How Many Puppies Can a Maltese Have?

If you want to find out how many baby dogs Maltese can have at one time, you’re in the right place.

Here, you’ll learn about things like how many babies a Maltese usually has, how big these babies are, how many times a Maltese can have babies in her life, and the different stages when she can become a mommy.

So, How Many Baby Dogs Can a Maltese Have?

On average, a Maltese can give birth to somewhere between 3 to 8 baby dogs during one pregnancy.

Sometimes, there might be only one baby dog born, or occasionally, there could be a bigger group of 10 baby dogs.

The number of babies she has can be influenced by how big the mommy dog is, how old she is, and other traits she inherits from her parents.

What Is the Size of Maltese Puppies When They are Born?

Can you imagine anything more adorable than brand-new Maltese puppies? We certainly can’t! When these puppies are born, they look like small, fluffy jelly beans.

They usually weigh about 4 ounces (which is like a handful of coins) and they grow a bit heavier each day as they become healthier and start to grow.

How Many Times Can a Maltese Have Puppies?

The main idea behind breeding responsibly is to keep the Maltese mother safe. Most breeders allow a Maltese dog to have a maximum of 4 to 5 sets of puppies.

Some breeders decide when to stop based on her age, often retiring her from breeding when she’s around 8 years old.

Responsible breeding also means adjusting plans according to her needs, as indicated by her behavior and advice from a veterinarian or experienced professional.

If she’s showing signs of distress during her third pregnancy or when she’s only 6 years old, she might retire early.

This is not only for her safety but also for the health and well-being of the puppies she might have.

Another point to consider is that retirement can be determined by age or the number of litters, but these two factors aren’t directly linked.

For example, if she’s had 5 sets of puppies by the time she’s 5 years old (although not recommended), that’s when she retires.

On the other hand, if she’s only had 3 litters by the time she’s 8, she still retires to protect her health.

How Often Can a Maltese Have Puppies in a Year?

Maltese mommy dogs become pregnant when a male Maltese dog mate with them during a specific stage of their heat cycle (I’ll explain more about that shortly).

Since a Maltese dog goes into heat two times a year, this means she could have puppies twice a year.

However, it’s not recommended to have puppies that often. It’s better to give her pregnancies some space – ideally, waiting between 1.5 to 2 years between each.

This way, the pregnancies are more likely to go well, the right number of puppies can be born, and both the puppies and the mommy stay healthy.

Maltese dogs are small toy breeds, and because of their size and the number of puppies they usually have in a litter, there can be risks.

These risks include health problems and stress on their bodies.

If a mommy dog has too many litters or has them too close together, the chances of these problems increase.

When Do Maltese Dogs Start Having Their Heat Cycles?

You might be interested to know that Maltese dogs, like many other breeds, become capable of having babies at around 4 months old.

However, they usually experience their first heat cycle when they’re about 1 year old.

Does this mean they can have their first pregnancy then? Unfortunately, no. Even if they start their first heat cycle at 4 months, it’s not a good idea to let them mate with a male dog during that time.

It’s better to wait until they’ve gone through at least 2 heat cycles before considering breeding. I’ll talk about this in more detail later on!

How Long Does a Maltese Heat Cycle Usually Last?

Your Maltese dog’s heat cycle usually goes on for around 2 to 4 weeks.

In this period, she’s most likely to become pregnant between days 10 and 15 of her heat cycle.

Phases of a Maltese Dog’s Heat Cycle

The Maltese dog’s heat cycle consists of three stages (which can expand to four if she’s pregnant).


This is a 9-day period when she releases hormones that signal male dogs she’s getting ready to mate, although mating doesn’t happen during this time.

This phase is noticeable by a small amount of bloody discharge.


During this phase which lasts for 9 to 12 days, the actual mating happens.

It’s important to let the male dog mount her several times, especially towards the end of this stage, to increase the chances of a successful pregnancy.


Typically, this is the third phase. During this stage, her body will go back to its usual state and stay that way for several months until her next heat cycle begins.

Luteal Phase

This stage overlaps with the others, and it’s when she becomes pregnant. An egg is released and combines with the male dog’s sperm from their mating sessions.

This stage, along with the pregnancy, lasts for 2 to 3 months until the puppies are born.

When is The Ideal Age for a Maltese Dog to Become Pregnant?

If you’re excited about breeding your Maltese, here’s the key information you’ve been waiting for: the best time for her to become pregnant is around two years old.

That might seem like a while after her first heat cycle, right?

The important thing to understand is that even though she starts her heat cycle early, it doesn’t mean she’s ready to have puppies.

Her body is still growing and maturing until she’s about one or two years old. Because of this, it’s wise to wait until she’s fully grown before considering pregnancy.

As mentioned earlier, pregnancy can be challenging for small breeds like Maltese, and this challenge becomes even greater if she’s not fully grown.

When she’s still growing, her pelvis doesn’t fully develop, which can make it difficult for the puppies to be born safely.

This poses risks for both her and the puppies if she tries to give birth naturally, rather than through a C-section or medical assistance.

Moreover, if she’s younger and smaller, it adds more stress to her body. This could result in harm to the puppies or even the loss of the pregnancy.

The younger she is, the less capable she is of successfully carrying a pregnancy.

If she does manage to get pregnant at a young age, she’ll likely have a smaller litter with smaller puppies.

Signs to Watch for During a Maltese Pregnancy

Are you looking forward to your Maltese becoming a mom?

You can add to the excitement by keeping an eye out for the pregnancy signs that are likely to show up in your dog.

These signs might include physical changes like her nipples or breasts swelling and her gaining weight in a way that’s unusual for her.

There might also be changes in her behavior, such as a bigger appetite and being more protective of herself around other animals or being careful about her favorite spot to rest.

However, it’s always a good idea to get a pregnancy test for your Maltese mother because these lovely dogs often show signs of pregnancy that can then disappear around the fourth week.

This can make it seem like she had a miscarriage or some other problem, but actually, it was just a false pregnancy!

This is one reason why making sure the male dog mates with her multiple times during the right phase is crucial.

It might take several attempts for her to become pregnant, especially if she’s young.

If there’s not enough mating, it could result in nothing more than a false pregnancy, and you might need to wait for a few heat cycles before trying again.

She can be quite tricky, can’t she? But remember, it’s not her fault! This happens in humans too, after all. Never scold her for this.

How Long Does a Maltese Pregnancy Last?

A Maltese dog’s pregnancy usually lasts around 6 to 7 weeks, which is about 60 days. If it goes beyond 65 days, it’s a good idea to have a vet check to ensure everything is going well!

Several factors play a role in deciding how long a Maltese’s pregnancy should be to keep her healthy.

These factors involve genetics passed down from her parents, along with aspects like her size, age, and her own unique requirements as a dog.

There’s nothing more adorable than Maltese puppies, except maybe your own Maltese dog! These little pups are like mini versions of their mom, incredibly small and absolutely charming.

This guide will provide you with insights on what to anticipate when your Maltese dog is about to give birth to a litter of puppies.


If you’re excited about the idea of your Maltese dog becoming a mother and having adorable puppies, it’s important to be well-prepared and knowledgeable about the entire process.

From understanding her heat cycle and pregnancy stages to recognizing signs of pregnancy and being aware of the optimal age and timing for breeding, being a responsible owner means ensuring the health and well-being of both the mother and her puppies.

Remember, a Maltese pregnancy involves careful planning, monitoring, and support to ensure a safe and successful journey into motherhood.

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Luke Grayson
By Luke Grayson

I'm Luke Grayson co founder of The Dogs Wiki and dog lover person. Plays the role of content writing and keyword selection with proper research.

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