French Bulldogs have been climbing into the homes and laps of the rich and the famous around the world. Their presence on television has inspired many others to add a Frenchie to their families too.
French bulldogs rank #4 out of 193 in breed popularity with the American Kennel Club. Not only are they adorable, but they have very sweet, clownish personalities too.
So, why are French bulldogs so expensive?
There are a few factors that determine their price: they are currently very popular, and breeders know that people will pay for Frenchies, particularly Frenchies of a certain color; they cannot breed naturally, and the cost of breeding dogs and raising puppies is expensive.
French Bulldog Breeding Basics
It is very important that only healthy French Bulldogs be bred to help future generations of puppies be healthier than their predecessors.
To purchase healthy dogs to breed, and to responsibly breed healthy puppies while providing the best care for their mothers, breeders pay high prices and carefully plan each litter:
While the compact and muscular frame of French bulldogs is cute, it does not make the breeding process simple. If a male’s hips are too narrow, it impedes his ability to mate naturally.
This requires many breeders to have their females artificially inseminated. According to the American Kennel Club, the process of artificial insemination is lengthy and costly.
Female Frenchies may also have narrow hips, which combined with the large size of the puppies’ heads, makes natural birth difficult.
For the safety of the mother and the puppies, most French Bulldog puppies are born via a cesarean section (c-section).
According to the American Kennel Club, Caesarean procedures in dogs are expensive and require a lot of planning.
According to French Bulldog Pro, the average French Bulldog litter contains approximately 2 to 4 puppies.
Considering the thousands of dollars it may take to impregnate the mother, then deliver the puppies, then care for the mother and the puppies, and wean the puppies then prepare them to go their new homes, the approximate cost per puppy will be high, even if there is little to no profit included.
French Bulldog Physique
French bulldogs have bat-shaped ears, short muzzles (also known as Brachycephalic muzzles), a square head, wrinkly face, and a compact, muscular body.
They are basically miniature bulldogs with bat ears instead of the traditional floppy ears sported by English bulldogs.
French Bulldog Health Concerns
While Frenchies can live approximately 10 to 12 years, Frenchie owners must be aware of their potential health concerns and issues to help their dogs live a healthy, long life:
Behavioral issues. Many Frenchies are difficult to house train, and it is not uncommon for a Frenchie to be a little sassy. They might become snappy if they are not socialized and trained properly on a consistent basis.
Skin issues. Most Frenchies suffer from allergies and an assortment of other skin conditions. The veterinary bills required to diagnose and treat these conditions can be hefty. Due to their skin issues and their wrinkly folds of skin and fur, most Frenchies also require frequent bathing.
Respiratory issues. The short snouts that make a French bulldog’s face endearing place them into a variety of dogs called brachycephalic dogs as a result of their short sniffers.
According to Vet Street, brachycephalic syndrome makes breathing difficult. Many Frenchies require surgery as a result of impediments to their breathing. Dr. Patty Khuly, a veterinarian who loves Frenchies, has had 2 French bulldogs who required surgeries as a result of their anatomy.
Spinal issues. Many French Bulldogs suffer from disk disease, often referred to as intervertebral disk disease. This spinal condition requires multiple surgeries, which can cost approximately $3,000 to $6,000 per surgery.
Exercise and heat intolerance. Due to their brachycephalic noses and respiratory systems, these little guys have difficulty tolerating heat and exercise.
In order to find the right dog for your lifestyle, you must be honest about what you are willing to do and what you are not willing to do. If you are a couch potato, a Frenchie would happily learn to snuggle you on command.
If you are someone who enjoys being outdoors and exercising year-round, a Frenchie might not be right for you.
Exercising a French bulldog in the heat can be very dangerous; since they often have difficulty breathing, regulating their body temperature in warm weather is not easy for them. Dr. Patty Khuly once examined a Frenchie patient who died from heatstroke in moderately hot weather.
Although their physical traits make these dogs the ultimate package of cute, no one is perfect; their physique presents some unique health issues.
Any potential Frenchie pet parent must be prepared to afford proper veterinary care if their Frenchie develops a serious health condition, and proper daily care to keep them healthy and happy.
How much should I expect to pay for a French Bulldog puppy?
Jennifer Santarpia breeds French Bulldogs in New York. Forbes interviewed her about her French Bulldog breeding business. The cost of her French bulldog puppies ranges from approximately $3,500 to $5,000.
These prices are on point with other French bulldog puppies for sale around the United States of America. If this price gives you sticker shock, consider the information in this article; due to the costs, these prices are understandable.
Does it matter which breeder you buy your Frenchie from?
Considering the investment you will make in purchasing a French Bulldog puppy, it is important that you purchase your puppy from a responsible breeder for two reasons:
1. You want a healthy, well-bred puppy so that they can be a part of your family for years to come.
2. You do not want to support an irresponsible breeder, who ultimately harms puppies by breeding them irresponsibly to make a profit for themselves.
How do I find a good French Bulldog breeder?
It is imperative that you only support a responsible breeder. Look for the following characteristics when considering a breeder:
- The breeder allows you to see the puppy’s parents.
- The breeder keeps the puppies and their parents in their home and treats them as part of their family.
- The breeder wants to get to know you and see where the puppy will live.
- The breeder makes sure that you are educated about the breed.
- The breeder will not sell the puppy to you before they are 8 weeks old.
An irresponsible breeder runs a puppy mill. To learn more about puppy mills, visit the National Mill Dog Rescue website.
Then read Marty’s story, a French Bulldog victim of the puppy mill industry rescued by the ASPCA.
How can you get a French bulldog for less money?
If you really want a French bulldog but the price of the average Frenchie puppy is too high, you can still own a fabulous French bulldog by adopting an adult.
While getting a Frenchie puppy for less than a few thousand is virtually unheard of, you may adopt an adult Frenchie from a rescue for an adoption fee averaging approximately $300 to $600, depending on the rescue group you adopt from.
If you are interested in adopting a French bulldog, here are some rescues to consider:
- French Bulldog Rescue Network
- SNAFU Rescue
- National Mill Dog Rescue
- SNORT Rescue Team
- French Bulldog Village
French bulldogs are expensive because their physique makes natural breeding and natural birth difficult, making the breeding process more expensive.
They are also one of the most popular breeds of the dog right now, upping the price further. Due to their high demand, desirable colors can drive the price higher.
Potential Frenchie parents can expect to spend approximately $3,500 to $5,000 on a French bulldog puppy, or approximately $300 to $600 adopting an adult French bulldog.