Before you get mind boggled when you hear the cost of a Bulldog, please take the time to educate yourself on what it takes to create this highly sought out breed. There is no SHORT version of "Why English and French Bulldogs cost so much". But we will try to break it down as painlessly as possible for all of us either breeding or buying.
What it takes to get you a happy healthy Bulldog to add to your family:
PHASE ONE - It begins with "So you want to raise bulldogs"? You think it’s easy money? The first thing that needs to happen is that it takes purchasing two amazing and healthy Bulldog puppies, to some day in the future make those adorable faces. Those two puppies weren’t cheap either. We pay more for puppies with breeding rights than pet buyers do. We searched all over the country to find a reputable breeder with dogs of quality and health history. We will have paid at least $5,000.00, usually more just to get our first two dogs as puppies. But wait, it's not money in the bank yet. Even after the purchase there is NO guarantee that either dog will be able to produce and breed to each other successfully. It’s always a high-risk gamble. You will have to raise those puppies for 18 months or longer until around time of the females second heat. You will pay to have the male’s sperm collected and evaluated to see if he has enough to produce those babies. (What if he can't?) You start all over again with a new male or pay someone else to use their stud. Until this female’s 'second' heat happens and every day before and years after, they require love, attention. You must feed them high quality food every day, 365 days a year. I know I spend $50 per month per dog. I'll do the math for you and that is a total $1200.00 a year just to feed two dogs. Most breeders have more than two. They will have routine vet care, need a place to sleep, play and poop. Not to mention someone has to clean up after them and constantly ensure them a good life. You cannot half ass care for a bulldog and expect healthy litters in the future. IF your female can even get pregnant. Even then it’s no guarantee you will have a full healthy litter. She may not take, and you spent all this money and no pups coming. No pressure, right?
PHASE TWO - You want to have puppies? Are you SURE you know what you are in for? What’s the first step? Well, if you don’t have your own male, you will have to pay for a stud to use. This will cost at least $500.00 up to $3,000.00 depending on a male’s color and pedigree and if he produces great puppies. He will be collected and if he isn’t yours or local an extender is added to keep those sperm alive. That breeder will race off to Fed Ex to get it to you overnight. You will pay the shipping which is average $150.00. You both begin to pray it gets delivered on time and sperm lived. What if it didn't? You might be completely screwed this heat cycle if you don't have a backup male close by. This is one small part of the journey to reproduce. We need to get back to the real matter of what will happen when the female begins her heat cycle long before the semen is even needed.
You will anxiously have to figure out what is the best day to use that expensive chilled tube of creation. Bulldogs do not procreate naturally. Mother Nature doesn’t take its course here. Expensive Progesterone tests are required, and you can easily pay for 1-5 tests. You need to try your hardest to know the best day to breed. You need to figure out when this girl ovulated. Those tests can run $40 to $200 depending on the area you live in. Not to mention your time running back and forth to the vet for blood draws and chewing your nails off waiting to hear results. There are not many vets that have that $5000.00 P4 machine to test her nor are they close by you. A bulldog breeder may have to drive two or more hours to a bulldog specialist vet. Try doing that 5 times!!
Here comes a sigh of relief! The day has arrived, and she has hit her perfect number and is ready for the breeding. Grab your male or that box of magic that showed up on and off to the vet you go. She will undergo either an AI (artificial insemination) or a SI (surgical insemination) to get that juice to her mature eggs. We will spend usually $250.00 to $1000.00 to surgically inject semen into her tubes. Add that to paying for that stud fee. Have you added this up yet just to get to today? Yes, its several thousand dollars.
PHASE 3 - Did she take? Did all this time, effort and money get us a litter on the way? What if she didn’t take? Sorry, no refunds and that money we just spent over the last 18 months is GONE! We have to wait six more months and try it again.
Around 30 days after the breeding we will go to the vet and confirm with an ultrasound. Those can run $40 to $200.00
(Have you been adding this up so far) We realize we skipped a lot more of expenses behind the scenes to get to this paragraph or you would be reading a novel. We don’t want you to lose your attention on the point we are trying to make. Moving on......
OK, the 30-day wait is over.... SHE IS PREGNANT! We have to watch her close for another 30 days for any signs of problems. Making sure she gets the proper diet and care. We pray she stays pregnant and watch for all the risks of losing this litter.
PHASE 4 - She is in LABOR; the excitement begins and off to the vet we go. Sometimes its 3 am in the middle night with a mandatory c-section. Most bulldogs can't give birth naturally and we don't risk her or the puppies trying. We can pay for a c-section anywhere from $350.00 to $2500.00 depending on the area and vet as well. Do you feel rich yet?
Congratulations.... The Babies are here!! Our new mom wakes up from delivery not knowing what the heck those little things are or what to even do with them. We try to get home as quickly as possible and get these babies warm and with a lot of assistance get mom to lay down and let them eat for the first time.
This is the official start of “Let the first two weeks begin” We will sleep right next to mom and babies. Wait, it’s more like NO SLEEP, every 2 hour feedings, making sure babies pee and poop by wiping their bums. Did they get enough to eat? Are they staying warm on the heating pad? WHY do we have to be there? Bulldog Moms are clumsy and heavy. They will sit on them, accidentally kick them and will not care to make sure these fragile babies are latched and nursing. That is OUR full-time job! We have to monitor them 24 hours a day until their eyes are open, crawling around and can get to mom’s milk without assistance. We built a whelping box to try to help prevent mom from suffocating them by sitting or lying down. We stay next to them sometimes to three weeks of age. A bulldog puppy can crash fast for many reasons. They need to be kept warm with heating pads, heat lamps, blankets and towels that are changed daily. Babies may need to be in incubators with an oxygen concentrator as they do not regulate heat till 3 weeks of age. We can have tiny babies and they are high risk or water babies that have a high mortality rate. We are literally those baby’s lifeline and a bulldog with a milk bar! We need to know how to suction noses and throats. How many milk supplements and bottle or tube feed if mom struggles with milk supply.
PHASE 5 - Let the poop games begin. Four weeks old and they learn to eat puppy mush and water bowls. Here comes potty training. Toys, blankets, and still a lot of laundry each day keeping their area clean and fresh. Changing potty pads rinsing out grass pads. Worming and shots, health check at the vet and microchip them. Are you tired yet? Did you imagine it was this involved just to have a litter of puppies? No one does unless they are living it like we do.
NOW the dreaded time has come. It’s time to take all those cute photos and start advertising the search for the right approved family to take all of your hard work, effort and sleepless nights home.
How many people do we talk to before one is actually sold? We can't count. Why? Because of the same old question that starts the conversation.......
HOW MUCH??? Followed by WHAT? Why so much? It’s a DOG!!!
Okay, take some deep breaths because here we go again with the same story that starts all over again for the 50th time this week. We start trying to explain just a hint of what we go through to even have an 8 week old puppy for sale. The inquire usually ends with "I can't afford that" and they disappear with a thought of how much money we are making on just raising dogs. Don't forget those trying to buy one from us on their budget. Or the story of how they can't afford one, always wanted one and can we sell them one for the cost of a pair of shoes or even yet, give them one because the puppy would have the best life ever. NO, NO and NO. If you can't purchase a bulldog, then you can't afford to properly care for one either. If you can't afford a trip to the vet for proper health care, more or less something serious, you need to get a cat. We don't work our butts off to take a discount and send this baby to a home that can't buy the grain free food it needs to be healthy. Sorry so harsh but it’s the truth.
Let’s finish things up now. We have made to the end of the road. The puppies have new homes. Once the puppies are sold, more work follows. We have to take each one for a vet health certificate. We spend a lot of time making sure the new family gets everything this baby needs and set up meeting or shipping each puppy. So, we drive to the vets, drive to the airport, drive 3 hours to meet someone so they don't have to ship the puppy. More time, more money, more of our life.
So why do we do it? Just look at those faces. We see your faces too. We love to see you light up with excitement and love how much enjoyment our bulldog creation is going to change your family.
Finally!!!!!! We have all the puppies safely delivered to their new homes. Doesn't mean our job is done. We are still grinding away here each and every day taking care of the dogs that created those puppies. There is no break for us.
So, what's next? We wait till the next female comes in to heat.....and REPEAT.
We have to be already getting new puppies now, so they are old enough when your first female retires in under 5 years of age. It’s usually a 4 litter average and she could be done. I have new puppies by the time the female is 2 so I have two years to get the new puppy old enough to repeat the cycle.
(You want the LONG VERSION? We don't have the time; we have Bulldogs to raise and look after. Take care and take your time in finding your first or your next Bulldog)