What to Do When You Have a Merle English Bulldog

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Merle English Bulldogs have thick jowls, chunky builds and creased skin. These fun and adorable dogs don’t need a lot of exercise, so they are perfect for those who live in apartments or have a busy schedule.

The merle pattern in this breed is controversial due to various reasons, but the concern is mostly about the health problems linked to the gene.

Merle Facts

1.Merle is a dominant gene that lightens random areas and only leaves patches of the coat’s original color. A black English bulldog will still be a black dog. However, it will have merle markings because the merle gene was added.

The size of the marks varies significantly and the pattern can appear in different locations. A dominant gene can’t be carried and doesn’t affect red dogs, it only affectsmodified black or black colors.

2.Newborn fawn merles will have a faint merle pattern that fades as they grow old. DNA testing should be done on brindle or red bulldogs created from a merle before breeding. A merle should be not bred with another merle because it will result in a double merle and this may cause various health problems like blindness, skin issues and deafness.

3.A double merle English bulldog has inherited 2 copies of big M merle from both parents. Most double-merle dogs inherit serious hearing and vision problems. Almost a quarter of such dogs are completely blind and completely deaf. This is why 2 merles should not be bred at any cost.

4.A merle English bulldog has a higher risk of inheriting various hereditary and conformation defects together with their merle coloration. The English bulldog breed, regardless of its color, is prone to hereditary health problems such as coat and skin allergies, BOAS, heart defects, patellar luxation and eye problems. Pups are usually delivered through C-section because their head is bigger than the pelvis of their mother.

English bulldogs have narrow hips. That is why some of them need help with mating. Merle English bulldogs are susceptible to hereditary deafness that can be either complete or partial meaning that either only one ear or both can be affected by this condition. Merle English bulldogs may also suffer from poor eyesight, blindness and improperly or abnormally formed eyes.

5.Not all merle English bulldogs will develop these health problems. However, they do occur in a large number of merle dogs that put the affected dog’s quality of life at risk. The gene also poses a threat to the breed’s health in general. It causes an absence of pigmentation across specific areas of the skin, which increases the risk of developing light hypersensitivity and skin cancer.

How to Care for Merle English Bulldogs

Merle English bulldogs should be provided with their own place. Their crate should be large enough for them and you should also put a soft bed inside the crate. The crate will serve as a safe haven for your dog.

For Merle English bulldogs, the ideal height of their crate is around 18″ to 20″ while the width should be around 30″ to 36″ and the length of around 42″.  This will allow them to stand and sit inside the crate without any problems.

This breed should be exercised everyday to keep them healthy and fit. Take them for short walks, gradually increasing the distance. Merle English bulldogs don’t do well in extreme cold or hot weather. They are susceptible to heatstroke, so they should be kept indoors during the summer season.It’s also important to keep your pet in a warm environment when the weather is cold. During winter, you can let your dog wear doggie boots and a sweatshirt or sweater while outside.

You should also take your merle English bulldog to the vet every now and then. The vet can give you tips about your dog’s diet and exercise routine.

Another thing you should keep an eye on are any signs of allergies. This breed is susceptible to Atopic Dermatitis, a skin condition that causes skin irritation. Talk to the vet if your pet’s skin becomes irritated and red. It’s also important to monitor your pet’s breathing. This breed has a short muzzle, so they can have breathing difficulties and respiratory problems.

Arduous exercise, humid weather, hot weather and illnesses affecting the lungs, nose and throat will make it difficult for this breed to get enough air into their body. Let them stay in an air conditioned room when the weather is too humid or hot. If you see him panting while exercising, take a break and let him catch his breath.

Socializing them early can help them grow into good dogs. Your pet will be able to get along with other people and pets. Fourteen to sixteen-week old puppies are most open to socialization as they become more wary of new people, animals and situations as they grow older. One of the best ways to socialize your merle English bulldog is to walk around the neighborhood.

Your dog will be exposed to different people, sights, experiences and sounds. You can also enroll him in obedience or socialization classes conducted through community courses or in veterinary clinics. Teach them to walk on a leash. It’s a good way for them to get exercise and socialization as well as learn direction. Just don’t walk them too much because they get tired easily.

You should also train them to follow commands. Teach them how to come, sit and stay on command. They should be house trained early on. This breed responds well to positive reinforcement so don’t punish them when they make a mistake but praise them and give them a reward when they do the right thing. They will be more inclined to do what you want when you use positive reinforcement. Merle English bulldogs need repetition and patience when being trained. If you’re not confident, you can ask a professional dog behavior specialist to help you.

How to Prepare Your House

This breed loves to chew on things and get into things and places they should not. Organize your place before bringing home your merle English bulldog. Check out anything that can hurt your dog such as sharp items and electrical cords. Everyone in the family should get involved in taking care of the dog. If there are kids in the house, tell them how to behave when the dog is sleeping or eating.

Everyone should be mentally prepared for the arrival of a new family member. Pups can howl and cry during the first few nights. It will take time and effort to housebreak your new pet. In the meantime, make sure to keep him comfortable in his new home by providing him with a safe and comfortable place where he can sleep.


Merle English bulldogs should be bathed as needed. Brush their coat every week using the right tools, including a rubber pronged brush and hand brush. If your dog sheds excessively, take him to the vet. Brush their teeth 3 times a week but make sure to use a toothbrush made for dogs.

Clean their ears using a piece of cloth dipped in warm water. You can also use Q-tips, but don’t insert them into the dog’s ear canal. You should also clip their nails regularly. Don’t forget to clean their facial folds otherwise they might suffer from skin problems.


The serving size that’s right for your dog depends on hishealth condition, weight and age. Trial and error can help you determine how much food your pet eats. You should also observe his weight. According to expert breeders, bulldogs should be given 20 to 70 calories per pound of their body weight or depending on their activity. They may need less since they don’t move a lot.

Your merle English bulldog should have access to clean water at all times. Only healthy treats should be given to your dog. Limit the amount of treats you give, so he doesn’t get overweight. Request a nutrition sheet from the breeder, so you will have an idea about the quality and amount of food he was given and should be given.

Merle English bulldog puppies need to be fed 2 to 3 times daily. Avoid leaving extra food around because he might overeat and put on weight. If your dog is overweight, he could suffer from muscle, bone and joint problems.


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