How Many Puppies Do Great Danes Tend to Have?

Picture of a Great Dane
Photo of a Great Dane by Nathalie SPEHNER on Unsplash

The Great Dane is a large breed of canine. They are known to boast a long and noble lineage, and are often called “The Apollo of Dogs.” While Great Danes are known for their large size, they are also gentle giants. They are loyal and loving dogs that make great family pets. But they also have an exceptionally high number of puppies in a single litter. 

A common question among new and upcoming Great Dane owners is how many puppies will be born in a litter? Do Great Danes have litters of puppies like other breeds of dogs, or do they have just one puppy at a time?  This article will cover accurately how many puppies Great Danes can have at one time, along with other truths you may not know about this majestic animal!

How many puppies can a Great Dane have? 

Great Danes typically have eight to twelve puppies, but it depends on the size of the parents and the health of the mother dog. The average litter size for a Great Dane is between six and eight puppies. However, some litters can be as large as thirteen puppies. The record litter size for a Great Dane is 19 puppies. 

Danes are large dogs, so their puppies are also quite large too. Puppies need constant attention and care, especially during their first few weeks. It can be a bit of a challenge for first-time Dane owners, but it is nothing that cannot be handled with a little bit of preparation. Because of their size, it’s crucial for people interested in Great Danes to understand how large a litter they can expect from these dogs, so they can plan accordingly if they want to breed them and sell their puppies.

How a Great Danes Litter Size Compares to Other Dog Breeds 

The average litter size for a Great Dane is six to eight puppies. It is larger than the average litter size for other dog breeds, which is typically between one and six puppies.

Dog BreedAverage Litter Size
Neapolitan Mastiff7.5
The Great Pyrenees7.3
The Great Danes7.1
The Irish Wolfhound6.8
Table of the average litter size by dog breed vs Great Dane

How are Great Danes able to have so many puppies? 

Great Danes can have many puppies because of their larger size and frame. They also have a high number of ova, making it easier for them to reproduce, resulting in their large litter size.

This large litter size is probable because of the massive dog’s ability to gestate multiple foetuses at once. The Great Dane has no stated hereditary ailments passed on through breeding programs (breeders call this “line breeding”), so they can also produce more puppies.

Below is a video from Kami showing Eva, her 59 day pregnant Great Dane. She has taken her to the veterinarian for a check up and is expecting 10 puppies in total. Good job Eva! This is certainly above the six to eight average puppies.

8 week pregnant Great Dane

What influences a Great Dane to be able to have lots of puppies? 

The factors influencing the number of puppies a Great Dane can have included the dog’s age, health, and nutrition (1).

The Great Dane’s big size

The dog’s size primarily determines the number of Great Dane puppies a dog can have. The average Great Dane weighs between 150 and 170 pounds, and as a result, they typically have large litters of puppies.

The Great Dane’s ability to carry a large litter

A female Great Dane has more room for puppies in its uterus, which allows for a bigger litter.

The Great Dane’s good health and nutrition

Healthy Great Danes have fewer complications during pregnancy and birth, which means they’re also likely to have larger litters. A well-fed mother eating a high-quality diet can deliver more pups than a malnutrition dam (2).

The Great Dane’s calm temperament

Great Danes are known for their gentle nature and loyalty. Calm canines have less possibility than nervous or anxious ones to have complications during pregnancy and birth, leading to larger litters.

The Great Dane’s easy birthing

Dogs that give birth quickly also tend to have larger litters since they’re less likely to need assistance from their owners or veterinarians during labour and delivery than dogs who struggle with birthing their puppies naturally.

How long is a Great Dane pregnant on average? 

The gestation period (pregnancy) for a Great Danes female ranges from 63 to 68 days on average. A female Great Dane can become pregnant as early as her first heat cycle, which occurs between 6 and 12 months old. Great Dane puppies are born weighing 8 and 16 pounds each, depending on their mother’s health and diet during pregnancy.

Picture of a Great Dane
Picture of a Great Dane

In general, Great Danes are considered fully mature by the age of 12 months — though some may take up to 1.5 years longer to reach their full reproductive potential.

How can you tell if your Great Dane is pregnant?

To determine if whether you have an expecting mother, you should look out for the following signs in your Great Dane:

Weight Gain

Female dogs may experience an increase in appetite due to their growing uterus, which can lead to weight gain. Some mothers will gain less weight due to genetics or other factors such as diet or exercise levels.

Increase in abdomen frame

Female Great Dane dogs may have trouble getting comfortable and sleeping more than usual due to their belly size.

Vomiting and Diarrhoea

Though some canines may vomit or have diarrhoea during gestation period, others may not vomit at all! If your female pooch often vomits during her pregnancy, this could mean that she is expecting puppies soon!

Enlarged nipples and marking

Female dogs may produce milk before giving birth, which can leak from the nipples or mark territory by urine stains on furniture or clothing.

Lack of physical activity

A lack of physical activity is another sign that your Great Dane may be pregnant, as this breed is known to love the outdoors and is able to run at very fast speeds. If you notice is that your Great Dane isn’t as interested in physical activity as they used to be, or aren’t running as often, this could also be a sign that they are pregnant.

Video of a Great Dane giving birth to puppies

Below is a beautiful video from Ádám Fertig, showing their Great Dane giving birth to a puppy. It’s surprising how small these pups are given that they are known to be giants as adults, but this video will help put into perspective how quickly the birthing process is and what you can expect.

WARNING: The video below is very graphic.

Video of a Great Dane giving birth to puppies

When do Great Danes start showing signs of pregnancy?

Pregnancy in most dog breeds typically lasts for around 9 weeks (63 days). However, smaller breeds usually carry their puppies for a shorter period of time than larger breeds. For example, Toy Poodles typically carry their puppies for about 6 weeks (42 days). Whereas, a breed like the Great Dane generally carry their puppies for 9 to 10 weeks (63 to 68 days).

Great Danes typically start showing signs of pregnancy in their second month (14 to 21 days), as this is when their symptoms become more noticeable. Some early signs of pregnancy in dogs include increased appetite, weight gain, nesting behaviour, and morning sickness. However, not all dogs show all of these symptoms.

Do Great Danes have trouble giving birth?

No, according to the recent study conducted by the National Library of Medicine, Great Danes weren’t considered a breed that had trouble giving birth. The breeds that were flagged as part of the study were Boston Terriers, French Bull Dogs, German Wirehaired Pointer and others.

However, due to their large litter sizes, it’s not uncommon for complications to occur during labour that may require a C-section. With the help of a veterinarian and some careful monitoring, most Great Danes will be able to give birth without any problems. If you have concerns, you should raise these with your veterinarian.

How do I make sure my Great Dane has a safe pregnancy?

To ensure a safe pregnancy for your Great Dane, you should take her to the vet for regular check-ups and make sure she is getting plenty of rest throughout her pregnancy. You should also feed her a nutritious diet and avoid giving her any table scraps – like chips, chocolate or bones – as these could be harmful to her developing puppies. Do not feed her any toxic foods.

Make sure has plenty of fresh water to drink and a comfortable place to sleep. If she starts to show any signs of distress, such as vomiting or bleeding, take her to the vet immediately.

Finally, keep an eye on her exercise routine and make sure she isn’t overdoing it – too much activity could put more stress on her body and potentially lead to complications. By following these simple tips, you can help ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy for your Great Dane.

Conclusion: How many Puppies do Great Danes tend to have?

This blog post has looked at the average litter size of Great Danes and some of the reasons for their high puppy count. We also compared the average litter size of Great Danes to other dog breeds. It turns out that Great Danes have an average of six to eight puppies per litter, which is larger than most other dog breeds.

Several factors contribute to the large litter size of the Great Danes. By understanding the factors that influence the number of puppies a Great Dane will have, upcoming dog owners can make a more informed decision about whether this breed is right for them.

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