California Sheepdog Gives Birth To A World Record 17 Puppies

All of Stella the Maremma Sheepdog's puppies are healthy and doing well.

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All 17 Maremma sheepdog puppies are doing well. Via  Napa Grass Farmer
All 17 Maremma sheepdog puppies are doing well. Via Napa Grass Farmer
John Virata

An organic farmer in Napa Valley, California, was shocked when Stella, his Maremma Sheepdog, gave birth last month to 17 healthy puppies. John Costanzo had expected a normal litter of six to eight puppies — maybe 10 — but 17 was “insane,” he told CBS San Francisco.

He was even more shocked when he found out that Stella set a state and world record for the largest litter for a Maremma Sheepdog, according to NBC Bay Area.

Stella kisses one of her pups. Via Napa Grass Farmer/Facebook

Stella kisses one of her pups. Via Napa Grass Farmer/Facebook

The pups are all healthy and doing well and will be sold only to other California farms, Costanzo said on The Napa Grass Farmer Facebook page. There are 11 males and six females in the litter.

John Costanzo of Napa Grass Farmer with Stella and her litter. Via Napa Grass Farmer

John Costanzo of Napa Grass Farmer with Stella and her litter. Via Napa Grass Farmer/Facebook

“We had an excellent vet deliver them because it was way more than we thought,” Costanzo told NBC Bay Area. “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.”

A newborn pup swaddled in a cloth. Via Napa Grass Farmer

A newborn pup swaddled in a cloth. Via Napa Grass Farmer/Facebook

Maremma Sheepdogs are bred to protect livestock, and that is what they do on The Napa Grass Farmer’s farm, which raises organic chickens, pigs, and goats.

Congrats to Stella and her new babies!

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