How Much do French Bulldogs Cost? A Buyer’s Guide

How Much do French Bulldogs Cost?

There is so much to love about Frenchies! But, if you’ve done any amount of research on them, you may see that the price for a French Bulldog is all over the place. What’s the deal with the varying cost, and why is it so expensive in some cases? Here we’ll go over what you can expect for the cost of a Frenchie as well as why they are priced that way. Ready to dive into the finances of adding a French Bulldog to your household? Read on!

When it comes down to the actual numbers in dollars and cents, the cost of a French Bulldog can go from $500 to $15,000. That’s a little hard to fathom. So, the average price of a French Bulldog is around $5, 000. This is often for just the puppy itself from the breeder, however, and doesn’t count any of the other “start-up” fees such as registration, vet appointments, and shots (more on those later). So, if you want to bring in a pup, you can expect to spend at least several thousand dollars to just get him in the door. 

What factors go into the price range of a French Bulldog?

If you found that astronomical range a little crazy, don’t worry — most would. However, Frenchies can cost more than that! You’ll find reports out there where a Frenchie puppy cost $100, 000 and more. Yes, you read that number correctly. You can easily spend more on a French Bulldog than you would on your fancy, modern vehicle! The main factors that go into the wild range of pricing include:

Genes and history

\While it may seem strange to think of “better” puppies costing more money, it’s true! The genetic background of the puppy (through the parents) as well as the pedigree and history of those parents (and puppy) will drive up or drop down the price of the puppy. The better the genes and history, the higher the price. 

The number of puppies in a litter

One of the best things about a litter of puppies is that they are normally all the same price. They are bred for the specific purpose of selling them for profit and that profit is equal from puppy to puppy. If a litter has 6 puppies, the price will be lower than a litter of 2 puppies. 

The color of their fur

The color and kind of Frenchie that you get will also really sway the price one way or the other. The price of a blue French Bulldog — thought to be the rarest of the options — will cost more than the more average fawn or tan French Bulldog. This is simply because they can be the hardest to breed and the breeder must get enough money to make it worth their while. Plus, supply and demand is also a great incentive!

This is just a snapshot of the bare factors that can range a pupper from being $4, 000 to $12, 000. These things can easily be factored into your decision, though, on the things that matter most to you. For instance, if you don’t care about the color, go for the “cheaper” ones. However, if you want a lilac French Bulldog, you may need to pay more in terms of the color and also more if you go with a breeder who has a smaller litter of puppies. 

What color French Bulldog is most expensive?

On that note, you can help save yourself a bit of money by arming yourself with knowledge on what color French Bulldog is considered to be the most expensive. When it comes to price considerations, there are a few things to help you lead the way towards budgeting for the kind of Frenchie you’re dreaming of.

Purebred

As you’ll learn more about in a minute, you can choose from a purebred French Bulldog puppy or a mixed breed. If you do decide (with the associated paperwork to prove it), that’s the way to go. You can expect the price for a purebred French Bulldog puppy to be anywhere from $1,500-$8,000 depending on the color that you choose.

Traditional (Fawn/Brindle/White/Tan)

A so-called “traditional” French Bulldog puppy is going to be one that is recognized by the AKC (this is the official considering factor of French Bulldog breeders). These Frenchies can be fawn, brindle (including brindle and white), white and tan. These puppies generally have a price tag of around $5, 000.

Rare (Blue/Lilac/Chocolate)

A rare French Bulldog, such as chocolate, blue or lilac can often have a starting price at $3, 500. Notice that it’s lower? Well, that’s because these kinds of puppies are not officially acknowledged by the AKC, which means less paperwork and other considerations that the traditional colors would have to factor in. Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean that rare Frenchie price is lower by the time the bill is put together for you (as you’ll see in the next section). It just means that they don’t have the same certification/documentation requirements. 

Why are French Bulldogs so expensive?

If you’re frustrated with how much a French Bulldog costs, you’re not alone at all. Many people feel that Frenchie puppies are overpriced since they’re just the same as any other kind of bred puppy or dog, but many details go into the pricing when it comes to the breed of the Frenchie itself. Some points that a breeder has to consider include:

Health costs money

Genes and medical history factor in, as you already know. But breeders also have to focus on the idea of making sure that Mom and Dad are healthy. There are vet checkups to watch for genetic factors or problematic markers, specialized exercise routines, and lots of healthy food. Plus, there’s the medical documentation of all of these (more on that later). With the costs of all of these health “guarantees”, the price of the puppy must be enough to cover those healthy living requirements. 

Purebred vs “mutt”

Most breeders know that the people who are hunting for a French Bulldog want a purebred. This means that both Mom and Dad will need to be purebred. Plus, their ancestral line also has to be considered for breed strength as well as genetic markers. The further back the line that the purebred guarantee goes (and its paperwork), the higher the price. You can also find breeders that will offer one parent (usually the mother) as the purebred, and then the father could be a mix of Frenchie with another bulldog breed. This can bring the price down a bit.

Conception is artificial

While most dogs can “do the deed” in literal doggy style, Frenchies are not able to due to their physique. So, for a breeder to even have a pregnant mom, a vet must perform artificial conception. There is no way for it to happen safely (or effectively) outside of a specialist’s care and attention. 

High-risk delivery

Once the puppies are ready to join the world, the delivery itself is also high risk. Since Frenchies have small hips, the size of the puppies is too large for Mom to have on her own without serious complications. Most breeders decide for vets to perform c-sections to make sure that all puppies survive and that Mom herself has no complications during labor. 

The breeder because the prime caretaker

While a lot of other new moms are happy to care for their pups, these new moms are not able to easily care for their puppies. While some can feed them if they are lying in the right position, most can’t do anything else other than that. The breeder must be a prime caretaker for those puppies for their first few months of life. Within the first two months especially, this is a round-the-clock job (albeit, adorable…).

Rare dog breed

All things considered, despite their popularity, French Bulldogs are a rare breed. They are entirely manmade and must be managed using testing and science to keep the breed going strong from generation to generation. Since everyone wants one and there are only so many born at a time who become mothers themselves, this has to be factored in.

As far as the breeder is concerned, every option out there (publicly recognized as well as private breeders) will put a different price on Frenchie puppies based on what they consider to be proper cost recovery as well as their own time. 

How much do French Bulldogs cost to the breeders? 

If you want to make sure that you aren’t getting cheated by a scammer (which can happen, especially with the internet), you should also focus on the idea of what those “recovered costs” would be.

As far as a rule of thumb, most breeders determine that a Frenchie puppy truly costs about $7 000. From proper parent lineage to conception to delivery to rearing and supplies, the cost averages out to be around $7 000. Then, like any retailer, they have to factor in their own time and efforts (especially in the first few weeks and months of caring for them) and add that amount to the price. That amount will vary from breeder to breeder, especially when you consider the number of puppies per litter and how many litters they have at a time. 

Different types of Breeders and Breeding Standards

When you are deciding where to source your puppy from, you’ll want to do some serious focusing on the breeder and the standards that they set. While anyone can technically be a breeder of French Bulldogs, it takes some serious dedication and professionalism to meet the different standards that are set for Frenchies.

Breeders of Merit

These are breeders that are ready to prove their dedication and adherence to the general AKC world. For a breeder to display a merit certificate, they must have at least 5 years in the AKC club in which they are active specifically in sports relating to canines (ie: dog shows). They also have to be able to prove that at least 4 dogs in the litters they’ve bred within those 5 years have earned titles. Those 4 dogs must also be able to pass all health screens, which can be rigorous.

If you’re considering a breeder with a merit certificate, you know that you are going with a true pro who is in the business with the right background to give you a good puppy.

Breeders with H.E.A.R.T

Another top option is those breeders who have a H.E.A.R.T. certification. Standing for health, education, accountability, responsibility, and tradition, these breeders are focused on making sure that they breed healthy, reputable litters of Frenchie puppies. Their goals should be closely linked up with education on best breeding practices. Another cool feature with H.E.A.R.T. breeders is that they must take a certain amount of classes put on the AKC. to keep them up to date on proper breeding details as well.

Rather than just being a one-time thing, these are yearly classes to keep breeders up to date. Then, of course, their puppies must pass all health tests just like merit breeders.

Club Member Breeders

A little less specific, breeders who are club members are lovers of French Bulldogs. These breeders would sign up to membership with the AKC to help protect and better the dog breed as more information becomes available on the breed over time. This kind of breeder is more focused on the individual rather than the pedigree of the French Bulldogs themselves. 

How to verify a Breeder

That’s all well and good, but how do you make sure that you are trusting the right professionals when it comes to making your choice on a Frenchie puppy? Worry not, we have tips to help you do just that!

Review online, get real-life testimonials

Much like anything these days, take some time to check out the breeder online. Search high and low in all corners of the interwebs to find both good and bad details about the breeder. If there are no bad details, run! Also, do what you can to get real testimonials from people who have purchased from them in the past. While you should still only take them with a grain of salt, it can do a lot to ease your mind and see the pooch for yourself!

Check, and understand what goes into the price

At the very beginning, you learned that Frenchies can start at $500 but that doesn’t mean that you should buy a Frenchie at $500! The other numbers you learned are easily into 4 digits, and certainly in the mid to high range within those 4 digits. If there is a pup who is priced low, it’s best to walk away because there is probably a reason for the price (better yet, call a local animal rescue). If the price feels right, ask them to explain why the price is what it is, and pay attention to what they tell you. Most breeders are transparent in the pricing because they know they have to be!

Ask to see certifications and qualifications

You’ll also want to make sure that you ask for their certifications and qualifications and then actually, you know, see them. If a breeder says they are a H.E.A.R.T breeder, for example, they should be able to prove it! If they get squirrelly or refuse to show the verifications and qualifications they were listing, it could be a red flag. 

Do an in-person visit

If you are buying a pup from a local breeder, you’ll want to do an in-person visit before you formally agree to anything. It’s also helpful to bring a friend with you, as two sets of eyes are great!

Check cleanliness

When you get to the breeder, check their cleanliness to make sure that the kennels, the nests, and more are clean. If you can, check out their outdoor space and how well-kept that is as well. 

Check the number of nursing moms

It can be deceptively easy to hide a puppy mill behind the guise of a breeder. Ask to see the dogs and make sure that you keep track of how many nursing moms are there with their puppies. While breeders can have 1-3 (depending on the size of the organization), be wary of those breeders that have 10 or 15 moms nursing. This is a sure sign of a puppy mill.

Check the number of puppies per litter

While moms with big litters can be a sign of a puppy mill as well, the litter number is also important to the pedigree (aka quality) of the dog. The bigger the litter, the less pedigree the puppy can have. Most reputable breeders will limit the number to 2 or 3 puppies per litter to make sure all of them are healthy.

Meet your puppy and their parents

It’s more than acceptable for you to ask to meet your potential puppy and their parents (both Mom and Dad). Make sure they are as described and that they all look healthy and properly nourished. 

Verify the paperwork and details with a vet

If you aren’t sure after your site visit, check-in with your vet. A breeder should give you their information (business name, ID number, etc) and your local vet can check directly with the AKC to make sure that they are who they say they are. Also, make sure that you get a complete list of pedigree paperwork if you do decide to purchase one of their puppies. 

Breeders vs Rescues

While less popular, you can also consider the idea of purchasing a French Bulldog from a rescue organization. They can be a great way to get a cheap French Bulldog (comparatively) and help support rescue organizations as well. Many organizations will have French Bulldogs waiting for a home and they can range from puppies to adults. 

The main complaint of those who are shopping for a Frenchie is that there is no way to know their pedigree and medical history. This is true and it’s important to note that you won’t get that kind of level of detail with your pooch. But, any rescue will be able to explain any health conditions as well as check to make sure your potential adoptee is, in fact, healthy. 

If you are okay with the thought of a mixed breed that is healthy, perhaps a rescue organization may be a good fit for you! This can be especially helpful if you’re shopping on a budget. 

Hidden costs of owning a French Bulldog

How Much do French Bulldogs Cost? Hidden costs of owning a French Bulldog

Now that you’ve got the regular costs out of the way, you also have to face the music when it comes to the hidden costs of having a French Bulldog join your family. These hidden costs could involve all sorts of details, including:

Prone to unpredictable health issues

While breeders — especially the good ones — will often do what they can to make sure that they are only selling puppies that have the best genetic predispositions and are in good health, there is no such thing as a guarantee. French Bulldogs are notorious for having a lot of genetic-related health problems such as hip dysplasia, respiratory issues, skin sensitivities, and more. Breeders will always do what they can to keep quality a priority, but you may end up having a problem just the same.

Very diet-sensitive, particularly with allergens

Whether it’s distaste, a sensitive stomach, or allergens, Frenchies often require specialized (aka expensive) chow. They also require a proper diet in terms of keeping their weight under control throughout their entire life.

AKC registration and taxes

If you plan on showing your pup in dog shows or otherwise getting competitive, you’ll also need to factor in AKC registration as well as taxes. While these are only a one-time fee when you first bring home your puppy, it can add to the price and most people do forget about it!

Purchasing tips

Decided that an adorable snuffly, energetic French Bulldog puppy is right for you no matter the cost? Here are some general tips to keeping mind when you are getting ready to plan and make your purchase!

Never buy a French Bulldog without AKC papers

This is very important. If you are buying an expensive pooch from official breeders, you’ll want to make sure that you’ve got the formal paperwork to back it up!

They still need regular vet appointments, medications, etc

Any healthy pooch is still going to require shots, regular vet appointments, medications, neuter or spay, and more. Make sure you’ve got those budgeted.

Make sure you are prepared for the costs

From standard vet appointments to medical emergencies to serious health conditions such as hip dysplasia, you’ll want to make sure you’re at a point in your life financially where you can handle them. As a pet parent, it’ll be your responsibility to make sure that can take care of him no matter what!

Conclusion

Yes, the cost of a French Bulldog is intimidating at first glance. But, it’s easy to understand it once you see all of the factors that go into the price itself. If you want to enjoy the presence of a sweet and loving Frenchie, it’s just dollars, right?

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I'm Sara, an animal enthusiast and proclaimed dog lover. All I write comes from reading and reading about the various topics I'm interested in.