Before You Breed

The conscientious breeder plans a breeding to reproduce the best characteristics of an outstanding sire or dam. His guide is the official AKC recognized Standard of the breed---the written "blueprint" that helps keep the breed uniform for generations to come. (You can find the breed standard under About Bulldogs.

A conscientious breeder reads the pedigrees of the dogs they are considering for stud and understand how they mesh with that of your bitch. The more you know about the dogs in the pedigrees, and the more dogs you have actually seen, the better will you be able to evaluate the potential success of the alternative matings. You should talk to your bitch's breeder and other breeders for advice. They usually are friendly and helpful. It will be time well spent.

A conscientious breeder does NOT breed a bitch before she is a year and a half old (by which time she should have had two or three seasons) NOR after she is five years old without a veterinary health clearance. A conscientious breeder does not breed a bitch more than three times without a veterinary clearance and frequently breeds fewer than three times. Since the timing of the cycle differs from bitch to bitch, this means a bitch will be bred for the first time no earlier than about a year and a half (for one with a short cycle) and no later than about two and a half (for one with a long cycle). Of course, if you are actively showing a bitch, you may want to modify this if she is close to finishing. Some bitches never regain their shape after breeding. Although some judges give them leeway, you don't want to have to count on this for a promising bitch.

The Bulldog is unlike most breeds. EVERYTHING should be done by either the Breeder and/or a veterinarian (i.e., the collection of semen, the insemination of the bitch, the Caesarian delivery AND the whelping of the litter). The process is expensive, time consuming, stressful and very emotionally draining.

Most people who have been successfully breeding Bulldogs for decades do not make a profit at it. Between the cost of shows (including the entry fees, travel, hotels, meals), medical care for the bitch and the litter (including the delivery, shots, etc.), and the cost of raising the litter (including the stud fee, whelping box, thermometers, Esbilac, washing bedding, dog food, etc.), you should assume that you wouldn’t either.

Doing health testing on the sire and dam, taking the bitch to be bred, making sure she's eating both before whelping and while nursing, the many sleepless nights with the new litter, and weaning the puppies, all take an investment of time and energy. Of course, you can ship semen and have someone raise the litter for you, but that adds significantly to the cost.

If you are married or sharing your home with a partner, you can be reasonably sure that the combination of the strain and the loss of sleep will lead to some degree of tension in the household. Just remember that this is an unusual time, keep your sense of humor, and you'll come through it fine.

Before you get into this you need to be sure that this is something you really want to do and something for which you are emotionally prepared. You also need to understand why you are doing this breeding. No dog or bitch needs to have puppies just to have the experience or to feel fulfilled. If you are seeking to reproduce a parent, remember that children may resemble their parents, but they are not the same. If you are looking for carbon copy of your dog or bitch, you will be disappointed.

As a conscientious breeder who has researched pedigrees, get and show records of potential studs, you will have decided on the stud dog well in advance of the breeding. You want a dog that closely reflects the Standard of the Breed, who complements your bitch and who is healthy and sound. If you bought the bitch on breeder's terms, you probably have to use the stud chosen by her breeder or, at least, get her breeder to agree to the stud.

You should look for several things in choosing a stud. First, you want a dog who exhibits the characteristics needed to improve the bitch. It's crucial to know what you are breeding towards.

Second, You want a dog whose get are strong in those traits, preferably in several litters from different bitches. You want to know that the dog consistently passes-on the important traits, not just that he has them.

Third, you want a dog that is strongly line bred himself, all other things being equal (which they rarely are). This improves further the chance that the traits seen in the dog are solidly backed in the genetic structure. A truly outstanding specimen, who has produced outstanding get, can get by with a somewhat weaker pedigree in your breeding program. The dog we choose is usually either a line breeding for the bitch or an out-cross, depending on the botch’s pedigree, but occasionally an in-breeding is beneficial in the right circumstances.

A conscientious breeder of bulldogs has joined a local BCA Member Club and associated themselves with experienced bulldog breeders ready, willing and eager to assist them in their breeder program. If you are viewing this site and you are not a member of a local bulldog club STOP. You are NOT ready to breed your brood bitch.