Breeding English Bulldogs seems to be gaining popularity nationwide as way to try to make money. It’s obvious that they’ve seen the higher prices for these puppies and think that it would be an easy way to make money themselves.
But getting into breeding English Bulldogs is not nearly as easy as one may think. With most breeds of dogs, you can simply purchase a male and female, wait for the female to come into season and in a few months, the puppies are born. But this is definitely not the case with English Bulldogs.
Breeding these dogs is nothing like your typical breed of dogs…and there is very little money to be made when it’s all said and done. If your idea for breeding is to make money, and not because you love this breed, it’s best to not even consider breeding Bulldogs (and that goes for ANY breed of dog or animals).
For starters, when it comes to English Bulldogs, you need to be very selective when choosing your male and female when your intention is to breed. This is not a situation where you can find a random pair of dogs to get started. You must select young, strong and healthy Bulldogs (proven by an extensive Vet exam and testing). It’s very important to rule out the possibility of genetic defects or bad traits that could be passed on to the puppies.
The whole concept of breeding should be done with a focus on providing quality puppies, not merely for making money. And you certainly don’t want to be breeding unhealthy puppies with any of the undesirable traits that some Bulldogs have, like poor breathing, problem tails, and a full range of other health problems.
In my opinion, it is largely due to poor breeding that these issues have become so prominent in Bulldogs. Too many people were breeding with dreams of making large amounts of money, and the time and research needed to prepare for this was not done before getting started.
This is not only unfair to the babies, but also to the unsuspecting buyers that adopt these unhealthy puppies. If breeding Bulldogs is done simply with the intention of making money, it will likely be a very short-lived venture!
Now, onto the actual breeding…
English Bulldogs, in most cases, are not natural breeders. This means that the female will need to be artificially inseminated (A.I.) using a collection from your own male or a Bulldog stud. The collection will then need to be implanted into the female using one of a few different options (which would take another full article to explain). This requires a large amount of time if you are performing the A.I. yourself, and if you have no experience doing this and need to have it done by a professional, it will also require a large amount of money to pay your Vet to do it for you.
A range of testing will also need to be done during the entire A.I. process. Tests will need to be performed to determine that your male is fertile, as well as to verify that your female is not only in season (heat), but that the time is right to perform the A.I.
With the first step of breeding English Bulldogs (the A.I. process) out of the way, you now (hopefully) have a pregnant Bulldog. Again, this is not your typical pregnancy where you will treat your dog as you normally would. Bulldogs need to kept calm, relaxed and very well fed to produce healthy, happy puppies.
Here at Bulldog Pros, we actually feed our Bulldog girls a special diet during their pregnancy. They are also allowed to sleep just about anywhere (with a few boundaries) and eat and drink as much as they like.
Toward the end of the pregnancy, a very close watch must be kept on the female. Her temperature will need to be taken many times a day, and any signs of labor means a call to the vet to arrange for a C-Section, whether it’s 3 in the afternoon, or 3 in the morning.
As with being unable to breed naturally, these dogs do not normally deliver their puppies naturally either. ALL of our Bulldog Pros females deliver their puppies via c-section. We do not allow for any mistakes to be made during an attempt at natural delivery.
At the earliest sign that a female Bulldog is in labor, a call is made to the Vet to get the girl in there ASAP… again, whether it’s 3 p.m. or 3 a.m. With this, a very stong relationship is a must with the Dr. when you need to have a surgery performed at any time of day or night.
With the C-Section done, the easy work is over. Now is the most difficult period and the critical up-all-night work begins.
Our puppies are kept separate from the momma dogs for the entire first week or two of their lives. They are kept in an incubator style bed, allowing us to regulate the temperature to keep them as healthy as possible during those first critical days.
This means that each time the puppies are fed (every 2 to 3 hours), they must be taken from the incubator and allowed to nurse for 30-45 minutes. A quick run of the math will show that there is very little time for sleeping when you are doing everything needed to keep these babies alive and healthy.
This is also the part of the process where the highest number of fatalities tend to occur with Bulldog breeders. Whether it be from missed feedings, overheating of the puppies, chilling them or any other of the mistakes that can be made, loss can happen in a matter of minutes during this time period, so it is critical to stay on top of Everything!
After the first few weeks, things do begin to calm down … a little. An extra hour of sleep is allowed between feedings and the critical period is over.
From here on out, things begin to go as what you would consider ‘normal’ as far as puppies go. The same steps will be made with the scheduled de-wormings, vaccinations and weaning process as it would for any other puppies.
The only true exception here, for Bulldog Pros puppies anyway, is that rather than just one Vet check, we do two. The first check is done at 5-6 weeks to make sure that no heart murmurs are detected and that there are no other obvious signs of a problem.
The second check is done within 24-48 hours of the puppies going to their new homes and is simply a precautionary step that verifies that nothing was missed at their first check, as well as to obtain a certificate of health for each of our puppies.
As you can see, there is not only a large amount of time required when breeding English Bulldogs, a large amount of money is also needed. Our very first litter of BulldogPros puppies required a total of SIX trips to the Vet with a total bill of well over a thousand dollars!
And this doesn’t include the cost of getting started either, like the initial adoption fees for the right Bulldogs for breeding, paying for their original health testing and everything else along the way.
Needless to say…we didn’t make a dime! And that’s OK! I’ve learned a lot along the way, like how to perform my own A.I.s, the mistakes that can be made (and how to avoid them) and so much more.
If we had gotten started with dreams of making big money, I wouldn’t be nearly as happy as I am with how things have turned out (actually, I wouldn’t be happy At ALL). And although I was Terrified throughout the entire process with my first litter, the experience was amazing!
Since then, we have had our second litter, of 9 PUPPIES, and my most recent babies were bottle fed puppies that were like babies of my own. Although it was very scary at times as well, with a lot of ups and downs, I’m more confident in myself and feel that I stand well prepared for our next litter of Bulldog (or Bordeaux) puppies.
Our next litter is due in just a few weeks (mid January, 2013) and I couldn’t be more excited! I can’t wait to see the colors of the puppies we get this time, and the different personalities that can be seen as they begin to grow. I will be posting photos of our new babies for everyone to see on our main website, BulldogPros.com, the very day they are born!!
In closing…If you are considering becoming an English Bulldog breeder, please do the needed research before you ever purchase your first Bulldog with the intentions of breeding! I have only discussed the main aspects of breeding, and there are so many other important steps that need to be taken and information you must know before starting such a serious venture!
In the end, it is usually the dogs and puppies that suffer from the poor beginnings of breeders. If you want to get started as a breeder because you just love Bulldogs, then you will truly enjoy it. But, as I said before, if you intend to breed as a way to make money, your odds of disappointment are very high.