The classic sable color in French Bulldogs features a fawn or tan base with black or dark-tipped hairs. It’s the more traditional sable coloration and is characterized by a distinct contrast between the base coat and the tips.

Each of these sable color variations in French Bulldogs is due to specific genetic makeup, contributing to the breed’s diverse and attractive range of coat colors. Of course, these are some rare types, but this coat pattern is actually even more complex, and we will take a closer look below.

This is why prospective owners must be diligent in choosing reputable breeders who prioritize the health and genetics of their dogs over beauty. This might be challenging but don’t sweat it. We have a whole section dedicated to just that.

Genetics Behind the Color

traditional sable 6 year old French Bulldog lying on sand

Let’s get into the nitty-gritty, the DNA behind this dapper design. These canines owe their unique look to specific loci, referred to as the Agouti locus according to genetic studies. Think of it as the stylist behind the scenes). 

But it’s not that simple. For your Frenchie to flash a sable coat, it’s all in the genetic shuffle. For the Agouti locus to present, the dog must not have a dominant black (KB) allele. This is because the allele will subdue the Agouti locus. If the KB is absent,  your dog needs to have the ay allele since it’s responsible for fawn or sable in dogs. 

After that, different genes determine the distribution and darkness of these black-tipped hairs. When looking at the genetics of coat colors in domestic dogs, you’ll find that the coloration is the result of this specific genetic sequence doing its magic. 

Just remember, even within sables, no two French Bulldogs are wardrobe twins; each one’s coat pattern is as unique as their personalities.

Appearance and Characteristics

Side view of red or orange sable French Bulldog with dog harness with rope leash

Just picture this: your compact little Sable buddy, wiggling with excitement. Pretty cute, right? Okay, let’s get the scoop on what they look like and what makes their coat so darn special!

Physical Traits

Your Frenchie is a little powerhouse with their little muscular body. They have a wrinkly, punched-in face that gives them that classic, thoughtful ‘bulldog’ expression. The Sable effect, with the light background and black tips, is like the canine version of getting highlights.

They’ve got these bat-like ears that stand up straight – totally adorable and great for listening for the treat bag rustle. Their bug eyes are large and expressive, almost too large for the sockets, hence the bulging. 

 These pups trot around on stout little legs, making them look like they mean business. But it’s all just an act; they’re real softies at heart.

How Big Do They Sable Frenchies Get?

Typically, these Frenchies stand about 11 to 12 inches (27 to 30 cm) tall at the shoulder and weigh 16 to 28 pounds (7 to 13 kg).

Sable Coat Patterns

Now, onto the sable bit of your French Bulldog! That means their coat has a touch of something special: hairs with a darker tip than the base. These coats can have a variety of shades, like a painting palette with fawn or hints of red laid out by Mother Nature.

There are three main sable patterns:

  • Clear Sable: Completely red coat with very few eumelanin (dark hairs).
  • Tipped Sable: The transition between light to dark hairs is more contrasted, giving a  banded look, and dark hairs are at the head, back, and tail tip.
  • Shaded sable: The color transition from the base to the tip is more gradual and even, giving a more even blending of colors.

Now, within these patterns, you’ll find different sable colors, such as:

  • Orange sable: Warm, orange, or reddish tint to the fawn base.
  • Cream sable: The fawn base has a creamier hue.
  • Blue sable: The dark hairs have a bluish tint.
  • Silver Sable: The dark tips are grayish, giving a  silvery look.
  • Wild Sable: A more rugged look, with a pattern like the wolf from way back in their family tree.

Remember, these are not just any dogs; when you spot a Sable French Bulldog, you’re looking at a pooch that’s one part couch potato, one part fashion model.

Personality and Temperament

Canadian Frenchie dog with red sable coat

When you’re eyeing these Sable beauties, you aren’t just getting a sofa ornament; you’re bringing in a little buddy with a personality that’s as rich as its coat color. They’ve got this hilarious mix of charm and stubbornness that’ll keep you on your toes. Imagine a small, muscular clown who thinks they run the show – that’s your Frenchie.

Like all Frenchies, they are playful, affectionate, even-tempered, friendly, happy, and loyal dogs. These pups wouldn’t pass up a game of fetch or tug-of-war. Their energy isn’t off the charts, so don’t worry about them bouncing off the walls.

Remember, they can be a tad stubborn sometimes. You might ask them to do something, and they’ll give you a look like you’ve just suggested they solve a math problem. But patience is key! With a compassionate and light-hearted approach, you and your pup will get along just fine. Plus, they’re so darn cute. Even their mischievous antics will have you laughing.

Caring for a Sable French Bulldog

Sable French Bulldog dog puppy with healthy nose blue background

Caring for your Frenchie means meeting their unique needs with a certain finesse. You’ll want to ensure their diet, exercise, and grooming are on point for a happy, healthy pup.

Dietary Needs

Your canine is a bit of a gourmand; they love their chow. Make sure each meal is balanced with plenty of proteins (at least 25%), carbohydrates, and fats suitable for their energy levels. These pups can gain weight faster than they can say “woof,” so watch out for those extra treats!

Exercise Requirements

Despite their laid-back attitude, your Frenchie needs regular exercise to stay in tip-top shape. A brisk walk in the park or a playful game of tug-of-war indoors can keep them from turning into couch potatoes. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise daily, but remember, they’re not marathon runners!

Grooming and Hygiene

Your Frenchie’s coat might look low maintenance, but don’t be fooled. Regular brushing will keep their coat shiny and reduce shedding. Cleaning those adorable wrinkles is crucial; a damp cloth can do the trick. Nails should be trimmed monthly, and don’t forget those bat ears — they need cleaning, too!

  • Brushing: 2-3 times per week with a soft brush.
  • Wrinkle cleaning: Once a week with a damp cloth and dry thoroughly. 
  • Ear cleaning: Once a week or every two weeks with a vet-approved solution.
  • Nails: Trim nails monthly to prevent overgrowth.

Health Considerations

When you’re thinking about getting this dog, you’ve got to think about their health, too. A 2013 Frenchie survey lists upper respiratory tract, ophthalmology, and skin issues as some of the most common problems. Here is a comprehensive list:

  • Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome is as complex as it sounds and means breathing can be a bit of a workout for your pooch because of their short snout. PMC studies show that their short snouts, skull shape, and possibly narrowed nostrils are to blame.
  • Allergies:  these pups can get all itch-scratchy from stuff like food or pollen. 
  • Color dilution alopecia: The gene responsible for that cool sable coat might also bring along a party pooper causing patchy hair loss.
  • Eye problems like cherry eye, conjunctivitis, glaucoma, and entropion (the eyelid turns inward)
  • Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD): IVDD is a condition where the discs between the vertebrae bulge or rupture, potentially causing pain, nerve damage, or paralysis, and has been shown to be prevalent in this breed.
  • Skin fold dermatitis: The characteristic wrinkles and skin folds in the breed, particularly around the face, create an environment where moisture and debris can accumulate. 
  • Heat Sensitivity: Due to their brachycephalic nature, French Bull Dogs are sensitive to heat and can struggle with regulating their body temperature.
  • Moderate issues like ear infections, obesity, and dental issues.

Sable Frenchie Lifespan

Like any other French Bulldog, it typically ranges between 10 and 14 years. The actual lifespan can be influenced by various factors, including genetics, overall health, diet, exercise, and the quality of care

Training Your Sable Frenchie

Being a friendly, patient coach when training these pups is key. These pups are smart but sometimes as stubborn as a door that won’t budge. Still, with patience and treats (oh, they love treats!), you can train your Frenchie to be the goodest boy or girl in town.

Basic Commands

Start with the basics. Sit, stay, come — these are the ABCs of dog commands. Use a clear, upbeat voice and:

  • Sit: Hold a treat above your pup’s nose and move your hand back, so they naturally plop down.
  • Stay: Ask your Frenchie to sit, take a few steps back, and hold up your hand like a stop sign.
  • Come: Back away and encourage with open arms and an excited tone.

Potty Training

Ah, the dreaded potty training! With Frenchies, it’s all about routine and lots of praise. Take your buddy out:

  • After meals;
  • After naps; and
  • Every couple of hours.

Reward every outdoor success with treats and a happy dance!


Frenchies are like little social butterflies in doggy form. Get yours out and about to meet other dogs and people. Keep experiences positive to build a well-rounded canine citizen.

Remember, training isn’t a sprint; it’s more like a fun marathon where everyone gets a participation ribbon. Keep your sense of humor handy, give tons of cuddles, and watch your pooch flourish with every little victory!

Breeding and Puppy Selection

When you’re on the hunt for a French Bulldog with sable coloring,  you’re looking at a patchwork quilt of genetics. Nailing the perfect combo of genes to get that dreamy coat is like hitting a moving target blindfolded. It’s tricky but oh-so-rewarding when you get it right.

Choosing a Reputable Breeder

First thing’s first, you gotta find yourself a reputable breeder. We’re talking about folks who care about their pups more than their pockets. They should give you the lowdown on the pup’s health, temperament, and, yes, their furry family tree. A stellar breeder will invite you over, show you where the puppies play, and won’t hurry you into deciding.

  • Do:
    • Ask lots of questions;
    • Request to see the parents;
    • Check for clean, spacious living conditions; and
    • Ask for genetic health tests done on the parent breeds.
  • Don’t:
    • Rush into a decision;
    • Go for the first breeder you find; and
    • Ignore your gut feeling.

When buying Frenchies, it’s important to consider the ethics due to their extreme features. A survey aimed to understand why people keep buying breeds with welfare problems found that for Frenchie owners, their amazing personalities are the motivations behind their buying. 

With these tips, you’re on your way to bringing home a pup that’s got the looks and the healthy genes to boot. Remember, for Frenchies, it’s all about finding that one breeder who treats their dogs like the treasures they are, and who knows, maybe you’ll become best buds in the process!

Price Range and Adoption

First off, the dough. Sable Frenchies are not your budget-friendly backyard pups. Depending on their pedigree, health, and where you’re getting them from, prices can trot anywhere from $2,000 to a whopping $8,000. Yes, you read that right – those zeroes aren’t typos!

Now, if your wallet just ran away screaming, don’t lose heart! Adoption is your superhero cape here. French bulldogs, sable or otherwise, do end up in rescues and shelters. You’re looking at an adoption fee that’s a fraction of those big breeder prices – think more in the ballpark of $250 to $600.

Adopting not only saves you some serious cash but also gives a pup a second chance at a fur-ever home. And let’s be real, the warm fuzzies you get from adopting? Priceless! Just be sure to check the pup’s health and history – you want your new buddy to be happy and healthy!

So, while your dream doggo might come with a notable price tag, remember, the love and laughs of a Frenchie are beyond any price. Good luck, and may the paws be with you!

The French Bulldog Community

Now, let me guide you through the special world of Frenchie enthusiasts. Just imagine a bunch of people as smitten with their pups as you are with your favorite comic book character. We’re talking forums, Facebook groups, and even Instagram accounts dedicated to showing off those bat-eared beauties.

Here’s what you might find in these communities:

  • Photos and videos: It’s like a never-ending stream of cuteness. Frenchies doing their thing, be it snoozing or mastering the art of the side-eye.
  • Advice Exchange: Got questions? They’ve got answers. From the best doggy diets to the how-tos of Frenchie fashion, you’ll get nuggets of wisdom wrapped in layers of experience.
  • Meetups and Playdates: Yes, it’s a thing! Frenchie owners love to gather and let their pups strut their stuff together. Imagine the snorts and wiggles!

Joining in can be as simple as a click, and before you know it, you’re part of a pawesome community! Just be ready for endless love and support, with a dash of humor that’s as unique as your uniquely-coated friend’s fur pattern!

Remember, it’s all about sharing the joy of your companion while making friends who understand why you can’t help but treat your pooch like royalty. Welcome to the club. You’re gonna love it here!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Get ready to learn what makes this fur shade so cool and how to spot the real McCoy!

What makes sable French Bulldogs unique from other colors?

Sable French Bulldogs sport a coat that’s like a fashion show on fur. Their glossy fawn or reddish undercoat has hairs tipped in black. Unlike other solid color buddies, they’ve got that special gradient light-to-dark magic that sets them apart in the pupper parade.

Can you tell me how much I might pay for a Sable-Colored Frenchie?

Costs can be steep, often ranging from $2,000 to $5,000. Prices tag along with rarity, demand, and breeder reputation. So start saving those pennies!

What’s the scoop on the different shades of sable French Bulldogs?

Like ice cream flavors, these French Bulldogs come in a variety pack of shades. These include red, cream, blue, silver, and light sable. 

How can you tell if a French Bulldog is a true sable or just a wannabe?

The telltale sign of a genuine sable is the dark-tipped hairs sprinkled like chocolate chips over their coat. To ensure the dog’s pedigree and authenticity, prospective owners should work with reputable breeders.

Are Sable Frenchies Rare?

These French Bulldogs are often considered relatively rare within the broader spectrum of French Bulldog colors. Their unique coloring is less common, so spotting one is kind of like winning the doggy lottery.

What do all those letters in a sable French Bulldog’s DNA test results mean?

Peeking at your Frenchie’s DNA test results feels like cracking a secret genetic code, but don’t sweat it! Those letters represent genes responsible for their sable swagger — the Em gene reveals the masked pattern, while the ay gene yells ‘sable’!

Final Thoughts

When you gaze at your sable French Bulldog, you’re looking at a little hunk of history with a coat that’s a talking point! Their sable fur? That’s one coat color that stands out in a crowd. You’ve got individual hairs that are darker at the tips and lighter at the base, which gives them a smoky, mysterious vibe. But it’s not just about good looks!

Your Frenchie’s health is paramount. You know how it goes: French Bulldogs can face breathing challenges, so keep an eye on those little snorts and snores. A sable French Bulldog is more than a pet; they’re a pal with personality and a little sass. 

Meet Your Experts

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Tamsin De La Harpe


Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions. Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.

Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions. Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.