English Bulldogs are among the most popular dog breeds today and are in high demand which is why more and more people are becoming interested in breeding them. Because they’re surprisingly charming and gentle, they’ve become widespread around the United States. But how exactly do you breed these dogs and how many times can you breed an English Bulldog?
This guide has all the answers you need.
What is an English Bulldog?
The English Bulldog, more commonly known as just a Bulldog is one of the most beloved medium-sized dog breeds around the world. However, the bulldog family also offers large breeds such as the American Bulldog which comes with longer legs, and smaller breeds found in French Bulldogs. Dating all the way back to the 13th century, this breed evolved from its bull-baiting background to become affectionate and adorable companions.
Today, they are known for distinctive features such as their large heads, and their lower jaw that’s pushed forward, while they’re also known as flat-faced dogs or a brachycephalic breed. Thanks to their amiable and friendly nature, these dogs can become great family members which makes them the ideal pet. Despite having such a muscular build, Bulldogs are docile, easy-going, and comical, and they love getting the attention of their owners whom they love unconditionally.
How Many Times Can You Breed an English Bulldog?
Bulldog breeding should only occur three times in their lifetime to maintain your Bulldog’s health and well-being. Producing more than 3 English Bulldog litters can lead to serious health problems in female English Bulldogs, so these dogs won’t be the right choice if you want to breed several litters. Moreover, these dogs have shorter lifespans compared to dogs of other breeds and will reach sexual maturity at 6 months so you’ll want to spread out the pregnancies and breeding process throughout their life.
How Many Puppies in a Litter?
A wide range of factors can affect how many the litter of puppies will be, which includes the breed, size, and nutrition of the dog. There’s also a difference between the litter of an English Bulldog and the average dog; in general, Bulldogs will have a smaller litter compared to other dogs of the same size. Usually, these dogs will give birth to a number of puppies that could range from 3 to 4 and while some can produce more than this, it can result in various health risks and some puppies might not survive once out of the womb.
Because these dogs are smaller, their litter will be smaller too. Because Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds come with much wider hips and bigger frames, they will typically produce large litters of up to 8 puppies. On average, a dog should be able to produce a litter of 5 to 6 puppies according to the breed standard set by the American Kennel Club.
Due to their larger wombs, these dogs can have up to 8 babies without being exposed to health risks or adverse effects on the mothers’ health. In comparison, English Bulldogs and Yorkshire Terriers are much smaller and can produce an average of 3 puppies.
When Can You Breed Bulldogs?
The process of coming into season for breeding dogs will begin when the dog reaches 6 to 24 months of age; the average English Bulldog will start going into heat at around 6 to 8 months. Keep in mind that the first heat cycle is not the best time to breed English Bulldog puppies. To ensure that your female bulldog is both mentally and physically prepared to give birth to puppies, it’s best to wait until the third heat cycle.
Apart from serious health issues, English Bulldogs can also develop welfare issues even if they’ve been living with one family for several years. When it comes to male dogs, they will reach sexual maturity at around 12 to 15 months once they’ve become fertile.
Factors that may Affect the Breeding Age
When determining the best age to start breeding your Bulldog, there are a few factors that you’ll need to consider.
The health of your female dog is important when it comes to determining the proper time for it to start breeding. Bulldogs are susceptible to various health conditions such as brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome, hip dysplasia, cherry eye, mast cell tumors, dental disease, heart disease, skin fold dermatitis, breathing problems, and more. These issues could impact their ability to reproduce so it’s crucial that you regularly consult your veterinarian to ensure that your Bulldog stays in good health.
This also plays a vital role in finding out when your Bulldog can start breeding, and it was already mentioned that it’s best to wait for your dog’s third heat cycle before trying for a litter. By this time, the dog should be physically and mentally mature enough to handle a pregnancy without too many complications. However, keep in mind that dogs can mature at different rates according to their genetic makeup and it’s also necessary to screen your pup for any health issues that could be passed down to its offspring.
Where your dog lives is another influencing factor when the right time to breed your Bulldog will be. When inside a supportive and nurturing environment, they’ll be more likely to become socially adjusted and healthy, which will have a positive impact on their reproductive ability. However, when exposed to stressful situations or provided with little socialization, dogs may suffer from a delay in maturity, resulting in parents who are less prepared.
Below are some of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to breeding an English Bulldog.
How Can You Tell When Your English Bulldog Becomes Pregnant?
The most accurate way of knowing whether your dog is pregnant is through an ultrasound, which you can request 25 days after the dog mates. If you want to find out sooner, veterinarians recommend doing a pregnancy test 21 days after artificial insemination or mating. Timid dogs could find this process scary but it’s painless and noninvasive; it involves removing hair so the noise might stress it out a little.
How Will You Know When Your Dog is About to Give Birth?
Professional Olde English Bulldog breeders who understand the heat cycles of dogs never have to guess with due dates. When it’s time to deliver a dog, the timeline for a c-section can vary from 60 to 63 days depending on the dog’s gestation period. While puppies can come out early, sonograms or x-rays can be performed at the vet’s office to keep track of their development.
You’ll also be able to tell when your dog is close to giving birth through a few signs and symptoms which include the following.
- A drop in body temperature: Dogs’ temperatures are usually between 100° and 101° Fahrenheit when healthy. But when your dog’s reading registers lower than this for two days before its due date, your pooch is likely getting ready for birth.
- The start of milk production: Just like humans, female dogs produce milk after they give birth; the body also prepares itself before giving birth, leading to swollen breasts, redness around the area, and swollen nipples.
- Heavy panting: When dogs are exerted physically, they will pant often, and this is a common sight during active labor, where their many breaths are followed by quick pauses.
- Lethargy: You’ll find that your dog will rest a lot before it’s ready to give birth since this is a tiring process. Dogs that are reaching the end of their pregnancy will often be more sluggish.
- Nesting Behaviors: This can be easily observed through your dog’s behavior since dogs will want to create a safe space where they can give birth. You’ll probably notice that it will gather blankets, pillows, and other comfortable items around your home to use when it’s time to give birth.
- Vomiting or Loss of Appetite: It’s common for dogs to refuse food for 24 to 48 hours after giving birth. It’s also common for them to vomit because the dog’s organs will often be under pressure while giving birth to its puppies. Make sure that you provide your pup with a lot of water during the whole process to prevent it from getting dehydrated.
- Anxiety: Your dog could be in labor if it keeps pacing or seems to be uncomfortable. You need to be available when it starts giving birth in case it needs to cling to you for support.
Is a Cesarean Section Necessary for All English Bulldogs?
Unfortunately, the massive head of Bulldogs makes it impossible to have births without human intervention, and their small pelvis bones don’t make the birthing process any easier. As such, surgery is a must, and it will depend on who you go to and where you live which determines how much the C section will cost. Otherwise, a natural birth can lead to various health concerns such as the puppies getting stuck in the birth canal and a lower success rate of the pregnancy.
How Can the English Bulldog Owner Help During Labor?
While it’s not necessary for owners to assist with the dog delivery, it’s a good idea to come prepared in times of emergencies. You can start by cutting the cord, removing the membrane, and using a towel to keep the English Bulldog pups warm. It might be necessary to feed the puppies using a bottle if they’re unable to get their mother’s milk.
Additionally, you might need to assist pregnant dogs to walk and urinate before and after giving birth to their puppies.
First things first, if you’re looking to get a lot of puppies in every litter, then the English Bulldog isn’t the right breed for you. Bulldog owners must consider that these dogs come with the risks of common and severe disorders that could affect their dog’s ability to give birth, and the best way to ensure their pregnancy’s success is to take them to a professional veterinary practice. Even if you don’t intend to breed these dogs, know that you’ll have a pet that can be your best friend and a loyal member of the family.