Buying A French Bulldog – What To Know


Ahhh …the French Bulldog. Hugely popular, they are renowned for their unique appearance characterized by their large, bat-like ears and rounded, compact body.

French Bulldogs are very intelligent and can be easy to train. However, they can also be stubborn, and they may require patience and consistency from their owners. They are also one of the most affectionate breeds, making them ideal family companions. 

French Bulldogs are relatively active dogs, and they need daily exercise. They do not tolerate heat well, so it is important to keep them cool in warm weather. Overall, French Bulldogs make great pets for people of all ages and lifestyles.

The French Bulldog – A Brief History 

The French Bulldog is a descendant of the English Bulldog and was originally developed in England. However, the modern French Bulldog has been developed in France. 

The French Bulldog is a small breed of dog and typically weighs no more than 28 pounds. A popular companion dog known for its affectionate, affable nature, this Bully also has a distinct appearance with huge, bat-like ears and a short muzzle. 

Today, the French Bulldog is a popular pet in many parts of the world and is also widely used as a therapy or emotional support dog.

What You Need To Know About French Bulldogs

French Bulldogs, aka Bullys, or Frenchies, are one of the most popular breeds in the US. They’re known for being cute and cuddly companion dogs and their affectionate, loving nature sees them often employed as therapy dogs. 

But what do you really know about them? 

Cost 

We need to get this out there as soon as possible. The French Bulldog is not for everyone, mostly due to its high price. Some customers have reportedly spent more than $10,000 for their Frenchie! 

The average cost of a French Bulldog purchased through a breeder registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC) is between $2,870 and $4,650 depending on the dog’s bloodline and the quality of the breeder.

Great With Children 

Some dog breeds, such as the Chihuahua, are just not appropriate for families with young children. When it comes to children, French Bulldogs can make great companions. They are typically patient and good-natured, which makes them ideal for families with young kids

However, it is important to note that every dog is different and some may be more prone to nipping or play biting than others. Additionally, French Bulldogs are a relatively small breed, which means they may be more prone to injury if not handled properly.

Modest Exercise Needs

ALSO READ: How Much Exercise Do French Bulldogs Need?

Although they are little bundles of energy, they are also brachycephalic dogs, which means they have short snouts and flat faces. This group of dogs, which includes Boxers and Pugs, have a harder time breathing especially when under extreme physical strain.

They often have bursts of energy, but their stamina is lacking. French Bullys will do well in sedentary households or apartments. However, they may not suit an endurance athlete that wants a canine running partner! 

Consider Spaying And Neutering 

Spaying and neutering is a never-ending debate, with most dog owners opting for responsible dog ownership and desexing their pets. 

Spaying or neutering your dog has a multitude of benefits. For one, spayed and neutered dogs are less likely to roam, which reduces their risk of being hit by a car or getting into fights with other animals.

Also, if your French Bulldog is a bit “nippy,” desexing will calm your French Bulldog down, making them less hostile and territorial.

In addition, spayed and neutered dogs are less likely to develop certain types of cancer, and the health risks associated with pregnancy and childbirth are eliminated. Finally, desexing can help to reduce the number of homeless animals, as there are simply too many puppies being born each year. 

Though the decision is ultimately up to you, spaying or neutering your dog is generally considered to be in the best interest of both the animal and society as a whole.

French Bulldogs LOVE To Play! 

Like many dogs, the French Bulldog enjoys playing and spending time with you. After all, their whole existence hinges on you, and if you’re up for it, they will be as well.

They’re cheeky, playful (and occasionally bad), and will do everything to elicit a reaction from you. 

Potential Health Issues For French Bulldogs

Like many other breeds, French Bulldogs are predisposed to certain health conditions which might be avoidable if properly managed. 

Respiratory Problems

Respiratory problems are a common health concern for French Bulldogs. The breed is predisposed to a number of respiratory conditions, including brachycephalic syndrome, tracheal collapse, and lung infections. Some of these conditions can be life-threatening, and all of them can cause a great deal of discomfort.

French Bulldogs often struggle to breathe due to the shape of their skull and the size of their nostrils. This can lead to a condition called Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome, a condition that can cause excessive snoring, reverse sneezing, and difficulty breathing. 

Tracheal collapse is another common condition in French Bulldogs, occurring when the cartilage in the trachea weakens, causing the airway to collapse. This can cause coughing, gagging, and difficulty breathing. 

Lung infections are also relatively common in French Bulldogs. These infections can cause a host of symptoms, including coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing. In severe cases, lung infections can lead to pneumonia or even death. Respiratory problems are a serious health concern for French Bulldogs, and owners should be aware of the signs and symptoms of these conditions.

Eye Problems

As any Bully owner knows, our beloved breed is prone to a variety of eye problems. Common issues include cherry eye, entropion, and distichiasis. 

Cherry eye is a condition in which the tear gland becomes displaced, causing the eyeball to become red and irritated. Entropion is a condition in which the eyelid turns inward, causing the eyelashes to rub against the eyeball.

Distichiasis is a condition in which extra eyelashes grow along the eyelid, causing pain and inflammation. 

While these conditions can be painful and inconvenient, they can usually be treated with surgery or medication. However, it’s important to catch them early, as they can lead to more serious problems if left untreated.

Skin Problems 

French bulldogs are prone to a variety of skin problems, from allergies to infections. Allergies are the most common skin problem in Frenchies, and they can be caused by anything from environmental triggers to food sensitivities.

Frenchies can also suffer from bacterial and fungal infections, which can cause irritation, itchiness, and hair loss. In extreme cases, these infections can lead to sepsis, a potentially fatal condition.

To help prevent skin problems in Frenchies, it is important to keep their skin clean and dry and to avoid using harsh soaps or shampoos.

If your Frenchie does develop a skin problem, it is important to seek veterinary care as soon as possible. 

They Are Unable To Mate Naturally

This is a strange one, and also one of the reasons why French Bulldogs are typically more expensive than other popular breeds. 

Due to their unique anatomy, French Bulldogs often require artificial insemination in order to breed successfully. This is because the male’s sperm must be deposited directly into the female’s uterus in order for fertilization to occur. 

Additionally, due to the size of their head and chest, French Bulldogs often have difficulty giving birth naturally and may require a Caesarean section. As a result of these unique challenges, French Bulldogs are not able to mate naturally like other dog breeds.

How To Find The Best Breeder?

So you’re thinking of getting a French Bulldog? Good for you! However, there are over 10,000 puppy mills in the US, and you really don’t want a dog from one. 

Fret not! We are here to help you navigate the minefield of unethical backyard breeders and puppy mills. A badly-bred French Bulldog will often be unsocialized, with puppies lacking key social skills. This can lead to behavioral problems and heartache in the future.

Finding a breeder can be overwhelming. First, never buy from free sites such as Craigslist or eBay. These are usually puppy mills that sell their puppies cheap with no screening process. 

They won’t have papers, health guarantees, and vet checks, and their puppies are typically predisposed to genetic conditions such as the eye and respiratory problems listed above. 

Check with kennel clubs and breed-specific groups for recommendations on responsible, ethical breeders that love their dogs as part of their families. Veterinarians and other French Bulldog owners are also excellent ideas on where to start your hunt for the perfect breeder and pup. 

How To Make Sure You Are Getting A Healthy Frenchie

Once you have consolidated a shortlist of breeders based on the recommendations of experienced dog owners and doggy professionals, you can then start a conversation with each one to further narrow down your search.

You might also want to arrange a visit to tour their home or breeding facilities. Ethical breeders are proud of their litters and parent pairs and will be happy to show you around. 

Also, check on the certifications and documentation of the breeding pair. Some certificates to look out for include:

  • AKC registration papers
  • OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) certs to clear parents of genetic joint problems
  • Health certs and vaccination records of parents and puppies 
  • DNA test results for parents and potentially puppies as well 

Finally, look at what health guarantees the breeder gives. Top breeders often give health guarantees against genetic faults for several years, and some even for the lifespan of the dog. 

Questions To Ask A Breeder

These days, the breeding world is filled with a plethora of unethical, backyard outfits cleverly disguised as responsible breeders. 

To start with, here are some questions that should be “deal-breakers” should the wrong answer be given. If you are given unsatisfactory, vague, or deceitful answers, don’t touch the breeder with a ten-foot pole!

Puppy mills are not an ethical nightmare, but you will also end up with a dog that potentially has a whole host of behavioral and health problems later down the road. 

Screening Questions For The Breeder

  1. Can you provide DNA test results for the parents and grandparents? 
  2. Any “at-risk” or “carrier” conditions I should be worried about?
  3. Can you provide OFA certs for the parents? 
  4. Can you provide AKC registration papers?
  5. What happens if my puppy has a health condition?
  6. How often do you have litters? Good breeders tend to breed very few litters and won’t overbreed their adult dogs
  7. When can I take my puppy home? Without exception, it must be more than eight weeks of age
  8. What happens if I cannot take care of my puppy any longer? Many ethical breeders have a “return to breeder” clause, which states that in the event you have to give up your dog, it goes back to the breeder. 
  9. Can I visit the puppies? Ask this even if you don’t intend to visit. Good breeders are proud of their home or facilities and will happily show you around within reason of course. Unethical breeders often keep their puppies in cramped, squalid conditions and typically do not allow home visits.
  10. What is your application process for a puppy? Many breeders don’t care where their puppies end up – all they want is your dollar.
  11. Can you provide references from a veterinarian and previous owners that purchased puppies from you?
  12. What activities do you participate in with your dogs? Puppy millers only have dogs for breeding purposes, while some small, family breeders often participate in other activities with their dogs like conformation shows, basic obedience, and kennel clubs.

Final Thoughts On Buying A French Bulldog

Before you dash out the door to your nearest breeder, it might also be worth checking up on shelters. French Bulldogs are a popular breed, and with popularity also comes the high possibility of them being given up for adoption.

You never know, you might find your perfect Bully buddy in a rescue group or shelter at a fraction of the cost.

If you’ve decided to purchase a French Bulldog, we hope that this article helps you make an informed decision on what to look for. Good luck, and all the best in your search! 

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