How many puppies can an English bulldog have?

English bulldogs have become very famous due to their wrinkles and attention-grabbing physical characteristics. Many tutors want to breed these dogs and many times they want to know, how many puppies can an english bulldog have? To answer this question, let’s talk about the gestation of English bulldog dogs and the care to be taken with this breed.

How many puppies can an English bulldog have?

English bulldog dogs can have different numbers of puppies, the average is between 5 to 7 puppies per litter. There are reports of English bulldog dogs giving birth to 11 puppies, but this is a rare occurrence.

This variation in the number of puppies may be related to genetic and environmental characteristics such as nutrition, stress, and diseases. The quality of the male’s sperm can also influence. Therefore, laboratory tests must be performed on animals before they are reproduced.

When to breed an english bulldog

The female english bulldog should only be bred from the second heat. Because in the first heat, the animals are still very young, and they need the action of sex hormones for the complete maturation and dogs development. Male dogs shouldn’t be bred for less than one year.

Most Bulldogs can’t breed without human intervention. So English Bulldogs should only be bred by artificial insemination, due to their physical conformation, males cannot copulate with females. And when animals are together, excessive mounting can lead to stress that results in aggression between the animals.

Pregnancy care for bulldog dogs

Breeding dogs should always be accompanied by a veterinarian. Only healthy and adult dogs should be bred, so blood tests and tests for sexually transmitted diseases in dogs should be done.

Healthy female dogs must be vaccinated before mating and a deworming protocol must be carried out to avoid contamination of puppies intrauterine or after birth.

Also, it is not advised to leave the male and female together during the entire time of estrus. Because dogs can spend hours trying to copulate, thus stressing each other. In addition to having the possibility of getting hurt from trying so hard to copulate.

English bulldog dogs, as they have a flatter muzzle, characteristic of brachycephalic dogs, must have a periodic birth follow-up with a veterinarian.

Because after 30 days of pregnancy, the female dogs start to get bigger, and there may be compression of the diaphragm, further hindering the breathing of these dogs. 

It is important to have a reserve of money for the veterinarian to carry out exams and pre-delivery follow-up, as well as money to cover the costs of medical emergencies.

Pregnancy for English bulldogs

Gestation in English bulldogs can last from 58 to 63 days and can be extended up to 72 days or reduced to 57 days. During pregnancy, it is important for the female dog to undergo a periodic gestational follow-up, where the veterinarian will observe any changes in the animal’s health through examinations. 

Close to parturition, these female dogs tend to suffer more from respiratory difficulty. In some cases, a cesarean section must be performed before the animal has a respiratory arrest, leading to death for mothers and puppies.

It is important to supplement female dogs with folic acid and with balanced diets for pregnant dogs. Because bulldog puppies have a greater predisposition to be born with malformations. These malformations can be prevented with good nutrition.

How to know how many puppies the female is carrying?

It is advised to perform an ultrasound on day 30 of gestation for gestational diagnosis and from day 55 of gestation to observe if the puppies are well. X-rays can also be performed after 50 days to count the puppies, which can help at the time of birth to define whether the birth is over or not.

Ultrasound can also be used to count the number of puppies. However, this practice is not indicated because the puppies move in the mother’s belly, thus being able to count puppies for more or less, thus being a less accurate method of counting puppies.

English bulldog parturition

 The parturition in female dogs can be divided into 3 stages:

  • The first stage is the preparation phase. During this period female dogs become restless, reduce food consumption, may try to hide in the chosen place for birth and may dig in the soil. 
  • The second stage of parturition is the fetal expulsion; this phase begins with the birth of the pups along with the amniotic and allantoic sac. Some puppies may come out along with their placentas. 
  • The third stage of labor is the phase of placentas delivery. Some puppies can be born without their placentas, and these can come out at the end of the second stage of birth.

English bulldog dogs rarely trigger parturition, and all gestational follow-up with a veterinarian is necessary, including at the end of pregnancy for the correct identification of the right moment of parturition, so that the cesarean surgery is performed avoiding the death of the puppies and the mother.

Why don’t English bulldogs go into labor?

English bulldog dogs are medium-sized dogs and tend to be pregnant with many puppies. Excess puppies in the uterus can lead to uterine inertia, so the uterus cannot contract, and the puppies are not expelled.

On the other hand, dogs that trigger delivery may present problems due to the conformation of the female dog pelvis. The shape of the pelvis does not allow the passage of puppies that are born large.


Bulldogs can have many puppies; the average is between 5 to 7 puppies per litter. This variation can be influenced by several factors. Due to the physical conformations of the English bulldog breed, reproduction must be done through biotechnologies and the parturition is mostly performed through cesarean sections. Therefore, the entire gestational process of these dogs should be monitored by a veterinarian.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): How many puppies can an English bulldog have?

Is it possible to manipulate a female dog’s estrus with drugs, as in cows?

Yes, it is possible, but it is not so used because many female dogs also do not respond to hormonal protocols, so few animals go into heat. Therefore, it is recommended to let the animal come into heat naturally and the tutor will be accompanied until the exact moment of reproduction.

How long does pregnancy last in female dogs?

On average, the duration of pregnancy in female dogs is 63 days, ranging from 58 to 68 days from the day of mating. Veterinarians can dose hormones that will give a more accurate date for parturition. In addition, there are imaging tests that can indicate approximate parturition dates in female dogs.

Can female dogs have more than one heat per year?

Yes, some dog’s breeds can come into heat every 4 months. However, care should be taken as constant repetitions of heat can be a sign of endocrine diseases, so a veterinarian should be consulted to avoid health problems in dogs.


Bergström, A., Fransson, B., Lagerstedt, A. S., & Olsson, K. (2006). Primary uterine inertia in 27 bitches: aetiology and treatment. Journal of small animal practice, 47(8), 456-460.

de Souza Teixeira, E. (2001). Princípios básicos para a criação de cães. NBL Editora.

Greer, M. L. (2014). Canine reproduction and neonatology. CRC Press.

Kustritz, M. V. R. (2005). Pregnancy diagnosis and abnormalities of pregnancy in the dog. Theriogenology, 64(3), 755-765.

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