Cost Of Owning A French Bulldog


The adorable French Bulldog is the dog breed that is currently growing the fastest in popularity in the United States – and they come at quite a price.

What is the cost of owning a French Bulldog? Approximately $184 each month, so assuming she lives for 11 years, that averages out to an eye-watering total cost of $24,288 over the course of her life. This figure includes an estimated purchase price and complete monthly upkeep expenses.

It’s the French Bulldog’s personality that makes her perfect for someone who wants a loving, caring, playful breed of dog which is well known for being particularly good with kids and other animals. She requires little exercise, which is down to her physical makeup and inherent breathing difficulties. It’s very rare for French Bulldogs to breed naturally; Artificial Insemination and a C-section are the most common method used to produce that adorable little French Bulldog puppy.

This is just one reason why the Frenchie comes with an expensive price tag. If you’d like to know how I arrived at the figures quoted above, please read on for a complete break-down.

How Much Will a French Bulldog Cost to Buy?

Of course, the cost of your French Bulldog will vary. There’s a number of factors that will impact the price you pay. However, I’m not going to even look at certain places where you can pick up a Frenchie ‘cheap’. I’ve had to make assumptions here so have assumed you want a French Bulldog from a good family, have had DNA tests and have been raised properly.

For me, there can only be one source and that’s the American Kennel Club (AKC). If you purchase a puppy via the AKC then you know they are an AKC registered litter. Yes, you will pay a bit more money than if you buy one off gumtree or some other websites but like so many things, you get what you pay for and if there’s one place you shouldn’t try and save a bit of money it’s when you buy a puppy.

If you opt for a ‘Champion Bloodline’ then this means that at least one dog in the puppy’s past, not only goes back three generations (and is recorded) and they earned an AKC Conformation championship and/or a Grand Championship title.

There are three main types of registered breeders with the AKC, they are (and can be found online at AKC’s website):

  • Breeders of Merit – These breeders have demonstrated a sizeable commitment to the AKC community and their breed(s) and are active participants in canine sports. To be eligible for this certificate, a breeder must be a member of an AKC club; been involved in canine sports for a minimum of 5 years, at least 4 dogs in litters they’ve bred have earned titles; and certify that they perform the health screens recommended by their breed’s Parent Club. So, as you can see – you can be pretty sure of quality if your purchase through one of these breeders. However, as you can imagine – you don’t get that many dogs that are available with this commendation and so because I didn’t have that much data I didn’t perform any analysis in this section.
  • Bred with H.E.A.R.T (Health, Education, Accountability, Responsibility, Tradition) breeder is committed to meeting specific health testing standards and participating in continuing education. They certify that they conduct the Health Test Requirements recommended by their breed’s Parent Club and must complete AKC-approved or AKC-provided on-line or in-person educational courses, seminars or conferences each year.
  • Club Member The national organization dedicated to the preservation, protection, and advancement of a breed. 

Bred With H.E.A.R.T. French Bulldog Puppy Cost

If we take the data from the AKC and put it into a nice chart, we can see the below:

Cost Of Owning A French Bulldog

You can see that the prices vary and it’s not just down to the age but putting all the prices together we can say that at the moment (late 2018 and into 2019) the price of an AKC French Bulldog puppy (Bred with H.E.A.R.T.) will be on average $4,650.

Club Member French Bulldog Puppy Cost

Again, taking the AKC data, we can see the cost of buying a French Bulldog puppy:

Cost Of Owning A French Bulldog

Again, not a lot of pattern to this but interestingly, the cheapest point to buy seems to be just after 9 weeks. However, putting all this data together gives us an average Club Member French Bulldog puppy price of about $2910.

AKC Pending-Membership French Bulldog Puppy Cost

This category is for those breeders who are registered with the AKC but do not, as yet, belong in a higher category – often because they have applied for membership but are yet to be approved.

Cost Of Owning A French Bulldog

This is a slightly more interesting chart as we can see there’s a bit more consistency in the prices when the puppy is young but the cost does drop off if they haven’t been sold after about 10 weeks. The average price of a puppy in this category is about $2870.

One final note about the price of this lovely breed. You can always get them cheaper. For instance, adopting may only set you back around $300-$500, so this is an alternative but a potentially more risky one as you may not have any history of her background and she may be more susceptible to genetic health problems. Or, you might get lucky!

Real-World Data

I asked 416 French Bulldog owners how much they paid for their puppy, here are the results:

Puppy Cost ($)% of Total
1300-195035
975-130023
1950-260022
2600-39006.5
650-9754
0-2503.5
3900-65003
250-6501.5
Over 65001

What’s interesting here is the fact that the majority of people (58% of the total figure) paid between $975 and $1950. What this data suggests is most people (perhaps predictably) don’t purchase their French Bulldog puppy from the AKC (or similar), but buy them from other sources.

What Makes the French Bulldog so Expensive?

Cost Of Owning A French Bulldog

The Frenchie is one of the most expensive breeds you can buy, but why? Well, there are several reasons for this actually.

Breeding French Bulldogs is Labor Intensive

It’s not easy being a breeder. There are no guarantees you’re going to make any money at the end of the day and there are so many variables involved it’s easy for something to not go according to plan. It’s also a full-time job for a breeder to do this and has a very steep learning curve.

Don’t think that they only have to spend half an hour every day keeping things ticking over, it’s really not like that. Breeders (at least reputable ones) look to try and improve both the personality and the health of the French Bulldog. This takes a fair amount of experience, skill and not a small amount of luck. If you’re unlucky during breeding then you could easily lose out on the thousands you would have made during the sale of the litter.

Firstly, they need to find the stud. Breeders don’t usually keep these, they borrow them (at a cost obviously). But how does the breeder find them? Well, initially it will be via a website most likely and obviously, there’s a fair amount of risk involved in this.

Eventually, though, the breeder will become part of a community and will develop relationships with other breeders. The trust built in these relationships will enable them to find quality sources of stud that will, with a bit of luck, turn into a higher percentage of good, healthy litters.

Of course, all the above is before the actual insemination takes place. Like driving a car, you don’t just jump in and drive off. Similarly (okay, a bad analogy I know) you don’t just ask your stud to hand over the sperm and then inject it into the female. The principal might be simple but in practice, you need to be very careful not to injure the female. Also, if you don’t do it right and the female doesn’t become pregnant then you may have to pay to use the stud again. More on the prices later, but it’s not cheap!

If you’d like to look a little bit deeper into how French Bulldogs are made then please check out my article (opens in a new window).

Delivery of the French Bulldog Puppies

It’s not over yet though, a French Bulldog will typically not deliver her litter naturally. The mother will need a Cesarean section to produce her litter and of course, this isn’t something that will be performed at home, by the breeder.

There’s not just the vet involved in this also, several other nurses are required to potentially resuscitate the puppies after they come out. There are unfortunately no guarantees that things will go smoothly also. The anesthetic that is administered to the mother can be dangerous for instance. Also, as the puppies are being delivered by C-section, the normal motherly instinct may not be present, which could mean she won’t provide the puppies with the care they need (and the food) for those important first few weeks. All these factors can cause potential problems with the litter and therefore the profit margin of the breeder.

During those first few weeks, the breeder won’t have their feet up watching the television though! They need to make sure the mother is paying attention to all the puppies which is harder than you think. There will most likely be several of course and how do you make sure they’re all getting an equal share of their mother’s attention? How does the breeder ensure this is happening? By watching, a lot.

Then there are the adverts to try and sell the puppies and of course, not forgetting the vaccinations they have to provide before they hand them over, another expense.

So, I think you can see from this somewhat longer than first anticipated section that French Bulldogs are rather expensive to produce!

What is the French Bulldog?

History

Cost Of Owning A French Bulldog

This history of the French Bulldog is both interesting and unique. Many historians who have looked into this, believe that during the 19th Century, English artisans had lost their jobs due to the many factories emerging as part of the Industrial Revolution. Some of these skilled workers found an income in France and a few brought with them their little Bulldogs.

These miniature dogs were liked by the French because of their ability at disposing of vermin and making very good companions.

The French fell for them almost immediately and craved for more. The breeders still in England would happily sell the French their dogs as they were, at that point, more popular in France than England. They were even more popular (apparently) if the ears stuck straight up and by the 1860s, there were few left in England.

The breeders in France at that time weren’t of the same high quality as those in England and didn’t keep such good records. So, little is known as to what happened next, although there were probably further crosses with pugs and terriers which may have introduced rounder eyes and taller ears.

Personality

Cost Of Owning A French Bulldog

The French Bulldog is the fourth most popular dog breed in the United States for a reason. Except there isn’t just one reason for this, there are many. The Frenchie’s ancestor was adored by the French 250 years ago as she made a great companion dog and that trait hasn’t been lost in several generations of further cross-breeding.

The French Bulldog wants nothing more than to spend time with you and ignore this at your peril! She’s a simple dog to please with so little aspirations, apart from to make you happy. This, she does very well as you will understand if you spend just a short amount of time with her.

In the evenings she will curl up and fall asleep on you as you watch the television with a glass of wine. This has the added bonus of meaning that whilst she is on you, it’s not allowed for you to get up so your other half will need to get you everything you need until she decides to move. Which may well be in several hours.

Have an apartment? This isn’t a problem if you have a French Bulldog as they require no formal exercise routine. Her physical construct and inherent breathing difficulties due to her short nose mean she is unable to regulate her breathing. Does this mean she’s lazy? Well, only when you are (as she’ll be curled up with you) but give her an opportunity to run around and run around she will. For ages. She’ll run faster than you and jump higher than you. The only challenge is knowing when to stop. Despite her breathing difficulties she’ll want to keep going forever if she’s getting a reaction from you. Keep an eye on her breathing though and if she shows any signs of difficulties she should stop and go inside to cool off.

Have Children? The French Bulldog is typically great with kids and will see them as just someone else to play with. They are, by nature, not an aggressive breed so make sure she has some good training when she’s young and she’ll be your children’s best friend for many, many years.

Like all breeds though, when a child is interacting with a dog (any dog) they should always be supervised and also taught how they should interact with them. Although the Frenchie isn’t aggressive, if they’re pushed and prodded over the line then there’s a good chance their natural instinct will kick in, if scared.

French Bulldog Insurance Costs

Cost Of Owning A French Bulldog

It’s an unfortunate fact that despite the French Bulldog being an outstanding breed, there are health challenges to consider. For instance, they have a well-known inability to be able to regulate their temperature. This can cause serious problems (some potentially fatal) if left in an environment that’s too hot as they just won’t be able to cool down. They are known to suffer from eye-related problems as well as some serious back and spine problems.

We’re not here to talk about the problems your Frenchie may or may not have in the future, however. What can you do about it? Well, apart from giving yourself the best chance of a healthy dog by purchasing the putty through a reputable source (i.e. via the AKC for instance) you can buy insurance. It’s not mandatory of course but bear in mind just a few nights in the vets can easily land you with a $2,000 bill or more, depending on what was required. You’re going to have to be pretty lucky to go the full lifetime of your Frenchie (around 10-12 years) without any problems.

How expensive those problems will be is another question. Do you risk it or not? There must surely be nothing worse than having to make a decision to not get that life-saving operation performed, as you simply can’t afford it – when the insurance would have covered it for you. Anyway, I’m not here to sell you insurance, I’m here to tell you how much it’s going to cost you!

There are again so many variables so I’m going to have to make some assumptions here:

  • Your French Bulldog is micro-chipped.
  • She has been vaccinated.
  • No pre-existing medical conditions.

The insurance quote you will get will depend on a number of things, as I mentioned above. However, making a few assumptions then you could expect to pay roughly the following for insurance for your French Bulldog:

  • 8 Weeks Old: ~$60 per month.
  • 4 Years Old: ~$80 per month.
  • 10 Years Old: ~$150 per month.

So, you can see how much the age of your little Frenchie will impact the cost of insurance. The above quotes also include a rather hefty $600 deductible (some call it an excess) which you will need to pay before any insurance costs are paid. So, not cheap but can save you thousands if you’re unlucky.

If, by the way, you’re looking for probably the best insurer for the French Bulldog, look no further than PetPlan. In my experience, they have been the best and the cheapest, do check them out by clicking on the link to get a quote in literally less than a minute.

French Bulldog Dietary Costs

Unlike so many other things related to this breed, the French Bulldog shouldn’t cost you a fortune to keep her belly full. It does vary of course but your French Bulldog will eat around a couple of cups of food a day, on average of course. If she’s running around all day then she’ll need more and if she parks herself on your head when you decide to have five minutes on the sofa to relax, it’ll cost a bit less 🙂

So, let’s look at an average French Bulldog doing an average amount of exercise in an average house with an average blah blah you get the picture! For decent dog food, you’re looking at about $5 per lb although if you really want to treat your Frenchie, take a look at this (click the link to read reviews on Amazon).

Depending on your little Frenchie’s appetite, you’ll be looking at around $40 per month. Of course, they’ll need to have an occasional treat but this won’t cost much, perhaps a maximum of $10 a month. Unless you want to really treat them, in that case, take a look at these (click the link to read reviews on Amazon).

Formal Training

Cost Of Owning A French Bulldog

Strongly advised for this little monster, sorry – I mean cheeky French Bulldog, a good, formal training at a young age will set both her and you (and your family) up for a long, healthy relationship. It will reduce any chance of her becoming aggressive to other breeds and children and is actually good for her well-being, knowing that someone is in charge (err, that would be you!). So, I strongly recommend going down this route and remember, it’s never too late! But how much is it going to cost you?

On average, owners seem to spend around $500 on training their French Bulldog. This can vary though and I know someone who says they’ve paid over $2000 (so far) for training. All I’m thinking is how naughty is that dog exactly?

Extras

Well, you’re going to spend more on your French Bulldog than just food and insurance costs, right? There’s going to be the toys. Every time you pass a pet stop you may formulate a reason why you need to buy another toy for your beloved Frenchie. A few dollars on a special throwing thing here, a few dollars more on a bitey-chewy thing there. It all adds up and I will estimate $200 a year on ‘stuff’ you don’t need.

The Results

So, let’s put everything together and see what we’ve got.

First, the cost of the Frenchie itself will be between $2,870 and $4,650 if you find your dog via an approved, recommended breeder via the American Kennel Club. However, you can find an adopted dog for just a few hundred dollars.

Insurance, over the life of the Frenchie and including claims and other related costs will come to about $100 a month.

Food can vary enormously and every dog is an individual with her own needs but you should look to budget for $50 a month.

Training your French Bulldog will, on average, cost you about $500 (one-off).

Putting all this together and assuming your French Bulldog lives for 11 years means she will cost you approximately $183.78 every month.

Finally, if you’d like to take a look at my French Bulldog Complete Guide, then feel free. It contains pretty much everything you’re ever likely to want to know about this unique breed.

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 .

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