The first question is - Why?
Do you want a dog as:
(a) a companion ?
(b) a dog to let you know when they hear a strange noise ?
(c) a pal for the children ?
(d) no specific reason - would just like one.
If the answer is (d) then, as yet, you are not ready for any breed of dog.
A FRENCH BULLDOG is a. b. c. all rolled into one. He is gay, fearless, a clown and a devoted friend. If you require a dog just to live quietly in the yard and sleep on the door step, THIS BREED IS NOT FOR YOU.
FRENCH BULLDOGS require lots of company, plenty of exercise and preferably some relaxing time. In return your Frenchie will give you undivided loyalty. They can be good with children, when playing inside the home and not outside in the heat. Because of that short face, they can not rip and run 90 miles an hour and no dog should be expected to.
Being intelligent and independent it is likely that a pup will be mischievous and may wander off to find his own fun if you do not have a secure yard.
One very important point before you purchase any sort of pup never get it as a toy for your children. All toys are played with for a while and then forgotten about, and a dog is around for approximately 10 to 14 years.
Question Two ?
Which type of is good for you?
There are several types of FRENCH BULLDOGS. The one that is sold as pet quality ( companion dog ) , being required to be rendered incapable of reproduction. It is my OPINION that a serious breeder will demand if not have the animal altered before leaving for it's new home if the pup is old enough. There are enough puppy mills out there and I will not and have no desire to contribute to them. The other one that is sold as a show dog, being required to retain a CHAMPIONSHIP, sometimes before being bred.
Question three ?
What were they originally bred for?
They were bred to be companion dogs.
Question four ?
Are you interested in showing your dog?
If you think you may be interested in showing, then before you purchase your puppy contact a French Bulldog Club in your state or the French Bulldog Club of America. They will give you a breeders list in your area or breeders from all over the world.
Not all dogs are good show specimens. Some may be too too big or too small, or their teeth may not be correct etc. These are usually sold as pets and become much loved members of a family.
Question five ?
How to choose a puppy?
You may know a breeder of integrity and ability. In that case do not consider other methods of approach. A breeder's greatest asset is his reputation...for fair dealings, helpful advice and for the quality of his dogs. From a reputable breeder you can expect value for money, free advice and help in times of an emergency. Should you ever have to part with your Frenchie , the breeder is likely to be able to find a new home for him or take him back.
One thing to remember if you are purchasing a puppy from a reputable breeder, and something is wrong with your puppy you can always go back to the breeder for a replacement, or help in fixing your complaints.
Question six ?
The worst possible way to purchase your puppy is through a pet shop, broker or a puppy mill. I know those faces are adorable but you have to be strong. Each time a dog is sold through one of these avenues, it increases the chances that the dog and or bitch will be bred over and over again to make more puppies and the sad thing is, you will never know how they were brought into this world. Was it on a soft blanket with loving folks to help her, or was it on a cold wire grid with no one to help her in her time of need?
I do strongly recommend that you join a FRENCH BULLDOG CLUB in your State. Even if you cannot attend meetings or Fun Matches, you can get a lot of help from the club and its members living in your area.
What you must get is a good healthy, strong arid intelligent pup. Do not take delivery of your pup until it has HAD SHOTS and BEEN CHECKED FOR PARASITES. The breeder should give you a feeding schedule and a vaccination record to enable you to keep a record of your pups shots. If you would prefer an older animal contact the Club as these are sometimes available with people wanting to find new homes for their pets, when they find they are no longer able to keep them or ask about RESCUE.
To ALTER OR NOT TO ALTER?
If you feel you would like to show your Frenchie then there is no question of altering as all show animals must be intact. As a pet, dogs and bitches should be neutered at approximately six months of age. It is a fallacy that a bitch should have a litter of puppies before she is spayed. This only adds to the unwanted puppy population and does absolutely nothing to enhance the bitch. Neutering will not alter your animals personality.
Please be careful with nylabone products and any type of rawhide. Frenchies have wide mouths and think they can swallow anything that goes in it. Pig ears can be deadly. The only time they should be given is if you are going to supervise the dog.
Some things to remember:
Your dog will be around for a while so make your choice wisely, you are responsible for your new member of the family. Your new family member will need food, shelter, and veterinary care. You should also have a fenced in yard to prevent your pet from being hit by a car, or have the swimming pool fenced in, because they do not swim well or at all. They are top heavy and will sink like a ton of bricks.
Keep your Frenchie on a lead, they can change their minds and be off after a leaf across the street and we don't even want to think of the consequences.
I hope that this has answered some of your questions, please feel free to contact me for further information.