German Shepherd mama just gave birth to largest litter of puppies in Guide Dogs UK history
There’s no such thing as too many puppies. One puppy is good. Two is even better. A dozen can be a handful but a pleasant surprise.
Maybe this is what a dog lover’s heaven looks like.
But this “piece of heaven” is very much a reality and the staff at a guide dog organization in the UK is living that dream.
The organization’s German shepherd gave birth to sixteen healthy puppies.
Guide Dogs is a non-profit organization based in the United Kingdom. Their organization provides much-needed help to the visually impaired.
Through their program, they breed, raise, and train these dogs.
A troop of future heroes
Through this rigorous program, they provide people with the support and companionship that they need for daily living.
The largest litter in a 60-year history.
The litter was mothered by Unity, the organization’s three-year-old, German shepherd dog.
This number of puppies in one pregnancy is way above average when it comes to the breed.
“A litter of sixteen is incredibly unusual, but such a gift. The pandemic has had a detrimental impact on our charity’s breeding program and how many litters we can have, so these puppies are even more treasured,” Matthew Bottomley, Guide Dogs’ head of breeding operations, said as quoted by People.
It also took the staff by surprise.
Throughout her pregnancy, the organization kept close tabs on Unity’s health. And in one scan, they thought she was giving birth to nine puppies.
The adorable set came out with black fur and patches of gold, while their ears are remarkably folded, unlike their mother’s.
That’s because they were fathered by Trigger, a Golden Retriever.
Unity’s first litter, Trigger’s 28th.
They are optimistic about how these puppies will turn out.
Besides being healthy, the non-profit also hopes that these sixteen siblings carry the best traits of their breeds.
German shepherds are known to have a great drive and a remarkable work ethic. Meanwhile, Golden Retrievers are friendly and confident.
These characteristics will undoubtedly make them the perfect fit for the job they were destined to fill.
While they are already tumbling on their feet, they still have a long way to go.
“Our staff and volunteers have been working tirelessly to ensure all the puppies have thrived, and they are now ready to start their journeys to becoming life-changing guide dogs for people with sight loss,” Bottomley added as quoted by People.
After a brief training, the puppies will be placed with different volunteer fosters.
This temporary set-up will help them learn how to socialize and learn basic commands – both of which are important to do their tasks.
This will also expose them to different environments which will help them adapt to their future friends who are visually impaired.
A big litter with a big task.
According to the organization’s website, 70% of adults with visual impairments receive very little support within the first 12 months of their diagnosis.
During this time, they have already lost opportunities in education, employment, and community participation.
Through their dogs, the non-profit hopes they can change this reality and help visually-impaired people participate in daily life.
Watch this organization welcome their largest litter to date in the video below!
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