Although some dog breeds can give birth to many puppies, that doesn't mean that all puppies survive the birth process. It's common for dogs to give birth to 8 puppies, but only four or five survive. So how many puppies survive in a litter? On average, 3 to 6 puppies survive in a litter. This is based on several factors, including genetics, and whether or not the owner helps the dog during childbirth.
With the right help, about 8 puppies can survive. It's not uncommon for a dog to produce 8 puppies, but only 5 of them survive. Some may be stillborn and others may not survive the first 24 hours of life. The number of puppies your dog can have varies a lot.
Smaller breed dogs usually have 1 to 4 pups per litter. Normal litter size can range from 1 to 12 puppies, with 5-6 puppies on average across all dogs. But just as each dog breed differs in size, function and personality, they also differ when it comes to litter size, according to AKC registration data. Large dogs tend to have larger litters, while small dogs tend to have smaller litters, most obviously because the size allows larger dogs to have more puppies safely.
Although most puppies were born by extraction and repeated injections of oxytocin, a cesarean section was not performed. Over the next 5 weeks, five other puppies died or were euthanized; the loss of puppies from birth to 8 weeks was 7.5%. Miniature breeds generally produce litters of 3.5 puppies, while large breeds generally produce 7.1 puppies per litter. Perinatal mortality was defined as the sum of stillborn puppies and puppies that died during the first week after birth (early neonatal mortality) and was present in 24.6% of litters.
It's not uncommon for a puppy to lose up to 5% of its body weight on the first day, but it must gain weight over the next few days to survive. For example, a 45-pound Labrador Retriever can produce a litter of only five or six puppies, while an 85-pound Lab can produce a litter of 10 or more. Dachshunds usually have 1 to 6 puppies per litter, but they may have more depending on the size of the dog. The average number of puppies in a litter of German Shorthaired Pointer ranges from 8 to 12 puppies, but smaller and larger litters are expected.
Most of the time, evolutionary pressures result in the litter size most appropriate to a species' life history and survival strategy. Just because my dog, who is a Jack Russell Chihuahua and Boston Terrier, gave birth on his own to a litter of 12 puppies but only 11 survived. Another mother had 6 live puppies and 6 stillbirths; 24 hours after the birth of the first puppy, 2 puppies died by caesarean section were given birth. To avoid this, the mother should be cared for by the breeder when nursing and feeding her puppies until they are 2 weeks old.
So how many puppies will live? Based on the above factors, you can estimate how many puppies survived during the gestation period. An average of 0.8 puppies per litter (10.9%) were stillborn (n %3D 81, 38 males, 27 females, 16 of unknown gender). A puppy that is apparently normal at birth, but does not survive beyond 2 weeks of age, is often called a fader.