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How Much Does a French Bulldog Cost?

Picture of a black & white French Bulldog

With his adorable bat ears and comical ways, the French Bulldog is a breed that was born to charm. Many families are enchanted by this adorable bundle of canine joy, falling in love with this dog type’s penchant for assuming the role of family entertainer. Yet a wide disparity exists in pricing for French Bulldogs with puppies ranging from as low as $800 to as high as $5,000 or more. But since the French Bulldog can be predisposed to a number of serious health conditions, it is not just the purchase price of the dog which can be costly. For families thinking of adding a “Frenchie” to their home, it is important to ask this question: how much does a French Bulldog cost?

What Can I Expect to Pay for a French Bulldog Puppy?

French Bulldogs do typically come with a high price tag and for very good reason. There are many different things that factor into how much you will pay to add a Frenchie to your family.

Since the cost to acquire a French Bulldog can range from $800 to over $5,000, many potential puppy owners wonder why there is such a vast difference in pricing. Today, breeding is largely an unregulated industry with each individual breeder having the liberty to set their own prices. However, supply and demand often increases the price, and unfortunately, the French Bulldog is now a popular breed, meaning prices can reach to the astronomical.

However, something else to bear in mind are the expenses that go into producing a litter of healthy, well-socialized Frenchie puppies with exceptional pedigrees and conformation. These fees must be off set by the price of the litter. With these things in mind, it is not unreasonable to expect to pay between $1,500 and $3,000 to obtain a Frenchie pup from a responsible breeder.

As with all dog breeds, it is wise to avoid extremes in pricing. Bargain puppies are typically produced in large quantities at puppy mills at the expense of the health of the mother and her offspring. This is no bargain in the end.

Take care to avoid breeders that sell puppies based on their color or that promote rare and unusual shades. According to the American Kennel Club standard for the breed, the accepted colors for the French Bulldog are brindle, fawn, and white. The French Bulldog can be solid in color or have markings in any of these hues. Any other color is a fad color and is undesirable, no matter what price tag is attached to it.

Some of the factors which weigh into the cost of a French Bulldog puppy include:

  • Geographical location
  • Pedigree
  • Whether the dog is sold as a show quality dog or with breeding rights or as a companion animal

Since dogs intended for use in the show ring, in dog performance sports, or for breeding have higher expectations placed upon them and their breeder and must meet superior standards, their price tag can be quite elevated with prices ranging from $5,500 to $10,000. 

What is the Average Cost for a Breeder to Have a Litter of French Bulldogs?

There are many different cost components that go into the breeding, whelping, and raising of a litter of French Bulldogs. Since the French Bulldog is predisposed to a large number of fairly serious health conditions, the very first expense that must be considered prior to any mating between two dogs is their genetic health testing. Genetic health testing, whether in the form of DNA swabs, x-rays, or veterinary examinations, are a critical part of determining the health of an animal and its suitability in a breeding program.

Here is a list of the most common health problems in the French Bulldog which each potential breeding dog should be screened for:

Hip Dysplasia
Hip dysplasia is a genetic condition that occurs when the hip socket is improperly formed, preventing the ball joint from staying securely in place. There are varying degrees of the disease. In its worst form, hip dysplasia can lead to lameness and severe arthritis. Hip dysplasia can also be brought on by the dog’s environment. 

Juvenile Cataracts

Juvenile cataracts are most often diagnosed prior to age six months but can develop as late as six years. Though not necessarily inherited, the French Bulldog is predisposed to this condition. For this reason, it is recommended that all breeding pairs and their subsequent offspring undergo an examination by a canine opthalmologist to ensure the dogs’ eyes are not affected.

Patellar Luxation
Patella luxation is essentially the slipping of the kneecap from its socket. The condition is genetic but can be caused by trauma to the cruciate muscle. Patellar luxation is graded on a scale of one through five. Surgery is rarely recommended due to the immediate onset of arthritis. Patellar luxation can be crippling and is extremely painful.

Cardiac Issues

There are many different heart-related issues the French Bulldog can suffer from. To help ensure all breeding animals are free from genetic health conditions, all French Bulldogs being considered for use in a breeding program should undergo an echocardiogram. 

Autoimmune Thyroiditis
Autoimmune thyroiditis is typically an early marker for the development of hypothyroidism. Many dogs will appear normal for several years then develop symptoms unexpectedly. A simple test can help determine the presence of a genetic marker which could indicate the potential for the disease.

In addition to these diseases, the French Bulldog can also be prone to severe breathing issues. All of these diseases can and should be tested for prior to considering using a dog in a breeding program.

Once all health testing has been completed and the dog has been determined as suitable for breeding, the breeder must then begin the process of selecting the best mate for their dog. This process takes an immense amount of time and involves the studying of pedigrees, the consideration of photos of each potential mate from every possible angle, and the weighing of each dog’s strengths and weaknesses.

The reason breeders go to these great lengths is their interest goes far beyond simply producing puppies that look and act like French Bulldogs. Reputable breeders endeavor to breed puppies that most closely resemble their breed standard, a code which determines what the ideal French Bulldog should represent. It is important to note that there is no such thing as a perfect dog. However, reputable breeders strive to come as close to the ideal picture outlined in their breed standard as possible. This screening process takes an immense amount of time; often a year or longer.

While en route to whelping a litter of French Bulldogs, expenses begin to mount. Some of the fees French Bulldog breeders face are more costly because the Frenchie is not known to breed or whelp naturally. This means that in addition to standard costs such as stud fees, ultrasounds, x-rays, pre-natal vitamins, and high- quality food, the Frenchie breeder must also pay for such fees as progesterone testing, artificial insemination, and c-sections. In addition to these costly expenses, there are the typical supplies needed for whelping and rearing a litter and the added fees for kennel club registration, vaccinations, microchips, deworming, health certificates, veterinary visits, and much more.

However, the biggest expense a breeder could pay is to lose the life of their beloved mother dog in whelp or from later complications. This is of particular importance in French Bulldogs, a breed that can suffer from difficulties with whelping their puppies. All breeders must be prepared with the necessary finances to pay for a c-section or emergency surgery if required.

Among the other factors potentially affecting French Bulldog puppy prices are: 

  • Popularity

Currently, the French Bulldog is a breed that is in vogue, meaning demand is high, and prices are often elevated to reflect interest.

  • Purpose

Determining ahead of time what role you want your French Bulldog to fulfill in your home will also help with ascertaining the price of your future canine family member. If your primary goal is simply a happy, well-adjusted puppy to love, the price will be substantially lower than if you hope to breed, show, or participate in performance sports.

Why is this?

Breeders who sell puppies for show, breeding, or performance are assuming a greater risk since much time and expense will be invested in the “careers” of these future superstars. The added cost is a reflection of the breeder’s trust as well as their responsibility.

  • Location

Often, the right puppy for a home is not located nearby. This necessitates travel which can be very costly. In addition to this, each country has its own set of requirements for travel which can be expensive and time-consuming.

  • Breeder’s experience

A breeder’s reputation is also an important consideration when searching for a French Bulldog puppy. In this respect, age and experience are not always the best measure of a breeder’s worth as many new breeders are mentored by older breeders and come with high recommendations from reputable people within their breed as a result.

Reputable breeders have a thorough understanding of their breed, and that level of knowledge is worth a slightly higher price tag. These types of people offer lifetime support for their puppies, something that is invaluable to puppy buyers since it gives them continuous access to an expert in the breed. Should a problem arise, a reputable breeder will have the answer. A conscientious breeder is every puppy owner’s best friend.

What Can I Expect from a Reputable Breeder of French Bulldogs?

After carefully considering the risks and the expenses involved in breeding a litter, it is not difficult to see that the breeder pays a very high price for the privilege of bringing a litter into the world. However, it is only natural to try to obtain a puppy at a price point that is the easiest on the pocketbook, considering the puppy will need continuous care throughout its lifetime, an investment that also comes with a hefty price tag.

Bear in mind, that the bargain-priced puppy available now may come with high veterinary bills later due to the unscrupulousness of a breeder whose primary motivation in breeding is profit. Health problems not only cost families money they also have the potential to prematurely end a dog’s life, a heartbreak no family wants to face.

Here is a list of things you can expect from a relationship with a reputable French Bulldog breeder:

  • Health guarantees
    Reputable breeders place a high emphasis on guaranteeing the health of their puppies. Though a breeder cannot ensure a dog will never become ill, most offer guarantees against any of the genetic illnesses which can befall the breed, and these will be clearly outlined in their contracts. Breeders care about the health of their puppies long after they leave their homes and are invested in supporting their puppy owners.
  • Sound temperaments
    Having a dog with a correct temperament is extremely important. Though Frenchies are not typically known for being sharp or aggressive, reputable breeders invest a large amount of time into socialization to ensure their puppies are well-adjusted and view their world with curiosity and excitement instead of fear and dread.

Reputable breeders consider it their job to ensure the dogs they bring into the world are a credit to their breed.

  • Lifetime support
    Responsible breeders want to be as involved in their puppies’ lives as you are willing to allow them to be. They will welcome your phone calls, photos, and questions. They will want to celebrate the puppy’s achievements with you. They are an excellent resource for you for the life of your puppy.

How much does a French Bulldog cost? The answer is: it varies. For best results, choose a puppy from a reputable breeder. The extra money spent now will save you time and heartache later!

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