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 More Facts & Info

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If you are thinking of adopting a dog from us, be sure your expectations are in line with reality.

Many rescue dogs come with baggage, whether emotional or physical, and before you think about applying for a rescue dog, think about what you can manage. Rescue dogs aren't for everyone, and they are certainly not a way to get an inexpensive Frenchie. Many adopters find they will spend as much on a rescue dog in vet bills as they would had they bought a Frenchie from a reputable breeder.

The biographies of our dogs are extensive, so you should have a good idea of whether the dog is good with kids or other dogs, whether the dog is house trained and crate-trained, and any ongoing medical concerns he may have. 

Once you apply, you should be prepared for a call from the foster parent, and you should know we'll be calling your vet to make sure your animals are well cared-for. If the calls are positive and your family seems a good fit for the dog, we'll move on to a home visit. It's important you know that this is a required step. A volunteer will come to your home and make sure the fence (if there is one) is in good shape, make sure everyone in the family is on board with the idea of a new dog, make sure the house doesn't have any dangerous plants or wide-set railings a dog could fall through, and go over your questions with you.

Once the home visit is completed, the application and home visit are forwarded to the Board of Directors, who will look over the documents and vote whether to approve the adoption.


When your adoption is approved, pick up can be arranged. You'll be asked to sign a contract that assures FBRN that in the event you can no longer take care of the dog, you will return the dog to our care.

When you arrive to pick up the dog, it's a great idea to have a tag with your information on it ready to go. Many dogs are lost during transports, and having your current information on the dog will be key to getting the dog back. There will likely be toys or some personal items coming home with you from the foster family residence.

Try to take a few days to settle in with your dog. If you have a dog, for the first day or two allow the Frenchie to hang out with you in a room separate from other dogs. Be calm and let her come to you. If she wants to stay in her crate, let her. You can stop by with treats from time to time. Let her get used to the new sounds and smells and the rhythm of the house. Your dog's foster parent will describe slow introductions to resident dogs to you.

Start familiarizing your Frenchie with her new schedule as soon as you can. You should absolutely expect the stress of changing homes may cause your dog to lose her housebreaking for a time, and you may have to go back to square one, crating when you aren't paying attention, taking her outside immediately, giving exuberant praise for pottying outdoors, etc. Being realistic about the fact that most dogs are not plug and play will prevent stress and disappointment.

If you have children, it's key that all interactions between dogs and kids must be supervised, for everyone's safety. Children aren't born knowing how to be with dogs, and even if you already have a dog or two, not every dog is the same. While one dog will allow a child to poke him in the eye and pull his lips and ride on his back, others will object. If you can't be in the room with your child and the dog, the dog should be in a room by himself or safely in his crate with a toy. Children are especially liable in the first days following adoption to be excitable and to want to carry the dog or show them affection. Difficult as it is to ask your kids to restrain themselves, your dog will be happier if you can ask children to remember to be calm and gentle. 

Wait a few days to introduce your new dog to your friends. Let him get to know and trust you first, then widen his circle of familiar and trusted people.

Sign up for pet insurance. 

Dog-thefts are on the rise all over the country. It's not safe to leave your dog outside in the yard unattended. Dog-doors are not safe, either. Many areas are experiencing a rise in coyote and cougar sightings, and we recently heard of a California family who lost two Frenchies to cougars on two different occasions. Walk your dog on a lead or exercise him in the yard in your company.

Be aware that dogs take time to reveal themselves. For the first 3-6 weeks, dogs are learning who's the boss, where the treats are, what the routine is, who is a good belly-rubber, and who to avoid. Their true personalities may be evident right from the start, but it's likely that your new dog will be holding back until he is confident of his place and the routine.

Remember, you are adopting a rescue dog to give a homeless Frenchie a second chance. Adoption is something you do to make both your lives better. Keep in mind that your Frenchie wants to fulfill his purpose to be a loving companion dog, but his first instinct in the first few days will be to survive and be sure the new place is safe for him and that you are trustworthy. By the time you take your dog home, FBRN will have been convinced you are a trustworthy family, but your dog has to learn that too.

Are rescue French Bulldogs good with children? 

Many rescues are surrendered because they have not done well with children in the past. These dogs do not make good pets for families with children. Some French Bulldogs, on the other hand, are marvelous with children.

Will my rescue French Bulldog get along with my cat? 

Some French Bulldogs have a high prey-drive, which means that they enjoy chasing, catching and killing smaller or weaker animals, including cats. Some French Bulldogs enjoy the company of cats, and some ignore cats. If you have cats, be sure the dog you are considering has lived safely with cats, or is responding well to foster cats in its foster home.

Will my rescue French Bulldog be friendly with my other dog(s)? 

There can be a great deal of same sex aggression among French Bulldogs, especially among the females. Some French Bulldogs are very dominant, and should not be

placed with other dogs. French Bulldogs' sociability varies, so be sure to carefully read the bio of the dog which interests you, to see whether or not the dog would be a good choice for your home.

Will my rescue French Bulldog bark very much? 

A neglected dog barks for attention. A spoiled dog barks to make demands. Excessive or non-barking should be noted in their description.

Will my rescue French Bulldog be friendly with my family, friends and neighbors? 

Most French Bulldogs enjoy the company of people. Occasionally, a rescue French Bulldog will come into our care who is very fearful of people and requires special care and a long rehabilitation and socialization. Generally, these rescued French Bulldogs are placed in very dog-savvy homes.

Do rescue French Bulldogs bite? 

Most well socialized French Bulldogs do not bite under ordinary circumstances. Sadly, not all our rescues have been well socialized. Dogs with a history of aggression towards other animals, but are good with people, are placed in single pet homes, with full disclosure of their animosity towards other animals. Dogs who have bitten people are carefully evaluated, both by their foster homes and by professional behaviorists or skilled dog trainers. One of the most difficult tasks we face is to decide whether or not a dog can be safely placed in an adoptive home. These dogs are either euthanized (in the most extreme cases), or are carefully placed with experienced parties, after they have been determined to be safe in their foster homes.

Where do rescue French Bulldogs come from? 

Every imaginable source! Families or owners who can no longer care for their dogs for any reason surrender their pets to us. Some are breeder retirees who are ready for lives as pets. Some are puppy mill dogs who have never known life outside a cage. Some are strays or owner surrenders pulled from animal shelters or humane societies. Some dogs are victims of abuse or neglect and are turned over to us by authorities.

Are rescue French Bulldogs healthy? 

Most of FBRN's money is spent ensuring the French Bulldogs who are adopted from FBRN go in good health and good condition. To the best of our knowledge and ability, we will always share any long term concerns and advise our adopters of any possible requirements their rescue might have. Each adoptive family will receive a copy of their dog's available health records.

Will my rescue French Bulldog snore? 

Your French Bulldog will probably snore and make a whole host of other fascinating noises, ranging from a noise that sounds suspiciously like purring all the way up to the infamous "Frenchie death wail". Being a brachycephalic breed, French Bulldogs may have stenotic nares (small nostrils) or tracheal stenosis (narrow windpipe) that increase the sounds your French Bulldog makes when sleeping, after strenuous exertion, or in the heat.

Will my French Bulldog do well in the heat? 

NO, French Bulldogs overheat quickly because of their extremely short noses and inability to effectively cool the air they breathe. Frenchies must NEVER be left in cars unattended even on "cool" days. Walk or exercise your French bulldog only in the cool of the morning or late evening in the warm months, not in the heat or sun of the day. Never tie your Frenchie out in the sun, and provide shade and water if your Frenchie is outdoors with you while you are gardening or entertaining on sunny days. Watch for excessive panting or signs of distress, and act quickly to lower your dog's temperature if he gets too warm: a tepid shower bath, cool cloths, and a trip to the vet.

Click here to read more about Frenchies and heat safety.

Can French Bulldogs swim?

NO. French Bulldogs sink like stones. If your Frenchie is going to be near water, he should wear a lifejacket or have constant supervision.

 

I'd like to buy a French bulldog from a breeder, but I'm not sure what to look for and what to avoid.  I have heard that lots of websites are just covers for puppy brokers who import dogs from Europe that are sick and not socialized.  How do I know who is a good breeder and who is not?

This is a great question.  Websites can be very deceptive, and folks who want a pet Frenchie but have no background in the breed can be easily tempted by flashy sites and cute puppy pictures!  Here's a list of red flags to watch for when you are looking at a website:

Puppy Miller/ Backyard Breeder/Dog Broker website RED flags
 
(If two or three of the red flags below appear during your puppy-seeking process, whether on the website or during discussions with the breeder...RUN!)
 
1.  If they accept PayPal or credit cards online on their website.....RUN!
 
2.  If they demand a non-refundable deposit from you......RUN!
 
3.  If they do not proudly show photos and pedigrees of their dogs on their site.......RUN!
 
4.  If they do not do any health testing of their dogs........RUN!
 
5.  If they show pictures of scared, skinny, little, pathetic-looking puppies......RUN!
 
6.  If they can not, or are unwilling to provide veterinary or puppy purchaser references for you.......RUN!
 
7.  If they do not offer a health guarantee that covers the health of that puppy for at least one year.........RUN!
 
8. If they do not belong to any dog clubs, breed organizations, etc......RUN!
 
9.  If they try to pressure you to buy a puppy in any way............RUN!
 
10. If they don't show their dogs in any true dog sport activities (conformation, obedience, etc.)....RUN!
 
11. If they say they will ship "WORLDWIDE" anywhere, at any time.........RUN!
 
12. If they don't question you as thoroughly as if you were adopting a human infant.........RUN!
 
13. If they have many dogs available at all times, and also many other breeds of dogs for sale on their website......RUN!
 
14. If they are offended when you ask them about any of the above mentioned items....RUN!


Now that you know what the red flags are, you can go to the French Bulldog Club of America website  and check out the list of breeders who belong to the national club.  There might be someone near you who will be willing to talk to you about French bulldogs and their special needs and limitations.  Do not expect to be able to buy a puppy this week, next month or off the shelf for a Christmas present!  French bulldogs are, unfortunately, the latest trendy dog in a long and shifting history of trendy breeds.  If you are serious about wanting a healthy, well bred, even-tempered companion you should be prepared to wait several months, and if you are hoping for a dog from a specific breeder, perhaps longer.  It is unlikely that you will experience instant gratification as you search for your Frenchie.  Purchase in haste, repent (and pay vet bills, behaviorist bills, and trainer bills) in leisure.  Whatever you do, resist the impulse to buy a French bulldog from a pet store!  Pet stores are "stocked" by puppy mills and backyard breeders whose first concern is profit, not health, not temperament, and not the well-being of the breeding "stock."  

 

How will my rescue French Bulldog be different from one I could acquire from a breeder?

Some rescue French Bulldogs face a range of challenges, from temperament to health problems, which you should not see in a dog from a reputable breeder. Some rescue French Bulldogs will not meet the breed standards for conformation. Many of FBRN's rescue French Bulldogs are adult or even elderly dogs, rather than the puppies or young dogs you might acquire from a breeder.

Some rescue French Bulldogs ARE well bred dogs, bred by reputable breeders, who - through the death or misfortune of their owners, death or misfortune of their breeders, or just plain bad luck - find themselves in rescue. While FBRN makes every attempt to reunite these dogs with their breeders, this is not always possible, and in some instances, the breeders in question even recognize and appreciate FBRN's ability to find excellent homes for their dogs. Many of FBRN's rescue French Bulldogs are, in fact, AKC champions. There's no difference between a rescue French Bulldog and a French Bulldog from a reputable breeder in terms of the pleasure they'll bring to your life, and the laughter and affection they'll inspire.

What if my rescue French Bulldog doesn't work out with my family?

When a FBRN foster French Bulldog leaves us, the new owner signs a contract promising to return the dog to FBRN if they want to or have to give up the dog for any reason.

Will my rescue French Bulldog bond to me and my family?

French Bulldogs are people dogs. They are bred to be companions and they do best in the constant company of people. It is rare that a French Bulldog cannot bond with a family regardless of how old he may be or his previous experiences.

I've never had a French Bulldog before, what are they really like? 

Most French Bulldogs make wonderful companion dogs. French Bulldogs like to play, to nap, to snuggle and to be involved in what you are doing. Like all breeds, individual dogs within the French Bulldog breed vary in their activity levels, their gregariousness and their intelligence, but by and large, French Bulldogs are very lovable, clownish, happy dogs.

However, due to their cleverness and strength of character, problems may arise. Many dogs have been surrendered to FBRN for behavioral issues, object guarding, aggression towards other animals, jealous or possessive behavior. Much of this behavior will evaporate when the French Bulldog in question is not allowed to run the household.

Will my rescue French Bulldog need lots of exercise?

That depends on the age and health of your dog. Please remember not to exercise your French Bulldog in the heat of the day. Temperatures of 75 and above can impair your dog's ability to cool itself adequately, and may result in a stroke or even death.
What do French Bulldogs eat? French Bulldogs eat a variety of diets, and your foster home will tell you about what your new French Bulldog has been eating.

Can I change my rescue French Bulldog's name? 

Yes, you can. Sometimes, it's even advisable to change a French Bulldog's name to give him a fresh start.

How can I find a good French Bulldog vet?

Your foster home may be able to help with this, but you can also call a reputable breeder in your area and ask for a recommendation. It's particularly important to use an experienced vet with brachycephalic breeds when it comes to surgery, and joint and spinal issues. Many of our adopters are fortunate to live within distance of a University veterinary school, and they have had very good luck there. Click HERE for a list of veterinarians we know are "Frenchie Friendly."

More questions? 

Contact us! We are all French Bulldog enthusiasts and are happy to share information about our breed.