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What to Look For When Buying a French Bulldog

What to Look For When Buying a French Bulldog

So you have decided to bring a French Bulldog into your family! This is an exciting time, and it is easy to let your emotions make decisions for you.

However, bringing a new dog into your pack must be a carefully planned decision; especially a breed with the very real potential to have serious and expensive medical issues, such as the French Bulldog.

Making a snap decision to add a dog to your family when you are not ready has the potential to end in heartbreak for you, your family, and your dog.

Purchasing or adopting a French Bulldog will take some time and will not happen overnight.

To find a good French Bulldog breeder, you must be patient and willing to do research to find an ethical breeder who breeds Frenchies for the love of the breed and has a goal of producing the healthiest puppies possible.

As you search for your potential puppy, you will come across many breeders. It can feel overwhelming trying to find the right one! However, there are many considerations available to help you narrow down your choices to the right breeder, such as:

Good breeders breed their Frenchies because they love the breed

As you talk to your potential breeder you will be able to tell if they are breeding Frenchies because they truly love the breed, or just because they want to make money.

When you look at their website, their social media pages, and speak with them personally, how do they talk about the dogs?

Do they talk about the qualities that make French bulldogs their favorite breed? Or do they try to make the dogs sound expensive and special and focus on the monetary part of the transaction?

A good breeder will know all about French Bulldogs and they will want to make sure that you have researched the breed, and that the characteristics of the breed are right for you and your family.

As experienced dog owners, they know that if a breed does not possess qualities that align with a family's lifestyle, it could impact the puppy having a life long home.

A good breeder who truly cares about their dogs will tell all potential puppy parents to bring the puppy back to them if they decided that they no longer want the puppy or they are no longer able to care for the puppy, as they would like to re-home the puppy to avoid the puppy going to an animal shelter.

The potential puppy parent interview

A good breeder will ask you questions before agreeing to sell a puppy to you. They will want to know things like:

  • Where will the puppy live?
  • Where will the puppy sleep?
  • How long will the puppy be left alone during the average workweek?
  • Do you have a veterinarian selected for the puppy?
  • If you have children, do your children know how to handle a puppy? Do they know to be gentle with the puppy?

A good breeder will ask you lots of questions to ensure that the puppy is going to a good home, with the goal of giving the puppy a forever home.

A bad breeder will not ask you questions, other than how you plan on paying for the puppy. Bad breeders focus purely on the profit, completely disregarding the welfare of the puppies that they have bred.

Veterinary care

When you speak with the breeder, be sure to ask if the puppies have received veterinary care, and what veterinary care their mother receives.

If they have not been scheduled to receive whatever age-appropriate vaccines and preventative health treatments are available, this is a red flag.

A breeder who truly cares about the welfare of their puppies would ensure that the puppies were receiving medical attention to help them get a strong start to a healthy, happy, and long life with their new families.

Health Guarantees and Pedigrees

A breeder who has carefully planned their litter will readily have the pedigree information for both parents easily accessible and be willing to show it to you.

According to All About Frenchies, as a result of their careful breeding and the pedigrees of the parents, a good breeder who has carefully bred their French bulldogs can confidently offer potential puppy parents a health guarantee also known as a breeder's guarantee, guaranteeing that their puppy will be healthy as a result of their carefully planned breeding.

Meeting the puppies

When you meet the litter of puppies you are considering purchasing from, French Bulldog Owner recommends that you examine all the puppies.

Look at their eyes, look at their nose, look in their ears, and look in their mouths. Listen to how they breathe, watch how they walk, examine their tummies, legs, and paws.

If they relieve themselves while you are there, observe their fecal matter. Puppy poop should not be liquid; that could be a sign of an internal parasite.

If you notice anything abnormal, do internet research and speak with a veterinarian before purchasing the puppy.

Meet the Parents

It is critical that you meet the puppy's mother and father. Being able to see their health, their personalities, how the breeder interacts with them will tell you quite a bit about what you can expect to experience with your puppy.

If you cannot meet the mother, this is a red flag. However, if you cannot meet the father, this is less of a concern.

According to French Bulldog Pro, many French bulldogs require artificial insemination to successfully breed a litter of puppies due to their narrow hips.

This means that the father's semen might have been purchased from another breeder, and therefore, he might not be on site.

However, veterinary records, pedigrees, and American Kennel Club registrations should be readily available for your review and your records for both parents, no matter where the father is.

I got it from my Mama: Why the puppy's Mama matters

If your potential puppy's mother is less than 3 years of age, any serious health issues that could be passed on to the puppies may not have surfaced yet. It is recommended that a female be at least 3 years old before she is bred.

If your potential puppy's mother is less than 3 years old, ask for documentation of the mother and grandmother's medical history to see what health issues may be genetically inherited.

Mothers should only be breed once a year, and multiple litters should be spread across several years. If your potential puppy's mother is bred more frequently than once a year, this is an indicator of abuse and irresponsible breeding.

According to All About Frenchies, French bulldogs require Caesarean sections to deliver their puppies. As such, being breed more than once a year negatively impacts the mother's quality of life.

American Kennel Club (AKC) registration

Only the litters of American Kennel Club registered dogs may be listed in the American Kennel Club Market Place, also known as the American Kennel Club Puppy Finder.

By searching for your French Bulldog on the American Kennel Club's marketplace website, you will have the peace of mind of knowing that all the available puppies have been carefully planned and bred by experienced breeders.

If you are potentially interested in showing your French Bulldog one day, you will want a puppy who is registered with the American Kennel Club. Talk to the breeder about your goals and they will likely be able to provide you advice of where to start.

If you just want a healthy dog to join your family, you will want a puppy who's parents were both registered with the American Kennel Club or were bred carefully by a reputable breeder.

Either way, using the American Kennel Club Market Place or Puppy Finder will help you locate a breeder who has carefully bred their French bulldogs.

Talk to other clients

Ask the breeder for references from other people who have purchased puppies from them, and google their website to read reviews online. A successful breeder will have no problem providing multiple references.

The Price of your Potential Puppy

Forbes interviewed French Bulldog breeder Jennifer Santarpia about her Frenchie breeding business. Her puppies cost between $3,500 to $5,000, depending on their coloring.

These prices are the average; some breeders may have higher prices, but it would be incredibly rare to find breeders with lower prices unless a puppy was unhealthy or stolen.

A French Bulldog who costs less than $3,500 may be priced lower as a result of a health condition or poor genetics.

Dr. Patty Khuly from Vet Street says that French Bulldogs dogs are prone to many serious medical issues, and as such, the veterinary bills have the potential to exceed the purchase price of the puppy. While your initial acquisition may be a bargain, your puppy's veterinary bills will not be.

Should you purchase a male or female Frenchie?

According to What the Frenchie, males tend to be more affectionate, while females have a sassy "take it or leave it" attitude.

Males tend to be more energetic than females. While dogs of the same breed will share physical characteristics and may share some personality characteristics, they will each have their own unique personality. Try to meet the available puppies and see who you click with.

Breeders are not the only option; consider Adoption

While it is difficult to resist the sweet, squishy faces of Frenchie puppies, there are many adult French bulldogs who are just as sweet waiting for a forever family. Before purchasing a puppy, consider adopting an adult Frenchie from a breeder or a rescue.

Do not allow your emotions to make the decisions

During your quest for your Frenchie, you will probably find an unethical breeder running a puppy mill.

According to the ASPCA, a puppy mill is a commercial dog breeder who cuts corners on care and quality of life to produce the maximum amount of puppies possible, at the lowest cost, to ensure their profits are maximized.

If you do encounter unhealthy puppies, you may be tempted to purchase the puppy to rescue it from his or her living conditions. Before bringing home a puppy mill puppy, be sure that you are ready to provide all the assistance that the puppy needs to become healthy.

If you have the monetary means to pay for very expensive veterinary bills, and you are emotionally ready to deal with potentially having the puppy for a short period of time, bringing the puppy home might be a real option.

Sadly, this does not solve the problem that put the puppy in the situation that you found her or him in.

Purchasing one puppy saves that puppy, but keeps the puppy's parents stuck in the cycle of abuse they are suffering in.

Even if you take the puppy home that day, be sure to report the puppy mill and the abuse you witnessed to the ASPCA and your local authorities to prevent other dogs from having to suffer.


Purchasing a new puppy can be very exciting, and it can be easy to let your emotions make the decision for you. By considering the topics put forth in this article as you search for a breeder, your chances of finding a healthy puppy increase.

For helpful tips on finding a French Bulldog puppy, watch this video made by an owner of multiple Frenchies.

If you are still deciding if a Frenchie is a right dog for you, watch this video about their pros and cons of Frenchie ownership made by an owner of a French Bulldog.