How Many Puppies Can a Chihuahua Really Have?

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Have you ever wondered how many puppies a chihuahua puppies can have considering they are so small? Learn that and more about breeding these little dogs, consider this your ultimate guide!

brown and tan pregnant chihuahua laying down

Of all 155 dog breeds and varieties, none is smaller than a Chihuahua.

These tiny dogs are famous for their itty-bitty size! In fact, according to the American Kennel Club, Chihuahuas only weigh between 3 – 6 pounds. As puppies, they are born even lighter, typically weighing just 2.5 – 6.5 ounces…the same weight as 2AA batteries.

So very light indeed!

Of course, breeding such little dogs takes expert knowledge. Today on Doggie HQ, our canine experts cover everything you need to know about Chihuahua puppies and breeding, such as what to expect in a litter, birthing complications, and so much more.

Ready to learn?

Let’s dive in.

How Many Puppies Can a Chihuahua Have In One Litter?

In the animal kingdom, small creatures tend to have large numbers of offspring. For example, opossums can have up to twenty babies per litter. Similarly, frogs lay thousands of eggs. And rats produce as many as 8 – 18 pups, becoming sexually mature at the mere age of three or four months.

Wow…that’s a lot of babies.

But when it comes to Chihuahuas, this is no longer true. Doggysauras explains that Chihuahuas have small litter sizes. On average, three puppies. This is very different from other dog breeds, such as the Golden Retriever for example, which usually have between 4 – 12 puppies.

How many puppies a Chihuahua has in a litter depends upon a few things. Firstly, if the mother Chihuahua is having puppies for the first time, chances are the litter will be smaller. Possibly only one puppy. More experienced mother Chihuahuas tend to have bigger litters, potentially up to four, five, or six

How Long Is a Chihuahua Pregnant For?

Pregnancy is a special time in a woman’s life – and a dogs too!

For canines, the pregnancy cycle is approximately 63 days. This works out to just over two months.   

What Happens If a Chihuahua Gets Pregnant By A Bigger Dog?

While it’s generally not recommended to breed small dogs with much larger ones, accidents can (and do) happen. Any male dog can impregnate a female dog, leading to fertilization of her eggs. From a practicality standpoint, large dogs will find it difficult to naturally mate with a dog who is far inferior to them in size. However, a female dog in heat will attracts males of all shapes and sizes…so it’s definitely possible.

What happens if a bigger dog tries to impregnate a Chihuahua?

Firstly, injury can occur. While trying to mount her, a big dog could accidentally hurt a Chihuahua’s spine. This would result in bone damage, pain, and potentially even paralysis or death. Furthermore, the male dog could damage the reproductive system of the female dog.

Secondly, consider a Chihuahua’s body shape. Their uterus and birth canals are not designed to hold gigantic puppies – the opposite, in fact! Pet Keen explains that this makes deliveries dangerous. Oftentimes, a mixed breed Chihuahua litter will have to be delivered by a veterinarian via C-section. Otherwise, the puppies and mother dog risk complications that can result in stillbirths and/or death. 

two chihuahua puppies sitting down with their eyes open

How Early Can a Chihuahua Give Birth?

In a perfect world, your Chihuahua won’t deliver the puppies until she feels ready.

Even though the gestation period only lasts two months, regular checkups are mandatory for people who breed Chihuahuas. This is because they can potentially give birth early. Especially if complications develop, your vet might recommend an emergency C-section.

Signs to keep an eye on include:

  • Weight gain
  • Behavior changes
  • Nausea
  • Belly swelling
  • Vaginal discharge

As a rule of thumb, by day 50 movement of the unborn puppies is visible inside a Chihuahua’s abdomen. Your veterinarian will likely want to schedule a final ultrasound one week before the dog is due to give birth.

Any pregnancy that lasts longer than 70 days is considered abnormal.

four different colored chihuahuas on a wooden bench outside

How Many Times Can a Chihuahua Have Puppies? And How Many Litters Can a Chihuahua Have Per Year?

This next two questions are tricky. Mostly because there is a major difference between how many times a Chihuahua “can” have puppies and how many times they “should” have puppies.

Technically, a Chihuahua can have two or three litters per year. But pregnancy is hard on a dog’s body. An ethical breeder won’t keep their dog constantly pregnant. Additionally, most canine experts agree that four litters is the maximum number a Chihuahua should produce in their lifetime.

Remember, always think about the best interests of the dog.

Largest Litter of Chihuahua Puppies

Have you ever wondered what the largest litter on record is for a Chihuahua?

In 2018, a rescue Chihuahua from Kansas gave birth to a whopping eleven puppies! Coincidently, on National Puppy Day. Amazingly, all eleven babies were born healthy, which is a huge accomplishment for the teeny tiny momma dog.

black and white chihuahua puppy sitting down

Possible Chihuahua Birthing Complications 


You just found out your Chihuahua is pregnant. What exciting news. As a loving pet parent, you want to make sure you, your veterinarian, and your dog are all prepared for the sweet little puppies that are enroute. Part of that includes learning about possibly Chihuahua birthing complications.

The most common one is a puppy getting stuck in the birth canal. Since the mother dog’s body is so small, a puppy’s head will be comparatively large. Chihuahuas also have rounded skulls, adding another layer of complication to a natural labor and delivery. Again, this why C-sections are popular amongst Chihuahua breeders.

However, C-sections are not immune to risk either. Sometimes, a Chihuahua’s C-section is performed on an emergency basis, which can be stressful for everyone involved. While most drugs are safe for dogs, you never know 100% how your pooch will react to things like anesthesia, either.  

Do lots of research.

Always have a well-thought-out birthing plan before deciding to breed Chihuahuas.

tan chihuahua puppie sitting down outside

Final Thoughts

For Chihuahua lovers, there is no sweeter sight than a wiggly litter of puppies. As the oldest dog breed on the American continent, these Mexican pooches are now adored worldwide for their energetic, feisty, and affectionate temperaments. Luckily, there are dozens of groups dedicated to safe and ethical breeding of these dogs, so we can all enjoy everything Chihuahuas have to offer!

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