How Many Puppies Can a German Shepherd Have?

Wondering about the litter size of a female German Shepherd? Don’t worry about it. In this blog, we will discuss how many puppies can a German Shepherd have?

Are you excited about the newcomer? Or curious to know about the litter size of your German Shepherd? You have come to the right place. The German Shepherds are large size dogs whose litter size varies. Some factors affect the size of the litter. To know more about it, keep reading this blog.

Furthermore, some people say that the genes of the German Shepherd do not affect the litter size. However, according to many breeders, genes play a crucial role in the German Shepherd’s pregnancy. Moreover, the litter size also varies as per the age of the parent dogs.

In this article, we will consider all the factors to understand how the litter gets affected. Also, how the behavior of your dog changes due to pregnancy. If you have all these questions in your mind then keep reading to know more.


How many puppies can a German shepherd have at once?

German Shepherds are large size dogs therefore, they can have very large litters. If you are wondering about the litter size of a German Shepherd then this is the right place for you. The German Shepherds make wonderful mothers that can breed from 1 single puppy to 15 puppies. However, most often the litter size is around 8 puppies. Most of the time with the German Shepherds, the first pup will be a male.

To better understand the phases of pregnancy of your German Shepherd, you have to see the pregnancy calendar. In the pregnancy calendar, all the phases are categorized according to the phase each week.

Dog pregnancy calendar

In the first 2 weeks, the fertilized eggs can reach the uterus and you will feel the change in behavior of your dog. Furthermore, in the 3rd week, the eggs will start to grow and your girl dog will develop her breast.

However, in the 4th and 5th weeks, the belly of your dog will start to grow. Also, this week, your dog will need to eat more to keep up her energy.

In the 6th week, your German Shepherd will start to feel uncomfortable because there will be just 2 weeks left for her to give birth to puppies.

In the 7th week, your dog belly will even grow more because it’s nearly time for puppies to come into this world. In the 8th week, your dog will get dull. This is a very crucial week and you need to take extra care of her.

In the last 9th week, the puppies will come into this world however, it will be very hard for your dogs. Therefore, stay with her to support her.

The pregnancy weeks will be tough for your dog. Therefore, you need to take care of her more. Also, you can spend more time with her to let her know that she is safe with you. This is the time when your dog needs you the most.

Moreover, you can take her out for exercise in this period. However, if she refuses to do then you don’t need to force her. Besides, you can also buy some toys to keep her from getting bored.

A lot of people ask about how many puppies can a German shepherd have in her first litter? We have got all the answers for you.

There is no fixed number for it. Besides, generally, a female German shepherd can have 8 puppies the first time in her litter. Still, the number gets affected by factors such as nutritional needs.

The German shepherd is a very large breed. Therefore, they need full nutrition to be active. Moreover, in the pregnancy period, Nutrition plays a crucial role in defining a litter size.

For a large litter size, you need to feed top-quality Nutrition because some part of her food will go to her puppies. You need to feed her protein-rich food. Also, you need to look for high-quality food rather than quantity.

Apart from that, your dog’s litter size can also be affected by their age. Male dogs can make more pups when they are between 1.5 and 5 years old. Afterward, the male dog gets weakened and the sperm count starts to reduce. Thus, the female will only have a small size litter.

Moreover, the age of the female dog also affects the litter size. A young female German shepherd can give birth to more puppies as compared to the aged one.

Not just age but also, the health of a dog affects the litter size. The litter size will be large when your female German shepherd is healthy. There can be different health problems that can affect the German shepherd’s litter size.

For this reason, you need to check whether your dog is healthy or not before starting breeding. This just does no affects the litter size, but also, can be dangerous for puppies and your female dog. Due to all these factors, there is no specific answer to how many puppies can a German shepherd have the first time.

When the puppies are born, you will need to care for them too. For that, you need to understand the weaning phase of your dog. The weaning of the puppies starts around 3-4 weeks of age. The breeders recommend worming the puppies every 2 weeks from the age of 3 weeks to 14 weeks.


The dog is your loyal companion and is always there in your good and bad times. However, this is the time, your dog will need you to be there for her. So, you should take extra care of her.

Moreover, if you are concerned about how many puppies can a German Shepherd have? You will need to consider these factors for that. Generally, she can have 8 puppies in her first litter. However, this number can be affected. Whether it’s a small size litter or a big one, the most important thing is taking care of her.