French bulldogs have been popular companions since the early 1800s. Originating from the lace-producing regions of northern France, the French bulldog has shifted gears from a popular ratter to a lap dog and companion. Frenchies, as they affectionately are known in the dog world, are intelligent and active, making them popular with a wide variety of people. Choosing the right French bulldog for your family takes a bit of research, but is well worth the effort.
Read the French Bulldog Breed Standard to learn what traits to look for in a good dog. French bulldogs should be small and compact, with large bat-shaped ears, thick bone structure and a pleasant, playful attitude.
Decide if your French bulldog will be a show dog or just a companion. A show dog will most likely be more difficult to find and cost a bit more because they are in high demand, but if you have no plans to show, a pet-quality Frenchie is more than acceptable.
Contact a French bulldog breeder to see what puppies she has available. The breeder will ask you a few questions to determine your plans with the puppy, so answer her honestly and completely.
Ask the breeder if her dogs have been cleared of any potential genetic conditions. French bulldogs are prone to diseases such as hip dysplasia and patellar luxation, so make sure the parents of your potential puppy have been cleared of genetic problems before being bred.
Visit the breeder when the puppies are ready to be weaned to select your puppy. You will most likely be shown the entire litter and the breeder will explain which puppy she thinks suits your needs best.
Sit down with the puppies, getting as close to their level as possible. Allow the puppies to interact and play with you at their own pace so you can evaluate how they handle human contact.
Sign any contracts the breeder might have to finalize the purchase of your puppy. Discuss payment arrangements at this time and ask any final questions you might have before taking your pup home.
Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to have your new puppy examined as soon as you purchase her. Your vet will give her a thorough physical to make sure you have selected the best possible French bulldog puppy to join your household.
French bulldogs are still rare in many areas of the world, and a good breeder will have a contract that outlines points of ownership such as proper care, health concerns, and return policies in the event you can’t keep the pup. Visit a number of breeders before making your decision. Some puppies just fit better with certain people, so you may not click with the first set of pups you meet.
Don’t gossip or badmouth between breeders. Each breeder has different ideas on what makes the perfect French bulldog, and talking badly about another breeder can make it difficult for other breeders to feel comfortable selling you a puppy.
Louise Lawson has been a published author and editor for more than 10 years. Lawson specializes in pet and food-related articles, utilizing her 15 years as a sous chef and as a dog breeder, handler and trainer to produce pieces for online and print publications.