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Puppy litters

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My internet research informs me that generally the bigger the breed of dog, the bigger their litters. A lot of big dogs average eight puppies in a litter. Unfortunately, for the sake of my story, I want a medium to big dog to have three puppies. Is this totally unrealistic? Does anyone know of a breed that isn't too small but has small-ish litters? Am I being ridiculously obsessive? Thanks.
#1 - May 14, 2014, 05:41 PM
Author of SILVER PONY RANCH and ZEKE MEEKS series

http://www.DebraLGreen.com

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I don't think your idea is unrealistic at all. Size of the dog may well play a role, but so does age and health, along with other factors. A friends dog, kind of a large mixed breed, surprised everyone by having only one puppy. Another friend raises Bernise Mountain dogs, and she often gets from three to five puppies.  :redbaron
#2 - May 14, 2014, 05:59 PM
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I love puppies!


Our Cocker Spaniels always had litters of between three and five, as I recall. Cockers range anywhere from 22 lbs to 40ish pounds.


Jody
#3 - May 14, 2014, 06:29 PM
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Totally realistic. The breeder we got my basset hound from had 8 puppies in the litter with Ginger, but then she bred again and had only 3 puppies (two of which did not survive - so sad), and then she bred again and got 6. There are lots of factors beyond size of dog that contribute... also, my aunt has boxers, and she bred her boxer and had 3 puppies. Boxers and Basset Hounds each are on the big end of medium, I'd say. Ginger weighs 50 pounds, but they can be up to 100. Ditto with boxers... Hope that helps!
#4 - May 14, 2014, 06:45 PM
Robin

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That's great to know! Thanks for your help.
#5 - May 14, 2014, 08:02 PM
Author of SILVER PONY RANCH and ZEKE MEEKS series

http://www.DebraLGreen.com

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My sister breeds Chihuahuas, so I've learned a bit about dog breeding from her. Dogs being bred for the first time will often have smaller litters than dogs that have been bred a few times (this goes for many animals, actually). Also, (and I hope this isn't TMI) the number of puppies a dog has can be dependent on the number of times she breeds the male. So if a dog only breeds with him once, it may result in fewer puppies than if they breed several times. Or possibly even just one pup (though breeders try to avoid this as the puppy can grow too large and cause complications at birth).

Also (and this is a completely unrelated, but interesting fact), dogs can have puppies with more than one sire. This actually happened to my sister as she *thought* one of her males was too young to breed and had left him in with the girls, but he wasn't! She ended up with three puppies. Two sired by him and the third by the dog that was *supposed* to be the daddy. (They did a DNA test when the puppies were born with short hair instead of long.)

Hope that helps!

Rue
#6 - May 15, 2014, 11:10 AM
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Very interesting and helpful. Thanks!
#7 - May 15, 2014, 11:17 AM
Author of SILVER PONY RANCH and ZEKE MEEKS series

http://www.DebraLGreen.com

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