English Bulldogs are lovable, short-snouted, drooly canine companions that are great with kids and make for wonderful house pets.
And while their standard colors are fawn, fallow, red, and white, they also come in quite a few non-standard shades, including black, blue, and lilac, as well as several tri-colors.
Tri-Color English Bulldogs are often harder to come by compared to the more common bi-color variants of the breed and are usually more expensive as a result.
In this article, I’ll share more about what makes this English Bulldog variation unique.
What Is a Tri-Color English Bulldog?
As its name suggests, tri-color English Bulldogs have coats that include three different colors in distinct patterns that are located on specific points across the dog’s body. Their coats are mostly bi-colored except for some points that have a third color (tan).
These tan markings are often found on the cheeks, above the eyes, on the sides of the chest, and the inner parts of the legs.
Their location on the English Bulldog’s coat does not signify any changes in their temperament and overall disposition, so there’s no point in worrying that they may behave differently due to their coat.
While they’re not quite as rare as with English Bulldogs, there are several other popular dog breeds that come in tri-color coats, such as Beagles, Boxers, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Australian Shepherds, and many more.
English Bulldogs may not originally have come with tri-color coats, but they’re a welcome variant to the breed that’s wonderfully pleasing to the eyes.
All Color Combinations of Tri-Color English Bulldog
Tri-Color English Bulldogs come in four different color variations, which are black tri, chocolate tri, blue tri, and lilac tri.
They can follow different patterns, such as a full-coated color scheme with a little bit of white or a majority white coat with a tri piebald pattern.
In case you’re wondering exactly how each tri-color variation looks like, I’ve included a sample picture of each, along with a short description of what to look out for.
Black Tri-Color English Bulldog
Black tri English Bulldogs are mainly deep black with streaks of white and some tan points on their face, chest, and legs. They’re one of the more common variants of tri-colored English Bulldogs and usually end up having brown eyes.
Blue Tri-Color English Bulldog
Given how rare blue English Bulldogs are, it’s no surprise that the blue tri coated variant of the breed is so popular.
They boast primarily blue, almost silvery, coats with large patches of white and some tan points on their legs, chest, and face. Their eyes are usually either green or blue.
Chocolate Tri-Color English Bulldog
Chocolate tri Bulldogs are one of the more popular variants of tri-colored English Bulldogs, sporting dark brown coats with some white parts mixed in.
You’ll also find some tan points around the legs, chest, and face which blend nicely with the brown areas. Their eyes are often green or hazel and their noses are usually brown.
Lilac Tri-Color English Bulldog
The lilac tri is the most sought-after of the tri-color English Bulldogs and by far the toughest to produce. Their base coat is chocolate with a bit of blue mixed in that gives it a more champagne shade.
As with the other tri-color patterns, there are points of tan on the legs, chest, or face. Lilac tri Bulldogs usually have bright-colored eyes ranging from aqua blue to light green.
Tri-Color English Bulldog Coat Color Genetics: How Do They Develop a Tri-Colored Coat?
According to the Veteran Centers of America (VCA), despite the various different coat colors that dogs can potentially develop, it all boils down to two pigments: eumelanin and phaeomelanin.
Both are forms of melanin, with the former being responsible for black colors, while the latter dictates red.
These pigments don’t do all of the work on their own, however, and are heavily influenced by the dog’s genes. Eumelanin, for example, is a black pigment that can be altered by genes to produce other color variants, such as blue or lilac.
Agouti Signaling Protein (ASIP) genes are one of the primary factors in determining a dog’s coat color and pattern, as the color of the pup depends on the alleles of its parent’s genes.
at, for instance, is a recessive Agouti allele that can produce tan points in Bulldogs.
Through selective breeding, breeders can match up several lines of English Bulldogs with the right Agouti genes in order to increase the likelihood of producing an offspring of the desired tri-color coat.
Are Tri-Color English Bulldogs Recognized by Kennel Clubs?
While tri-color English Bulldogs are gorgeous to look at and becoming increasingly more common, they are considered non-standard and are not recognized by major kennel clubs such as the American Kennel Club (AKC) and the United Kennel Club (UKC).
According to the AKC standard for English Bulldogs, the acceptable colors are red, white, fawn, fallow, or any two of the aforementioned combined.
They may include certain patterns and masks but other colors or markings are considered a disqualification.
Are Tri-Color English Bulldogs Rare?
Tri-color English Bulldogs are considered rare/exotic colors that are harder to come across and are usually a fair bit more expensive than bi-colored English Bulldogs whether they are of standard or non-standard colors.
Expectedly, the black tri is the most common of the four tri-color variants, followed by the blue tri and the chocolate tri. The lilac tri is easily the rarest (and priciest) of them all on account of how meticulous and difficult they are to breed.
In fact, the lilac color is so rare in English Bulldogs that certain variants with lilac mixed in can sell for upwards of $10,000, which is a pretty penny no matter the breed. So if you find yourself charmed by a lilac coat, you should be prepared to spend quite a bit.
Do Tri-Color English Bulldog Puppies Change Color as They Grow?
Tri-color English Bulldogs, like regular English Bulldogs or most dog breeds for that matter, commonly undergo slight changes in coat color as they transition into adulthood.
It’s perfectly normal for the coats of tri-color English Bulldog pups to become a little lighter as they grow older, though it shouldn’t be drastic enough to completely change the dog’s color.
If the change in the puppy’s coat color seems too significant, it might be a good idea to schedule a visit to a trusted vet, as dramatic changes to a dog’s coat or skin color could be symptoms of a serious health issue.
Tri-Color English Bulldog Temperament: Do They Make Good Family Pets?
Having a tri-color coat has no effect on an English Bulldog’s general temperament, as they remain fantastic family pets thanks to their gentle and lovable disposition and how good they usually are with kids.
They generally seek affection from people and are courageous enough that they make fine watchdogs.
They can be aggressive towards other dogs, however, so it’s best you introduce them while they’re still pups and they’re better off living with a dog of the opposite sex.
Bear in mind that the English Bulldog’s trademark stubbornness and average-at-best intelligence can make them a bit of a pain to train, but their love of lounging around the house and their gentleness with children make them fantastic dogs to have at home.
Tri-Color English Bulldog Lifespan and Health Issues
After extensive research, there’s no indication that having a tri-color coat has any impact on an English Bulldog’s lifespan, nor does it raise any health issues not already present in the other colors of the breed.
Tri-color English Bulldogs generally live between eight to ten years, though some elite breeders have managed to breed dogs that have consistently lived till the ripe age of 14.
While an English Bulldog’s health depends heavily on the quality of its breeders, it’s still susceptible to various serious health problems. Here are some of the medical issues to watch out for:
- Brachycephalic Airway Obstructive Syndrome (BAOS): Due to the breed’s short snout and narrow nasal passageways, pressure in the air passages can make it difficult for the dog to breathe. This can be exacerbated by various factors such as obesity, humidity, temperature, and exercise.
- Hip Dysplasia: English Bulldogs have a fairly odd stature, making them prone to several joint and bone issues such as Canine Hip Dysplasia – a condition that causes the hip joint to fit loosely.
- Patellar Luxation: This is a condition where the thigh bone, kneecap, and calf bone aren’t properly aligned and is mostly present in smaller dogs. This can cause inflammation in the joints and may lead to lameness or the dog walking awkwardly.
- Dermatitis: This is a common issue in dogs who have a lot of folds. Dirt and moisture can get stuck in the folds, causing the skin to get irritated, which is why it’s important to always keep your English Bulldog’s folds clean.
- Cherry Eye: This is one of the most common eye conditions in English Bulldogs and can be recognized by an obvious red bulge in the corner of the dog’s eye. Treatment should be done soon in order to alleviate discomfort and avoid further complications.
How Much Do Tri-Color English Bulldogs Cost? Are They More Expensive Than Other Varieties?
Price ranges on tri-color English Bulldogs differ significantly depending on the coat color and are almost always a fair bit more expensive compared to other standard or non-standard colors.
What makes them so expensive is the thorough planning that goes into the breeding process in order to achieve a tri-color coat, especially when lilac is involved.
Here is a table showing how much each tri-color variant could potentially cost:
|Tri-Color Variant||Price Range|
|Black Tri English Bulldogs||$4,000 – $5,000|
|Blue Tri English Bulldogs||$5,500 – $6,500|
|Chocolate Tri English Bulldogs||$6,500 – $7,500|
|Lilac Tri English Bulldogs||$7,000 – $9,000|
Lilac tri pups are often considered the most expensive type of English Bulldog next to certain merle variants of the breed since Merle is a relatively new color type that’s still bred in fairly limited quantities.
In comparison to a tri-color variant, blue and white English Bulldogs often cost around $4,000, while a lilac and fawn mix could go for approximately $5,000.
Places to Find Tri-Color English Bulldog Puppies for Sale and Adoption
By now, you’ve probably already made up your mind about whether or not you’d like to adopt a tri-color English Bulldog of your own.
Here are a few websites that can help you find the English Bulldog of your dreams:
- Bulldog Angels – This is a family-owned kennel located in North East Kansas where they raise Bulldogs like their own children and breed all sorts of tri-color English Bulldog pups.
- Rare Bulldogs – The founder of this kennel has been breeding rare-colored canines as far back as 1972 and is known for producing the first true lilac-colored English Bulldog back in 2011.
- Champ Bulldogs – This kennel breeds Bulldogs not only as a business but out of love for the breed and the desire to improve it as a whole. They make it a point that their gorgeous Bulldogs end up in loving homes with a caring family.
While the thought of taking home an adorable tri-color English Bulldog pup certainly is alluring, you could always try your luck adopting from a rescue or shelter.
Not only will you be saving a bunch of money, but you’d also be giving a wonderful dog a new lease on life.
Here are some adoption websites you can check out:
- The Bulldog Club of America Rescue Network – This website specializes in Bulldogs and its goal is to match the right dog with the right owner, taking into account the person’s lifestyle and needs.
- Adopt-a-Pet – This is the largest non-profit pet adoption website in North America, offering connections to over 17,000 shelters and rescues nationwide.
Commonly Asked Questions
What Is the Rarest English Bulldog Color?
Since merle English Bulldogs are fairly recent, they are still the hardest colors to come by and can be very expensive to get your hands on.
However, certain variants of the lilac coat color can be equally as rare, if not even more so. So it comes as no surprise that a merle English Bulldog with a lilac mix is pretty much as rare as they come.
Which English Bulldog Color Is Most Expensive?
With merle English Bulldogs being the newest variant of the breed to enter the scene, they can also be the most expensive.
Certain types of merle English Bulldogs, particularly those that contain the lilac color, can reach prices of up to $10,000 or even more. Between the tri-colors, lilac tri is often the priciest, costing between $7,000 – $9,000.
How Much Is a Blue Tri Bulldog?
A blue tri English Bulldog can cost anywhere between $5,500 – $6,500, making it the third most expensive of the tri-colors behind the chocolate tri and the lilac tri.
In contrast, a blue and white bi-color English Bulldog would set you back around $4,000, which is a fairly considerable difference.
What makes blue-colored dogs pricey has less to do with the rarity of the color but rather its popularity with people, as they are often considered very eye-catching and beautiful. Dogs with blue coats are also sometimes referred to as “grey.”
Do Tri-Color Bulldogs Shed?
As with any English Bulldog variant, tri-color Bulldogs indeed shed but not as much as most breeds. Their fur is also relatively short too so it’s harder to notice it on your clothes, around the house, or on the floor.
It’s most obvious on dark clothing, so if you ever snuggle up with your English Bulldog on your couch, you’ll probably walk away with a noticeable mess of hair on your pants and shirt.
If you think your dog is shedding a little too profusely, it’s best that you take them to a trusted vet, as excessive shedding can be a symptom of parasites, infections, or several different kinds of diseases.
Final Thoughts: Is the Tri-Color English Bulldog Right for You?
Aside from a bit of extra color on their coats, tri-color English Bulldogs are no different from any other variant of the English Bulldog.
They’re quirky, charming bundles of joy who want nothing more than to hog you and your family’s attention all to themselves.
It really all boils down to your taste in color. If you’re looking to join competitions then tri-colors may not be the best fit for you since they’re considered by most major kennel clubs as non-standard. But if you enjoy colorful pups then they’re right up your alley.
Just make sure you’re ready to accept all of the potential medical conditions that they are known for, some of which can get pretty expensive.
If you’re ready to take on that kind of responsibility, a Tri-Color English Bulldog will make an amazing addition to your household.