German Shepherd

How Many Puppies Do German Shepherds Have? Check It Out!

Have you ever wondered about the size of a German Shepherd’s litter? This article provides insights into the number of puppies typically found in a German Shepherd litter.

How many puppies do German Shepherds have?

How Many Puppies Do German Shepherds Have?
Five German Shepherd puppies on the grass.

There are essentially three primary factors that influence German Shepherd litter sizes:

  1. Popularity: German Shepherds are currently in high demand.
  2. Size: German Shepherd litters are generally small, and responsible breeding practices dictate that a female German Shepherd should have just one litter per year.
  3. Colour Preferences: Some potential German Shepherd owners seek puppies with specific coat colours, leading to extended wait-lists.

How many puppies do German Shepherds have In a litter?

So, how many puppies can you expect in a German Shepherd litter? On average, a German Shepherd litter comprises approximately seven (7) to eight (8) puppies.

How many puppies do german shepherds normally have?

While larger litters with ten (10) to thirteen (13) puppies are rare, it’s more typical for German Shepherds to have fewer puppies, often around seven (7). 

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This is partly attributed to the fact that German Shepherds are considered brachycephalic dogs, which often leads to smaller litters.

Why are German Shepherds litters so small?

Brachycephalic breeds typically have smaller litters compared to other breeds due to their unique physical attributes, such as their compact size and shorter noses.

Responsible breeders prioritise the health and well-being of the mother and her puppies over the quantity of puppies produced. 

Smaller litters are believed to be less taxing on the mother’s smaller frame and narrow hips.

Are German Shepherds expensive to breed?

Breeding German Shepherds can be quite expensive. Artificial fertilisation and the necessity of caesarean sections during birth contribute significantly to these costs. 

To ensure the health of future generations, breeders must select German Shepherds with meticulous breeding histories to maintain healthy bloodlines.

The ownership of a German Shepherd is also financially demanding, as these dogs have a genetic predisposition to various health issues, including skin problems, ear issues, spinal complications, breathing difficulties, and behavioural concerns.

Pregnancies in German Shepherds

According to AKC, a typical German Shepherd pregnancy lasts around sixty-three days. 

To guarantee the well-being of their female dogs, responsible breeders usually limit them to approximately four litters throughout their lifetime.

When searching for a German Shepherd breeder, it’s essential to choose one who genuinely cares about the breed’s health and happiness. 

German Shepherd puppies typically cost between $2,500 and $5,000, so prospective owners should be financially prepared for potential medical expenses.

What factors affect the number of puppies a German Shepherd has?

Factors Influencing German Shepherd Litter Sizes

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Several factors can influence the number of puppies in a German Shepherd’s litter:

  • Breed: Large dog breeds tend to have more puppies in a litter compared to smaller breeds. This size-related variance applies within the same breed as well.
  • Size: Regardless of breed, larger individual dogs generally produce larger litters. In contrast, smaller dogs, even within the same breed, tend to have smaller litters.
  • Age: The age of the mother dog plays a role. Typically, healthy puppies are more likely to be born to dogs between the ages of 2 and 5.
  • Health: The overall health of the mother dog significantly impacts the litter size. If the mother is in poor health, her litter is more likely to be smaller and less healthy. Unfortunately, this is common in puppy mills where profits often take precedence over the well-being of the dogs.
  • Nutrition: Providing mothers with proper nutrition during pregnancy can lead to healthier and larger litters. A well-balanced diet is crucial for both the mother and her puppies.
  • Genes: The genetic lineage of the mother dog also plays a part. A larger family tree with a wider genetic pool can result in larger and healthier litters. In contrast, puppy mill dogs often come from smaller, less diverse gene pools, leading to smaller and less robust litters.
  • Parental Genes: The size of a litter can depend on the genes of both the mother and the father dog. The genetic combination of the parents can influence litter size.

How popular are German Shepherds?

The Popularity of German Shepherds:

German Shepherds have gained significant popularity recently. However, this surge in demand has led to unethical breeding practices, including those in puppy mills. 

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Pethouse says when a dog breed becomes popular, there are often breeders looking to profit, regardless of the health or well-being of the animals.

Where to find a German Shepherd breeder

It is crucial for those seeking to purchase a German Shepherd puppy to conduct thorough research on the breeder they choose. 

Responsible breeders prioritise the health and happiness of their dogs, ensuring a clean and nurturing environment.

Health and Well-Being Concerns in German Shepherd Pregnancies reveals that German Shepherds face unique challenges during pregnancy. Due to their brachycephalic nature, they cannot give birth naturally, necessitating a caesarean section for each litter. 

This surgery is a major procedure that can take a toll on the mother’s body. Responsible breeders plan litters carefully, allowing ample time for the mother to recover between pregnancies.

Concerns about ethics of a German Shepherd

Ethical concerns arise when considering whether it is right to breed dogs with known health problems, especially those that cannot naturally reproduce or give birth. 

These questions impact the overall well-being and longevity of the breed.


In summary, German Shepherds typically have litters of three to five puppies, with two to four puppies being the most common. 

While larger litters of five to seven puppies can occur, they are less frequent.

Prospective German Shepherd owners and those interested in the breed should consider the ethical implications of breeding and prioritise the health and happiness of these remarkable dogs. 

Understanding the factors that influence litter sizes is essential for responsible dog ownership and breeding practices. 

If you have any questions regarding the typical number of puppies in German Shepherd litters, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments section below.


Eshiet is a Professional Pet writer with over 20 years of experience as Dog foster, Dog trainer, Dog Behaviorist and Dog owner. As a dog lover who has worked with the American Kennel Club, I will keep posting more important contents and guides about dogs in general on my Website for all of you. Please give your support and love. I love you.

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