Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

How Many Puppies Do Cane Corsos Have? 5 Determining Factors

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

cane corso dogs on the grass

Vet approved

Dr. Marta Vidal-Abarca Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Marta Vidal-Abarca

BVSc GPCert (Ophthal) MRCVS (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

If you own a Cane Corso, especially one that is pregnant, you may be curious to know how many puppies will appear in the next few weeks. Cane Corso’s can usually deliver around four to six puppies. All dogs are different and may produce a smaller or bigger litter, but the best way to find out if puppies are doing well and approximately how many puppies your dog will have is through a visit to your vet toward the end of the pregnancy, who can perform an X-ray and an ultrasound and give you more information.

To help you prepare, this article will discuss what determines the size of a litter and some tips to help you keep your canine mum-to-be healthy and safe during pregnancy.

Divider 2

What Determines the Cane Corso’s Litter Size?

There are several factors that can determine the size of your dog’s litter. It is almost impossible to determine how much each will influence the litter size, but each factor likely influences the other and the litter size to some degree.

1. Breed and Size

The dog’s breed will be one of the most important aspects influencing the size of the litter. The larger the breed, the larger the litter. As we know, Cane Corsos are giant dogs, which means that they are likely to have a large litter. Their size also allows them more space to hold a bigger litter. While a small breed dog, such as a miniature Poodle, will produce on average a litter of three to four puppies, a Cane Corso can produce up to six puppies.

two female cane corso dogs in the park during autumn
Image Credit: EKATERINA SOLODILOVA, Shutterstock

2. Age

While dogs are typically fertile throughout their lives, a female dog can reach sexual maturity as early as 6 months of age, which in a Cane Corso happens around 12 months of age. However, female dogs of giant breeds seem to be most fertile between 2 and 3 years old. A small breed dog’s first litter is usually the smallest, but this does not appear to be the case with giant breeds such as Cane Corsos.

3. Health

A healthy dog produces healthy pups. Only Cane Corsos that are up to health standards are allowed by reputable breeders to produce puppies to ensure that the litter has a better chance of surviving during labor and birth.

4. Genes

While dog breed can affect litter size, there is also variability between dogs of the same breed. Some lines of dogs will produce larger litters; however, this is not well studied. Additionally, it seems like dogs with a smaller gene pool will generally produce fewer puppies, while dogs with a more diverse gene pool will have bigger litters. Inbreeding will result in a reduced litter size, which is another reason to avoid inbreeding in your Cane Corso.

black Cane Corso puppies
Image Credit: dezy, Shutterstock

5. Method of Mating

Several studies have shown that bitches that mate naturally have larger litters of puppies than those that mate artificially, either using fresh or frozen semen.
Divider 2

How Many Litters Can a Cane Corso Produce in a Year?

Female dogs can have several litters in a period of 12 months, but that doesn’t mean they should. This will depend on the condition of the dog’s body, the dog’s natural cycle, and the breeder’s preferences. Most dogs can have up to two litters a year, about 6 months apart.

Many breeders will choose not to allow their females to produce twice a year as it is taxing on their bodies, and they believe that in the long run, the number of puppies that are produced will decline. Many breeders will allow them to take a break, resulting in a female having only one litter per year.

How Do I Know How Many Puppies My Cane Corso Will Have?

While an ultrasound seems like the obvious method, it will allow vets to check the viability of the puppies, but it is not a great method to accurately determine the number of puppies in the litter. Instead, an X-ray can help determine the number of puppies your Cane Corso is carrying in its litter.

To perform an X-ray, your dog has to be pregnant for a minimum of 45 days so that all the pups’ skeletons are visible.

pregnant dog X-ray
Image Credit: Trevor-Reeves, Shutterstock

What Is the Largest Litter Ever Recorded?

As we know, Cane Corso’s usually have a litter of about four to six puppies, but the largest litter ever recorded for a large breed dog is 24 puppies! These puppies were born from a Neapolitan Mastiff in 2004. They were born by cesarean section, and sadly but surprisingly, only one was stillborn. Three died within the first week; overall, there were 15 males and nine females.

A 2-year-old Cane Corso named Kira gave birth naturally to 19 puppies in 2019. The vet who attended to Kira stated that it was the first time she had seen a case like that in 36 years and that the biggest litter a large dog will usually have is 9–10 puppies.

Divider 1-Dog bone- New

Tips to Keep Your Cane Corso Healthy and Safe During Pregnancy

When your Cane Corso is pregnant, they will experience many changes. Their hormones will change, as well as their appetite, weight, and behavior. During this time, your dog will need all the help and care they can get. Your veterinarian is the best source of advice, but here are some tips to keep your pregnant Cane Corso healthy and safe during pregnancy.

  • Feed your dog a complete and balanced diet throughout their pregnancy and transition her to a puppy formula from week 6 of her pregnancy.
  • Sufficient calcium and phosphorus intake are required for the mother to produce enough milk.
  • To ensure sufficient body weight gain and nutritional reserves, your dog’s food intake should be gradually increased by a total of 35–40% by the time of whelping.
  • The best exercise for your dog during her last few weeks of pregnancy should not be too strenuous. Walks should rather be shorter and more frequent.
  • Regular veterinary visits during pregnancy can help detect any complications early on.
  • Whelping boxes provide a secure, warm, and easily cleaned environment for your dog to have her puppies.
man buying pet food
Image Credit: BearFotos, Shutterstock

Divider 2

In Conclusion

While many factors determine a dog’s litter size, Cane Corsos can usually produce four to six puppies in a litter. The largest litter for a large breed ever recorded was 24 puppies! With that said, if you want to know approximately how many puppies your dog will have, the best way is to speak to your vet and consider taking your dog for an X-ray when she is around 45 days pregnant Knowing how many puppies your dog is due to have will help you prepare for their birth and help you look after your pet mom while she is pregnant.

Featured Image Credit: slowmotiongli, Shutterstock

Related Articles

Further Reading

Vet Articles

Latest Vet Answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database