Frenchie puppies are adorable and it would be very tempting to take one home as soon as you can. However, you need to be aware that there are certain ages at which they cannot leave their mother for both health and legal reasons. If you want to know what the best age to get a Frenchie puppy is, read below for a quick primer on the important factors regarding age.
What is the best age to get a French Bulldog puppy? The best age you can get a French Bulldog puppy from is once they have reached 8 weeks of age. Any time past this is the best age to take them away from their mothers as they will no longer be in the weaning stage.
We got Claude after he had turned 8 weeks old (or two months). I think any time past this date is the best age, and I am going to explain why and what you need to know if considering getting a French Bulldog yourselves.
The bottom line is this; do not buy a French Bulldog before the age of 8 weeks old. This is hugely irresponsible and you’re only lining yourself up for a whole lot of discomfort and problems – for you and the dog.
Frenchies are a massive bundle of fun at any age, the 2 month or 8-week mark is the perfect age range to bring a Frenchie puppy home. Aside from the weaning issue, there are lots of reasons why too, some of which I will go into below.
Why 8 weeks is the best age to get a French Bulldog puppy
1. They aren’t ready to leave their mother before this age
From the moment your Frenchie is born up until his or her 8-week birthday, they go through a huge range of learning, activities, and processes which are designed to promote healthy growth.
This crucial moment of their life will determine almost everything about their future. During this period, French Bulldog puppies are raised by their mother and learn the core basics about being a dog.
French Bulldog puppies are properly nursed and naturally weaned up until 8 weeks of age. They are fed with the right kind of milk for puppies of their age and they receive the proper parental care and attention.
2. Ethical breeders can take care of any health problems
If your Frenchie has been bred by a responsible breeder (and please don’t buy from anywhere else) then you have the peace of mind that they are being looked after by a professional.
Frenchies are renowned for having a whole range of health problems (see the list of issues here) and many of these can be picked up in the 2 month period after they have been born.
If you decide to get a French Bulldog puppy before the 8-week point, it could mean any medical issues won’t be identified, and the correct immunisations and vaccinations may not have been administered.
French Bulldog puppies that live with an expert breeder up until 8 weeks should get the proper medical attention and a health maternal environment that is favourable to their development.
3. Younger dogs are easier to train
If you decide to get an older Frenchie puppy (let’s say one that’s over 6 months in age) then you might find them more difficult to train depending on where they have been living.
By taking home a younger pup at 8 weeks and over, you are almost starting with a blank slate and in theory should be able to train them easier.
Training Frenchies isn’t easy at the best of times. They are a stubborn breed, but getting the training initiated from the age of 8 weeks will mean you should get far better results.
4. Younger dogs will adapt better as will other pets
When we brought Claude home for the first time, we were very nervous about how he was going to adapt to being away from his mother.
We were also worried about how our cat would react to having a strange dog in the house. Our cat is very territorial to say the least; she’s a Bengal!
However, because Claude was 8 weeks old, he was still smaller than our cat. I think this made the introduction and adapting so much easier. I think if we have brought a 6-month-old puppy home, it would have scared our cat and made things a lot harder for us.
Our cat thought she was in charge, and in fact, she still does to this day and they get along just fine. I have put together some tips on how to introduce Frenchies to cats which you might find useful.
You can see a video below from when my young son met Claude on his first day coming home to our house. Claude was 8 or 9 weeks old at this point.
5. It’s great fun having an 8 week old Frenchie
Frenchies are fun whatever the age, but nothing beats having a small puppy of 8 weeks come into your home. The fun is just endless.
As I mentioned earlier, it is hard work as the puppy will poop and pee on the floor, so you have a lot of hard work ahead of you.
However, at this age they are full of excitement, are inquisitive, adventurous, and want to play constantly. You will never get that time back again (unless of course you get another puppy) and we are so happy that we were able to share these formative weeks and months with Claude.
6. You can start socialising your Frenchie early
Puppies who have not been socialised properly with other dog and people can be a handful. The sooner you can start the socialisation process the better (it will be easier if you have two French Bulldogs instead of one).
We took Claude to puppy socialisation classes at our local vets. The idea here is to get lots of young puppies in a room with some older dogs so they can get used to each other.
This helped immensely with Claude, and he’s grown up into being a loveable dog with no temperament issues.
It also helps that we our son was around 4 years old at the time, so Claude was also able to get used to the way young children can approach dogs. He’s never bitten or been aggressive with our own son or other kids as a result.
Why you should not get a Frenchie before 8 weeks of age
Only ignorant people and breeders would let a French Bulldog puppy leave their mother before 8 weeks of age.
I hope I’ve outlined just some of the concerns already around weaning, but there are some more reasons why this is the best age to get a French Bulldog puppy which I’ve outlined below.
1. They are very difficult and expensive to breed
Breeding your own Frenchies is a difficult and expensive process. It’s all down to how they have been bred and their genetics. If you are not an experienced or professional breeder, the chances of you doing it right are very low.
With that in mind, it’s best to simply wait it out until you find a trusted breeder who has some puppies coming – and then wait until they are 8 weeks of age before buying one.
It will be a lot easier than trying to breed them yourselves.
2. You will have a lot of sleepless nights
If you bring a French Bulldog puppy home before they have been weaned from the mother, you are in for a full-time job.
I won’t lie, even after 8 weeks, it’s still a huge commitment to care you’ve got coming your way, but anything younger than that and the work is magnified ten-fold.
You will need to nurse the dog, keep them warm, steadily rub them to stimulate bowel movements, bottle feed them with special puppy milk supplement for up to eight times a day or more – and a whole lot of other necessary and demanding breeding measures.
Looking after a Frenchie puppy younger than 8 weeks of age will be so exhausting and could lead to them having health problems.
3. You will visit the vet more often
Sickness is a huge risk when you take home a Frenchie before the time is right.
Because they are not being raised naturally by the mother, they won’t be weaned and will end lack in essential nourishments and vitamins that necessitate healthy growth.
What to look for when buying a Frenchie puppy
No matter what the age you buy, there are some key things to look out for.
The main things are to make sure you see the dog with the mother, to check the background of the breeder, and to check overall health and signs for infections such as flaking skin, bare spots, bruises, lesions, scabs and cuts that are caused by bacteria.
Here are some more…
- Know the age of the puppy before buying.
- Never buy a puppy without seeing the parents (the mother at least). This will help you know that the puppy comes from a healthy background and you can find out more about the circumstances surrounding the dog.
- Find out if the parents of the puppy have been health tested.
- Make sure that the puppy has had the first vaccinations as these should be done by a vet before they leave the mother.
- Only buy puppies from reputable breeders.
- Ask about any potential genetic health and behavioural problems of the parents before buying.
For more details on what to look out for and the warning signs to be aware of, read this guide on what you need to know before you buy.
Caring for a young puppy
You can find loads of advice on care and training on my blog, but here’s just a few things to get you started off with your new arrival.
- Clean their ears regularly with a damp, warm cloth.
- Maintain and trim their nails regularly.
- Prevent infections by always cleaning and drying the wrinkles between their skin folds.
- Brush their coat once or twice every week to help keep the coat healthy and clean.
- Develop a toilet training routine – here’s how to potty train.
- Teach your puppy some basic training commands – here’s how to train them to sit.
The most important aspect is how to feed the puppy.
There’s a lot on this subject I’ve already covered, and you can read how much you need to them and what in this puppy feeding guide and chart.
Related questions on age
And finally, here are some answers to some common questions people also ask when researching what the best age to get a French Bulldog puppy is.
What is the best age to neuter a French Bulldog?
Recommendations on this will vary, but your vet will typically say that a Frenchie can be neutered between the ages of 4 and 9 months.
We waited until Claude was 6 months for this short and simple procedure. He had no recovery time, just a few stitches, and was his normal self within a few hours.
This is what our own vet said:
“I suggest that French Bulldog puppies are neutered once they reach the puberty age. There is some opinion that this can lead to longer-term health benefits and can even stop negative behavioural problems including aggression.”
Some dog owners believe neutering can change a dog’s temperament. I can only speak from experience when I say that we noticed no differences with our own French Bulldog. He was just as mad and fun after he was neutered.
What age do French Bulldogs come into season?
With female Frenchies you run the risk of pregnancy (albeit a small one due to the difficulty they have in breeding) if you don’t get them spayed.
If you have not spayed your Frenchie, they will come into season and have regular heat cycles – I’ve written a guide about French Bulldog heat cycles here.
The age French Bulldogs are said to come into season will vary from 6 to 8 months old. Once they have come into season, they will typically come into heat a couple of times a year.
What age to French Bulldogs stop teething?
Just like humans, dogs will also teeth and start to lose their milk teeth as they grow older.
French Bulldogs tend to stop teething once they read 7 to 8 months of age. Teething can start at around 4 months old. You can read all you need to know about the teething stages and what to expect in this teething timeline.
I remember us finding small teeth on the carpet in our lounge when Claude starting teething. I wish I had kept them now!
To conclude, the best age to get a French Bulldog puppy is once they reach the age of 8 weeks of age. They are then able to leave their mother and be re-homed – you can read more about why it’s important they don’t leave their mother before this age.
But don’t think that’s going to make things easy for you.
In the first week we had Claude, he would cry and whine at night which I can only put down to being scared and wondering where his mum and siblings were.
It was heart-breaking to hear, but he soon moved on and is now a healthy, happy, and energetic dog who we wouldn’t give up for the world.
The bottom line is this; having an adorably cute Frenchie puppy as a new family member is really exciting… but very manic at the same time. In fact, I would almost compare it to having a baby. You need to keep a constant eye on them, they mess everywhere, and need constant attention. But don’t let that put you off!
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This month I published a new blog post which talks about the pros and cons to male versus female French Bulldogs. You might want to read that before deciding what gender puppy you will be getting.