Artificial Insemination
the Pros and Cons of Artificial Insemination
vs. Natural Breeding
The Critical Development stages of a puppy
Selecting a puppy with personality tests
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References and Bibliography:
Thomas, Chris. Bulldogs Today. Lydney: Ringpress Books. 1995
- Ten Reasons to breed your Dog
- Getting started as a responsible breeder
Do English Bulldogs always require artifical insemination or can they breed naturally ?

Yes and no, i.e. artificial insemination is not an absolute necessity for the breeding of English bulldogs, but it is recommended in some cases, for a variety of reasons. Most Bulldogs cannot successfully consummate a mating without assistance, nor should they be left to try. Frustration may build up with a risk of injury, aggression and overheating.  For all these reasons some breeders prefer resorting to artificial insemination. However, the necessary assistance can be provided without necessarily resorting to artificial insemination. In any case, novice breeders should not engage in breeding their bulldog naturally without the assistance of an experienced studmaster (not necessarily the owner of the stud) or veterinarian familiar with the bulldog breed.

If natural breeding is chosen, the bulldog will need assistance and even the natural breeding will have to be planned, guided and supervised more carefully than with any other dog breed, for a variety of reasons.

One of the problems with natural breeding is that the morphology of the bulldog does not allow the stud to easily mount the bitch. The typical bulldog morphology where the larger part of the weight is on the forequarters makes that the dam will have to support a comparatively higher weight than would the dam of another dog breed. For all these reasons, and because they are already more sensitive to heat, bulldogs will easily overheat, especially if the stud has to try several times before the effective mating takes place.

Some of these problems can be prevented by the use of a breeding table, especially designed to help the bulldog stud mount the bitch (much in the same way as with horses). The table contains the bitch in a position that is easily accessible for the stud and at the same time releases some of the weight off the bitch's back. However, the breeding table does not eliminate other problems, which do not occur with artificial insemination, such as the possible transmission of infections. Nor does the breeding table prevent a long "tie", another possible cause of injury and overheating, but it helps containing the bulldogs in a position that is more comfortable for the stud during the tie.

One of the other reasons why a breeder will use artificial insemination is when the dam and dog live geographically far away from each other. Reputable breeders are ready to research and travel a long way to find the ideal mate in terms of confirmation, temperament and genealogy. It is therefore highly unlikely that they will find both the ideal dam and the ideal sir in their own kennel or close neighborhood (see responsible bulldog charter).  Once they find the ideal mate and have come to an agreement with the owner of the stud, the semen will be sent and administered to the bitch through artificial insemination.

Note that if a stud dog is used for artificial insemination before he has ever naturally mounted a bitch, it will be difficult to get him to mount a bitch afterwards. That may be a reason why some breeders prefer trying the natural way before resorting to artificial insemination.