One of the most recognizable–and most in-demand–dog breeds is no doubt the French Bulldog. Known for their “bat ears,” the French Bulldog or Frenchie has worked its way into many hearts–are you thinking that one might just work its way into your home, too? We’ve researched the French Bulldog price at breeders, breed rescues devoted to saving Frenchies and shelters. Let’s take a look at the price for Frenchie puppies as well as adult dogs from a variety of sources—and some vital health information that you need to know before you make a decision.
Why are French Bulldogs so expensive?
Much like the price of a Pug, there’s no getting around the fact that French Bulldogs are expensive. In fact, they are one of the most expensive of the popular dog breeds.
Why? There are many reasons. First: demand. The French Bulldog is the second most popular dog in the United States according to the American Kennel Club. Don’t plan to add a French Bulldog to your family on a whim.
That high demand compared to a limited supply means–a basic economic principle–the price rises.
Unlike dogs such as Labrador Retrievers, who may have a dozen puppies in a litter, French Bulldogs only give birth to two to four puppies in most cases. That means the supply of Frenchies is lower than the demand. In fact, the French Bull Dog Club of America (FBDCA) notes, “You should plan to be on a waiting list.”
And Frenchies, like most other Brachycephalic dogs (with flat faces and large heads), are most often born via cesarean section. Due to the French Bulldog’s large head and shoulders, mothers generally require a C-section—which means added expense for delivery as well as recovery for the mother.
Another factor that increases the price of the French Bulldog puppies is the fact that reputable breeders will conduct genetic testing on both parents to help ensure a healthy litter. Because it is a bracycephalic breed and also a chondrodystrophic (dwarf) breed, there are several health concerns that good breeds will test for prior to breeding.
Which Health Screenings Should Breeders Conduct on Frenchies?
FBDCA works with the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) which recommends these genetic tests for French Bulldogs:
These tests include:
- The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) evaluation. This test screens for Hip Dysplasia and Patellar Luxation. Breeders also have the option to test for Elbow Dysplasia with this screening. For Hip Dysplasia, the PennHIP Evaluation can also be used.
- The ACVO Eye Exam by an ACVO Ophthalmologist. This is an annual exam.
- Cardiac Evaluation. This can be a Congenital Cardiac Exam, an Advanced Cardiac Exam or a Basic Cardiac Exam. In each case, echocardiagrams are recommended but not required.
- Autoimmune Thyroiditis. This is an optional test but recommended.
- Tracheal Hypoplasia. This test, which checks for a windpipe narrower than normal, is recommended but not required.
With all that testing on top of increased demand, it’s easy to see why French Bulldogs are more expensive than many other dog breeds!
If you’ve adopted a Frenchie and would like some of these tests, you can run the Embark Dog DNA Test using a simple saliva test you can perform at home. It tests for over 215 genetic diseases and conditions–including several that Frenchies are at risk for: Type I Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD), Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Canine Multifocal Retinopathy–and some very rare genetic conditions sometimes seen in Frenchies including Hyperuricosuria and Hyperuricemia or Urolithiasis, a condition that causes bladder stones.
What’s the Price of a French Bulldog at a Breeder?
The price of a French Bulldog at a breeder generally ranges from $1500-$3500 with prices over $5,000 (and higher) not unusual.
The price will depend on several factors:
- The color of the French Bulldog. AKC recognized nine colors: Brindle, Brindle and White, Cream, Fawn, Fawn and White, Fawn Brindle and White, White, White and Brindle, and White and Fawn. Along with the AKC colors, there are also colors considered rare such as Lilac, Blue, Merle, Chocolate, Isabella, Platinum and more. These rare colors are more expensive; “fluffy” Frenchies with longer fur (which cannot be shown in dog shows) are also much more expensive with prices from $30,000 and up.
- The location of the breeder. The rules of supply and demand pertain to dogs as well so larger metropolitan areas are often more expensive.
- The pedigree of the parents. French Bulldogs that have participated in–and especially if they have won–AKC competitions have more expensive litters.
- Whether the French Bulldog is a show quality dog or a pet quality dog. Most breeders will require that pet quality dogs be spayed/neutered at the appropriate age. Show quality puppies with a future in competitive dog shows and breeding are more expensive; these puppies may have an extra cost for breeding rights.
- The gender of the French Bulldog. Female puppies are generally more expensive than males.
- The age of the Frenchie. Puppies are definitely more expensive; you may occasionally find a breeder selling a retired breeding Frenchie or a dog that originated at the breeder but has been returned and these dogs will be less expensive.
Will you find French Bulldogs at breeders priced lower than this? Yes–but when adopting from a breeder, it’s especially important to make sure you are adopting from a reputable breeder—not a backyard breeder and not an online seller.
How to Locate a Reputable French Bulldog Breeder
- Check the Breeder Directory at the French Bull Dog Club of America.
- Attend a sanctioned dog show and talk with Frenchie breeders and competitors for recommendations.
- Ask your veterinarian for recommendations regarding reputable breeders.
- Do an online search for complaints. Do a search for “BREEDER NAME complaints” or “BREEDER NAME scam” to see if you find complaints. Are there Better Business Bureau (BBB) complaints? Check the Facebook page of the breeder and read through comments. (Remember, however, comments can be deleted by the page owner.)
When you find a breeder and want to determine if they are reputable:
- Ask for references. The breeder should be happy to share the name and contact information for customers.
- Ask questions. Lots of questions. The breeder should be happy to answer questions about the French Bulldog puppy, the puppy’s parents (and grandparents!), the socialization the puppy has received, the health tests and screening he has received and more. The breeder should be glad to share the test results from the health tests and screenings.
- Ask how often the dogs are bred. Reputable breeders will only have French Bulldog puppies for sale on occasion, not all the time.
- Ask to tour the kennels. Are they well maintained? Do the dogs look healthy? If the breeder won’t let you tour the kennels–or if they want to meet you somewhere to hand over the puppy, beware.
- Be prepared for questions. The breeder should ask YOU questions as well; be suspicious if the breeder has no questions about your past history with pets, your living situation, etc.
- Ask if the breeder will take the French Bulldog back if necessary. Reputable breeders should not only agree to accept the dog if it doesn’t work out or even upon your death—but require that the dog be returned to them for rehoming.
- Ask for a contract. VCA Animal Hospital recommends that the breeder “Provides a written contract with a guarantee of health allowing time for a pre-purchase examination by a veterinarian of your choice. If medical problems are diagnosed, the breeder should readily take the pup back and provide a full refund.”
- Ask for registration papers in your name.
French Bulldog breeders may sell dogs out of the area–some include the price of air in the fee–but, it is far better to go to the breeder to meet the parents, view the kennels and bring home your puppy in person. This will add to your expenses—but transporting a puppy by air to you means putting the dog at risk.
If you want to buy a Frenchie online, please think again. There are numerous scams; people spend thousands of dollars for a dog and never receive a puppy. AKC warns potential pet parents to be wary of any seller asking for payment by Venmo, in gift cards or as a wire transfer.
And sadly many dogs–including French Bulldogs–that are sold online are bred in puppy mills, places where dogs live in terrible conditions without human socialization and often with serious health issues.
The pros of purchasing from a French Bulldog breeder:
- You may be able to select a puppy—including a choice of color and gender.
- You may obtain health screenings for the puppy’s parents.
- A reputable breeder will be passionate about Frenchies and will a resource for years to come.
The cons of purchasing from a French Bulldog breeder
- You will pay more for a French Bulldog from a breeder than a rescue or shelter. If you find a breeder who has Frenchie puppies for sale at prices far lower than you are seeing from other breeders, you must suspect you are dealing with a backyard breeder who has not done health screening, with an online seller who is operating a puppy mill or is running a scam.
- You will need to wait until puppies are available.
- You will need to do your own due diligence to select a reputable breeder.
What’s the Price of Adopting a Frenchie at a French Bulldog Rescue?
French Bulldogs in rescues are FAR less expensive that those at a breeder.
At the French Bulldog Rescue Network, the AKC-affiliated breed rescue, the adoption fees are:
- $900 for dogs under two years and healthy
- $550 for dogs over eight years old
- $400 for Frenchies with special needs
Search on Petfinder by “French Bulldog” and you very well might find less expensive French Bulldogs in a breed rescue. We searched and found a French Bulldog puppy for $375. The puppy was in a foster home at a breed rescue–but not a French Bulldog rescue but an Aussie rescue!
Frenchies available in rescues will have received a long list of valuable services:
- Spay/neuter, in most cases
- Age appropriate shots
- Heartworm screening and monthly preventative
- Wellness visit
- Any veterinary care the dog may have required while waiting for adoption
The cost of these services, depending on your vet and the gender of your dog, could range from $300-500 if you went to purchase the same services.
The French Bulldogs that are up for adoption at breed rescues may be there for a variety of reasons:
- Death of an owner.
- Change in owner’s living situation. Maybe they moved out of pet-friendly housing, were no longer able to afford the cost of a dog, had a baby and no longer wanted a dog, got a new boyfriend who didn’t like dogs…the reasons run the gamut.
- Lost Frenchies that the rescue had seen on shelter websites.
- French Bulldogs a breeder no longer wanted.
Whatever the reason, the Frenchies in rescue may or may not come with papers, depending on whether or not the dog was surrendered with papers.
To find additional French Bulldog rescues, search for “French Bulldog rescue near me.” Some rescues will only adopt in state or to surrounding states due to the fact that many require a home visit.
Also, search for “Bulldog Rescues near me”–we’ve seen many Bulldog rescues that also have French Bulldogs. And we’ve seen Frenchies waiting for homes in many other breed rescues…even in Great Dane rescues!
The Pros of Adopting from a French Bulldog Rescue
- You will be saving a life. Most dogs at purebred rescues are pulled from shelters, often open-intake shelters that may not be no-kill shelters.
- You will be able to adopt a Frenchie for far less money than purchasing a dog from a breeder.
- You will be able to talk with people who are passionate about French Bulldogs about the individual Frenchie you are interested in adopting. Most purebred rescues rely on a foster system so adoptable dogs are living with a family who will be able to tell you about the dog’s personality, likes and dislikes.
The Cons of Adopting from a Frenchie Rescue
- You might not be able to find a French Bulldog puppy–but it is definitely worth a search.
- You most likely won’t know if the dog’s parents had the health screenings we discussed above. There will be exceptions to this, especially with owner surrendered dogs.
- Your dog may or may not be a purebred Frenchie and may or may not have papers.
What’s the Price of Adopting a French Bulldog at a Shelter?
The least expensive option when it comes to French Bulldog prices is the shelter, either a municipal shelter or a privately-operated shelter. Generally you can expect to pay $50-150 at a municipal shelter and slightly more at a privately-operated shelter.
Will you find a French Bulldog at a shelter? Possibly. You might have to go beyond your community but shelters definitely receive Frenchies (in fact, many breed rescues find their dogs at municipal shelters).
Most shelter dogs have seen a veterinarian and received a whole suite of treatments including spay/neuter, shots appropriate for their age, deworming, microchipping, and more. Purchased separately, those services can range from about $350 to $500.
As with adopting from a French Bulldog rescue, you’ll find that dogs are housed in shelters for a huge variety of reasons, often having nothing to do with the behavior of the dog but with changes to the owner’s living situation.
And while you may see dogs listed as a French Bulldogs at a shelter, that may or may not mean they are Frenchies, purebred or mixed. Shelters use their best judgement, often while intaking many dogs, so sometimes the accuracy of the breed is questionable.
However, the characteristic bat ears do make it easier to spot a French Bulldog when looking through shelter listings.
The Pros of Adopting a Frenchie from a Shelter
- You are saving a life, not only of the dog you adopt but of the next dog who will be rescued due to the kennel that is now clear.
- Your new dog will have received a long list of veterinary services.
- You will have the love of a dog whose price was far less than that of a dog from a breeder.
The Cons of Adopting a Frenchie from a Shelter
- Your dog may or may not be a purebred Frenchie.
- You most likely won’t know if the dog’s parents had the health screenings we discussed above.
- You may not know the history of the dog.