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How Many Puppies Can A Maltese Have? 

There might only be one thing tinier and more adorable than a Maltese dog: a Maltese puppy.

They are even smaller and cuter and deserve all of our love and attention.

If you are thinking of breeding your Maltese to make more tiny balls of fur, you might have some questions.

How many puppies can Maltese dogs have?

Most Maltese litters range from 3-6 puppies, with some outliers on either end.

Maltese breeders can sustain up to five litters, which means that a single Maltese mother can give birth to up to thirty puppies in her lifetime.

Of course, this number varies, and only an exceptionally healthy Maltese will have large litters consistently.

How Many Puppies Do Maltese Have?

Maltese dogs have been around for centuries, gracing laps of ancient Greeks and modern owners with their charm and liveliness.

They are an excellent breed for having puppies, despite their tiny size.

Maltese can have several litters in their lifetime and multiple healthy pups per litter.

If you are considering breeding your Maltese, keep in mind that your dog’s health is more important than how many puppies or litters she can have.

Make sure you are consulting with your veterinarian, protecting her from unwanted pregnancies when she’s in heat, and taking good care of her while she’s pregnant.

How Many Puppies Do Maltese Have Per Litter?

Usually, a Maltese will have anywhere from 2-6 puppies per litter.

The first litter might be a bit smaller.

Several factors can adjust this number, but it remains the average.

A mother’s health and age will limit the number of puppies and any potential health difficulties.

However, most Maltese litters fall within the normal range.

Larger dogs have larger litter sizes, so it is logical that the Maltese – a toy dog – will have smaller litters.

Many Maltese sit comfortably within 2-4 healthy puppies every litter.

Maltese are some of the healthiest toy dogs to give birth and can safely birth if they are taken care of by breeders and owners.

How Many Litters Do Maltese Have in a Lifetime?

Most breeders limit Maltese mothers from having more than four or five litters or stop them when they are eight years old.

If a Maltese mother shows signs of physical distress or body exhaustion after three litters or when she’s six years old, a good breeder will notice and retire her early to protect her health and her offspring.

When a Maltese reaches a maximum of litters or ages out of whelping, she will retire.

It’s dangerous for both the mother and the puppies to continue to breed through complications.

Once a breeder dog is retired, she is usually spayed and lives the rest of her life in peace with her guardian family.

What Factors Affect the Number of Puppies?

Several factors in a dog’s life affect the number of puppies she produces and the number of litters she mothers.

Her health, age, and physical shape are vital, but the stud with whom she is paired also affects the number and health of puppies.

Other, more surprising aspects of birth come into play, such as impregnation methods and unknown genetics.

Some say that dogs tend to give birth to larger litters in spring than fall. Although there’s no scientific reasoning behind this trend, it has been observed by breeders for years.

Breed of Dog

Toy dogs are generally not advised for non-professional breeders because of their size and health complications.

However, Maltese are more robust than many other small dog breeds and can safely give birth to healthy litters of puppies.

When they are cared for during the breeding process, Maltese will be more likely to stay healthy throughout several litters.

Even though they are a healthy breed of dog for bearing puppies, the fact that the Maltese are toy dogs does affect the number of puppies they can safely have.

Because they are so small and petite, Maltese are more likely to experience difficulties or medical complications with pregnancies.

Mother’s Age

Maltese usually start breeding at about two years and go until they’ve had five healthy litters or they’re eight years old.

The older a mother is, the more likely health complications are.

Many dogs can continue giving birth with no problems, but it’s essential to check for body exhaustion or health issues after a few litters.

The ideal age for a Maltese to give birth is around two years – a year and a half after her first time in heat.

At this point, her body will have fully developed and is ready for babies.

If a Maltese mother struggles with a pregnancy at this age, it might be a good sign that she’s not cut out to be a breeding dog.

Mother’s Health and Nutrition

The most vital aspect of breeding is the mother’s health.

A healthy Maltese will give birth to more puppies per litter and have more litters over her lifetime.

If a dog’s body is unhealthy, she will not only lose puppies but will most likely need to retire from breeding early to protect herself.

Nutrition is essential – if a dog can’t sustain the proper amount of calories during pregnancy, her pups will be unhealthy, and it could even result in a failed pregnancy.

A pregnant dog shouldn’t have a significant decrease of appetite until she’s almost ready to give birth – if your dog isn’t eating, you should talk to your breeder and your veterinarian.

Father’s Age

Although the health and number of puppies largely depend on the mother, some aspects vary with the father’s status.

An older Maltese stud might have a lower sperm count, which will decrease the number of puppies.

The older the dog, the less likely the litter will be enormous.

The health of a stud doesn’t affect the number of puppies in a litter but does make a difference in the dogs’ health.

The pups themselves can be affected by their father’s genetics.

If a stud isn’t genetically healthy, he shouldn’t be fathering puppies.

Age affects the number of puppies in a litter more than overall health does.

Method and Timing of Impregnation

The easiest way to impregnate a dog is the most natural way – make sure a stud mounts her multiple times while she’s in heat.

There are a few days within the cycle of a female Maltese that she is extra fertile.

If she is impregnated during that period, she is more likely to have a larger litter.

In Vitro fertilization or artificial insemination are even trickier methods because the sperm can decrease in quantity and quality over time.

Many artificial inseminations result in non-pregnancy.

Even if it does work, the litter will most likely be much smaller than usual (usually only one or two puppies).


Of course, the one aspect of litter size that a breeder can’t control is the genetics of both the mother and father dogs.

Some dogs are perfectly healthy but have smaller litters because of their genetics.

Others have larger litters than average and remain healthy.

If a dog doesn’t have good breeding genetics, it’s best not to breed them.

Many genetic defects have required testing before you are allowed to breed your dog.

If they fall under certain conditions, veterinarians will recommend that you spay or neuter them.

Forcing a dog with health issues to bear pregnancies and give birth can put them and the puppies at a greater risk.

Final Thoughts

Maltese generally have anywhere between two and six puppies per litter, with a maximum of five litters.

If you have a healthy, young, fertile Maltese mother, she’ll be able to have anywhere from ten to almost thirty puppies in her lifetime.

When Maltese breeding dogs are taken care of and loved, they’ll provide you with many healthy, adorable puppies!

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National Canine Research Association of America