Quick Handy Guide to French Bulldog Pregnancy

What to Expect when Frenchies are Expecting?

The popular breed French Bulldog is the result of cross-breeding two different dog breeds. They’re not like any other breed of dogs, in fact, before the 1800s they didn’t even exist. This is why French Bulldogs are having a hard time reproducing and why getting one pregnant always had to be by artificial insemination. So what should you know about French bulldog pregnancies?

French bulldog pregnancies are almost the same as other dog pregnancies. They usually last an average of 9 weeks. This covers the entire pregnancy from the moment of conception to the moment the mother dog gives birth to them. Although the birth date doesn’t always fall on the 9th week, sometimes it comes early at 8 weeks, and sometimes it even reaches up to the 10th week. This is still normal so calm down and don’t worry.

So How Do I Become a Grandma (or pa) to French Bulldog Pups?

Even if you try to get two French Bulldogs of the opposite sex together, they just won’t be able to reproduce. It doesn’t work like that for their breed. Artificial insemination is the only way to go. You can, however, choose the male bulldog where the semen will come from, or you can just get frozen semen from breeders.

It’s not a process that you can do on your own. Let a professional take care of everything. French bulldog pregnancies can be very delicate. You need to time the insemination perfectly. Tests have to be done on the dog as well as a couple of examinations to make sure that the dog is ready and that the semen latches on.

On Average, How Long Do I Have to Wait Before The Pups are Born?

The average wait is really 9 weeks. But like I said earlier, it’s a tentative date. The birth can occur anytime between the 8-10th week so it’s best to prepare early.

This pregnancy period is the same with all dogs.

What is the Average Number of Puppies I can Expect?

Just like all brachycephalic dog breeds, French Bulldogs don’t give birth to that many puppies.

On rare occasions, people actually get 7 puppies. But that’s almost one in a million. On average, expect about 3 puppies. It wouldn’t be far from that. It could be as low as 2 puppies or as much as 4. If you’re lucky, you might even get five but don’t get your hopes up too high.

Of course, now it makes sense why this breed costs so much. Unlike other dogs like beagles or golden retrievers, frenchies are hard to produce.

Just by looking at a Frenchie, you can see that its small body is not made for carrying large litters. If, on rare occasions, the mother ends up having 5 or more puppies, the odds of all of them making it pass a couple days are low.

Puppies who do survive the birth will surely be sickly and underweight. Plus, there’s a chance that you’ll lose some of the puppies, especially the smallest ones. Their mother will also have a hard time nursing them given their number. She will have to eat twice as much to properly feed all of them. 

Is Caesarean the Only way French Bulldogs can give Birth?

The straight answer is no. Some frenchies give birth naturally. Caesarean is just the most common way frenchies deliver their babies and over time, people started assuming that it’s the only way to do it.

Just by looking at them, you can see that they have little bodies and big heads. This breed is engineered to look like this and their babies develop their big heads in the womb. This makes it extra hard for mothers to push them out of the birth canal. That’s why the majority of female French Bulldogs give birth thru C-section.

Natural birth is dangerous for both the puppies and their mothers. If any of the puppies get their head stuck in the birth canal, then there’s a 100% chance that it would die. This would also mess up their mother’s insides and damage her birth canal.

If you’re wondering, normal and planned French bulldog cesareans only cost around 500 dollars while dangerous and emergency C-sections cost about 2000 dollars.

How do I Time the Artificial Insemination?

Female dogs do get their own version of a period. We call it being in heat.

When a female frenchie enters her oestrus cycle, that means she’s in heat. This is the time that frenchies are most fertile. It’s also the best time to perform artificial insemination.

For fully grown adult frenchies, heat usually comes every 6 months. But this not the case for every dog. Just like with humans who have regular and irregular period cycles, heat patterns varies per dog. It takes a while before female french Bulldogs establish their heat patterns.

French Bulldogs mature at five months. At this age, they could already start having their oestrus cycles and could already get pregnant. 

Here are the Stages of a Frenchie’s Pregnancy:

  • Proestrus– Think of it as the human equivalent of a period. You might see some blood come out of your frenchie. Don’t panic, this is totally normal. This stage could last up to 9 days.
  • Oestrus– This stage is the one we constantly talk about in the topics above. This is the best time to perform the mating or the insemination.
  • Diestrus-The actual pregnancy. This could last about 8-10 weeks.
  • Anestrus-The resting stage. This is the point where your dog starts recovering from the pregnancy, and its body starts going back to its normal rhythm.

Can French Bulldogs Reproduce the Normal way?

Natural mating for frenchies is not impossible. It just doesn’t happen to them as much as it does to other dogs.

Given the anatomy of Frenchies, males can’t even properly mount their females. Frenchies were engineered to look like the way they do and nature had no say as to how their bodies function and how their species evolve and survive. Getting females frenchies pregnant the natural way is not impossible, but it’s rarer than rain on a desert.

The most common way to breed the species is by artificial insemination and birth by C-section. This is how all frenchies today came into the world.  It’s almost impossible now to correct the mating problem and let the species reproduce naturally.

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