How Many Puppies Can a Golden Retriever have?
One of the most lovable dog breeds around, the Golden Retriever is a true family friendly dog. Whether you are hoping to expand your furry family or perhaps you are unsure your dog is even pregnant, oneHOWTO are here to help. Although the average litter size of a healthy golden retriever is eight puppies, there are factors that can affect this number. Keep reading to find out how many puppies can a golden retriever have.
Signs & symptoms that your golden retriever is pregnant
If you think your dog may be pregnant but are not quite sure, look out for these signs and symptoms. It is vital you are there for your pregnant pooch during this time. Unlike humans, a Golden Retriever's gestation period will last an average of 63 days. The earliest they seem to go into labor is around 2 or 3 days early, and may go 2 to 3 days late. She will go through many similar changes just as a woman would.
- Reduced Appetite
- More affectionate
- Weight gain
- Enlarged nipples
- Vaginal discharge
Loss of appetite may be the first noticeable sign of your dog's pregnancy. She may even lose weight initially before she gains it back. However, during the middle of her pregnancy, her appetite will return with a vengeance!
Early on in her pregnancy, your Golden Retriever will probably have no interest in exercise and be sleeping much more than normal.
When pregnant, most Golden Retrievers become extremely affectionate. There can be some exceptions who wish to be left alone. This change in behavior usually only lasts the first few weeks.
After only a few weeks, you may notice weight gain. As the puppies grow inside your Golden Retriever, her stomach will bloat. The size of her belly depends on the position of the puppies. On rare occasions you may not be able to tell your dog is pregnant until the last 10 days of gestation.
Towards the end of the pregnancy - half way through the 3rd trimester - your dog's nipples will begin to enlarge. During the last few days, you may even see some milk leakage. The puppies will shortly arrive once this happens, so be prepared!
As your Golden Retriever goes through changes, she will begin to have vaginal discharge. This can occur around 1 or 2 months into the pregnancy. The discharge will normally be clear or milky colored. If it is pink or bloody, contact your vet immediately.
Factors that influence litter size
A variety of factors determine the size of a Golden Retriever's litter.
- If your Golden Retriever's mother had large litters, she may too. Litter size in Golden Retrievers can be influenced by their parents health.
- Physical condition is more influential though. For example, an obese dog is more likely to have a small litter size.
- Age is an important factor too. Litters are smaller when females are younger and when they're older than when they're 3 to 5 years old range tend to have more puppies.
- The size of your dog will influence her litter size as well. Since a Golden Retriever is considered a large breed, her litter size will be relatively large too.
- Her diet is also a major influence. Good nutrition is important to maximize the size of a litter.
Litter size is also determined by the time of breeding. It can also depend on how strong the male dog's sperm was or if your dog was in heat for the first time when she was bred or not.
How many puppies do they usually have?
The average litter size of a healthy Golden Retriever is eight puppies. Yet their litter size can vary between four to twelve puppies. The best thing to do in preparation is to ask the vet to estimate litter size. You can also arrange an X-ray after 45 days of pregnancy, which will give you a good indication.
Sometimes when your pet is about 4-5 weeks along, you can feel her puppies. And if you watch carefully, you can sometimes see the puppies moving or feel them if you touch the uterus area. It is a very exciting time!
Once the pups arrive
Before allowing your dog to get pregnant, it is important that you consider every little detail properly. Of course, on occasion your dog will fall pregnant accidentally. Bear in mind the space, patience and financial resources needed. It is important to remember that puppies must stay with their mum for the first two months of their lives.
Puppies are hard work. Do not forget that you are responsible for these animals. Take care of them well and make sure you find them a good home if you decide not to keep them.
OneHOWTO does not support breeding. But we do encourage new puppies to be given to the right family if their previous owner is unfit to take care of them.If you enjoyed this article, you may be interested in: How Many Puppies can a Husky Have or When to Start Walking a Puppy.
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