Average Litter Size For Shih Tzus
Based on our experience, we usually see litters of three in the case of this tiny dog breed. This is not a hard and fast figure. There are also cases where the litter size was 4 or 5 on some occasions. If your dog has given birth before, it is more like that the number will go above three. We have also found that a small percentage of Shih Tzu deliveries also require C-section techniques. Obviously, those must be performed by a certified veterinarian.
We have found that comparing the litter sizes of different dog breeds provides interesting outcomes- from a giant dog breed such as the German Shepherd whose litter size is as large as 8 to that of the Shih Tzu coming down to 3.
This factor impacts their selling price as well. Since this breed’s population growth levels are lower, they are more expensive to buy in pet stores than dogs with larger litter sizes.
Shih Tzu Litter Count For The First Delivery
If the female Shih Tzu is at a younger age during pregnancy, we have found that the litter size is on the lower side. In general, the litter size increases with the age of the mother dog.
We have seen sizes varying from one to 3 puppies for the first time. As a rule of thumb, we recommend not to breed them more than four times in the female’s lifetime as it can adversely affect their health and does no good to their mental well-being.
As a responsible pet parent, keep a close watch over your female dog as things can get complicated for the mother when a litter of more than four puppies. The result will be Shih Tzu puppies that are weaker in health when the size exceeds four. This will, in turn, put more pressure on the mother dog to take additional care of the weak ones.
Pregnancy Complications in Shih Tzus
As mentioned earlier, not all deliveries for this breed go easily. Around a quarter of them have been proven to require C-section surgeries. This is because natural birth is found to be more hazardous for the mother and her newborns. To avoid this issue, most vets will recommend the Caesarean alternative.
There are physical attributes of the Shih Tzus that make the pregnancy process vulnerable. They have narrow hips, and the babies have big heads. Due to the awkward physical traits of the Brachycephaly breeds, the litter size is reduced. Apart from the Shih Tzus, some of the other dog breeds that belong to this category are pugs, Pekingese, Chow Chows, English Toy Spaniels, Bull Mastiffs, and French Bulldogs.
To make things worse, we have witnessed cases where a baby’s head gets stuck in the birth canal. This can be dangerous both to the Shih Tzu puppy and the mother. Always get the mother checked out by the vet to predict any such complications that may arise during the delivery time.
From a monetary perspective, C-section deliveries can range from $300 to a few thousand depending upon the case’s complexity.