Congratulations, you’ve decided to adopt a furry little friend and you want to adopt from the best French Bulldog Breeders around, but first, you need to ask yourself some honest questions.
If this is your first time adopting your very own dog I understand that it can be a little bit daunting, you’ll probably have different thoughts racing through your mind like I did when I got Toby! My thoughts were endless, they ranged from:
- Will he be OK at home by himself?
- How much do I feed him?
- Should I put him in doggy daycare?
- How do I puppy proof my house?
- Am I really ready for a dog?
(Does this sound like you?)
…and out of all those questions, I would probably say the last question I the most important question you have to ask yourself and your family.
Background of French Bulldogs
If you think Frenchies originated from France, well guess again, Frenchies go all the way back to the ancient Greeks! A Grecian tribe known as the ‘Molossians’ would breed strong and large dogs for war and labor purposes, these dogs were part of the ‘Molossus’ breed. Like other breeds, the ‘Molossus’ breed had a variety of other breeds and sub-families including Rottweilers and Pitbulls and a breed known as the Bullenbeisser. The Bullenbeisser breed, now extinct, was a sturdy, strong and aggressive breed commonly used for blood sports typically known as ‘bull baiting’, this sport would see Bullenbeissers bite and latch their jaws onto the bull’s snout to immobilize the large animal.
Due to the uproar of this divided sport, Britain outlawed the blood sport of bull baiting in 1835 and retired bull baiting dogs fell back into easy non-sporting lives. After the sport was banned breeders began crossing Bullenbeisser to create modern bulldogs we know as English bulldogs, American Bulldogs and our beloved French Bulldogs.
French Bulldogs came about when breeders bred the Bullendeisser breed with terriers to conceive compact smaller versions of the Bulldogs and by 1850 there was a healthy number of smaller Bulldogs running around. Once crossed with other breeds the modern bulldogs showed little resemblance to the Bullenbeisser ancestors only sharing the broad, sturdy body structure and flattened muzzle. Instead of vicious sporting dogs, they were conditioned and groomed to be companion dogs. Not only was the bulldog crossed with terriers but they were also crossed with pugs to achieve a small, compact body.
Around the mid-1800’s, lace workers from Nottingham, forced out by the Industrial Revolution, migrated to France to source work in Normandy as work had dried up from their hometown. Upon migrating to France the lace workers brought along their families and animals including a wide range of dog breeds, namely, the miniature bulldog. These miniature bulldogs became increasingly famous with the French due to their small size. Due to the popularity, new importing lines were created for the miniature bulldogs between England and the Normans. Bulldogs that the English deemed unfit for breeding were shipped straight to France. Though the English people detested the characteristics of the French Bulldog, the French people adored their unique features, including being compact and small and having large bat-like ears that stood up. The French lace workers thought their large ears were so endearing that they named this special dog ‘Bouledogue Français’ and became a prestigious and fashionable symbol of the Parisian life.
In 1893, the Bouledogue Français found its way back into England, however, English breeders did not welcome the new breed as they thought the new breed did not align to their standards. Fanciers of English and Bouledogue Français breeds were concerned that their dogs would be cross-bred to the detriment of each other. As breeders were separated with this breed avid supporters of Bouledogue Français formed their own kennel club and held their first show in 1902 and a year after their first show the English Kennel Club permitted the Bouledogue Français into their roster due to the popularity of the breed and called the breed “French Bulldog”.
French Bulldogs started to arrive in America and were coupled with wealthy Americans in 1885. The social elite instantly fell in love with the new breed and highly influential Frenchie-owners such as the Rockefellers and J.P. Morgans propelled the breed’s recognition by the AKC (American Kennel Club) in 1898.
How To Find The Best French Bulldog Breeder
Once you’ve determined that you’re sure on adopting Fido the next important step to do is finding a reputable and responsible breeder.
Responsible breeders don't sell their puppies to the first person who shows up with cash in hand. When I first purchased Toby from Unique French Bulldogs I recall having to sit through two phone interviews and an interview in person.
Unique French Bulldogs also gave me a survey to fill out about my living arrangements and hours of work. Some might think that’s prying too much into personal affairs but to me that demonstrated that Unique French Bulldogs truly care about their puppies and want to ensure all their animals are going to good and forever homes.
Too often, unsuspecting people buy puppies from puppy mills and or conduct backyard breeding without the required knowledge and expertise in birthing puppies, however, inform customers they come with "with papers." This usually results in puppies having poor health or with temperament problems that may not be discovered right away.
A dog who has genetic health problems due to poor breeding or who develops poor behavior problems due to a lack of early socialization may cost a lot to treat and in some cases can take years to reverse the early damage, this, unfortunately, results in heartache, more for the owner but pain for the animal.
Avoid the pitfalls
I encourage you to download "How to Identify a Responsible Dog Breeder" checklist and take it with you as you visit different breeders. If anyone of those French Bulldog breeders do not meet the minimum requirements on the checklist, please reconsider a different breeder as RSPCA advises you to walk away.
It is important that you invest adequate time in researching breeders as dogs will live up to 10-18 years and therefore it is more comforting adopting a dog from a reputable breeder as you know the pups health and happiness is front of mind and will mean long-term happiness for not only them but for you as well.
Get a referral for a French Bulldog Breeder
Your local vet and trusted friends or even people on reputable Facebook forums can refer you to great breeders. Vets will also suggest that you contact breeders or breed clubs directly as they will happily provide you a lot of information about the breed you’re interested in but also have a real vested interest in the subject.
Remember, a responsible breeder never sells dogs through a pet store or in any other way that does not offer the opportunity to meet with and thoroughly interview you (just like I was!). Great breeders will take all the necessary effort to ensure that their puppies are a good match for your family and that you will provide a responsible ‘forever’ home.
Always visit where the French bulldogs were born and raised
Before adopting Toby I contacted a few ‘breeders’ and some were reluctant for me to visit their operations. I understand the breeder(s) may have reasons for this, however, I always personally visit a breeder's facility because it allows me to see where the puppies have been born and raised.
I also have lengthy discussions with the breeder to learn more about them as a person and to suss out their personality, I believe a loving, kind and nurturing breeder makes a big impact on the animal’s behavior. Breeders who are also transparent about the entire breeding and raising process and how they maintain the health of their adult dogs is also crucial as it demonstrates that the breeder understands that ALL animals should be treated well, not just the puppies.
Based on the above information I have provided I thought I would collate a list of reputable French Bulldog breeders that I have personally interviewed and conversed with over the years. I have seen them raise many litters and hand on heart I cannot recommend them enough!
Porkypaw's favorite and highly respected French Bulldog breeders:
- Unique French Bulldogs
- Halycon French Bulldogs
Health Concerns when breeding French Bulldogs
French Bulldogs are subject to several reproductive issues and the bitch should never be bred before her second heat cycle or the age of 2. French Bulldogs have difficulty whelping naturally due to their slim hips and the puppies’ large skull; therefore, knowing the due date of puppies is crucial. The gestation period is around 60-65 days from the date of ovulation, however, to know the exact date progesterone screening can be conducted. A veterinarian can determine if a bitch is pregnant through ultrasound between 25-28 days. Female French bulldogs can also suffer from erratic or 'silent' heats, which may be a side effect of thyroid disease or impaired thyroid function.
Breeding is often accomplished through artificial insemination and this is further explored and explained in this article. French bulldogs are susceptible to brucellosis which is an infection of the reproductive tract. This infection can be contracted during a heat cycle and so most French Bulldog breeders screen both before and during the heat cycle and prior to breeding to minimize the likelihood of their Frenchie contracting this.
Within the last 12 months, prior to breeding, it’s important that bitches have their Distemper and Parvo Virus vaccinations. If breeders anticipate that their Frenchies will be in season, they tend to schedule boosters well in advance to ensure their females are well protected against any infections or pregnancy abnormalities.
Before female French Bullldogs come into season breeders always check for intestinal worms and if they require de-worming breeders will proceed with it, however, by doing so will not keep the pups from being born with worms. Puppies still need to be checked and if deworming is required then this will be facilitated.
Another important health check most breeders conduct is a heartworm check, also within the last 12 months. Heartworm prevention is essential for any dog whether they’re in season or not as heartworm infestation and heartworm disease cause infertility.
French Bulldog best breeding practices
Due to French Bulldogs body structure they frequently require artificial insemination, the conception rate is about 70% which is common for all breeds of dogs, not just Frenchies. French Bulldogs may also require a cesarean section (commonly known as C-Section) to give birth, with over 80% of litters delivered this way.
The process of birthing the puppies is known as whelping and is rarely done naturally with French bulldogs. The large size of the heads and the small size of the birth canal make natural delivery challenging and also relatively risky and therefore a C-section is a common elective procedure performed to deliver French Bulldogs; the surgery is routine but requires several staff members in addition to the surgeon to resuscitate the pups as they are delivered.
A lot of French Bulldog breeders go down the path of artificial insemination of female dogs and when breeders discuss natural breeding they are usually referring to handheld breeding which involves placing the Frenchie on a breeding board and physically helping and maneuvering the stud dog to mate her.
It is important to consult your vet very early on in the planning stages if you are considering breeding your French Bulldog. Having your vet involved in the process from start to finish will give you peace of mind and reassurance that your French Bulldog’s pregnancy journey will start off well. Vets can give great advice on feeding, mating, using harnesses for French Bulldogs, gestation periods when to conduct necessary tests to keep a pulse check on your French Bulldog’s health and delivery approaches.
A vet who assess both the female French Bulldog but also the stud of the litter they could possibly provide an informed opinion if the bitch can deliver naturally, however, vets should also be present or on standby when the female goes into labor just in case.
Future of the French Bulldogs
With registrations for the breed rising from 14,607 to 21,470 in 2016 (UK) and heightened celebrity craze for French bulldogs is encouraging overbreeding without the right technical skills or breeder knowledge resulting in birth defects and deformities. Backyard breeding has also become prevalent in a lot of countries as many see breeding French Bulldogs as a quick money and illicit puppy farming is also on the rise.
Veterinarians around the world have also raised concerns about the illegal importation of French bulldog puppies and many have been found with foreign microchips and fake passports. Whilst demand for French Bulldogs has surged in recent years, so too has the number of designer dogs being abandoned.
Prospective French Bulldog owners should do thorough background checks on breeders before purchasing puppies. Too often, unsuspecting people buy puppies from puppy mills and or conduct backyard breeding without the required knowledge and expertise in birthing puppies, however, inform customers they come with "with papers." This usually results in puppies having poor health or with temperament problems that may not be discovered right away.
A dog who has genetic health problems due to poor breeding or who develops poor behavior problems due to a lack of early socialization may cost a lot to treat and in some cases can take years to reverse the early damage, this, unfortunately, results in heartache, more for the owner but pain for the animal. Investing time into researching French Bulldog breeder is essential as dogs will live up to 10-18 years and therefore it is more comforting adopting a dog from a reputable breeder as you know the pups health and happiness is front of mind and will mean long-term happiness for not only them but for you as well.
As the popularity continues to rise of the French Bulldog breeds, so do scammers and whilst it’s important to do your research on French Bulldog breeders it’s also important to stay alert of fake breeder profiles. Below is a list of common scammer approaches:
Email communication is a good way to spot a scammer, usually, reputable breeders will be very professional and knowledgeable upon replying to your messages or emails. Scammers tend to write very broken responses to email and tend to focus on the sale as opposed to answering any specific queries of their litters and breeding process.
Methods of Payment
- PAYPAL AND CREDIT CARD
Payments via Paypal or a Credit Card should be avoided. Reputable breeders should have their own business bank account for you to deposit funds in. Paying via Paypal or credit card provides little certainty that funds are being sent to an actual breeder and therefore suggest to request the breeder’s nominated bank account when placing deposits or sale funds.
- WESTERN UNION
Western Union accounts typically suggest that the account belongs to someone in a foreign country. Stick to local breeders as it will give you reassurance that you will receive your puppy that you paid for. If you’re a breeder importing a stud you can usually receive referrals of local breeders in your area.
- CLASSIFIED ADS
Watch out for ads on ‘Free Classified’ sites such as Gumtree, Trading Post, EBay just to name a few, this is a breeding ground for scammers. If Breeders do not have their own website, registered breeder number and/or testimonials from other owners then tread carefully
It is now very common that scammers are stealing reputable Breeder identities and creating Facebook profiles that look like the legitimate Breeder.
- Scammers will usually offer French Bulldogs at a reduced rate and usually post or send photos of puppies stolen from reputable breeder websites.
- Scammers will also advise that they live in regional areas and prospective owners to pay for the transport. Once payment has been made it’s common that reaching the ‘breeder’ can no longer be done, email bounce backs and unreachable mobile phone numbers usually happens.
- Payment for shipping of a puppy or adult dog that the seller can no longer keep. Scammers will offer a free dog to a good home however payment of transport is required. Scammers will ‘inform’ you of a time to collect the puppy at the airport, however, no puppy arrives.
Are you ready to bring home a French Bulldog into your household?
It’s important to take time to evaluate your lifestyle and that of your families to figure out exactly what sort of dog you're looking for (high energy, couch potato, playful). Don’t forget that the type of breed is no guarantee of temperament or likes and dislikes and so, in my opinion, it’s always best to get to know the dog in person.
Being armed with information to encourage a harmonious relationship between you and your new furry friend is essential for a respectful human and animal bond. Here are some tips and considerations that may help you mentally prepare you and your family for puppy’s first day in their new home.
What Is Your Family Situation And Current Routines?
Frenchie Emporium has written an article about ‘What to expect when bringing a French Bulldog Puppy home” if you’ve read this article you would understand why it’s important to consider your current family routine or even your own routine. Important questions to ask yourself include:
- Do you have a routine in place?
- If so how will puppy fit into your routine?
- Will you need to make big adjustments?
- Do you have a structure in your life?
The environment we bring a dog into is very important. If you’re deciding to adopt a French Bulldog with your family everyone should be on board with the decision otherwise it may foster resentment when you do bring a French Bulldog puppy home. Outlining clear lines of responsibility and having the family mutually agree to it will mitigate any shift of responsibility including feeding, walking and cleaning up after your puppy.
Be true to yourself and your family!
Are you ready for the added responsibility of owning a French bulldog?
Reflect on your current situation and your lifestyle, before I adopted Toby I was a little nervous because I had a strict routine of waking up early, getting my work out in, getting ready for work than leaving at 7:20 AM on the dot to catch 2 trams down to my office. Knowing that I wanted to give
Toby the best life possible I knew I had to sacrifice my time to ensure I tended to Toby, especially when he was a little baby. In all honesty, it felt like I adopted a real baby, puppies and babies are no different. Puppies need you around. Not only do you have to think about your current routine ask yourself whether you have time to train your dog, do you know what if feels like to be calm and assertive? What is the main reason that you want to adopt a dog?
I knew I wanted a French Bulldog since I was in my mid 20’s, however, at that point in time, it didn’t feel ‘right’ to adopt Toby. Why?
Because I was working long hours and going out a fair bit, I knew my lifestyle at that point in time was not an environment I could raise a dog in. That would be completely selfish of me. Furthermore, I didn’t think I was mentally ready to embrace the full responsibility of another living animal, don’t forget that it’s your own behavior will be a direct reflection of the dog’s behavior.
So if they are coming 2nd best in your life, they will feel that. Puppies and/or dogs also need structure in their life as much as humans do, so ask yourself,
- Am I organized?
- What does my full day look like?
Search for clues on how you live your life, if you currently feel a little unstructured and disorganized ask yourself:
- Do I have the ability to provide a dog with a structured life that has rules, boundaries, and limitations?
If the answer is no, then maybe reconsider adopting a dog.
Fitting a dog in your life, what does the schedule look like for YOU?
Honesty is the best policy!
If you feel that you cannot be 100% honest with yourself ask your friends or family these questions:
- What does your working schedule look like?
- What extracurricular activities are you currently involved in?
- How are you with time management?
You might be thinking, geez Stef, that’s a whole heap of questions, calm your farm! But trust me, if you are not you’re not great with time management, procrastinate or if you make excuses for being late, you might be one of those people who makes excuses for why they didn’t go on a dog walk that day or didn’t make time to go to the park. This might seem like something small, but when it comes to fulfilling your new dog and keeping him balanced, these details matter!
Do you live in a dog-friendly neighborhood?
- Are there parks nearby to walk your beloved furry friend?
- Are their walking trails or are there a lot of roads?
- Is it a safe place to walk around by yourself?
- What about your kids?
- How are the dogs that live near you?
- Where is the closest vet?
- Do you have relationships with your neighbors?
- Do your neighbors or surrounding neighbors have dogs?
Socialisation is critical for puppies as it opens up a whole new world of interaction and development for them plus it’s a great way to get to know people.
What type of natural energy do you have?
I would not recommend adopting a dog that has higher energy than you, why?
Simply because you may not fulfill their high energy needs! Consider their age and your own. Like a life partner, compatibility with a dog is also important. If you’re a mature aged person looking for a dog would you want to bring home a puppy where they require a lot of attention in the first few weeks or would it be better to adopt an older dog who is a bit more settled and confident around new environments?
Don’t forget, if you’re after a dog that has a more placid and relaxed behavior senior dogs are great and also in need of homes just as badly as the adorable baby puppies. Older dogs are loyal and loving companions for homes that mirror the same temperament, less active and happy to potter or rather, waddle, around the house. Though they might demand a bit more health care the love they return to you is priceless.
If you’re new to dogs and not quite sure, why not foster?
Adopting a French Bulldog is a big important decision and if you’re not 100% sure it’s always worthwhile to consider fostering a Frenchie. Fostering is a great option for not only you but for the animals at the shelter but you’re also giving the animal a real opportunity to transition out of shelter life into home life.
This allows you to experience how life would be like with a dog. Some people big risk takers and will go into the deep end and just adopt a puppy however if you’re unsure about whether you’re ready for a French Bulldog, that’s ok, just take baby steps in the beginning and foster a dog.
Enjoy the journey
Yes, I acknowledge I might have sounded very serious at the start of this article and that was my intention, however, during the process of gathering information and assessing whether you want to introduce a French Bulldog into your life and or family life now, it’s important to enjoy the journey of adopting a dog.
Toby has brought me so much happiness and has really grounded me as a human being, he truly has a massive impact on my life. Toby’s personality brings me calm, joy peace and love and I hope I make him feel the same way.
Spend time considering and even acting on the above suggestions as I believe it will bring you and your new companion a lifetime worth of happiness and contentment.