Are you looking for a reputable French Bulldog breeder?
Frenchies are all the rage at the moment – everyone from young couples to celebrity superpowers want to bring this fun-loving dog into their lives.
Unfortunately, an increase in interest for French Bulldog breeders means there has been a rise in online scams and unethical breeding practices – leaving both potential owners and many Frenchie puppies in a less than desirable situation.
Before buying a Frenchie, make sure you do your due diligence on the breeder. Here are some tips.
Start With Some Research
The first step in bringing home a happy and healthy French Bulldog pup is to research potential breeders from which to purchase your new dog.
Coupled with visiting potential breeders, researching the breeders near you is the most important step in finding a healthy Frenchie pup to add to your family. You can shortcut this process by using our extensive breeder directory.
Take the time to shortlist 4 or 5 breeders in your area, reading up about their breeding history, and then begin the process of reaching out.
Make Contact and Get to Know the Breeder
Interview the breeder in order to get an idea of their beliefs regarding breeding. There are breeders who only allow their breeding stock to have one or two litters per year so they can protect the health of the mother – these are the ones you want to identify. If you come across a breeder who is disregarding the health of their mother pups in order to increase their yield, it’s a huge red flag.
On the other hand, breeders who have multiple litters per year aren’t necessarily breeding mills. There are some breeders who have several mother dogs, and they plan for the litters each year based on the estrus cycle of each mother as well as their ability to tend to each litter as it is born and raised to the point that the pups are adoptable.
The key is to understand what type of breeder you are talking to by asking the right questions. Ask questions about their breeding policy and how many times a year a mother dog is allowed to have pups.
Be Prepared to Pass a Test as Well
An ethical French Bulldog breeder will be proactive in asking you questions too!
For example, most reputable breeders will;
- Make you wait until a new puppy is 8-10 weeks old prior to picking them up.
- Ask questions about your family and living situation, to ensure the pup will be well looked after and safe.
- Enquire about your history with French Bulldogs and how much you understand their potential health issues.
An ethical breeder is intent on protecting the breed, and he or she wants to ensure that the puppies sold go to good homes. Don’t be surprised if a breeder tells you that they won’t sell to anyone with children under a certain age, for example. Or to households that have lots of stairs or an open pool area. Again, this is a sign that the breeder does everything possible to make sure their pups are safe and well looked after.
Ask For Certifications and Medical History
Ethical breeders may have invested in genetic testing of their breeding stock, and they will be able to provide proof of this testing to you. They are also likely to have records of the parent dogs’ veterinarian visits, including shot records, proof of worming and other routine care procedures typical of breeding stock.
Good breeders will not allow a dog that has tested positive for genetic problems to be used for breeding. So don’t be shy to ask for this proof.
As well, your breeder of choice should handle the first 8-10 weeks of vaccinations and provide documentation of doing so. This has your pup ready for home life when you pick them up.
Schedule a Visit
You should be wary of a breeder you’ve only spoken with over the phone. Why? Because there are puppy mills out there that will exploit dogs and scam potential owners. Some dodgy breeders can pass the over-the-phone interview, but they’ll throw up red flags when you ask to come and visit their facilities.
One of the best things you can do is take the time to visit the breeding facilities. Of course, don’t assume that you will see a fancy facility. Some hobbyist breeders have a space in their home for one or two litters they raise each year. As long as the space is clean, and the dogs are being adequately looked after, this is perfectly acceptable.
Speaking of cleanliness, this is the first sign you might be dealing with a bad breeder. Not only should the space in which the puppies are occupying be clean, but the puppies and their parents should also be well kept and social with guests. Even if the dogs seem a little shy, they shouldn’t appear skittish. Unwillingness to interact with humans might be a sign that the dogs don’t live in a positive environment.
Another telltale sign that you might be encountering an unethical breeder is, upon visiting the facility, finding several different breeds of dog on the premises (all available for sale, of course). It’s not uncommon for a reputable breeder to have two litters available at the same time, but most breeders know that their mother dogs must have special attention during pregnancy, in addition to afterward when they are caring for a litter. If the breeder you visit has several litters at once and a variety of dog breeds, it could be something you want to avoid. You can use your own judgment.
Ethical Practices of a French Bulldog Breeder
Many reputable breeders will sit up with the mother when she is whelping and know that, if something happens, they will have to bottle feed the puppies. This potential need for specialized care means a good breeder will space out pregnancies and litters accordingly.
In other words, a reputable breeder does everything possible to make sure that if there are multiple breeding females, they do not all have litters within the same time period.
Don’t be drawn in by a cheap price. A reputable breeder will set a price based on veterinary care, quality of food provided, and the cost of any genetic testing or vaccinations they might have had to carry out in order to determine if a dog is healthy enough for breeding stock.
With French Bulldogs, the breeder knows that the vet will need to provide a great deal of care for the mother both prior to and during the birth of the puppies. A good breeder will gladly provide this care, but the cost is usually passed on to the consumer.
Your breeder should take the puppies for vet visits at two weeks and again at four weeks and provide you with evidence of vaccinations, worming, and other well-care documentation upon request.
It is very important, especially if the breeder is located within traveling distance, for you to visit the breeding facilities. The breeder should have no problems with introducing you to the mother dog and seeing where the puppies are kept. A definite red flag would be the breeder offering only to meet you somewhere neutral with the puppies.
Other Concerns to Look For
The right breeder will want to do everything possible to secure the best future for any pups they raise. A breeder who is interested only for profit will not care about the pups’ living situation or what their future health will be like. They are simply interested in making money.
Another warning sign to note is a breeder who is willing to let a puppy go before the youngster is eight to ten weeks old. Puppies, at one time, were allowed to be separated from their mothers at six weeks of age. We know now that it is best for the puppy to stay with its mother until he or she is at least eight weeks old. Not to mention the dangers of being introduced into a new environment prior to the appropriate vaccinations.
A puppy will have a better start to life if allowed to stay with their mother for this extended period. They will also have the opportunity to be completely weaned and accustomed to eating solid food.
A good breeder will interview you in much the same way you interview him or her. They should ask questions about children in the home, whether you have any experience as a pet parent, and about your typical daily schedule. You may even be asked to present a veterinarian reference.
Welcome any and all of these questions as this means the breeder is concerned about the welfare of the pups. Not only while they are under their care, but also as they grow into adults in their forever homes.
Good luck finding a French Bulldog breeder and your brand new family member!
Will is the proud co-owner of Frankie, a Female Brindle French Bulldog, with his wife Michelle. We share our Frenchie experiences with the world to help health-conscious French Bulldog owners who want a happy, healthy, and long-living dog.