CHOOSING A BREEDER

Looking for puppies to have a new French Bulldog join your family is exciting.  And those puppy bellies?  Don't get me started!  It is so hard to resist the adorable photos we see online, but many people don't understand the do's and don'ts when looking for a breeder.  So many times I have met people in passing who also have French Bulldogs, and 9 out of 10 times, horror stories follow.  Many people looking for puppies don't recognize popular red flags, and fall for the adorable puppy in a photo and quickly find themselves in trouble with a difficult breeder, a pet store/puppy mill, or a dog with many health problems.

So what are some of these red flags?  

Continue reading to ensure you're choosing a healthy dog from a reputable breeder!

  • FOCUSING ON COLOR
    Currently, what we refer to as "fad colors" are more popular than ever.  Fad breeders focus on marketing their dogs as "rare", for a higher price for this rarity.  When in fact the colors (blue, lilac, tricolor, merle, etc.) are diluted genes and/or breed outcrosses, that are not recognized by American Kennel Club.
  • SELLS "SHOW QUALITY" WHILE THEY NEVER SHOW THEMSELVES
    How can you know? Markings? That only represents about 10% of what makes up a "show quality" dog
  • SELLS ANY PUPPY WITH FULL REGISTRATION
    For more money, regardless of the quality or health of the pup.
  • BREEDING STOCK WHICH HAS COME FROM THE OLD IRON CURTAIN EASTERN EUROPEAN COUNTRIES
    For instance Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Czech Republic, Russia, etc. There are a few good kennels, but most of the puppy mill dogs are imported from these countries, and we have NO health history on these dogs.  Additionally, many imported French Bulldogs are on a different standard than USA standards.
  •  DOES NOT HAVE VERIFIABLE HEALTH CLEARANCES
    The standard health testing is hips, elbows, heart, and eyes.  Any reputable breeder is happy to show proof of health testing, if not the online CHIC# or OFA numbers of the parents.  If you are told "our vet said they are healthy" this is a BIG red flag.
  • BREEDING STOCK COMES FROM HEALTHY LINES
    If you are told this, DEMAND PROOF.
  • DOGS WHICH ARE BRED BEFORE TWO YEARS OF AGE AND/OR ARE BRED EVERY HEAT CYCLE
    OFA Hips and Elbows are tested after 24 months of age.  Dogs being bred at young ages not only puts the mother at risk, but you're also guaranteed that mom hasn't been tested as thoroughly as she could have been.
  • BOTH PARENTS ON PREMISES
    Good breeders go out and find the stud dog that best compliments their bitch. Breeders who tend to be in it "for the money" only, don't want to pay a stud fee, so they just get a boy and a girl, and whatever they produce, they produce.
  • PUPPIES ARE MUCH CHEAPER THAN OTHERS YOU'VE SEEN
    Raising and breeding French Bulldogs is not cheap.  As many people don't realize, a breeding consists of artificial insemination as well as a c-section on the bitch, which is very costly.  If you're finding a French Bulldog for under $2,000 I would question the breeder as to "why?".
  • BREEDER DOESN'T FOLLOW UP ON PREVIOUS LITTERS
    This is to assure the pups they have produced are healthy. This is especially important if the puppy seller touts "healthy dogs."
  • BREEDER HAS A USDA LICENSE
    This almost guarantees you are dealing with a mass production puppy factory.
  • AKC INSPECTED
    Every breeder who breeds AKC registered dogs is subject to AKC inspection. This means nothing special, except an extra sales gimmick to lure you in.
  • BREEDER DISCOURAGES YOU VISITING THEIR FACILITIES
    Or the breeder may “suggest” you meet somewhere to get your pup. This is often offered as a convenience to you. It is really because the breeder doesn’t want you to see their kennel.
  • PRETTY WEBSITES  WITH PRETTY PICTURES
    Lots of cute photos and flowery language such as "farm raised with love!" but with no proof of health testing is a definite red flag.  Additionally, seeing photos of puppies always posed in the same setting should make you raise an eyebrow.  Anyone can set up a small area with a pretty blanket and put a puppy on it with a bunch of toys, when in actuality you would cringe if you saw the condition where the dogs are raised.  You want a dog thats raised as a member of a family, and seeing photos of adult dogs in the home environment is key.
  • PUPPIES REGISTERED WITH OTHER THAN AKC OR UKC REGISTRY
    While American Kennel Club and United Kennel Club registration does not assure a good breeder, NO responsible American breeder uses any other registry. The puppy mill industry has created many bogus registries to trick buyers. Dogs registered with APR (American Pet Registry), CKC (Continential Kennel Club), ACA (American Canine Association), AMW (Archive of Merit Worldwide), FIC (Federation of International Champions).
  • DOESN'T ASK YOU ANY QUESTIONS
    In an effort to confuse you into thinking they are a responsible breeder, you may be asked to complete a questionnaire, but you won’t be asked any follow up questions.
  • BREEDS MULTIPLE BREEDS
    Some good breeders may breed one or possibly two other breeds, but anyone who has more than 4 or 5 different breeds of dogs is making a business out of pumping out puppies. There is no way this many dogs can be given the attention and care that they need. This is a puppy factory.
  • CHAMPION BLOODLINES
    This could mean one dog in a 64 dog pedigree has attained a championship. This also implies that the parents aren’t champions. This is just another trick to fool you.
  • DOES NOT HAVE A LIFETIME RETURN POLICY FOR DOGS OF THEIR BREEDING
    Do not concern themselves with rescue, and take no responsibility for the dogs they have produced once the sale is done and money has changed hands. These breeders represent a large part of the mess that purebred rescue groups have to clean up.