How to Buy a French Bulldog – Finding an Awesome French Bulldog Breeder

By: Danielle Harris

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How to Buy a French Bulldog

Take special care when purchasing a French bulldog puppy, finding a reputable french bulldog breeder is important!

how to buy a french bulldog

Things You Need to Know Before Purchasing a French Bulldog – Our Guide on How to Buy a French Bulldog.

health testing
health testing

Health Testing

Frenchies are known for health problems. Specifically breathing and spinal problems. But there are other genetic diseases to know about.

Dahlia Health and color test results
Knowing that frenchies are prone to health issues doesn’t mean they’re a bad breed to own.

They’re amazing. Just know it’s like owning a Range Rover vs a Toyota.

Toyota will always be cheaper and easier to maintain and fix. Range Rover oil changes are $700. $100,000 car with $100,000 maintenance.

BUT REMEMBER, ALL BREEDS HAVE THEIR PROBLEMS!

That being said all breeding dogs must be tested for these diseases.

If one of the parents has only one copy of the gene for any of these, that is ok, As long as the other parent is clear of the gene or genes that are carried.

The breeder needs to make smart and responsible decisions with his breeding. Puppies should never be affected.

Canine Multifocal Retinopathy 1 (CMR1)

Canine multifocal retinopathy 1 is an inherited eye disease characterized by areas of retinal detachment.

The disease does not typically lead to blindness or vision deficits.

Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)

Degenerative myelopathy (DM) is an inherited neurologic disorder of dogs characterized by gradual muscle wasting and loss of coordination typically beginning in the hind limbs.

Hyperuricosuria (HUU)

Hyperuricosuria is an inherited disorder characterized by elevated levels of uric acid in the urine that can lead to the formation of bladder/kidney stones.

Juvenile Hereditary Cataract (JHC)

Juvenile hereditary cataracts are an inherited form of cataracts that commonly cause blindness in dogs by clouding the lens of the eye and affecting both eyes symmetrically.

If the breeder doesn’t health test, that’s a red flag.

Some breeders may test their original stock and then purchase a cleared by parentage certificate, which is acceptable.

But if someone just doesn’t health test that is not ok. It’s lazy, irresponsible, and negligent. The problems you can create for both the puppy and the buyer isn’t worth not testing.

OFA testing!

OFA testing is awesome. A good breeder may participate in OFA testing but it’s not required.

The OFA’s Objectives are:
  • To collate and disseminate information concerning orthopedic and genetic diseases of animals.
  • To advise, encourage and establish control programs to lower the incidence of orthopedic and genetic diseases.
  • To encourage and finance research in orthopedic and genetic disease in animals.
  • To receive funds and make grants to carry out these objectives.
History of the OFA

The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) was founded as a private, not-for-profit foundation in 1966 by John M. Olin.

When hip dysplasia began to impact the performance of Olin’s dogs, he organized an initial meeting with representatives of the veterinary community, the Golden Retriever Club of America, and the German Shepherd Dog Club of America to discuss means of limiting the disease. This ultimately led to the formation and incorporation of the OFA. Its initial mission: To provide radiographic evaluation, data management, and genetic counseling for canine hip dysplasia.

While the OFA continues to focus on hip dysplasia, today’s mission, “To improve the health and well-being of companion animals through a reduction in the incidence of genetic disease,” reflects the organization’s expansion into other inherited diseases and other companion animals.

The OFA Databases and DNA Repository

The CHIC (Canine Health Information Center) database is a tool that collects health information on individual animals from multiple sources. This centralized pool of data is maintained to assist breeders in making more informed breeding choices, and for scientists in conducting research. The CHIC program is breed-specific. In order to be in this database, a dog must be CHIC Certified.

The CHIC DNA Repository collects and stores canine DNA samples along with corresponding genealogical and phenotypic information to facilitate future research and testing aimed at reducing the incidence of inherited disease in dogs.

Separate from the DNA Repository, the OFA offers DNA-based disease testing through an exclusive license arrangement with the University of Missouri.

If you dna test your dog through UC Davis you can also upload the results to your OFA account! Not to mention, for a cheaper price than most of their test result registration.

For a French Bulldog to be CHIC certified he must have had the required tests completed and passing:
  • Hip Dysplasia (One of the following)
  • OFA Evaluation 
  • PennHIP Evaluation
  • Eye Examination- Annual recertification recommended 
  • Eye Examination by a boarded ACVO Ophthalmologist 
  • Patellar Luxation 
  • OFA Evaluation 
  • Cardiac Evaluation (One of the following)
  • Congenital Cardiac Exam – Echocardiagrams recommended but not required 
  • Advanced Cardiac Exam – Echocardiograms recommended but not required  
  • Basic Cardiac Exam – Echocardiagrams recommended but not required 

Recommended but not required:

  • Autoimmune Thyroiditis (Optional but recommended)
  • OFA evaluation from an approved laboratory 
  • Elbow Dysplasia (Optional but recommended)
  • OFA evaluation 
  • Tracheal Hypoplasia (Optional but recommended)
  • OFA radiographic evaluation for Tracheal Hypoplasia. 

Scamming

Years ago when I had just graduated high school in 2010, the allure of a Frenchie was strong.

I started looking on craigslist, puppy finder websites, and oddly enough – Ebay classifieds. My experience was less than great.

On puppy find sites you can specify what area youre looking in. Id pull up a certain location, find something I like that was advertised in my area, and then call the number. Every single time it was an out of state, usually California number.

Often, the people ask you for either a deposit or payment in full and ask for your bank numbers, then harass you for days if you say no. Which is the sure sign of a scammer.

Platinum Blue Tan
Platinum Blue Tan

Research current pricing for different colors

Currently our base price starts at $4500.

CKC registration most definitely has an impact on pricing. AT LEAST $1000 less than AKC.

Our merles tend to go for $6500-7500. However we have sold dogs with the right dna for over $10,000.

If you don’t care about dna and just want a cute family pup, no breeding, that can go everywhere with you, that has an effect on your pricing as well.

Most breeders will charge $500-2000 more for breeding rights. Good breeders won’t give away breeding rights that easily.

If anyone says their pups are less than $3000 in the year 2023 for pet price of a standard color, no champion lines, no famous pedigree, no papers: something is wrong.

We’ve seen French bulldogs go for over $200,000 and up to 1million (fluffy, Koi, Husky, Pink, or a combo of fluffy and 1 of those 3). Know that anything less than $3000-$3500 is probably a scam. If they are Isabella, new shade, lilac, mojo, or anything exotic- $10,000 is the minimum.

Facebook, instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Tictok, and so many other outlets exist.

It’s a lot easier to find a pup these days but scams are also on the rise like you wouldn’t believe.

We have joined groups, created our own business accounts. We make sure to watermark everything when we can, even videos.

Not too long ago someone shared a Frenchie video and a few photos in a group.

I thought to myself- huh, that looks really familiar! That was my content from my first litter!!!!

I was kind of confused that that had popped up in a Facebook group after a year. But when I actually clicked on the photo it took me to someone else’s page, who had stolen my content. From the time Elsa had pups inside her to them walking and eating mush. I was astounded. Recently I found someone who had been using my unwatermarked content for years, even photos of our dogs with our trainer – Under the name Gabriela, using my personal Facebook page content, not just our business page. – Danielle

We tried to have Facebook take the account down but they didn’t do anything. We reported them many times and even messaged them. No response. That was when we learned to watermark all of my content. This is a very common occurrence.

Things to ask for or look for:

Whether you’re a breeder or looking for a pet many of the questions are the same. Finding the right breeder is just as important as finding a great puppy. The two come hand in hand.

Here is a list of things to ask for and our own answers:

Is the dog registered? AKC, CKC
  • Currently our females of age are CKC registered. We have Portia who is AKC but won’t be breeding until 2023. Osiris our stud is also AKC. We only use AKC studs on our females.
Can we visit, video chat, or FaceTime?
  • We do not allow visitation in our home for the safety of our puppies and our family. Diseases are common and can kill tiny puppies who have vulnerable immune systems. We can even bring in something just from going out to eat or taking a walk through our neighborhood. We offer facetime or video chat with Danielle. You can see how they’re raised, how they’re kept, mom, dad. We post on instagram frequently – which shows our normal daily life.
Never pay for a puppy in full, a percentage of the total, including travel fees is acceptable.
  • We require a $1000 deposit to reserve a puppy with contract signing. THAT PUPPY IS THEN YOURS. IF we ship the puppy, final payment is then due 1 week before delivery. This is normal. But if someone is asking you to pay for the puppy in full at 1 hour old, 1 week old, 3 weeks old, something is wrong.
Do you have health test results of the parents
  • All adults are health tested with the standard 4 panel, any dog over 1 year of age will have gotten Heart OFA cleared.
Is there a health guarantee and contract
  • YES! 1 year health guarantee
Does my puppy come with a vet wellness record
  • YES! pups are seen and evaluated between 6 and 7 weeks of age. All pet parents get the original analysis in their puppy pack.
Will my puppy come dewormed
  • YES! All pups are wormed at 2, 4, 6, and 8 weeks. Recommended to continue to deworm at 10 and 12 weeks of age. We run a fecal at the vet check appointment before your pup comes home. However, know that worms are normal in a pup. Stress can cause any worms to shed and reproduce. Don’t be alarmed if you have a weird poop, take a fecal sample to the vet in our handy pill bottles we include in your pack to check for anything!
Will my puppy come with it’s first vaccine
  • YES! We use Revival Animals Duramune max5. Pups are vaccinated around 6-7 weeks of age. Depending on how long they stay here they may have up to 2 vaccinations.
Will my pup come microchipped?
  • YES! We use the Fi nano chips. You will need to register them with your information. We have a chip scanner. Ask us when you pick up your pup to scan your pup so you see it works!
Do you own both of the parents, if not do you have photos of the parents
  • YES and no! For litters we own both parents – Im willing to do meet and greets at restaurants and dog friendly places. Depending on if its me alone or if I have assistance, I may or may not offer to bring both.
  • We have other studs lined up who we do NOT own. We have been thorough through our vetting process. Any stud we use must be health tested and have great temperament. The owner must have great communication so that we may be able to pass on as much information about said stud as possible to new owners.
Do you have references
  • ABSOLUTELY. Reach out directly for contact info. We have both breeding references (for stud) and puppy parent references.
Can I call your vet to confirm puppies and dogs are taken care of on a regular basis
  • YES!
How long have you been breeding?
  • At pepite we started with our mentor in 2018. Our first litter was born in 2020.
What made you interested in breeding and why French bulldogs?
  • I love the breed. I love their temperament. I like the science behind it. Dna, color, genetics, it all intrigues me. As a kid I raised tadpoles to frogs, bred mollies and guppy fish. I’ve always been a true animal lover My grandparents (whom I’ve never met) bred dachshunds. I always begged my parents to breed, they quickly refused every time!
How are the dogs and puppies raised?
  • Everyone is raised as part of the family. They are not kept in kennels, outside, tied up, and have access to to the house and yard throughout the day.
  • Litters have their own room to maintain safety and health.
If the adults are in a kennel is the kennel air conditioned and heated?
  • We don’t kennel. All dogs are in the house.
  • Kennels must be heated and cooled with a full security system to monitor animals at all times.
Do you whelp the puppies yourself, does someone else whelp them?
  • We whelp our own litters as well as help a select few breeders with their litters. We will never have more than 2 litters at any given time, outside or in house litters.
If someone else whelps the puppies will I be able to video chat with the whelper?
  • That is up to the whelper but I feel as though if the pups are there until 4 weeks, both breeder and puppy parents should be able to communicate with the whelper.
What food is the puppy eating?
  • You can purchase the food for when your pup comes home. Our puppies are fed Royal Canin small puppy with a splash of goats milk.
What have you/will you be doing as far as prepping for potty training?
  • We use turf, effective and preps your pup for the texture of grass. We have GREAT success with turf training. Parents report that house training is a breeze.
What are his/her favorite toys
Can you teach their name before they come home?
  • We do our best here, everyone answers to all names parents pick. hahaha Last litter we had 2 “Louie”
Will they know any commands?
  • I try to teach: come sit and down, but only if I have time. notice in the video, once her butt hits the floor even with slight pause she gets rewarded.
Be Respectful of your Breeder’s time.
  • Keep response time respectful. You don’t like your time wasted, neither do we. We understand you’re “shopping” for a breeder and that’s fine. But keep things flowing. Be open and honest. If you have decided now is not the time to purchase a pup, tell your breeder. Time is valuable, marketing is important.
Know what pricing is for the breed you’re looking for.
  • Vet bills, stud fees (even if it is an in house stud- I still had to purchase him, special pedigree and dna), time of whelping, food (Elsa only eats chicken breast, salmon fillet, and ground beef when she’s in heat and pregnant), electric and water bills go up, and supplies all play a role in pricing.
Don’t expect a price break.
  • If you’re purchasing 3 puppies, sure but if you’re not in the market to invest in a companion of the breed you’re looking at don’t ask for a discount.
  • If the breeder does work with you, be appreciative. Sometimes we work with people because it IS the perfect fit for the puppy. Flexibility is situational.
  • Please Don’t ask to trade for $300 and a tanning bed or a wheel barrow……it has happened 🤣

Your relationship with your breeder.

Your breeder should always be open, honest, and transparent.

Communication is key. However, DO NOT abuse your breeder either.

The breeder will be taking care of the French bulldog puppies around the clock for the first 2 weeks. Including through the night. Puppies need to be fed every two hours and that doesn’t include cleaning and maintaining the space plus other normal life responsibilities. Breeding is a full time job.

French bulldogs and English bulldogs are special in that they require extra care with their puppies.

It’s not like breeding doberman or labs where they just pop them out like little bottle rockets, bond, and whelp: easy and self sufficient.

Frenchies and bulldogs require c-sections.

This causes a lack of immediate bonding between mom and puppy, one that you have to create yourself, one that takes time- 24 hours- 72 hours.

There’s also a lot of bonding between breeder or whelper and mom (not exclusive to bullies, our doberman breeder coparents with her females as well).

First time moms really have to trust their breeder/whelper.

Elsa won’t even clean poop anymore because she knows I’ll take care of it. She doesn’t mind when I take pups to weigh them or take pictures, but with anyone else including my spouse (minimal anxiety when he handles them but still shows), it makes her uncomfortable.

David allows me to do the whelping myself, he likes website design and marketing so we both have our jobs. But he pops in from time to time.

Elsa even sleeps with us after 2 weeks. She alerts me when it’s time to feed her babies. She even specifically knows the “feed your babies” command for when it’s weaning time. She still has to feed during weaning but at that point she’s not alerting me to feed.

You can expect your breeder to send you photos or videos once a week.

They grow but they don’t change much for the first 2-3 weeks anyway.

Around 4,5, and 6 weeks that’s when the fun starts!

Ask as many questions as you like but do have respect for your breeder and their family. Be patient. If you ask for daily pictures this is ok, but know pictures will come as the breeder has time.

I try to be as present as I can for my parents.

At Le Pepite I’m available from 9am to 8pm everyday.

Any texts, calls, or emails before 9am or after 8pm may not be answered until later in the day or the next morning.

Response time varies. Sometimes if I see something at 2 am when I’m feeding I’ll reply then so it doesn’t escape my mind, so don’t be offended if your breeder messages you back at the weirdest times.

If your breeder is a small breeder like us, they may do photoshoots for the puppies.

Especially if it’s around holiday season!!!! 🥳

These can take HOURS depending on how mobile and spunky the pups are. I prefer to take pictures at 2 weeks, after mealtime. Often it takes about an hour to get everyone to stop squirming. Then again at 6-8 weeks when the ears are standing I’ll do singles.

I have learned that trying to do it on your own when they’re older is almost impossible. You need the distraction of another person for them to look at and focus on.

This past litter, I did “beach” or “pool time” pictures. I struggled with most of the pups but a couple neighbors walked by during the photo shoot and those were the most perfect shots.

Not all breeders enjoy photography, but I do. Christmas is my favorite time.

For more information on successful photoshoots click here!

Don’t forget to follow us on socials!

How to Buy a French Bulldog Puppy

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