Adopt a French Bulldog

Updated October 27, 2018
Happy French Bulldog

If you would like to adopt a French Bulldog, consider both breeders and rescue organizations. The playful and affectionate breed is a great family dog and fits in well with multiple pet households. You can find a great dog with the right research. Here's what you need to know about French Bulldog adoption.

French Bulldog History

French Bulldogs aka Frenchies share a common English Bulldog ancestor with several bulldog breeds. During the 19th century, British breeders began to breed small bulldogs that weighed between 12 to 25 pounds. The small dogs were most popular with the lace-makers in the English Midlands. When the Industrial Revolution forced many lace-makers to close their small shops, many of the artisans took their dogs and immigrated to the North of France. Once the English immigrants introduced the small bulldog to France, French people of all classes started adopting the dogs as pets. The small bulldogs became so popular in France that by 1896, they were considered a French breed despite their British origins and the fact that breeders in the UK, USA, and France bred the dog.

The early French Bulldogs had variations in appearance based upon the breeder's location before the American Kennel Club (AKC) established the breed standard. Breeders in France and the UK preferred rose ears. American breeders only considered upright or bat ears appropriate. UK French Bulldogs tended to have more of a square jaw than French and American versions. By 1898, AKC determined the breed standard that only allowed for bat ears. Modern French Bulldogs are bred following this AKC breed standard.

Why Adopt a French Bulldog?

French Bulldogs make excellent companion dogs and adapt to most lifestyles. The breed has the following qualities:

  • The dogs have an affectionate, friendly and loyal temperament.
  • The breed is generally patient and gentle with children.
  • French bulldogs can live comfortably in apartments.
  • A daily walk and potty trips outside provide sufficient exercise.
  • The dog has a low-shedding short coat that is very easy to groom at home.
  • The breed is generally healthy. Common health issues include a sensitive stomach and skin allergies.

Adoption Consideration

Adult French Bulldog

You should make sure that you can provide a suitable home for a French Bulldog prior to adoption. While the breed can adapt to most lifestyles, you should consider the following before an adoption:

  • French Bulldogs need a home where they will receive daily attention. Do not leave your dog alone for hours if possible. Make sure that you spend a lot of quality time with the dog in the evenings if he is alone during the workday.
  • Frenchies are indoor dogs. This is not the type of dog that can be tied up outside for long periods of time. These dogs overheat easily and need to be protected when outdoors in warm weather. In hot weather, the dogs should be walked in the morning and evening and not during the hottest times of the day.
  • Some French Bulldogs do not get along well with pre-existing pets in a household, especially cats. However, many Frenchies can learn to get along well with other pets with a proper introduction and training. Getting multiple pets at the same time can prevent training issues if they grow up together and develop positive associations with each other.
  • Invest time for training and socialization. Some French Bulldogs can become excessive barkers and display watchdog tendencies without proper training and socialization.
  • If you have small children, always supervise interactions between the dog and children. While French Bulldogs are generally good with children, you should still supervise interactions to prevent any accidental injuries.

French Bulldogs make great pets in suitable homes. Take into account your lifestyle and time commitment for a pet when you consider adoption.

Adopting an Adult French Bulldog

If you are interested in a rescue French Bulldog, adult Frenchies make great pets. Adult French Bulldogs offer the following benefits:

  • Personality established
  • Potty trained
  • No destructive puppy behavior
  • Extremely appreciative of a new home
  • A true rescue because most people want puppies

French Bulldog Adoption Process

Most breeders and rescue organizations will require a potential adoptive family to fill out an application and will then interview the family. The interview will cover the type of dog sought, the proposed home environment and any adoption requirements. The breeders or rescue organization will work closely with the family to select a dog or puppy that suits the family. Some breeders and rescue groups require an inspection of the potential new home.

How to Pick the Right French Bulldog

French bulldog

When you are searching for a French Bulldog, look for the following traits:

  • Upright bat ears
  • Face with square, undershot jaw, and deep muzzle
  • Alert, intelligent expression in dark eyes
  • Short, smooth coat with fine fur that comes in the colors of white, fawn, brindle or brindle and white.
  • Small, muscular dog with a compact body
  • Straight or screwed tail
  • No sign of illness such as dry nose, dried feces near the tail or thin appearance
  • Friendly and curious

The breeder or rescue organization will help you choose a dog that fits your lifestyle and personality.

Finding a Breeder or Rescue Organization

If you're looking to bring home a French Bulldog, you have the option of finding a suitable dog through a breeder or from a shelter or rescue group. You are most likely to find puppies through a breeder and older dogs from a rescue group, although this is not an absolute.

Rescuing a French Bulldog

The French Bull Dog Club of America (FBDCA) recommends the following rescue organizations on their website:

  • French Bulldog Village (Brockton, MA) is a non-profit volunteer group that helps French Bulldogs looking for homes all over the United States. They will also take owner surrenders and dogs with special needs from breeders.
  • French Bulldog Rescue Network (Glen Allen, VA) is an all-volunteer group dedicated to facilitating French Bulldog rescue dog adoptions throughout the United States. The FBRN works with French Bulldogs and mixes.
  • Chicago French Bulldog Rescue (Chicago, IL) is an all-volunteer organization that places dogs in the Chicago area.

Some additional rescue groups around the country include:

  • SNAFU Rescue (Omaha, NE/Council Bluffs, IA) focuses on French Bulldogs and English Bulldogs as well as some other brachycephalic dogs. They adopt dogs out primarily to Nebraska and Iowa. They do however adopt dogs out throughout the U.S. and Canada if the adopters travel to them to pick up the dog.
  • French Bulldog Second Chance Rescue (Iowa) has a volunteer network in the U.S. and Canada. They specialize in dogs that need more care during adoption for behavioral and medical issues.
  • Short Noses Only Rescue Team (SNORT) (Hoboken, NJ) focuses on the Northeastern U.S. including New England states such as New Hampshire and Vermont. They specialize in French Bulldogs as well as Boston Terriers, Pugs, and English Bulldogs.
  • Bullies 2 The Rescue (Indian Trail, NC) adopts French Bulldogs out to families in North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Virginia, and Maryland. They cover French and English Bulldogs and will also take owner surrenders.
  • Short Mugs Rescue Squad (Katy, TX) is a volunteer group headquartered in Texas in the Houston area. They will also adopt out dogs to Oklahoma and Louisiana. In addition to French Bulldogs they also occasionally will have English Bulldogs, Pugs, and Boston Terriers.
  • Queen City Bulldog Rescue (Newport, KY) focuses on adopting dogs to the Cincinnati, Ohio area, as well as areas in Kentucky adjacent to the city. They also take owner surrenders and will assist owners who wish to keep their dogs but may be struggling with a behavior or health problem.

If you can't locate a French Bulldog-specific rescue in your area, you can use national adoption websites to find dogs near you that may be at a public shelter or in a private rescue group that takes in many breeds. These sites let you search based on your zip code and breed choice. The two most prominent sites are Petfinder and Adopt-a-Pet.

Finding a French Bulldog Breeder

There are several ways to find a reputable breeder and avoid online and local puppy mills:

  • Contact the FBDCA to get a list of recommended breeders in your area.
  • You can also ask local veterinarians for information on recommended French Bulldog breeders.
  • Attend local dog shows and ask competitors if they know of a French Bulldog puppy for sale or a breeder they recommend.
  • French Bulldog puppies can be found for a wide range of prices starting at around $1,400 and as high as $8,000. The large price range is due to whether the dog has a highly desired coloring or a smaller size, such as teacup French Bulldog puppies for sale which can be priced on the higher end.

If you find a French Bulldog for sale that you have your heart set on, remember to do your due diligence first! Interview your breeder, and expect them to the same to you, to make sure you are bringing home a happy and healthy pup from a dedicated breeder.

Make an Informed Decision

Do your research and carefully select a breeder or rescue organization. A good breeder or rescue organization will help you adopt a French Bulldog who suits your lifestyle. When you find the right French Bulldog, you have a loyal and loving companion.

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Adopt a French Bulldog