What you need to know if you want to breed from your English bulldog

What you need to know if you want to breed from your English bulldog

Breed Facts

The English bulldog is one of the UK’s most popular dog breeds, holding the seventh-place ranking overall and being in great demand among prospective owners.

If you own an English bulldog bitch that is not spayed, it might have crossed your mind that it would be nice to have a litter of gorgeous bulldog pups from her, with a view to selling the litter to the waiting audience of prospective buyers and maybe keeping one (or more!) for yourself.

While there is a lot of demand for English bulldogs in the UK as a whole, they tend to command fairly high prices – which makes the incentive to breed from your own bitch even stronger. However, there are some very good reasons why pedigree English bulldogs tend to cost a lot to buy, which you should find out about and bear in mind before making your decision.

Choosing to breed from your dog just to make money is a terrible idea, as well as rarely being as simple as it sounds – breeding from any dog can be costly in financial terms, as well as having wide-reaching implications for both your own dogs, and the breed as a whole. This is even more relevant when it comes to breeding English bulldogs, because of the various genetic and health issues that are prevalent across the breed.

If you want to breed your English bulldog bitch or are looking into the viability of having a litter from her, we’ll look at some of the main factors you should consider before going ahead within this article. Read on to learn more.

The market of potential puppy buyers

One of the first considerations to bear in mind if you intend to breed a litter for sale is whether or not you will be able to find buyers for your puppies. English bulldogs are, as mentioned, in great demand in the UK, even given the average cost of buying one – but this doesn’t mean that selling your own litter – or selling them for enough money to cover your costs and make a profit – will be easy.

Good quality, healthy English bulldog pups from good quality parents rarely have problems finding homes, but if your dam or pups suffer from any health issues, you may not be able to sell them so easily, and will of course also be contributing to the spread of health issues in the breed as a whole.

It is also important to remember that even if a lot of people might want to buy your pups, not all of them will make for good, responsible owners, and so you should consider what you want to look for in your prospective pups’ future owners and think about how you will be able to weed out undesirable buyers.

The health and quality of the dam

The health and quality of the dam and the sire are paramount when it comes to producing a good quality litter that will be in demand with buyers, and yet the core traits in terms of what an English bulldog should look like are quite subjective and very variable.

Many people love very heavy English bulldogs with excessive musculature, large nose ropes, a very flat face and short legs, and for them, this is what an English bulldog should look like – but all of these traits come with greatly increased risks of health complications for the dogs in question, and so breeding from dogs with exaggerations like these is not in the best interests of the litter, the dam, or the breed as a whole.

English bulldogs that fit within the breed standard but that are free from exaggerations that can affect their wellbeing are a much better choice to use within a responsible breeding program, and many English bulldog puppy buyers will only consider buying a dog of this type.

However, you won’t be able to please everyone – and so ascertaining the type of build, appearance and traits that your litter will possess ahead of time is wise, to ensure the health of the litter and the market of potential buyers.


A dog that is aggressive, snappy, bad tempered or unpredictable should never be bred from, and when it comes to strong, tenacious breeds like the English bulldog, this is hugely important. Temperament traits depend on a combination of nature and nurture – and only bitches with an excellent temperament should be bred from, and only to sires that possess the same traits.

Finding the right stud dog

You will also of course need to find a father for your litter, which usually means hiring the services of a stud dog – and making the right choice means applying all of the same criteria that you will to your bitch, and taking into account the unknowns that also exist when using a dog that is not your own.

You might have to travel some distance and pay quite a lot of money in stud fees for the right mating match – choosing just any old local English bulldog is not appropriate if you have the best interests of the dogs in mind.

Health testing

As we’ve alluded to above, the English bulldog is one of the most high-profile breeds when it comes to hereditary health issues and genetic defects, as well as conformation issues that can impact upon the dog’s quality of life and longevity.

You shouldn’t consider breeding from your English bulldog until she has had all of the relevant breed-specific health tests, and has been given a clean bill of health and signed off as appropriate for breeding by your vet. The same should apply to the stud dog you choose too.

The challenges of mating and delivery

Many English bulldogs need assistance to mate, particularly in the case of dogs of the breed with very narrow hips. Additionally, around 80% of all English bulldog litters need to be delivered by caesarean section, due to the size of the pup’s heads in relation to the dam’s hips.

This means that mating and delivery must be carefully planned with the involvement of a vet that is experienced with the breed itself – and that even if your vet thinks your dog may be able to give birth naturally, you should be prepared for the possible risk of complications.

If your English bulldog bitch is able to deliver naturally (which will also depend to an extent on the stud dog you use too) and all of the other factors we’ve covered look good too, this is brilliant, and will actually help to improve the health of the breed as a whole and ensure that future generations of your dog’s breed line improve with each subsequent generation.

The costs involved in breeding English bulldogs

If you’ve checked out English bulldog puppies for sale and found your eyes lighting up with pound signs at the figures that dogs of the breed change hands for – stop right there.

The sale price for puppies might be pretty high, but by the time you’ve deducted the various costs involved in breeding, you’re not going to be making much profit (or in some cases, even breaking even) unless you manage to produce highly desirable potential future show winners.

Some of the core financial costs involved in breeding from English bulldogs specifically, without factoring in things like the cost of feeding and caring for the dam and litter and the pups’ first vaccinations include:

  • Health tests prior to breeding.
  • Stud fees.
  • Veterinary care – a pre-breeding health check, potentially, assistance in mating, a scan after conception, potential caesarean delivery, and in some cases, multiple other requirements too.
  • Registering the puppies with The Kennel Club.
  • Microchipping the puppies in accordance with the law.
  • Factoring in potential long-term costs such as is any of the pups are unhealthy, or you are unable to sell them.
  • The purchase cost of your bitch in the first place.

It is also worth bearing in mind that English bulldogs rarely have large litters, often being just a couple of pups – and so the number of pups your bitch has might not be enough in terms of their total sale value to cover all of your costs.

Taking into account the wellbeing and best interests of all of the dogs involved is even more important than the financial cost – breeding is not without risks, which are heightened in breeds like the English bulldog, as well as being potentially complicated and having long-term implications for the dam, pups, and the breed itself.



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