A Tibetan Mastiff has made its owner potentially rich in China – by giving birth to a litter of 22 valuable puppies.
The massive litter, born to a dog called Black Pearl in Urumqi, Xinjiang in western China, is one of the biggest litters of puppies ever recorded.
And Tibetan Mastiffs are among the world’s most valuable dog selling for an average of £100,000.
One prized specimen was recent put up for sale for more than £1 million at a trade show in Shijiazhuang, capital of China’s Hebei Province.
So Black Pearl’s owner Guo Qingcai, 53, who owns a pet shop, was delighted with his pet’s huge litter.
“She was given to me by a friend three years ago. We have always treated her like our own child and given her nothing but the best,” he said.
Five of the puppies have died but the remaining 17 are said to be doing well – with help from Guo and his wife.
They are helping to care for the puppies around the clock, taking turns to nurse them with baby bottles of milk.
Su Zhanqiang, of Xinjiang Agricultural University, said it was unusual for a Tibetan Mastiff to have such a big litter.
“Usually a litter for a mastiff should be four or five puppies, sometimes it could be seven or eight, but this is very rare,” he said.
The largest number of puppies ever recorded in a litter was 24 from a Neopolitan Bull Mastiff called Tia, in Manea in Cambridgeshire.
by Arf the Dog