15 Things To Know Before Buying a French Bulldog


The French Bulldog is one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States. Over the last five years, this breed has gone from almost unknown to many to arguably the first choice for families when looking for a new dog.

There are many reasons for the French Bulldog’s popularity, which you will discover below but also there are some well-rooted concerns about their health along with other issues that you should really be aware of before you jump in.

By the time you reach the end of this article, you’ll have a very in-depth understanding of all the facts you need to understand before you buy a French Bulldog. We make sure you won’t be surprised by anything after you’ve committed. Everything listed here is essential information.

Things To Know Before Buying a French Bulldog: Frenchie pup

1) The French Bulldog is Expensive

We need to get this out there straight away. The French Bulldog cannot be for everyone, primarily because of their cost! It has been said that some people have paid over $10,000 for their Frenchie but this could just the internet doing what the internet does best πŸ™‚

I’ve done my own research and found that the average cost of a French Bulldog if bought via the American Kennel Club (AKC) is between $2,870 and $4,650 – depending on what the history of the dog is and the quality of the breeder.

Yes, you can get them cheaper if you adopt or go through other sources but with a breed like this, you need to be careful.

The French Bulldog can be prone to genetic problems, particularly because it has been crossed several times and if you can determine that their parents (and their parents) were healthy there’s a better chance your Frenchie will live a healthy life.

So, yes – buying through a reputable breeder is going to cost you a lot of money but it may save you in the long run. Yes, luck plays a part in this of course but let’s face it if no-one was buying the dogs at this price they wouldn’t be that expensive. There’s a good reason people are paying these numbers.

2) The French Bulldog Should be Good with Your Kids

Things To Know Before Buying a French Bulldog: Girls and French Bulldogs

There are some breeds (like the Chihuahua for example) that just aren’t a great dog breed for those with children. I know there are exceptions to this rule, like any but the French Bulldog is a particularly good-natured breed when it comes to children.

This (and the following reason) is one of the main reasons why the Frenchie has become so popular with families in the last few years. It’s like the word has finally spread and often they are the first dog now considered when a family is choosing that new member of the family. 

Like all dog’s though you can stack things in your favor by introducing the French Bulldog to children at an early age. The children should be supervised during play and they should be (talking about the kids here) taught how to interact with dogs.

It’s a two-way street and if the child is being heavy-handed with the animal then they may become nervous, feel threatened, and bite. So, as long as the child is gentle, plays well, and respects the animal then they can (and most likely will) form a fantastic, long relationship.

If you’re worried about aggression then you must read all the facts. I have these laid out for you in Are French Bulldogs Aggressive.

3) The French Bulldog Should be Good with Other Animals

Things To Know Before Buying a French Bulldog: Frenchie and other dogs

I’m talking particularly about cats and dogs here. No one really knows why some dogs get on better with other pets than other breeds and honestly, I don’t really mind.

All I know is the French Bulldog is typically easier to introduce to other pets than others, although there is a caveat. The issue is that these dogs are very much individuals and just because the breed, in general, gets on with other animals, doesn’t mean yours will πŸ™‚

There’s a certain knack in introducing two dogs together, you can’t just throw them together and expect them to get on with it. You need to first take them somewhere neutral (to both of them) and keep them on their leads.

Let them sniff each other and primarily observe. If they start to get anxious then keep them apart and end the session for the day. You’ll need to do this a few times before letting them both off the lead and finally allowing them both in the same house together.

As you can see from the above, the whole process will take some time but you do have a better chance of the Frenchie getting on with another dog than others.

Now, if you’re talking about cat’s, this is different and as the dog will be bigger and stronger (yes, even your little Frenchie) it should ideally be kept on a lead (or in a crate) whilst the cat gets used to the smells of the dog.

The more relaxed the cat, the better chance you’ll have. It won’t work for all, if you have a cat with a particularly nervous disposition it could drive her out of the house, so you need to keep an eye on things and really make sure this is the best decision, not only for you but for any existing animals you have.

Things To Know Before Buying a French Bulldog: French Bulldog with ball

4) The French Bulldog Does Not Need a Lot of Exercise

Another reason why they are so popular is that unlike most other breeds, they don’t require much exercise. In fact, on a scale of 1 to 10 where 10 is a dog needing several long walks a day, the French Bulldog is probably about 1. Which makes it a great dog for those who live in an apartment or are physically unable to get out that much.

This doesn’t mean the French Bulldog is lazy though, in fact – far from it. Yes, they love to be curled up with you on the sofa but they equally enjoy running around at the speed of sound.

There’s a reason why not exercising is a good thing though. We’ll touch on this later but due to the French Bulldog’s inherent health problems, exercising her is not the best thing you can do.

You must always keep one eye on her breathing and if she shows any signs of discomfort then you need to stop and let her cool down. 

5) They Love to Play

Things To Know Before Buying a French Bulldog

Maybe it should actually be ‘They Love to Spend Time With You’, as this is actually what this point is related to. The French Bulldog loves to play and spend time with you. Their whole life revolves around you remember and if you’re up for playing, they will be too.

They’re cheeky, mischievous (and a little naughty at times) and if they can get a reaction out of you, they will. That isn’t always the reaction you’d prefer to give (as they nibble on your toes) but to them, it’s a reaction all the same. 

If you’re looking for the perfect toy, I can almost guarantee your little Frenchie will love this Outward Hound. It’s not expensive and is available from Amazon. Buy it today and you won’t be disappointed – nor will your Frenchie!

6) The French Bulldog Can Have Health Problems

The French Bulldog has health problems. We all know this and we are still buying them at an ever-increasing rate so, put simply, the personality of this breed must outweigh these known issues. But, it’s best to be aware of these problems at the outset and know what you could be in for.

Also, these issues may make you consider insurance (which you should), but what issues are we talking about? 

  • Breathing Difficulties – All Frenchie’s will suffer from brachycephalic related problems. More on this later.
  • Cleft palate β€“ this happens when an opening to the nose forms in the roof of the mouth.
  • Hip dysplasia β€“ an abnormality of the hip joint.
  • Hemivertebrae β€“ a vertebral anomaly that relates to the spine and how it is abnormally shaped.
  • Megaesophagus β€“ an enlargement of the esophagus.
  • Retinal dysplasia β€“ an eye disease affecting the retina (obviously)
  • Atopic dermatitis β€“ a condition that can make your skin really itchy and red.

So, you can see from the above (and this isn’t the complete list) that your little Frenchie can be susceptible to some health challenges.

All dogs have their problems, right? Yes, the French Bulldog probably has more than their fair share and you should perform some further research as to whether the high-price of the puppy, combined with these risks is too much for you. Or, whether her personality and the joy you’ll get, despite these issues, is worth this risk.

If you’re worried about this loveable dog’s lifespan, here are some excellent tips to help a Frenchie live longer.

Things To Know Before Buying a French Bulldog: Frenchie with thermometer in mouth

7) The French Bulldog Should be Neutered

Assuming you’re not planning on breeding, which will be the vast majority of people reading this. You should get your French Bulldog neutered and your vet will typically recommend this happens between 4 and 9 months of age. 

But do you really need to get them neutered? My advice is yes, there are many positives involved in the neutering process and practically zero negatives.

For instance, it can dramatically reduce the risk of some types of cancer and infection. Next, and this is a big reason if your Frenchie is a bit ‘nippy’. Neutering will calm your French Bulldog down, they will be less territorial and less aggressive. 

8) They Are Unable to Mate Naturally

Not many people outside of the French Bulldog community know this but they are a breed that (typically) can not mate naturally. This is down to the size of their hips.

If you were wondering why the French Bulldog is so expensive, this is a major factor. It costs a lot of money to breed a Frenchie and involves a lot of risk for the breeder.

For instance, a stud has to be found (purchased) and then the female needs to be artificially inseminated with the stud’s sperm (another cost) and there’s no guarantee that she will become pregnant of course.

Then there are the X-rays and checks that have to be performed by the vet and finally, she will not be able to give birth naturally so a Cesarean section will be required.

This also costs a lot of money as it is not just the vet involved but also the several assistants that are required to potentially resuscitate the pups after delivery.

9) The French Bulldog is Unable To Regulate Its Temperature

Due to the short nose this breed has, they can have trouble with their breathing and are unable to regulate their temperature. This can cause them some very serious problems in hot weather.

Many airlines have (rightly) banned French Bulldogs from flights as unfortunately there have been fatalities caused by the high temperatures within the plane-hold prior to take-off.

This is a very real problem and it’s easy to become complacent. However, if you’re playing with them outside they will happily run around for ages if you’re keen to do so. During this time their temperature will increase and, unlike other dogs they are unable to reduce this. Eventually, this can become very dangerous.

At any sign of your French Bulldog having breathing difficulties, the activity should stop and she should go into somewhere cool, ideally, an air-conditioned environment or somewhere with a cool floor so the heat can dissipate away from her.

The best thing I suggest for your Frenchie to ensure it doesn’t get too hot indoors is to provide a cool zone. A cooling mat will help you do just that. Check out the price on Amazon and look at the reviews if you’re not convinced.

10) They Will Keep You Company

It is said that the French Bulldog is the ultimate companion dog. In fact, going back a couple of hundred years or so, the reason the French liked them so much after the English brought them over during the Industrial Revolution was partly because of this very reason. The Frenchie we have now is a different dog but this trait remains present.

They are an exceptional dog to keep us humans company. They will like nothing more than to curl up with you on the sofa. In fact, if there’s any way they can be close to you, they will take it.

They will follow you around the house from room to room, coming into the toilet with you and following you into the kitchen as you prepare dinner. They are a great breed for someone living on their own who needs some company or for a family with children. So, a very versatile dog.

11) The French Bulldog Should be Trained

This could be said for any dog breed but if you want to get the most out of her, she should be formally trained. I think this is even more relevant given the high cost of her in the first place! Don’t think this as a form of punishment for your dog though, the French Bulldog will get as much out of it as you.

Like all dogs, they need to know what position they have in the pack (family) and by going through this formal training process, it will enable you to issue commands and have more control over any disruptive behavior you come across. 

Things To Know Before Buying a French Bulldog: Frenchie jumping

12) You Should Get Insurance

This is my personal opinion of course and I know not everyone goes for it. But, for such an expensive dog I think it should almost be mandatory. It’s not cheap.

Depending on the age of your dog it can cost anything from $60 to around $150 a month. This is not a small amount but when you consider the chances of health problems in her life and the cost of fixing those health problems, you’ll certainly be glad you had it.

The very worst place to be is if your Frenchie has serious health problems and you can’t afford to pay the vet bills, leaving you with some very sad choices to make.

Insurance gives you that peace of mind and I know it’s a generalization but if someone is prepared to pay the high cost of buying the puppy initially then (arguably) they should also consider the insurance costs at the same time.Β 

13) They Have a Good Lifespan

Considering the health problems I’ve mentioned a few times in this article, you’re going to have her around for some time, with a bit of luck. The average lifespan of a French Bulldog varies, depending on who you ask and but typically is anything from 8 to 14 years.

The American Kennel Club suggests 11-13 and the UK Breeding Club says 12-14. So, quite a spread. If you take the average of all these numbers, you’re looking at about 11 to 12 years which is a reasonable amount of time for a dog. Although, in my eyes, it’s too short. If only these pets could be part of our families for 60 years or so!

Things To Know Before Buying a French Bulldog: Frenchie near water

14) The French Bulldog Can’t Swim

This is an important point, hence why I am including it here and it’s a point not everyone appreciates. The French Bulldog cannot swim.

The French Bulldog should be considered the same as a baby when related to water. You wouldn’t leave a baby close to any body of water and nor should you this breed.

One option is to use a doggy life jacket but even with them wearing this, you shouldn’t 100% trust it and leave them unsupervised. If you’re looking for a good life jacket, the HAOCOO Dog Life Jacket is perfect (follow the link to see the latest price) This is one of the best ones available for a Frenchie.

15) The French Bulldog Should Not be Left Alone

Things To Know Before Buying a French Bulldog

There are some dogs that don’t mind being left alone as much as others. The French Bulldog is not one of those dogs and should not be left alone for anything more than a few minutes.

It’s just not the right dog breed for this and if you know that you’re going to out of the house for long periods of time then please consider another breed! The French Bulldog’s life is you and all it wants to do is spend time with you (and your family).

It’s all it needs and all it wants. If you do leave it along for a while she will start suffering from separation anxiety and will become stressed. This can lead to health problems and destructive behavior so you may get back home to find your sofa, socks and remote control all chewed to bits. It will serve you right also πŸ™‚

Joking aside, make sure she has company at all times, and if that can’t be you then find someone else that she knows (and trusts) who can be there in your place whilst you’re not there.

Jane

I'm Jane Pettitt, co-owner of Pets Knowledge Base with my husband, Matt. I have a grand total of 50 years’ experience as a pet owner. It all started with a guinea pig called Percy when I was 5 years old and since then I’ve lived with two more guinea pigs, a hamster, mice, a rabbit, a tortoise, a dog and 11 cats. I’ve learned so much about pet care during this time and many of my articles are based on my personal experiences and those of my family and friends .

Recent Content