Merle English Bulldog – Everything You Need To Know

Merle English Bulldogs are Bulldogs with a merle pattern and are pretty rare. They come with distinctive patterns and speckled coats with various colors and are not a separate breed. A merle coat of an English Bulldog is often described as a splotch painting or a scoop of cream ice cream. The merle coat results from the gene pool, giving them a unique yet lovable appearance. Merle coat is the result of the recessive gene and is the rarest color variation of the breed. They are produced through selective breeding and are not common compared to other Bulldogs’ colors.

The English Bulldog is one of the oldest breeds and originates from the 13th century. They were primarily involved in the sport of bull-baiting. However, they developed and were known to the world around them in the 1800s after the sport was outlawed in 1835. They are well-built, gentle companions and make great family dogs. 

(Image source:

Merle English Bulldog Pros and Cons

Friendly and patientMatures slowly
Excellent guard dogsNot hypoallergenic
Kid-friendlyRuns low on health

Merle English Bulldog Basic Information

  • Name: Merle English Bulldog
  • Height: 14-15 inches
  • Weight: 45-55 pounds
  • Size: Medium
  • Coat: Short, smooth, coarse 
  • Color: Patches with irregular shape
  • Group: Gene mutated
  • Activities: Team mascots, canine games
  • Barking Level: High
  • Shedding Level: Medium
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Energy: Medium
  • Litter Size: 3 – 4 cups
  • Life Span: 8 – 12 years
  • Other Names: –
  • Breed Recognition: AKC

Standard English Bulldog vs. Merle English Bulldog: A Comparison

FeaturesEnglish BulldogMerle English Bulldog
Image source:

Image source: Pinterest
Height14 – 15 inches14 – 15 inches
Weight45 – 55 pounds45 – 55 pounds
GroupNon-Sporting GroupGene mutated
Children compatibilityMedium to highMedium to high
Family compatibilityHighHigh
Pet compatibilityLow to mediumLow to medium
Barking levelHighHigh
Shedding levelMediumMedium
Overall healthMediumMedium
Energy levelMediumMedium
Exercise needsMediumMedium
ActivitiesTeam MascotsTeam Mascots
Complication in breedingHighHigh
Litter size3 – 4 puppies3 – 4 puppies
Life span8 – 12 years8 – 12 years
Other namesHunter Sirius

Merle English Bulldog Personality

Merle English Bulldog is a color-modified Bulldog with the merle gene called M-gene. A standard Bulldog will have the gene pair “mm,” while a merle English Bulldog with patches and irregular patterns will carry an “ Mm” gene pair. The M gene is the cause of the lighter shade due to the partial dilution of the dark pigment. In this case, “m” produces the standard color and “M” is the dominant gene. In simple words, the black coat color comes with irregular dark to light-colored patches with one or both eyes, often in blue. Other than the coat color, all merle English Bulldogs share the same characteristics. The gene is sometimes invisible in English Bulldogs with the merle gene, and the dog looks like a standard Bulldog. There are several types of patterns seen in merle English Bulldog.

  • Dilute Merle  – English Bulldog with dilute merle has no dark patches. The coat and the nose are black. This pattern is primarily a blue merle, and no dark shades are found.
  • Cryptic Merle – The dogs with invisible merle genes are the cryptic merles. They carry the genetic mutation onto their puppies and have no merle patterned coat. Due to this, they are also called “ghost merle.”
  • Merlequins – The merle patches are seen in standard color. This can be primarily the acceptable combination of white and black base with gray merle.

The coat of a merle English Bulldog is straight, short, smooth, and glossy. The skin is loose and soft, particularly on the head, neck, and shoulders. The head is wrinkled and folded at the throat. It is referred to as a dewlap. The coat color is usually irregularly-shaped patches of a diluted color or shade. Commonly, a merle English Bulldog’s nose looks pink with blue eyes and a grayish pattern on the coat. They have small to medium-sized bodies and grow up to 14-15 inches. They are not cute and fluffy dogs but muscular and weigh about 50-60 pounds. The head is big with a short muzzle. 

Merle English Bulldogs snort a lot and breathe heavily. Their short noses lead to respiratory problems. In addition, they have big jaws and chubby lips, which causes them to drool a lot. However, merle English Bulldogs can be your perfect cuddly partner with adorable looks.

Friendliness Overview

 Affection Level                             High  
Family-Friendly  High  
Kid-Friendly  Medium to high 
Pet-Friendly  Low to medium  
Strangers-Friendly  High 

Adaptability Overview

Good for New Pet Owners  High  
Good for Apartment Living  High  
Sensitivity Level  Medium to high  
Tolerates being alone  Medium 
Cold Tolerance  Low  
Heat Tolerance  Low 

Merle English Bulldog Temperament

Merle English Bulldogs are muscular yet stubborn and lazy. They have very low energy and may not be enthusiastic about a walk or run. However, it is essential to keep them exercised every day. They are sensitive to cold and hot temperatures and love to lay around in warm weather. They do not suit outdoors and must be kept by a house dog. However, they are sociable, sweet, and make excellent watchdogs. They don’t bark much, but their appearance scares off the intruders. They are kid-friendly and make great family companions. The overall temperament includes

  • Friendly
  • Affectionate
  • Loving
  • Stubborn
  • Lazy
  • Watchdogs
  • Playful
  • Sweet-natured

Merle English Bulldog Training

Merle English Bulldogs are stubborn, and training requires patience. They are naturally friendly and social and make a good candidate for obedience training. Like any other canine, they need early socialization and puppy training classes. The training requires patience and consistency during the period. They are sensitive to any adverse reactions and need positive reinforcement while training. They love being around people, and treats and cuddling do wonders while training. They are active and look forward to the training sessions, playing fetch, which helps in training regarding behavioral corrections. Obedience training and socialization help behavioral correction and bring out the best in any dog. Merle English Bulldogs have low energy levels and can be lazy; hence it is necessary to keep the training interesting. Their training can include the following:

Some toy suggestions for your merle English Bulldog

Milk-Bone Soft & Chewy Dog Treats
Buy at Amazon

Outward Hound Dog Treat Puzzle
Buy at Amazon

KIPRITII Dog Chew Toys
Buy at Amazon

Trainability Overview  

Easy to Train  Medium to high
Intelligence  Medium 
Prey Drive  Low to medium 
Tendency to Chew, Nip & Play-bite  Medium to high 
Tendency to Bark or Howl  Medium 
Wanderlust Ability  Low  
Attention/Social Needs  Medium  

Merle English Bulldog Exercise

Merle English Bulldogs are low in energy levels and do not require much exercise. They are indoor dogs and need a relaxed lifestyle. A daily walk of 15-30 minutes will be ideal. Yet, merle English Bulldogs live a healthy and long life with the right amount of exercise and activity. Above all this, they are happiest when around their human friends. A brief stroll with indoor games keeps the dog happy and healthy. They excel in canine activities like agility and flyball. Merle English Bulldogs are delighted with indoor games and love to relax while watching the world outside. A proper exercise routine helps the dog with the following benefits.

  • Social interaction
  • Weight control
  • Stress relief
  • Behavioral corrections like excessive chewing, persistent barking
  • Brain stimulation
  • Strengthening muscles
  • Routine toileting
  • Mental health and happiness

Exercise Needs Overview

Energy Level                                  Low to medium 
Exercise Needs                             Medium  
Playfulness                                    Medium to high  
Intensity  Medium 

Merle English Bulldog Grooming

Merle English Bulldogs are average shedders with a fine, smooth coat. The coats are short, and they are low-maintenance dogs. Their coat needs brushing every couple of days, once a week. The hair at its paws has to be trimmed to avoid the floor getting dirty. They are easy to groom, and the coat can be brushed more than once a week to prevent shedding. The wrinkles and folds on the skin should be wiped with a clean cloth to remove dirt. They may need extra brushing during their shedding season. Brushing helps remove matted hair and pull out the loose fur during shedding. One of the essential parts of grooming is bathing which keeps the dog clean. However, frequent bathing causes dry skin and itches. Bathing your dog using shampoos with balanced ph. for dogs, pet wipes will keep your dog’s coat fresh, clean, and shiny. They can also be bathed once a week. However, daily brushing helps to keep the fur from knots and tangles. 

WAHL Dry Skin & Itch Relief Pet Shampoo for Dogs
Buy at Amazon

Earth Rated Dog Wipes, Plant-Based and Compostable Wipes for Dogs
Buy at Amazon

They are prone to collect ear wax quickly. Hence, Ears should be cleaned and regularly checked as they are prone to ear problems. Brush their teeth daily to prevent plaque and other dental problems. Never brush the teeth with a stiff brush as it will harm the gums and teeth. Also, make sure to use dog-friendly toothpaste. 

Vet’s Best Enzymatic Dog Toothpaste
Buy at Amazon

Arm & Hammer for Pets Tartar Control Kit for Dogs
Buy at Amazon

Also, clean their eyes and trim their nails as a part of everyday grooming needs. Their toenails must be checked once a week as longer nails may harm and injure the dog. You can trim the toenails with a commercial dog nail trimmer or with the help of a vet or professional groomer.

Dudi Dog Nail Clippers and Trimmers
Buy at Amazon

Pet Union Professional Dog Grooming Kit
Buy at Amazon

Grooming Overview

Amount of Shedding                    Medium 
Tendency to Drool  High  
Tendency to Snore  High 
Easy to Groom  High 

Merle English Bulldog Health

Merle English Bulldogs are generally healthy dogs. Still, like any other dog breed, they are also prone to specific health conditions.

Health Overview  

Basic Health  Low 
Weight Gain Possibilities  High  
Size  Medium 

Hip Dysplasia: A life-threatening genetically inherited condition caused by a defect in the joints of the hip bones. Fractures can also lead to this disorder, and this condition can be painful. Some therapies cure this, but the canine might get lameness or arthritis if the condition worsens. 

Brachycephalic Syndrome: In the case of this condition, the dog’s nostrils will be narrowed to the extent that they will obstruct the nasal airways. This would generate difficulty in breathing to the extent of total obstruction in breathing. 

Patellar Luxation: This disorder is the slipping of the knee cap from the position in their legs. Some obvious indications include the dog kicking to set the kneecap back in its place while walking or running. Vets can cure this condition if the symptoms are mild or only one leg is affected. 

Glaucoma: An eye condition affecting both dogs and humans and requires medical attention. Symptoms such as squinting, pain, watery eyes, and redness can indicate glaucoma, leading to blindness. Regular health tests can aid in recognizing and curing glaucoma early. 

Parasites: Merle English Bulldogs can be infested with bugs, fleas, worms, and ticks that can get into their systems through contaminated soil, unclean water, or being bitten by an infected mosquito. Symptoms include pain, discomfort, and even death.  

Dermatitis: Merle English Bulldogs can get dermatitis around their skin folds and tiny twisted tails. This skin condition causes hair loss and irritation, resulting in severe infection if left untreated. 

Allergies: Some dog breeds can be allergic to various substances, ranging from food to pollen. If your dog licks his paws or rubs his face a great deal, get him checked by your veterinarian.

Deafness: The black genes affect the ear part responsible for hearing speech sounds. As a result, they cannot sense sound, which causes deafness in canines. Some of the other difficulties include: 

  • Brachycephalic Obstructive Syndrome (BOS)
  • Intertrigo
  • Perineal Hernia
  • Luxating Patella
  • Atopic Dermatitis (Atopy)
  • Epilepsy

Eye Defects   

  • Deformed Eyes (Small Microphthalmia): Animals suffering from this deformation develop smaller eyes as the nictitating membranes cover their eye socket or sockets. For this reason, they may be confined to an eye or both.    
  • Missing Eye or Eyes (Anophthalmia): This congenital disability occurs when one or both eyes are missing. At times, the eyes may have been formed but exist so deep inside the eye socket that the nictitating membrane covers them.    
  • Wandering Eye: This condition is characterized by eye degeneration which causes the lens to be liquefied.   
  • Cataracts: The condition causes cloudiness on the eye lens, which can lead to blindness.   
  • Starburst Pupil (Coloboma): This deformation may be associated with deafness and blindness. It is similar to an eye cleft. This condition may also lead to cataracts in dogs.    
  • Jagged Pupils: Dogs suffering from this defect are sensitive to light as their pupils have irregular edges.    
  • Blindness: Lack of eyesight in one or both the eyes   
  • Corectopia: This condition doesn’t affect the dogs severely but may get associated with other issues. In this condition, the pupils of the eye droop below their normal position.    
  • Cherry Eye: When the glands under your canine’s eyelid protrude, it appears like cherry and has to be removed surgically.  
  • Dry Eye: This painful condition dries the affected eye or creates a blue haze due to the insufficient production of tears. It can be treated with proper medication or teardrops.  

Recommended Tests for Merle English Bulldog

  • X-Rays 
  • CT Scan 
  • Eye Examination 
  • Physical Examination 
  • Blood Work

Merle English Bulldog Diet and Nutrition

Merle English Bulldogs are high-bred dogs and need a large quantity of high-quality food. They should eat 1/2-2 cups of food every day. Each puppy is distinctive, and the correct amount and quality of food depend on age, weight, activity level, health, and more. You can split the meals into two 2 cups daily. Merle English Bulldogs pups can be given dry food, wet food, or both. High protein dog food helps the dog stay fit and healthy, improves digestion, and maintains coat shine. The dog lives a long, healthy, and happy life by adding nutrients, supplements, and vitamins. However, they are prone to obesity, so overfeeding must be avoided. Merle English Bulldog pups can be given dry food, wet food, or both. Ensure the diet contains omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, chondroitin, and glucosamine. They can also be given fruits and vegetables that provide carbohydrate energy.

Never hesitate to consult a vet to meet your pup’s dietary requirements to keep them happy and healthy. Some commercial dog food suggestions for your merle English Bulldogs.

Dry Dog Food for Small Breeds
Buy at Amazon

Wet Dog Food for Small Breeds
Buy at Amazon

Merle English Bulldog Living Condition

Merle English Bulldogs love to be around their humans. However, they are adaptable and can live in apartments or homes with bigger yards. They love indoor games and relaxing. They love the attention of their owners and suffer from separation anxiety when left alone. They are fond of playing with kids and other pets. Merle English Bulldogs cannot tolerate heat and are sensitive to cold temperatures.

Adding Merle English Bulldog to Your Family

Things to remember before adding a Merle English Bulldog to your family

Getting a merle English Bulldog puppy from a reputable breeder is best to prevent unavoidable circumstances like health disorders and provide you with vaccination certificates. It is best to check with the puppy’s parents to ensure his health and happiness. Always remember the following red flags to avoid backyard breeders and puppy mills.

  • Puppies are available around the year.
  • We recommend you visit the puppy and his parents and get health clearance and vaccination certificates, to avoid purchasing a weaker puppy.

Cost of a Merle English Bulldog Puppy

The cost of a merle English Bulldog puppy ranges from $9500 to $35000.

Merle English Bulldog Videos

Merle English Bulldog Images

Leave a Comment