What's up with the Long Haired Frenchie?

Long-haired French Bulldogs are the latest popular breed sweeping the world and filling social media with adorable pictures.

They might share many genetic traits with standard Frenchies, coming complete with bat ears, short legs, and short snouts. But their longer hair is what sets them apart from other French bulldogs.

But how rare are they? Are long-haired French Bulldogs mixed with other dog breeds? And just how high maintenance are these little guys?

Keep reading to learn more about these fun pups!

two long haired french bulldogs


So... What is a Long-Haired French Bulldog exactly?

Long-haired Frenchies have a rare recessive gene (called the LH gene) that causes their fur to grow longer than the more common short-haired French Bulldogs.

Amogst breeders this gene is often reffered to as the fibroblast growth factor.

Interestingly, both parents must carry the gene responsible for excessive hair growth in order to produce one of these fluffy French bulldogs. 

That doesn't mean that the parents themselves will have long hair, it simply means that they should both have the gene as part of their genetic makeup.

How Rare Are Long-Haired French Bulldogs?

It’s hard to say exactly how rare long-haired French Bulldogs are. That's mainly due to the small gene pool to pick from. 

As mentioned earlier, two short-haired French bulldogs can spawn a long-haired French bulldog, so it's impossible to tell with the naked eye whether or not your dog has the long hair gene.

Breeders that are trying to breed more of these puppies need to be extremely selective when finding a suitable breeding mate for their puppies. That's because the gene won't be carried on to the next generation if one of the parents is without the "LH-gene".

That means that the once-present "LH-gene" can be lost after a generation or two if breeders don't select breeding pairs wisely. 

All of these factors make fluffy French bulldogs rare.

Are Fluffy French Bulldogs Mutts?

The short answer is no, they are not considered mutts. 

A mutt is a mix-breed dog. A dog that doesn't belong to any one specific breed of dog. A true long-haired French Bulldog is simply the offspring of two short-haired French bulldogs that both carry the long-hair gene.

However, with the popularity of this dog breed, there may be unscrupulous breeders mixing Frenchies with long-haired dog breeds as a "shortcut"  since this unique look is so hard to come by.

How Long Is the Fur of Long-Haired French Bulldogs?

The fur of long-haired Frenchies is about 2-3 times longer than regular French Bulldogs, especially around their ears and legs.

Their fur is still usually less than 1-2” long. It's enough to be fluffy without being difficult to care for or needing regular haircuts.

two long haired french bulldogs


The Price Tag

There are a few things that would affect the price of one of these puppies. Lineage, genetics, gender, and coat color all play a significant role in their price tag.

And because of their scarcity, these puppies tend to be more expensive than 'normal puppies' in this already exclusive breed. Some of the most popular, and thus most expensive coat colors are:

Blue: Blue French Bulldogs have a grayish-blue coat and are often in high demand, making them relatively more expensive.

Lilac: Lilac French Bulldogs have a diluted chocolate coat with a unique and appealing color, which can drive up their price.

Merle: Merle French Bulldogs have a distinctive coat pattern characterized by patches of color with a marbled appearance.

Female puppies are more expensive than their male counterparts as the chances of breeding them with the right mate are much higher. The cost of neutering vs spaying for dog owners who choose not to breed their puppies is also a factor, as neutering a male dog is way more pricey.

But perhaps the most important factor when it comes to this pup is the reputation of the breeder or kennel they hail from. 

Reputable breeders make sure that their puppies are purebred, and that means that they will carry the sought-after gene that will produce longer hair in offspring.

Fluffy Frenchies and the American Kennel Club

The American kennel club, or AKC, sets the standard for what is acceptable for each dog breed. 

They have a good reputation amongst dog breeders and pet owners alike and their opinion is often trusted and sought after.

Accordingly, the AKC breed standard for French Bulldogs is short hair in white, fawn, cream, brindle, or combinations of any of those two colors.

Merle, pied, and other colors do not meet the AKC breed standard. With that said, long-haired French Bulldogs can be registered with the AKC, but they can’t be shown.

Health Issues

Do long-haired French bulldogs have more health issues than the standard, but equally adorable short-haired pups?

No, there aren’t any added health conditions tied to the long-haired gene in French Bulldogs. 

However, there is a real danger that unscrupulous breeders can be too focused on the long hair gene and will thus ignore other health concerns with their dogs - all in the name of getting another furry Frenchie.

Additionally, all French Bulldogs, due to their flat face and rapid rise in popularity, are extremely prone to numerous health problems, including:

Breathing Problems

As a brachycephalic breed, fluffy French bulldogs often suffer from serious breathing difficulties. This symptom affects most short-faced dog breeds as their facial structure has been bred inward, giving them a distinct look.

Skin Issues

French Bulldogs are prone to developing skin dermatitis and other skin infections that can be uncomfortable and even painful at times.

Bone structure

The French Bulldog breed often suffers from intervertebral disc disease, hip dysplasia, and other spinal conditions or malformations.

In fact, French Bulldogs have significantly higher odds of developing health problems than most other dog breeds, so if you want one, it’s critical to do your research and find a reputable breeder who is trying to improve the health of this adorable breed.

Long-haired Frenchies have fun personalities, and they can be fabulous pets, just be aware that you may need to pay a lot of vet bills in exchange for the joy of owning this breed.

More Hair, More Maintenance?

Let's face it, the length of a dog's hair often has a direct bearing on how much grooming and attention they require.

a french bulldog being checked and groomed

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And it's the same with fluffy Frenchies. 

During summer months there is a real risk of them overheating, especially if you live in a warmer climate. So they will require more regular trimming to help them regulate their body heat.

Do they shed more than a normal Frenchie?

While the long hair in long-haired Frenchies might seem like they would shed more due to their increased hair volume, it's important to note that the shedding tendencies can vary from dog to dog. 

Some long-haired French Bulldogs may shed moderately, while others may shed less than expected.

There are many things that play a role in how much your French bulldog will shed during a season. So consider genetics, diet, and seasonal health before making your decision on whether or not to get one of these adorable pups.

Thinking Of Getting A Frenchie Of Your Own?

There are valid reasons why you'd want to get a fluffy Frenchie as a companion dog.

They are extremely affectionate, adapt really well to family life, and make great house pets due to their size and demeanor. But before you bring home a puppy of your own, make sure you do your research on the breeder and lineage of your pup.

Puppy mills often pair any two pups together to get the 'look' people are after, but that often leads to heart ache and difficulties down the line as weak genetics cause discomfort and serious health problems for these dogs.