The number of puppies a female will have in a litter varies across the species.
Generally, the larger the body of the female, the more the number of pups she can sustain inside her body.
But that’s not all, the size of the litter depends on various other factors too, these being the type of breed, nutrition, age of the mother and stud, season, the type of insemination, and whether the dogs are being inbred or not.
How Many Puppies Can A Dalmatian Have? Dalmatian Litter Size
On average, a Dalmatian will have a litter of anywhere between 6 to 10 pups. However, it is not uncommon to see them having greatly leaped that mark or having fewer puppies.
Here is a detail of all the factors that play a role in how many pups a Dalmatian will have.
As a general rule of thumb, the bigger the breed size, the bigger the litter. This is because a larger womb can harbor more pup embryos than a smaller one.
That is why breeds like Dalmatians and Shepherds have bigger litters than the smaller breeds like the Miniature Poodle.
One thing to keep in mind is the variation in size within a breed. Some Dalmatians are larger than others and are more likely to have bigger litters than their smaller counterparts.
A dam that has a more nutritious diet consisting of a lot of proteins and other essential nutrients is better able to support a bigger litter in her womb.
Also during pregnancy, many pups can die if the mother cannot sustain their energy demands, as a result, the number of live births may be less than the number conceived.
Similarly, a healthier stud will have healthier semen with a high sperm count and motility. This makes for better fertilization as compared to an unhealthy stud.
Taking good care of your dog’s health and nutrition is ideal for rearing a larger and healthier litter. It is best to follow guidelines from dog nutrition experts rather than having a random diet.
3. Age Of The Mother And Stud
Just as with humans, the age of the female has a major role in fertility.
Usually, for Dalmatians and other dogs as well, the first litter is the smallest and the subsequent ones are larger.
Having said that, breeding a dog too early or too late also comes with its harm. The rate of pregnancy-related complications is higher at the extremes of age.
Ideally, the time around the 3rd heat period is best suited for dog breeding which usually is around 2 years.
Likewise, a younger stud has more motile and healthy sperm, better able to reach the female egg and fertilize it. Hence, more sperms fertilize multiple eggs and the result is a bigger litter.
With age, both the sperm count and motility fall, leading to a decline in litter size.
The ideal age of a stud for better fertilization is under 5 years.
4. Artificial Vs Natural Insemination
When sperm are collected for artificial insemination, a lot is destroyed or lost during the collection process. Hence the final result is a smaller quantity of sperm reaching the reproductive system of the dam. This results in a smaller litter size.
In contrast, sperm penetration is better in natural intercourse between a bitch and a stud which results in bigger litter size.
As already mentioned, this will also depend on the age and health of the sperm source, that is the stud.
5. Heat Period
A typical dog heat period lasts between 2-4 weeks.
During this period, a dam is more receptive to fertilization and can support a higher sperm load due to the short receptive period in its reproductive tract.
This affects both the chance and number of viable fertilizations.
Across the dog species, inbreeding results in fewer pups. Without going into the details of genetics, the bottom line is, that the more closely the mating partners are related, the smaller the litter size will be.
This, however, does not mean that you should definitely use a stud of a different lineage. Only choose those studs that come from a certified breeder, and have no inherited disability.
Dalmations are predisposed to some heritable disorders that need to be kept in mind before trying to breed them.
Heritable Diseases in Dalmatians
Here are the diseases that you may see if you own a Dalmatian from the wrong breeding that may affect the average litter size for Dalmatians.
1. Congenital Deafness
You may be surprised to know that about 80 percent of newborn Dalmatian puppies are bilaterally deaf by birth. Some smaller percentages have unilateral deafness.
It becomes heart-wrenching to raise such pups that cannot respond to your commands.
They may even get startled easily, resulting in aggressive behaviors such as biting.
Before you attempt to breed your Dalmatian, make sure that both parents are free from deafness to minimize the chances of the disease being inherited by the offspring.
This refers to kidney stones. Dalmatians have a different urinary system as compared to other dog breeds which makes them prone to having uric acid stones. Such stones are very painful and if left untreated, can lead to kidney failure and death of the dog.
Some new breeds have been developed via selective breeding that has minimized the risk of a Dalmatian having the mutations for urolithiasis.
It is better to have your dame and a stud from such a lineage to avoid having pups that may die of renal failure later on.
Keep The Following Things In Mind When Breeding Dalmatians
You may wanna breed Dalmatians carefully should you wish to avoid any mishaps.
1. Choosing the Parents
As stated above, always choose a bitch and a stud that are from certified breeders. They must be healthy, young, and free from inherited disorders.
Only healthy parents can guarantee a healthy litter.
Also, if you may wish to sell your pups in the future, do not forget to use registered parent dogs only. This greatly affects their future value.
2. Breeding Technique
When possible, try natural methods of breeding over artificial ones.
This would not just reduce the cost of impregnating a dame but may also result in a pregnancy with less number of attempts.
That is better for the health of the mother and will also result in a bigger litter than artificial means.
3. Parturition Issues
With an increasing number of pups in the womb, the risk for pregnancy complications increases.
This could be in the form of the umbilical cord getting stuck around the pup’s neck, some pups being born prematurely, and many others.
To avoid this, consult with a trained vet before, during, and by the end of the pregnancy.
Your bitch may require a cesarean section for delivering the pups. Make sure you have a vet available if the need arrives.
Here’s a video that shows a Dalmatian giving birth to 7 pups!
Here are some frequently asked questions to further understand Dalmatian pregnancy.
What if my Dalmatian pups are born without black spots?
All dalmatians are born without their proprietary black spots and you don’t need to worry about that.
They typically start showing the spotted pattern by the 3rd or 4rth week. Until then they have bland skin.
Are Dalmatians double-coated?
No, Dalmatians are not double-coated dogs. Although large, they have a single layer of fur.
This, along with their lean build, makes them excellent candidates for warm climates. They can be sensitive to cold and should be catered to in winter.
Are all Dalmatians deaf?
Dalmatians are prone to congenital deafness, about 80 percent of them are deaf in both ears and some are deaf in a single ear.
Always consider this fact before adopting young pups. You cannot be certain about deafness in pups and it can be very challenging raising them later on. So always get your pups from certified breeders.
How Many Puppies Can A Dalmatian Have? Conclusion
Commonly, Dalmatians tend to have about 6-10 offspring in a single litter.
But still, there are a lot of factors that play a role in how many pups a Dalmatian bitch would have.
These factors like the age of the parents, their nutrition, health, and methods of fertilization should be considered before mating them.
Take account of the fact that they are predisposed to inherited deafness, kidney stones, and some other disorders. This will not only affect their quality of life but also may increase their chances of dying early.
Hence, always choose healthy parents from registered breeders.
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