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How Many Puppies Do Golden Retrievers Have? Average & Maximum Litter Size

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on June 24, 2024 by Dogster Team

golden retriever dog with puppies

How Many Puppies Do Golden Retrievers Have? Average & Maximum Litter Size

Congratulations! We’re guessing you recently received confirmation from your veterinarian that your Golden Retriever is pregnant. Golden Retriever puppies are fluffy balls of joy, and you must be thrilled to welcome them into your home. But how many puppies should you be expecting from this upcoming litter?

On average, Golden Retrievers can have around eight puppies. Litter sizes can vary depending on the breed of dog, so there are a few factors that can determine the litter size of your Golden Retriever. We’ll discuss what you can expect when your Golden Retriever is pregnant.


Litter Size: First-Time vs Experienced Mothers

If this is your Golden Retriever’s first litter, expect your dog to give birth to about eight puppies. This is the national average for first-time mothers, so it is normal for your dog to give birth to a few less or a few more. Even though this will be your female’s first litter, she will not need human assistance if the process goes as planned.

However, it is always important for her to have check-ups with a vet to ensure everything is going well with her puppies. If this is not your pregnant dog’s first litter, expect her to have between six and 10 puppies. It is very rare that your Goldie will have a single puppy birth. Litter sizes of over a dozen puppies are also possible with Golden Retrievers but not as common.

mother dog nursing puppies, postnatal
Image By: stockphoto mania, Shutterstock

What Can Affect Litter Size?

If your Golden Retriever is pregnant, it is safe to assume she will give birth to four to eight puppies. While we cannot breed dogs to give birth to a specific number of offspring, there are several factors that can affect your Golden Retriever’s litter size.

  • Diet: Your pregnant Golden Retriever’s diet is essential. While feeding your dog a healthy and balanced diet is always important, pregnant dogs need high-quality vitamins and minerals and premium protein. Dog food filled with additives and fillers can affect the litter size. The mother’s diet will also affect how healthy the puppies will be after birth and their survival rate.
  • Health: If your Golden Retriever is obese or not given enough exercise, it can affect the litter. An unhealthy Goldie will more than likely produce a small litter. The puppies might also be born weak and less likely to survive.
  • Age of both parents. You do not want to breed your female Golden Retriever too young or old. The age range for the female to be bred is 2 to 5 years. However, if you wait to breed your Goldie for the first time after they are 5 years old, their litters will always be smaller in number. The age of the male is also a factor. The sperm count in males will decrease once they reach 5 years old.
  • Genetics: Dogs with a more diverse gene pool are likelier to have larger litters than dogs that have been overly inbred. This is why if you go to a breeder, ask them about the parents and if they have been tested for hereditary conditions. Reputable breeders will provide the parents’ history before buying a puppy.
Golden Retriever Pregnant
Image By: PorChonlawit, Shutterstock


Final Considerations

If you are a dog owner, you already know how important health, diet, and exercise are for raising a strong and happy dog. These factors must also be considered when deciding whether to breed your Golden Retriever. Have her checked with the vet before she gets pregnant to ensure she is healthy and can carry a litter safely. Ensure the potential mate is also healthy and at the right age. However, no matter the litter size, each puppy will be a bundle of pure joy!

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Featured Image: otsphoto, Shutterstock

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