Cocker Spaniels can have litters of anywhere from 3 – 12 puppies. So, the average litter size being around 5-7 puppies. When pregnant Cocker Spaniels give birth to puppies, the little fur bundles weigh just a few ounces each.
Well, this is not written in stone. Many factors affect how many puppies a Cocker Spaniel can have.
In this blog, you’ll learn about how many puppies a Cocker Spaniel can have. Also, how different elements can influence the number of puppies in a litter.
Related Reading: Do Cocker Spaniels Shed? Find Out!
What factors can determine Cocker Spaniel litter size?
There is no exact science in determining the number of puppies in a litter. In some scenarios, Cocker Spaniels have given birth to up to fifteen puppies.
Many factors can determine how many puppies a Cocker Spaniel can have. Most Cocker Spaniel will have a litter of five to seven puppies, but that is not absolute.
- Size of the parents: The size of the breeding dogs is one deciding factor in litter size. You should expect smaller litters in smaller dogs and larger litters in larger dogs.
- The health of the parents: The health of both males and females plays an important role in the number of puppies in a Cocker Spaniel litter and their overall health. The healthier your dam, the more likely it will be able to produce litter based on its genetic potential. This is why the health of both the male and female should be considered before breeding.
- Diet and nutrition: Nutrition is yet another aspect that affects litter size. The breeding mother should first be nutritionally sound before conceiving. Make sure your female Cocker Spaniel is neither too skinny or too fat. The dam should be fed high-quality, healthy food while pregnant to ensure that the puppies are getting the right nutrients while growing inside their mother. Consult with your vet on how to ensure your dam is fed an appropriate diet during gestation.
- Mother’s age: The mother’s age plays a key role in the number of puppies in the litter. Generally, the first litter that a female Cocker Spaniel has is the smallest. Future litters are usually larger in number until around the age of seven, and then Cocker Spaniels will have litters that are smaller in number.
- Types of breeding: Artificially inseminated female Cocker Spaniels produce smaller litters than those impregnated naturally. This is likely due to more sperm dying during collection and insemination.
Pet parent tip: Before you go ahead with breeding your Cocker Spaniel, you should consult your vet and ask for their professional advice. They may recommend a range of examinations to determine if your Cocker Spaniel is free from any hereditary health problems.
How many puppies do Cocker Spaniels have in the first litter?
Like all dogs, Cocker Spaniel’s first litter is generally smaller than average. A healthy Cocker Spaniel bitch may have fewer puppies in the first litter than at later dates.
Most Cocker Spaniels will, on average, have between four to six puppies in their first litter. However, this can vary and is not cast in stone.
Most female Cocker Spaniels have ten teats. This suggests that a Spaniel mother can support ten puppies. Again, but this is not necessarily the case and it is more than likely that the average Cocker Spaniel will have fewer puppies in the first litter.
How long is a Cocker Spaniel pregnant for?
The normal gestation period in Cocker Spaniels is approximately 63 days or 9 weeks from conception. This period is long enough for a litter of happy, healthy puppies to develop. However, it can vary by several days. Sometimes, there is premature birth or delivery can be delayed by about a week.
During pregnancy, you should pay special attention to the Cocker Spaniel’s food. It should contain sufficient proteins, calcium, and minerals. Do not overfeed the female Cocker Spaniel as quick weight gain can complicate the labor.
If you want to know litter size, an ultrasound can be done on the mother at around three weeks. This will help to determine how many puppies they’ll be. The main thing is to prepare all necessary things for a difficult birth in advance.
Some pregnancy symptoms to watch for during the first month are:
- Increased appetite
- Slightly enlarged nipples
- More affectionate behavior
- Clear vaginal discharge
- Decreased physical activity
- Morning sickness
What is the best age to breed a Cocker Spaniel?
Before you breed puppies from a Cocker Spaniel, you should first make sure that your female Spaniel is fully mature. This will generally mean that it has had at least one season and has stopped developing and growing.
Dogs mature at different rates. As a general rule of thumb, Cocker Spaniels are fully mature by the time that they reach 18 months of age. This should be the point that you consider breeding.
Any sooner and you increase the risk of subjecting your Cocker Spaniels to potential health issues that could impact both mommy and the puppies.
Did you know? The largest litter of puppies ever born on this planet is recorded at 24. Wow! In 2009, A Neapolitan Mastiff named Tia broke the Guinness world record by giving birth to 15 male puppies and 9 female puppies. Puppies were born by Caesarian section.
The number of puppies that Cocker Spaniels have is dependent on the age and health of the mother. It might vary depending on the time of year, the conditions and to some extent, chance.
You should make sure that your potential Cocker Spaniel mother is fit and healthy before getting pregnant. This is only being responsible and will prevent the spaniel mummy from experiencing any difficulties. This also helps to avoid breeding puppies that could be unwell.
You should observe the mother carefully. Take your female Cocker Spaniel to the vet for a health check-up before mating, after mating, and once you think it’s pregnant. Also, talk to your vet for more details on diet and care during pregnancy.