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Can French Bulldogs Mate Naturally? (And Why You Shouldn’t Try To Breed Your Frenchies!)

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Reviewed by Alexandre Beaumont
Can French Bulldogs Mate
Let me show you how French Bulldogs mate Mama!

Does one plus one equals two? Well, it’s a bit more complicated than that when you’re talking about breeding French Bulldogs!

So, can French Bulldogs mate naturally?

Two Frenchies could mate alone, but it’s unlikely. Males Frenchies have a hard time mounting females, and females have a hard time giving birth naturally. Their body is to blame in both scenarios. Breeders work around those issues to get new puppies.

I have a male and a female Frenchie – so I had to do some research to avoid any surprises down the line!

Here’s why Frenchies have difficulty making puppies, how breeders do it, and why I think breeding Frenchies is best when someone else does it.

Can French Bulldogs Mate Naturally?

French Bulldog mating
A rare sight!
Credit πŸ“Έ: @Milo_Sun

Frenchies can breed naturally, though it’s close to impossible for that to happen. Their anatomy won’t allow it most of the time.

Frenchies have narrow hips and short legs that prevent a male French Bulldog from mounting a female dog. That’s why breeding naturally is often off the table.

Have you ever seen a bodybuilder who spends a lot of time at the bench press but never squats? That’s pretty much what a French Bulldog looks like! A strong upper body and a small lower body.

At the same time, Frenchies have a hard time regulating their body temperature (because of their noses and short coats), so they often overheat when having sex – which can lead to trouble.

Those things are a result of Frenchies’ long history.

Most breeders choose artificial insemination when breeding Frenchies. They extract the semen from their stud, screen it for quality (and possible issues), and look for the right female Frenchie to breed.

Can French Bulldogs Give Birth Naturally?

French Bulldog natural birth. Amazing experience! She did so well #Frenchies

Getting a Frenchie pregnant is difficult – but not as difficult as having a French Bulldog give birth naturally. Their anatomy, once again, prevents that from happening most of the time.

Female French Bulldogs have a narrow birth canal. Add that to the fact that Frenchie puppies have big heads and broad shoulders, and you have an issue.

Imagine trying to fit your car inside your house through the front door. It’ll be difficult!

That paints a picture of what happens when French Bulldogs go through natural birth (okay, it may not be picture-perfect or precise, but you get the idea).

French Bulldog C-Section
French Bulldog C-Section
Credit πŸ“Έ: Evergreen Animal Hospital

Because of that, most breeders choose a cesarean section to birth their litter. A C-section ensures the Frenchie will have little to no complications during the birthing process.

How Do French Bulldog Breeders Breed Their Dogs?

Ethical French Bulldog breeders will go through a long process before getting down to the nitty-gritty aspects of making a new litter of puppies.

They have to carefully choose a stud (male Frenchie) and a dam (female Frenchie) to breed. An important part of the process is ensuring they’re not related and that their genes are compatible and desirable (thus avoiding having puppies with harmful regressive traits).

Breeders seldom let Frenchies do their thing naturally. They will artificially inseminate the female (after doing the necessary screening tests on both male and female Frenchie) and do several vet check-ups before, during, and after the pregnancy (and one of those check-ups will include scheduling a C-section).

After that, they will spend a lot of time and energy taking care of a brand-new litter of puppies. They need lots of love and attention! I’ll detail this part in the second half of this article.

Is My French Bulldog Pregnant?

French Bulldog Pregnant
A pregnant Frenchie
Credit πŸ“Έ: @LineSkov

A pregnant Frenchie is easy to spot. You’ll notice your French Bulldog will act differently and realize her body is changing before long.

A pregnant French Bulldog will showcase a different:

  • Appetite. A pregnant Frenchie will show a clear increase in appetite. You don’t have to overthink to know why: she has to eat for herself and her puppies. Every meal is a meal for three – at least!
  • Behavior. A pregnant French Bulldog will experience a hormonal rush that will change a lot of things, including her behavior and temperament.
  • Body. A pregnant French Bulldog will experience body changes. Her belly and nipples will get bigger. It’s part of the natural process.

Does that sound like something your French Bulldog is going through? It’s time to talk to a vet and clear any doubts you may have.

Things will change once you confirm the pregnancy, starting with how you care for your dog.

Taking Care Of A Pregnant Frenchie

The average Frenchie pregnancy lasts for two months. It’s an eight-week process in which you’ll have to take extra care of your French Bulldog.

Show her even more love than usual whenever possible – and watch out for these things:

  • Behavior. You already know hormones will change the behavior of a pregnant Frenchie. Ensure you maintain a stress-free environment and keep everything the same for a while.
  • Check-ups. Routine vet check-ups should be a thing even if your French Bulldog isn’t pregnant. However, you should talk to your vet to have them visit during and after the pregnancy.
  • Diet. What your pregnant French Bulldog eats is fundamental: quality food will ensure your dog and her puppies are healthy (and help the dam recover after giving birth).
  • Environment. Avoid unnecessary changes during and after the pregnancy. Do you want to adopt another animal? Maybe you should wait until the litter is born and your Frenchie recovers from the C-section.

French Bulldog Pregnancy Timetable

StageWhat’s Going On?What Should You Do?
14 DaysPuppies are as tiny as they ever will be at 1 cm (or less than half an inch).Be happy! The family will get bigger in a few weeks!
21 DaysThe puppies begin to form. Your Frenchie may have swollen nipples – which is natural.Take extra care of your Frenchie because any puppy loss is more likely to happen during this stage. Show her extra love and keep things extra quiet!
28 DaysThe puppies are growing! At this point, their tiny feet and little claws are forming. Gender will be defined in this stage.Talk to the vet to make sure the puppies are growing the way they should. Get food ready because you’ll have one hungry Frenchie roaming around.
35 DaysYour Frenchie will start to show her pregnant belly. She will also want to eat more than before. Other body changes include darker nipples.Get more food ready – because your Frenchie will be eating for more than one!
42 DaysThe puppies are fully formed. It’s only a matter of time until you get to see them!Continue watching over your French Bulldog and talk to the vet if you have any doubts. Your dog will want to nest, and you should allow her to find the space to do so.
49 DaysEverything is going great. No significant changes will happen at this stage until your Frenchie delivers her puppies.Ensure your dog isn’t doing any heavy physical activity or going through emotional stress. Schedule a C-section.
56 DaysYou’re close to a very special day! The puppies will be delivered anytime soon.Talk to the vet one last time. Prepare your home to receive the puppies and their mother.

Remember the stud should be at least 15 months old (ideally over two years of age) and the dam at least three years old before pregnancy occurs.

How Many Puppies Can A Frenchie Have?

8 Puppies litter!
Credit πŸ“Έ: JOSEFrenchieBulldogs

Most Frenchies usually have four or five puppies at a time. However, incredible records have made the news before, such as a 13-puppy litter!

What determines how many puppies your Frenchie has? It’s impossible to pinpoint how many puppies your French Bulldog will have – but you can ballpark it by looking at their reproductive history and genes.

At the same time, age, health, and nutrition will also affect how big a litter could be. Healthy, well-fed French Bulldogs between two and five years of age tend to have large litters!

Looking After Your French Bulldog Puppies

A pregnant French Bulldog requires a lot of care – and so do their puppies once they’re born. It’s a hands-on experience that will ask a lot from you and your family!

Here are two do’s and don’ts you should always keep in mind:

  • Do have a vet on-call. Make friends with your local veterinarian! That way, they’ll be happy to visit whenever you need them to. Your trusted vet should be present before, during, and after the pregnancy. They should also take care of the C-section when the time comes.
  • Do pay attention to nutrition. Puppies will mostly drink their mother’s milk during the first few stages of their life. Some of them will have difficulty latching to their mom’s tit, and formula is the best solution to that problem. High-quality food for the mom in recovery is a must.
  • Don’t forget about humanization. Handling puppies early on is the key to having social Frenchies who follow commands and love their owners.
  • Don’t rush your way to separation. Puppies and their mother should be together for at least eight weeks, preferably ten to twelve weeks. That way, you prevent Frenchies from being overly anxious or aggressive throughout their lives.

And, of course, have a blast taking care of these cute little pups.

I have a friend who raised three French Bulldogs after their first Frenchie got pregnant (and I got to adopt one of them!): he always says it was one of the best times of his life.

What To Do To Avoid Accidental Pregnancies

Accidents can happen!
πŸ“Έ: @Kyra&Kloe

I have a male Brindle and a female Piebald. They’re best friends!

At the time of writing this article, Manny, the male one, recently passed the 15-month age mark that signals sexual maturity for most Frenchies. Luzy, the female one, is far from that age. She’s just a puppy! She’s over six months old, so she’s fertile – but nowhere near ready to be a mom.

What would I suggest if you have two Frenchies like I do? The obvious choice would be to neuter your Frenchies. That way, you can forget about facing any surprises. You also reduce the chance of testicular cancer and uterus infections by doing so.

That’s what I plan to do with Luzy! A friend asked me to adopt Manny, so I want to talk to him before fixing my Frenchie. That’s the only reason I haven’t neutered him yet – because breeding French Bulldogs is not for amateurs.

Why You Shouldn’t Breed A French Bulldog

Breeding French Bulldogs is costly and complex. You’ll need more than $2,000 to make it happen, and you may still find yourself with a Frenchie that isn’t pregnant after spending that much.

You can also put your Frenchie at risk if you don’t know what you’re doing. Complications can happen during pregnancy and birth, especially if you don’t have a vet you can trust to help you through the process.

Ask yourself if you want to breed your Frenchie for money or to get more dogs in your life.

Is it money? I should warn you breeding Frenchies is becoming less profitable! 

I talked to a breeder while writing the Blue Fawn French Bulldog article. She explained that many saw the Frenchie breeding business as a way to get rich during the pandemic – but most failed. At the same time, the rest drove the price of Frenchies down, reducing the profit line all around.

Other than that, how can you pick your next French Bulldog puppy? I recommend purchasing one from an ethical breeder or rehoming a Frenchie looking for a family!

What You Should Know

French Bulldogs can breed and give birth naturally, but it’s unlikely that those things happen. Breeders prefer vets to handle insemination and C-sections to ensure Frenchies remain healthy after pregnancy and have puppies with no complications. Anyone looking to breed Frenchies should research the subject before trying – and leave it to professional breeders if possible.

Photo of author

AUTHOR

JM is a freelance writer who focuses on all things interesting. He works part-time as a toy judge whenever Manny and Luzy, his two Frenchies, fight over the same squeaky bone.

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