How Many Puppies Can German Shepherd Have in a Litter?

How Many Puppies Can a German Shepherd Have in a Litter

German Shepherds are your forever life companion. They’re known for their loyalty, obedience, and protective nature. But how many puppies can a German Shepherd have in a litter? This can vary depending on several factors, including the size of the parents and the health of the mother. Here’s what you need to know about German Shepherd litters.

How Many Puppies Can A German Shepherd Have?

If you’re wondering about how many puppies a German Shepherd can have in a year, the answer is anywhere from one to twelve. German Shepherds are known for being great parents and are very protective of their young. They typically have a large litter, so if you’re thinking about getting a German Shepherd, be prepared for a lot of puppies!

How many times can a German Shepherd give birth?

A German Shepherd can give birth anywhere from one to twelve times in their lifetime, with the average litter size being eight. German Shepherds typically have their first litter around two years of age. 

Factors Affecting German Shepherd Litter Size

There are many factors that can affect the German Shepherd dog litter size. Some of these factors include the age of the dam, the health of the dam, the number of previous litters the dam has had, the health of the sire, and the environment in which the puppies are born and raised. 

Litters of German Shepherds can range in size from one to twelve puppies, but the average litter size is eight. Here are additional factors that can affect their size.

The Female’s Size

Larger females tend to have larger litters, while smaller females may have smaller litters. The average litter size for a German shepherd is eight puppies, but litters of up to 12 puppies are not uncommon.

The Female’s Health

The health of the female can have an effect on the litter size of German Shepherds. If the female is not in good health, she may not be able to produce as many puppies. Additionally, if the female is not in good health, the puppies may not be as healthy as they would be if she was in good health.

The Puppy’s Genetics

The average litter size for German Shepherds is eight puppies, but the litter size can be affected by the puppy’s genetics. Some German Shepherds will have larger litters of ten to twelve puppies, while others will have smaller litters of two to four puppies.


The age of the dam (female dog) can affect the number of litter. Older dogs tend to have a smaller litter, while younger dogs may have up to 10 or 12 puppies.


In the spring and summer, German Shepherds typically have larger litters than in the fall and winter. This is because the days are longer and the weather is warmer, which helps the puppies to grow and develop.


The size of the litter can be affected by heritability. If the parents of a German Shepherd have a small litter, the chances are higher that their offspring will also have a small litter.


If a German Shepherd is well-nourished, she may have a larger litter. If she is not well-nourished, she may have a smaller litter. Good nutrition is important for all dogs, but it is especially important for German Shepherds who are known for being high-energy dogs.

Why did my German Shepherd only have 2 puppies?

There are many possible reasons why your German Shepherd only had two puppies. It could be due to genetics, health problems, or simply because she was not well-nourished during pregnancy. If you are concerned about why your dog only had two puppies, speak to your veterinarian for more information.

How Long Is A German Shepherd Pregnant For?

A German Shepherd is pregnant for about nine weeks. During this time, she will gain weight and her belly will swell as the puppies grow inside her. She may become more tired and restless as birth approaches. She may also experience some water retention, but she will never get fat or swollen.

Nursing Problems

You may have noticed that your dog is not eating well or is losing weight during pregnancy. This is common, as she will be focusing all of her energy on the puppies. Your dog may also try to hide food in an attempt to deceive you.

This behavior can be caused by a number of issues. If your dog was sick or weak during pregnancy, you may notice this problem as well. Your dog may also be experiencing some form of postpartum depression.

During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, your dog will lose interest in everything except for the puppies. She may become aggressive towards cats and other dogs. This is because she does not have the mental capacity to focus on anything besides the puppies. In addition to this, your dog may start eliminating more often than normal. This is because she is not having regular “clean-ups” in her digestive tract. As a result, she may also experience incontinence.

Late Miscarriage

Most puppies are born within the first four weeks of pregnancy. If your dog is giving birth later than expected, you should take her to the veterinarian immediately. If she has been overdue for several days, it is a good idea to have your veterinarian monitor her throughout the pregnancy.

Postpartum Depression

This is an anxiety disorder that affects many dogs after they give birth. In most cases, this will be treated with medication and behavioral therapy. Your veterinarian can also refer you to a mental health professional if necessary.

Puppy Care

A pregnant German Shepherd is as devoted to her puppies as she is to her human family. She will be fiercely protective of them and expect the same treatment in return. The father should feel free to participate in their care as well since he will be helping with their upbringing.

Dog moms generally have an easier time with the birthing process. A vet may offer to assist if they can’t be present for the delivery. If not, natural birth is possible. The mother should feel comfortable pushing during this time. Expect the placenta to come out within a few minutes of giving birth.

The mother will lick and play with her pups after birth. She won’t bond with them immediately, but within two to three days, you should notice significant changes in her behavior. After a week, she will begin sleeping and eating more. At this point, she should be fully recovered from the pregnancy.

At approximately ten days, your dog will have lost interest in her litter. However, she may still be caring for them by licking them or moving them to a warmer spot. She will leave them soon after, but not before giving birth to any dead pups.

If you decide to keep your pup, socialize them as soon as possible. And take great care of them.

What are the most puppies a German Shepherd ever had?

The most puppies a German Shepherd ever had was 16. The dam, which was 3 years old at the time, gave birth to the large adorable litter on March 22, 2022. All of the puppies and the dam were doing well.

Final Thoughts

If you’re thinking of getting a German Shepherd, you may be wondering how many puppies they can have in a litter. German Shepherds can have anywhere from one to twelve puppies in a litter, but the average litter size is eight. So, if you’re looking for a big family of German Shepherds, you may want to consider getting two or more.

What do you think?

Written by Jack

Jack is the founder of Germanshepherdsfamily, a german shepherds specific website where you'll find everything you need to know if you are a true lover of the German Shepherd breed!

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