If you’re considering breeding your Female French Bulldog Dam for the first time, it can be an overwhelming process that has you wondering where to even begin. First and foremost, you should have your Dam health tested and cleared by a veterinarian for breeding prior to considering. Breeding French Bulldogs is an expensive venture as the need for professional intervention is high among this breed.
Find A Quality French Bulldog Stud
The next step would of course be finding a stud that meets high health standards to ensure that you’re going to produce a healthy litter. These studs are most often advertised as 4 panel clear, but there is a wide range of issues that can manifest in certain situations, such as the risk of hearing and vision impairments when breeding merles together, So I highly recommend you spend a good amount of time educating yourself of French Bulldog genetics. We have a few great videos on our channel that can get you started.
Once you’ve decided on a stud, and confirmed the price which can range from $2,000 to over &10,000 depending on health, Color, and purebred registration status, you will most likely be asked to place a deposit and sign a contract to secure breeding with that stud at the next heat cycle or however you’ve agreed upon. These contracts can be quite rigid and some breeders will have some flexibility, while others are not willing to accommodate any deviation, so make sure you’re accepting all of the terms before committing to any breeder. We offer a quality stud service here.
Monitor Your Dam
Your Dam should be one and a half years old before breeding. Once your female shows signs of heat, which will present as visible blood or often significant swelling of the vulva, you will be expected to progesterone test your Dam in the days ahead to determine the ideal time for her to be inseminated. Often, breeders will begin testing levels around days 8-10 from the first sign of heat. Your vet will look for what is known as the LH Surge, which will identify the best day for her to conceive. The average day is between 11-13 days from the first sign of heat. Since French Bulldogs do not often tie naturally and because dogs can contract STDs, the entire process is going to be done artificially. Sometimes this is a one-time deal, but many people choose to perform two ai’s to be safe.
Depending on the location of the stud, you may need to plan for the stud’s semen to be shipped to your vet or it may all be performed in a veterinary clinic. If the Stud is in the presence of the Dam, it can help enhance sperm count and have a positive impact on the insemination process. However, many times semen is shipped and used successfully so it is not a must. When shipping, You will need to keep the stud owner informed of the progesterone levels at all times so they can plan to have the semen timed properly. If two AIs are preferred, be sure to communicate that with the stud owner in advance. When shipped, extenders will be added to the semen to increase the lifespan and viability of it and it will be shipped in a chilled container for the same reason.
Once it arrives, your vet will analyze it to confirm the integrity and verify it is viable. When using extenders, sperm will remain viable for up to 5 days. Next, the vet will perform the AI with an insemination instrument, but in the case, a transcervical is necessary, such as in the case of using frozen semen, the Dam may require anesthetics and a medical instrument with an endoscope (camera) will help place the sperm more precisely.
If you are meeting a stud owner at the veterinarian’s office. You do not want to bring the dogs together until the vet is ready to take them in. Over-exciting the stud with a Dam in heat, could result in a lost collection and make pregnancy unlikely. So if you’re going over to say hi to the other breeder, keep your Dam far away.
One inseminated, you will want to change your Dams diet to something richer in nutrients. Most breeders use puppy food during this period. Another thing to consider is a folic acid supplement as it can reduce the chances of producing puppies with a cleft pallet. Puppies born with a cleft pallet have a much lower survival rate, required significant human intervention (tube-feeding) and corrective surgeries.
Pregnancy / Labor
Following the insemination process, you can follow up with ultrasound 30 days after the last insemination to confirm pregnancy and try to estimate the litter size. From the time of insemination, it will be 63 days from the time of conception until the pups will be born. This most often will result in a c-section, however, some Dams will be able to have a natural birth. There will be signs to look for and during the last few days of pregnancy, she will need to be monitored extremely closely to avoid potentially devastating consequences to her and her puppies. It can not be understated that this breed of dog does not generally reproduce successfully without human intervention. Do not take this lightly and when in doubt, consult a veterinarian. Some breeders choose to schedule a C-section, while our preference has always been to wait until the Dam shows signs of labor. The signs of labor could include temperature dropping, excessive panting, nesting (may look for a secluded part of the house), and loss of appetite. A scheduled c-section that is too early can result in loss of life while waiting too long to recognize the signs of labor can also do the same. The correct timing is critical.
If everything runs smoothly, you will be bringing your healthy pups back home with you and Mom in a matter of hours. You will of course need to plan for safe transportation and have plans for a whelping box for the pups. A whelping box can be purchased or constructed to keep the pups in close proximity. You can also look into getting warming lamps. French Bulldog puppies need to be monitored very closely in the first few weeks as they can wander from mom and away from that heat source which is critical for their survival. You can help stimulate the puppies with a cotton ball and water to help them pee and poop. Mom often does this by licking them, but this is a good idea in the event mom is overwhelmed. You will be very busy in the weeks ahead monitoring the puppies and cleaning up after them. There are many more things to consider to keep the puppies safe until the minimum 8-week age when they can be safely homed elsewhere.
Keep in mind this is a general look at the breeding process for French Bulldogs, there are many challenges even the most experienced breeders will be unable to overcome. If you are considering breeding French Bulldogs for the first time, be sure to read more and join support groups to help answer your questions and best prepare you. Check out our youtube channel below for some additional French Bulldog topics.