Testable vs Non Testable Chocolate
To hold down confusion when posting DNA for the Non-testable Chocolate, Rare Bulldogs Planet encourages breeders to post Non-testable Chocolate as: bn/bn (n of course referring to Non-testable), and Testable Chocolate as it has always been: bb.
Science is science and cannot be denied. This page will include experienced opinions from breeders and scientific fact from Genetic tests and input from Geneticists and Doctors of Veterinary Medicine, professionals in the field.
The French Bulldog and Chocolate Color
Our main topic here is testable and non-testable chocolate color in French Bulldogs. For the purposes of this article, we will use the term “Normal Chocolate” for the testable, and “Mutated Chocolate” for the non-testable. The Normal Chocolate is the same test that has always been around for chocolate (brown) for years and is used in many breeds. The Mutated chocolate is actually more common in FB, but the gene/mutation/modifier has yet to be found.
For many years there have been visually chocolate FB’s that have tested BB…non chocolate, so there ARE chocolate FB’s that definitely have chocolate hair and a chocolate nose that test BB. This Mutated Chocolate Gene or Modifier for this type chocolate has yet to be discovered and therefore no test is available at this time for those dogs. Recently, we have quite a few FB lines that do test Bb or bb, and the dogs in those lines that test bb actually look Chocolate.
A lot of people/breeders claim that these lines are mixed with other breeds to have brought the testable b in, even though these dogs are visibly chocolate, which is ironic since these same ones claim they have chocolate FB’s that test BB and also do not look chocolate but rather, black, faded black, or seal with a bronze or other color undertone. Not one of these ones can produce any proof that the testable lines are mixed, while at the same time, many of these Bb or bb dogs have been parentage DNA tested and have been found to be 100% FB. Therefore this claim of mix breeding is 100% unsubstantiated.
From the Geneticist: "The French Bulldog has two ways to be chocolate. One we can test for, but has been historically rare in the FB, and one that is still unknown, and seems to be the most common way the FB are chocolate. Recently, we are seeing more FB show up with the testable chocolate."
Contributions from Experienced Breeders
CREDITS: Huge thanks to Rick Pez of French Bulldog Breeders and Joyce Wild of J. Wild French Bulldogs for their contribution of knowledge.
Rick Pez: I have personally found about 23 other breeders with unrelated lines that have Normal Chocolate. Duglas Andy Pankratz had his first Normal Chocolate in 2007 and his first Lilac (also called Isabella) in 2009. Everyone has a theory on how the gene came to be or why it hasn't really been highlighted until recently. My simplest explanation is its a recessive gene that doesn't work with the more common mutated gene so if someone is producing the opposite colors and sells chocolate carriers to each other and all you get are black dogs, well, the breeder thinks they got ripped off, but in actuality they might have created dual chocolate carriers. Hershey, pictured to the left and his sister, pictured to the right, are DNA testable Lilac French Bulldogs, leaving no question as to whether they are TRUE LILAC.
Joyce Wild: When you have a visually brown/chocolate dog the color can come from 2 different genes. The most common right now is the Mutated chocolate which just means the gene that causes the color change is not the traditional chocolate and has risen from a DNA mutation. The location for this type has not been found and currently cannot be tested for. The other less common in the FB (but found in most other dog breeds) is the Normal Chocolate. It is called Normal chocolate because it is what you normally see in most dog breeds and you can actually DNA test (bb) to verify if the dog has that DNA.
Even a carrier of that type of chocolate will show up as Bb. The Normal Chocolate also has a consistent true chocolate color. They do not get dark almost black fur or noses that are almost black. You can visually tell they are chocolate. Some Mutated Chocolate dogs will be hard to distinguish from a black dog.
Normal Chocolate: a dog that exhibits the colors of brown skin pigment (such as the nose) and eumelanin fur. All black pigmented fur will show as brown/chocolate color. This type of chocolate will always test as bb on the chocolate DNA panel.
Mutated Chocolate: a dog that may exhibit a brown tone to fur or pigment. This type of chocolate will not show up on a DNA test so the results will show BB.
Normal Chocolate French Bulldog-DNA testable have a problem when people state a hypothesis as a fact. There are no facts to support anyone saying that Normal Chocolate never existed in FB’s and that the bb dogs are mixed. Before the explosion of the internet there were so many things that were never publicly known about a lot of lines, breeds, breeders, etc. The mutated chocolate that cannot be tested for has not been documented as far back as the Normal Chocolate. I have both types of chocolate and have puppies that actually carry both types. I would really like to produce a puppy that is homozygous for both types of chocolate. Once the location of the allele is found for the Mutated Chocolate, then it can be correctly labeled. Not all lines are DNA tested so it is impossible to prove any of the hypothesis that people have stated. Keeping that in mind I do believe that some breeders may have infused the color unethically, but there are many ethical breeders who have not. I feel there are a lot of purebred dogs that have and still show up with DNA that we may not have expected.
FB’s are found to have a few genes not common in other breeds. Now some of the Normal Chocolates have come into the public eye rather than being hidden. The Bondar/Duglas line has become very populous and people are starting to find out about them again. Just because it is a different chocolate than some have been breeding for, does not mean they are any less a FB than any other FB out there. There are recessive traits that can hide behind certain lines for years before they are known. They can be there for 1 generation or 20 generations. I have a separate line that carries the same type of chocolate. Because mine were only carriers, the DNA has been running behind the generations unknown. I was unaware until one of my dogs had a full panel DNA test and surprised it was there. There are multiple dogs around that do test positive for the chocolate gene but are carriers so unless the ones that have these dogs tell people, no one would know.
That being said, it is a pet peeve of mine when people say they are mixed or say they are not true chocolate FB’s. This type of chocolate has been documented long before the Mutated Chocolate ever was. Eventually scientists may find the gene responsible for the Mutated Chocolate gene (which is also documented in some lines of beagles). But until then we won't be able to test for it.
Article by Alesia Dixon of Rare Bulldogs