One of the more common questions I’ve seen on social media in recent years is that people want to know what to look for when buying a French Bulldog puppy. This question is usually accompanied by a list of questions one wants to ask a French Bulldog breeder.
Based on this feedback, I want to give you the ultimate list of questions and all the warning signs that should make you walk away. Warnings not only about the French Bulldog puppy but her mother and breeder as well.
Things to Know Before Buying a French Bulldog Puppy
The moment you see your adorable French Bulldog puppy for the first time will stay with you forever, and it certainly did with me when we first met our own dog. You will definitely find it hard not to fall completely head over heels for them.
Yes, you may see a puppy in the litter that you particularly like, but how do you know it’s the right one for you to take home?
Simply put yes, it’s easy to pay and take home a French Bulldog, but in hindsight, there are always things you should have investigated.
We didn’t do that when we got our first puppy years ago. I wish we had, but luckily our dog ended up being fine, but the situation could have been much different: French bulldogs are a breed notorious for health issues and unethical breeders.
With their cute squashed faces and adorable squat bodies, they’ll pull at your heartstrings. You’ll be tempted to take that French Bulldog puppy with you. But please, please, please …… Before you do so, you should check the following things before you pay.
What to know when buying a puppy
This is my list of questions to ask a French Bulldog breeder when buying a French Bulldog puppy. Read them before you spend your money. By doing this due diligence, you should hope to get a puppy that not only fits your family and lifestyle, but lives a long and happy life.
Research your breeder’s credentials: Do some Google research on the breeder before your visit. You want to choose someone who has a proven track record, online reviews and a good reputation in the French Bulldog world …… not a newbie that no one has heard of.
Be skeptical of low prices: If a French Bulldog puppy is advertised as being below average, be careful. The old adage about whether it looks too good to be true almost always applies to puppies. Low prices can be a sign of unhealthy litter.
Find out how many litters the mother already has: French Bulldog mothers should not have more than one litter per year. The best case scenario is one litter every two years. More pregnancies than that means she has overbred and both she and the puppies may have health problems.
Ask both parents if they have up-to-date health checks and medical histories: Knowing the health history of your French Bulldog puppy’s parents will give you an idea of what you may have. Watch for serious diseases and genetic problems, including dwarfism, hip and spine problems, soft palate problems, eye problems and hearing problems.
Ask the age of the French Bulldog’s parents: French Bulldogs born under 3 years of age may not yet have genetic health problems that can be inherited. I recommend getting a puppy from a French Bulldog older than this to ensure this.
Ask to see the parents of the puppy: While it is unusual to see the father of a French Bulldog, you should at least see the puppy with the mother. They should still be with her until they are 8 weeks old, and it will also help you understand what type of dog your puppy will be when she grows up. If the breeder refuses to touch the mother, walk away.
Ask where the puppy has been living: If the French bulldog has been in a dark garage away from human interaction, this will mean they will be harder to socialize and more difficult to train.
Ask how often the French bulldog is petted: It’s much easier to bring a puppy home when they are petted regularly by humans. They may not be as anxious and may be easier to separate from the litter.
Ask your veterinarian if he or she has checked the puppy: Puppies should be checked by a veterinarian and given their first set of vaccinations before going to their new home.
Check the puppy’s appearance yourself: You can perform a cursory health check yourself, including looking at the eyes and ears to make sure they look healthy. Avoid being deceived by identifying the type of bulldogs.
Request a canine hearing test: This is a good option, but not always possible. Due to congenital defects, puppies can be born with hearing loss, which you can only detect as they get older without a veterinary exam.
Ask to speak to previous buyers: Reputable breeders will ask you to speak to people who have purchased French bulldog puppies from them before. If they can’t provide references and contact information, they may be hiding something.
Choose male or female: While there is no scientific evidence, French Bulldog owners will say that males are more energetic, while females tend to be calmer. There are no guarantees, but you may notice subtle differences between the genders.
French Bulldog Breeder Personality
This is often overlooked, but I would add it as something to look for when buying a French Bulldog puppy. It is very important to have a good feeling about the breeder. If they are not nice to you and are rude, it probably means they are not nice to those puppies either!
Only buy a French Bulldog puppy from a breeder who is willing to take the time to answer any questions and concerns you may have. They should also be happy to provide you with as much detailed information as possible about the history of the parents.
A breeder who respects the buyer will likely extend that kindness to the French Bulldog’s mother and her puppies.
How to Buy a Healthy French Bulldog Puppy
Earlier I explained how you should ask the breeder to show you the history of the parents. This will give you an idea of what health issues may be present.
It is an unfortunate fact that short-headed dogs like French Bulldogs do suffer from some very unique health problems – not always, but at a higher risk. These can include
- Canine hip dysplasia (CHD)
- Crepitant mite disease
- Elongated upper jaw
- Hemivertebral body
- Dry keratoconjunctivitis (KCS)
- Legg-Perthes disease
- Patellar dislocation
- French bulldog encephalitis (PDE)
- Skin infections
- Narrow nostrils
As you can see, this is a very large list, and I actually missed some health issues.
Is a French Bulldog puppy right for you and your family?
If you decide to purchase a French Bulldog, make sure it fits your lifestyle, work commitments and family life.
While French Bulldogs do not require a lot of exercises, they are very clingy and do require a lot of attention. They are one of those breeds that suffer from separation anxiety and are usually better when kept in pairs.
If you are active yourself and enjoy walking, then a French Bulldog is really not for you. You will need a coat for your French Bulldog in the winter.
However, if you like to take short daily walks or live in an apartment and enjoy snuggling on the couch, then a French Bulldog is a good choice.
French Bulldogs are by far one of the most popular dog breeds in the country, and it’s easy to see why. They suit the lifestyles of homeowners who don’t have much space or are sedentary.
However, with this explosion in popularity comes a downside: unethical breeders looking to make a quick buck.
For first-time dog owners, it’s easy to quickly fall into the trap of buying the first French bulldog you see. I beg not to do that, but instead, ask the questions I’ve already listed for French bulldog breeders and know what to look for when buying a puppy.
If you do your due diligence, not only will you reduce the risk of buying an unhealthy French Bulldog, but you will also be working to get rid of bad breeders.