home Dogs How many puppies does a dog give birth for the first time?

How many puppies does a dog give birth for the first time?

How many litters can a dog have??

So, you are thinking about breeding, or you have already bred your dog, and now you want to know the dynamics that occurs after the first litter of puppies. Read on and find out how many times a dog gives birth per year.

Speaking about breeding, the number of times and how often a dog can be bred, it should be remembered that they all depend on several factors.

Breeding a dog can be a healthy process that helps your dog lead an even healthier life and improve its growth. But, if it is not appropriate, it can threaten your dog’s health and affect the overall health of your dog.


How many times can a male dog be bred?

As far as breeding a male dog is concerned, the number of breeding cases can be unlimited. Generally speaking, owners really decide how many times they want to breed.

As long as they are in good health, male dogs can produce quality sperm throughout their lives and even into older age. The only requirements to follow in order to breed responsibly is to wait for it to grow to the size of an adult of its breed and to rule out any health issues that may arise when your dog is fully grown.

So, as a male dog owner, you will have to do a sperm and fertility test, as well as a general health review from your veterinarian, to start breeding. Make sure your dog is healthy and you can start breeding.

How many times does a bitch give birth?

Unlike their male friends, bitches cannot be bred that much. So how many times does a dog give birth??

The optimal number of litters a bitch can carry is about 3 to 4 litters, depending on the number and size of the litter, as well as her general health and recovery period between pregnancies.

In this case, the breeding frequency is influenced by the heat cycles of the female dog and the optimal recovery time that must elapse between each mating. It is very important not to exceed a maximum of 4 litters during the bitch’s life, as this can affect health and even shorten life.

Be that as it may, what concerns both women and men is that in order to have healthy offspring, it is very important to keep them healthy.

Before breeding

Before giving you the answer to the question “how many times a year does a dog give birth?”, We must first remember some important things.

German shepherd Giving birth to 9 puppies. (First Litter)

To ensure that both your dog and her puppies are healthy, you should make sure certain aspects are met before breeding your dog.

Ensuring that offspring who are due to be born receive the best set of genes is certainly very much related to their parents and overall health.

Being a responsible pet owner and breeder means involving your dog in regular veterinary checks and making sure your pet has a good diet and exercise regimen. Therefore, it is very important that you take good care of your loyal friend before you start thinking about breeding.

How To Whelp A Litter Of Puppies. 10 German Shorthair Born

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© shutterstock

How often can a bitch be bred?

People often wonder how many times a dog can get pregnant without thinking about the consequences. For females, the correct question is, “How often is it safe for a female dog to have puppies?”?

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While mating may not be such a problem, in the end the gestation and lactation period takes up a lot of the bitches’ energy. With each estrus, females give birth to many puppies at the same time and they have to return their bodies to their previous state, regrowing parts of the uterus and restoring muscle tone, which decreased during pregnancy.

Thus, even if your dog does enter estrus, perhaps a few months after giving birth, it would be cruel enough to believe that she can survive another pregnancy.

While there is debate about how long to wait between pregnancies, we believe that waiting for a long healing time is by far the best way to keep your dog happy and reduce the risk of harm to his overall health.

Most owners have seen bitches lose hair and muscle tone during feeding. So even from a breed show point of view, not having enough expectation between pregnancies will actually not give the expected results.

So the answer to this question is that the safe breeding frequency for a dog is only every 18 months to 2 years. Breeding a female once a year is probably a bad idea.

© shutterstock

Responsible breeders don’t think about how many litters a dog can have in a year, but how well they perform during and after pregnancy. Your dog’s health always comes first as it will need strong overall health and a calm recovery process between pregnancies.

Also, people always ask us how many times a dog needs to mate to get pregnant. Well, the two dogs will only bond if the male’s knot is completely inside the female. If this does not happen, he may even tie up on the street, although this is not critical for pregnancy. Unlike most mammals, dogs ejaculate all the time they have an erection.

But, dog sperm is extremely watery and easily leaves the female’s reproductive tract. This is more common when she sits or removes herself. For this reason, it is important that the two dogs are bonded so that breeding can be successful. For this reason, it is best when they are attached, so the sperm of the male can easily move up the cervix and have a high chance of fertilizing the female’s eggs.

With this in mind, it is best to let the dogs mate for more than one day. The female will be attractive to males before her actual fertile period begins. In general, if someone pays a breeder a fee for a herd, the dogs are contacted several times. After all, the breeder wants to be fair, and the owner of the female dog wants to be sure they get the puppies they paid for.


With drug stimulation, the bitch is given an injection or a dropper is placed, for example, with ascorbic acid, glucose solution or any other stimulants. Pretty quickly they start to act, and the generic process starts.

Help in the process

The owner at home can help both the woman in labor and those who are being born. This is necessary if labor takes longer than usual, the bitch goes through the procedure for the first time, or the litter is too large.

  • Help in removing the amniotic membrane if the mother did not do it herself. This is extremely important as the bubble prevents the animal from breathing for the first time.
  • Break the umbilical cord. Most often it is gnawed by a woman in labor, but if this has not happened, you need to do it yourself, until an umbilical hernia has formed. Milk blood in the direction of the calf, take one hand 2 cm from the body, and move the other 2 cm more.Keeping the other hand motionless, pull the first in the direction of the calf, the umbilical cord will immediately break.
  • Keep clean. Change towels and diapers, on which the pet lies, after the release of each next puppy and afterbirth. This is necessary to prevent the development of infection.
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What is needed

Be sure to prepare a first aid kit for a woman in labor or babies. It should contain the following:

antiseptics (rubbing alcohol or peroxide). they come in handy when you need to treat tools or hands;

in case the bitch does not gnaw the umbilical cord herself, it is better to get special scissors;

cotton wool, bandages, gauze and other materials for dressing;

suction in case the puppies are born in a bladder and cannot breathe normally;

oxytocin injections are useful if the dog is not having contractions.

Clean rags and disposable diapers are never a problem. It is worth stocking up on water so that the bitch can quench her thirst during childbirth.

Ideally, a family member will take a short puppet vacation to take care of the mother and her babies. This can be called a necessity if the dog is giving birth for the first time.

Childbirth process

As a rule, dogs cope on their own and without human help. Regardless of breed or size, the scenario is always the same. However, the owner must be present during childbirth in order to cheer and comfort the animal, as well as to prevent complications in time and call the veterinarian.

How long does labor take

It all depends on how the birth of the dogs takes place in stages. It happens that each stage is fast, and the whole process takes up to 6 hours. Sometimes childbirth is delayed for almost a day, and this is also considered normal. Abnormalities are usually recognized not by the total duration of labor, but by too long a time interval between stages.

It is difficult to say how long a dog’s childbirth lasts. this indicator is purely individual. It depends on the number of fruits, the condition of the bitch and her age. Takes the whole process from three to twenty hours, but in most cases everything ends in 7-9 hours.

If there are a lot of puppies in the stomach, this does not mean at all that the process will be prolonged. Rather, the opposite is true: the fewer cubs, the longer the process. In addition, the duration of pregnancy depends on the number of puppies.

The most difficult thing will be the birth of your first puppy. The rest of the babies will be born faster. The interval between puppies can stretch up to half an hour, but the fewer the puppies, the smaller the gap.

Concern should be caused by the large time gap between the appearance of puppies. normally it is a maximum of an hour. If the next baby does not appear for 2-3 hours, you need to call the veterinarian.

If childbirth is delayed, it is worth inviting a veterinarian to the house, because the puppies inside the uterus can simply suffocate. Also, the cause of prolonged labor can be the mother’s simple fatigue. In order to prevent this from happening, veterinarians recommend giving the animal strong tea with sugar. It stimulates the cardiovascular system and gives strength.

Why the dog’s afterbirth does not come out

Many factors influence how much the afterbirth leaves in dogs after the birth of the last puppy. Veterinary experts say that a deficiency in the diet of a pregnant female of high-grade proteins, vitamins and minerals negatively affects the state of the reproductive system and leads to a delay in the separation of the membranes.

Experienced breeders believe that the reason why the afterbirth does not come out in dogs is often the illiterate pregnant female. Restriction of the activity of the animal during the period of gestation of puppies, the absence of long walks leads to physical inactivity, oxygen starvation of the tissues of the uterus, which is accompanied by a decrease in the tone of smooth muscles.

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In some cases, the retention of the placenta in dogs leads to multiple pregnancies, pathological childbirth, and inept obstetric assistance. Stretching of the tissues of the genital organ negatively affects its contractility and is expressed in a delay in the separation of the placenta.

How to understand that childbirth is near

As the cherished day approaches, the behavior of bitches changes. They become more agitated, fussy, looking for a place where the process will take place. For a week and a half or two, the belly begins to gradually change. This happens because the fetuses are approaching the birth canal. Visually, it seems that the abdomen has decreased slightly. this is a natural process, there is no need to worry.

At the same time, the expectant mother begins to lie more and more, since it is already difficult for her to walk. It’s time to find a place where the process will take place and learn how to give birth to a dog.

When only a few days are left before pupping, mucous discharge from the vagina appears. This is how a cork comes out, which did not allow the fruits to be born prematurely. Most often, the cork leaves imperceptibly.

Sometimes discharge also appears from the nipples. especially if the bitch is not pregnant for the first time. It is easy to determine this stage by the characteristic behavior of the animal. She often licks herself and spends a lot of time on it, and stains remain on her bedding or diaper.

Signs of the onset of labor in a dog and the process itself is difficult to miss. A few hours before giving birth, the cat leaves the waters in which the fruits were located. This suggests that she will give birth very soon, which means that it’s time to prepare for the owner.

How do I know if

Many novice dog breeders ask experienced breeders and veterinarians how to find out if a dog’s afterbirth has come out. Often, after the birth of a puppy, a female eats a child’s seat. This is due to the fact that during childbirth, the mother’s body loses a huge amount of energy and nutrients, and the placenta is rich in proteins and hormones and allows the female to replenish reserves.

If the owner missed the moment when the dog ate the afterbirth, then he may think that the placenta remained in the dog’s uterus. In this regard, experienced dog breeders recommend staying inseparable during the birth of the animal and monitoring the process, counting the number of newborns born and detached membranes. Breeders recommend allowing the pet to eat no more than 2-3 successions in order to avoid digestive problems.

An attentive owner can suspect the detention of the placenta in a newly-made mother by the following signs:

  • the animal is lethargic, inactive;
  • appetite decreases or is completely absent;
  • increased thirst;
  • the dog takes a hunched posture, often pushes, as if urinating;
  • 2-3 days after childbirth, an increase in temperature is noted;
  • postpartum discharge becomes greenish in color and ichorous odor.

Long-term presence of the placenta in the female’s uterus leads to its decomposition, general intoxication of the body, chronic endometritis, purulent inflammation of the uterus and may result in the development of sepsis.

We recommend reading about normal and abnormal discharge from a dog after childbirth. From the article you will learn about what the color of discharge after childbirth may indicate, when you should contact your veterinarian.

And more about the signs and treatment of vaginitis in a dog.