So, your Pitbull is pregnant or you’re looking to start breeding her and, now, you want to know what to expect during the pregnancy and the future puppies.
It’s important to know the size of the litter. Why? For one, so you know if the breeder is taking proper care of their dogs and not just after a buck. And second, if your dog is expecting, you need to know what to expect so you can be prepared and the puppies are well taken care of.
There’s a lot of factors involved when we want to figure out how many puppies can a pitbull have. Things like their age, size, and genetics are just a few things to consider.
But don’t fret, we’ve got you covered! By the end of this, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge to raise healthy puppies and keep your pride and joy healthy and happy during the process.
First, Let’s Understand The Pitbull
Misinformation, mistreatment, and misrepresentation in media leave Pitbulls one of the most misunderstood breeds on the planet. Most people immediately associate them with danger, viewing them as aggressive and deadly animals.
In fact, they’re banned from most air travel and many renters refuse to have them if you want to rent an apartment or house.
Typically, the “mean” Pitbulls come from troubled pasts. They’re used and mistreated because of their strength and incredible jaw strength. However, as anybody who’s raised a Pitbull can tell you, they are some of the most gentle and lovable breeds around. Luckily, the myth of the “evil” Pitbull is slowly but surely being dispelled.
But we’d be remiss if we didn’t caution that Pitbulls, as with any dog, can be dangerous in extreme situations. Treat all dogs with respect and care and remember they have their own personalities and temperaments just like humans.
How Many Puppies Do Pitbulls Have?
To cut to the chase, you can typically expect somewhere around 5 puppies in a litter. But that’s only the average. Depending on a variety of factors (which we’ll discuss soon), a Pit could be as little as a single pup, all the way to a whopping 14!
Now, let’s go over the two most important factors that are going to determine the size of your Pitbull’s litter.
Your Pitbull’s Health
Your dog’s health is the most important variable in your litter size. A sickly dog will, of course, produce only a pup or two and risk serious complications in the process, losing the pups and the mom.
On the other hand, a healthy and strong dog will give you more puppies. If you want to breed her, you can take her in for regular checkups with the vet. Keep your dog at a nice healthy weight as well, because she will put on a few more pounds during her pregnancy. If she’s overweight, it will put more stress on her body.
The Age Of The Mom And The Dad
Age also plays an important role in the size of your Pitbull’s litter. On average, younger dogs produce more puppies than senior ones.
And it’s crucial to remember not to breed your Pitbull too young or old. Even though she will have her first heat in 6 to 8 months, it’s recommended to wait at least until they are a year old before she gets pregnant.
At the other end, dogs are considered “old” after around 7 or so years. As such, they tend to have smaller litters and face more complications during pregnancy, and risk puppies with more genetic defects.
Understanding Your Pitbull’s Heat Cycle
Pitbulls, and other dogs, can only get pregnant while they are in heat. This happens about every 6 months or so. And their heat cycles last about 2 to 3 weeks. But as mentioned above, a pup can have her first heat earlier or later.
Understand The Life Cycle Of Your New Pitbull Puppies
Whether your breeding with the intention to sell or to have a house full of Pits, you need to know what to expect from your new puppies. Let’s go over the first few months until they reach sexual maturity.
- Newborns (0-2 weeks): At this stage, they will spend all of their time with the mom and their siblings. You won’t need to do much except watch over them all and make sure they are well and responsive. The pups spend the entire time sleeping and eating-- and a lot of number 1s and 2s. Typically, your newborn pups will weigh between 7-10 oz.
- Infants (2-4 weeks): This is when you start to see them a little more active. They’re finally starting to open their eyes and take those first little steps. At this point, you can introduce other people and animals-- just be wary of an overprotective mom. However, socializing them at this age is crucial for raising Pitbulls who are comfortable and confident around humans into adulthood.
- Toddler (1-3 months): Now your puppy is acting like a puppy! Sure, they’re very uncoordinated and slip and stumble all over the place-- but it’s super cute. You can also start training at this point with simple commands like “sit” and teaching them to recognize their name. S/he will be rambunctious and you will need to be vigilant to make sure she doesn’t find trouble. For a little added peace of mind, you can equip them with a GPS tracking collar like those provided by Fi.
- Pre-Adolescent (3-6 months): One day you’ll wake up and your puppy isn’t quite a puppy anymore. They will grow fast during this stage in their life, so make sure they are properly fed to promote healthy growth. Towards the end of this stage, your female Pit will have her first heat-- bring her into full adolescence. Most consider them “adults” at 18 months, but they don’t reach full maturity until about 3 years.
In summary, Pitbulls can have quite a few pups in their litter. So if you and your Pit are expecting, hopefully, this article gives you a little more confidence in the process.