How Are French Bulldogs Made?


The French Bulldog’s popularity has gone from strength to strength in the last few years. Now, according to the American Kennel Club, it is the fourth most popular dog breed in the United States. The reason for its popularity is obvious after spending just a brief amount of time with her.

She’s a great family dog who’s very affectionate and loves the attention she gets from you and (if you have them) your children. However, they are not a cheap dog and this makes them prohibitive to many families. The high cost is primarily down to the complexities of reproduction with this fascinating breed.

This is necessary primarily because of the small hips found on the dogs which makes it extremely difficult for them to mate naturally.

How are French Bulldogs made? The French Bulldog is typically made via artificial insemination and delivered by a C-section. This complicated and risky breeding process is directly responsible for the high purchase price.

Why Can’t the French Bulldog Reproduce Naturally?

How Are French Bulldogs Made?

Well, they actually can but it’s just that it doesn’t happen often. You see, the French Bulldog isn’t really made for reproducing. The problem is with the size of their hips. Actually, the hips are quite small on both the male and the female and because of this, it is difficult for the male to mount her. Not only this, but the heat cycle on a female can be somewhat erratic, adding another layer of complexity to the whole process. And they really didn’t need another layer of complexity, did they?

I’m not sure if I should be sad about this or impressed that only in the modern age would this dog most likely exist! It’s incredible that us humans have persevered really, don’t you think? Also, quite heart-warming. Actually, there are groups who are trying to use selective breeding to produce a dog with naturally wider hips so they are able to reproduce by themselves but this would surely take generations to succeed if indeed it does at all.

How Does the French Bulldog Reproduce?

In the vast majority of cases, artificially. Artificial Insemination is used combined with a cesarean section. There’s a lot of things that make a great mini French Bulldog and some of these things can be decided before they’re even born. For instance, the characteristics of the parents can find their way into the new-born. Also, look at the physical properties of the parents, if they are both quite small for a Frenchie then there’s a good chance that the little will include several that are also destined to be small.

The mother and father should ideally not be closely related. It can be difficult to trace this that far back but a good breeder will know their lineage quite a long way back. Both the dogs will (or should) have tests carried out on them to ensure that there are no serious genetic problems that may be passed down to their pups.

After all the groundwork is complete and the mother and father have been chosen, the serious business can start. The bitch will begin ovulating around 5 days into her menstrual cycle. Her personality may change (she might temporarily become less loving towards you) and this may be the start of her fertility period. Once this has been confirmed (typically by your vet) the fertilization process can take place.

Artificial Insemination, as mentioned above, is the most likely (and preferred) method of getting the female pregnant and the gestation period of a French Bulldog is 63 days.

About four weeks later you can get an ultrasound which will confirm the bitch is pregnant. Or it might just confirm she is not pregnant and has actually just been eating too much again :) During the last week of pregnancy, they should also be able to tell you how many puppies she has inside her, as well as performing other checks on her health.

The signs of labor in the bitch should be obvious and will include a loss of appetite, possibly vomiting and shivering. Similar symptoms to my own after I received my last car servicing bill actually. You may also notice them taking themselves off to some area of the house where they feel safe and can’t be disturbed. This is usually around a day before the puppies will start arriving if it was via a natural process. However, when it comes to the birth (this is known as whelping) and as mentioned above, this is most likely to be via cesarean section. Remember, the Frenchie has a very small pelvis and a very large head, I’ll let you think about the logistics of trying to get one out of the other 🙂

As Cesareans are so common they are relatively low risk to the dog, however, they are quite labor intensive as you’ll not only need the vet to perform the C-section, but you’ll need other professionals available to resuscitate the puppies after they come out. Just another reason why the cost of French Bulldog puppies is so expensive – it costs a lot of money for them to come into existence! If you’d like a bit more detail about how French Bulldogs are made, then check out the article I have here (opens in a new tab).

French Bulldog Breeding – Can I Do It All Myself?

How Are French Bulldogs Made?

Well, possibly some of it. However, in the same way that I could probably handle cooking Christmas dinner for my friends and family. I mean I could do it but it would probably end up being a bit of a mess. So, I get an expert to do it and in this case, that expert is my wife. In your case, the expert will be your vet. Unless the vet is a good cook, in which case maybe they could cook Christmas dinner also? Just a suggestion.

As the majority of birth’s include a cesarean section and I think we can agree that this will not something you will be doing in your kitchen, let’s look at the insemination process and whether we might be able to do this ourselves.

The French Bulldog – some background

How Are French Bulldogs Made?

What a fascinating breed this is. If you’d asked me ten years ago anything about the French Bulldog I would’ve been able to tell you that they’re probably like a Bulldog. And French. 

However, the Frenchie is the fastest growing breed in the United States right now and hugely popular across the pond in Europe, too. In fact, they’re the fourth most popular breed right now, according to the American Kennel Club

So, what makes her so popular? Well, there are many reasons why families are looking to the French Bulldog first when they’re after a dog. 

  • Companionship – The Frenchie is a great companion dog and wants nothing more than to spend time with us humans. They are easily pleased and as long as you’re in the same room as them, they’ll be happy.
  • Great with children – The French Bulldog is not an aggressive dog by nature and for this reason, they make a great dog for a family with young children. Of course, they should still be supervised and children should be taught how to deal with animals (i.e. never to put their face near theirs) – but the Frenchie is a very tolerant breed and it will take a lot before they’re pushed too far, as long as they’ve been trained well from an early age.
  • Little exercise required – due to their physical form and breathing difficulties, the French Bulldog does not require much exercise. Not only that, the Frenchie shouldn’t be exercised that much. It will get all the exercise she needs by playing with you, which can be inside. This makes her a great dog for those with apartments, or others who can’t get outside much.
  • Good with other pets – There are some dog breeds out there that just won’t tolerate other dogs (not even going to talk about cats here!) but the Frenchie usually rather likes another furry friend in the house. Yes, the earlier you introduce them the better but even older Bullies have been known to get on perfectly well with an existing pet.

How Much Does it Cost for French Bulldog Insemination?

The cost of artificial insemination in a French Bulldog seems to fluctuate, quite a lot, depending on who you ask. I’ve spent a bit of time doing some research and I’ve seen the procedure offered for as little as £50 in the United Kingdom (about $65 at time of writing) up to over $1,000 for some in the US.

There are all kinds of variables involved such as the ‘pureness’ of the parents and whether there were any recent inbreeding involved. What it comes down to though I think is this, which possibly makes it quite an irrelevant question. If you’re going to become a breeder then you won’t be paying for it, you’ll be doing it all yourself. If you’re not a breeder then you also most likely won’t be doing it. But the fact is, the cost of this artificial insemination contributes quite a bit to the high cost of the puppy purchase price!

How Much Do French Bulldog Puppies Cost?

The cost of French Bulldog puppies can vary, however, it is typically quite a lot more than your average dog breed. In fact, although the price can also vary dramatically depending on your location you can be expected to pay at least $1,500 for a French Bulldog puppy.

This can increase to around $3,000 depending on the history and genetic make-up of its parents. It’s said that some people have paid close to $10,000 on a Frenchie puppy but to be honest I’m not sure this isn’t just the internet making things up, which it does often 🙂 One person can put a figure up on some site then a dozen others will copy it and all of a sudden it becomes factual information somehow!

They are expensive for a reason. It takes a lot to get that little puppy into your house. It’s an expensive process and if you’re not sure why it’s so expensive then consider this. The French Bulldog bitch will most likely need to have a cesarean section to deliver her litter. Many people don’t appreciate though that she can only go through this process twice.

Then, there are other risks. For instance, the anesthesia that’s used during the C-section can (and has, unfortunately too often) been fatal for the female. Puppies can die at birth and the mortality rate during the first few weeks is higher than other breeds.

The French Bulldog mother doesn’t naturally have that typical motherly instinct (due to the C-section) which could mean the puppies don’t receive the right level of nutrients that they should. This can take quite a lot of effort from the breeder to ensure that the puppies are getting what they need (which needs to be checked several times a day) and if they are not, then they will have to take over.

 So, you see – there is a lot of effort involved in making your French Bulldog and ensuring they are fit and healthy for when they are given to their new owner and home.

Can I Make Money Breeding French Bulldogs?

How Are French Bulldogs Made?

Yes, you can make money breeding French Bulldogs. However, you can also make money making space-ships and taking people on holidays to Mars. Just because it sounds like a good idea doesn’t mean it’s a good idea for you! Becoming a French Bulldog breeder is a full-time position so let’s get that out there now – you won’t be able to this job part-time.

It is something that you must really want to do as you’ll be learning about it and gaining experience from it for some time before you can comfortably make some money from it. Oh and when I mean ‘some’, I do mean some – you won’t become a millionaire as a French Bulldog breeder!

You’re going to initially have to fork out quite a bit of money with no guarantee that you’re going to make any of it back. Those ultrasounds that you need to get at the vets? They can cost over $300 a pop and yes you do sometimes get one done and find that she’s not even pregnant! The C-section isn’t cheap either and if you need one in an emergency, you can probably double the price.

Weekends are also more expensive than a scheduled daytime weekday procedure. So, how much will a cesarean cost you? Well, apart from when you need it to take place, it depends on where you live also. I’ve seen it as high as $2,500 in NYC but have had reports of more than that and also as low as $1,000.

French Bulldog Breeders Don’t Have Things Easy

So, I think you can see that from the above costs, risks and the fact that there are absolutely no guarantees involved in this, the margins aren’t great. There’s a common misconception that French Bulldog breeders are greedy and have rolling around in all the money they make but it’s just not the case.

It costs a lot of money to breed the Frenchie and unfortunately you may find you’re out of pocket, often. This job is for someone with quite a bit of money as a backup fund, lots of time in hand and also a passion for French Bulldog’s that not going to diminish after a few months. Finally, if you’d like to take a look at my complete guide to French Bulldogs, then please take a look!

French Bulldog Celebrity Owners

It’s almost impossible to believe that only a few decades ago the breed was at risk of total extinction with only a record of a few dozen being registered. Another reason why they’re so popular might be something to do with they’re quite popular with celebrities, such as:

  • Reese Witherspoon
  • Madonna
  • Hugh Jackman
  • Eva Longoria
  • Dwayne Johnson (‘The Rock’)
  • Lady Gaga
  • Lionardo Di Caprio
  • David & Victoria Beckham

People will look at their favorite celebs, see they have this amazing little pooch and decide if it’s good enough for them, I want one! Personally, I still think some of these celebs have one purely as a status symbol, probably as they’re so expensive. But what do I know, I’m not a celeb!

Whatever the reason though, the evidence is undeniable – the French Bulldog is the perfect dog breed for many families and despite its known health problems the positives of ownership far outweigh any negatives. Well, they certainly do in my opinion. All I can suggest is if you feel otherwise is spend some time with them. Probably about an hour will do it. That’s how long it took for me to be smitten anyway!

Jane

I'm Jane Pettitt, co-owner of Pets Knowledge Base with my husband, Matt. I have a grand total of 50 years’ experience as a pet owner. It all started with a guinea pig called Percy when I was 5 years old and since then I’ve lived with two more guinea pigs, a hamster, mice, a rabbit, a tortoise, a dog, and 11 cats. I’ve learned so much about pet care during this time and many of my articles are based on my personal experiences plus those of my family and friends.

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