Poodles are a unique dog breed that is among the top ten favorites in the United States. It’s no surprise that Poodle puppies are high in demand for individuals and families alike.
So, how many puppies can a Poodle have? A few factors can affect litter size, but Poodles will have an average litter of 3-7 pups.
As a Poodle expert, I get asked about litter sizes often – people are curious! Below we will discuss the average litter sizes of each Poodle breed and the various circumstances that affect how many puppies a Poodle can have.
Does Size Matter?
Although Toy, Miniature, and Standard Poodles are all the same breed, they have some differences. There are also mixed breeds and non-official Poodle classifications, such as Goldendoodles.
On average, larger breeds tend to have more puppies than small breeds. So, if you’re curious about a hybrid or non-official breed, you can get an idea of the litter size based on the dog’s size in question.
How Many Puppies Can a Poodle Have?
Depending on the official breed, here are how many puppies a Poodle can have.
Standard Poodles are the largest recognized breed. On average, standards will weigh 50-70 pounds and reach an average height of 18-24 inches.
Generally speaking, large dog breeds tend to have more puppies than smaller breeds. Standards will have an average of seven puppies per litter.
Although Standard Poodles can have more per litter, they have a shorter life expectancy, roughly 12-15 years. Pregnancy can be demanding of dogs, especially later in life, so they may not give birth to as many litters as smaller breeds.
Miniature Poodles are one size smaller than Standard Poodles. They weigh an average of 10-15 pounds and typically weigh between 10-15 pounds.
These small or medium-sized dogs will have fewer pups per litter than the Standard Poodle but more than a Toy Poodle. Usually, you can expect a Miniature Poodle to have five puppies.
Because Miniature Poodles are smaller, they have a greater life expectancy of about 10-18 years.
Last but not least, Toy Poodles are the smallest of the three recognized breeds (and often the most expensive). These small dogs will only reach about 5-10 pounds and will be under a foot tall.
As with Miniature Poodles, Toy Poodles will live an average life span of 10-18 years. Unlike Miniatures, Toys will have around three puppies in each litter.
Because the litters are much smaller than other Poodle breeds, they are rare and more in demand.
What Are the Factors That Affect a Poodle Litter Size?
Now that you know the average Poodle litter size, it’s important to look at the factors that can affect the number of puppies.
While it’s impossible to guess exactly how many puppies a mama Poodle will give birth to, there are measures you can take to ensure a healthy litter.
Poodle Mom’s Age and Health
Like humans, age and health are extremely important for pregnant Poodles. As a Poodle gets older, its litter size will get smaller.
Even if the mom is in her prime years, her health will play an essential role in litter size and health. If the female Poodle is unhealthy prior to pregnancy or once she is pregnant, there tend to be fewer puppies.
Poodle owners need to ensure the mom is healthy. A healthy diet that’s rich in protein will give her a greater chance of having a larger litter of pups.
Poodles should always get plenty of exercise, mental stimulation through play, and nutritious foods for optimal health. Overweight or unhealthy Poodles will yield smaller litters.
Poodle Dad’s Age and Health
Mom’s age isn’t the only one that matters; the male Poodle should be in its prime breeding years. After a male Poodle reaches five years old, his sperm count starts to decrease.
Ideally, the Poodle dad will be at least one and half years old and under five years old. Not only does this give the mom a greater probability of a big litter, but a better chance of having puppies at all.
Additionally, the health of the male dog may affect its sperm count. A male dog may struggle with infertility if it has diseases such as arthritis.
The Number Times the Mom Has Given Birth
Typically, you should expect a smaller litter the first few times around. Once the mom successfully gives birth to two litters, she’ll likely have more puppies during the third and fourth pregnancies.
When Should Poodles Have Puppies?
A female Poodle will usually go into heat for the first time within the first year, sometimes as young as six months old.
Once she enters heat, she will be able to get pregnant. However, it would be best if you waited until the Poodle is two years or older to breed for her safety.
How Often Should Poodles Give Birth?
You may have heard that a female dog should give birth at least once in her life. However, this isn’t true, and you do not need to breed your dog unless it’s something you desire.
If you decide to breed Poodles, it’s essential to ensure you take all safety precautions. At most, breed one female Poodle three times. Each pregnancy wears dogs down, so it’s best not to overdo it.
There are a couple of methods Poodle breeders use. Some breeders will breed every other heat, while others will breed twice in a row before giving her a break.
The most important thing is that the mom isn’t giving birth each and every time she goes into heat. Additionally, you should not breed a female Poodle after she is 8-9 years old.
Although she can get pregnant, it will be harder on her older body.
On the other hand, if you’re in the market for a Poodle puppy, make sure to vet your breeder properly. Make sure they are ethical, and put importance on the health of their dogs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the most frequently asked questions regarding how many puppies a Poodle can have:
What is the largest known Poodle litter?
Despite the average Poodle litter being 3-7 puppies, one Standard Poodle gave birth to a whopping 16 puppies. Charlie, the female dog who gave birth to the large litter, was very healthy at a prime age.
Although it’s unlikely and extremely rare for litters that big, she’s an excellent example of what breeders should do. The healthier the pup, the better the chance of a large litter.
How long is a Poodle pregnant?
Dogs will be pregnant for an average of 63 days, which is similar to that of a Poodle. She may have a pregnancy that lasts as little as 59 days or as much as 65 days, both of which are normal.
You’ll know your Poodle is ready to give birth when her internal body temperature drops. Get ready; a decreased body temperature signals that she will likely be in labor within the next 24 hours.
How often do Poodles go into heat?
Each Poodle breed is different, and the dog’s size will affect the number of yearly cycles. On average, Toys and Miniatures will go into heat 2-4 times per year.
Standard Poodles will likely go into heat once or twice each year.
How do you know if your Poodle is pregnant?
Dogs have similar pregnancy symptoms to that humans. You may notice that your Poodle is taking more naps or seems tired more than usual. Exhaustion is one of the first signs your Poodle is pregnant.
Depending on where she is at in her pregnancy, she may have a smaller appetite or even vomit. Throwing up is similar to morning sickness that human mothers experience.
- Note that human pregnancy tests do NOT work for Poodle or any dogs. They measure HCG which is a hormone that dogs do not produce.
On the other hand, she may be hungrier and show a desire for more food. As her hormones fluctuate, her appetite will likely fluctuate.
A pregnant Poodle may have some behavioral changes. She may want to snuggle up to you more often, or she may want more time alone.
Physically, you’ll know your Poodle is pregnant if she has larger or darker nipples than usual. She’ll also have a bigger belly later in her pregnancy. If you notice weight gain, this is a signal to take her to the vet.
As she reaches the time she’ll give birth, she may start exhibiting nesting behaviors. You may notice her gather blankets, pillows, or other bedding to create a nest-like area.
During your Poodle’s last couple of weeks of pregnancy, she may be crabbier. You may need to give her some space and keep her away from any children until she gives birth.
The dog’s size will be the most significant factor when determining litter size. Larger dogs have larger litters, while small-sized dogs will have smaller litters. Poodles are a highly sought-after dog, so breeders hope for a large litter.
Whether you are a Poodle breeder or an individual looking to purchase a puppy, it’s crucial to ensure the mom is healthy. Healthy Poodles between 1.5 and 5 years old will have a better chance of giving birth to a large litter.