Simply said, it is a matter of supply and demand. There are a lot of people, like you, who love French Bulldogs and want a good representative of the breed, and there just aren’t that many high quality Frenchies available, especially the rare blues and chocolates; the even more rare pure blacks, pure blues, pure chocolates, black & tans, blue & tans, and chocolate & tans; and the even most rare pure lilacs and lilac & tans, all of which we produce, in addition to the more common brindles, fawns, creams, and sables.
There are a lot of reasons for this, as we have come to understand. The French Bulldog is just not an easy dog to breed.
First of all, very few French Bulldogs can breed naturally, mainly due to their narrow hips which makes mounting difficult. Because of this, most Frenchie females must be artificially inseminated. This is a fairly costly and time consuming process when considering progesterone testing and the need to breed several times to ensure the highest probability of success (which in the best of circumstances is around 70%) .
Secondly, Frenchies tend to have relatively small litters. The average litter of live births is south of four puppies, and litters of one or two puppies are very common.
Thirdly, because of the relatively large head and shoulders of the Frenchie puppies in comparison to the size of the birth canal of the typical Frenchie mom, almost all Frenchies are delivered by C-section, which is a very costly procedure, especially at the ER Vet, which seems to happen quite frequently.
And fourthly, new-born Frenchie puppies take a great deal of hands-on care and attention. New-born Frenchies need to be fed every 3 hours around the clock and they should not be left alone with the mom, at least for the first several days. Frenchie moms are generally very attentive and good moms, but there is a high probability that a mom will inadvertently rollover on one of her babies and smother it. We couldn’t bear to see this happen, so we are up with them constantly and get very sleep deprived when we have new litters.
When these things are taken into consideration, along with the normal vet bills, medicines, food, toys, play areas, shelters, and the hands-on attention that must be devoted to these dogs, breeding Frenchies gets to be an expensive and time consuming proposition.
Even with these wonderful dogs selling in the thousands of dollars even for standard colors, the AKC says that a reputable breeder will do well to break even. There are puppy mills and other disreputable breeders out there that may offer to sell you a dog a little cheaper (unfortunately, even many pet shops buy their dogs from puppy mills where the dogs are repeatedly bred, poorly socialized if at all, and rarely see the outside of a cage), but as with everything in life, you get what you pay for. And, of course, scamming has reached epidemic proportions, especially involving this very special breed.
By the way, the reason that blues and chocolates (and even more so, the extraordinarily rare pure coats, tan points, and lilacs) are more expensive than standard color Frenchies is that there is a very high demand for these colors (because they are so beautiful) and they are relatively rare because they are created by recessive genes, which are naturally occurring but not common in Frenchies, which means that they must be inherited from both mom and dad. Based on our research and our own experiences, there are no inherent health problems associated with these rare colors, regardless of what some individuals might say who are prejudiced against them (we also wonder if they are prejudiced against blue eyed and blonde or red haired people).