Can French Bulldogs Give Birth Naturally?

French bulldogs cannot reproduce easily on their own as they are faced with various challenges during their pregnancy.

That’s why they are commonly referred to as a man-made breed because they tend to need a lot of human intervention when it comes to their breeding starting from the point of insemination and up to the point of giving birth.

So, can French Bulldogs give birth naturally? French Bulldogs can give birth naturally but it’s more common for them to deliver the puppies through a C-section. That is because there are various risks with natural births for French Bulldogs including the puppies getting stuck in the birth canal which could lead to the possibility of death for the puppies as well as the mother.

Keep reading to learn more about how French Bulldogs pregnancies including how they give birth and the complications they might face during labor.

How Do French Bulldogs Give Birth?

pregnant french bulldog to answer can french bulldogs give birth naturally
Pregnant French Bulldog standing in the garden.

In most cases, Female French Bulldogs do not give birth naturally because they have narrow hips and their puppies have large heads which can cause a lot of complications during labor that might even lead to the puppies and the mother dying.

Getting aid from a professional vet or performing a C-section, which is a procedure that involves cutting the dog’s uterus open to remove the puppies, is often required to reduce the risk of death for the puppies as well as the mother.

According to statistics, up to 95% of French Bulldogs require C-sections to safely deliver their puppies. Some French Bulldogs might be able to give birth naturally without any complications but it only happens in around 1 out of 5 pregnancies.

What Are the Signs of Labor in French Bulldogs?

If you’re not opting for a C-section, labor can be very taxing on your French Bulldog since birth doesn’t come naturally to this breed.

Here are some of the signs that your French Bulldog is going into labor:

  • Your dog will be restlessly pacing around or digging
  • Your dog will start trembling and shaking
  • Your dog will want to start nesting.
  • Your dog’s body temperature will start to drop rapidly

It’s highly recommended to have a vet on-call or on-site once you notice your French Bulldog displaying any of these signs to ensure everything will go smoothly with delivering the puppies.

Possible Complications of Natural Birth in French Bulldogs

There are some possible complications that you need to be aware of when it comes to French Bulldogs giving birth naturally:


This is a condition where the dog will suffer from severe swelling directly before giving birth. It can cause various problems with the dog’s ability to breathe and heart rate which might end up being fatal.

It’s especially common in French Bulldogs as their small bodies usually cannot handle carrying a lot of puppies.

The Puppy Getting Stuck

French Bulldogs have small hips and narrow birth canals, and their puppies have relatively large heads. That’s why it’s very common for puppies to get stuck in the birth canal during labor.

You can tell the puppy is stuck if the dog has been actively pushing for 20-30 minutes with no obvious signs of delivery.


This is a condition where the puppy is positioned abnormally before giving birth.

It will often require a vet or someone experienced in natural dog births to intervene and help guide the puppy in the right position for safe delivery.

Possible Complications of C-Section Birth in French Bulldogs

There are significantly lower risks for French Bulldogs when it comes to C-sections compared to giving birth naturally as this procedure is performed by experienced vets.

However, there are still a few possible complications that you need to be aware of.

Lack of Oxygen

As you may already know, French Bulldogs are a brachycephalic breed meaning they have flat faces and short muzzles.

This causes them to have various breathing issues which make it difficult for even experienced vets to make sure they are getting enough oxygen when they’re put under anesthesia during the procedure.

Choking On Vomit

Another common problem that might occur when French Bulldogs are under anesthesia is vomiting as this will cause the dog to immediately choke unless the vet steps in.

There is also a lot of aftercare required after your French Bulldog wakes up from the procedure and is released to come home this includes managing the dog’s pain and disinfecting its wound. You need to monitor the dog’s recovery closely to make sure it’s going smoothly.

Can French Bulldogs Get Pregnant Naturally?

French Bulldogs can get pregnant naturally but it’s not very easy for them and might be dangerous for the dogs sometimes.

The main reason why French Bulldogs face difficulties with getting pregnant naturally is that their heads, shoulders, and chests are much larger in size compared to their narrow hips, so the weight of their front side is usually heavier than their backside.

When the male bulldog mounts the female bulldog, the heavy weight of his front side will push down the backside of the female bulldog making it very difficult for them to obtain a tie and in some cases might even cause injury to the female bulldog.

To prevent this from happening, human intervention is often required.

Some breeders can assist male bulldogs by holding the female bulldog’s hips while other breeders choose to go with the artificial insemination (AI) procedure which involves collecting the male bulldog’s semen and inserting it into the female bulldog’s uterus during heat.

There can be some complications with artificial insemination as the semen must be carefully collected and stored until it’s inserted. So, make sure that the procedure is performed by trained and experienced professionals.

To learn more about French bulldog breeding, you can check out this article on can french bulldogs mate with other dogs.

How to Tell Your French Bulldog Is Pregnant?

Most signs and symptoms of pregnancy do not occur until the dog is over 40 days pregnant so, if you haven’t visited a vet to diagnose the pregnancy, it might be some time before you can tell that your French Bulldog is Pregnant.

Here are some of the signs and symptoms of pregnancy you need to look out for:

  • Lack of Energy– It’s completely natural for pregnant dogs to be less energetic than those who aren’t so if you notice that your French Bulldog is sleeping more than usual, there is a big chance that she is pregnant.
  • Changes in Temperament – This symptom can vary from one dog to another. The dog might become clingier or it might become more distant than usual. Any abnormal behavior or sudden change in temperament is likely a sign that your French Bulldog is pregnant.
  • Morning Sickness – Most French Bulldogs have problems with their appetites during pregnancies. Nausea and vomiting are very common indicators that your dog is pregnant.
  • Increase in Appetite –Pregnant dogs require nutrition to maintain their energy levels. So, if you notice that your French Bulldog is eating more and more, there is a big chance that she is pregnant.
  • Nipple Changes – Pregnant dogs’ nipples will become slightly darker and more rounded in shape. There will also be some hair loss around the nipple area as the dog’s body prepares for nursing. You might notice these changes very early on in the dog’s pregnancy or close to delivery.
  • Swollen Vulva – French Bulldog’s vulvas get swollen when they’re in heat. If the dog gets pregnant, its vulva won’t be as swollen as it was but it will not return to its normal size.

How Long Does Pregnancy Last in French Bulldogs?

All dogs tend to follow the same pregnancy schedule, regardless of what breeds they are, so French Bulldogs will usually deliver their puppies on the 63rd from ovulation.

It might be difficult to tell the exact day if you’re not testing for ovulation, so breeders usually follow a guideline of 59 to 70 days from the date of the dog’s first breeding. The dog should deliver any time in those 11 days, but it’s very common for them to deliver on the 63rd day.

If the French Bulldog is undergoing a C-section, it’s likely that the vet will know the date of ovulation so they can simply perform the procedure on the 63rd day or when the dog shows clear signs of going to labor.

The Ethical Concerns of Breeding French Bulldogs

There are various ethical concerns when it comes to breeding French Bulldogs as these dogs are known to have many health problems which make pregnancy and labor very taxing for them, especially if they are delivering multiple puppies.

If you are planning to breed French Bulldogs, you need to make sure the dogs’ health is tested regularly to minimize any risk of complications during pregnancy or birth.

Related Questions

Why Is Breeding French Bulldogs Expensive?

Breeding French Bulldogs is very expensive because they cannot always reproduce naturally on their own and rely on various costly medical procedures. They need artificial inseminations to get pregnant. They also need X-rays and ultrasounds throughout the pregnancy as well as a C-section to give birth without complications.

How Long Does It Take for French Bulldogs to Give Birth?

It takes around 20 minutes for French Bulldogs to give birth. Once the labor starts, the dog will start to tremble then it will lie down and start to push. If your dog has been pushing for over 20 minutes and you can’t see the puppy’s head yet, then you need to contact a vet as there might be complications with the birth.

How Much Do C-Sections for French Bulldogs Cost?

C-sections for French Bulldogs cost between $600 to $2,000 in the United States. That cost might also increase if the dog requires an emergency C-section. This procedure is very common with French Bulldogs as they face a lot of complications with natural birth and it should be performed by a trained and experienced vet.

At What Age Can French Bulldogs Begin Breeding?

Male French Bulldogs can begin breeding when they are at 6 to 12 months of age while female French Bulldogs are usually bred later than males. Responsible breeders are advised to wait for female French Bulldogs to be at least 18 months or at least after the dog’s first heat cycle before breeding her.

Helpful Resources 

How to Breed French Bulldogs

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