How Many Puppies Can a Pitbull Have? Pitbulls’ Litter Sizes Explained

As a Pitbull owner, you might be thinking about breeding your dog for profit. However, you need to take into consideration how many puppies your Pitbull can have and prepare accordingly

So, how many puppies can a Pitbull have? Pitbulls can have 5 to 7 puppies per litter. The size of the litter will depend on various factors including the dog’s fertility level, size, age, heat cycle stage, and whether the puppies are a result of inbreeding. You can determine the exact number of puppies before delivery by an ultrasound scan.

Keep reading to learn more about the factors that determine the size of a Pitbull’s litter, how to tell that your Pitbull is pregnant, and how to take care of a pregnant Pitbull.

How Many Puppies Can Pitbull Have?

Pitbull puppies sleeping to explain how many puppies can a pitbull have

It’s important for dog owners and breeders to know the number of puppies their pregnant dogs will have before delivery so they can make arrangements to accommodate the new puppies in their homes or set up new owners for them.

On average, Pitbulls can have a litter of 5 to 7 puppies. To determine the exact number of puppies your dog will have, you can take it to a vet when it’s about week 5 of pregnancy to get an ultrasound scan.

Keep in mind that the size of a Pitbull’s litter also depends on various factors including the dog’s fertility level, size, age, heat cycle stage, and whether the puppies are a result of inbreeding.

The Factors That Determine the Size of a Pitbull’s Litter

Let’s break down the factors that determine the size of a Pitbull’s litter in more detail:

Fertility Level

A female Pitbull is likely to inherit its mother’s fertility level. So, if the dog was born in a large litter, it’s likely to also give birth to a large litter.


The Pitbull’s size will affect the number of puppies it can carry in its belly. So, the larger the dog is, the more likely it is to give birth to a large litter.


The dog’s age affects its health, and in turn, its ability to give birth. So, the younger and healthier the dog is, the more likely it is to give birth to a large litter.

Although a female dog will remain fertile for all of its life, it’s highly recommended not to breed a dog if it’s over the age of 8.

That is because the dog’s health at that time might not allow it to carry a litter of puppies safely and you’ll be putting the dog and the puppies at a huge risk.


Inbreeding, also known as line breeding, means breeding two dogs that are closely related to reinforce a certain genetic trait in the puppies. This often results in a smaller litter, as few as 2 or 3 puppies.

Keep in mind that this kind of breeding should only be done by experienced breeders as it can easily lead to deformities in the puppies.

Heat Cycle

Pitbulls go into heat twice a year, every 9 to 10 months. The duration of the heat itself tends to last 2 to 3 weeks.

Breeding the dog during its heat will likely result in a larger litter as its ovulation will be higher.

Learning about your dog’s heat cycle is a must for every dog owner, so you should definitely take a minute to read this simplified guide to pitbull’s heat cycle. It also has an infographic that you can save or pin to get back to later more easily, so check it out!

How to Tell That Your Pitbull Is Pregnant?

Pitbulls usually don’t show any physical signs of pregnancy until they’re about 40 days pregnant. Before they start to show, it might be difficult to tell that they’re pregnant without getting a blood test or an ultrasound scan.

However, there are some signs and symptoms you can look out for that usually indicate that the dog is pregnant. So, let’s take a look at these signs and symptoms:

  • Lack of Energy – Your dog will start to get exhausted very quickly after doing simple activities or it’ll be sleeping more than usual.
  • Changes in Temperament – Your dog will go through sudden changes in temperament and frequent mood swings. Sometimes it will be affectionate or clingy and other times, it will be grumpy or distant.
  • Nausea and Vomiting – Your dog will have constantly suffer from nausea and vomiting which is commonly referred to as “Morning Sickness”
  • Increase in Appetite – Your dog will start eating a lot more than it usually does as most of its calorie and nutrient intake goes into maintaining its energy levels and developing its puppies.
  • Nipple Changes – Your dog’s nipples will start becoming darker and more rounded in shape. There will also be some hair loss around the nipple area in preparation for nursing.
  • Swollen Vulva – Your dog’s vulva will be swollen during its heat, but it will not return to its normal size if there’s a pregnancy.

How Long Does a Pitbull’s Pregnancy Last?

Most Pitbulls tend to follow the same pregnancy schedule period. Their pregnancy will last for about 58 to 68 days (9 weeks) from the day of conceiving.

They are expected to birth at any time during that 10-day period, however, it’s very common for them to give birth on the 63rd day from the day of conceiving.

It’s important for dog owners and breeders to keep track of the dog’s pregnancy schedule to determine when their dog is expected to give birth and prepare accordingly.

Of course, this means you should know what to expect at every stage of your dog’s pregnancy, which is why I’ve made this week-by-week guide to pitbull’s pregnancy (timeline) that you can use, so make sure to check it out (and bookmark it for later use).

How to Take Care of a Pregnant Pitbull?

Pregnancy can be very strenuous for your Pitbull’s physical and mental health.

You need to take care of your dog properly throughout the duration of the pregnancy to ensure that will remain healthy and deliver its puppies safely.

Here are some tips you can follow to take care of a pregnant Pitbull:

  • Try to keep your dog comfortable at all times and make sure it has a safe where it can rest and sleep.
  • Make sure to give your dog the attention it wants when it seeks you out and cuddle with it if it’s feeling clingy and affectionate. On the other hand, if the dog is feeling distant or overwhelmed, make sure to give it some space to be alone.
  • Try not to punish your dog too harshly when it acts out or has an accident inside the house as this might stress it out further and cause its behavior to escalate.
  • Make sure to increase your dog’s calorie intake to sate its increased appetite and help it maintain its energy levels.
  • Make sure that the dog’s food contains healthy nutrients such as proteins and omega-3 fatty acids, and try to avoid any canned food that contains high levels of preservatives or byproducts.
  • Try to limit your dog’s exercise and any other intense physical activities to avoid overexerting it. If you want to take your dog on a walk, make sure to keep it short and give your dog a break whenever it needs.
  • Make sure to monitor your dog’s physical and behavioral changes, and keep track of its pregnancy schedule.
  • Try to take your dog to a veterinarian for regular health check-ups throughout the pregnancy. You can also get an ultrasound scan to check on the state of the puppies.
  • Make sure to prepare a whelping area for your dog when it’s time to deliver its puppies. You can use any area that’s separate from other pets and humans so that your dog can feel safe and comfortable during the delivery.

How Do Pitbulls Give Birth?

In most cases, Pitbulls will give birth naturally by pushing the puppies out on their own. The birth will take around 30-40 minutes, depending on the size of the litter.

However, if the dog has been pushing for over 20 minutes and the puppies are still not coming out, then it’s highly recommended to take it to a veterinarian as there might be complications with the birth.

In case of any complications, your dog might have to get a C-section which is a surgical procedure that involves cutting open the dog’s belly and uterus to remove the puppies.

Conclusion: Should Your Breed Your Pitbull?

Just because you can breed your Pitbull, doesn’t necessarily mean you should. As mentioned before, pregnancy can be strenuous on the dog’s physical and mental health.

As a responsible owner, you need to make sure that you will be able to give your dog the best care possible through its pregnancy to ensure that will remain healthy and deliver its puppies safely.

It’s high unadvised to attempt breeding Pitbulls if you don’t have enough experience or without professional help.

If you’re not planning on keeping the newborn puppies, make sure you have new owners or buyers lined up for them before you even breed your dog to avoid having to send these puppies to shelters.

You must be asking how much should you ask for a puppy? This can change quite a lot depending on many things, so I’ve made this guide to how much should Pitbull puppies cost that can greatly help you.

Related Questions

How to Tell That Your Pitbull Is Going into Labor?

You can tell that your Pitbull is going into labor by looking out for some signs including severe lack of energy, loss of appetite, rapid drop in body temperature, restless pacing, and nesting behavior. Make sure to contact your vet once you notice any sign of labor in case there are any complications.

Are C-sections Safe for Pitbulls?

C-sections are safe for Pitbulls as the procedure is performed by experienced veterinarians. However, there might be some complications due to putting the dog under anesthesia such as difficulty with ensuring that the dog is getting enough oxygen and preventing the dog from choking on its vomit.

How Much Do Pitbull Puppies Cost?

Pitbull puppies cost from $500 to $2000, and some Pitbulls can cost up to $10,000. It mainly depends on the dog’s breed, the quality of its bloodline, and its color. It can also depend on where you purchase the dog, the reputation of the breeder, its vaccination status, and whether it has any guarantees.  

Helpful Resources 

Average Litter Sizes: How Many Dogs Are Born in a Litter?

Caring for a Newborn Puppy

Raising Newborn Puppies

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