A litter of 16 puppies born in Mission has left a local dog-owner and her family busy.
Millie, a three-year-old Bernese Mountain and Old English Sheepdog mix, gave birth to eight males and eight females on March 27 and 28. The pups are a mix of 75 per cent Bernese Mountain dog and 25 per cent Old English Sheepdog.
Millie’s owner Melissa Pearce has been breeding dogs since 2022 and says the past six weeks of taking care of the dogs have been crazy but fun. After the first month of care, the puppies became bigger and more active.
“The amount of food and poop is exorbitant,” Pearce said. “It’s a lot of work but it’s a lot of fun too. I wouldn’t change it for anything.”
When Millie gave birth for the first time last year, it was a litter of seven puppies. However, Pearce was warned to expect more during this round after a trip to the veterinarian 55 days into Millie’s pregnancy.
The vet estimated 13 puppies on the first try but discovered more hiding upon a second look. Millie gave birth at the Pearce residence in Mission to 17 puppies in total, but the 15th born didn’t survive.
“A few of my friends looked at the X-ray and and guessed 18,” Pearce said. “I was like ‘Oh no. Please no’.”
Six puppies have already been adopted to families in Mission, Coquitlam and Powell River. More puppies are still looking for a home.
Tullie— the first girl born to Millie — will stay with her mother and the Pearces. Pearce’s daughter Abigail pointed her out to keep immediately.
“She’ll be the future,” Pearce said. “She’s probably our favourite.”
The 16-puppy litter may have set a provincial record and tied an unofficial Canadian record after reports of 16 puppies born to a dalmatian in Quebec in January 2023. An Abbotsford boxer produced one of the biggest litters in Canadian history in 2022, giving birth to 14 puppies.
The Guinness World Record for a dog litter is 24, which was set by a Neapolitan mastiff in the United Kingdom in 2004.