A Neapolitan bull mastiff in England has broken a world record by giving birth to a litter of 24 puppies.
This pup is one of 24 that a Neapolitan bull mastiff in England had delivered. (See More Images Of Amazing Mastiff Litter.)
Dog breeders Damian Ward and his girlfriend Anne Kellegher had only been expecting 2-year-old Tia to give birth to a maximum of 10 puppies -- not two dozen.
But when Tia grew so big that she could barely move, the couple took her to the veterinarian, who decided that an immediate caesarean was vital.
Two hours later, Tia had given birth to a record-breaking 24 puppies. Unfortunately, four of the puppies were too weak and died but the remaining 20 are thriving.
"She certainly surprised us. When she went in for the caesarean I thought we would lose her and the pups," said Ward.
The puppies are now 7 weeks old and are keeping the breeders busy. Like any new mother, Ward and Kellegher say they're getting very little sleep taking care of the constant demands of the puppies.
"I was in shock for about two weeks. I was just a feeding robot," Ward said.
"There's constant feeding, constant changing -- of bedding and everything, and very little sleep. It's very hard work," Kellegher said.
The biggest puppy is called Sherman, another is called Rocky because he's got two white gloves and the smallest is named Tinkerbell.
Damian Ward and his girlfriend Anne Kellegher were only expecting 10 pups.
When fully grown, the dogs will stand more than 2 feet tall and weigh more than 180 pounds. All but three of the pups are up for sale. (
Tia's remarkable achievement is now likely to set two new records in the Guinness World Records -- for the biggest litter and the litter with the most number of surviving puppies.
The current record of 23 puppies in a litter is held by three dogs.
"If it is true that the dog has given birth to 24 puppies then it will be a new world record," said Guinness World Records spokesman Sam Knight. "The current record is 23 so we will be making contact with the owners."
Tia was bred with a dog belonging to Kellegher's sister. Although bred as a working dog, mastiffs are very loyal and strong and won't bite without reason. They are also said to be an alert, intelligent, noble and majestic defender of person and property.
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