Can French Bulldogs Give Birth Naturally?

By Britt Kascjak

French Bulldogs can give birth naturally, but there are several risk factors to consider if you’re thinking about having your Frenchie give birth naturally.

Are you a French Bulldog lover considering getting involved in breeding? Are you committed to bettering the breed?

Did you recently find out that your French Bulldog is pregnant and you’re concerned about her well-being?

This is one dog breed that is faced with unique struggles and challenges when it comes to labor and birth. In fact, the majority of Frenchies will give birth by c-section.

Here is some important information that you should know before helping your French Bulldog through giving birth.

Why do French Bulldogs Have Trouble Giving Birth?

French Bulldogs are brachycephalic dogs. This means that they have shorter snouts and flatter faces.

Brachycephalic dogs often have challenges breathing due to the structure of their faces. The physically demanding process of giving birth can be hard on the mother.

Another common complication is the actual birthing of the puppies due to their build.

French bulldogs have a large head, broad shoulders, and a narrow pelvis. This means that the puppies often have a head and shoulders that are too large for the mother’s pelvic canal.

How Long are Frenchies in Labor?

The time that your French Bulldog is in labor can vary from dog to dog. Some dogs are only in labor for 4 hours, while others may be for up to 24 hours.

If you notice your dog is straining to push a puppy out, but there is no progress being made, the puppy may be stuck.

Pay attention to the time that passes between puppies.

If your dog is still in labor, it should be no more than 2 hours before the next puppy is born. Any longer and you should contact your veterinarian.

How Many Puppies Can a French Bulldog Have in One Litter?

French Bulldogs don’t often have large litters like some of the other dog breeds you may have heard of.

The average size of a Frenchie litter is between 2 and 4 puppies. In some cases, a litter may have 5 puppies, but this is very rare.

How Do I Help My Dog Give Birth?

With all the potential complications, you may be wondering what you can do to help your dog during birth.

Here are a few ways you can help to make her comfortable and increase her chances of a successful birth.

Give Her Space

It may be tempting to be actively involved in helping your dog give birth. But this could actually add to the stress for the mother dog.

Instead, try to supervise while giving her space. Pay careful attention to any signs of trouble.

Be Prepared to Remove the Membrane

As puppies are born, they will be covered in a membrane. This will need to be removed to allow the newborn puppy to breathe.

While most dogs naturally know to remove this from their puppies, this isn’t always the case.

If two minutes have passed and your dog hasn’t taken care of this, you will need to intervene. With your fingers, carefully remove the membrane from the puppy and clean him with a towel.

The umbilical cord will need to be tied off with umbilical tape or string approximately half an inch from his belly.

Always Have a Veterinarian on Standby

With the high risk of complications, make sure that you have a vet ready and willing to assist.

This means connecting with your veterinarian and keeping them in the loop of any possible concerns during labor.

If your dog does need medical intervention, the faster that she receives that care, the better.

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Britt Kascjak
Britt Kascjak has been active in the animal rescue community for over 15 years, volunteering, fostering, and advocating for organizations across Canada and the US. Her ‘pack’ includes her husband John, their 3 dogs – Daviana, Indiana, and Lucifer – and their 2 cats – Pippen and Jinx.