No Fad Colors for French Bulldogs

French Bulldog Breeder Warning Signs, Part One – Fad Colors

 Updated March 9, 2014 to include Merle

Due to requests, I’m compiling a list of “Bad French Bulldog Breeder Warning Signs”, which you’ll find serialized here. Part One is on Fad Colors in French Bulldogs.


Warning Sign:

Breeder offers “rare” colors, such as Blue, Chocolate, Black and Tan

Why is this an issue?

“Rare” colors are nothing more or less than a marketing scam. There really is nothing rare or unusual about any of the colors listed. In actual fact, they are uncommon simply because ethical breeders choose not to breed for them, because they are ‘DQs’ (a show term which is short for ‘disqualification’).

Dogs in DQ colors cannot be shown in conformation show events, thus breeders who compete in conformation and who register their dogs with their country’s body of registry are unlikely to intentionally breed for them. Additionally, most ethical breeders choose to belong to their national or regional breed clubs, and almost all French Bulldog clubs do not allow intentional breeding of DQ colors by their members.

Any breeder can, by accident, get a puppy of a DQ color in a litter. Reputable breeders simply place these puppies as pets, for the same price as any other puppy. In fact, past breeders who had DQ colors appear would usually place the puppies for free, since their color was considered undesirable.

By pushing these colors as ‘rare’,  Fad Color breeders are attempting to inflate their value, and their price. They want you to become convinced that these puppy have some sort of value added, by virtue of their color, and that this makes them worth a higher price. They are taking advantage of the naivete of novice owners, who might be attracted to the idea of owning something ‘unique’, and who don’t understand the truth behind ‘fad’ colors.

These breeders understand full well that they are scamming you into paying a higher price for a puppy that, years ago, would have been given away for free. Many of them brag, in private, about how the ‘stupid pet people‘ are ‘paying off their mortgages twenty years early‘ (actual quote from a private email that was shared with me).

Some fad colors have been linked to health conditions, specifically, Blues with a condition called color dilution alopecia (this condition is so common in Blue dogs of every breed that it is often referred to as “Blue Dog Alopecia”.

CDA can result in hair loss and chronic skin inflammation. This inflammation can lead to skin ruptures, cracks and injuries, leaving the dogs afflicted by it prone to Staph infections, or even MRSA. In Collie puppies, blue dogs an suffer from an immune linked disorder which can cause them to die within the first few weeks after birth.

Early breeders noted all of these factors, and declared “Blue”, “Mouse” and “Grey” (all of which are now believed to be the same, genetically) in French Bulldogs to be a disqualification because they did not want to see breeding stock afflicted by these devastating conditions. Only a breeder who truly cares about nothing more than the money would resurrect them, at the potential detriment to the breed, and to the puppies produced.

A well thought out breeding program, in French Bulldogs or any other breeds, is essentially a pyramid.

The base of our pyramid is our stable foundation – health and temperament. They are the base on which all else must balance. Above that, we put conformation, then above that movement (which requires both proper health and proper conformation to exist). Above that, we put fanciful preferences, like color or pattern.

Imagine, now, if we invert that pyramid, and try to balance our ENTIRE breeding program on that tiny, unimportant tip? We will never be able to achieve balance, symmetry and harmony in our dogs, and our pyramid will crumble into a heap of unhealthy, improperly conformed, ill tempered dogs.

Color fad breeders don’t care if their breeding program crumbles or fails, because, by the time it does, they will be on to the next new money making scheme. They will leave the breed, and the owners who bought from them, to fend for themselves.

Updated: Merle French Bulldogs – Blind and Deaf Victims of Greed


There is NO such thing as a “purebred” Merle French Bulldogs. French Bulldogs do NOT carry the genetic mutation for merle. To produce merle French Bulldogs, breeders are crossing into other breeds that do carry Merle, most usually Chihuahuas. The cross bred puppies that are produced are then weeded out to select the merled examples, which are then bred back to each other. In some cases, this produces dogs of a genetic make up referred to as homozygous or double merle. Double merle dogs can face health issues ranging from increased fetal mortality rates, deafness, blindness and a host of eye anomalies and structural defects. Intentional introduction of merle, a gene that can and DOES kill, blind or impair the dogs who carry with it, is the most callously horrific example of breeders behaving badly that you can possibly imagine. NO ONE who intentionally breeds for merle French Bulldogs (to be more accurate, merle cross breds) cares about ANYTHING other than the money they can suck out of uncaring or uneducated puppy buyers. 

Purchasing a Merle French Bulldog or Mexican Frenchie is to knowingly hand money over to someone who KNOWS that a large percent of the dogs they produce will be blind, deaf or dead before birth. Your ‘healthy’ merle puppy comes at a higher price than you can imagine – the misery, blindness, suffering or even death of her siblings or family members. It’s like walking into the worst, most heinous example of a puppy mill you can possibly imagine, and rewarding them with  a cash bonus for doing such a good job of torturing animals. Don’t support this greed – please.

I am so outraged and incensed over the idea of someone INTENTIONALLY breeding for Merle French Bulldogs that I’ve created an entire web site to deal with this issue – 

USDA Licensed and Inspected Dog Kennel

USDA Inspected Kennel Kills 1,000+ Dogs

As some you might remember, I wrote a while back about the CFIA’s requirement that any puppies under eight months of age which are imported into Canada for “commercial purposes” must come from a USDA Licensed breeder.

Here’s a link to the original article:

CFIA defines ‘commercial purposes’ as a dog imported by anyone who has ever bred a litter, shown a dog, judged a dog, trained a dog or trialed a dog – in other words, any dog OTHER than one imported by an individual as ‘just a pet’ (By the way, if you are wondering how the CFIA determines if the person you are importing a dog from is “USDA approved”, they use this on line USDA Search tool, which can be accessed by anyone – )

CFIA seems to believe that forcing Canadians to import only USDA inspected dogs will somehow ensure that the dogs being imported into are healthier than just ‘random’ bred dogs. The rationale might be sound – after all, CFIA likely feels that, if we only allow meat and poultry that has passed USDA inspections into Canada, why not apply the same restrictions to puppies?

The problem is that almost any kennel can pass a USDA inspection – or, if they fail one, they’ll be given almost unlimited chances to get their facility up to par.

In this most recent incident, as reported on Pet Connection, a mass distemper outbreak illustrates just how much of a fallacy the USDA “stamp of approval” really is:

More than 1000 dogs were euthanized as a last resort to thwart a canine distemper virus (CDV) outbreak at a USDA-licensed Kansas kennel, reports Dr. Bill Brown, Kansas’ Livestock Commissioner.

Am I supposed to feel better because the U.S. Department of Agriculture was “riding shotgun”? No, in fact their involvement makes the situation all the more deplorable. Canine distemper is completely preventable. How did the lethal combination of overcrowded, unclean conditions and inadequate vaccinations — the only way canine distemper can run rampant –  manage to slip under the USDA radar?

Are Canadian breeders supposed to feel better knowing that the CFIA has now limited us to importing dogs which have come from conditions like these? It’s clear to all of us that a “USDA Inspected” label means nothing more than a verification of the fact that this breeder just has too many Goddamned dogs. You don’t see a lot of three or four dog hobby kennels rushing out to get USDA certified – that’s reserved for the forty, fifty, one hundred dog or more breeders, the ones who raise their dogs, as the Pet Connection article says, like livestock. And USDA inspections might work just fine for livestock, but they are failing for puppies over and over and over again.

The CBSA border guard who confronted my friend when she didn’t have the appropriate paperwork for her Scottish bred, expensively imported puppy said that they are paying close attention to breeder imports, because “Breeders lie”. Given a choice between being limited to my future breeding stock coming from a USDA Kennel that churns out puppies like widgets from a factory, or being a big old liar, I know what I choose.

The better question is, what does CFIA choose – and what do we, as Canadians, allow them to get away with choosing for us?

Jack LaLanne and his raw fed German Shepherd Dog, Happy

Jack Lalanne – The original raw feeder?

Celebrity fitness guru Jack Lalanne just passed away, at the age of 96. Over his many years in the spotlight, Lalanne always practiced just what he preached – healthy food, lots of exercise and a positive outlook on life. Making regular appearances on his television show was Lalanne’s big white German Shepherd, Happy, who often performed tricks for the “kids in the television audience” who might be watching alongside their moms.

Lalanne was a pioneer in fitness, and he was also a pioneer in the realm of raw feeding – long before many of us had ever heard of it, and before some of us were ever born.

This YouTube clip from Lalanne’s television show details Happy’s diet, which Lalanne thought was the ‘key’ to Happy’s fitness and long life. Jack Lalanne – fitness and health pioneer, and one of the original ‘raw feeders’!

Wendy Laymon French Bulldog breeder scam

Wendy Faith Laymon and Rescue a French Bulldog, Pt 2


In Part One of “When is a Rescue Not a Rescue?“, I discussed how many red flags the website for “Rescue a French Bulldog” had raised within the French Bulldog rescue community. None of us were sure who was running this new ‘rescue’, but all of us had a really, really bad feeling about it.

One of our intrepid investigators decided to phone the 800 number on the Rescue a French Bulldog website. The call was returned by someone who called themselves “Wendy”, and just happened to be calling from a phone number which traced back to Wendy Faith Laymon’s internet puppy selling website,

Wendy Laymon (aka Wendy Faith Laymon, aka Faith Laymon, aka Wendy Layman, aka Faith Layman) had been all over my news alerts lately — I track every incoming news article which has the words “French Bulldog” in it, and all of a sudden, it had seemed like every other ‘article’ was a self aggrandizing press release from Wendy Laymon (or from Wendy “Faith” Laymon, in some cases), talking about how she was “living the American dream” by breeding French Bulldog puppies, or touting her latest litter of Frenchie puppies. It all seemed awfully odd, but I just chalked it up to yet another commercial dog breeder, desperately trying to pimp their puppies. Sadly, we’ve had an awful lot of those in the last year or so – breed popularity will do that. Suddenly finding Wendy Faith Laymon associated with a ‘rescue, however, made us all decide to dig just a little bit deeper – and there was lot to dig through.

Wendy seems to have been in dogs for years – but not in a good way. The earliest records we could find of her seemed to all be from Washington state, and revolved around “Shadow Mountain Kennels”. The news wasn’t good.

From the Humane Society Article “Missouri’s Dirty Dozen“, which details the offenses of the twelve worst commercial dog breeders in MO –

In Snohomish County, Washington, Layman reportedly lost her kennel license and was sued in small claims court approximately 15 times for charges related to selling sick puppies and misrepresentation issues. The majority of the cases were in the late 1990s and in 2000. Reportedly, she was convicted and sentenced to jail time in Washington state and was restricted from owning any animals as part of her release. She then moved to Missouri.

Most recently, on March 27, 2009 the USDA levied action against her (dba Shadow Mountain Kennel) under docket #08-0089: She was fined $7,125 (held in abeyance) and banned from holding a USDA license for three years.

Although Laymon has been banned from holding a USDA license until at least 2012, while previously licensed as a B dealer she was cited for numerous violations of the Animal Welfare Act, including excessively matted dogs, dirty conditions, inadequate housing and records violations.

Despite her dishonorable history, Laymon currently holds a MO state kennel license. She has some of the most numerous MO Department of Agriculture ACFA violations of all state-licensed sellers (at least 36 violations since 2008).

HSUS investigators found that Laymon sells puppies (or has done business) under many business names, none of which are registered as fictitious business names in the state of MO as of April 2010, including:

•Shadow Mountain Ranch (name used on her current MO license)

•The Bulldog Connection (

•Frenchie Babies (

•Web Frenchies (

•Love My Bullie (

•A French Bulldog (

During a routine state kennel inspection on 02/10/10, the Animal Health Officer inspecting Laymon’s kennel noted that “the last inspection conducted by the attending veterinarian was January 2008,” more than two years before.

Read more here.

Does this sound like the kind of person who suddenly decides, out of the goodness of her heart, to devote herself to helping homeless French Bulldogs? We didn’t think so, either, and so it wasn’t surprising to find myself directed to the website of someone who had intimate business dealings with Wendy, and nothing good to say about her.

The bad news was about to get much, much worse.

Wendy Laymon and Rescue a French Bulldog – “When is a Rescue Not a Rescue?”

Part One || Part Two || Part Three

Wendy Laymon French Bulldog breeder scam

When is a rescue not a rescue? When it’s Wendy Faith Laymon’s Newest Scam- Rescue a French Bulldog

Have you ever wondered “When is a rescue not a rescue?”. The answer is simple – when it’s Wendy Laymon’s Newest Scam- Rescue a French Bulldog.

I’ve written before in the past about various types of internet scams and cons that revolve around ‘adopting’ homeless French Bulldogs (or English Bulldogs, or Yorkies, or other pricey, popular breeds).

One of the scams I described is the “Fake Rescue Scam” —

The con: This one is slick, and preys on our tendencies as loving dog owners to want to help out dogs in need. The con men set themselves up as a ‘rescue’, claiming to have dogs that they’ve liberated from puppy mills. The trick here is the price – $3,000 and up, in some cases, to ‘adopt’ a dog from a rescue. What you’re actually doing, of course, isn’t ‘rescuing‘ or ‘adopting‘ –  it’s buying. You’ve bought a dog from a puppy mill, for a typical high ticket price, and no health guarantee (after all, you didn’t buy that dog, you adopted it, and caveat adopter). The profits go right back into the mill’s pockets, and allow them to pump out more sub standard puppies.

Commonly found: All over the web. YouTube is littered with videos for places that claim to help ‘rescue’ Bulldogs and Frenchies from Thai puppy mills, or Dog Farms in Ireland, or midwest commercial kennels. A search on ‘rescue a French Bulldog’ will bring up blogs and websites, all touting high priced puppies in need of  “adoption”. I’ve also received several direct mails from groups claiming to be “Rescues” or “Sanctuaries”, in one memorable case soliciting donations for a ‘Sactuary for the homeless French Bulldogs of Thailand’. The idea of packs of homeless, feral French Bulldogs roaming the streets of Thailand would be funny, if this wasn’t such a cruel scam.

Avoiding this scam: Learn to differentiate between a real rescue group, and a company selling puppies. A legitimate rescue will be well organized, well established, and often times a registered charity. There will hardly ever be cute young puppies available, since there’s no lack of homes waiting for adorable puppies. Most rescue dogs are older, with many in need of veterinary care.

As with the other scams, use common sense!

Why does this group always have a never ending flow of young puppies? Where are the needy adults and older dogs commonly placed through rescue? Are they a recognized charity? Will their national breed club vouch for their legitimacy? If they can’t answer all of these questions to your satisfaction, just say no thanks. Give your money to a rescue group that will actually use it help dogs, instead of using it to breed more of them.

Recently, I ran across the website for Rescue a French Bulldog,  a new internet based French Bulldog “rescue” that set off all of my warning bells.

The bottom right hand corner of the front page of their website featured a distinctive looking brindle pied dog, poised in mid jump. It was Gary (aka “Gary, not from France”), Michelle Wynn Tippets recently deceased and much missed Frenchie. I contacted Michelle, and received an almost instant reply – No, she had NOT given them permission to use her photo, and No, they did not ask for it. What kind of rescue uses stolen photos? The more I looked,  the more wrong almost everything about this ‘rescue’ seemed to be.

While their website is emblazoned with paypal donation buttons asking visitors to help ‘care for’ their dogs in need, everything else on the page sets off warning bells. Their website proclaims them to be not just a 501(c)3, but also a “licensed shelter”.

A licensed shelter?

I know a lot of Frenchie rescue groups, and they’re all getting by on a shoe string budget and a prayer, but these guys have already set themselves up some sort of Frenchie sanctuary? The French Bulldog community, and the French Bulldog rescue community in general, are a close knit bunch. If some sort of philanthropic Uncle Moneybags had endowed a home for wayward Frenchies, we’d all know about it. Instead, the Frenchie grapevine was remarkably silent about “Rescue a French Bulldog” – none of us had ever heard of them, none of us knew of a dog they’d placed, and all of us were instantly suspicious, and our suspicions only grew when we looked at their “Available Dogs” page.

Rescue a French Bulldog had to be either a scam, or the luckiest Frenchie rescue group on the planet.

While the rest of us get the dogs that no one else wanted, Rescue a French Bulldog’s dogs were all young, healthy and apparently “perfect”.  No seniors. No handicapped dogs. No special needs dogs. No dogs returned for behavioural issues. As someone who deals with rescue on an almost daily basis, I know that the odds of a rescue having nothing but perfect dogs available for adoption are akin to the odds of winning the power ball lottery. Twice. On the same day.

Obviously, something was up with Rescue a French Bulldog, but none of us were really sure what. In the next day or two, we’d find out that it was even worse than we’d thought, and it all had to do with a Missouri commercial breeder named Wendy Laymon – aka Wendy Faith Laymon.

Wendy Laymon and Rescue a French Bulldog – “When is a Rescue Not a Rescue?”

Part One || Part Two || Part Three