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Poodles are a breed of dog that is in demand. Their many positive canine traits put them in the top 10 of desired races in the US. Depending on the type, poodle litter sizes can range from a single puppy in most toy litters, to half a dozen for standard and Royal poodles.
The fact that they are not high maintenance pets coupled with their hypoallergenic coats makes them perfect for people who could not have a dog otherwise. Breeders are kept busy with many requests for their litters of puppies.
Poodle Types – Sizes and Mixes
The three officially recognized sizes of poodles are toy-sized, miniature, and standard. However, there are also non-official sub-classifications called teacup, kings, and royals along with mixed or hybrid breeds such as a Goldendoodle, Labradoodle, and Cockapoo.
These latter are hybrid dogs that are not recognized by formal dog associations but are loved for their generally hypoallergenic nature and positive poodle traits. These non-official sizes and mixes can be put into the three accepted poodle size classification when talking about litter sizes to give you an idea of what can be expected in regards to litter numbers for most poodle type dogs.
If you decide the poodle is the best pet for you, and want to start looking for a breeder, then you will need to choose a poodle type that fits your lifestyle. Whether you are deciding to buy a poodle from a breeder or breeding your own pup, understanding their litter size and things that affect the number are important as you move forward.
Before we look at average litter size by type of poodle, some facts affect those numbers and will increase or decrease them depending on the situation. There is no guaranteed quantity of any litter size. Overall, little dogs tend to have smaller litters, and then the number goes up as the dog size does as well. Along with the poodle size factor, other things will affect litter numbers as well, such as:
- Mothers age – The age of the dog who is pregnant matters. If a pup is younger or older, the litter size tends to be smaller. Female dogs in their prime years tend to have the largest litters. However, if the mom is bred with an older male, this can affect litter size as well since sperm counts are lower as the male dog ages.
- Mothers health – The health condition of a female pup is important when it comes to litter size. If she is unhealthy before or during pregnancy, the number of puppies in her litter tends to be smaller. A breeder can boost the mom’s health with nutritious food, exercise, and prenatal care.
- Timing of Breeding – This doesn’t mean time of year. It means time in the mom’s reproductive cycle. The breeder must understand the female’s cycle, so the best time can be chosen to breed. It’s important as the breeding timing varies depending on whether artificial insemination is used, or the pups are being bred naturally. Some breeders will use items such as this artificial insemination kit for the best results. However, note that litters that are bred naturally tend to be larger. Products such as this ovulation detector help to determine the timing of breeding for best outcomes as well.
Toy Poodle Litters
Toys are the smallest of the acknowledged poodle breed. Adult toys will weigh between 5-10 pounds and are 10” or smaller when measured from the shoulder. The wee teacup poodle is on the lower end of this size group and simply smaller toys. These little pups have a wide range of life span from 10-18 year.
Toy poodles have the smallest litter sizes when compared to their larger poodle counterparts. The average is three pups per litter. This can change due to breeding circumstances and the mom herself. Many toys only have one puppy and a few that may have up to five, although that is rare. If you want a toy poodle puppy, then find a reputable breeder and book ahead as the litters are small and in demand.
Miniature Poodle Litters
Miniature poodles are a size up after toys. They can weigh from 12-17 pounds and range in height from 11” to 15” at the shoulder. Their life expectancy is similar to the toy poodle ranging from 10-18 years.
Miniature poodles tend to have rather typical size litters. They have five pups on average, but this again is influenced by circumstances as outlined above. You will have the best results if you look for a reputable breeder who takes good care of both the mom and dads before, during, and after pregnancy.
Standard Poodle Litters
Standards are the largest of the poodle breed and can weigh up to 70 pounds and 15” tall. King and royal poodles will be above that range heading up to 90lbs. As with most larger dogs, their life expectancy is lower than the toy or miniature falling between 11-13 years.
These bigger dogs tend to have larger litter sizes with the average being around seven puppies per litter. The largest poodle litter came from a standard poodle mom named Charlie in Canada. She gave birth to a record 16 puppies. She was a breeder’s dog who was in good health and optimum age. A good example of what you are looking for on the maternal side of breeding. Standard litters have more pups available, but these pups are still in high demand so you may be on a waiting list if this is the route you choose to go.
You can learn about proper breeding through various books such as A Layman’s Guide. Books such as this will give you information when choosing a breeder and help you understand the process if you are breeding yourself. Finding a reputable breeder who takes care of their poodles before, during, and after pregnancy is important. Caring about their dogs means their litters should be larger in number so you will not only get a new puppy of your chosen type but a healthy one as well.
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