Should I Breed a Frenchie in First Heat?

Should I Breed a Frenchie in First Heat?

Breeding a French bulldog is certainly not without its risks. A great portion of these risks are due to the genetic make-up and anatomy of a French bulldog. There are so many factors to consider, as the French bulldog is one of the most challenging dogs to breed. This is a part of the reason why they are so expensive. 

If you are a first-time breeder, it might seem like an impossible hurdle especially if you do not have an experienced person to put you through. Right here in this blog post, we’ll provide the insights you need and answer your questions about breeding your French bulldog. 

Breeding a French Bulldog

Heat Cycle

Every dog breed has its natural timeline when it comes to cycles and pregnancy. This time line enables us to calculate accurately the precise number of days, months or years. A female French bulldog will usually experience her first heat cycle around 6 to 9 months of age. 

This means that the Frenchie would be fertile and can become pregnant. Your job as an owner or a Frenchie breeder is to be prepared to protect her and keep her from having an unwanted litter of puppies. Regardless of the cuteness, puppies are a lot of work, for the mother and for you the owner. You wouldn’t want to any unplanned pregnancies. 

If you are choosing to breed your Frenchie, you would need to look at which stud is the best to mate for her. Your purpose for breeding will determine a lot of factors and the kind of planning that would go into breeding her. 

When a female dog has reached sexual maturity, the stage of the cycle when she is receptive to mating is called estrus or heat. The heat cycle has four stages. 

  • Stage 1 - Proestrus: The biggest change in this stage will be the swelling in her vulva and a bloody discharge. This is a good time to invest in puppy diapers. This is because, she will also go through the “tail tucking” stage. This is the act of protecting herself from male dogs by lowering her behind or sitting to prevent them from smelling or approaching her. At this stage, she is not ready for mating. This stage can last 4 to 20 days. 
  • Stage 2 – Estrus: This is the fertile stage of the heat cycle. This stage can last between 3 to 21 days, a few days right in the middle of this stage is considered her active heat. The bloody discharge will thin out and appear pinkish. At this stage she will appear to not only welcome the company of male dogs but actively seek it. She invites them through a process called “flagging” where she pushes her rear end towards male dogs and deflects her tail to one side.
  • Stage 3 – Diestrus: This is the pregnancy stage; it will last about 63 days. 
  • Stage 4 – Anestrus: This is a period of inactivity between the estrus phases and lasts for 2 to 3 months before the cycle begins again. 

Should I Breed a Frenchie in First Heat?

There is usually a lot of controversy surrounding the breeding of dogs but one thing everybody agrees on is that you should not breed your dog on her first heat. TheAmerican Kennel Club calls breeding a dog on her first heat irresponsible and advise that the best practice would be to wait until her 3rd heat or second at a minimum. 

The basis on which this assertion is founded are numerous. The first one would be the health risks. If you breed your Frenchie on her first heat, you could stunt her growth. She is still a puppy herself and she will not be mature enough to go through motherhood. 

Although the standard age for sexual maturity is 6 months, a French bulldog can have her first heat as early as 4 months. It would be irresponsible for you as a pet parent to mate your Frenchie as early as her first heat. Most of the time, if they are bred this early, they may not fully understand the responsibility of being a mother which leads to not taking good care of or rejecting her Frenchie puppies.

Mating, Pregnancy, Delivery

When breeding other dog breeds, the simplest way to go is natural mating. But it is not so with French bulldogs, this is because they have unusually small hips and an over-sized head. It makes it extremely difficult for the male to mount the female naturally. 

And so, when it comes to French bulldogs, artificial insemination is the safest and most effective method for breeding. Even if you get two French bulldogs of the opposite sex together, they just won’t be able to reproduce. However, you can choose the male bulldog from whom you want the semen to come from. 

French bulldog pregnancies can be very delicate. The insemination has to be perfectly timed. Go through this process with your vet and ensure that all the proper tests are carried out to ensure that both Frenchies are in the best of health and that the semen latches on. 

Pregnancy lasts for about 63 days from the day the semen latches on, it could be earlier or later. Just make sure you prepare early. French bulldogs do not give birth to that many puppies because of their breathing issues. 

Although on some rare occasions, you may get a litter of 7 puppies but that is quite rare. The average number is 3, it could be as low as 2 puppies or as much as 4 puppies. If luck smiles on you, you may get 5 but do not get your hopes up. 

Pregnancy is quite difficult for the French bulldog; thier small body is not made for carrying large litters. If the mother ends up having 5 or more puppies, the odds of all of them surviving decreases. Also puppies in large litters are also prone to health issues.

French bulldogs can give birth naturally but it is extremely dangerous for both the puppies and their mother. If any of the puppies get their head stuck in the birth canal, there is zero to no chance that the puppy would make it alive. And this will also damage the mother’s insides, creating injuries that may be difficult to heal from. 

This is why most breeders choose their female French bulldogs to give birth through the cesarean section. Even with planned c-sections, there is an abundance of risks. The anesthesia can affect the puppies and make it harder for the mother to breathe. If you are planning to breed a French bulldog, make sure you work hand in hand with your vet to figure out the best course of actions at each juncture in the breeding of the Frenchie. 

Breeding is a big commitment

Breeding is a big commitment for any dog breed, especially if you have never been through the process before. Make sure that you seek expert opinion before choosing to embark on this journey. 

The French bulldog female has to be in the utmost shape while pregnant. The puppies take all the necessary energy and food from the mother in order to grow strong. The Frenchie mother has to be fed the best in order to have healthy strong puppies because what the mother eats, the puppies also eat. 

You would also need to get other health support in addition to the proper diet. These are vitamins minerals, multivitamin supplements and micronutrients to support the overall health of the female Frenchie. Speak to your vet on which ones to administer to your Frenchie but vitamins like calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, iodine, pyridoxine, vitamins A, E, C and B12 are very important during the pregnancy. 

Clean up your Frenchie when she needs cleaning up and give the best care possible. We hope you have strong, healthy and thriving Frenchie puppies. Let us know below if you have any questions. We like to give you the best content on everything you need to know on your Frenchie journey. Sign up to our Frenchie Blog for more. 

6 Responses

Jean Mundy
Jean Mundy

October 24, 2023

My frenchie had her first season the day she was 1year old is this ok for her she has a very poor appetite she only eats 1 dish of food a day she drinks plenty


October 24, 2023

I have a 6 month old in heat and have read about breeding but I’m afraid to even breed in the future. My stepson sort of dumped the puppy on me and now she’s my world but he bought her ti breed. I’m against it but looking for the safest way to do it next heat. Any advice?

Bethan carter
Bethan carter

October 24, 2023

I have just baught 2 8 week old Frenchy/chawawa…they are tiny. And I know I’m a very long way off breeding..but wouldn’t mind some day. Should I separate them being a boy and a girl. Would they automatically breed when ready?? And they are brother and sister. When would I have to worry about this problem and not leave them unattended. As I wouldn’t even notice that she was pregnant. What are the signs of pregnancy? Anything would be appreciated. Thanks.


October 03, 2022

My frenchie just turned 9 months on august 20th and she still has not had her first heat. Should I worry? What can I do? Her vulva is swollen and her nipples as well

Cynthia Chancellor
Cynthia Chancellor

June 23, 2022

Hello I am trying to educate myself on breeding my fur baby. I only plan on breeding her once I also have her brother they are 8 months old and she just started bleeding on the 19th of March how do I know when the heat cycle is complete? I purchased dog overalls from Barkertime to protect her and I don’t leave them unsupervised. Any advice if greatly appreciated.

Bonnie Belfrey
Bonnie Belfrey

December 14, 2021

Your information about being in heat and pregnancy was very informative. I will definitely be keeping my Frenchie away from other dogs!!

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