Breed Facts

How Many Puppies Do Border Collies Have? — Family Addition!

Border Collies are amazing dogs with great genes. These genes ensure that they live long and healthy lives without too many health complications. Throughout the years, the Border Collie breed has been steadily growing. If you have a pregnant Border Collie, you might be wondering just how many puppies do Border Collies have? That’s a great question! The answer is that it actually depends on the health and size of your pooch.

In this article, I’ll be sharing how many puppies border collies have in one litter and how to find out if your beloved border collie is pregnant!

How many puppies do Border Collies have?

Asking how many puppies do border collies have is a perfectly normal question, especially if it’s your first time taking care of a dog. There have been many records and reports throughout the years that border collies have known to deliver 4-8 dogs in a single litter. Still, it depends on how big the mother border collie is. Small-sized border collies tend to deliver less than 6 in a single litter. Meanwhile, bigger-sized border collies have been reported to deliver 8 or even more!

The size, age, health, and weight of your dog greatly affects how many puppies will be delivered. You will notice that younger border collies deliver more puppies in one litter. An older border collie may only deliver around 4-6, especially if she’s given birth to pups before.

how many puppies do border collies have

How do I know that my Border Collie is pregnant?

The easiest way to know that your Border Collie is pregnant is to count the days and know when her period was due. This can be done by taking note of when your dogs last cycle started. Count backwards from the point that you noticed your dog had a period, figure out what day this would have been, and add five or six days. At this point, it is likely that your Border Collie will be pregnant. 

We realize that this is a bit tough, so we’ve put together some other ways to know that your border collie is pregnant.

Change in Appetite

Most owners of border collies know that their dog is pregnant because of the change in their appetite. When your dog is pregnant, you can be sure to expect them to eat more. 

Keep in mind that it is not necessarily an increase in food consumption; rather, the type of food they are choosing to eat will change. Border collies often have a tendency to gravitate towards high protein and calorie food items when they become pregnant.

Noticing any changes in your dog’s appetite can be of a great concern. A pregnant female normally craves for more food and will tend to eat more than usual.

Change in Nipple Size

The border collie’s nipple size will be bigger and tender, and swollen. It is a good sign that the dogs are pregnant.

Nipples are normally small in healthy dogs, but in a pregnant dog they grow in size due to increased blood flow in preparation of the lactation or milk-producing stage. In the case of female dogs more specifically, the first sign of pregnancy is often tenderness in their nipples.

The border collie’s gestation period is around 63-65 days. Pregnancy is confirmed after the second heat cycle in border collies. One of the changes in your dog during the gestation period is a noticeable enlargement of the border collie’s nipples.  

Hormone Tests

If you have a border collie and she is showing signs of pregnancy, then your first step is to have her tested with a hormone blood test. If the test results are positive, then you will need to take her to your vet for an ultrasound to determine how many pups she is carrying and when they are due to be born.

A full blood work usually costs around $200 to $300 in the veterinarian clinic. Book an appointment in advance so that you can check if your vet offers that test or not. You will usually get the results within the next 24 hours. 

After getting the results, you will then know when your border collie will be due to deliver her pups.

Laziness or Fatigue

Your border collie needs more rest and a few other hints of pregnancy to expect: -A 30-pound dog may gain up to four pounds during pregnancy, or none at all. This weight change might make your border collie more tired than she usually is. Due to the drops in blood sugar levels, she may be lethargic, or even uninterested in eating or drinking. She may also want to go outside less often. Your dog may become less active than usual. 

Most dog owners will notice that their border collie is going to have puppies if they see changes in her behavior. Studies consistently show the female dog will become less active.

More Affectionate

It’s very common for dogs to become more affectionate during their pregnancy. All pregnant border collies develop an enormous appetite and tend to sleep more, which combined with extra affection can be a sign of pregnancy. 

She may become more affectionate. Border collies could also sleep more, eat less and stay in one place after being outside with the herd for a while. Generally speaking, your dog will also show more affection to the people she knows well and access her nesting instincts, which means you should expect to see her pull out old blankets from under the bed and maybe even steal them

More Irritable

Does your border collie whine more than usual? Your female border collie is more likely to be less interested in playing and more interested in resting. She may also show a significant increase in irritability.

Your border collie may become more irritable as her pregnancy progresses, especially if she has not had a lot of exercise or has experienced some minor health issues. Border collies carrying pups usually seem restless and may choose to nest. She may exhibit nesting behaviors such as digging at the ground and resting at odd times throughout the day.

Preparing a Nest

Some border collie owners may notice that their dog starts nesting when she is pregnant. When a female border collie is pregnant, she may also become more protective of her property and may be somewhat anxious.

She may start nesting two or three weeks before she delivers the puppies. She will gather scraps of blankets, towels or clothing and put them in a little pile in the corner of the room. She may also bring in straw, hay or grass and try to make a comfortable bed for herself and her babies. She may even pretend that one of her favorite toys is one of her puppies!

Swollen Belly

Pregnancy may be the most exciting and yet challenging time in your border collie’s life. So, how do you know if your dog is expecting? Most likely you will notice that she has a swollen belly and her nipples might be more prominent too. This is especially apparent if she is carrying a single pup or just after she had puppies. It can be an exciting moment for you too!

You may notice an obvious swelling in one of your border collie’s abdominal areas, even the slightest bit, is a reason to get it checked by a veterinarian or a nurse.


If you live near a veterinary clinic that does ultrasounds, your border collie may need to get one. An ultrasound can confirm pregnancy and help determine the number of puppies in the litter. If the vet clinic is far, have your dog checked by your local veterinarian where he can palpate your dog’s uterus for a pregnancy and count the number of fetuses if it is more than one.

Ultrasounds are very important to give you an accurate idea of when your Border Collie will give birth. With this information, you will be able to prepare your household for when the time comes that your border collie will deliver her puppies.


You may notice that your border collie seems to be vomiting more than usual. As a dog pregnancy progresses, you may also notice that your border collie becomes increasingly lethargic and tired. Vomiting can be a sign of pregnancy in a dog, but it can also accompany other illnesses.

A mother dog will often vomit up food, or simply gulp air while drinking, during the first few days of her pregnancy. This is normal and to be expected. All you need to do if you’re concerned is to take your dog to the vet for a physical examination.

how many puppies do border collies have

Final Words

Your border collie’s health is extremely important when she is pregnant. Their overall health will determine if the puppies are also going to survive and grow up to be healthy as well. Knowing how far along the mother border collie is will help you and the members of your family prepare for when it is time for the mother to give birth.

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