English Bull dogs birth

Somebody told me English bulldogs have been bred to the point where their skulls are so big, they no longer fit through the birth canal. They must be delivered Caesarean section. Can anyone give me the scoop on this?

Also, the same person said their bones are so dense, they have trouble swimming.

This site is the faq for bulldogs on the Usenet dog group, rec.pets.dogs. By the way, they say that there is no such thing as an “English” bulldog. There are “bulldogs” and “French bulldogs.”

Here is the relevant part of that faq:


I had a sweet bulldog (named “Apple” by her breeders) who had a false pregnancy.

She was delivered to the stud when the time was right and the stud’s breeder said that everything went as was expected. I took her to the vet who calculated when delivery would occur and told me to begin taking her temperature (anally) at a certain time and to be sure to bring her to him when her temperature reached a certain point because bulldog deliveries were difficult due to their head size. (Sorry I’m being so vague about times, but it was awhile ago.)

Apple’s stomach distended and she exhibited some pregnancy characteristics described in dog books (again, being vague).

When the appointed time came, I faithfully took her temperature, and when it reached the high point indicated by the vet, I took her to his office. He asked if I would like to be present during the delivery and I replied, “Yes.”

Two days later he called to say that she had not delivered and could he do an X-ray. I told him to do so, and he phoned back to say that there were no pups! Apple had a false pregnancy and ‘delivered’ a large amount of gas! He said that this was not uncommon with bulldogs.

At this time I was living in Kansas City where it was very hot and humid during the summer months. Apple had great difficulty breathing and this, along with the false pregnancy, proved to me that these dogs have been over-bred. I’ve read that their smashed-in faces were developed so that they and their dog ancestors could fight better - without an elongated nose they are able to attach themselves to a foe’s jugular.

Apple died two years later from a respiratory ailment. She was given the best care and lots of attention. I’ll never own another bulldog and think that any dog overbred to this extent should be phased out.

Sorry… I really loved that dog.

Seems to me the real Baron Frankenstein didn’t make men from sewn up electrocuted corpses - he bred dogs :(.

I’m sorry to hijack, but I’d like to comment on overbreeding and hyperdevelopment of characteristics. Pugs are another breed that has fallen victim to this. Their faces have been bred to be so flat that they often have respiratory ailments, and the wrinkles on their faces are a hotbed for bacteria if you’re not careful to clean them out with a Q-tip - the dog can’t clean her own face due to the wrinklage. It’s a shame. Not very long ago, pugs’ flat-facedness was still obvious, but much less overdone…

It’s obvious from the name of the breed that bulldogs were not exactly a Good Idea from the start, but at least to begin with they were healthy and could birth their own offspring naturally. Check out any number of C18th English paintings for examples of what they looked like back then.

If you were looking for someone to flame about this sort of stuff this might be a good place to start. There’s got to be an American quivalent too, but I’ll leave it to you and Google to find it.

The weird thing is that people who deliberately breed infirmity into their pets should claim to love them.

You might mean ENGLISHBULLTERRIER, similar to Staffordshire Bull Terrier, both are short and stocky, huge head to accommodate huge (‘molegrip’) jaws, Queen Anne (bow) legs, bred to be fighting dogs. The face shape allows blood to drain off easily, apparently(as with similar bull dog breeds with wrinkly faces). These do indeed have major birth problems for reasons mentioned. They have been bred to to the point of distortion/deformity, English Bull Terriers cannot even wash their own backsides! Pugs are smaller and of a similar shape and are not ever expected to birth without the C-section. The damned Kennel Club and its standards.

I don’t know about their competence at watersports.