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Going to the dogs: Is breeding French Bulldogs Profitable?

Going to the dogs: Is breeding French Bulldogs Profitable?

French Bulldogs have rapidly gained popularity in recent years; many celebrities own Frenchies, and they rank 4th out of 193 dog breeds with the American Kennel Club. If you love Frenchies too, you might have thought about breeding them.

There is a saying that if you do something you love for a living, you will never work a day in your life. Are French Bulldogs your passion? Do you dream of spending your days with Frenchie puppies?

While the price per puppy can entice potential breeders, the price is set that high for a reason; the business of breeding Frenchies is not a cheap endeavor.

Before beginning any business, potential business people must perform a cost and benefit analysis. While breeding French bulldogs should not be viewed solely from a business perspective, as they are living creatures that need care and love, potential breeders must consider if they are able to afford breeding Frenchies.

As such, any potential French Bulldog breeder should consider the following:

How much can a breeder make on a litter of puppies? 

The average Frenchie puppy costs approximately $3,500 to $5,000. French Bulldog breeders can earn approximately $14,000 to $20,000 or more for a litter of puppies.

However, there are lots of expenses involved in breeding these dogs, which raises the question; is it profitable? Or do breeders simply break even?

How much does it cost to breed French Bulldogs?

A breeder's payday of $14,000 to $20,000 sounds pretty awesome until you consider the expenses involved with getting there, which according to Breeding Business, are hefty:

  • $1,000 for health tests
  • $200 for breeding licenses
  • $200 for pregnancy supplements for the mother
  • $1,000 for a cesarean section*
  • $1,000 for artificial insemination*
  • $1,500 for a stud fee*
  • $3,000 to feed two adult French Bulldogs*
  • $600 for the prenatal veterinary visits for the mother
  • $100 for deworming the puppies
  • $600 for puppy vaccines
  • $200 for puppy supplies
  • $500 for a puppy's medical issues or the mother's complications*
  • $250 for a whelping kit
  • $600 for a whelping box
  • $50 for American Kennel Club Registration
  • $100 for advertising the litter to potential puppy parents

= $10,800

– The approximate average cost in the United States for a c-section is approximately $600 to $2,000 according to French Bulldog Owner.

– The approximate average cost of artificial insemination is $500 to $1,000 according to WAG!.

– A stud fee can be instead of an artificial insemination fee, or in addition to the artificial insemination fee.

– This number is based upon Frenchie breeder Jennifer Santarpia's food budget in her interview with Forbes.

– The cost of a puppy's medical issues or the mother's complication could be much higher

What makes breeding French Bulldogs expensive?

French Bulldogs have special requirements that most other breeds of dogs do not have, such as:

Artificial insemination

Most French Bulldogs cannot mate on their own due to their narrow hips, requiring artificial insemination to impregnate the mother.

While there are no negative effects on French Bulldogs who have to be artificially inseminated, there is a negative impact on the wallet of the breeder.

According to Frenchie Shop, fresh semen has an approximate success rate of 59% to 80%, and frozen semen has an approximate success rate of 52% to 60%.

While the odds of success are in your favor, artificial insemination costs approximately $500 to $1,000, making each failed attempt cost breeders significantly.

Cesarean sections

According to French Bulldog Owner, most females require cesarean sections; a Frenchie having a natural birth is rare.

Due to their compact build and narrow hips, and the large heads of the puppies, natural birth is dangerous and can result in the serious injury or death of the mother and the puppies.

As c-sections are very serious medical procedures, the mother needs time to recover. According to French Bulldog Owner, good breeders will only breed a female once per year, and no more than 3 times in their lives.

While this is best for the mother's quality of life, it does impact how many litters a breeder can produce.

Breeding Healthy Frenchies

Dr. Patty Khuly of Vet Street has owned 3 French Bulldogs. Between her personal experience with the breed and her experience treating French Bulldogs, she has noted that Frenchies have an unfortunate disposition to serious medical issues, such as respiratory issues, skin issues, ear issues, spinal issues, behavioral issues, and an inability to tolerate heat and exercise.

Due to their predisposition to serious health issues, only breeding healthy French Bulldogs is imperative to ensure that the puppies have a good quality of life.

Unscrupulous individuals will breed any French Bulldog that they are able to get their hands on, without regard for the health of the puppies that will be brought into the world.

Good breeders do not breed French Bulldogs without first ensuring that they are healthy.

In National Geographic's article, "Are we loving French Bulldogs to Death?", the French Bulldog Club of America's chairperson for genetics and health, Calvin Dykes, states: "I have no less than a thousand dollars in health tests [done] on a female before I breed her,".

Hidden Costs

While breeding dogs may seem like an easy side hustle, in reality, it requires a significant time commitment; breeding dogs is not for people who work full-time jobs.

According to All About Frenchies, breeding this little bat-eared angel is a full-time job in itself, often requiring 80 hour work weeks.

Caring for dogs is similar to caring for toddlers, and caring for pregnant dogs is even more work.

Obtaining and owning the two adult French Bulldogs you will need to begin breeding is not cheap. Even after the initial cost of acquisition, French Bulldogs are an expensive breed to own in general.

There are many incidental costs associated breeding that you may not think of, such as:

  • American Kennel Club registration of the parents*
  • American Kennel Club registration of the litter*
  • Collars to distinguish the individual puppies
  • Blankets and beds
  • A playpen
  • Toys
  • Food and Treats
  • Bowls
  • Advertising the litter to potential puppy parents
  • Travel or shipping costs to deliver puppies to their families
  • Legal Fees*
  • Showing Fees*
  • Returned puppies*

– The American Kennel Club figure noted in the approximate cost per litter will vary depending on who is being registered.

– Legal fees may become necessary if a puppy parent attempts to sue.

– If the parents of a litter have been shown, the value of the litter increases. According to CNN, showing dogs can be expensive.

– Good breeders always tell puppy parents to return the puppy to them if they can longer care for it. Breeders must always expect to have a puppy returned. When the puppy is returned, this is another mouth to feed and another dog who needs proper care.

The Ethics of breeding French Bulldogs

According to Dr. Sarah Wooten, French Bulldogs are engineered by humans; they cannot breed naturally and require human assistance to reproduce. This fact combined with their reputation for poor health begs the question, is it ethical to breed French Bulldogs?

Popularity comes with a price

Whether or not you agree if it is ethical to breed French Bulldogs at all, their popularity comes with a price.

There is a serious epidemic of irresponsible French Bulldog breeders. These breeders have taken notice of the French Bulldog's popularity and chosen to capitalize on it.

In order to focus on maximizing their profits, they breed whatever French Bulldogs they are able to, without regard for their health.

This produces puppies of poor health, impacting not only the quality of life of the puppies but the quality of life of the families who purchase the puppies.

It is absolutely heartbreaking to watch the puppy you love suffer, and be forced to choose between expensive surgeries or euthanasia. Heather Hanna of Wyoming had to choose between euthanizing her French Bulldog, Arnie, or flying him to Germany for surgery.


With all the positive press French Bulldogs have received in recent years, many people have considered going into the business of breeding Frenchies; some with good intentions, and sadly, others with the sole intention of making money.

While breeding French Bulldogs is not enough to live off solely for most people, breeders can earn significant paydays of approximately $14,000 to $20,000 or more.

Considering that the approximate cost of breeding one litter is $10,800, French Bulldog breeders may earn some side cash or significant pay, depending on the price fetched per puppy.