Adopting vs Buying a French Bulldog: What To Do?

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Reviewed by Alexandre Beaumont
Adopting vs Buying A French Bulldog
Adopting vs. Buying a French Bulldog? A tough choice!

It’s time to make your family bigger! You want a French Bulldog – but can’t figure out whether to visit a breeder or a shelter.

So, is it better to adopt or buy a Frenchie?

Both adopting and buying a Frenchie has its perks. Adoption is a more affordable and less time-consuming way of getting a dog. Buying one allows for more freedom of choice, though it takes more time and money to get things right.

You probably think I’ll give you a biased opinion depending on whether I adopted or bought a Frenchie.

But here’s the thing: I adopted a French Bulldog and bought one soon after. So I know both worlds – and can talk about them from experience!

Let’s briefly talk about buying French Bulldogs, then dive deep into the adoption side of things.

The Truth About Buying A Frenchie

In another article, I already covered most of what you should know before buying a Frenchie. It all boils down to finding a reputable breeder to help you.

Finding a breeder comes after weighing whether you have the time and money to make a commitment with your future best friend. 

A Frenchie demands a lot of things – and, in exchange, they give a lot of love (and a lot of farts).

french bulldog for sale

You can check that article to cover what buying a French Bulldog is like. You can also check the good, the bad, and the ugly of purchasing a Frenchie below. 

After that, I’ll talk about all you need to know about adoption.

The Good

The best part about buying a Frenchie is that you’re in control of the situation (as far as you can). You can get a picture-perfect dog with close to tailor-made genetics for you – if you have the money to pay for it.

Genetics is very important for your French Bulldog. It’ll play a big part in your dog’s behavior, health, and looks.

Purchasing a Frenchie means picking up a puppy, so you will get a lot of time to hang out with your friend. Watch out! That can be a bad thing, too. 

The Bad

Raising a puppy costs a lot of money and time, especially considering French Bulldogs are a needy breed!

Buying a Frenchie means training your puppy from scratch (e.g., potty training) and spending money on toys, vet trips, and a few more things

Frenchies can also surprise you! For example, puppies tend to sleep a lot, so they won’t have regular sleeping hours like you do. You may find them playing or running around in the middle of the night.

Luzy, my Piebald, loved to sneak around to take a bite out of the couch at night. No, I’m not kidding! 

The Ugly

Buying a French Bulldog comes with a possible ugly side. I’m not saying you will face it – but you have to be aware of it.

Reputable breeders care about their dogs; unethical breeders, not so much. Puppy mills, for example, use female French Bulldogs as disposable cash cows. 

Doing research to know the difference between good and bad breeders is critical (check our article on buying Frenchies to learn more!).

You could also fall for a scam if you don’t know what you’re doing. Prices vary depending on the type of French Bulldog you’re getting, though some con artists may sell you a White Frenchie for the price of a Cream.

Last but not least, you have the ethical argument: Why would you spend money on a French Bulldog if there are so many at the shelter?

You may agree with that – or not. If you do, here’s what you need to know about adopting a Frenchie.

Everything You Need To Know About French Bulldog Adoption

A sad Frenchie waiting for adoption!
A sad Frenchie waiting for adoption!

Reasons To Adopt A Frenchie

French Bulldogs are amazing companions who will love nothing more than spending time with you and making you laugh. They also sound like a train engine when they snore, so talk about a trade-off there.

Jokes aside, adopting a Frenchie means saving a dog’s life. You’re bringing a little furball home and giving them the life they deserve. 

And it’s a two-for-one offer:  you open up a spot for another dog to wait for their family at the shelter when you adopt a Frenchie. Unfortunately, shelters are overcrowded, so one small spot can make a huge difference!

It’s also cheaper to adopt than to shop: Frenchies are costly, and even if you forget you need to spend thousands of dollars to buy one, adopting means not requiring to vaccinate or neuter your dog – because the shelter will take care of that for you.

At the same time, adult dogs often give no surprises. Puppies may show health issues later on, but adult Frenchies (past three years of age) have already manifested any genetic issues they may carry.

Think about adopting older dogs, too. They may not stay with you for a long time, but it’ll be a great time. Giving an old Frenchie a great last chapter is a very rewarding effort. 

Things To Consider When Adopting A Frenchie

When It Comes To The Dog

  • Age. How old your dog is plays a big part in what to do. Puppies require more time and training, while adult Frenchies are already set in their ways (and know how to go outside to pee, behave around other animals, and so on). However, suppose you’re set on getting a puppy. In that case, you may take longer than otherwise to adopt a French Bulldog (because young pups tend to be adopted fast).
  • Behavior. Dogs up for adoption have a terrible reputation. Most dog issues have a root in the owner (e.g., a dog rips stuff up because the owner leaves it alone for long periods). That said, genetics plays a big part in temper and behavior, and dogs at a shelter often have an unknown background.
  • Genetics. You already know genes determine behavior and temper. It also defines other things, such as coat color and size. Young puppies may not manifest most health issues until they’re at least three years old, and you won’t know much about them unless you can figure out your new puppy’s background. 
  • Health. Frenchies have a lot of possible health concerns. You can deal with most of them! It’s important to know certain Frenchies are prone to certain ailments (White ones tend to suffer from deafness, for example) – so pay attention to that!

When It Comes To The Owner

  • Fees. Adoption is cheaper than buying – but seldom free. Rescue groups often ask for a process fee to look at your application. Shelters may not ask for money, but you should consider donating anyway. Think about all those puppies waiting for a home!
  • Money. French Bulldogs are expensive. You may save thousands of dollars by adopting one instead of looking for a breeder to do business with. That doesn’t mean you should adopt one if you have money problems! Frenchies need food, toys, vet visits, and more – and that costs money.
  • Space. Fortunately, Frenchies don’t need a lot of space. However, you have to set up your home to accommodate your new best friend. For example, where will your Frenchie sleep? Did you know they suffer from separation anxiety? That means you need to spend a lot of time with them!
  • Time. That’s right! Time is a significant factor when you own a French Bulldog. Do you spend a lot of time at the office? You may want to consider adopting another breed. Think about it like this: These dogs need two 15-minute walks daily – plus countless hours on the couch with you!

When It Comes To Both

  • Lifestyle. Adult dogs are already set on their ways, so you must look for one that matches your way of living. Are you an outdoorsy person? Look for a Frenchie who loves to take walks instead of staying inside. Do you like silence? Make sure your future French Bulldog isn’t that talkative. How do you feel about belly rubs? Because every dog will love one! 

The French Bulldog Adoption Process

When adopting a Frenchie, you usually have two choices: visit a shelter or contact a rescue group.

Shelters are a straightforward option. They have plenty of animals available and are happy to help you meet your future best friend. They’ll ask you for your contact information, review your case, and contact you in a couple of days to take your new dog home.

It’s a simple process – but that doesn’t mean you should rush into a commitment. Think it through before you adopt a dog! You’ll be in for the long haul then. 

Visit the pup you want several times, and give yourself time to figure out whether you can adopt a dog or not while you do.

Rescue groups are different. They take months before choosing a viable candidate. These groups are a community-driven effort to retrain and rehome dogs, hoping to help them find their new family.

A rescue group will ask for your information when you show interest in a dog. They will contact you over the phone for an interview and (if you pass) will show up for a home inspection. After that, they’ll decide whether you can adopt one of their dogs. 

Yes, it’s a long process – but it ensures new owners find the perfect match! Otherwise, dogs go back to a foster home.

Why Are Frenchies Available For Adoption?

15 Rescued Frenchies, Dogs Adopted

Unfortunately, there are countless reasons why a Frenchie ends up for adoption. 

Sometimes, irresponsible owners give up their dogs when they realize they don’t want one. Others don’t know how to handle a dog (remember, it’s a living, sentient being with wants, needs, and impulses!) and put them up for adoption because of that.

More often than not, people are unlucky and can no longer take care of their beloved pets. Money issues or having to relocate (e.g., a new landlord doesn’t accept pets) may force someone to make a drastic decision to benefit their furry friend.

It’s worth repeating that pets up for adoption have a bad reputation. It’s nothing but nonsense most of the time! Dogs often exhibit poor behavior because their owners don’t know how to treat a dog. That poor behavior may get a dog in a shelter – but that doesn’t mean a responsible owner won’t get a fantastic dog in return.

How To Find French Bulldog To Adopt

Frenchies available for adoption
Check out the Frenchies currently available for adoption in the French Bulldog Rescue Network

I know I’m one Google search away from finding French Bulldog rescues near me, though it may be challenging for you to find one next to you!

You can talk to the guys over at the French Bulldog Rescue Network or the Short Noses Only Rescue Team to get started. Remember, there’s a difference between a shelter and a rescue group; these two organizations belong to the second category.

However, talking to either group (I recommend contacting both!) will increase your chances of finding a Frenchie up for adoption, as shelters seldom have this type of dog available.

Should You Buy Or Adopt Your French Bulldog?

It’s up to you! Adoption comes with many benefits – but so does buying!

Adopting a Frenchie is the more affordable option. However, it leaves out plenty of perks you get from buying, such as choosing your dog’s age, color, and genetic background. 

At the same time, it also means you don’t have to worry about training your dog because Frenchies up for adoption are often trained and ready to meet their new family.

Buying a Frenchie allows you to take control of most things (though some stuff is always out of your control). You can take your time to buy a Blue, Brindle, or even Fluffy Frenchie if that’s what you want.

If you’re unsure whether you should adopt or buy a Frenchie, allow me to give you a third option (that will help you figure out whether you’re ready to get a French Bulldog).

What About Fostering A Frenchie?

Fostering is a great third choice between adopting or buying a French Bulldog. It allows you to spend time with a dog who needs a home while you get the chance to spend quality time with a lovely goofball.

Keep in mind fostering is not for everyone. You seldom have a chance to adopt the dog you’re fostering, and they may stay at your house for a short or long time. 

However, fostering a Frenchie means doing a favor to an animal in need. Rescue groups depend on foster homes to make the transition period between adoption and rehoming easier for everyone.

Doing so is not a hobby. It’s a full-time activity and more complicated than it sounds. It’s like adopting a dog you know will soon find another home – but you’ll have lots of fun until that happens!

Give Sponsoring And Volunteering A Chance, Too!

Does fostering a Frenchie sound too hard for you? I understand! Fortunately, there’s a fourth option. You can sponsor dogs or volunteer at shelters, too.

Sponsoring is simple. You donate money to shelters or rescue groups so they can cover expenses and keep the lights running. Those who receive donations will cover dog food, medicine, vet trips, and more with your money. Donations are often tax deductible!

Volunteering is rewarding, too. You get to spend time at a shelter and take care of dogs. These places have difficulty keeping up with every animal they get, so you could do your part and spend time grooming, petting, and playing with animals until the right family comes to adopt them.

These options are great for people who want to care for an animal but need more time, money, or space to do so.

My Adoption Story

Brindle French Bulldog Sleeping
My beautiful Manny!

Manny, my beautiful Brindle French Bulldog, was a gift from a friend! Well, it wasn’t really a gift but a new buddy coming into the family, but I digress.

The father of a friend of mine had a Frenchie who had had a litter of puppies. Their family, unfortunately, couldn’t take care of another dog. My friend wanted to keep Manny, but he had to travel to the other side of the world (and couldn’t travel with a young pup).

So they looked for the next best candidate – me!

That may not seem like your average adoption story. Still, it took a long time (and me answering many questions) until they decided I was a good fit for Manny.

A few months after Manny was born, I had the pleasure of spending a month caring for her mom and one of his siblings. It was a blast – but that’s a story for another day.

What You Should Know

Choosing between adopting or buying a French Bulldog comes with a few differences, but it always ends with a handsome fella living with you

Adopting is more affordable, though it leaves little room to choose what kind of Frenchie you want. Buying means you have more freedom to choose but must pay a lot to get that freedom. 

Either way, the biggest decision is whether to get a French Bulldog or not. You should spend time sponsoring a pup, fostering a Frenchie, or volunteering to spend time with dogs if you have yet to decide.

Photo of author


JM is a freelance writer who focuses on all things interesting. He works part-time as a toy judge whenever Manny and Luzy, his two Frenchies, fight over the same squeaky bone.

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