How often can dogs have babies

How many puppies can a dog have?

As a dog owner, you cannot determine in advance exactly how many puppies your bitch will give birth to. Various factors are decisive for the size of the litter. This includes, among other things, whether your bitch is a first-time bitch.

Your bitch is called a first bitch when she is pregnant for the first time. Before that, however, your bitch has to be in heat. This can be the case for the first time between the ages of six and twelve months. But even if your dog doesn't come into heat until she is 18 months old, you don't have to worry about that. When a bitch gets into heat for the first time, it also depends on the breed of dog in question.

The number of puppies

How many pups to expect at your bitch's first litter is difficult to say. The size of the bitch plays an important role. However, it is an absolute misconception that first bitches can only ever give birth to a small number of dog babies. For example, first litters with ten or eleven puppies are also possible. But this is more common with larger breeds. With smaller bitches, such as dachshunds, Chihuahuas or terriers, a first litter usually consists of between one and three puppies.

A German shepherd, who is number one on the popularity list of all dog lovers, can have a litter of up to twelve puppies. Second and third place went to the Dachshund and German Wirehaired Pointer. Since these dog breeds are smaller, fewer puppies are usually born in one litter. The most popular dog breeds in fourth and fifth place are the Labrador Retriever and the Golden Retriever. Due to their size, you can expect a litter of these dog breeds towards twelve puppies.

In general, a litter consists of one to twelve puppies. On average, a bitch gives birth to four to five young per litter. This can happen about twice a year, depending on how often the bitch is in heat. You can recognize heat in heat, among other things, by the fact that your bitch is cleaning her genitals more and more. You can also observe swelling of the genitals. Then it is time to have your bitch mated.

Vet and pregnancy

Veterinary care for your pregnant bitch is very important. This is because complications can arise during pregnancy. The vet can also determine how many pups are in the womb. This can be done by x-rays at the vet. The X-ray is only possible under anesthesia, which could stress your bitch too much. An ultrasound performed by the vet to determine the number of baby dogs is gentler.

Photo credits:
Cover photo - CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay.com
Puppies - CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay.com

1st litter