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How Often Can Havanese Have Puppies? (Complete Guide)

The Havanese are smart dogs that were originally bred as companion dogs in the 1500s in Cuba. They come from the bichon family. They are not only lapdogs but trainable and extremely energetic. 

How often can Havanese have puppies?

This depends on the health and condition of your Havanese dog and also the time to recover from pregnancies. They should be able to give birth 3 times per year as female dogs go into heat every 6 months from the start of their first heat. However, they should not be bred more than twice a year. 

Dogs can give birth till they expire and do not go through menopause, unlike humans. The number of litters your Havanese dog can have depends on the lifespan of your dog.

The maximum number possible is 12 to 15 litters a year. Regardless of the heat cycles, it is not safe to breed more than twice a year. 

How many puppies do Havanese have in a litter?

The number of puppies in a litter depends on the physical health and age of both parents. Since Havanese dogs are fairly small compared to other dogs, they have an average litter size of 4. This can vary from 1 to 9 puppies.

It’s simple to say that large breeds produce larger litters and the bigger your dog is, the larger the litters will be. This strong breed outnumbers other similar-sized breeds because they are capable of carrying more. 

A Swedish study has shown that artificial insemination with the use of frozen semen leads to fewer puppies in a litter than natural impregnation.

You cannot change the litter count. Interfering with impregnation can cause further issues during pregnancy and birth. Let nature do its job. 

How old should a Havanese be to breed?

The Havanese Club of America’s(HCA) Code of Ethics states that all Havanese dogs should be in good health condition and of suitable age before they are bred. They recommend 8 weeks to be the minimum age. 

Both male and female Havanese dogs should not start breeding until they are at least 1 year of age. This is to ensure good temperament and proper health. Your dog should be mentally mature and prepared for birth. Every dog is different. 

Most male dogs are retired from breeding after they are 7 to 8 years of age and female Havanese dogs are usually retired after the age of 7. 

Age is less of a factor. The condition of your dog is more important. Before you start breeding, take your dog to a veterinarian so that they can conduct a physical exam and see if they have any abnormalities that can cause difficulties during pregnancy.

Any genetic disorders are problematic and should be evaluated. Your Havanese dog should also be regular with vaccinations.

How long should you wait between litters of puppies?

Many dogs can produce 3 to 4 litters within a year. But it mainly depends on the health condition and the dog’s natural cycle. Most dogs are only able to have two heat cycles per year which are about 6 months apart. 

However, breeding a female Havanese dog twice a year is advised against by many. It hampers the mother’s physical health and reduces the number of puppies produced in total.

Many breeders let their dog produce a litter and then allow a breather during the dog’s next heat cycle. 

Hence, it is advised to produce one litter per year. 

What are birthing problems in Havanese dogs?

Delivery should go smoothly with some whining due to labor pain. But prepare to go to the vet in cases of emergency. It will be easy to notice if your dog is having trouble with the delivery. Either call the vet and seek medical advice or go to the nearest vet.

Dystocia means difficulty giving birth. This happens when the puppies are malpositioned, the puppy is too large, or when two puppies are presenting at the same time. These are common birthing problems that Havanese dogs face.

Slow labor is a sign of dystocia too. If your dog faces any of the following problems during labor, contact the vet immediately.


Any spotting of a bloody discharge or profuse clear discharge could be a sign of dystocia. Uterine torsion, rupture, or hemorrhage causes dogs to pass a heavy flow of blood from the vulva.

A green or black discharge coming from the vulva, also known as Lochia, for three hours without delivery of a puppy is not normal. This green discharge before a puppy is born is known as premature placental separation.

A green discharge is only normal after the delivery of the first pup.


If your dog has obvious contractions for greater than 12 hours without a whelping then something is wrong. Strong contractions for more than half an hour with no delivery of a puppy are concerning as well. 

Delivery Date:

Your Havanese dog could be suffering from dystocia if they are pregnant for more than 68 days. This is a sign of abnormal delivery. It usually occurs in the first delivery. 


A gap of more than 4 hours between the delivery of puppies and weak straining for more than two hours with no delivery of puppy is problematic. Always check the body temperature and progesterone levels of your dog while she is in labor.

No labor more than 24 hours after the temperature has dropped is an issue as well as no labor in 36 hours after progesterone drop. During stage 1 labor, your dog should give birth to a puppy within 6 to 8 hours. 


Your dog might have eclampsia if she experiences tremors, seizures, rigidity, or muscle weakness.

Physical state:

Severe abdominal pain, pale mucous membrane, symptoms of shock, high pulse rate, and sudden body temperature below 98. These symptoms mean that your dog is having difficulties giving birth. 

Uterine Inertia:

Uterine inertia is a condition when the muscles of the uterus fail to respond to normal delivery hormones. It is also known as a lack of productive contractions.

This could occur during long and difficult deliveries. The symptoms of uterine inertia vary. It can be diagnosed with a physical exam and it’s best to contact a vet.  

Position of the puppies:

The most vulnerable state for a puppy is when they are in the birthing canal. In normal deliveries, puppies come out in headfirst or feet-first position.

The position is correct as long as the abdomen of the puppy is facing down and in the direction of the mother’s abdomen. Your dog will not be able to give birth without assistance if one of the puppies is seen sideways or upside down.

You can attempt to fix it yourself with the guidance of a licensed vet or you might have to go to the emergency center.

How many times can a Havanese dog give birth in a lifetime?

An average Havanese dog can give birth three times every year throughout its lifetime. But this is not practical and unthinkable for most as it puts tremendous pressure on the dog’s body as well as risks their health.

Many professional breeders choose to breed twice in a dog’s lifetime. It is suggested that a Havanese dog or any dog breed should not give birth more than 6 times throughout its life. 

How many litters is it safe for a Havanese dog to have?

This varies depending on the size of the litter, overall health, and the recovery process between pregnancies. Havanese female dogs can’t breed that much, unlike their male counterparts.

A dog can have up to 30 litters but this is not safe. Responsible breeders suggest that Havanese dogs should not have more than 4 litters in their lifetime. A large number of litters can affect their health and reduce their lifespan. The law allows dogs to have 6 litters in a lifetime.

But this is too high. Dogs that are overbred are more likely to lose litters because of medical issues and stress. 

The health of dogs should be put first. They will need to have a smooth and fast recovery process in between pregnancies including good overall health. 

How long do Havanese stay pregnant?

Pregnancy in dogs is not as long as pregnancy in humans. They stay pregnant for around 9 weeks. Most dogs give birth after 63 days from conception. This can vary. It’s difficult to determine the actual duration of pregnancy without the help of a veterinarian.

However, if your Havanese dog has not gone to labor after day 68 of the last breeding, it’s time to call the vet. This means something is wrong. 

To get an accurate time frame for gestation, do hormone measurements. This will enable you to find out the duration of gestation and the potential due date.

Knowing the estimated duration of the gestation period enables us to monitor nutrition and veterinary care during pregnancy. 

Is the first litter of puppies the best?

Unfortunately, the complete opposite! 45 percent of the losses happen to first-time mothers. This is because the mother is unaware of the issues that the puppies can face. They are not as effective as an older mom in puppy care. 

Many people refrain from buying puppies from a dog’s first litter. The ideal choice is the mother’s third litter by the same stud. This proves that the mother has given birth to healthy puppies before with the same father.

But with proper care, you can help save the first litter of puppies and train the mom to take care of them. 

For a successful pregnancy, pick a suitable mate, provide a safe place for your dog, give proper medical attention, nutrition, and go for regular checkups.

Consider every possible outcome before breeding your dog. Overbreeding is dangerous for the health of any dog. The wellbeing, safety, and health of your dogs should always be the main priority. 

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