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If you’ve decided to buy a French bulldog, you’re in good company – this is the most popular dog breed in the UK bar none, and for good reason. However, the French bulldog is also a breed with complex health that all too many owners rush into buying without doing enough research, setting themselves up for a lifetime of problems.
Making the decision to buy a dog of any type takes time, and then more time to ensure you research the breed thoroughly and know what to expect.
Once you’ve got that far, choosing a good French bulldog breeder to purchase from is vital – and this article will tell you what to look for and how to pick the right French bulldog breeder to buy a puppy from. Read on to learn more.
A breeder who is responsible about how they breed and who they sell their puppies to will put a lot of thought into their adverts. They will picture the individual pups for sale clearly, the dam and sire too, and provide plenty of information for you to read as well, covering the dam and sire as well as the puppies, and potentially some information about themselves too.
Buying a French bulldog puppy that is Kennel Club registered doesn’t come with any guarantees, but buying an unregistered puppy comes with a lot of additional variables, any of which might indicate a problem.
If you’re buying a French bulldog puppy with a view to picking one that is healthy, has a good temperament, will make a good pet, and supports the breed as a whole, Kennel Club registration should be a given.
You will likely find as many adverts for French bulldog puppies for sale without pedigree papers as with them; and many of these dogs will be moderate, good natured, and healthy for the breed.
However, there are a great many reasons why puppies that are claimed to have full pedigree French bulldog ancestry on both sides may not be Kennel Club registered, and this should be viewed with caution.
First of all, the Kennel Club mandates several things for a litter to be registered, including that the dam be of healthy breeding age, and that she can only have two litters in total by caesarean section. Only four litters can be registered over the course of a dam’s lifetime too.
These are all welfare points; a dam that does not meet these requirements cannot have her litter registered, because the Kennel Club deems that breeding from her is not in her best interests or that of the breed, and should be avoided.
Additionally, some colours don’t occur within the breed standard and cannot be registered, specifically, merle means a puppy cannot be registered at all as merle comes with heath concerns.
Other disallowed colours can be registered as “colour not recognised,” and should be avoided; as should breeders that tell you that these colours are rare, desirable, or worth more money. Find out more about this issue here.
French bulldog breeders can elect to apply to join the Kennel Club’s Assured Breeder scheme, which holds its members to higher standards of improvement and welfare for their dogs.
As ever there are no guarantees when you buy any puppy from any breeder, but choosing from a litter bred by an Assured Breeder is a good idea.
The French bulldog breed is one with complex health that is often the point of great debate. Responsible French bulldog breeders breed moderate dogs for health and robustness, and steer clear of producing dogs with very flat faces, overly heavy builds, and other conformation defects that can lead to a lifetime of suffering.
However, breeders who do produce highly exaggerated dogs often try to convince puppy buyers that these are benchmarks of quality; and not the deformities that they really are.
Choose a breeder whose breeding stock and litters are moderate and healthy, and that undertakes all of the prescribed and recommended health tests outlined for the breed.
Even if you think you’ve found the ideal puppy just from looking at adverts, it is important to get a feel for the breeder and not proceed if you feel something isn’t right.
Ask lots of questions about both the pup itself and the breeder and their operation as a whole, and expect as much interest from the breeder about you too! If they don’t seem keen to know who they might be selling a dog to, and as if they’re assessing you as much as you are them, think about why this might be.
Make notes about each call, including your general impressions as well as the answers to your direct questions.
Take in the whole scene, not just the puppies. Do the dogs seem to be at home and happy in their surroundings, are they affectionate with their owner/breeder, are all of the dogs happy, healthy, well socialised, and generally giving a good impression?
Once more, expect the breeder to be very interested in you, and for them to give you directions, such as on hand washing, how to approach the dam, and how to handle the pups.
Look for moderate conformations not just in the pups but in the dam too; if the sire is available, ask to see him as well. Judge the temperament of both pups and the parent(s) too!
If you like what you see so far, ask about what support the breeder offers if you buy a pup from them, and how they can direct and advise you about the pup’s care.
Find out what contracts and policies they have in place for the sale and, for instance, if a puppy later turns out to have a chronic health condition.
Finally, never agree to buy a puppy on the spot, even if the breeder warns you other viewers are coming, only one pup is left, or that someone else is interested in the puppy you like.
A responsible breeder won’t be pushy like this or try to rush you, even if these things are true; which they may well not be. Think things over objectively at home for at least a couple of days before agreeing a purchase.
It is far better to potentially miss out on a pup and have to keep looking than to rush into the purchase of the wrong dog – or a dog from the wrong breeder.
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