How Many Puppies Can a Chihuahua Have?

Pet Care


December 23, 2020

There are plenty of dog breeds that have risen to popularity in the past couple of decades. The chihuahua is one of them. It is a brachycephalic breed of dog and has a relatively flatter face when compared with other dog breeds.

Since it is brachycephalic, you should know that the chihuahua also has a much smaller litter when compared with other breeds of dogs.

If you have a pair of Chihuahuas at your place and are wondering just how many puppies they can have in the litter, it is important to understand a few things about this animal. First of all, you should know that despite its small frame, the Chihuahua is a pretty aggressive dog. It loves its owners too!

The Litter Size

So, how many puppies can a Chihuahua have? In most cases, you should know that the chihuahua is only going to have up to three puppies in a litter. The average range usually lies between one and three, though you should know that older Chihuahuas may give birth to a larger litter after their first deliveries, often going as high as six puppies in a litter.

Keep in mind that because of the dog’s small frame, giving birth is not easy. As a result of that, most of the Chihuahua babies are delivered by C-section in a controlled medical environment. In the wild, they usually give birth to a smaller litter. Now, when you compare the size of the litter with other dog breeds, you will realize that the difference is pretty stark.

For starters, you should know that the German Shepherd can deliver up to eight puppies in a litter. That’s an average figure, and there have been cases where the German Shepherd has ended up delivering more puppies. Even the Beagle, which is a medium-sized dog, often delivers up to six puppies in one litter.

The Value

One of the reasons why breeders usually charge such a high price for the Chihuahua is because of its smaller litter size. Breeders know that these dogs are in short supply, and as a result, they usually charge a higher price from buyers. This is very much considered a designer breed, and for good reason.

Another thing that you should understand regarding these dogs is that their age has a major impact on the number of puppies they produce in each litter. As the dog grows older, it will be able to deliver more and more puppies with each litter. You can’t expect more than three puppies in their first litter.

Furthermore, the largest litter usually arrives on their third or fourth time of pregnancy. After that figure, the number of Chihuahua puppies per litter decreases further again. If the female Chihuahua has a larger litter that is more than three puppies, there’s likely to be a problem with the dog.

However, a downside of a larger litter is that there is likely to be a few underweight dogs in the litter.

Should Chihuahuas Not Birth Babies?

Earlier in the article, we talked about how it’s dangerous for the Chihuahua to give birth to a larger litter, and how most of the puppies are delivered via C-section. The reason for that is simple: a natural birth for a Chihuahua is harmful, and could prove to be dangerous not just for the puppies, but also the mother.

You should know that the number one reason why vets advise a C-section with Chihuahuas is because the dog has relatively narrow hips. Moreover, the puppies have a pretty large sized head as well, so there is a strong risk that the puppy will get stuck somewhere in the birth canal. Eventually, this could lead to potentially fatal problems for the puppies and the mother.

The puppies could suffocate in the birth canal, and the mother is also likely to suffer serious complications and immense pain. The shock could even kill her. The average cost of a C-section for a chihuahua usually varies between $500 for an earlier planned procedure, and can go as high as $2,000 for an emergency C-section that wasn’t planned in advance.

What Does Brachycephaly Have to Do with This?

Since the Chihuahua is brachycephalic, the dog has been purposely bred to have a shortened head and a shorter nose. Moreover, their overall size is also smaller, and their face is “squashed.” There are various other categories of dogs that are brachycephalic, such as the French Bulldog, the Shih Tzus, and the Pugs.

Because of its diminutive frame and smaller heights, these dogs are not able to give birth properly. As a result of that, their numbers are generally low, and you won’t find a chihuahua being sold for a low price, especially when compared with other readily available dog breeds such as the Labrador Retriever.

How Many Times Can the Chihuahua Give Birth in a Year?

Furthermore, it’s important to note that the Chihuahua can give birth several times in a year, though it’s important that it does not give birth to more than one litter in a period of 12 months. You should make sure that they only get pregnant after one year, and in their natural environment, you will notice that the animal will give itself enough time to recover before deciding to get pregnant again.

More importantly, since a vast majority of the chihuahuas are delivered via C-section, the mothers often need a bit of time to heal. If you force the chihuahuas to get pregnant, the chances are high that the animal will suffer from debilitating health problems over time.

If you are going to buy the animal from a breeder, it is imperative for you to ask a few questions, such as how many litters the mother has birthed, and how many times it has gotten pregnant over the course of the year. If the breeder tells you that it hasn’t been more than six months, you might want to avoid buying from this breeder, as they are only just in it for the money.

Caring for a Chihuahua

The Chihuahua puppies should be with their mother for at least two to three months. These dogs need their mother’s milk to grow strong and it also helps in boosting their immune systems. If the animal does not receive appropriate care and nutrition in its early stages, you should know that it’s going to suffer from problems for the rest of its life.

Separating the puppy from its mother at an early stage is a terrible thing to do, and it’s something that you should be actively against. Unfortunately, there are many breeders who do this, so if you are going to buy from one, you need to understand that your dog is never going to be healthy and will always suffer from serious problems.

These are just some important things that you should know about the number of puppies that a chihuahua can give birth to in one litter, and how long you need to wait before you let the dog get pregnant again.