Choosing a French Bulldog to serve only as a pet and companion is a simpler task than choosing a French Bulldog for show. There are no restrictions on coat and eye colors for pet-quality French Bulldogs, which opens more possibilities to owners seeking the companionship of this friendly 'gentlemen's dog'.
People seeking French Bulldogs as pets should never feel they are getting an animal of low-quality as long as time has been taken to choose a respectable and knowledgeable breeder. In any given litter of pups, regardless of parental heritage, pups may be born that bear some disqualification as a show animal. These are the animals that are sold as pet quality, or companion dogs—which was, incidentally, the purpose of creating this breed. Since pet quality companion animals are to be restricted from reproducing (via spay or neutering), puppies bred by responsible French Bulldog breeders should in fact have proven ancestry equal to show stock specimens.
The reason for classification as a companion animal may be something as simple as the fact that a parent has not yet achieved Championship status. Some other traits that may render a French Bulldog unfit as a show dog are
Disallowed color—in the show ring, black, mouse, black and tan, black and white, liver, and white with black are colors worthy of disqualification. These can be prime dogs otherwise, however, and so can make excellent companion animals.
Any alterations other than dewclaw removal render a French Bulldog unacceptable for show (this includes spay and neutering).
A nose color other than black
An ear shape other than bat
A size either larger or smaller than what is allowed according to show standards
A key to finding a good, reliable, healthy French Bulldog is finding a reputable breeder. It is recommended that you talk to other good French Bulldog breeders or French Bulldog clubs to find breeders who are knowledgeable and conscientious. Also, when you locate a breeder, ask them for references of other breeders and clubs (not just past puppy owners). If they cannot give you one, chances are they have not built a reliable reputation within the French Bulldog community.
Since health concerns can be great with this breed, you'll want to ask the breeder about the health of the parents. Of course, this cannot guarantee that your French Bulldog will not develop health issues in the future, and you must be prepared for that eventuality with any French Bulldog, but the healthier the breeding stock the healthier the dog should grow up to be. Responsible breeders select the best characteristics, health, and temperament traits for breeding and will not breed dogs that will further diminish the health and quality of the breed, even if their intention is to only breed companion animals.
Once you've attended to these issues, look for a French Bulldog puppy with a good demeanor. Poor temperament is not an inherent problem with this breed in general, but you may not want a dog with an overly gregarious or lackadaisical attitude (keeping in mind that the French Bulldog is not an athletic and high-energy breed). What you are looking for is a kind of middle-of-the-road dog of apparent health and appropriate temperament. Once you've found the right French Bulldog puppy, you'll have a consummate companion animal that will enjoy your love and attention for years to come.