How Many Puppies Do Bulldogs Have?

by Sonya | Last Updated:   March 23, 2021

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Having a litter of fur babies is a wonderful thing. Bulldogs are wonderful dogs but their journey into the world is far from simple.

Bulldogs have narrow hips and they simply don’t have the space to carry large litters. Puppies are usually delivered via the Caesarean section.

The average Bulldog litter size is three or four puppies. Anything more than 5 puppies is very unusual for a Bulldog. Overly large Bulldog litters may become a problem of their own. Mother nature generally has her reasons and therefore Bulldogs rarely produce more than they can handle.

Three puppy French bulldogs sitting together with white background

Factors Influencing a Bulldogs Litter Size

The size of a Bulldog puppy litter can be influenced by so many factors. The major factors include:

Age of female Bulldog 

The age of the Bulldog bitch breeding plays a key part in litter size. The older the female Bulldog, the smaller the litter. Bulldog dams bred from 2-5 years usually have the largest litters. Before that, they are considered to be immature and could end up with complications.

Age of the stud Bulldog

The age of the male Bulldog also plays a part in litter size. After 5 years, the sire’s sperm count and quality begin to decrease. At 1 to 5 years, there is more of a chance of the sperm fusing with the female Bulldog’s eggs. 

Diet of female Bulldog

Nutrition plays a big part in determining the number of puppies in a litter. A high-quality diet rich in protein should be eaten all year to maximize litter size. female Bulldogs with poor-quality diets yield smaller litters.

The health of female Bulldog

The Health of Bulldog plays a vital role in litter size. Both Bulldog parents need to be in excellent health to maximize their chance to have more puppies.

Bulldogs that have genetic issues will tend to have a smaller puppy count. A healthier dam’s chance of a larger litter is greater than those who are overweight or obese.

Method of mating

Naturally mated Bulldog dams have significantly larger litters than those who had been artificially inseminated. This is likely due to more sperm dying during the collection and insemination process.

Waiting for a set season

The American Kennel Club has noted that generally, dams give birth to larger litters in the spring and smaller litters in the summer.

How to Determine Litter Size in Dogs

Determining litter size can be helpful for breeders. They can tell if the mother Bulldog has given birth to all puppies. It also identifies early signs of potential complications such as large puppies that may be hard to pass the birth canal.

Ultrasound is a good way to determine the litter size in Bulldogs. It can be performed in around 25 days. Ultrasound is a great way to tell if the female Bulldog is pregnant and the pups are alive and moving. Often this method is not accurate for litter size as you are looking only at parts of the abdomen at a given time.

Ultrasound is perfectly safe for both the mother Bulldog and the unborn pups.

The ideal way to assess Bulldog litter size is by radiography. This will make them visible on the x-ray. This mineralization process starts at around 45 days of gestation. In radiography, the skulls of puppies can be counted easily once the pregnant dam gets closer to whelping.

How many litters can a Bulldog have? 

An average female Bulldog goes through heat about every seven months. However, a female Bulldog should not have a litter more than once a year.

After a female Bulldog has had a litter, it will need at least a year to recover before having another. Frequent pregnancies might give all kinds of mental and physical struggles to the Bulldog mother. 

The uterus and surrounding muscles need time to regrow. Many female Bulldogs lose patches of fur during pregnancy. These fur patches need time to grow back as well.

Putting a female Bulldog through too many pregnancies and c-sections is dangerous. First, the mother Bulldog won’t understand what’s going on or why and may become aggressive afterwards.

How many puppies are usually in a first litter? 

The number of puppies your Bulldog can have varies in every litter. When a female Bulldog reaches sexual maturity and breeds for the first time, it is likely to have a smaller litter than normal. Despite the age of the dam, the first 2 litters will generally be smaller than the ones afterwards.

Bulldogs typically produce their largest litter the third or fourth time they get pregnant. After that, their litter size becomes smaller with every successful mating.

When a Bulldog has a big litter, the risk of complications during pregnancy and at birth significantly increases.

How long is a Bulldog pregnant?

Like all breeds, Bulldogs have a pregnancy gestation period of around 2 months or around 63 days. This is the length of the pregnancy measured from when the fertilized egg embeds itself into the lining of the uterine horn.

This may vary by a few days depending on several factors. A vet will be able to accurately determine how far along the pregnancy is and when the Bulldog dam will give birth.

Can Bulldogs reproduce on their own?

Most Bulldogs can’t breed naturally without human intervention. This includes both the actual mating and the birthing process. 

Bulldog’s head has been bred to become larger over the years. This makes it difficult for Bulldogs to give birth naturally through the birth canal. The Bulldog puppies are often too large for the birth canal. Usually, they require a correction and close medical supervision by a trained vet. 

Some Bulldogs can get pregnant naturally, however, most of them do not get pregnant easily when using natural methods. For most Bulldogs, the chest, shoulders and head are much larger than their hips. They usually are heavier in the front than they are in the back. Some Bulldog breeds do not require C-sections and can have a natural birth.

Tips for Bulldog breeding 

Bulldog breeding is not only a joy but also a huge responsibility. You need to prepare yourself and understand the commitment. Here are some useful tips: 

  • Check the female Bulldog over at the vet first. This will ensure that they are healthy enough to deal with the breeding process.
  • Ensure you have enough money for all the vet treatments.
  • Put the welfare of the mother Bulldog first.
  • Never breed an unhealthy Bulldog. The goal of the breeding is to produce a healthy pup.
  • Artificial insemination is a simple procedure that can be used for Bulldogs when natural breeding is impractical.
  • Get the puppies registered from the kennel club and have the correct paperwork.
  • Provide a safe, warm, and dry place for the puppies. Also, provide proper food and water for the female Bulldog.
  • Give the mother Bulldog at least a year to recover after birth before the next pregnancy.
  • Be alert for signs of labor

Final thoughts

It is always amazing to watch a Bulldog litter grow. Bulldog puppies have short noses and might have difficulty chewing food. Ask your vet about special foods designed for Bulldog puppies to facilitate their ability to eat.

If you want to breed Bulldog puppies, this is not a task that should be taken lightly. Breeding Bulldogs is very high maintenance work and care. You need to research, consult your vet and have some money for medical expenses. Also, it should be done with the best of intentions and your whole heart. 

Sonya is a software engineer by day and recently earned her MBA degree, but she also loves spending her free time writing about her favourite passion, dogs! Click here to read more.
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