Dog Care Tips Dog Health

How Many Puppies Can A French Bulldog Have? [6 Definitive Factors]

Among dogs of different breeds, the size of the litter varies a lot. 

A Dalmatian having a litter of 10 pups will not surprise its owner while it is rare for a Toy Poodle or a Pomeranian to have a litter any bigger than 5 pups.

A dog’s litter size depends on a myriad of factors ranging from its anatomy to the style of breeding and the general health and nutrition of both partners.

Related: Are French Bulldogs good with other dogs?

French Bulldog Average Litter Size

A Frenchie will on average have a litter of 3 pups, depending on factors such as their size, hip aspect, small breeding period, the health of the dam and the stud, insemination, and interbreeding. However, any number greater than 4-5 is considered rare for this breed.

Here is a list of factors that determine how many puppies can a Frenchie have or Frenchie litter size, some you can modify while others, you can’t.

Also read: Dog litter size explained

1. Smaller Size

As a rule of thumb for any dog breed, the smaller the size of the breed, the smaller the litter, and vice versa.

This is explained by the simple idea of smaller dogs having smaller wombs to carry fewer pups than the larger ones.

Being one of the smallest dog breeds, it is no surprise that Frenchies have smaller litters than other dogs. 

Although rarely a Frenchie dam can have a number passing greatly the average of 3.

To your surprise, the largest litter that a French Bulldog is recorded to have is 13 pups!

2. Hip Aspects

French Bulldogs are genetically predetermined to have a narrower hip than other breeds. This affects their pregnancy in 2 major ways;

First of all, a smaller hip makes natural intercourse between Frenchies quite arduous, the copulation becomes less effective and the amount of sperm reaching the womb is lessened to a greater degree.

This means fewer sperm will get a chance to fertilize fewer eggs and guess what? You get a smaller litter.

Secondly, a small hip size is not ideal for a natural delivery. Hence, a French Bulldog relies, for the most part, on a cesarean section for the delivery of its pups.

This greatly limits the number of litters a Frenchie dam will have in her life without risking her health.

3. Smaller Breeding Period

Frenchies tend to live between 11-14 years, which of course will depend on the individual health and living conditions. 

Breeding a French Bulldog dam before the age of 2 years isn’t considered safe by experts and by the age of 8 years, they are said to have passed their breeding years.

Considering this stretch of 6 years, a typical Frenchie bitch can safely have 3-4 litters.

When the number exceeds that, it puts the health of the mother at risk.

4. Health Of The Dam And The Stud

With dogs as with humans, healthier parents ensure healthier offspring.

A healthy dam can rear a larger litter and provide them adequate nutrition both inside and outside the womb. This greatly increases the number of viable pups.

Similarly, a hearty and robust stud ensures higher sperm quality that can fertilize more eggs resulting in a bigger litter.

To have healthier Frenchies, take good care of their exercise needs and nutrition. Take professional help if you think that you are not knowledgeable enough about this breed.

5. Artificial Insemination

Smaller hips are a hurdle for natural insemination as explained earlier. As a result, a lot of French Bulldog breeders rely on artificial insemination for their dams to get pregnant.

A lot of the sperm is lost or destroyed in the collection process, consequently, the overall number of sperm reaching the dam’s womb for fertilization is greatly reduced.

This results in a smaller litter when compared with natural insemination.

6. Inbreeding

For the most part, breeding among dogs that are closely related leads to a smaller litter size than dogs that are not related.

There is a whole lot of science behind it that you don’t need to know, however, do check the lineage of the stud that you choose to mate with your dam.

Like many other dog breeds, French Bulldogs are also predisposed to many inherited diseases that you need to know about.

  • Brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS)

Brachycephalic refers to a smaller head, dogs with BOAS tend to have an obstruction in their airway which predisposes them to cyanotic problems where not enough oxygen can be exchanged through their lungs. This increases their mortality.

  • Patellar Luxation

Luxation simply means dislocation. The patellar tendon overlies the knee joint. Some Frenchies are predisposed to having dislocation of the knee tendon.

  • Chondrodysplasia

It is the abnormal growth of cartilage. This makes them short and comes with several disc problems.

To avoid having a litter with such genetic abnormalities, make sure your dam and stud are from certified breeders that ensure that their breeds are free from such illnesses.

As to the answer of how many times can a French Bulldog have puppies, here’s a video:

People Also Ask

Answering queries from people also ask section.

Is a French Bulldog a good family dog?

French Bulldogs are famous for their adaptability and loving nature. They tend to mingle well with the members of the family even with the kids. They also tolerate other dogs as well. 
All these features make a Frenchie an excellent choice as a family dog.

Can French Bulldogs be left alone?

Frenchies are family dogs and not good at tolerating loneliness. When separated from their owners for longer periods, they get hit by separation anxiety
You need to make sure that your dog has company for most of the day and when you cannot look after them, you might want to get a pet sitter in case you live alone.

Do French Bulldogs bark a lot?

Depending on how you raise them, some Frenchies will bark more or less than others.
Generally, however, Frenchies do not bark often. 
This characteristic makes them an excellent choice for apartment dwellers and those with dog-sensitive neighborhoods. 

How Many Puppies Can A French Bulldog Have? Conclusion

A lot comes into play when determining the litter size of a breed. From the anatomy of the breed to the specifics of the dam and the stud, everything has some role.

Frenchies are limited in their litter size owing to their small size with smaller hip proportion and their inability to mate naturally with greater efficacy. 

Although the average litter size for a Frenchies is 3-4 pups, it may vary at times though unusual.

Frenchies rely on cesarean sections for delivery, hence, having more than 3-4 litters in their lifetime doesn’t come free from risks.

When choosing dogs from breeding, it is necessary to make sure that they are from certified breeders and free from genetic illnesses.

Related: how many puppies can a Shih Tzu have?

Related: how many puppies can a dalmatian have?

About the author

Linda Michaels

Linda Michaels is a proud owner of a Labradoodle named Mylo. She is a trainer who posts about dog training and behavior.
🎓: University of California, Davis
📍: Washington Boulevard Animal Hospital