French bulldogs are able to give birth naturally, but this is not the norm as natural conception only accounts for 20 percent of the cases. This breed is very unlikely to whelp from start to finish naturally because it can lead to death.

Normally called “Frenchies”, the French bulldog is a very popular breed in the USA and UK. They are also well known for having pregnancy issues and serious problems regarding birthing.

The reason for these difficulties lies in the fact that they have an abnormal physique. Their body is the product of human intervention as French bulldogs were created by crossing different breeds. It led to an alteration of their morphology

Typically, French bulldogs undergo cesarean section so that the mother and newborn can survive. The surgery represents approximately 80 percent of conceptions.

Complications to Give Birth

According to a study published by the Royal Veterinary College, French bulldog bitches are 16 times more likely to suffer from difficult births than other crossbreeds.

In addition, the probability to require a cesarean section is increased by 2.4 times when compared to other crossbreeds.

The different issues regarding conception are the following:


Dystocia is the difficulty to give birth naturally in which the female cannot expel the fetus through the birth canal if she does not have external assistance. A veterinarian is normally who will help the puppy make it into the world.

Dystocia is a common problem among female french bulldogs. This condition can put the mother and newborn life at risk.


Given the nature of their faces, which are typically flat, french bulldogs may have breathing difficulties when they are under anesthesia.

The reason for this is that French bulldogs are brachycephalic dogs. The brachiocephalic syndrome is caused by a set of abnormalities in the airway, leading to breathing obstructions.

Only during c-sections and other surgeries, females will need anesthesia.


This life-threatening condition, which is common in brachycephalic dogs, is the result of extreme swelling before giving birth. Puppies suffer from abnormal accumulation of body fluids, making natural birth impossible.

Anasarca can cause serious breathing and heartbeat issues.

Physical Traits That Affect Natural Birth

The physical traits of this breed are the reasons why French bulldogs may die if they give birth naturally.

Head Shape and Size

The size and shape of their head are one of the main reasons that deprive Frenchies of giving birth naturally. Given that they have very large and square-shaped heads, it is almost impossible to go through the birth canal and conceive.

That is to say, the head will not pass and can get stuck in the birth passage. This is why natural birth is not recommended and a c-section is a must in most cases.

Pelvic Abnormalities

Their pelvic abnormality also impedes French bulldogs from whelping naturally. Their heads are way too big and squared for the birth canal.

Not only is the pelvis way small for their heads it also is unable to expand so much during the labor. This malformation causes labor to be extremely dangerous and painful.

What Are the Reasons for Their Physiques?

The popular French Bulldog is a man-made breed as it is the result of crossing two different breeds of dog. They are not like any other breed of dog, in fact, before the 19th century they did not even exist.

This crossing is what leads to the existence of an abnormal body and the infertility of most males.

Getting pregnant is also quite complicated for this breed. The attributes of their physique are the main reasons. The narrow hips, short legs, and compact body result in difficulties in mating. Because of this, males are unable to mount their counterparts.

That is why French bulldogs have a hard time reproducing and why getting pregnant has always had to be done by artificial insemination. Not only do they need human intervention during mating but also to give birth to new puppies.

What Does a Cesarean Section Consist Of?

Cesarean section is a surgery performed to remove the puppies from the uterus. During the process, the mother is under general anesthesia and the veterinarian cuts the uterus in order to extract the newborns.

This surgical procedure can last 90 minutes and is required when the French bulldog cannot give birth naturally.

Despite increasing the survival rates of the female and puppy, the surgery has its risks too. Considering this, a c-section is even less dangerous than a natural conception.


If your French bulldog is pregnant, you should not ask yourself “Can French bulldogs give birth naturally? The best course of action is to schedule a c-section with your veterinary.

By doing this, you will not only take care of the mother`s well-being but also of the future puppies.

Don’t forget that Frenchies will also need regular checkings during pregnancy. This breed is very sensitive when talking about procreation.

Even though natural conception is possible, it is just an exception to the rule. Considering that this way of birthing endangers the life of both the mother and whelps, it is not recommended.