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.
Published in: Pets