Breeding French Bulldogs

French Bulldogs are the most valued breed globally, and it is not easy to get your hands on them. They are an investment, but owning them is bliss. Every French Bulldog owner is in awe of their cuteness and their affectionate behavior. Frenchies are a small breed with erect bat-like ears that shows they are attentive all the time. Their bodies are solid with a muscular physique. However, Breeding French Bulldogs is not an easy task and can require some experience.

French Bulldogs are bright and cheerful; hence, people want to breed them. They make a cute addition to the family even if you are single, a couple with no kids, or a big family. They have friendly and loving personalities that make you always appreciate their cuteness. If you seriously want to breed them, you need to be very alert and attentive. There are many French Bulldog breeding problems that you can face during the process. Hence, it is essential to learn about natural breeding, artificial insemination, etc. If you are clueless about how you can breed a French Bulldog, we are here to let you in on some of the procedures. 

To learn more about their prices, check out our French Bulldog Price Guide!

What age can French Bulldogs breed?

To breed French Bulldogs, there are certain factors you need to keep in mind, and age is one of the most crucial factors. Many people have a different point of view when it comes to age.

Most female Frenchies have their first heat after 6 months, but it is not recommend to breed in their first heat. Typically, it’s advisable to plan the initial mating for your female dog no earlier than her second heat cycle, which typically occurs around 14-15 months of age. However, the timing can differ based on when your female dog experiences her first heat. On average, the first heat usually begins at approximately 8 months of age, with the second heat cycle occurring roughly 6 months later.

You want to avoid breeding them if they are too young, and after eight years, it is not healthy to breed. Excessive breeding can cause harm to the dog’s life; hence, it is recommended to give at least a 1 year gap between each breeding. However, some breeders may choice to breed more often. The gap between breeding is essential to let your French Bulldog recover and heal from the C-section. One litter every one to two years is more than enough to keep your breeder healthy. Additionally, It is essential to let your female dog breed only three times in their lifetime.

How to breed French Bulldogs?

There are two ways to breed a French Bulldog, and each of the methods works well. The first method is to mate the male and female French Bulldogs naturally. However, it is difficult for most Frenchies to mate naturally. Therefore, artificial insemination is the process that most reputable breeders use to produce healthy Frenchies. Let’s jump right into the process and see how you can breed healthy little French Bulldog puppies.

French Bulldog mating

The simple, safe yet effective process to breed French Bulldogs is to make them mate. The procedure is not as simple as it may sound. You have to consider French Bulldog breeding problems before you can jump into the procedure. Here are a few steps to French Bulldog mating:

1.     Find perfectly healthy candidates

If you have a bitch or a stud, you need first to run a few tests. Ask for the dog’s complete history before you proceed with the procedure. It is essential to have a detailed look at the personality traits, temperature, color, etc. A person must ensure that both bitch and stud are not closely related. It is better to run a few tests to determine the medical history for diseases such as Brucellosis to avoid future problems.

2.     Monitoring ovulation

The French Bulldog, like other dog breeds, goes through a reproductive cycle that includes ovulation. Here’s an explanation of the key phases in the French Bulldog’s ovulation cycle:

  • Proestrus: This is the first phase of the cycle and is characterized by changes in behavior and physical signs. During this phase, the female dog may attract male attention but is not yet ready for breeding. The vulva may swell, and there can be a bloody discharge. Proestrus typically lasts for about 9 days but can vary.
  • Estrus: This is the phase when the female is receptive to mating. The bloody discharge lightens and becomes more watery. The female may actively seek out males and may “stand” for them, allowing mating to occur. This phase usually lasts around 5-9 days but, again, can vary.
  • Ovulation: Ovulation is the release of eggs from the ovaries and is a crucial moment for successful breeding. In dogs, ovulation typically occurs about 48 hours after the start of estrus but can vary. It’s important to time mating carefully to coincide with ovulation for the best chance of conception.
  • Diestrus and Anestrus: After estrus, the female enters diestrus, a period where she is no longer receptive to males. If she did not conceive, she will go through anestrus, a resting phase before the cycle begins again.

3.     Supervise the process

When the vet confirms ovulation, you have to place both male and female French Bulldogs in the same space. It is essential to give some time and be patient throughout the process. You can start by calming down the female by patting her back. It is safer to keep the leash around both male and female dogs to avoid injuries. The male stud can get aggressive during mating. Hence, the leash will allow you to pull them apart if you feel any kind of aggressive behavior. You must supervise the whole process to make sure everything goes smoothly.

4.     Aftercare

After mating, you have to ensure that the female French Bulldog does not pee at least for an hour. You can keep her in the crate to make her feel like she is safe. It is essential to let the female relax and calm down for the process to be effective. If you are accurate about the ovulation cycle, the chances of conceiving are high. Sometimes, the process can fail due to multiple reasons. Hence, artificial insemination is also an option, and people prefer it more than natural dog mating.

Artificial Insemination

Artificial insemination is the most common way to impregnate a female French Bulldog and produce healthy puppies. Most people favor artificial insemination more than mating as they have small hips, which makes mounting and the overall process difficult. Hence, it is easier for people to contact a reproductive specialist and schedule an artificial insemination appointment.

1.     Order an artificial insemination kit

There are many artificial semination kits available online and offline. You need to find a good one in which you can collect good samples. The French Bulldog artificial insemination kit comes with a sample collector, a syringe, a plunger, and some gloves. The goal is to buy a good quality one that helps you accomplish the process without any hassle. The whole process becomes straightforward once you have everything you need.

2.     Progesterone Test

For artificial insemination (AI) in dogs, including French Bulldogs, monitoring progesterone levels is crucial to determine the optimal time for insemination. Progesterone is a hormone that rises during the estrus cycle and indicates when ovulation is occurring.

Here’s a general guideline for progesterone levels and their implications for AI in dogs:

  1. < 1 ng/mL: This indicates the early phase of the estrus cycle. The female is not yet ready for breeding.
  2. 1-2 ng/mL: The female will likely ovulate soon. This is the beginning of the fertile period.
  3. 2-5 ng/mL: Ovulation is occurring. This is the optimal time for natural breeding.
  4. 5-20 ng/mL: This is the ideal range for artificial insemination. For vaginal AI, it’s best to perform the procedure when levels are between 5-10 ng/mL. For surgical or transcervical insemination, the procedure can be done when levels are between 10-20 ng/mL.
  5. > 20 ng/mL: The fertile period has likely passed.

It’s essential to note that these are general guidelines, and individual variation can occur. Regular progesterone testing, starting from when the female first shows signs of estrus, can help pinpoint the exact time of ovulation and the best time for AI. Additionally, working with a veterinarian experienced in reproductive medicine is crucial to ensure the best outcomes.

3.     Leave Male and Female Together

You have to leave the female and male French Bulldog together and wait for them to interact with each other. You should always supervise the whole process and do not leave them unattended even for a minute as things can progress quickly. Once the male French Bulldog is aroused, you can take the female away.

4. Collect Semen

Collecting semen from a male dog, including a French Bulldog, for artificial insemination or other reproductive purposes requires a specific technique and should be done with care. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to properly collect semen from a male French Bulldog:

  1. Preparation:
    • Ensure the environment is quiet and free from distractions.
    • Have all the necessary equipment ready, including a clean collection container (preferably sterile and without any chemical residues), gloves, and lubricant if needed.
    • It’s essential to be calm and gentle throughout the process to keep the dog at ease.
  2. Stimulation:
    • Allow the male to smell a female in estrus if available. This can help stimulate him.
    • Hold the dog’s collar or have an assistant hold him.
    • Using a gloved hand, gently grasp the base of the dog’s penis with your thumb and forefinger, just in front of the scrotum.
  3. Collection:
    • Gently massage and apply slight pressure. This will cause the dog’s penis to extend from the prepuce.
    • As the dog becomes aroused, the bulbous glandis will enlarge. Continue to hold this part gently but firmly.
    • The dog will start pelvic thrusting. At this point, place the collection container over the tip of the penis to collect the ejaculate.
    • The ejaculate comes in three fractions: the first is clear and watery, the second is the sperm-rich fraction (which is the most important), and the third is a more watery fraction. Ideally, you want to collect the second fraction.
    • Once the collection is complete, gently release the dog’s penis, allowing it to retract back into the prepuce.
  4. Post-Collection:
    • Praise the dog and give him a treat if desired.
    • Evaluate the semen for volume, color, and consistency. For breeding purposes, it’s also essential to assess sperm motility, concentration, and morphology. This requires specialized equipment and expertise.
    • Store the semen appropriately if it’s not being used immediately. Depending on the intended use, it can be chilled or frozen.
  5. Clean Up:
    • Clean and sterilize all equipment.
    • Wash your hands thoroughly.

It’s essential to approach the process with patience and understanding. If you’re inexperienced or unsure about the procedure, it’s best to consult with or have a veterinarian or a professional experienced in canine reproduction.

5.     Inject Female with Semen

You have to take the plunger and fill it up to fill the syringe all the way. Once the syringe is full, you need to inject semen into the female’s cervix. Healthy semen stays in the cervix and floats up the fallopian tube. The chances of conception are more if you inject the dog with semen right away and do not allow females to pee for at least one hour.

6.     Aftercare of Male French Bulldog

A male dog can be vulnerable after the whole process; hence, it is essential to take care of them. You must separate the male French bulldog from the female immediately after the procedure is over. Try to stay with them and pat them to calm the dog down. Give them something nutritious to eat so that they can regain their energy. If you are not confident in injecting a female French Bulldog yourself, you must go to the vet. It is good to take precautionary measures rather than wasting the sample.

How Much does Artificial Insemination of a French Bulldog Costs?

The French Bulldog artificial insemination cost can vary depending upon the kit you buy. Artificial insemination, aftercare, and C-sections can cost anywhere between $1000 to $3000. This is not including the stud fee, which, can typically cost anywhere from $500-$5000 and sometimes higher with rare features and DNA. Hence, you must keep this thing in mind when breeding them. Most French Bulldogs cannot give natural birth; therefore, a C-section is a must. Therefore, you should keep aside a some funds to cover all of these expenses. It may sound a lot, but the puppies are valuable and can be sold at a higher price.

Contact us if you are looking for French Bulldog Studs!

Why is Artificial Insemination Beneficial?

There are a few benefits of artificial insemination, and it is better than mating. Many French bulldog owners prefer it over mating due to a few reasons. Here is why:

  • The chances of conception are more with artificial semination than mating because Bulldogs have a smaller hip region. It makes mating difficult and less successful; also, chances of conception rise by 25%.
  • The conception through artificial insemination ensures that the puppy is healthy and more prominent, which is a breeder’s desire.
  • The chances of STDs are way lower when breeders use artificial insemination and help protect both males and females.
  • The artificial insemination process is safer as both Bulldogs can get hurt during mating.

How to tell if Your French Bulldog is in Labor?

Recognizing the signs of labor in a French Bulldog is crucial for timely intervention and ensuring the safety of both the mother and the puppies. Here are the signs and stages to help you determine if your French Bulldog is in labor:

1. Pre-Labor (12-24 hours before labor):

  • Drop in Body Temperature: One of the most reliable signs that labor is imminent is a noticeable drop in rectal temperature. Normal canine temperature is around 101-102.5°F (38.3-39.2°C). When it drops below 100°F (37.8°C), labor is likely to start within the next 12-24 hours.
  • Restlessness: Your dog may seem uneasy, pace around, or frequently change resting positions.
  • Loss of Appetite: She might refuse food or even vomit.
  • Nesting Behavior: She may start to prepare a spot for birthing by digging or moving around bedding.

2. First Stage of Labor (6-12 hours):

  • Contractions Begin: You might notice her abdomen tensing periodically, but these contractions are often not yet pushing the puppies out.
  • Vaginal Discharge: A clear, mucous-like discharge from the vagina is common.
  • Behavioral Changes: She may pant, shiver, or whine due to discomfort.

3. Second Stage of Labor:

  • Visible Contractions: Stronger contractions begin, and they are more noticeable.
  • Appearance of the “Water Sac”: You might see a clear fluid-filled sac protruding from her vulva. This sac will eventually break, releasing the fluid.
  • Birth of Puppies: After the water sac breaks, the first puppy should be delivered within 1-2 hours. Puppies are usually born every 30-60 minutes, but there can be up to 2-4 hours between some puppies. Each puppy will be enclosed in a thin sac, which the mother should remove. She’ll also sever the umbilical cord and clean the puppies.

4. Third Stage of Labor:

  • Delivery of Placentas: After each puppy is born, the placenta should follow. Often, the mother will eat the placentas, which is natural but not necessary.

5. Post-Labor:

  • Nursing: Once all the puppies are born, the mother will settle down to nurse and care for them.
  • Vaginal Discharge: It’s normal for the mother to have a bloody discharge for a few days to weeks after giving birth. However, if the discharge has a foul odor or if it continues for an extended period, it could indicate an infection or retained placenta, and veterinary attention is needed.

Important Note: French Bulldogs often require cesarean sections due to their broad heads and narrow pelvis. It’s crucial to be in close contact with a veterinarian during the birthing process. If you notice prolonged straining without a puppy being delivered, excessive bleeding, or if the dog seems in distress, seek veterinary assistance immediately.

Rare and fad color Frenchies

French Bulldog colors come in a wide variety. Rare color Frenchies cost the most money because they are not as common and readily available. Rare and fad color Frenchies are Pink, Husky, Koi, Lilac, Merle, and Isabella coat colors as well as big ropes. People pay $10,000+ dollars to get their hands on them. Some people will pay $50,000+ dollars for long hair Frenchies carrying the two copies of the L4 gene with rare colors and features.


Breeding French Bulldogs is not a simple process; it demands expertise and attention. If you are not a certified breeder, you need to research and find out about their cycle and health issues for safer execution. French Bulldogs have an irregular body shape; they have a barrow hip area which can complicate the mating process. Hence, a breeder can try other methods such as artificial insemination as it is faster, safer, and effective. We suggest you stay attentive and soothe the dogs throughout the procedure.

June 18, 2021

Sade Amor

Sade Amor is the Marketing Director of Frenchie FAQ. She is a huge dog lover and owner of a French Bulldog herself. Sade has many years of writing experience and first hand experience raising & training French Bulldogs!

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