How Many Puppies Do Jack Russell Terriers Have? 5 - 6 Puppies

How Many Puppies Do Jack Russells Terriers Have? More In First Litter?

You may be thinking about how many puppies do Jack Russells have when your JRT is pregnant. One of my friends asked me the same question a few days ago. Therefore, I thought of doing some research and writing a post about it.

Bingo! I have found some fascinating facts about Jack Russell’s pregnancy. I hope this post will answer most of the questions on your mind right now. 

So, How many puppies do Jack Russells have on average? Jack Russells give birth to around 5 – 6 puppies in one litter. That number could differ due to the JRT’s size, age, and health. However, you will be able to have 5 puppies on average. Mostly if it is your Jack Russell’s first litter, you can expect 5 – 7 puppies. Jacks give birth to new puppies within 2 – 3 hours and have 15 – 25 mins of intervals between single puppies. 

It is fantastic news that your dog is going to have a bunch of beautiful puppies. However, you have to be prepared for the best of your dog as well as new puppies.

Therefore, this comprehensive post will help you identify all the relevant information you should keep in mind when your Jack Russell is pregnant. 

Read – Jack Russell Terriers – All you need to Know

I have listed below the main topics that I discuss in this post. Feel free to jump straight to the topic you want. Let’s get started.

How long are Jack Russells pregnant for?

The average Jack Russells’ pregnancy time is in between 58 – 63 days. Typically, fertilization occurs within 5 days after mating. There is not any visible sign of pregnancy in the first half of the term.

However, you will be able to see that your dog rejects food and drinks more water. Sometimes mucus comes out of your dog’s vagina after 22 – 28 days after gestation. If you want to confirm, you can do an ultrasound test.

You may find all the information relating to Jack Russell’s pregnancy here.

What is the average litter for a Jack Russell? Litter size

What is the average litter for a Jack Russell?

Jack Russells can give birth to around 5 – 8 puppies in one litter. It depends on your Jack Russell’s size, age and health condition. However, you can expect an average of 6 puppies in a litter of Jack Russell Terrier.

How many puppies can a Jack Russell have the first time (in first litter)?

The average first litter size of a Jack Russell is 6 puppies. It could differ with the size and the health condition of your Jack Russell.

However, you can expect around 5-7 puppies if it’s your JRT’s first-time pregnancy.

How do you know when your Jack Russell is about to give birth?

It would be best to prepare for your Jack’s labour when you confirm that she is pregnant. You will notice some changes in her attitude when she is ready for labour. The most common changes are;

  • Refusing to eat – There may be a change in appetite when she is close to labour. She may reject the foods, even her favorites.
  • Vomiting – Most dogs drink lots of water when they are about to give birth to puppies. And also, they may vomit from time to time.
  • Change the behavior – She might be relentless or anxious. There will not be any pain, but she may seem moody or sad. It is common to see that dogs act more needy and attentive when they are close to their labour.
  • Clear vaginal discharge – There will be clear mucus or vaginal discharge of your Jack Russell. And also, nipples will swell and grow when they are getting ready to give birth to puppies.
  • Sagging belly – When the puppies are grown inside, the belly may sag noticeably. The last few days of the pregnancy in Jack Russells may seem the weight of the belly is not tolerable for the dog anymore.
  • Body temperature – There could be a fluctuation of your dog’s body temperature when close to the delivery.

When you see the above signs, it means your dog is about to give birth to a few beautiful puppies. You can expect the delivery at any time within 12 – 48 hours.

Therefore, keep an eye on your Jack Russell Mommy to support her at the most needed time.

How long does it take for a Jack Russell to have puppies?

How long will Jack Russells take to give birth?

Typically, the total time for the labour will be about 12 – 24 hours. The time will depend on how many puppies do your Jack Russells have and the strength of your dog. However, it would be best if you can arrange around 24 hours for continuous support.

Like any dog, Jacks take around 15 – 30 minutes of intervals within the labour between the puppies. If your Jack takes more than a 30 minutes interval between births, it would be best to contact your vet.

And also, if there is a lot of blood discharge and your dog seems exhausted, you will need immediate medical attention. Therefore, please inform your vet prior to the labour, saying that your JRT will have new puppies soon.

How can you help your JRT when she gives birth?

Like any dog, Jack Russell Terrier puppies in a fetal amniotic sheath when they come out. Typically, mother Jack bites off it herself when the puppy completely comes out.

However, when the litter is large, she will be exhausted to do that. You can help her with cleaning the puppies.

You can remove the sheath and wipe the puppies using a clean towel. Make sure that the towel is clean and soft. Especially, clean all the mucus on the puppy’s nose and mouth. It will help him to breathe well.

After that, cut the umbilical cord, leaving about an inch from the abdomen and tile the cord using a silk thread. Ensure that the scissor and the codes are properly clean to avoid infections and have the maximum lifespan for your Jack Russells.

Don’t use water or any other liquids to clean the puppies. Just use a clean towel to wipe out the mucus and parts of the sheath. After that, keep the puppies closer to their mother’s nipples. It will help mother Jack to stimulate the birth of the next pups.

If the labouring process takes longer, you can keep the newborn Jack Russell puppies in a clean and comfortable box. It would be great if you can find a heating pad to keep them warm.

Useful gears for successful labour for your Jack Russell Terrier

Once you confirm that your Jack Russell is pregnant, you should get prepared to welcome the new puppies. And also, there are lots of things to consider.

Suppose you plan to birth your Jack Russell Terrier’s puppies at home without going to your vet or pet hospital. In that case, you must supply some necessary gears and tools. 

  • Clean napkins and towels – Jack Russell Puppies are very slippery with mucus and sheath as soon as they are born. It is essential to clean them well using a clean and soft napkin. You will need a lot of napkins since there will be around 6 puppies. 
  • Hand sanitizers – It would be better to use an antiseptic handwasher before you touch the newborn puppies. Your regular hand wash or soap will not be sufficient to remove all the bacteria and germs on your hand.
  • Heating pad – As I mentioned earlier, you can put the newborn JRT puppies in a warm box or an electric heating pad. 
  • Scissors – You will have to cut the puppy’s umbilical cord. Therefore, small and round-tipped scissors may be ideal.
  • Dog’s basket – After Jack Russell puppies are born, you need some secure and comfortable place to keep them. A large dog’s basket would be ideal.

Read – Jack Russell’s Old age Problems (How to care Guide)

Conclusion – So, How many puppies can a Jack Russell have?

We discussed a lot of information relating to a frequently asked question, ‘How many puppies do Jack Russell Terriers have?’ in this post. You can expect around 5 – 6 Jack Russell puppies in an average litter.

Moreover, we discussed how you prepare for the labour, some useful gears and more from this post. I hope this post was helpful to you.

Stay with Jack Russell Owner. Cheers from Lenny and Shaggy!


  • Lisa Watson

    Lisa W. is a practicing certified veterinarian (BVetMed Hons in Veterinary Medicine) who graduated from Royal Veterinary College, UK. One of her research fields is mixed-dog breeds and their temperament, behavioral issues, and genetic health concerns. Also, she gathers data about purebred dog breeds and their origin, lifespan, and genetic conditions. Lisa is a loving dog parent who is keen to share her expertise with other fellow dog parents.

    [email protected]

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