Breeding a bulldog can be a challenging journey because genetic traits make it hard for bulldogs to give birth or even conceive naturally. The small-sized bulldog is one of the most popular dog breeds, particularly for its distinctive physical features.
Having a puppy litter with any dog is tough, and with bulldogs, it can be even more so. But it’s not an impossible feat to pull off with the right knowledge and preparation in mind. It’s quite remarkable watching the small puppies grow and go off to their new homes.
Should I Breed My Bulldog?
English bulldogs are descended from an ancient version of the breed known as an English mastiff. Their appearance and physique differ quite a lot, as human intervention bred features into the version we now recognize.
There are a few things to consider before beginning the process of breeding your bulldog. For one, knowing their family history is an important part of this process. Bulldogs have come a long way since their ancestry and even since the recent bull-baiting past.
Extensive human breeding practices on the bulldog have contributed to some genetic health problems. Rooting out some underlying health issues a bulldog may have can make for a more ethical breeding practice overall.
What Health Conditions Could Impair Bulldog Birthing?
A bulldog’s flat brachycephalic faces are their most recognizable and desired feature, but it also impairs their breathing. Difficulty breathing is a concern when trying to deliver puppies and so bulldogs giving birth will need some help.
Pregnancy for English bulldogs poses an extra layer of health risks and minimizing them is a must. This could mean waiting for a few cycles before trying to breed them and not attempting it after the age of five.
With all the health concerns, however, maintaining this breed is still a necessity. Some minimal health implications can still guarantee a healthy litter. There are many unexpected things that can happen with a bulldog pregnancy, and being ready is important.
Do Bulldogs Need Artificial Insemination?
While it is possible for English bulldogs to get pregnant the old-fashioned way, it’s not usually that easy. This is another area where their top-heavy physique gets in the way. The head, shoulders, chest, and short legs of an English bulldog are bigger and heavier than their hips.
Thus when a male bulldog mounts a female it pushes her backend with the heaviest part of the body. This means they cannot sync with each other and breeding is rendered very difficult. There are techniques for supporting the female’s hips and helping the male mount the female.
The whole process of intervening in the breeding machinations is why many breeders opt for artificial insemination. That and a higher rate of success is how 80 to 90 percent of all bulldogs are bred.
Can English Bulldogs Give Birth Naturally?
Asking oneself, can English bulldogs give birth naturally, is a difficult question. In short, no, most bulldogs cannot deliver puppies naturally. This is due, again, to their genetic traits; bulldogs, even puppies are large and can’t fit through the birth canal.
So how do English bulldogs give birth, and do English bulldogs have to have c sections in this case? Most likely yes, they will need a c section to deliver. There are other bulldog breeds that can whelp naturally, but for English bulldogs giving birth naturally, it’s more difficult. Although an estimate of around 80% of English bulldog birthing is done with a c section.
How Do You Know Your Bulldog Is Pregnant?
Detecting a pregnancy in any dog is not easy, and the same goes for English bulldogs. There are not as many signs as we might think to announce a dog is pregnant. Sometimes more than 40 days can pass without any noticeable signs.
When signs of pregnancy do appear they will include some changes in temperament, lack of energy, higher appetite, swollen groin. There are not as many symptoms overall, and morning sickness could be seen as just a fluke in most cases.
Gaining weight is maybe the biggest indicator, and a trip to the vet should offer more information. Around 63 days later the puppies will arrive and greet their new family.
Read more about: How Long Is A Bulldog Gestation Period?
Bulldogs Giving Birth – Preparation
When the dues date starts getting close, it can be beneficial to prepare a quiet place for your dog. This way she can start to relax before the big day. By this time she could also start displaying nesting behaviors.
It’s important to let her make these preparations, and create her nesting space even if she won’t give birth naturally. Keeping tabs on her condition before the birthing process is also important. This may require taking her temperature three times a day and talking to the vet regularly.
Usually, when body temperature starts dropping, it indicates the delivery is close, somewhere between 24 to 12 hours. About this time is when she should be taken to the vet for the c section.
Additional Information On Breeding English Bulldogs
It’s highly advised to not submit an English bulldog to more than three pregnancies in their entire lifetime. Pregnancy poses a risk to any dog but should be a higher health consideration for an English bulldog.
Having vaccines up to date 12 months prior to beginning the breeding process is vital. These vaccines may need to include lime, rabies, distemper, and parvo, to boost the puppies’ passive immunity.
Additionally, vaccination during pregnancy is not a viable option as it can develop into complications. Deworming is another thing to have done before the pregnancy is on the way.
Conclusion – Bulldogs Giving Birth
It may be impossible for a majority of English bulldogs to give birth naturally. However, recent scientific medical advancements have made it possible to preserve this breed. This provides aid both for insemination and for puppies that are too big to fit through the birthing canal.
There’s much more to the lovely wrinkly-faced bulldog that meets the eye, and improving breeding practices ensure its survival. More recent developments are starting to emerge where bulldogs can give birth naturally more easily than before. So there may come a time when this issue will no longer be an issue.