Usual Border Collie Litter Size
Some of you may want to know how many puppies a Border Collie has. The average Border Collie litter size is between 4 and 8, with 6 being the most common number. Comparing this to the average of five puppies in a litter for most dogs and the Border Collie is on the ‘generous’ side of litter size. You rarely see a puppy count higher than ten or lower than five, though it can happen.
Taking care of puppies may be difficult, mainly if your litter includes energetic border collie pups. Collies have an active and agile form, so they will require a lot of activity and effort to breed and look after them once they are born.
What determines how many puppies can a Border Collie can have?
Breed and age
These are the two most significant factors. A dog’s age determines how many puppies she can have, and some breeds are more likely to produce large litters than others.
Litters as small as one and as large as seventeen have been documented. The mother’s age is one of the most critical factors in determining the size of a litter. Under age seven or eight, a young mother will usually produce smaller litters because she has strong maternal instincts but limited physical development. An older mother who is over age ten may not handle a large litter because her maternal instincts are not as strong, and she may be suffering from age-related physical conditions that prevent her from whelping litters of ten or more puppies.
How do I know that my Border Collie is pregnant?
It is a common misconception that a period in female dogs is the period of pregnancy, and in reality, the period in Border Collie can be considered as ovulation period.
To know if your dog is pregnant, you need to watch for behavioural and physical changes associated with pregnancy. A female dog’s cycle or period typically lasts for between 21 to 24 days, and a period is necessary to determine if the dog is pregnant. A period in female dogs can be differentiated from a period in human females based on length of time and what it looks like.
There are other signs to know if your border collie is pregnant:
Change in appetite – When your dog is expecting puppies, you can expect them to eat more. Note that this does not always imply that their food intake has increased; instead, the sort of food they select to consume will alter. When border collies become pregnant, they tend to opt for high-protein and calorie meals.
Hormone tests – If you have a border collie and she is displaying signs of pregnancy, your first action should be to get her tested for hormone blood levels. If the results are positive, you’ll need to visit your veterinarian for an ultrasound to see how many pups she’s carrying and when they’re due to arrive.
After getting the results, you will then roughly know the due date for when your border collie will be due to deliver her pups.
Change in Nipple size – You will be able to notice a change in the size of your border collie’s nipples. In some cases, they may become bigger than usual while their size will diminish slightly in other instances. If they appear swollen and tender, this could be a real sign that your dog is expecting. The reason the nipples may become larger is due to lactation.
Feeling tired – As with human pregnancies, border collies will often become tired. This tiredness stems from the increased bodily hormones produced; in most cases, the tiredness will be felt a few weeks after conception. Normal maternity fatigue can hit weeks three and four when the pregnant dog is in her second trimester; this tiredness will lessen when the pups are born.
When you think that your Border Collie is tired, it may also indicate that she’s experiencing these pregnancy symptoms: lethargy, fatigue, tiredness.
Becoming more affectionate – Your border collie may begin displaying more affection and interest in you. The more time your dog spends with you, the more it will be like she is craving company and comfort. In general, your dog will be more affectionate to individuals she knows well and displays her nesting instincts, which means you can expect to find her pawing at blankets under the bed and perhaps even to steal them.
Vomiting – When a Border Collie is pregnant, you may notice that they are more sensitive to certain smells around them. This includes food odors that can cause your dog to feel more nauseous than usual.
Irritability – When a border collie is pregnant, irritability and aggression can be triggered by simple things such as trimming their nails. Nail clipping may cause your dog to feel irritable and even lash out with stray bite attempts. Lack of normal exercise and stress may result in more irritability – your Border Collie will try to overcome this with her nesting. When a border collie is in heat, she may become more protective of her belongings and nervous.
Nesting may start two or three weeks before the delivery of her puppies. This can include her being irritable, nesting instincts, and stealing blankets.
How To Take Care Of Border Collies During And After Birth
Pregnancy for a Border Collie usually lasts around 9 weeks. However, as early as 7 weeks gestation, they can begin to show some signs of pregnancy.
In the first few days of gestation, there are no obvious changes in your female Border Collie’s physical appearance. If you notice that your dog looks a little plumper than usual, this is probably just due to extra weight gained from the increased food intake during gestation.
After about 7-8 weeks gestation, your dog will begin experiencing morning sickness. This can be quite severe in some dogs, and they may vomit frequently if their stomachs are empty. However, if they do not vomit and feel nauseated all day, you must give them the correct nutrients.
Don’t forget that gestation requires a substantial amount of energy and extra food for your dog to gain. If your dog does not eat enough during pregnancy, she will draw on her bodily resources, which can cause her to be too weak to deliver puppies safely.
So, if you notice morning sickness continues for more than a few days, make sure your dog is eating enough! An excellent way to do this is by increasing the amount of food they receive by about 5%. If you can’t see any changes in their weight over the following week, try increasing the number of feedings they are given until you can see a noticeable difference.
Just because gestation requires extra food, that doesn’t mean that your dog should be over-fed! If you want to keep your pregnant dog healthy and at the perfect weight for birthing puppies, talk to your vet about their recommended feeding schedule. They will be able to provide you with the best nutritional advice.
After gestation has lasted around 8 weeks, your dog should begin to show signs of milk production (if she is not already producing it naturally). This is a vital sign that should be monitored closely because if her mammary glands do not produce enough milk, this may be a bad situation for her puppies.
The amount of milk production can vary from dog to dog. The easiest way to ensure your Border Collie has enough milk is to increase her food intake as gestation progresses. However, this might not be a good idea if she has trouble keeping weight on already or if her pregnancy is going well and she doesn’t need any extra food for once!
Instead of increasing food intake, you can help your pregnant dog prepare for labour by giving her a few calcium tablets. If the mammary glands are not working correctly or produce very little milk, calcium will help them grow and improve lactation.
However, if the mammary glands are already producing a lot of milk and labour is near, calcium can decrease labour pains and make the labour process smoother.
Calcium is safe to give your dog, but do not give her too much! This can lead to stomach problems like constipation or diarrhoea.
Delivering her litter safely.
During delivery, you’ll want to have clean towels and medical gloves at the ready. Remove any collars your dog may be wearing in case they get in the way during delivery.
Place clean towels or newspapers in a delivery area where you can keep things tidy after birth, but make sure it’s an area where your busy mother won’t accidentally lie on them.
A delivery area should be as clean as possible to prevent infection(s) from being passed on. Remove any dirty bedding and replace it with fresh blankets or towels.
During delivery, you will have to help the mother by pulling the pups out so she does not strain herself too much nor injure her or her offspring due to the delivery. Some owners think that pulling out pups is too rough to be done by hand, but it has to be done; even if the puppy doesn’t come out on its own after a decent amount of time, you can always help it along.
If delivery comes quickly and without struggle, this may take 15-35 minutes or more, but delivery can happen too rapidly. The mother will start to push, and delivery should be happening within a few minutes, so you’ll need to be prepared for anything during delivery.
The delivery process can take anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour and the pups may come out one by one or all at once. Sometimes they will lay in the birth canal for a while before delivery.
The delivery process is complete when all of the pups are born and there appears to be no more coming out after a good amount of time has passed; wait around 20 minutes or so before calling your vet or breeder/rescue if there’s been no delivery.
The first pup should be delivered within two hours. If this does not happen, you may wish to contact a veterinarian to assist with the delivery. There will be a resting period for the mother before delivering the remainder of her puppies.
Once all of the labor phases are completed, the mother and her pups require a dry and clean location to relax in. The mum usually handles the cleaning on her own, so you may only need to offer a little assistance. Give your dog and her new pups a clean bed to sleep in, as well as high-quality food for the mother. Don’t forget to provide clean water in a readily accessible container.
From then on, make sure to feed your mother dog with high-quality, highly digestible food. Treat your dog’s mummy to a few of her favourite tidbits now and again.
How can you tell how many puppies are in a litter?
The best way to know how many puppies your dog will have is with a professional veterinarian, who may use palpation, ultrasound, or x-rays to estimate the size of the tiny pups. An ultrasound to count your dog’s pups is suggested once her pregnancy has surpassed the 25-day mark. An ultrasound machine generates a picture of your dog’s uterus using sound waves for the veterinarian to count her puppies.
How many litters can a Border Collie have in a year?
It is advised that you have only three to four whole litters for a female dog, and a responsible breeder will spread out the puppies over her optimal reproductive years to ensure that the mother and her pups are healthy.