lifestyle

Do yourself a favour and look at this record-breaking litter of Guide Dog puppies


Get ready for a huge influx of cuteness (Picture: PA/Guide Dogs)

A record-breakingly huge litter of 16 adorable guide dog pups has been born.

These German Shepherd-Golden Retriever puppies are eight weeks old and guaranteed to melt your heart.

They’re part of the biggest litter Guide Dogs has ever seen in its 60-year-old breeding programme – with 16 puppies being more than three times bigger than the average litter.

According to the American Kennel Club, the average litter size for a German Shepherd is eight puppies.

It is hoped these cross-bred balls of fluff will have the loyalty and drive of German Shepherds, as well as the friendliness and confidence of Golden Retrievers.

This was their mum Unity’s first-ever pregnancy and dad Trigger’s 28th litter.

So pure, so good (Picture: PA)
Oh, to be snuggled up like a puppy in a 16-strong litter (Picture: PA)
What a silly baby (Picture: PA)
Their mum is a German Shepherd and their dad is a Golden Retriever (Picture: PA)

Having sired 239 puppies, Trigger is Guide Dogs’ most prolific stud dog in their ethical breeding program.

The sight loss charity dutifully health tests all of its breeding dogs, and they live year-round with volunteers to give the pup the best start in a loving home environment.

Unity and her puppies pictured at the Guide Dogs National Centre near Leamington Spa (Picture: Guide Dogs)
No, it is you who is crying (Picture: Guide Dogs)
Sweet little lumps (Picture: PA)
Nothing like a good puppy frolic (Picture: PA)

Matthew Bottomley, Head of Breeding Operations said: ‘A litter of sixteen is incredibly unusual, but such a gift.

‘The pandemic has had a detrimental impact on our charity’s breeding programme and how many litters we can have, so these puppies are even more treasured.

‘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.’

Ultimately, the pups will go to the Guide Dogs National Centre near Leamington Spa for one week before being individually placed with volunteer Puppy Raisers around the UK – just like all other guide dog puppies.

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