Now here’s some news to brighten up your day. A Napa, California sheepdog had 17 pups in one litter which her vet — Barney & Russum Animal Clinic of Fairfield — says might be the “biggest ever” in California.
John Costanzo of Napa Grass Farmer said in an email Monday that Stella, the farm's Maremma Sheepdog, just broke the California record for largest litter of puppies. Costanzo says Stella also broke the world record for largest Maremma sheep dog litter ever recorded.
“We had an excellent vet deliver them because it was way more than we thought,” Costanzo said. “They all made it and are healthy. The doctor said it was five more than he has ever seen in his years of practice as the biggest litter he had ever delivered was 12.”
The puppies — 11 boys and six girls — are all going to farms in California. “They are bred for livestock protection only – awesome breed,” Costanzo said.
Napa Grass Farmer raises chickens, turkeys and sheep in pastures to provide organic meat for about 200 families. “The dogs protect these animals in the pasture,” Costanzo said. “Our club members have been helping us with daily feedings.”
According to the Maremma Sheepdog Club of America, Maremma is an American version of the Italian name "Maremmano-Abruzzese": "Mare" is pronounced exactly the way for a female horse, and "Emma" is pronounced like the name.
They are described as affectionate, and "some even want to hug you or nibble you."