Sheepdog gives birth to record-breaking litter of 17 puppies

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

Sheepdog Gives Birth to Record Breaking Litter of 17 Puppies

A proud mama dog in Northern California recently gave birth to what experts say could be the largest litter of puppies ever recorded in the state.

Stella, a Maremma sheepdog charged with watching over livestock for the Napa Grass Farmer in Fairfield, birthed 17 puppies about a month ago--but the congratulations are only just rolling in.

Watch: Vet Cradles Scared and Crying Rescue Puppy Just Like a Baby After Surgery

"We had an excellent vet deliver them because it was way more than we thought," John Costanzo from Napa Grass Farmer 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."

According to Constanzo, 17 is the largest litter he's ever heard of for the Italian herding breed.

All of the puppies are going to farms, Costanzo said, because the Maremma is unsuitable as a pet. "Maremma's aren't bred for the home," he explained on Facebook.

See more Maremma sheepdogs doing their duties:

12 PHOTOS
Maremma sheepdogs
See Gallery
Sheepdog gives birth to record-breaking litter of 17 puppies
A Maremma Sheepdog lies among Bond Red hens in a field at the Mulloon Creek Natural Farm in Bungendore, Australia, on Thursday, July 30, 2015. Australia's gross domestic product grew 2.3 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
'Blondie' the Maremma dog used by farmer Mark Killen to guard the chickens at his open range chicken farm named 'Papanui' near Merriwa in the Hunter Valley on March 7, 2010 in the Huter Valley, Australia. He uses converted school buses as roosts and laying hutches for the chickens, which can be towed from paddock to paddock. (Photo by Liam Driver/Newspix/Getty Images)
A Maremmano- Abruzzese Dog at the CACIB dog exhibition Westfalenhallen Dortmund on October 16, 2011 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Agency-Animal-Picture/ Getty Images)

Outdoor shot of a Maremma sheepdog.

(Photo by Agency Animal Picture via Getty Images)

(Photo via Getty Images)

(Photo via Getty Images)
(Photo by Agency Animal Picture via Getty Images)
(Photo by Agency Animal Picture via Getty Images)
(Photo via Getty Images)
(Photo via Getty Images)
(Photo via Getty Images)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

Watch: A Golden Retriever Gets Pulled From a 15-Foot Deep Sinkhole

Costanzo has posted several photos of the adorable litter, as well as a video in which he demonstrates how he bottle feeds the puppies. He says he feeds the pups himself to take some of the strain off two-year-old Stella.

According to their website, Napa Grass Farmer is a "regenerative" farm, which they say means "putting more back into the land then you are taking out, making it better then it was before for future generations."

Watch: Service Dog Cuddles 9-Year-Old Boy with Autism While Lying in Hospital

Service Dog Cuddles 9-Year-Old Boy with Autism While Lying in Hospital

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners