When we first met our baby Chihuahua, Lily, for the first time, she was so tiny. We became very curious about our Chihuahua’s growth stages. Lily was one of three in the litter. We had waited months for our Chihuahua puppy and wondered if it has to do with the number of puppies a Chihuahua can have in a litter and the popular demand for this dog breed. Let’s find out!
How many puppies can a Chihuahua have? A female Chihuahua will usually have about 3 puppies on average in each of her litter. While 1 to 3 puppies are the average range in any given litter, older Chihuahua dogs can have up to 5 to 6 puppies in a litter. Unfortunately, since Chihuahuas are small, their litter will most likely be delivered by cesarean section.
Chihuahua litter size guide
Since Chihuahua dogs are smaller, it makes sense that they have a smaller litter size. When we compare small dog breed litter size to large dog breed litter size, the difference is very apparent. Large dog breeds like the Alaskan Malamute will have 6 to 8 puppies in a litter on average and medium-sized dogs like the Australian Shepherd will have 6 to 7 puppies in a litter on average.
Many people love having Chihuahuas because they are small, easy to live with, are affordable, smart with big personalities, beyond loyal to the owners, remain small, and of course, let’s not forget great guard dogs. Chihuahuas are very protective of their owners and are not afraid to bite strangers if they have to. They’re also great for seniors and people who live in apartments.
This popular demand for Chihuahua and the small litter size are the reasons why the price of Chihuahua puppies is so high. It’s not surprising to hear that some people may have to wait months, if not years, to get a Chihuahua.
How many puppies do Chihuahuas have the first time or in their first litter?
Chihuahuas can have about 1 to 3 puppies on average the first time around or in their first litter. When Chihuahuas get older, they may have larger litters of up to 5 to 6 puppies. So the general rule is:
- The younger the Chihuahua when she is having her first litter, the smaller the litter size.
- The older the Chihuahua when she has her first litter, there is the possibility that she will have a larger litter.
It’s quite uncommon to see a Chihuahua have more than 3 puppies her first time around. The number of puppies in the litter is like a bell-shaped curve. The female Chihuahua will have a small litter during the first few pregnancies. Then on their third or even fourth pregnancy, they may have a large litter of more than 3 puppies. By the fifth or sixth pregnancy, her litter size may decrease again.
Handy Tip: For the health and safety of your female Chihuahua dog, try not to breed her more than 3 or 4 times. Doing so can affect her physical and mental health.
If there are more than 3 puppies in the litter, then it means that the puppies in the litter may experience potential health issues. Although the female Chihuahua’s body will grow larger during pregnancy, there’s only so much space in her tummy. If she is expecting 4 puppies, these puppies have limited space in her tummy to grow and maybe small and underweight. There’s a high chance that your female Chihuahua could have a runt in the litter.
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Chihuahua giving birth complications
Since Chihuahuas are small dog breeds, giving birth naturally can be very difficult for not just the mother Chihuahua but for her puppies as well. For this reason, many female Chihuahuas will deliver their puppies by ways of cesarean section delivery.
If you have a pregnant Chihuahua, it’s a good idea to know how long a Chihuahua is pregnant for and plan ahead. Ask your vet for advice on whether you should bring your Chihuahua to the vet clinic during her labor. Most veterinarians may recommend that you do bring your Chihuahua into the clinic for a C-section because female Chihuahuas usually have narrow hips while their puppies’ heads are expected to be large.
Due to this, there is a high possibility that a puppy can get stuck in the birth canal and cause blockage. Not only is this dangerous for the puppy that is stuck in the birth canal, but it is also dangerous for the other puppies in the litter that are about to come out as well as the mother Chihuahua.
Chihuahua C Section Cost
If you’re wondering what the average cost of a Chihuahua C-Section is, here it is:
- A planned C-Section procedure can cost around $500 on average.
- An emergency or specialized cesarean section can cost around $2,000 on average.
How many litters can a Chihuahua have?
Many Chihuahua breeders know that their female Chihuahua should only have a maximum of up to 4 litters of puppies and no more than that in order to ensure that their Chihuahua is safe and healthy.
Note that every time your female Chihuahua is pregnant, her body takes a toll since the growing puppies inside her puts pressure on her body and skin and can cause harm to her health.
Let’s now compare the litter size of Chihuahuas to other dog breeds.
Chihuahua litter size compared to other dog breeds
While the average litter size of Chihuahua is 1 to 3 puppies, let’s take a look at the average litter size of other dog breeds from smallest to largest:
- Chihuahua: 1 to 3 puppies.
- French Bulldog: 3 puppies.
- Poodle: 3 puppies.
- Shih Tzu: 3 puppies.
- Yorkshire Terrier: 3 puppies.
- English Bulldog: 3 to 4 puppies.
- Boston Terrier: 3 to 5 puppies.
- Miniature Dachshund: 4 puppies.
- Pug: 4 to 6 puppies.
- Springer Spaniel: 4 to 6 puppies.
- Standard Dachshund: 4 to 8 puppies.
- Beagle: 6 puppies.
- Miniature Schnauzer: 6 puppies.
- Basset Hound: 6 to 8 puppies.
- Corgi: 6 to 8 puppies.
- Bernese Mountain Dog: 8 puppies.
- German Shepherd Dog: 8 puppies.
- Great Dane: 8 puppies.
- Golden Retriever: 4 to 12 puppies.
- Labrador: 5 to 10 puppies.
- Rottweiler: 6 to 12 puppies.
Chihuahua litter size world record
While a female Chihuahua will typically have about 1 to 3 puppies in a litter, it doesn’t mean that outlier doesn’t exist. For example, consider this rare case on National Puppy Day in 2018 when a one-and-a-half-year-old female Chihuahua gave birth to 11 puppies! Here is a quick video:
Can brachycephaly lead to smaller litter size?
Chihuahuas are part of the brachycephalic breeds because they have shortened heads with short noses and small bodies. Some Chihuahuas may even have squashed or flat faces. Here are other dog breeds that are brachycephalic:
- French Bulldogs.
- English Toy Spaniels.
- Chow Chows.
- Bull Mastiffs.
- Shih Tzus.
- Lhasa Apso.
Because Chihuahuas are a small dog breed, they have small bodies with narrow hips, which is why they don’t have that many puppies when compared to other popular dog breeds. Their bodies naturally will have fewer puppies during pregnancy. Additionally during their pregnancy, they may be in pain and it’s not surprising for breeders or owners to see their Chihuahua cry or become lethargic.
It is always best that a female Chihuahua mates with a male Chihuahua or other small dogs. Breeding a small Chihuahua with a large dog can be dangerous for your female Chihuahua not only when she is pregnant, but also during the birth of the puppies.
If this is the case, make sure your vet is aware of this so that a planned C-section is scheduled in advance.
Number of times a year a Chihuahua can have puppies
Due to the size of the Chihuahuas, it is best that they have just 1 litter of puppies every 12 month.
Ideally, a responsible dog breeder should allow the female Chihuahua dog to rest for at least a year before allowing her to mate again. Pregnancy can take a toll on the female Chihuahua’s body and most Chihuahua puppies are delivered via cesarean section.
By giving your female Chihuahua at least a year before mating again, it will give her body the necessary amount of time to recover fully before she gets pregnant again and expects another litter of puppies.
If you’re planning on getting a Chihuahua puppy, you’ll want to make sure that the puppy is healthy. You’ll want to ask the dog breeder the following questions:
- When was the mother Chihuahua last pregnant? A year ago? 6 months ago?
- So far, how many litters has the mother Chihuahua had in her life?
We highly advise that you go with a breeder that is ethical and who cares about the Chihuahua’s health and safety, not just for the money. We recommend that you do not buy your Chihuahua puppy from a mother Chihuahua that already had more than 4 litters of puppies.
How long is a Chihuahua pregnant for?
Since most female Chihuahuas are expected to give birth by way of cesarean section, it’s important that dog breeders or owners of unexpected Chihuahua pregnancies are aware of the due date so that they can book the C-Section ahead of time.
You can expect the length of the pregnancy to be about 63 days on average or up to 9 weeks. Be sure to click on the link to the Chihuahua Pregnancy article in the previous paragraph. The article details specific signs and symptoms to look for if you are not sure whether your Chihuahua is pregnant.
If you’re wondering how many puppies your female Chihuahua can have, it is typically 1 to 3 puppies on average. If this is her first time or her first litter, you can expect 1 to 3 puppies. However, older Chihuahuas can have a larger litter with about 5 to 6 puppies in their litter.
Since Chihuahuas are smaller dog breeds, they will need extra care and attention from their breeders or dog owners.
I’m a pet lover who has years of pet sitting and grooming experience. I thought it would be a great idea to share my experience with all pet owners so they can also keep their canine companions healthy, happy, and clean!