Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.
A Dachshund is a small breed of dog that is known for its long body and short legs.
They are energetic and playful and make great pets for families.
When it comes to reproduction, just how many puppies can a Dachshund have then?
Dachshunds have on average 4 puppies in a litter. Most commonly, the range is between 3 and 6 puppies. While the first litter will be smaller, sometimes only 1 to 2 puppies, subsequent births will see a larger litter. The number of puppies a Dachshund can have in a litter depends on several factors, including the age and health of the mother.
In this article, we will explore how many puppies a Dachshund can have, what factors can affect the size of their litter, and dive a bit into their pregnancies.
- Some Facts and Trivia About Dachshund Dogs
- How Many Puppies Can a Dachshund Have in One Litter?
- How Big Is a Dachshund Puppy at Birth?
- How Many Healthy Litters Can a Dachshund Have in Their Lifetime?
- What Determines the Number of Dachshund Puppies in a Litter?
- At What Age Can You Breed a Dachshund?
- What Age Do Dachshunds Go in Heat?
- How Do You Know if Your Dachshund is in Heat?
- How Often Do Dachshunds Go Into Heat?
- How Long Does a Dachshund Stay in Heat?
- How to Tell if My Dachshund is Pregnant?
- How Long is a Dachshund Pregnant for?
- How Do I Know When My Dachshund is About to Give Birth?
- Routine Care Tips for a Pregnant Dachshund
- Should You Breed a Dachshund?
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- In Conclusion: How Many Puppies Can a Dachshund Have?
Some Facts and Trivia About Dachshund Dogs
- Dachshund is pronounced Daks-huunt!
- They were initially bred to hunt burrowing rabbits, other small animals, and badgers in their underground lairs. Even today, the size of the rabbit hole a dachshund can fit into is still used as a standard of measurement in Germany.
- During the 1969 holiday party of the Munich 1972 Olympic organizing committee, the concept for Waldi the dachshund was born. To create a mascot, attendees used modeling clay and crayons. Since dachshunds are renowned for their bravery and athleticism, the vibrant dog was the ideal face for the Olympics.
- Dachshunds have a variety of coats because there are three different coat types and numerous possible color combinations. Shorthaired, longhaired, and wirehaired are the three types of coats.
How Many Puppies Can a Dachshund Have in One Litter?
When it comes to reproduction, Dachshunds can have litters of puppies that range in size from just one to six.
The number of puppies a Dachshund can have in one litter depends on several factors, including the age and health of the mother, which I will share more about later.
Miniature Dachshunds tend to have smaller litters than standard Dachshunds.
In general, a miniature Dachshund can have anywhere from one to three puppies in a litter, while a standard Dachshund will have three to six.
However, these numbers are just averages, and individual Dachshunds can have litters that are larger or smaller than these averages.
Fun fact: the largest Dachshund litter is 10, and that feat belongs to Cheesecake, who lives in England. Her owner is Stacey Whiteley. This amazing delivery took place in November 2021.
How Big Is a Dachshund Puppy at Birth?
Dachshunds are small dogs, and that is perfectly represented in their puppies.
When Dachshunds are born, they weigh no more than just 4 to 6 ounces.
At this stage, the puppies are incredibly vulnerable to infections and other health problems, so it’s important to take them to a veterinarian as soon as possible for their first round of vaccinations and other treatments.
The breed standard for Dachshunds is between 16 to 32 pounds (females tend to be smaller) and the weight can vary slightly depending on genetics, diet, and activity level.
How Many Healthy Litters Can a Dachshund Have in Their Lifetime?
All dogs, including Dachshunds, do not go through menopause and can conceive all the way up into their senior years.
In general, their heat cycle lasts six to eight months or roughly twice a year.
However, knowing this fact does not mean that this should be done.
Dachshunds shouldn’t breed more than four to six times in their lifetime and shouldn’t mate more than once a year.
Your dog will experience a lot of stress due to overbreeding, which can result in heart disease, arthritis, and infertility, among other health issues.
Stopping early also allows a breeder to spay their dog while they are still quite young and let them enjoy a quality life in their retirement.
You should realize the significance of not overbreeding once you take into account that in some countries it is against the law to breed a dog more than four to six times during its lifetime.
In the US, the American Kennel Club (AKC) does not accept registrations for dams that are bred over the age of 12 and under 8 months, and sires that are over the age of 12 and under 7 months.
Read this too: What is the oldest age a dog can have puppies?
What Determines the Number of Dachshund Puppies in a Litter?
In this section, we’ll discuss the key factors that determine the number of Dachshund puppies in a litter.
1. Age of the dam
In general, younger dams are more likely to have larger litters than older dams.
This is because younger dams are typically more fertile and have stronger reproductive systems, which allows them to produce more eggs and carry more puppies.
Additionally, younger dams are usually in better overall health than older dams, which can also contribute to larger litters.
This is because good health is essential for successful reproduction, and dogs who are in poor health may have trouble carrying and delivering a litter of puppies.
2. Age of the sire
The father of your Dachshunds will also have an impact on the size of the litter, albeit less so than the dam.
Even if the female is highly productive, there may be fewer puppies in each litter since the quality of a dog’s sperm begins to decline between the ages of 5 and 6.
Younger sires typically have higher sperm counts and greater fertility than older sires, which allows them to fertilize more eggs and produce more puppies.
The key message: refrain from breeding senior dogs.
3. Health of the mom
Good health is essential for successful reproduction, and dogs who are in poor health may have trouble carrying and delivering a litter of puppies.
For example, a dam that is well-nourished and receives regular veterinary care is more likely to have a healthy, successful pregnancy and a larger litter of puppies.
Prior to becoming pregnant, it’s crucial to keep an eye on a dog’s emotional and physical well-being and to make sure it receives plenty of affection, care, attention, exercise, and mental stimulation.
Additionally, nutrition has a big impact on how many puppies are born in a litter.
All year round, high-quality, protein-rich food should be provided to increase the possibility of producing a larger litter.
Mothers who receive inadequate nutrition, especially those who are overweight, frequently have smaller litters.
4. Size of dog
In general, dogs within the same breed can differ quite a bit in size too. This is due to larger body frames in some dogs, just like us humans.
Because of that, it also plays a part in the number of puppies a Dachshund can have.
Larger dams typically have a higher likelihood of having a larger litter.
5. Litter in which mom was born
Your Dachshund’s level of fertility will depend in part on the litter it was born into.
She’ll probably have a bigger first litter if she was born into a big litter herself.
On the other hand, if your girl was born in a small litter herself, you can typically expect that she will have a small first litter.
6. Type of breeding
Just keep in mind that the type of breeding might significantly affect both the number and quality of the puppies.
For instance, severe inbreeding will lower the quality of a litter.
The puppies’ health will be impaired, which can lead to smaller litters, shorter lives, and a higher chance of inherited diseases (such Von Willebrand’s disease).
These difficulties are more likely to occur with two dogs that are closely related.
Linebreeding, on the other hand, aims to maintain sufficient genetic diversity while preserving the best genes from a bloodline, making it frequently a safer method of dog breeding.
7. Time of breeding
It is said that a dam is more likely to have a larger litter size the closer she is to ovulation.
This is defined as the period after the estrogen period when the Luteinizing hormone triggers ovulation.
Unfortunately, I have not been able to find any studies supporting this theory, so at this point, I would say this factor is probably not that significant.
At What Age Can You Breed a Dachshund?
When a Dachshund reaches its first heat cycle, it can start breeding, but this should never be done.
They normally have their first heat cycle between the ages of 6 and 8 months, which is far too young for them to begin breeding.
If you want to allow your dog enough time to grow sexually and acquire weight and size, wait until she is at least in her second or third heat cycle.
Most ethical and responsible breeders will wait till a Dachshund is at least 2 years old before breeding them. This would give them sufficient time to complete all the necessary medical checks which can identify potential for inherited diseases or conditions.
What Age Do Dachshunds Go in Heat?
Most female Dachshunds go through their first heat cycle between the ages of 6 and 8 months.
If your girl hasn’t gone through her first heat cycle by the time she is 15 months old, speak with your veterinarian to rule out any underlying medical conditions.
A useful rule of thumb is that it will go into heat at about the same age that its mother did.
How Do You Know if Your Dachshund is in Heat?
There are several signs that a dog is in heat, or estrus, which is the period of time when a female dog is sexually receptive and can become pregnant.
The most common signs of a dog being in heat include:
- Swelling of the vulva: The vulva, which is the external genitalia of the female dog, may become swollen and enlarged when the dog is in heat. This swelling can be quite noticeable, and is often the first sign that a dog is in heat.
- Vaginal discharge: During estrus, the female dog will produce a bloody or bloody-tinged vaginal discharge. This discharge is normal and is a sign that the dog is in heat.
- Increased urination: Female dogs in heat often urinate more frequently than usual. This is because the increased hormones in the dog’s body can cause an increase in blood flow to the kidneys, which can cause the dog to urinate more frequently.
- Increased affection: Female dogs in heat may become more affectionate and attentive towards their owners, and may also be more interested in male dogs. This increased attention and affection is due to the hormonal changes in the dog’s body during estrus.
- Behavioral changes: Female dogs in heat may exhibit changes in their behavior, such as restlessness, pacing, and whining. These behavioral changes are caused by the hormonal changes in the dog’s body during estrus, potentially making them more agitated, anxious, or display aggressive behavior.
Here are a few more points to look out for:
- Excessive licking of the genital area
- Holding its tail close to the body
- More receptive to male dogs
- Change in appetite
How Often Do Dachshunds Go Into Heat?
A Dachshund will go into heat about once every 6 months, but this can vary depending on each individual dog.
Once your dog has experienced its first two 2 heat cycles, the period between them will be more consistent in time to come.
While some dogs’ cycles could be a little bit longer or shorter than others, you should be keeping track of when they happen.
Consult your veterinarian to determine whether there is anything that could be causing your dog’s variable seasons.
There is often more time between seasons as dogs get older (but can still get pregnant).
How Long Does a Dachshund Stay in Heat?
When we refer to a dog as being in heat, we typically mean that it is in the estrus stage of the heat cycle, which is when they actually see “action” with a male dog.
The entire cycle is as follows, and it is during the estrus period when a dog will show all the signs discussed above:
- Phase 1: Proestrus (~7 to 10 days)
- Phase 2: Estrus (~5 to 14 days)
- Phase 3: Diestrus (~10 to 140 days)
- Phase 4: Anestrus (~6 months)
How to Tell if My Dachshund is Pregnant?
Here are the most common signs that your Dachshund is pregnant:
- Nipples enlarged
- Increased hunger
- Irritability (may have a short temper)
- Decrease in activity and energy levels
- Behavioral changes
- Weight gain
- Starts nesting
- Seeks more attention
When you notice all of these happening, and about 25 days have passed since mating, you should bring your girl to the vet for an ultrasound or a blood test to determine if it’s pregnant.
Check out our dog pregnancy calculator to find out when your dog is due!
How Long is a Dachshund Pregnant for?
Dachshunds, just like all other dogs, are usually pregnant for 56-64 days, or about 2 months.
There won’t be many obvious signs of pregnancy during the first two weeks as the changes are currently taking place internally within the uterus.
However, your Dachshund will soon start to lose hair around the breasts, develop larger, darker nipples, and develop darker nipples at around 3 weeks of pregnancy.
How Do I Know When My Dachshund is About to Give Birth?
It is important to be aware that dogs usually give birth around 2 months (56 to 64 days) after getting pregnant so that you can prepare for it.
As the time draws nearer, there will be a number of telltale signs that your dog might be whelping soon.
- Spending more time in her “nest”
- Drop in body temperature
- Not eating much
- Digging and scratching
- Start producing milk
Routine Care Tips for a Pregnant Dachshund
There are a number of things you can do to ensure your dog has the best chance of giving birth to healthy puppies.
Maintaining your dog’s health and happiness throughout pregnancy will help them feel comfortable and ensure a pain-free delivery.
Here are a few tips:
Throughout your dog’s pregnancy, you should schedule regular checkups with your veterinarian to monitor its health.
Early detection can make it simpler to address problems before they worsen.
This is especially important if you notice any behavioral changes in your dog or have even the slightest health concerns in the final three weeks of pregnancy.
Don’t forget to keep an eye on her dental health as well to ward off any issues that could worsen.
Your Dachshund needs to have a healthy, palatable, and easy-to-digest diet while she is pregnant.
She ought to consume a lot of protein (chicken is a terrific option), as well as some fruits and vegetables because of their vitamin and mineral content.
If you want to be extra careful about making sure your dog gets everything she needs during this time, you can add supplements to the diet.
However, a sudden diet change may make your dog find it difficult to adjust and lose interest in food, so be sure to introduce any new foods gradually.
If you are feeding raw food, more care must be taken to make sure it is clean and devoid of bacteria that might cause bloody diarrhea, which should be addressed as an emergency.
You can help your dog feel more comfortable by keeping the environment quiet and calm.
If there are lots of people coming in and out, loud noises from televisions or radios, or other pets running around, it will take away from the feeling of safety that your dog needs.
It would be advisable to keep them away in a separate room too.
While pregnant dogs shouldn’t exercise vigorously, they can still benefit from regular brief walks, attention, and gentle play.
Yes, it’s true that they shouldn’t be overstimulated, but you also shouldn’t allow her to become too inactive since this can quickly result in health issues.
I’d advise giving your dog no more than two walks a day, each no more than 15 minutes.
During the last three weeks of pregnancy, a pregnant dog must be kept away from other dogs and animals; therefore, allow her to get some light exercise inside during this time rather than taking her outside.
Should You Breed a Dachshund?
Deciding whether or not to breed a Dachshund or any other breed of dog, is a serious decision that should not be taken lightly.
Here are a few important considerations to keep in mind when deciding whether or not to breed a Dachshund, including:
- The health of the dam and sire: It is important to ensure that the dam and sire are both healthy and free from genetic defects or other health problems before breeding them. Breeding two dogs who are not healthy can result in unhealthy or sickly puppies, which can cause suffering for the puppies and their owners.
- The age of the dam and sire: The dam and sire should be of suitable age before breeding. Female dogs should not be bred until they are at least 2 years old, and male dogs should not be bred until they are at least six months to a year old. Breeding dogs who are too young can lead to health problems for both the dam and the puppies.
- The availability of homes for the puppies: Before breeding a Dachshund, it is important to carefully consider where the puppies will go once they are born. Dachshunds are popular pets, but there are also many Dachshunds in shelters who are looking for homes.
- The cost and time involved in breeding: Breeding a Dachshund, or any other breed of dog, is a time-consuming and expensive process. Work out your sums before making a decision.
If you have any doubts, it would be wiser to leave it to a professional and reputable breeder or simply adopt one instead.
Alternatively, consider adopting one from the shelter or rescue. There are thousands of dogs that need our help too!
You may also want to check out the Dachshund Club of America to learn more about this breed.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How many litters can a Dachshund have safely?
A Dachshund should not be made to breed more than 4 to 6 times in their lifetime. Between each pregnancy, it is advised to allow them to have a year or so to recover. Before they get too old (more than 7 years old), they should be spayed to stop unwanted pregnancies.
What’re the most puppies a Dachshund has had?
A Dachshund named Cheesecake from England delivered a litter of 10 puppies in November 2021. Her owner is Stacey Whitely.
Is it normal for a Dachshund to have one puppy?
It may be considered normal for a Dachshund to have only 1 or 2 puppies in her first two litters, but that number increases to 3 to 6 from her subsequent pregnancies.
In Conclusion: How Many Puppies Can a Dachshund Have?
Whether you’re a puppy breeder or just a dog owner, knowing how many puppies a Dachshund can have will help you take the first step toward understanding your dog’s breeding habits.
Consider adopting one from a shelter or rescue group if you’re unsure whether you should breed them.
They are numerous and in desperate need of our support, shelter, and love.
You might be interested to learn about other dog breeds and their litter sizes here too.
You’ve made it to the end, but I hope it’s not the end of our journey. We want to hear your voice! Share your thoughts, problems, suggestions, or anything related to your dog in the comments section. And don’t forget to join our newsletter today too.