How Many Nipples Do Dogs Have? Understand Why And How

A great majority of pet owners while bathing or combing their Pomeranians or Spaniels may have often wondered as to why dogs have so many nipples. So, even before we can dig deeper and delve into how many nipples do dogs have we need to first explore on why do dogs have nipples in the first place.

Why Do Dogs Have Nipples?

For a start, having mammary glands (and hence nipples) is an inherent trait and distinguishing characteristic of mammals which dogs are. If you take the trouble to comb, you’ll be able to spot nipples in pigs, cats, rats, monkeys, bears, and the whole fauna lot out there!

How to Understand Why and How Many Nipples Your Pet Actually Has?

In case you’ve got a bitch as a pet, you can directly move on to counting the nipples (if you yet haven’t done so). But if the gender of your dog is male, there’s no reason to feel alarmed if you see nipples extending from the chest to the groin region, not unless you notice any secretion from the projections.

In that case, a visit to the vet might be necessary, but that’s another story. Female dogs having nipples is understandable as these conspicuous projections or outcrops secrete milk that the ravenous litter of pups imbibe voraciously.

How Many Nipples Do Male Dogs Have

However, just like guys, male dogs, regardless of whether they happen to be neutered or unneutered, have nipples as well. Now, you might wonder why the male of the canine species should’ve nipples when they’re neither going to give birth to puppies nor lactate.

If you’re looking for a biological or evolutionary explanation, then it’d suffice for you to know that both male and female pups are androgynous when they’re in the mother’s womb.

How many nipples do male dogs have

The nipples don’t make an appearance until and unless the embryos are a couple of weeks old. Nipples start appearing and developing while the embryos are still in the uterus much before gender or sex differentiation takes place.

By the time, the physiological features that distinguish the female of the species from the male become prominent nipples in both the sexes are already well-developed.

Going by the theory of natural selection, male dogs continue to manifest nipples since Mother Nature didn’t think it was necessary to weed them out. It’d be apt to say that a male dog’s nipples are there as appendages and don’t serve any biological function.

Identifying the Nipples in Male Dogs

How’d you identify nipples in your pet dog if it happens to be a male? And, how many nipples do dogs have? To be more specific, do female dogs have more nipples than males or vice versa?

As the embryo develops into a pup and the puppy grows up to be an Alsatian or Great Dane, the shape as well as the color of the protuberances undergoes changes. A fully grown or adult dog regardless of whether the breed is male or female usually has nipples that are either black or pink in color.

Via Spiegel Online

Nevertheless, it’s not uncommon for owners to confuse nipples with ticks as pups and dogs have a tendency to be infested with ticks or bugs. However, it is remarkably easy to figure out whether the bumps or bulges on your pet’s body are ticks or nipples.

The process lies in scrutinizing the manner in which the bumps are tethered to the skin. If the outgrowths are bound on all sides to the skin surface then it’s a palpable sign that these are nipples (or could be scabs, polyps or moles as well).

how many nipples do dogs have

Via Dailymail

Alternatively, if only one side (of the bump) is wedged firmly into the hide, then it’s most probably a tick. Another identification sign that the outcrop is a tick is that the same will have minute legs.

The Nipple Count of Your Dog

  • You may not have paid much attention to those pinkish or blackish outgrowths or protuberances strewn all over the belly when you turned him or her upside down to offer a rub.
  • Now, coming to the poser which happens to be the subject-matter of this article, how many nipples do dogs have?
  • However, if you care to observe a little deeply, you’ll see the teats running in two columns (juxtaposed to each other) starting just below the chest and stretching right up to the groin ending behind the hind legs.
  • So how many nipples do male dogs have? Or how many the female dog has? If your pet dog is large, he or she will have about 8-10 nipples. On the other hand, if the dog happens to be a small-sized breed, she’ll have approximately 8 nipples


So, you’ve got the answer to the question, how many nipples do dogs have? Surprisingly enough, the nipples in the male of the species happen to be larger and more prominent compared to the female’s, even though these don’t serve any purpose or function.



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