Why Fluffy French bulldogs may be a $20K ‘nightmare’

Roman Wexler, his wife, and their small daughter were looking for a puppy during the beginning of the pandemic. They were initially looking for a schnauzer, but his daughter suddenly came across an unusual, mystical creature online: a French bulldog with long, fluffy hair and coloring that was a mottled pattern known as merle in gentle pink-tan and blue-gray colors.

Wexler, a resident of the Upper East Side and owner of a medi-spa, remembered, “We didn’t even realize this possibility existed.” We experienced love.

There was only one puppy left from the Ohio-based breeder. They agreed to sell the dog to Wexler for a discounted price of $12,000 in exchange for him signing a document agreeing not to breed her.

We negotiated a contract without seeing it, he claimed. We didn’t want to spend that much, but because we weren’t going out or on vacation, we decided to buy something really nice instead.

The popularity of French Bulldogs has skyrocketed recently. According to the American Kennel Club, in 2020 they surpassed German shepherds to become the second most popular dog breed in the country and the most popular dog in New York City. Short coats in brindle (a streaky brown that might look black), cream, white, or fawn with the potential for white markings are the breed standard. For those who can get their hands on one and have tens of thousands of dollars to spend, though, a rare recessive gene can generate longer-haired “fluffy Frenchies,” occasionally in designer shades like blue-gray, and they’re the hottest of the hot dogs.

The demand for fluffy Frenchies has increased significantly, according to Dan Menczel, customer service manager for Micro Frenchie Puppies, a breeder with its main market in New York and based in Budapest, Hungary. The business has been selling fluffies for five years, with prices starting at $22,000 as opposed to $4,000 to $7,000 for its short-haired dog. Menczel calculated that demand has multiplied by ten over the last years. Also, there are claims that they have some famous supporters.

“Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson are in the market for a fluffy Frenchie.” (Representatives for Davidson and Kardashian declined to comment for this article.)

Frenchie Breeders, which recently started their fluffy breeding program, who want to start selling fluffies are also boosting demand.

Fluffy French Bulldog Breeders, who are due to have their first litter of fluffies next month, continued, “Everyone loves frenchies and ‘fluffy’ things, so this combines the best of both worlds.”

Yet, some contend that the new variation might harm the breed. Bulldogs are already well-known for a number of medical conditions, such as breathing difficulties and hip concerns. Attempting to breed dogs with a special coat texture associated with a rare recessive gene can promote careless breeding and increase health problems.

Jorge Bendersky, a celebrity groomer who served as a judge on ABC’s “Perfect Pooch,” declared that fluffy dogs were the “next nightmare.” Prices are soaring because they are viewed as a novelty and an aberration, and everyone wants one. Unreliable breeders [may] start combining these dogs and creating false fluffies by mating a Frenchie with a Pekingese rather than simply locating these canines. A Kardashian will soon be seen carrying one.

Wexler, on the other hand, is not sorry about his opulent pet. She was given the name Nora, and the family now values and enjoys having her around. There is only one issue, he said.

“We get pulled over on the street every five minutes while she’s out.”

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