Successfully Raising (English) Bulldog Puppy Litters

This article tells how I ignored the advice of all the top breeders and came up with my own method for raising healthy, happy (English) Bulldog puppies. I approached the issue as an animal lover, not as someone trying to make the greatest income. As a result, I ended up with gentle, loving, well-adjusted puppies who were stress-free and adapted quickly to their new homes.

First, let me give you a little background on the breeding of Bulldog puppies. Since the (English) bulldog is basically a “man-made” dog (they were initially engineered to bait bulls, hence the name and the smashed, wrinkly faces, stocky bodies, and loose skin.) it is almost impossible for them to reproduce naturally. Instead, artificial insemination is required. This consists of buying sperm from a male donor, shipping it at specified temperatures, using the equivalent of a turkey baster to inject the semen into the female’s vagina within a specified period of time, and praying that it takes! Often breeders will repeat this process 2 or 3 times while the female is in heat. After that, you wait. Hopefully, the process will work, and soon the female will start to show signs of pregnancy. Once she has come to term, then the fun really begins. Almost all Bulldog females require a C-Section  (Cesarean) since the puppies have such huge heads. This is the safest procedure for both mother and puppies. Most females will have 3-5 puppies, although my Pearl had 9!

Most breeders of Bulldog (AKA recognizes the English Bulldog as Bulldog) puppies will tell you to take the puppies away from the mother except during feeding time. Since it is so difficult to even conceive a Bulldog puppy, these breeders believe the mother may inadvertently smother the puppies by trying to keep them warm. Since a good quality Bulldog puppy will bring anywhere from $1800.00 to $2500.00; the loss of one is unfathomable. So, the breeder keep the puppies in a heated space, and put them with the mothers every few hours so that they may nurse. Then they return the puppies to their heated bed. Research has shown that babies need their mothers; so why should Bulldog puppies be any different? Puppies who are raised this way tend to be more stressed out, high-strung, and anxious; and do not develop social skills as readily.

Since my mothers were first and foremost, my pets, my babies, and my children -I refused to take puppies away from their mothers. Instead, I purchased a large plastic “under the bed” storage bin with a removable lid (which was not used). I lined it with soft old quilts, and covered them with towels, since the mother was still bleeding from the delivery. Mother and puppies were safely ensconced in this nest, which moved around the house with me. If I was sleeping, it was right beside the bed, where any whimper from a puppy would immediately wake me. If I was in the kitchen or living room, the “whelping box” was within reach. The first 2 or 3 weeeks are pretty much sleepless; because you have to make sure that all the puppies are nursing when it’s feeding time (which is about every 3 hours), and you have to make sure no tiny puppy inadvertently has the mother lying on top of it! Sometimes I would put the puppies in  a smaller plastic bin with a whelping pad, just to give Mom a break so she could eat and go outside, but her main priority is those puppies, so she would take care of business and immediately go back to her nest.

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  1. We just got our first bulldog puppy yesterday (2/28/2010) and so far things are great. He’s doing really good besides the fact that we just took him away from his mom and brothers n sisters. I want to raise him with the best knowledge on english bulldogs I can find. So if you have any pointers it would be greatly appreciated.

  2. We have a wonderful female who just gave birth to 7 amazing pups. The only advise I want to give is to read EVERYTHING there is about bulldogs. They are not like any other dog. They are better. Make sure you clean his wrinkles and brush his teeth. FInd a vet who specializes in bulldogs (even if they are far away)….

  3. After whelping several bulldog litters and seeing what is REALLY going on with many breeeders, I decided to invest in a well bred AKC show quality bulldog. I jumped into shows not really knowing much; but I have to say; I have never met a greater and more caring group of animal lovers. And more importantly, there are endless support groups and at every specialty show money is raised for bulldog rescue. These breeders cherish their dogs as pets, give them the best food, and form an unbeleivable bond spending time with them on the road to shows. There is no place a bulldog would rather be than right by your side! The dedication to better the breed and make life better for all bulldogs through education and awareness is unsurpassed. These breeders sell high quality bulldogs, and oten for much less than the breeders trying to gain money on their litters by advertising pretisgious pedigrees. A show quality dog comes ONLY from a show home and is almost always Champion or Grand Champion sired. NOT the grandparents. These breeders have excellent contracts and stand behind their dogs 100%. Having seen the view from both sides; I am so glad I made this choice. Breeding should be a hobby and a means to supply responsible owners with a well bred and well raised pet thay will cherish for years to come. Just the amount of knowledge it takes to pair a stud and bitch is amazing! Breeding should not be a money making career. It is a joy to place a puppy and stay in touch over the years and hear the stories about the joy thar has come into their life because of the wonderful puppy you put your heart and soul into raising! The real health of the puppy comes from the care and good health and food it’s mother has had. And without a doubt; a tremendous amount of love and dedication! Although the show route may not be the right road for every breeder; it would be awesome if more pet breeders would follow the BCA rules and give back to rsscue and help educate on the breed.

  4. Hi I have a british bulldog and she is pregnant and has 3pups we have decided to let her have a c section ,am a little worried as I have been told to take the pups away from her when she has had them,I don’t want to as as u say all babies need there mother.have you got any advise for me plz

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