How Many Puppies Can a Border Collie Have? (Solved!)

Congratulations! The fact that you are searching on ‘how many puppies can a Border Collie have?’ shows that you and your intensely active Border Collie (BC) are about to be parents.

So, whether you just want to stay safe or the actual expected delivery date for your sharp-witted dog is almost due, and you are wondering how many puppies can a Border Collie have, worry not this article got you covered.

I’ll provide you with science-backed answers on the number of litters and puppies a BC can have in its lifetime.

I’ll also walk you through the things you should do to take care of newborn Border Collie whelps(pups).


How Many Puppies Can A Border Collie Have?

A Border Collie can give birth to 4-8 puppies, 4 being the minimum number and 8 being the maximum number.

It’s essential to take your doggie to a qualified vet to be sure of how many puppies your Border Collie is about to have.

A vet will conduct the following investigations in order to tell how many pups are forming in your dog’s womb;

  • Palpation-this is the use of fingers and palms to confirm pregnancy (not that accurate)
  • Have an X-ray taken on the 55th day of the pregnancy-a vet will count on the number of spinal cords or skulls visible to tell you the exact number of the pups to be born. This is the most accurate method

How Many Litters Of Puppies Can A Border Collie Have?

A healthy female Border Collie can have 4-5 litters of puppies in its lifetime.

How Long Are Border Collies Pregnant?

After an estrus cycle (the mating period in dogs), a fertile border Collie may get pregnant if fertilization occurs.

Border Collies typically have a gestation period (the period after an ovary’s fertilization to give birth) of 9 weeks or 2 months, or 63 days.

And just like humans, these dog breeds also have 3 trimesters, each constituting 21 days.

Typical signs and symptoms that usually manifest during a dog’s gestational period include;

  • Increased nesting behavior-which includes excessive grooming, aggressive behaviors like ripping blankets
  • Morning sickness-usually presents with vomiting that occurs in the first 21 days following pregnancy
  • Changes in appetite-may eat too much or too little depending on the trimester
  • Your hound gets easily tired and is more laid back than usual
  • Enlarged nipples which are more darker than usual
  • Vaginal swelling and discharge
  • A rapid increase in weight
  • Its stomach is firmer than normal

Note that some underlying medical conditions can cause your dog to look as though it’s pregnant.

So to be sure that the symptoms your dog is manifesting are due to pregnancy, ensure that you take it to a vet for an affirmative answer.

What To Do When Your Border Collie Is Pregnant For The First Time

Book A Prenatal Clinic With Your Vet

A prenatal clinic helps monitor your pregnant dog’s health.

It also gives you an avenue to ask your vet all you need to know and do to for a first-time pregnant dog.

Provide It With A Healthy Diet

Providing your dog with the proper meals high in nutritional value ensures that its whelps(pups)get enough nutrients to fully mature while in the womb.

A pregnant ‘mama’ doggie requires a meal high in soluble carbs and low in fiber which should contain at least 29% protein and 17% fat content.

It’s highly recommended that you feed your whelping(pregnant) dog foods low in calcium as high concentrations of calcium in a pregnant dog may cause it to have high blood pressure, which may put both itself and its puppies in a threatening situation during labor.

The highly soluble carbohydrates help keep blood sugar levels in check, thus reducing the risk of your momma doggie getting gestational diabetes, which in most times leads to complications in pregnancy and during labor.

Below are some of the recommended foods to feed a pregnant dog;

  • Beef pulp
  • Brown Rice
  • Red meat-pork, duck, beef
  • Ground bone
  • Dark leafy vegetables
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots

Pro-tip; Do not directly feed your doggie with vegetables as most of the time it won’t eat. Instead, dice or chop the vegetables into small amounts and thoroughly mix them in your doggy’s favorite food.

Get Acquainted With The Signs Of Labor In dog

Knowing how a pregnant dog will present when it’s almost giving birth will help know which moves or actions to take.

You also won’t be confused and panic if you notice a sudden behavior that your dog wasn’t portraying a few hours or days ago.

Below are some of the common signs that your dog is about to go into labor and deliver;

  • Heavy and difficult breathing characterized by panting
  • There is a drop in its rectal temperature by 2°F. Normal temperature is usually a 100°F-102°F and it may drop to 99°F or less
  • Total refusal to eat food-may happen 2 days before the actual labor begins

Note a dog can stay in labor for 6-12 hours.

It is recommended that you call in a vet to help your dog deliver for its first time since unprecedented complications can occur.

How To Care For Newborn Border Collie Puppies?

Border Collie Puppies by Luniaczka (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Having newborn Border Collie puppies around (whether the first time or not) is usually an emotional and joyous moment for both you and your doggy.

However, not knowing what it is that you should do to care for your newborn (0-3 weeks old) puppies can turn these blissful moment into a nightmare (not to scare you, though).

Note that newly born BC pups are born weak, susceptible to life-threatening infections, deaf, blind, and toothless, and usually, their survival rate is determined by what you and your hound do in terms of caring for them.

But this task is quite simple, and with a few tips and guide, you will be acing at being a newborn puppy or puppies’ parent.

Below are some of the things that you should do if you are to properly and adequately care for your Border Collie’s newborn pups;

Provide Them With A Warm Place To Sleep/Stay

Puppies are at an increased risk of becoming hypothermic if they are not kept temperatures below 45°F.

Hypothermia is a life-threatening medical condition that occurs when your pup’s body temperature goes below the normal that is 32°F.

Providing your puppies and their mother with a whelping box that adequately allows the mother to lie down with her head and legs extended without being on top of the puppies is one sure way to provide a warm and safe place for your pups.

Your dog’s whelping box can either be bought from a dog’s pets store, or you can DIY and make a large enough whelping box made of cardboard or plywood in the comforts of your home.

Ensure that you place an easy to clean, water-repellant fabric inside the whelping box.

You can also use a bottle filled with warm water wrapped in a towel to provide more heat to the pups just in case the temperatures are pretty low.

Replace Soiled Mats With Fresh And Clean Mats/Rags

Ensure that you keep your Border Collie’s whelping box clean by replacing soiled mats with clean and fresh rugs.

Ensure that you do this at least twice a day to avoid disturbing the pup and agitating the mother.

Extra tip; best time to do this is when the mother moves out of its whelping box to relieve itself.

Take The Puppies Weight Daily And Accurately Record

A puppy’s chances of surviving is greatly determined by its body weight.

Research has shown that pups born with low birth weight (less than 14 ounces) are at an increased risk of an 80% mortality rate.

Use a postal scale to avoid measuring errors.

Ensure that you accurately record each of your puppies’ weight to monitor if they are gaining or losing weight easily.

Pro-tip; Measure their weight early in the morning before they feed to get their correct weight(s).

The Don’ts While Taking Care Of Your BC’S Newly Born Pups

  • Never separate your pups from their mother
  • Never use any soap or disinfectant to clean them unless you are directed to do so by a certified vet to do so
  • Never wash your pups until they are 3-4 weeks old
  • Never cut off the placenta attached to the puppy as you may cause it to bleed out and pass on

If you are to feed your newly born pups due to unavoidable circumstances, ensure that you use a clean feeding tube if they cannot suckle on an animal feeding bottle.

NEVER use a sponge or a dropper as you risk your puppies aspirating (food accidentally entering its airways or lungs) the food which can quickly escalate to a life-threatening emergency

Remember that the first 2 days of a pup’s life are the most critical due to dehydration.

This is so as a puppy loses its birth weight by 4% within the 2 days due to the loss of water from its body, making it at risk of becoming dehydrated.

Key Takeaway

How many puppies can a Border Collie have?

The answer is 4-8 puppies in one pregnancy. Ensure that you provide your whelps with a warm and clean place to live in once they are born.

Always take your pregnant dog ‘mama’ to its prenatal clinic without fail.

Authored By

Madeline Wright

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