How Many Puppies Do French Bulldogs Have In a Litter?

French Bulldogs, as a breed with short skulls, usually don’t have many puppies in one litter.

So, you might wonder, how many puppies can a French bulldog have in total?

Typically, French Bulldogs have about 3 puppies in each litter on average.

It’s quite unusual for them to have more than 5 puppies, and having 7 puppies is extremely rare.

In most cases, French bulldog litters require a Caesarean section for delivery.

When you look at it compared to bigger dog breeds like Golden Retrievers, which typically have around 8 puppies, or even smaller breeds like Beagles, which can have litters of 6 puppies, French Bulldogs have really tiny litters.

The fact that French Bulldogs have a small litter and are highly sought after as a breed is one of the reasons they are so expensive to buy.

Now, let’s talk about how many litters a French Bulldog can have.

Most French Bulldogs can have up to 4 litters in total during their life. Having more than that can put the mother’s health at risk.

Unfortunately, some irresponsible breeders might try to have more than 4 litters from their female dogs.

In the table below, I’ve compared the average litter sizes of some of the most popular dog breeds in the world.

You’ll notice that brachycephalic breeds like French Bulldogs tend to have very small litters on average.

Brachycephalic Dog BreedAverage Litter Size
French Bulldog3 puppies
Pug4-6 puppies
Boston Terrier3-4 puppies
English Bulldog3-4 puppies
Shih Tzu3-5 puppies
Boxer6-8 puppies
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel2-6 puppies
Pekingese3-4 puppies
Japanese Chin2-4 puppies
Affenpinscher2-3 puppies
Brussels Griffon1-3 puppies
Bulldog (American)4-5 puppies
Bullmastiff5-13 puppies
Lhasa Apso4-6 puppies
Chow Chow3-6 puppies
Boxerdoodle (Boxer-Poodle mix)4-8 puppies
Shug (Shih Tzu-Pug mix)3-5 puppies
Bugg (Boston Terrier-Pug mix)4-6 puppies
Frenchton (French Bulldog-Boston Terrier mix)3-4 puppies
Pomchi (Pomeranian-Chihuahua mix)2-4 puppies
Cockapoo (Cocker Spaniel-Poodle mix)4-6 puppies

Why Do French Bulldogs Have Such a Small Number of Puppies?

I’ve talked about brachycephalic breeds a lot. If you’re not familiar with the term, it means dogs with short heads, short noses, and flat faces.

Some examples of these breeds are French Bulldogs, Pugs, Shih Tzus, Chihuahuas, Chow Chows, Pekingese, Lhasa Apso, Bull Mastiffs, and English Toy Spaniels.

These dogs are usually smaller, and because of their body structure, they tend to have smaller litters of puppies.

Female French Bulldogs, known as dams, have narrow hips and small bodies, so they can’t have many puppies at once.

If a female French Bulldog does have more than 3 puppies in a litter, it can lead to health issues for the puppies.

They might be too small and struggle to get enough milk during their first few weeks of life.

How Often Can a French Bulldog Have Puppies in a Year?

A French Bulldog should ideally have no more than 1 litter in a year, and it’s even better if they have a litter every other year.

Since they usually need a Caesarean section for delivery, the female dog requires time to heal and get better.

Anything more frequent than this is not kind to the dog and is often done just for profit.

How Many Times Can a French Bulldog Have Puppies?

Most female French Bulldogs usually have about 4 litters in their lifetime.

However, some unscrupulous breeders may push for more, which isn’t fair to the dog and can harm her well-being.

Typically, a litter of 4 puppies is considered normal, with an average of 3 puppies.

If you’re considering getting a French Bulldog puppy, it’s essential to talk to the breeder and inquire about how many litters the mother has had.

If she’s had more than 3 litters, it’s advisable to look for a different breeder.

How Long Does It Take For a French Bulldog To Be Pregnant?

French Bulldogs seldom have natural births, and most puppies are delivered through a C-section.

That’s why it’s crucial to know when they’ll be ready for delivery.

The pregnancy of a French Bulldog, which is called the gestation period (from conception to birth), lasts for about 63 days.

These dogs typically require a Caesarean section for delivery, and the average litter size is around 3 puppies.

Many Frenchie breeders use artificial insemination because this breed finds it challenging to mate naturally, mainly due to their narrow hips.

Here’s an overview of the stages in a French Bulldog’s pregnancy, which consists of 4 phases in their reproductive cycle:

  1. Proestrus: This is the “getting ready” stage when there may be some vaginal bleeding, lasting for about 9 days.
  2. Oestrus (or estrus): This is the “mating” stage, which also lasts around 9 days.
  3. Diestrus: This stage is the “pregnancy” phase and lasts approximately 63 days.
  4. Anestrus: This is the “recovery” stage that continues until the next oestrus cycle starts. It can happen every 6 months.

These stages are essential to understand when caring for a pregnant French Bulldog.

At What Age Do French Bulldogs Start Their Heat Cycles?

When people mention that a dog is “in heat,” they’re referring to their estrus cycle, which is similar to a human female’s menstrual period.

When a female French Bulldog is in her estrus cycle, she’s in heat and may be receptive to mating, which could result in pregnancy.

French Bulldogs enter their heat cycles once they reach sexual maturity.

Typically, they have these cycles about every 6 months on average, although this timing can vary among individual dogs.

It might take up to 2 years for a French Bulldog to establish a consistent pattern in their heat cycles.

Female French Bulldogs can reach sexual maturity as early as 5 months old.

When they start having regular estrus cycles at this age, they are at risk of getting pregnant.

Keep in mind that at such a young age, they are not fully grown, which can increase the risks associated with pregnancy for both the dog and the puppies.

If you don’t want your female French Bulldog to become pregnant, it’s essential to keep her indoors or on a leash during her heat cycle, or preferably, have her spayed.

But you might wonder, didn’t I mention earlier that natural insemination between French Bulldogs is rare?

Yes, that’s correct.

However, other dog breeds may not have the same hip issues I’ll explain shortly and could potentially impregnate your female dog.

Do French Bulldogs Always Require Caesarean Sections (C-sections)?

Almost always.

While C-sections aren’t an absolute necessity in every case, they are the most common choice due to the narrow hips of the mother (dam) and the relatively large heads of the puppies.

Recent research suggests that approximately 80% of French Bulldog puppies are delivered via C-section.

If a French Bulldog gives birth naturally, it can pose significant risks to both the mother and the litter.

The typical cost of a C-section for this breed can vary, ranging from around $500 for a planned procedure to as much as $2,000 for specialized or emergency Caesareans.

Taking Care of Your Pregnant French Bulldog

When your French Bulldog is pregnant, it’s important to begin her prenatal care right away. Here are some essential aspects to consider:


Your dog requires a good-quality diet during her pregnancy. A nutritious and natural diet helps her body become strong enough to support both herself and her puppies.

Pregnant dogs should have the following nutrients in their diet:

  • Calcium: 1% to 1.8%
  • Phosphorus: 0.8% to 1.6%
  • Protein: 29%
  • Fat content: 17%

In addition to these nutrients, your dog also needs an adequate amount of soluble carbohydrates.            


Even though you want your pregnant French Bulldog to rest and relax, it’s important to provide her with some gentle activity.

Exercising a pregnant dog helps her get ready for the demanding labour that lies ahead.

You can encourage her to take daily walks and engage in low-intensity exercises like gentle stretching or light swimming.


French Bulldogs make wonderful companions and pets.

However, in recent years, their popularity has surged, leading to more breeders who may not have the best interests of the dogs at heart.

Some of these breeders use irresponsible methods that can harm the dogs’ health.

If you’re considering getting a French Bulldog, it’s crucial to thoroughly research the breeder before making a decision.

A responsible breeder prioritizes the well-being of their dogs, takes proper care of the puppies, and doesn’t focus on producing as many puppies as possible from the female dog.

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Luke Grayson
By Luke Grayson

I'm Luke Grayson co founder of The Dogs Wiki and dog lover person. Plays the role of content writing and keyword selection with proper research.

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