How many puppies can a Pitbull have?


How many puppies can a Pitbull have?

A Pitbull will have an average of 5 puppies per litter. This is a common number of puppies for a medium-sized dog. However, it may range from just 1 (called a “singelton” puppy) up to 10 pups!

Let’s look at the factors that influence your Pitbull’s litter size as well as whether you should consider breeding your Pitbull in the first place.

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How many puppies do Pitbulls have?

Across all dog breeds, a dog’s size will somewhat determine the amount of puppies in a litter. Small breeds like Cavachon have very small litters with as few as 2-3 puppies. Giant breeds like Mastiffs may have 10 or more puppies. Being a medium-sized breed, the Pitbull’s litter size will be somewhat in between those – with an average of 5.

However, you should be prepared to potentially find homes for as many as 10 puppies.

While it is impossible to accurately predict the litter size of your dog, here are some factors that come into play:

Age of the mom

As a general rule, the older the dam, the smaller the litter will be. The first and second litter typically are smaller than the following litters as well. If you are breeding your female for the first time, expect fewer pups than if you are breeding her for the third time.

Even though your female may remain fertile as long as she lives, you should not breed a dog over the age of 8 – that’s too old to have pups! Female Pitbulls should be exercised daily prior to breeding to make sure that they are in good physical shape.

Note that you should probably not breed your Pitbull more than three times. At times a fourth litter is done if a dam is an especially good producer. But every pregnancy takes a toll on the mother’s body. You should never choose to have another litter without putting your Pitbull mom’s health first and foremost.

Health of the mom

Your female Pitbull should be in excellent health if you decide to breed her. She should have passed all breed-specific health tests and be at a normal weight. Pitbulls tend to be overweight if fed too much – you should absolutely slim down your female before breeding her. If you noticed that your Pitbull’s collar recently became too tight – time to lose some pounds!

Pitbulls are unfortunately prone to heart conditions. You need to have your female evaluated by a veterinarian to rule out any heart murmurs. 

If you were to breed an unhealthy female Pitbull, you can expect very small litters – with as few as 1 or 2 puppies. You should never breed a mom who is not in great health.


In dog breeding this is also called “line breeding”. It refers to pairing close relatives in order to establish a certain wanted trait – such as a blue nose, especially strong musculature or a certain head type (for example in Razor Edge Pitbulls).

Line breeding should only be done by very experienced breeders as it can easily lead to malformations in the puppies. In addition, litters from close line breedings will have a much smaller amount of puppies – as few as 2 or 3. 

Breeding time

The closer to ovulation you breed your female, the more puppies she is going to have. If you choose artificial insemination, your vet can help you determine the perfect timing. If you opt for a natural breeding, try to have several ties as this will increase your chances for a large litter.

Age of the dad

The age of your Pitbull puppies’ dad will influence the litter size as well (though not as much as the mom’s). Once a dog reaches 5-6 years of age, his sperm quality starts to decrease. This can result in a smaller number of puppies per litter, even if the female is very fertile. Some breeders choose to help the process of breeding older males through artificial insemination.

How many puppies can a blue nose Pitbull have?

Blue nose Pitbulls have an average of 5 puppies per litter. If the female is in excellent health, is bred close to ovulation and you are lucky – you may even get up to 10 puppies in the litter. A good guideline for how many puppies to expect is to check your Pitbull mom’s own mother’s litter sizes. Females often have litters that are similar in size to their mothers and grandmothers.

Should I breed my Pitbull?

Dog breeding in general is not an easy endeavour. It takes a lot of time, knowledge, effort and money to properly breed and responsibly raise a litter of puppies. Unless you are ready to invest resources and nerves into breeding, you should not do it. From understanding color genetics over affording a potential c-section to vetting puppy buyers, responsible breeding is an involved and complicated task.

Unfortunately there are a lot of Pitbulls in shelters all around the country. These are the result of breedings done without enough planning and thought. If you are thinking about having a litter of puppies from your Pitbull, you should have puppy owners lined up before you even breed your female.

Otherwise you can quickly end up with a litter of 8-9 puppies and only 2 puppy buyers … and then what?

If you are interested in pursuing breeding and showing seriously, you should join the AKC and visit some local shows and breeders to inquire how you can get started.

pitbull puppies

The Bottom Line

Most Pitbull litters have an average puppy size of 5, with numbers ranging from 1 up to 10. The female’s health and the timing of breeding are the main determining factors for litter size. You should only breed your female Pitbull if you are very sure that you will have enough puppy buyers and are ready to invest time and energy into raising the puppies well. 

Your Pitbull mom needs a veterinary checkup before breeding, as well as breed-specific health tests. If you love Pitbulls, the best way to contribute to the breed is to pursue breeding responsibly. Visit some local dog shows to get started and join the AKC for guidance on how to become a reputable breeder.