Before You Buy, Before You Breed



Before You Buy:


Thinking about buying a dog and you've decided to purchase a bulldog! Owning a bulldog can be the beginning of years of happiness as the special bond between humans and canines exceeds even the greatest of expectations. However, to ensure the best relationship with your dog, you must be prepared for some important responsibilities. Keep the following questions in mind as we go along.

  • Have I found the right breed to fit into my lifestyle and home?
  • Will you have enough time to spend training a dog?
  • Am I willing to spend the resources to ensure the best future for a dog?


Selecting a Breeder:


Buy your puppy from a responsible and well-respected breeder. This cannot be stressed enough. BCA strongly recommends you buy a bulldog ONLY from a breeder listed on BCA’s Breeder Directory. Responsible breeders are concerned with the betterment of the breed. For example, they work on breeding healthier dogs with the appropriate temperament for their breed. Once you select a breeder, screen the breeder. Ask to see at least one of the parents (the dam or the sire) of your puppy. See how the dogs in your breeder's home interact with your breeder. Are they friendly and outgoing or do they shy away? The responsible breeder will be screening you, too, looking for the best home for each puppy, asking a lot of questions about you and possibly requiring a home visit.


The more common disappointments for pet purchasers come from commercial sources--especially pet shops that often buy puppies from the infamous "puppy mills" that take little notice of the quality or health they are producing. The pet store or dog broker will sell you a puppy with a breeder’s name attached to the paperwork—but this puppy may easily have been born in a puppy mill. His sire and/or dam are nowhere on the premises. The reputable breeder, on the other hand, will not only be able to demonstrate the pedigree and registration papers, but will also show you either the sire or dam themselves, or pictures of the parent who may be owned elsewhere. Though the mere presence of "papers" does not guarantee good health, conformation, or temperament, you will most often find these attributes in the puppy who has been raised with loving care in the home or kennel of a conscientious hobby breeder.



Training for Everyone:


The serious breeder often strives to produce a potential "champion." Since not all in the litter can quite reach this goal, the breeder will able to offer you a good-looking brother or sister of the show prospect at a reasonable price. Sometimes the distribution of white markings alone may make the difference between the so-called "pet" and show-potential puppy. The pet puppy will have benefited from the same proven bloodlines, nutrition, and medical care as its "champion" littermate. His breeder will have health tested the parents and done the best he can to insure good temperament, soundness, and longevity. Here is your best buy.



How Much Does A Puppy Cost?


Puppy prices vary across the country and the individual breeder’s requirements. This is not the time to hunt for a bargain. Your new puppy will be a member of your family for his lifetime, so you'll want to make a wise investment. We strongly recommend that you purchase a puppy ONLY from Breeders listed on our Breeder Directory. You will find that their prices are competitive and their breeding standards superior to most.


Can You Afford A Puppy?


The purchase price of your puppy is not the only cost you have to consider. Be aware that the puppy you bring home will need proper care: food, health care, (a dog needs annual shots). Your puppy will also need little things like a collar with identification, a bowl, a crate and a leash. Evaluate your budget; ask yourself if you really can afford a dog. Dog Ownership = Responsibility. Take the time to ask yourself these questions and to make an educated decision. You and your dog will be happier for it. There is no doubt that a puppy is a cuddly bundle of joy, but it is also a huge responsibility.



Caring for Your Bulldog:


One way to make your dog a good neighbor is through obedience training. A poorly behaved dog is a problem for everyone. Nothing is more frustrating than attempting to corral a dog that will not "come" when you call. A well trained dog is not only a pleasure to own, he is a goodwill ambassador for the entire canine community. A well-behaved dog is the result of the dog's owner being willing to work with the dog regularly in a systematic manner. Obedience classes are available in most communities. Time spent training your dog is time well spent.




Before You Breed



Be a Conscientious Breeder:


The conscientious breeder plans a breeding to reproduce the best characteristics of an outstanding sire or dam. His guide is the official AKC Standard of the breed---the written "blueprint" that helps keep the breed uniform for generations to come. (You can find the breed standard by reading the Bulldog Standard under ABOUT BULLDOGS.)


Owning a quality bitch, getting her pregnant, and having puppies does make you a breeder of pure-bred dogs; however it DOES NOT make you a conscientious breeder. You must have a clear idea of the strengths and weaknesses of your bitch and a goal towards which you are breeding.


A conscientious breeder reads the pedigrees of the dogs they are considering for stud and understand how they mesh with that of your bitch. The more you know about the dogs in the pedigrees, and the more dogs you have actually seen, the better will you be able to evaluate the potential success of the alternative matings. You should talk to your bitch's breeder and other breeders for advice. They usually are friendly and helpful. It will be time well spent.


A conscientious breeder does NOT breed a bitch before she is a year and a half old (by which time she should have had two or three seasons) NOR after she is five years old without a health check by their veterinarian.


A conscientious breeder does not breed a bitch more than three times without veterinary approval and frequently breeds fewer than three times. Since the timing of the cycle differs from bitch to bitch, this means a bitch will be bred for the first time no earlier than about a year and a half (for one with a short cycle) and no later than about two and a half (for one with a long cycle). Of course, if you are actively showing a bitch, you may want to modify this if she is close to finishing. Some bitches never regain their shape after breeding. Although some judges give them leeway, you don't want to have to count on this for a promising bitch.



Are You Ready to be a Bulldog Breeder?


The Bulldog is unlike most breeds. The Breeder and/or a veterinarian  play a larger role - from the collection of semen, the insemination of the bitch, the delivery
and the whelping of the litter. The process is expensive, time consuming and stressful.


Most people who have been successfully breeding Bulldogs for decades do not make a profit at it. Between the cost of shows (including the entry fees, travel, hotels, meals), medical care for the bitch and the litter (including the delivery, shots, etc.), and the cost of raising the litter (including the stud fee, whelping box, thermometers, Esbilac, washing bedding, dog food, etc.), you should assume that you wouldn’t either.


Health testing the sire and dam, taking the bitch to be bred, making sure she's eating both before whelping and while nursing, the first sleepless nights with the new litter, and weaning the puppies, all take an investment of time and energy. If you ship semen and have someone raise the litter for you it adds significantly to the cost.


Before you get into this you need to be sure that this is something you really want to do and something for which you are emotionally prepared. Most importantlt, you need ot understand why you are doing this breeding.  No dog or bitch needs to have puppies just to have the experience or to feel fulfilled. If you are seeking to reproduce a parent, remember that children may resemble their parents, but they are not the same. Noone should breed unless their ultimate goal is to improve the breed.



Choosing a Stud:


As a conscientious breeder you must research pedigrees, get and show records of potential studs.  Do this long before the bitch is to be bred so that you will have decided on the stud dog well in advance of the breeding. You want a dog that closely reflects the Standard of the Breed, who complements your bitch and who is healthy and sound. If you bought the bitch on breeder's terms, you probably have to use the stud chosen by her breeder or, at least, get her breeder to agree to the stud.


You should look for several things in choosing a stud. First, you want a dog who exhibits the characteristics needed to improve the bitch. It's crucial to know what you are breeding towards.


Second, You want a dog whose get are strong in those traits, preferably in several litters from different bitches. You want to know that the dog consistently passes-on the important traits, not just that he has them.


Third, you want a dog that is strongly line bred himself, all other things being equal (which they rarely are). This improves further the chance that the traits seen in the dog are solidly backed in the genetic structure. A truly outstanding specimen, who has produced outstanding get, can get by with a somewhat weaker pedigree in your breeding program. The dog we choose is usually either a line breeding for the bitch or an out-cross, depending on the botch’s pedigree, but occasionally an in-breeding is beneficial in the right circumstances.



Choosing a Mentor:


A conscientious breeder of bulldogs has joined a local BCA Member Club and associated themselves with experienced bulldog breeders ready, will and eager to assist them in their breeder program. If you are viewing this site and you are not a member of a local bulldog club STOP. You are NOT ready to breed your brood bitch.