If you’re curious about dog breeding, French Bulldogs are some of the most interesting to look at. Many breeders have been criticized for breeding these dogs because their anatomy makes it difficult for them to give birth naturally. Like all dog breeds, French Bulldogs are pregnant for about 58–63 days, but their journey at every step can look a little different. Here’s what it looks like for a French Bulldog.
How Are French Bulldogs Bred?
Before breeding even starts, many French Bulldogs get a genetic screen. Genetic tests help breeders make sure they aren’t passing on any avoidable diseases and make the breed healthier. They’re becoming more common in all breeds, but they’re especially important in French Bulldogs because breeding and caring for a pregnant Frenchie is a big investment.
If the genetic tests come back clear, the breeder will wait until a dog is in oestrus, also known as being in heat. This is the part of a dog’s cycle when she’s ready for breeding and can become pregnant. Some French Bulldog females are placed with a stud when they’re in heat so they can mate. On other occasions, breeders may decide to use artificial insemination. Semen from the chosen dog can be shipped from anywhere in the world to fertilize the female and get the desired puppies. Image Credit: Mylene2401, Pixabay
What Is Pregnancy Like for a French Bulldog?
If the breeding is successful, the new mother won’t be too different from any other pregnant dog. Breeders can see the first changes in her body within a week or two, and they’ll put her on a special diet at around 4 weeks in. Vets can do ultrasound scans starting at about 4 weeks in—these ultrasounds will show whether the puppies are developing properly and get an estimation of how many there might be. Because French Bulldogs are high-risk pregnancies, many get an extra level of care and monitoring to catch any potential danger quickly.
How Do French Bulldogs Give Birth?
Once the pregnancy is in its final stages, it’s important for breeders to plan how to make the birth safe. The breed’s narrow pelvis and large heads get in the way. Although some French Bulldogs can give birth naturally, most breeders opt for a cesarean section to make sure the birth is successful and safe for the mother and puppies.
Picking the right time for a C-Section is tricky too. If it’s scheduled too early, the puppies will be premature, but waiting too long is a problem too. You don’t want your dog to go into labor on her own before the C-Section can take place!
How Many Puppies Are in a Litter?
French Bulldogs have smaller litters than other breeds, with an average of three puppies in a litter. Two or four puppies are also common, but it’s very rare to have more than five. Because these dogs have frequent problems giving birth, a larger litter can put them at risk for complications.
It’s no wonder that French Bulldogs are so expensive! As you can see, it takes a lot more than birds and bees to safely breed this kind of dog. And although French Bulldog puppies are adorable, many people don’t like the amount of medical intervention that breeding them requires, making them a controversial breed. You’ll have to decide for yourself if the cuteness was worth it.