How Many Puppies Do Boston Terriers Have?

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Having Boston Terrier puppies can be exciting, especially when all of them enter the world healthy. Whether you’re eager to breed or waiting for your pet to give birth, it’s essential you know how many puppies you can expect to prepare for them and provide all the necessary care. So, how many puppies do Boston Terriers have?

How Many Puppies Do Boston Terriers Have?

Boston Terriers can have 3 to 5 puppies in each litter. Because of the breed’s large head, it’s common for female Terriers to experience labor complications, causing them to lose some of their puppies. Health conditions and aftercare can also influence how many puppies can survive.

Graphic image of Boston Terrier puppies with a text stating that Boston Terriers can have 3-5 puppies in each litter

Identifying the Number of Boston Terrier Puppies 

The number of puppies depends on a Boston Terrier’s body. The smaller the breed, the smaller the litter, which is why Boston Terriers tend to give birth to 4 to 5 puppies. It’s rare for them to have 7 or more puppies.

Setting a veterinary checkup is the best way to determine how many puppies your Boston Terrier can have. These are the different methods a veterinarian can give you an accurate number.  

  • Hormone tests: This blood test detects pregnancy by measuring levels of the hormone relaxin, which comes from the placental tissue during pregnancy. Your Boston Terrier must be at least 30 days into gestation, which is about 58 to 68 days, for the test to be accurate.  
  • Radiography: Also known as an x-ray, radiography has a 93% accuracy in determining litter size. However, this is only ideal in the later stages of pregnancy since the fetal skull and spine don’t become visible until the sixth or seventh week. It also determines if your pet needs a C-section. 
  • Palpation: This is the cheapest way to identify litter size. As each fetus develops, the membranes around them grow into fluid-filled sacs. The vet will gently press fingers on the abdomen’s surface to detect swellings in the uterus. While this isn’t the most accurate method, it helps confirm the presence and number of puppies.   
  • Ultrasound: Waiting for at least 55 days before scheduling an ultrasound gives a decent estimation of when your Boston Terrier will give birth. It also looks for fetal heartbeats to check the health of the puppies.
Sick Boston Terrier puppy receiving treatment

Factors Affecting Boston Terrier Litter Size  

Even if you check the litter size of your Boston Terrier, some things can change the number of puppies. Terriers under 7 years old tend to have smaller litters than dogs of old age. If it’s the first litter, there will be fewer puppies, regardless of your pet’s age. 

Aside from that, whelping is a dog’s natural way of giving birth to puppies. While most breeds can do this on their own, Boston Terriers have difficulties in whelping due to their small pelvises. Boston Terriers have naturally large skulls, causing the puppies to get stuck during birth.

Labor becomes painful and longer when Boston Terriers have a calcium deficiency. This is also why different types of Terriers usually can’t push through with whelping, driving an 80% c-section rate among Boston Terriers.

Ways to Ensure Your Boston Terrier Delivers All Puppies 

While pregnancy and giving birth come to Boston Terriers naturally, I can do certain measures to ensure that the expected litter size will have a higher chance of surviving.

  • Ensure proper diet: An overweight Terrier risks getting a smaller litter. Moreover, calcium supplementation, whether in the form of medication or food, is not ideal for pregnant and nursing Boston Terriers. Excessive calcium can suppress the production of the parathyroid hormone, which plays a role in maintaining blood calcium concentration.
  • Know the signs of labor: After 64 days or so, a pregnant Boston Terrier will show signs of delivery such as restlessness, excessive licking of her vulva, and vomiting or discharging mucus. Your pet may also stop eating a day before laboring and start pawing at her bedding, like creating a nest. 
  • Prepare supplies: If your Boston Terrier gives birth without supervision from a vet, you must provide a whelping box made of plywood or carton. Put a heating pad or newspaper to protect the mother and puppies from the cold and other dangers.  
  • Know when to go to the vet: A vet should do a C-section if the puppies get stuck in the birth canal due to their large heads. This is also the case if the mother feels too tired or becomes dehydrated even before whelping. 
  • Feed the nursing Terrier: Boston Terriers know how to feed their puppies, so it’s my job to care for the feeding mother. Give her high-quality dog food that contains enough nutrients. 
  • Monitor the puppies: There’s a chance that your Boston Terrier can’t supply enough milk or reject any or all of the puppies. In that case, feeding becomes your task. You can feed the puppies using nursing bottles or supplements.
Woman carrying a Boston Terrier

Related Questions

Before wrapping up, let’s answer some questions concerning the development and survival of Boston Terriers. 

How Old Should Boston Terriers Get Pregnant?

Female Boston Terriers can reach sexual maturity between 6 to 12 months, which means they can get pregnant as early as 6 months old. However, it’s better to wait for your dog to become physically and emotionally mature, which is about 2 years old, to ensure it’s ready for pregnancy.

How Long Do Boston Terriers Get Pregnant?  

Pregnancy in dogs is shorter compared to humans. It normally ranges from 57 to 65 days, with an average of 63 days. Knowing this is crucial in monitoring veterinary care and nutrition during pregnancy. 

Can a Boston Terrier Live a Long Life? 

While some Boston Terriers die at birth due to labor complications, most of them survive up to the median life expectancy of 11 to 13 years. Others can grow old up to 15 years old, although this depends on factors like genetics, size, health, environment, and lifestyle.



Boston Terriers can give birth to 3 to 5 puppies. Factors like health, delivery process, and postpartum care can all affect the litter size. As long as you understand how to support and care for puppies, you can help your pet bring more loving Boston Terriers into this world. 

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