How Many Puppies Can A German Shepherd Have?

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A litter of German Shepherds typically contains five to nine pups. The typical number is eight. Larger litters do, however, occasionally occur and are not very uncommon.

The birth of up to 15 puppies by a German Shepherd dog is not unusual. The largest registered litter, according to the AKC, contained 17 puppies.

Compared to several other breeds, this one has a much greater litter size. Many factors influence litter size, but the size of the dog is one of the most important ones. Due to their size, German Shepherds will produce more puppies than lesser breeds.

For instance, Dachshunds typically only produce one to six puppies. A breed that may weigh up to 150 pounds, the Neapolitan Mastiff, produced the largest litter ever.

Size does matter when it comes to litter sizes.


How To Prepare Your German Shepherd For Birth?

When your German Shepherd becomes pregnant, you must get ready for the birth of the puppies. You must be present to assist your German Shepherd in giving birth, even though it could be tense. Dogs are typically independent during labor and delivery, but you may provide them with a cozy, clean environment and be ready to call the vet if something goes wrong.

The puppies can be kept warm by using a whelping box with a heating pad or lamp. Because newborn puppies are unable to control their body temperature, a heating pad or lamp will be helpful.

  • Under the towels or blankets where the puppies are lying, place heating pads. Ensure that they are at ease in the environment.
  • Lamp: Keep it far enough away from the puppies to prevent burns.


How Many Times Can a German Shepherd Get Pregnant in One Year?

A healthy German shepherd has a two-year gestation period.

German Shepherds can have one heat cycle every six to eight months, unlike lesser dogs. They have the potential to become pregnant during this time.

A typical heat cycle lasts between two and four weeks.

Therefore, make sure your pet German Shepherd is kept away from other dogs at this time if you don’t want her to come home pregnant.

You can take her outside to play, as long as it’s in a secure enclosure (like your backyard).


What Are Factors Affecting German Shepherd Litter Size?

There are additional elements at play in addition to the size of the breed, which has a considerable impact. Until a dog is further along in her pregnancy, it is hard to predict how many puppies she will give birth to.

But these elements could support a sound guess from you.


The Female’s Size

The litters of big dogs are huge. This becomes especially clear when contrasting various dog breeds. Small breeds, in turn, produce tiny litters.

However, the dog’s precise size is important as well. German Shepherds that are smaller on average will produce smaller litters than German Shepherds that are larger. Puppies don’t have as much room now!


The Female Health

Unhealthy dogs frequently have a harder time producing as many healthy puppies. Early growth arrest may cause many puppies to miscarry or be reabsorbed by their mothers. This will lessen the size of the litter as a whole.

It’s not necessary for the mother to be obviously unfit either. Puppies can die before reaching their full potential even if you give them exceptional care and provide them with healthy food.

An outstanding illustration of this is diabetes. When this illness isn’t severe, it frequently goes unreported. Most likely, the dog won’t exhibit any symptoms.

On the other hand, poorly managed blood sugar fluctuations can significantly affect growing puppies. Many puppies won’t grow correctly if their blood sugar levels are off.


The Puppy’s Genetics

Puppies with specific genetic abnormalities may grow incorrectly and never give birth. The term “lethal chromosomal death” is typically used to describe this event.

A puppy’s genes, for one reason or another, prevent them from developing, and they pass away in the womb.



The size of the female’s litter is significantly influenced by her age. German Shepherds that are mid-life tend to have larger litters than puppies and older animals. As they are younger, your dog’s first litter will often be smaller.

Around age 5, German Shepherds often have their largest litter. After that, their size can start to fall.

Though some dogs experience this decrease more quickly and visibly than others. The health of the dog as a whole makes a big difference. Because of their health issues, many older dogs have smaller litters than younger dogs.



There is proof that the dog’s breeding season has an impact on the size of the litter. Other research, however, showed no connection between the size of the litter overall and the time of the litter’s birth.

But there might be a regional element to this. The season can be more important in regions that see more pronounced seasonal variations. It might not be in tropical regions.

However, more research is required to rule out this option.



According to studies, dogs may inherit their capacity for having large litters. Larger litters of puppies frequently produce larger litters of puppies themselves.

However, it doesn’t contribute much. If another element is involved, it will probably take precedence. Even if their mother did, a sick dog is unlikely to give birth to a sizable litter.



Owning a dog is a wonderful experience, and when you own a German Shepherd, you have a dog for life who is devoted, intelligent, aggressive, and protective. German Shepherd dogs also make terrific mothers and are knowledgeable about what to do both during and after giving birth.

Anthony Lopez

Anthony Lopez

German Shepherds Are Awesome!

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