How Many Puppies Can a Cane Corso Have? Facts & Beyond

Cane Corsos normally deliver around 4 to 6 puppies. Others may have a smaller or larger litter size depending on several factors. This fact has to be something Cane Corso owners must be aware of since preparation is key to taking care of them all equally and properly. 

Let us walk you through in further explaining the litter size of the beloved Cane Corso of Italy and explore the reasons behind the number of puppies your pregnant canine has given birth to as well as what you can do to help your dog during his entire pregnancy.

What Affects the Litter Size of a Cane Corso?

Breed, age, health, size, diet, and genetics are just some of the influencing factors that determine the size of the Cane Corso’s litter. Although it is impossible to identify the degree of influence each factor contributes, it remains highly likely for all of them to have a certain impact. Let’s put each one into detail below.


Cane Corsos are massive dogs. Just like their spectacular size, the breed also seems to produce a larger litter size compared to little breeds such as Shih Tzus, Pomeranians, and Chihuahuas. While these compact pooches produce one to four puppies, big dogs like the Cane Corso often give birth to 4 puppies or more. 


Averagely, a female dog can reach sexual maturity after six months of age. In the case of the Cane Corso, that would be 10 to 12 months. However, she is most fecund when she reaches adulthood. It is best to have her mated once she’s at least 18 months or 2 to 5 years old. Do take note that the first litter will mostly always be small.


Cane Corsos who are supreme in health are expected to produce a healthy number of puppies. In fact, only healthy, up-to-the-standards Cane Corsos are the only ones allowed to reproduce so that the puppies born will have higher chances of surviving the birthing and whelping stages.


Unsurprisingly, the larger the dog is, the more puppies he can carry. This aspect touches on how Biology works. A large canine such as a Cane Corso has more room to accommodate a large litter size compared to a Toy Poodle who usually bears one puppy at a time. 


Diet largely impacts health. A well-fed Cane Corso will have just the right amount of nutrients to encourage its body to produce a normal or larger number of puppies. Provide a complete and balanced diet rather than compromise his food requirements by opting for poorly made meals. 

Gene Pool

There have to be genetic differences to promote a larger litter size for your Cane Corso. However, if the line is a result of inbreeding, expect that the number of offspring will be reduced drastically. This will even get smaller the more the practice is continued.

Other Genetic Factors

By ensuring that both candidates for mating are in good condition and have a reputable background for producing big litters of puppies, it is anticipated that the same thing may happen the moment the dam gives birth again. Although the mother has more impact on the size, the sire, in some way, also determines the number of puppies based on his overall health, age, and genetic makeup. 

How Can I Find Out Ahead of Time How Many Puppies My Cane Corso Will Have?

To satisfy your curiosity regarding how many puppies your Cane Corso will be having, several methods can be done to confirm pregnancy. Ultrasound might be the first to come to your mind, but this only mainly functions as a way to diagnose early pregnancy. In terms of determining the number of puppies, this one will not provide accurate results. Instead, go for an X-ray as this can confirm the number of Cane Corso puppies.

The dog must be pregnant for at least 45 days before this can be done so that all skeletons become visible for the test. The same method can be used to ensure all puppies are born after whelping. 

8 Essential Items to Provide for a Pregnant Cane Corso

Generally, Cane Corsos need minimal help from their owners once whelping takes place. Still, owners must take a closer look in case complications occur. Be there as well when the puppies made entrance to the world. To help you and your dog out in achieving a smoother birthing process, be sure to have these items at your disposal:

  • Whelping Box. This is specifically designed for young Cane Corso puppies. A whelping box provides protection as well as a space to keep the mother from crushing her young.
  • Digital Thermometer. A digital thermometer will help you determine when your dog is going to give birth. A drop in temperature could mean that she could give birth within 24 hours.
  • Heat Lamp. Puppies will have a hard time regulating their body temperature, so having a heat lamp would help in keeping them warm, especially if their mother is not around.
  • Puppy Scale. Maintain the puppies’ healthy weight by regularly using a puppy scale!
  • Unwaxed Dental Floss. Tie this around the umbilical cord instead of using other types of cords that might cause infection.
  • Medical Scissors. Cut the umbilical cord using sterilized medical scissors. 
  • Suction Bulb. Help clear out the airways by inserting the tip on the nose and mouth.
  • Umbilical Cord Clamp. This allows blood clots in the umbilical cord. Clamping this and the tight effect it provides will keep the blood from flowing out of the cord.

Things That Happen During Pregnancy

Lead your Cane Corso to the whelping box the moment she shows birthing signs. It’s important that she’s away from other dogs and people during the process. These are what commonly happens during the entire pregnancy journey every Cane Corso parent should know about:

Pre-labor Stage

  • Low appetite
  • Becoming clingy and quiet
  • Temperature drop
  • Vomiting
  • Frequent urination
  • Less inclined to drink water
  • Restlessness 

Whelping Period

  • Contractions start
  • Panting
  • Tightening of the stomach and releasing
  • Loose bowel movement
  • Crying and groaning
  • Pushing out a dark sac before the first puppy
  • Standing up once in a while during whelping

Near-End Birth Cycle

  • Chewing off the umbilical cord
  • Licks the newborn puppies
  • May continue whelping for remaining puppies

How Long Does a Whelping Period Take?

Large litters take a long time. Typically, whelping periods may happen for about 2 to 20 hours depending on each case. Sometimes, your Cane Corso would take a break from her whelping. 

Know when to bring her to the vet. If she’s in pain for an extended amount of time, be ready to contact the local doctor first before actually bringing the dog to the clinic. 

Help your Cane Corso whenever possible. Sometimes, some puppies can get in the way while she’s still giving birth. Place her pups in a different area, but not far from the sight of their mother, or else she will react unkindly. Once the entire process is over, make sure she gets lots of love, care, and attention as she tries to regain the appetite and energy she lost after whelping for hours!