Part One: Avoiding Rare Color Breeders
Breeder offers “rare” colors, such as Blue, Chocolate, Black and Tan
Why is this an issue?
“Rare” colors are nothing more or less than a marketing scam. There really is nothing rare, or unusual about any of the colors listed. They are uncommon simply because ethical breeders choose not to breed for them, because they are ‘DQs’ (a show term which is short for ‘disqualification’). Dogs in DQ colors cannot be shown in conformation show events, thus breeders who compete in conformation and who register their dogs with their country’s body of registry are unlikely to intentionally breed for them.
Additionally, most ethical breeders choose to belong to their national or regional breed clubs, and almost all French Bulldog clubs do not allow intentional breeding of DQ colors by their members.
Any breeder can, by accident, get a puppy of a DQ color in a litter. Reputable breeders simply place these puppies as pets, for the same price as any other puppy. In fact, past breeders who had DQ colors appear would usually place the puppies for free, since their color was considered undesirable.
By pushing these colors as ‘rare’, Fad Color breeders are attempting to inflate their value, and their price. They want you to become convinced that these puppy have some sort of value added, by virtue of their color, and that this makes them worth a higher price. They are taking advantage of the naivete of novice owners, who might be attracted to the idea of owning something ‘unique’, and who don’t understand the truth behind ‘fad’ colors.
These breeders understand full well that they are scamming you into paying a higher price for a puppy that, years ago, would have been given away for free. Many of them brag, in private, about how the ‘stupid pet people’ are ‘paying off their mortgages twenty years early’ (actual quote from a private email that was shared with me).
Some fad colors have been linked to health conditions, specifically, Blues with a condition called color dilution alopecia (this condition is so common in Blue dogs of every breed that it is often referred to as “Blue Dog Alopecia”.
CDA can result in hair loss and chronic skin inflammation. This inflammation can lead to skin ruptures, cracks and injuries, leaving the dogs afflicted by it prone to Staph infections, or even MRSA. In Collie puppies, blue dogs an suffer from an immune linked disorder which can cause them to die within the first few weeks after birth.
Early breeders noted all of these factors, and declared “Blue”, “Mouse” and “Grey” in French Bulldogs to be a disqualification because they did not want to see breeding stock afflicted by these devastating conditions. Only a breeder who truly cares about nothing more than the money would resurrect them, at the potential detriment to the breed, and to the puppies produced.
A well thought out breeding program, in French Bulldogs or any other breeds, is essentially a pyramid.
The base of our pyramid is our stable foundation – health and temperament. They are the base on which all else must balance. Above that, we put conformation, then above that movement (which requires both proper health and proper conformation to exist). Above that, we put fanciful preferences, like color or pattern.
Imagine, now, if we invert that pyramid, and try to balance our ENTIRE breeding program on that tiny, unimportant tip? We will never be able to achieve balance, symmetry and harmony in our dogs, and our pyramid will crumble into a heap of unhealthy, improperly conformed, ill tempered dogs.
Color fad breeders don’t care if their breeding program crumbles or fails, because, by the time it does, they will be on to the next new money making scheme. They will leave the breed, and the owners who bought from them, to fend for themselves.