We are going to give you plenty of information that may be useful for you as a future breeder, but we have to start with a word of caution here: please think carefully before starting to breed bulldogs (or any other dog breed). There are some good reasons to start breeding bulldogs and there are some bad ones. Please analyze your motivation first, then, once you are sure about what you want to do, get as much information as possible.
Too many dogs end up in situations they do not deserve, mostly because so many neophyte breeders wanted 'puppies of their own', without carefully planning these litters first. There is already a severe pet overpopulation problem in North America and many puppies end up in shelters or are put to sleep everyday.
The Good and Bad Reasons to breed your Dog
If done conscientiously, breeding puppies is not a profitable business, so breeding puppies to make some extra money, is NOT a good idea. Breeding puppies is time-consuming and expensive (feeding, veterinay bills). Actually, it is not a wise decision to start a breeding program, if you don't have sufficient financial means to pay for any and all veterinary expenses, such as pre-breeding vet checks, a likely Caesarian-section ($800 to $1200), vaccinations, worming, and recommended health certifications, and all other costs included to take good care of the breeding bitch (such as premium food) and nurturing the pups for as long as they are not sold (such as providing a comfortable, safe and clean whelping box, adequate feeding, socialization and basic obedience).
And finding good homes for the puppies is more difficult than you think. Therefore, breeding a litter is only justified if each mating is carefully considered in terms of the long-term benefit for the breed in terms of appearance, temperament, and health considerations, NOT the breeder's own short-term financial profit. If you don't intend to keep at least one puppy for yourself there really is no purpose in starting a breeding program (what was the purpose otherwise?) Only breed puppies you are sure to place (preferably working with waiting lists created before breeding even takes place). Read our charter for responsible breeders before embarking on a breeding program and see if you can agree with most, if not all points.
This implies that breeding just so that your children can witness the miracle of birth, or because you think it is good for your bitch to have a litter, are all bad reasons. If the only reason is that you would like to have another dog like your favorite pet, you should know that the future puppies may inherit as much from the other parent than from your own pet, and sometimes even turn out to have inherited the worst of both parents. It is a wise thing at this point to consult our Guide to Inherited and Congenital Diseases in Bulldogs, which also includes genetic predisposition to diseases in bulldogs. Hopefully this will convince you further that there should be no breeding without previous planning and careful checking of the lines of the parents.
Choosing a Brood Bitch and Stud Dog
One of the most important decisions is, of course, the choice of a good brood bitch and stud dog. If the decision to breed came some time after you bought your puppy and you got your bitch or dog from a reputable breeder, most likely your breeder has requested that you had it neutered or spayed as a puppy. That is, if it was not to be bred further in regard to conformation, temperament or health. Conscientious breeders do not want their offspring to be bred indiscriminately. If a puppy was bought purely as a pet and it was not the breeder's intention that the puppy be bred from as an adult dog, you must respect the breeder's wishes.
In most cases, this means that you will have to plan your future breeding even before you buy your first puppy, so that you can choose your future brood bitch in accordance with the breeder. Needless to say that puppies bought from pet stores or pet brokers, with uncertain ascendance, must never be bred from. There is too much uncertainty concerning their temperament and genetic health conditions, as in most cases, the parents will not be visible, or not even known. Just consider one thing, why would a breeder give up a puppy to a pet store, if that puppy could possibly have become a good brood bitch or stud dog. If they didn't want to keep it and coudn't find anyone whom they could sell it to personally, there must be a reason !
Once you will have decided which kennel you want your foundation bitch to come from, you will probably need a lot of patience to wait for an available puppy bitch. Then you will have to wait for her to mature. A bitch should never be bred under one and a half years of age and before her second season. Even then, it is always wise to wait a little longer until the bitch is sufficiently psychologically mature, because younger bitches tend to be more careless as mothers than those who were given the necessary time to mature before they had their first litter. No bitch should be bred more than three times in her lifetime. If you intend to start an extensive breeding program, involving several bitches and generations, you may want to read some books about kennel management and how to build and run a kennel. Our article about how to construct a kennel might also be helpful.
Care of the Breeding Bitch & Preparing the Whelping Place
A common mistake made by new breeders is to increase food intake too early in the pregnancy. Yet, any variation in her routine may be a cause of stress, which in turn may be detrimental to the pregnancy. Moreover, any excessive weight gain during this period may lead to possible whelping problems. Read more about the Care of the breeding bitch.
Special care should be taken when choosing and preparing the whelping area. The whelping area should be a quiet, secluded, dry, warm and draft-free place. Read more: Preparing the whelping area.
If you are sure that you can positively contribute something to your favorite breed, a good start is joining a breed club and attending shows. Before embarking on a breeding program, spend some time studying pedigrees and show catalogues to get some idea of which lines are most likely to be successful. At the same time, you should realize that good pedigrees alone are not a fail-safe way to garantee excellent stock. Read more about the Popular Sire Syndrome and other breeding pitfalls. For a definition of line-breeding, in-breeding, out-breeding and outcrossing, see our separate article Types of breeding. The best way is to get in touch with a reputable, experienced breeder to learn the basics of this breed.
Getting Started as a Bulldog Breeder
See also: Cute puppies
, a collection of
cute and funny puppy photos
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