Where to buy a French Bulldog?
Where can I buy a French Bulldog? Which breeders are recommended?
One can not directly recommend a breeder if one is not informed about the health tests of the parents. A nice website with stunning photographs and announced health tests sound amazing, right? But the buyer has to be able to comprehend the results of the health tests from the parents, and what those results mean.
More often than not, the result written by a veterinarian deviates from the actual conditions of the dog. Reports from veterinary specialists always have a preference, combined with x-rays that are sent upon request. The puppy buyer should invest time in this long learning process of being able to interpret the results. The terms ‘free-breathing, HD free, perfect’ are sometimes a loosely interpreted saying and can lead to enormous surprises if the x-rays and other images are investigated thoroughly! So far, a meaningful examination of the respiratory tract by computed tomography as a breeding prerequisite has not yet established itself as standard.
The puppy buyer must be aware that by his purchase and his selection he influences the breeding of the bully with the corresponding characteristics, both positive and negative.
Tests performed on a young animal by endoscopy or x-ray do not provide reliable information about the possibility of thermoregulation. Studies have also shown that stress tests also do not provide a reliable way to distinguish sick from healthy dogs. Health can not be determined by external judgement alone.
Therefore, one can only recommend visiting the breeder in person and get a good idea about the breathing of the parents, together with health tests in the form of x-ray images and reports by specialty veterinarians.
However, this is not a guarantee for professional breeding management with healthy dogs. Ultimately, every breeder is responsible for it’s own mating and breeding choices. A one-time-only breeder, who raises his bar of self-control and aftercare very high, is not necessarily worse than a breeder who submits to an association that requires only insufficient research and dogs with dubious defects suitable for breeding!
What can I do?
The parent animals should still look like dogs, they should have a distinct face with nosebridge, a clearly set tail and a longer back are advantageous. The dogs should be agile and happy, neither shy nor aggressive and have a robust, cheerful look.
The mother should of course be giving birth naturally and be as flexible that she can clean herself. Please do not support breeders who "reap" their puppies in the form of planned Cesarean Sections.
A caesarean section should only be what it once was. In exceptions and unpredictable circumstances, an emergency operation that can save the lives of bitch and puppy.
And never a calculated instrument to pull puppies out of degenerated dogs that can no longer reproduce naturally. This contradicts the original idea of breeding and breed improvement and must be seen as a propagation for the benefit of the humans. This deplorable development for the animals can only be regulated by rethinking breeders AND buyers.
In some countries, the rate of Cesarian sections in French Bulldogs is estimated 80-90%. In part, the surgeries are performed only with local anesthesia and not under general anesthesia. Obviously there are no official statistics on this development contrary to animal welfare.
In addition to breathing, the health of the spine is a major weakness of the French Bulldog.
An x-ray image of a year-old breeding dog rarely gives any indication as to whether it can lead to later problems of the early calcified intervertebral discs.This requires an X-ray of the slightly older breeding dog and this is something hardly any breeder does.
Generally you have to accept the spinal problems as breed typical. Because of the existing corkscrew spinal deformities will not be completely eradicated, this is hereditary. Hemivertebrae must be neither painful nor life-threatening for the dog. Here, it is only necessary to breed with weakly abnormal animals, which carry moderate abnormalities, which do not limit the quality of life. Therefore, a taboo for breeding in deformities in the lumbar spine and in the delicate transition thoracic spine to lumbar spine is considered. A few wedge vertebrae in a not too heavily compressed thoracic spine can be allowed. Breeding goal should be an improvement through meaningful mating, to thin out this problem for generations to come.
Even most people without veterinary background can very roughly differentiate between the healthy vertebra (rectangles) and deformed vertebrae (one-sided shortened rectangles to triangles).
A healthy spine shows a harmonious curve, in which one can count the vertebrae without effort. This can be a rough guide for any puppy buyer to get a small overview if he has a chance to get a look at the parents' x-rays.
The breeder will be able to explain the pictures further because he will have talked with radiologists or other experts about the health of his dogs.
It is important to ensure that there are never any vertebral vertebrae in the loin (7 lumbar vertebrae = L1 - L7) and in the transition from the thoracic spine to the lumbar spine (Th 11 - Th 13).
Slightly defined wedge vertebrae with flattened sides can be tolerated in small numbers in the anterior thoracic spine up to Th 10. Important here are good distances between the vertebrae, the thoracic spine should not be squeezed or shifted in itself.
The last lumbar vertebra (L7) that passes to the sacrum (S1 - S3) must not be excessively shortened and must be well spaced.
Do not get persuaded because of phrases like: There are sick French Bulldogs from well-tested and relatively low-defect parent animals and vice versa.
This is of course correct, but especially the hip dysplasia problem leaves this fact breeders and veterinarians to despair since hip dysplasia is not all hereditary.
Nevertheless, this should never serve as an excuse for carelessness of testing, this is even worse than acceptance of breeding dogs with severe deformities.
The adventure to buy a puppy is sometimes a nerve-wracking adventure, since many problems can only occur in the adult stages of life.
No serious breeder will be able to guarantee that every dog of every breed will not be the carrier of more than 450 known hereditary diseases. Highly recommended is to discuss with your breeder what he will do in the case of an emerging illness, and whether he will participate in possibly incurred surgery costs.
Does he intend to invest a part of his well-calculated puppy price in his breeding, in the form of progeny examinations or sponsoring for the treatment of possibly occurring hereditary defects? If he persuasively cries that no sick or strained animals will ever fall, then one should continue to search further to other breeders.