The French Bulldog has become the most popular dog in America (as of 2023 per the American Kennel Club, i.e., the AKC). As a result, a lot of new breeders are getting in on the action, and it is not necessarily a good thing.
A lot of inexperienced breeders and puppy mills have sprung up, which will result in a lot of poor quality dogs being bred, resulting in a lot of poor quality puppies. And of course, the everpresent scammers are hard at work trying to separate unsuspecting Frenchie puppy lovers from their hard earned money.
The importance of a comprehensive approach to ensure a successful transaction
Because high-quality and reasonably affordable Frenchie puppies are not being bred in every part of the country, many people wanting a high-quality French Bulldog puppy will have to look outside of their areas.
Most high-quality Frenchie breeders have good websites, or at least strong social media presence. Look for breeders that show professionalism in their presence and communications, and that have consistently received high reviews from past clients.
Defining Your Bulldog Preferences
A. Identifying specific characteristics and traits you desire: If you are wanting a high-energy dog who can go on strenuous hikes and adventures with you, the French Bulldog is probably not for you. However, if you want the most lovable, calm, and loyal lap dog ever, that requires little maintenance and little exercise, the Frenchie might be the perfect dog for you.
B. Considering lifestyle compatibility with the chosen Bulldog breed: If you love the temperaments of bulldogs, and you want a bulldog that is big and athletic, the Olde English Bulldog and the American Bulldog are good choices. If you want a bigger bulldog, but want one that is much more laidback and mellow, the English Bulldog is a great choice. But, if you want a mellow bulldog in a smaller package, that is a wonderful lap dog, and that doesn’t drool, the Frenchie is the answer.
C. Setting realistic expectations for the purchase: There are the same number of perfect French Bulldogs in the world as there are perfect humans – zero. But a Frenchie from a reputable breeder should provide a decade or more of companionship, love, and laughter.
Finding Reputable Breeders
A. Online presence and referrals: Most reputable breeders these days place most of their puppies through repeat business, referrals, and through their websites and/or social media presence. You will find a lot of puppies advertised on various sites and media, but you need to be very careful as there are a lot of inexperienced and/or unethical breeders and puppy mills out there, as well as the ever-present scammers.
B. Narrowing down choices based on reviews and ratings: To have your best chance of obtaining a high-quality puppy that will provide a decade or more of love and laughter, you need to deal with an experienced and reputable breeder. Look for breeders that have been around a long time, and that have received consistently positive reviews and testimonials.
C. Ask for references if necessary: If you have any doubts about a breeder you have contacted, don’t hesitate to ask for references, although don’t overdo it, as breeders don’t like to bother past clients unnecessarily. Generally speaking, any breeder that has been around 5 years or longer is in it for the long haul.
Becoming Acquainted With Breeders And Puppies
A. Get to know the breeder and observe puppies: A reputable breeder will be happy to talk to you on the phone and even Facetime, if you desire. If you are not able to observe puppies in person, high-quality breeders, like BlueHaven, will provide videos of all of their puppies so that you can see something of their personalities, sizes, and movements, in addition to their color and structures, which is about all that can be determined through pictures.
B. Assessing the puppies’ behavior, environment, and interaction with the breeder: French Bulldogs are like people in that each of them has his/her own temperament, personality, and traits. While there is some definite commonality among Frenchies, in that they love people and other animals, are relatively quiet, and are generally pretty chill, there are definitely differences among them. Some are rather shy, while some are very outgoing. Some will follow you everywhere, and others will come for a hug and a visit, and then be about their business. What you should be able to tell about puppies from a high-quality breeder is that their puppies are healthy, conform well to Frenchie breed standards, and are well socialized for their age.
C. Building rapport and trust with the breeder: Through your communications with a breeder, in whichever form(s) they take, you should be able to develop a pretty good idea of their professionalism, knowledge, and love of the breed. If your senses tell you that something is not quite right, and you are not able to develop the rapport or trust that you desire, it is probably better to look elsewhere.
Getting Comfortable with a Breeder through References, Testimonials, & Referrals
A. Get references if necessary: Reputable breeders will keep detailed records of past clients, and they should be willing to provide references, upon request. Sometimes, this is not necessary to gain confidence in a breeder due to their sterling record, excellent reviews, years of experience in the market, etc.
B. Red flag: Breeders don’t like to unduly bother clients with reference requests, so they should be minimized, but if they are asked for references and are unwilling to provide any, a red flag should go up.
C. Value of clients’ experiences: Prior clients’ experiences, obtained through reviews, testimonials, referrals, &/or references, are probably the best sources for information on prospective breeders. Your chances of getting a high-quality puppy go up exponentially when the experiences of prior clients have been positive.
Transparency in Breeder Practices
A. Inquiring about breeding practices, ethics, and standards: There should be complete transparency regarding breeding practices when communicating with prospective breeders. Most breeders will provide much of this information on their websites and communication letters. They should freely answer any additional questions regarding breeding practices, ethics, and standards when asked.
B. Seeking information on the breeder’s commitment to Bulldog welfare: It should also be very clear from all of the various communications that the breeder is totally committed to improving the French Bulldogs breed. Breeders that deal with more than one breed may not have the commitment to Frenchies that is necessary to help improve the breed. If their main focus is on money, the commitment is also probably not there.
C. Ensuring transparency in addressing any past challenges or issues: There is not a Frenchie breeder in the world, regardless of how conscientious they are, that has not had a few issues come up with puppies that have been placed. One of the important measures of a reputable breeder is how they deal with these issues. Ethical and reputable breeders are more than fair in their dealings with clients who have an issue, and the least they will do is live up fully to the commitments contained in the guarantee.
Health Screenings and Vaccinations
A. Verifying that the breeder conducts thorough health screenings: Reputable breeders will have all of their breeding males and females fully examined by experienced and qualified vets, and will have them DNA tested for the most common Frenchie genetic defects. They will have each of their puppies examined by a qualified vet before placing them in their new homes. BlueHaven has each of its puppies vet checked sometime between 6 and 8 weeks, and will not formally place any of them until the vet checks are complete.
B. Requesting detailed health records and vaccination schedules: Reputable breeders will provide all of the health records for each of their puppies, including a copy of the vet check report. BlueHaven includes this information on the Sales Contract, along with the stickers from the vaccinations that are given.
C. Understanding the breeder’s approach to addressing health concerns: A reputable breeder will never place a sick puppy with a client, even if this means that the delivery or pick up date is delayed, or even canceled. A reputable breeder will nurse this puppy back to health before placing him/her. As necessary, they will refund the purchase price or replace this puppy with an equivalent puppy of the client’s choice.
A. The cost of French Bulldogs from reputable breeders: French Bulldogs command high prices, because high-quality puppies are in high demand, and Frenchies are very expensive to raise. BlueHaven details some of the extraordinary costs associated with rearing Frenchies on their website under FAQs. A few of these costs are for artificial insemination and c-sections, which are required for this breed.
B. Pricing for high-quality puppies and those with minor defects: Most reputable breeders have set prices for high-quality puppies in each of the gorgeous Frenchie colors. However, there are some puppies which have defects that are not major impediments to their pet quality, and they are discounted based on the type of defect. Ethical breeders may also enhance the guarantee for puppies that have certain defects, so that clients are protected and have peace of mind.
C. Payment options: Most reputable breeders require a non-refundable deposit to get on a waiting list or to reserve an available puppy. Few, if any, breeders will allow a puppy to leave their possession (or the possession of the puppy nanny) without payment in full. Most reputable breeders do use all, or most, of the common payment methods, e.g., Venmo, Zelle, PayPal, certified checks, and cash. Not too many breeders are set up for credit cards.
Assessing the Breeding Environment
A. Meeting with a breeder: An ethical, reputable breeder should welcome you to come to their location to meet them, along with some of their dogs and puppies. Do not expect a tour of their facilities and operations, mainly for safety and health concerns.
B. Observing cleanliness, space, and overall well-being of Bulldogs: A reputable breeder will have a clean and well organized environment for their dogs and puppies. Their dogs should be clean, well cared for, and have sufficient space to sleep and eat in a climate controlled environment, as well as have ample room to run and play outside in a controlled area.
C. Ensuring the breeding environment aligns with ethical standards: It should be obvious that all of the dogs belonging to the breeder are loved and well cared for. A breeder should know the names and personality traits of each of their dogs, along with their genetics and ancestry to aid them in establishing optimum breeding pairs.
A. Discussing the breeder’s commitment to ongoing support: Responsible breeders will make it very clear to their clients that they are always available to answer questions or provide help and advice as necessary. The transaction doesn’t end for a reputable breeder when the puppy is placed in his/her forever home.
B. Understanding available resources for guidance and advice: Reputable breeders, like BlueHaven, will have significant resources on their website for answering most questions that will come up with new owners, but they should also be available to help with any other issues that are not covered or are not clear or well understood.
C. Confirming communication channels for post-purchase queries: Reputable breeders, like BlueHaven, are more than happy to communicate with clients by phone, text, email, facetime, or most any other means convenient to both parties. Proper follow-up on the part of the breeder is a good indication of their professionalism.
Understanding Bulldog-Specific Care
A. Gathering information on grooming, exercise, and nutritional needs: French Bulldogs only require minimal exercise and minimal maintenance. Their single layer coat requires only periodic brushing to remove loose hairs. They only need periodic baths, depending on their activity level and how much time they spend outside, maybe only once every month or two.
Their ears do need to be flushed out and cleaned every couple of weeks, and an ointment can be put on their noses and pads periodically to keep them soft. Otherwise, about all they need is periodic nail trimming and cleaning the folds on their faces and around their bums with baby wipes once a week or so.
Frenchies should be fed high-quality dog food which has meat as the first ingredient, and it should be high in proteins and fats, along with the appropriate chelated minerals and other nutrients. Corn, wheat, and soy should be avoided, as these can be hard on a Frenchie’s digestive system.
B. Potential challenges unique to French Bulldogs and preventive measures: Because the French Bulldog is a brachycephalic (flat-faced) and chondrodystrophic (dwarf) breed, some care needs to be taken with their health.
They do not handle heat as well as longer nosed dogs, so they should not over exert themselves in the heat of the day. They should also be kept from jumping from high platforms or climbing excessive stairs. BlueHaven says that their Frenchies, as a general rule, are good athletes, but moderation is the word when it comes to French Bulldogs.
C. Preparing for the arrival of your Frenchie puppy: Before your Frenchie puppy arrives, there are several things that need to be prepared for. BlueHaven French Bulldogs discusses the things that you should have done and should have on hand before your puppy arrives under FAQs.
Secure and Transparent Payment Methods
A. Use of secure and transparent payment platforms: Most reputable breeders will provide for several methods of payment for both the deposit and the final payoff, including Zelle, Venmo, PayPal, and certified check. They should also provide written confirmation of all financial transactions.
B. COD option: Some reputable breeders provide a COD option for clients wishing to see their puppies before paying for them. Of course, you will have your puppy in hand when this transaction is made.
C. Sales contract and paper trail: A Sales Contract should be provided with all puppy purchases. BlueHaven’s Sales Contract also includes contact information, puppy information, medical information, financial information, and the guarantee. During the entire purchase process, a paper trail (i.e., emails, texts, etc.) should validate all financial transactions.
Finalizing the Decision
A. Reviewing all gathered information and considerations: There is a lot to consider when making the decision to purchase a French Bulldog puppy. It is definitely a commitment of money and time, but Frenchie owners will tell you that they get back much more than they invest.
B. Making a well-informed decision based on preferences and research: The most important consideration is choosing the right breeder. Your chances of having a healthy, well-adjusted puppy, who will bring you many years of joy, go up exponentially when you procure your puppy from a reputable breeder with a long and successful track record.
C. Preparing for a smooth transition and welcoming your new Frenchie puppy into your home: BlueHaven French Bulldogs is ready to help you in your quest to find the perfect little guy or gal to bring into your home. Please contact us for upcoming opportunities.