How Many Puppies do Rottweilers Have?

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My friend’s Rottweiler is due to have puppies any day. She is getting big! I wondered how many puppies do Rottweilers have. So, I did some research to find out how many puppies Rottweilers usually have.

So how many puppies do Rottweilers have on average? An average Rottweiler litter has between 6 to 12 puppies. The smallest recorded Rottweiler litter had one puppy, and the largest had 18 puppies. A Rottweiler’s first litter will usually be her smallest.

The number of puppies in a litter is usually related to the size of the breed. Large dog breeds have more puppies than small dog breeds. Their larger body size means they are able to carry more puppies per litter.

Rottweiler litter size

How Many Puppies Does a Rottweiler Have? (5 Factors That Affect Rottweiler Litter Size)

How many puppies do Rottweilers normally have depends on these factors:

1. Age

Here are some interesting “rules” regarding age and Rottweiler litter size:

  • A bitch will give birth to a smaller litter when she is under the age of 7.
  • If she does not have her first litter until the age of 5, she will give birth to a smaller number of puppies per litter.
  • If she gives birth between the ages of 2 and 5, she is likely to have a larger litter.

If the male is under 5 years old, the litter could be larger than if he is older. This is because of the drop in his sperm count as he ages.

The age of the stud has less influence on the size of the litter than the age of the bitch.

2. Health

Health is one of the factors that most affect the size of a Rottweiler litter.

A healthy bitch should give birth to more puppies per litter than a bitch who is not healthy. The health of the male also affects the litter size.

3. Diet 

The diet of the bitch affects the size of her litter. If a bitch has all the nutrients her body needs, she is more likely to conceive and give birth to a healthy litter.

If her body is lacking in nutrients needed to reproduce, she will be unlikely to produce a large litter.

4. Inbreeding

Inbreeding (the breeding of a father and daughter) leads to smaller litters.

It also affects life expectancy, fertility, genetic disorders and puppy mortality.

5. Gene Pool

A dog’s genes have only a moderate effect on the size of the litter they will go on to have.

The Kennel Club suggests genes have only 10-15% influence over the size of the litter. Yet, they do say that when a breeding group is small and a gene pool limited, dogs will produce much smaller litters.

To find the answer to the question “how many puppies do Rottweilers have?”, we must consider all the above factors.

How Many Puppies do Rottweilers Have (First Litter)?

The first litter that a Rottweiler has is likely to be its smallest litter.

(The same is true of all dog breeds.)

The average litter size of a Rottweiler is between 6 to 12 puppies. If this is a Rottweiler’s first litter, there could be as few as two puppies. This could be nature’s way of helping the first-time mum! If her litter is smaller, she is more likely to provide the care and sustenance the puppies need to survive. 

Some sources tell you not to buy puppies from a mother’s first litter.

This is because the first litter is unknown. The breeder is not able to provide information about the health of previous litters. Once a set of parents are on to their third litter, it is easier to gauge the long-term health of a puppy.

  • The first litter is usually the smallest. The health and wellbeing of the puppies is not reliable.
  • The second litter is also rarely the biggest.
  • The third and fourth litters often have the largest numbers of Rottweiler puppies. If you are looking to buy a Rottweiler puppy, it is advisable to pick from either the third or fourth litter. The breeder has had time to iron out any issues, and he is able to provide a complete breeding history.

How Many Litters Can a Rottweiler Have?

The Kennel Club restricts the number of litters that a Rottweiler can have in a lifetime to 4 litters. The limit used to be 6 litters, but this changed in 2012.

If a Rottweiler has more than 4 litters in their lifetime, The Kennel Club will not register the puppies. Kennel Club restrictions say that a Rottweiler should not have puppies before she is a year old, or after she is 8. 

 If a bitch has more than 4 litters of puppies there are considerable health implications. She may have a shorter life, and her puppies may also suffer ill health. 

Overbreeding affects the health of the mother and her puppies. It is also detrimental to the breed as a whole. If overbreeding happens, health, behavioral problems and  genetic defects may go unnoticed.

How Can I Increase my Dog’s Litter Size?

1. Nutrition

Proper nutrition is the most effective way to increase your Rottweiler’s litter size. A protein-rich diet for both breeding parents is the best way to increase the litter size.

If a Dame is not fed well, or she is overweight, her litter is likely to be smaller. The general health of the stud also increases a breeder’s chances of yielding larger litters.

2. Time it Right

Another way breeders can increase their dog’s litter size is to ensure they breed at the best time of year. The Kennel Club says that springtime is the best time of year to produce large litters. There is no scientific reason for this but, in the wild, spring is the season many animals give birth.

So if you are a breeder who is keen to increase the size of your litter it could be worth aiming for a spring birth!

3. Artificial Insemination: Big or Small Litters?

Artificial insemination is popular with Rottweiler breeders. It provides access to a wider range of breeding studs without having to travel.

Yet, using artificial insemination is likely to produce smaller litters.

The quality of the stud’s sperm will reduce or often die in transportation. This has the effect of reducing litter size or not fertilizing the female at all.

Don’t use artificial insemination if you want a large litter of Rottweiler puppies.

Rottweilers are a very popular breed. At the height of their popularity, Rottweiler puppies were not bred with care. This resulted in questionable temperaments, so Rottweilers started to become less popular.

Rottweilers are now the 17th most popular American Kennel Club-registered breed. Of course, it is natural for Rottweiler breeders to want to increase the size of their litters. Breeders have learned from their mistakes. They are now keen to increase their litter sizes without detriment to the breed.

Related Questions

How long are Rottweilers pregnant for?

Rottweilers are pregnant for around 63 days. The pregnancy starts with the release of the eggs (ovulation) and ends when the puppies are born. A Rottweiler’s pregnancy spans three trimesters, which is the same as a human pregnancy.

How many puppies survive in a litter?

Every puppy in a litter may survive. It is also possible that there are no survivors. The number of surviving puppies in a litter depends on conditions of birth. It also depends on genetics and the health and parenting abilities of the mother.

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