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13 Signs of a French Bulldog Breeder Scammer

In recent years, French Bulldogs, with their distinctive bat ears and adorable smooshed faces, have become a favorite breed among dog lovers globally.

Just how popular?

Well recently Frenchies were ranked the #1 Most Popular Dog in America by the American Kennel Club (AKC).

As Frenchies get more popular, so do their scammers

However, as Frenchies soar in popularity, a darker trend emerges…

The rising incidence of French Bulldog breeder scams.

Everybody wants a Frenchie.

A ton of people want to breed Frenchies.

And too many people want to take advantage of innocent families that just want to bring home a happy & loving Frenchie.

French Bulldog wearing devil horns

Frenchie Scammers are Everywhere

There are scammers everywhere nowadays, and it can be hard to spot a scam from a legitimate breeder, especially when there are minimal red flags (but they’re there!)

Recognizing the signs of a scammer is critical to ensure you’re not only protecting your wallet but also promoting responsible dog ownership.

In this article, we’re going to look at 13 signs that the Frenchie breeder you’re dealing with might actually be a scammer.

The 13 Signs of a French Bulldog Breeder Scammer

Sign 1: Unusually Low Prices

When a deal seems too good to be true, it usually is.

Frenchies are expensive…

With the average price of a Frenchie being ~$3,500, it can be tempting to jump on what seems like an amazing deal for a Frenchie.

But this is part of the scammer’s trick…

So you might want to ask yourself…

“Why is this Frenchie so cheap?!”

The answer is simple:

People tend to ignore red flags when faced with an “amazing deal”

Scammers often lure buyers with enticingly low prices for French Bulldogs, well below the market rate.

They do this knowing that people might ignore red flags and things that seem “too good to be true” when they think they’re getting the deal of a lifetime.

French Bulldog sleeping on money

You might get a Frenchie, but it might not be what you think

Sometimes when the price is too good to be true, they might actually sell you the dog — but there’s usually a reason why they were trying to sell the puppy below it’s average price.

Usually the puppy has health issues that they don’t disclose — usually a result of irresponsible backyard breeding.

While you might save a few bucks on the puppy, it may lead to hefty vet bills down the line or, worse, heartache over a sickly pup.

Sign 2: Lack of Health History Transparency

A reputable breeder will always provide comprehensive health history for their dogs.

They’d also take pride in breeding only the healthiest dogs that have had genetic testing done to rule out certain hereditary health issues.

French Bulldog dogs dressed up with doctor and nurse costume

Red flags to look for

  • Unwillingness to share health records: Reputable breeders perform health tests and veterinary checks for their dogs and are happy to share these records. If a breeder is hesitant or refuses to show you these documents, be cautious.
  • Inconsistencies in information: If you’re finding contradictions in the information provided about the puppy’s health history, it’s a red flag. It might indicate the breeder is not honest or possibly trying to cover up health issues.
  • No discussion of potential breed-related health issues: French Bulldogs, like any breed, have certain health conditions they’re predisposed to. A reputable breeder will educate potential buyers about these issues. If a breeder insists their puppies are immune to all breed-specific conditions, it’s a cause for concern.
  • No proof of vaccinations or deworming: Puppies should have received their first round of vaccinations and deworming treatments before they’re ready to go to a new home. If the breeder can’t provide proof that these treatments have been administered, it could indicate a scam.

If you encounter a breeder unwilling to share these details or offering suspiciously vague or inconsistent information, beware!

This could be a sign they’re hiding something about the dog’s health.

Just find another breeder!

Sign 3: Unverified or Non-Existent Registration Papers

Legitimate registration papers are a must when buying a purebred French Bulldog.

Scammers, however, might show forged papers or offer none at all.

Always verify these documents with the relevant dog breed registry to ensure their authenticity.

Red flags to look for

  • Absence of registration papers: If the breeder cannot produce any registration papers, it could be a sign they are not a reputable breeder or the dog is not a purebred French Bulldog.
  • Delays or excuses about papers: Scammers may try to give various reasons for why they don’t have the papers at hand. Common excuses include “the papers are still being processed” or “I will mail them to you later.” A genuine breeder would have all necessary documentation ready when the dog is sold.
  • Inability to verify registration: Breeders should provide registration papers that can be verified with the appropriate breed registry, such as the American Kennel Club (AKC) or the United Kennel Club (UKC). If the breeder’s paperwork doesn’t check out when you contact the registry, it’s a major red flag.
  • Forgery or alteration of documents: Some scammers might go as far as to forge registration documents. Look for signs of alteration or discrepancies in the documents. If in doubt, cross-verify with the issuing authority.

Sign 4: Pressure to Make Hasty Decisions

If a breeder is pushing you to make a quick decision or using high-pressure sales tactics, that’s a HUGE red flag.

They might say something like…

“I can only hold the puppy for a few days for you”


“I need you to send the deposit immediately to hold the puppy”

French bulldog sleeping in the bed with sleeping mask and alarm clock
Wake up! A scamming Frenchie breeder wants you to send them a deposit ASAP! (don’t do it)

While these might be true in some cases, these are high-pressure sales tactics commonly used by scammers.

Don’t fall into their pressure if you’re on the fence about the breeder — you can always find another Frenchie.

Red flags to look for

  • Limited time offers: Scammers may claim they have a special deal that’s only available for a short time, pressuring you to make a quick decision. Remember, a reputable breeder’s primary concern is the welfare of their dogs, not quick sales.
  • High demand claims: A scammer might tell you the puppy you’re interested in has several other interested buyers to make you feel a sense of urgency. While it’s true that some breeds or litters may be in high demand, reputable breeders won’t pressure you into buying by creating a false sense of competition.
  • Rushing the payment process: If the breeder is rushing you to make a deposit or pay in full without giving you enough time to consider, it might be a scam. It’s normal for breeders to require a deposit, but this should come after you’ve had ample time to consider your decision.
  • Avoiding questions or concerns: A reputable breeder welcomes questions and understands that potential buyers may have concerns. If your queries are met with impatience or are brushed off, it’s a clear warning sign.

You should always have enough time to research the breeder and make an informed choice.

Don’t let them trick you into rushing into the purchase — there are plenty of Frenchies out there for you!

Your future Frenchie’s well-being is worth the time investment!

A French Bulldog running outside through the fall leaves
Slow down! Don’t rush getting your Frenchie!

Sign 5: Use of Emotional Manipulation or Sob Stories

Scammers often resort to emotional manipulation or sob stories to rush a sale. Keep an eye out for these red flags:

Red flags to look for

  • Sob stories: If the breeder frequently shares stories designed to tug at your heartstrings (e.g., they can’t afford to keep the dogs, they’re moving and can’t take the dogs with them, etc.), it might be a scam. While these situations can happen, they should not be used as a tool to pressure you into making a hasty decision.
  • Creating a sense of guilt: If the breeder attempts to guilt-trip you into buying a puppy by suggesting the puppy might end up in a shelter or in a bad situation without your help, be wary. A reputable breeder has a network of fellow breeders and previous customers that they can rely on if they genuinely need help with rehoming a dog.
  • Rushing the sale due to personal issues: If the breeder pushes for a quick sale due to personal issues like financial troubles or health problems, proceed with caution. Although these can be legitimate reasons, they may also be fabricated to create a sense of urgency.

Sign 6: Poor Communication or Reluctance to Provide Information

Communication is key in any transaction, and buying a puppy is no different.

Reputable breeders are not only good at breeding puppies, but they also know how to run a business.

Don’t put up with poor & unprofessional communication

If you feel like a breeder is unprofessional, slow to respond, and dodging your questions — this is a HUGE red flag.


Find a new breeder that respects your time and answers any questions & concerns you may have.

French bulldog puppies play and sniff mobile phone
You’re better off talking to these two Frenchies than some sketchy breeders out there!

Red flags to look for

  • Delay in responses: While breeders may be busy, they should still prioritize communication with potential buyers. If a breeder consistently takes a long time to reply to your inquiries or doesn’t respond at all, it could be a sign of a scam.
  • Avoiding direct answers: A reputable breeder should be able to answer your questions confidently and directly. If they are evasive, vague, or dismissive, it’s a clear warning sign.
  • Reluctance to provide information about the parents: Information about the puppy’s parents, such as their health history and temperament, is crucial. If a breeder is unwilling to share this, it’s a cause for concern.
  • Unwillingness to provide pictures or videos: A genuine breeder would be more than happy to share pictures or videos of the puppy, its siblings, and its parents. If a breeder refuses to provide these or only shares professional or suspiciously perfect photos, they might not be legitimate.

Be wary of breeders who avoid answering your questions or are reluctant to provide detailed information about their dogs.

A genuine breeder will always welcome your curiosity and inquiries.

Sign 7: Absence of Verifiable References or Testimonials

Check for testimonials or references from previous buyers.

Just because you see some testimonials and reviews on their website or Facebook page doesn’t mean they’re legitimate — in fact, you might want to be a bit wary when you see tons of positive reviews with other red flags (like not having a physical location).

Reviews can easily be faked.

You should try to get in contact with some of these people that have left the reviews if possible.

Even if the reviews look real, once you start digging deeper into “who” actually left the review, you might realize that they are not real people.

Funny French Bulldog dog dressed up with pirate Halloween fully body costume with hat and fake hook arm on white background

Red flags to look for

  • No testimonials or references provided: If a breeder doesn’t have any testimonials or isn’t able to provide references from previous customers, it’s a red flag.
  • Unable to verify testimonials: If testimonials are provided but you can’t verify their authenticity (for instance, through a neutral platform or direct contact), it could indicate a scam.
  • Reluctance to connect you with previous customers: If a breeder refuses to connect you with previous buyers for feedback, it may be cause for concern.

Genuine, verifiable feedback from satisfied customers is a solid indicator of a trustworthy breeder.

A French Bulldog puppy in a basket outside

Sign 8: Unusual Payment Methods and Requests

Unconventional payment methods, like wire transfers or pre-paid debit cards, are a big red flag.

Or they might pressure you to send a deposit through Zelle, Venmo, CashApp, etc. very early on in the buying process to “hold the puppy for you”.

Never send multiple deposits for any reason

In fact, there have been reports of scammers getting not one… not two… but three or more “deposits” from their victims by saying that they need to pay for vet bills, costs to transport the puppy, and whatever else they can come up with to get money out of you.

You aren’t protected with some of these payment methods

These payment methods offer little to no protection if things go wrong.

Reputable breeders will typically accept safer payment methods, like credit cards or secure online payments.

Red flags to look for

  • Requests for non-secure payment methods: If a breeder insists on payments through wire transfers, pre-paid debit cards, or gift cards, tread carefully. These methods are often untraceable and non-refundable.
  • Full payment upfront: A scammer might request full payment before you’ve seen the puppy or verified the breeder’s credibility.
  • Frequent changes in payment method: If a breeder keeps changing the preferred payment method, it’s a clear warning sign.
A black French Bulldog behind jail bars
Be careful! Some “breeders” will just take your money and run!

Sign 9: Nonexistent or Suspicious Breeding Facility

A quality breeding facility is vital for the health and well-being of the pups.

Be cautious if you spot any of these red flags:

Red flags to look for

  • Refusal to show the breeding facility: A reputable breeder will be proud to show where their dogs are bred and raised. If a breeder refuses to show you the facility, it could be a scam.
  • Poor conditions in the facility: If you do get a chance to visit or see images of the facility and the conditions seem poor or inadequate, this is a major concern.
  • No evidence of a physical location: If you can’t find any credible evidence of the breeding facility’s existence (like an address, photos, or a website), it’s a warning sign.

If a breeder refuses to show their facility, or if the place seems inadequate or suspicious, it might be best to steer clear.

French bulldog puppy cheerfully runs on the grass in the yard of the house.
Look for a breeder with a facility that would make any puppy happy to be there.

Sign 10: Inconsistent or Incomplete Information about the Breed

A genuine French Bulldog breeder will have an in-depth knowledge of the breed. Knowledge about the breed indicates a breeder’s expertise and commitment.

They’ll be able to provide detailed, consistent information about their dogs and the breed in general.

Red flags to look for

  • Lack of knowledge about French Bulldogs: If a breeder can’t provide detailed information about the breed’s characteristics, needs, and potential health issues, they may not be reputable.
  • Inconsistent information: If you notice inconsistencies or contradictions in what the breeder tells you about the breed, it’s a red flag.

If you spot gaps in their knowledge, this could be a sign of a scammer or an inexperienced breeder (which is far from ideal).

A French Bulldog holding books
Your breeder should know a thing or two about Frenchies…

Sign 11: Refusal to Allow In-Person Visits or Video Calls

Reputable breeders will typically allow in-person visits or video calls to meet the puppies and their parents.

Scammers, however, may be reluctant or outright refuse.

Seeing the puppy and its living conditions before purchasing is crucial. Watch out for these signs:

Red flags to look for

  • Doesn’t allow visits or calls: A refusal to allow in-person visits or video calls to see the puppy or its living conditions could indicate a scam.
  • No visual proof of the puppy’s existence: If the breeder is unable or unwilling to provide current photos or videos of the puppy, consider it a red flag.

If you can’t see the pups in their home environment, consider it a significant warning sign.

Sign 12: No Screening of Potential Buyers

Good breeders will want to ensure their puppies are going to a good home and will typically ask potential buyers several questions. Beware of these signs:

Red flags to look for

  • No questions about your home environment or experience with dogs: If a breeder doesn’t seem interested in whether you’re a good fit for the puppy, it’s a red flag.
  • No discussion about breed suitability: Reputable breeders will discuss whether a French Bulldog is a suitable breed for your lifestyle. If a breeder doesn’t cover this, be cautious.

Sign 13: Puppies Available for Immediate Sale

Reputable breeders rarely have a surplus of puppies available immediately as they often have waiting lists and don’t breed their dogs excessively. Look out for this warning sign:

Red flags to look for

  • Always has puppies available: If a breeder always seems to have a new litter available or multiple litters at once, this could indicate a puppy mill, which is a type of inhumane, commercial dog breeding facility.


As the French Bulldog’s popularity continues to rise, so do the chances of encountering a breeder scammer.

Remember to always do thorough research and trust your instincts when choosing a breeder. It’s important to support ethical breeders who prioritize the health and well-being of their dogs.

Look out for these 13 signs of a Frenchie Breeder Scammer

  1. Unusually low prices
  2. Lack of health history transparency
  3. Unverified or non-existent registration papers
  4. Pressure to make hasty decisions
  5. Use of emotional manipulation or sob stories
  6. Poor communication
  7. Absence of verifiable references or testimonials
  8. Unusual payment methods
  9. A suspicious or nonexistent breeding facility
  10. Incomplete knowledge about the breed
  11. Refusal to allow in-person visits or video calls
  12. No screening of potential buyers
  13. Puppies available for immediate sale

By being vigilant and conducting thorough research, you can significantly reduce your risk of falling prey to such scams.

By choosing to buy responsibly, you’re not just ensuring a healthy and happy future for your canine companion, but also supporting ethical breeding practices.

Remember: responsible dog ownership starts with the decision of where and whom to buy from.

Let’s spread the awareness and protect others from falling victim to these scams.

Stay informed, be cautious, and ensure your French Bulldog comes from a loving, responsible breeder who cares about their dogs as much as you will care for your new Frenchie.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if I suspect a breeder is a scammer?

It’s best to cease communication immediately and report them to the local authorities and any relevant online platforms where they advertised.

How can I verify the breeder’s references or testimonials?

You can ask for contact information to personally speak with previous customers.
Additionally, use online resources to look for reviews and comments about the breeder.

Should I pay a deposit before meeting the puppy?

A deposit is common practice but only after you’ve confirmed the breeder’s credibility.
Be sure to get a written agreement detailing what the deposit covers and under what conditions it is refundable.

What should I do if I’ve been scammed?

Report the situation to your local law enforcement and contact your bank or payment service to dispute the charges, if possible.
You can also report the breeder to local and national pet organizations.

How to Report a Scammer Breeder:

  1. Local Authorities: If you suspect that you’ve been scammed, you should report the incident to your local law enforcement agency. They can provide guidance and potentially pursue legal action.
  2. Online Platforms: If you found the breeder on a website or app, report the scam to the platform. They might be able to remove the scammer’s profile to protect other users.
  3. Federal Trade Commission (FTC): In the US, you can report scams to the FTC at
  4. Better Business Bureau (BBB): The BBB allows you to file a complaint about businesses, and they can help mediate disputes.
  5. American Kennel Club (AKC): If you suspect a scam involving a supposed AKC-registered puppy, you can report it to the AKC at
  6. Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3): If you’ve been scammed online, the IC3 (run by the FBI) accepts online Internet crime complaints from either the person who believes they were defrauded or from a third party to the complaint.

Want to learn how to find a reputable breeder?

Learn more about what to look for in a French Bulldog breeder, as well questions to ask your breeder, and more!