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Ultimate Frenchie Buying Guide: Everything You Need To Know When Buying A French Bulldog!

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Reviewed by Alexandre Beaumont
French bulldog for sale

Do you want to buy a French Bulldog? It’s more complicated than giving money to someone and getting a best friend in return!

You need to know the tips and tricks necessary to get a healthy pup – while not promoting irresponsible breeding practices in the process.

I adopted a Frenchie in 2022 and bought another a year later. You can probably tell I love these dogs because of that! And that’s why I want future Frenchie owners to have as little trouble as possible when looking for the perfect pup.

The guide you’ll find below is rather exhaustive and could prove exhausting – that’s okay! Take your time reading it, the same way you should take your time doing research before buying a French Bulldog.

When you buy a Frenchie, you’re in for the long haul. No need to rush! You have, however, to start with the first step.

Let’s get started!

Buying Your First Frenchie: A Crash Course

Finding the perfect way to buy your first Frenchie is more art than science, but that doesn’t mean you can’t follow instructions to go through a picture-perfect experience.

In sum, buying a Frenchie boils down to this:

  • Finding the right breeder
  • Contacting the breeder
  • Going through the interview process
  • Meeting your future pup and their family
  • Making arrangements to receive the pup
  • Buying the pup
  • Taking the pup home

That seems straightforward – but each step has a few steps of its own. For example, during the interview process, the breeder will vet you the same way you’ll vet them.

So, which questions should you expect – and which ones should you ask?

Don’t worry! I’ll thoroughly explain everything, starting with why Frenchies are so hard on your wallet (but so good for your heart!)

Why Are French Bulldogs So Expensive?

French Bulldog meme Expensive

Three things make French Bulldogs expensive: following proper breeding practices, caring for puppies, and economics.

  1. Breeding French Bulldogs takes a lot of work! Most of them require artificial insemination, then a C-section – both cost money. Frenchies usually can’t reproduce naturally because of how their bodies are shaped.
  2. If you’re a Frenchie breeder, you’re not done investing time and money after a Frenchie gives birth: you still have to take care of your brand-new litter – and puppies demand a lot of affection and care from their parents and the people around them.
  3. Last but not least, supply and demand. That dreaded part of the economy! The popularity of Frenchies is on the rise (in fact, they’re the most popular dog breed in America right now), which means more people want a Frenchie in their life – and I can’t blame them! That’s why most French Bulldogs cost more than before. 

Fortunately, supply and demand is a balancing act, meaning more people are interested in becoming (hopefully, responsible) breeders, so as the puppy supply grows, the prices go down.

One last thing. The price of a French Bulldog puppy is far from uniform. Yes, the Frenchie economy is wild! Do you want to figure out the price of your future Frenchie? Learn the fundamental factors of buying a French Bulldog below.

Factors To Consider When Buying A Frenchie

  • Color. The color of a Frenchie plays a big part in the price you’ll pay. A Black Frenchie is often the most affordable one you’ll find, while a Fluffy Frenchie can cost more than a brand-new car. There’s a wide range of prices in between!
  • Genes. Genetics is a tricky business and a significant factor when it comes to price. Some Frenchies look the same – but have different price tags. For example, a White Frenchie is one of the most affordable, yet Creams cost more; however, you can’t tell them apart by sight alone. In general, I recommend requesting a genetic test before buying one, especially for exotic colors.
  • Gender. Female Frenchies cost more than males (because female dogs can make more French Bulldogs). Personality-wise, females are more active, while males are more chill – though both are certified couch potatoes!
  • Health. You shouldn’t buy an unhealthy puppy – because doing so promotes irresponsible breeding practices. You can adopt or rescue them, though! Look for a clean bill of health when buying a Frenchie, meaning take the time to meet the pup and request the health check documents to ensure they’re healthy.
  • Mom’s Age. The age of the pup’s mother doesn’t reflect in the pup’s price – but you still have to pay attention to that. A dog’s health issues don’t manifest until they’re three years old. Still, certain irresponsible breeders will get their French Bulldog pregnant before that age. If that happens, you can’t know if your Frenchie will have health issues (so you shouldn’t buy them).
  • Pedigree. All Frenchies descend from war dogs – but that’s part of Frenchies’ distant history. When buying a puppy, you should learn about their parents and grandparents to avoid buying inbred Frenchies. However, you shouldn’t trust pedigree papers alone: spending time and effort meeting the Frenchie (and their mother) and running some tests (if need be) is more beneficial to ensure the health and well-being of a puppy.

Why You Shouldn’t Buy A French Bulldog From A Pet Shop?

don't buy a french bulldog from a pet shop meme

A pet shop gives no guarantees when it comes to French Bulldogs (or any type of dog). 

They seldom have pedigree information, cannot tell you about the puppy’s parents, and can’t ensure your Frenchie has the genes you want (they may sell you a Cream Frenchie claiming it’s a Platinum, for example).

In fact, certain pet shops get their dogs from puppy mills, which is a place where irresponsible breeders don’t care for French Bulldogs but their bottom line.

Buying right boils down to ensuring you’re paying for more than a French Bulldog: you want to give money to responsible and reputable breeders, which you have no guarantee of doing if you’re doing business with a pet shop.

What’s the best way to buy a French Bulldog? Get in contact with a reputable breeder!

How To Choose A French Bulldog Breeder?

Doing research is the best way to find the right French Bulldog breeder. It takes a bit of time – but it’ll be time well spent when you meet your future best friend.

Getting a referral from a friend or someone you trust is the easiest way to streamline the process.

Otherwise, you can contact local French Bulldog clubs to see if they can help. Larger organizations (such as national Frenchie clubs) may point you in the right direction, depending on where you live.

Try making a list of three breeders you think you want to do business with. Then, get ready to contact them and ask them questions.

However, a good breeder will ask to interview you first.

What A Good Frenchie Breeder Will Ask

A responsible breeder puts puppies over profit and carefully chooses their clients. They will ask about you, your work, your home, and anyone living with you.

Will a good Frenchie breeder act borderline invasive? Maybe! Think about it like this: How else would they be sure you’ll be a good Frenchie owner?

A French Bulldog breeder may ask you the following questions:

  • Where do you live?
  • Who do you live with?
  • Do you have children or other pets?
  • Where will the Frenchie live?
  • How will your Frenchie live?
  • Will the Frenchie be alone for long periods of time?
  • Do you know a veterinarian you can trust?

They may also ask to meet you beforehand, request you meet the French Bulldog before taking them home, and similar things. Those are good signs!

At the same time, many breeders will also ask for a deposit to guarantee they’re doing business with interested buyers alone (thus avoiding window shoppers). 

Paying for a deposit is okay if you can prove you’re doing business with a reputable breeder. Talking to previous clients is the go-to way to achieve that.

During your chat (or interview) with the breeder of your choice, you should take the opportunity to ask questions yourself. More on that below.

What You Need To Ask Your Frenchie Breeder

buying a french bulldog guide

Can I Meet The Puppy?

This question should be the first you ask! It’s also non-negotiable. You want to meet your future Frenchie for several reasons.

You want to ensure you’re getting a puppy from an ethical business. I already talked about puppy mills and their horrible model, and you don’t want to give that kind of place a single cent.

You also should see if you and your future Frenchie get along. French Bulldogs have love for anyone they meet – but I can’t put into words how lovely it will be to meet yours for the first time. Things just click!

Do Any Issues Run In The Family?

This question will shed light on multiple things, starting with how much the breeder knows about their French Bulldogs.

A respectable breeder will have information on the Frenchie’s family history – and will tell you if anything is wrong: reputable breeders ensure a clean bill of health for every puppy they sell.

What happens if they can’t answer this question? You shouldn’t buy Frenchies from them! Any breeder worth their weight should have information about their dogs and the records to back it up.

Do You Provide Health Guarantees Or A Rehoming Option?

The best breeders focus on delivering healthy puppies you and they can be proud of.

However, certain health issues are impossible to screen with the technology we have, so breeders should have a refund policy for puppies with an unexpected congenital ailment.

At the same time, breeders should offer a rehoming option in case you and your Frenchie don’t get along. Most businesses will do so at no charge if you contact them during a previously established timeframe – but you have to discuss that beforehand.

Giving back a puppy for any number of reasons will be heartbreaking for both owners and dogs, so it’s always better to ask the question below (to reduce the chance of finding out about issues too late).

When Was The Last Vet Checkup?

This question will shed light on the health of your future puppy. No vet? No purchase! It’s as simple as that.

Calling the vet is the bare minimum: I recommend asking for screening tests. Any breeder who screens their puppies for health issues is doing a great job.

Screening tests help rule out undisplayed medical issues like hip or heart issues (and many more things). At the same time, genetic tests are fundamental when looking for a Frenchie with a rare coat.

Some breeders will offer a discount for puppies born with minor issues (e.g., umbilical hernia, undescended testicle, etc.; i.e., something that doesn’t affect the quality of life), but you can only learn about them after the tests are done.

Last but not least, vaccination is fundamental (and non-negotiable) – but over-vaccination is an issue. Too many vaccines early on can overload a puppy’s immune system: it’s too much of a good thing!

How Many Litters Did The Mother Have?

This question will show how much love the breeder has for their French Bulldogs.

Are they treating their dams (the name commonly used for female Frenchies giving birth) like they should – or are they using her as a breeding machine?

Alex wrote a great article about the number of puppies a Frenchie could have. The key here is to know a French Bulldog shouldn’t have more than one litter every 18 months. That time allows a Frenchie to heal from the C-section (and everything else that comes with pregnancy and giving birth). Also, a dam should have a maximum of 4 litters in her all lifetime.

Anything over those number screams unethical business practices!

Can You Provide Referrals From Past Customers? 

Other people’s experiences with the breeder will show you how yours will likely happen. I recommend asking for referrals – and you shouldn’t be shy to do so.

Most breeders have public referrals on their website and social media profiles (having no digital presence is a red flag, which I’ll talk about in the second half of this article), so you’ll have no issues finding them.

I advise going the extra mile and talking to previous clients. It’d be fair to say breeders won’t have the contact info of previous clients publicly available (because that would be weird!), so you’ll have to ask for it.

Do they have no clients to refer you to? That’s reason enough not to purchase a puppy from them since their displayed referrals and responses so far are untrustworthy (and potentially false).

What Do You Do Other Than Breeding Frenchies?

This question will show whether the breeder is in it for passion or profit – and you want a passionate person in charge!

Some Frenchie breeders love their local scene and attend dog shows or workshops in their area.

You can also take a moment to ask about their experience in the field: How long have they been breeding Frenchies?; Do they work with other breeds?; and similar questions.

Lack of experience is not preferable but far from a bad thing. However, someone who breeds several types of dogs is often after profit rather than passion.

What’s Included In The Price?

You should know what you get for the money you pay! Frenchies are far from affordable and, sometimes, could be far from your home. 

That opens many possibilities!

  • Do they register the puppy with the AKC? 
  • Is it partial or full registration?
  • What about relocation? 
  • Do you have to meet your puppy at their place? 
  • Will they bring the puppy to your home free of charge? 
  • Do they offer a puppy nanny service (if you live far away)?
  • What about any support after purchase? (The best in business offer lifetime support – and are happy to provide it)

You should also ask about written guarantees and possible refunds. The refund policy should be in writing, lest you want to risk unethical breeders backpedaling from their promises.

The bottom line is you should ensure you get the basics for your money (screening tests, DNA tests, vaccines, etc.) and discuss any extra things you may need or want – but always do so before you pay for your Frenchie or to get your name on a waitlist.

After the round of questions is over, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and do a few things.

What To Do Before Buying A French Bulldog

Asking questions is a must-do – but you need to do more than talk to ensure you’ll do business with a reputable breeder. You can do everything on this list in one day, so don’t worry about needing a lot of time.

Here’s what to do before buying a Frenchie:

  • Meet The Parents. In a best-case scenario, you get to meet both. Sometimes, meeting the stud (the dad) is impossible for several reasons. An acceptable scenario is meeting the dam (the mom) alone to check her health and well-being: always meet her before buying a Frenchie.
  • Meet The Puppy. You should meet your future best friend right away! Besides falling in love at first sight, you must also check their health, demeanor, and socialization. That last part is essential: puppies must be handled early to avoid any behavior issues later on.
  • Watch Their Living Environment. Are Frenchies living in kennels? Does their home look overcrowded? Do they have enough food, water, and toys? These things show if a breeder is doing things right or running things to make a quick buck. It’s not difficult to discover whether a puppy is living right – but take the time to make sure.
  • Ask For Papers. I have covered pedigree and the importance of clear medical records in the first half of this article – but it’s something worth repeating, especially when certain breeders purposely forget about papers; or, worse, ask you to pay extra for them. I’ll explain how to avoid common scams like that one at the bottom of this article.
  • Talk To Other Clients. Don’t be ashamed to ask for the contact info of previous clients. People running a reputable business will have no problem sharing an email address or two, and those clients will be more than happy to talk about their experience. I know I take every chance I get to talk about my Frenchies!

Does the breeder avoid any of those things? That’s a red flag! That means you need to look for other weird behavior to determine whether you should buy a Frenchie from them. More on that below.

French Bulldog Breeder Red Flags

common french bulldog breeder scams
Some examples of Scam Online

Unethical or irresponsible breeders often act the same way, so it’s not difficult to spot them – if you know what to look for. Lack of visibility, too much secrecy, or blatant bargains should alarm you.

Here’s what to look out for when looking for a Frenchie breeder:

  • No Social Media. No online presence means they’re hiding something. Or, best case scenario, they lack experience. It also means you’ll have a hard time contacting them should something go wrong – and the same goes for former clients you may want to talk to.
  • Can’t Meet The Dogs. Any reputable breeder will insist you meet your future Frenchie before putting money down. That way, they can ensure you two are a good match and that the puppy will go to a good home. Not allowing you to see the pup before purchase means they’re running a scam or something’s up.
  • Low Prices. Low prices mean something is wrong, like doing business with a puppy mill. Simply put, so-called bargains usually have to do with low ethical standards. I’ve spoken to breeders from different parts of America, and they all refuse to lower their prices past a certain point, no matter what.
  • Puppies Are Too Young. Reputable breeders may sell you a puppy before they’re of age – but they won’t give it to you until they’re past the eight-week mark. Some even wait until Frenchies are twelve weeks old. Studies show dogs separated from their litter before eight weeks of age tend to be more anxious and aggressive, among other things.
  • Puppies Are Immediately Available In A Large Range Of Colors. Reputable breeders plan their litters months ahead (and usually have a waitlist), meaning you should hesitate when someone guarantees any Frenchie you want right away. Odds are they’re running a scam or treating multiple dams as breeding machines.

Is that everything you should look out for when buying a Frenchie? Not at all! Those are the common red flags. You should use your instinct, too: if something feels wrong, it’s okay to wait it out to figure out what to do.

Rushing is never a good idea when buying a dog – unless you want to fall for scams!

How To Avoid Getting Scammed While Buying A French Bulldog?

The best way to avoid scams is to do plenty of research before buying a Frenchie. That means researching colors, genes, and similar things, as well as researching the breeder you want to do business with.

For example, how can you tell a Cream French Bulldog from a White French Bulldog? You need to do a gene test to avoid overpaying in certain cases.

At the same time, paying for papers is a big no-no. Ask for the documents upfront (as I’ve explained above) and refuse to take part in such a thing.

You should also do extensive research before paying to get on a waitlist or similar. Frenchie’s popularity is increasing, so waitlists are becoming more common – but that doesn’t mean you should lose money to be part of a non-existing waitlist!

New scams pop up every day, and it’s hard to keep track of them all. Follow everything you see on this list to meet your new best friend. That’s how I met mine!

My Experience Buying A French Bulldog

I bought Luzy, my Piebald, in early 2023. It was a seamless experience: I met the breeder through a referral, we talked several times before meeting the puppies, and when he brought Luzy home, he stayed with us until she was comfortable with me.

And I know he refused to sell a Frenchie to more than one person, so I know he takes his time choosing his clients.

He checks up on my Frenchie every now and then – and he likes dogs so much he sends pictures of Luzy’s mother and siblings whenever possible!

I’ve talked to a handful of breeders from different parts of America when doing research. They are passionate about Frenchies and strict about choosing potential clients.

That’s what I got when I bought Luzy – and that’s what you should look for when choosing your future Frenchie.

What You Should Know

You now know what to look for when buying a French Bulldog Puppy. Buying a French Bulldog is all about finding a reputable breeder to do business with. That kind of person will vet would-be owners before considering selling a pup. At the same time, would-be owners should interview the breeders to detect any possible red flags. After that, you can meet the puppy – and once you fall in love, you can buy the Frenchie and take it home!

Photo of author

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.