VIDEO: Labour of (puppy) love
Birth of 17 golden retriever pups ties kennel club record
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 10/09/2010 (4529 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A Winnipeg dog groomer and breeder is trying to keep a low profile after her golden retriever had 17 pups last week.
"It’s quite the luck of the draw," said Dinah, who doesn’t want her last name used.
Giselle gave birth to the purebred pups last Wednesday and her owner is afraid a bunch of visitors and their germs will come to see the large week-old litter.
"I’m almost certain it’s a record" for golden retrievers, said the member of the Canadian Kennel Club.
Seventeen is the largest litter for a golden retriever, according to the Toronto-based club.
"I can report that we have registered a litter of 17 puppies, one with 16, many with 15 and lots at 14," said Sonny Allinson, the club’s communications and marketing manager.
"Your 17 pups share the highest number in a single litter as registered by the Canadian Kennel Club," Allinson said.
According to Guinness World Records, the largest litter recorded for any breed was a bull mastiff in Britain that had 24 pups and four died.
In Winnipeg, all 17 golden retriever puppies are thriving, said Dinah.
"The 17 puppies are all gaining weight."
She said she knew the expectant mom was carrying a full load and took her to the veterinarian for a caesarean section.
"Never did I think of 17, though!" she said.
The litter size has shocked members of the Golden Retriever Club of Manitoba.
"Oh my Lord, that’s a lot of puppies!" said Gloria Remillard in Ochre River, near Dauphin.
"I can’t believe it," said Remillard, who’s been a breeder for more than 20 years. Typically, there are six to eight pups in a litter, she said. Remillard’s dogs have had litters as small as one pup and as large as 11.
Golden retriever pups generally fetch $900 to $1,000 a pop, said Remillard. Dinah, whom Remillard said has a good reputation as a breeder, is having to work for every cent of it with 17 mouths to feed around the clock.
"If you do it properly, it’s a lot of work," Remillard said.
The 17 pups are receiving a lot of TLC from their mother, said Dinah.
"She’s being very caring towards them."
The C-section hasn’t hurt Giselle’s ability to nurse her pups, but her owners try to make it easier for her.
"We help her lie down and get on her side."
And they keep her well-fed so she can nourish her pups.
"She has home-cooked chicken, carrots, rice, sweet potatoes and garlic, and cheese and eggs."
Giselle’s nursing half of her pups every two hours with Dinah bottle-feeding the other half of the litter. Then they switch at two-hour intervals.
"It’s very time-consuming." But well worth it, said the owner.
"She’s looking really well and she’s doing well."
The pups are kept under heat lamps and are starting to move around.
"They get up on their feet and wobble — they’re very cute at this stage," she said. They’re not available for sale until they’re seven or eight weeks, she said.
"The fun part is in four or five weeks when the pups go loose," and run around the house.
"That’s going to be really fun to see."
After 20 years of reporting on the growing diversity of people calling Manitoba home, Carol moved to the legislature bureau in early 2020.