A two-year-old Rottweiler stunned its owners when she gave birth to fifteen puppies, becoming one of the biggest litters ever born in Britain. Eleanor Usher, 47, was only expecting family pet Jessie to have five babies, but was baffled when she bred the country’s second highest brood last Sunday.
The tiny dogs have been sheltered in a makeshift bed made by her carpenter husband, Ian, 56, and are set to be sold on in six to eight weeks. Since the birth, Jessie has become a ‘fiercely independent’ mother, refusing to let anyone else feed her litter. She’s even looking after seven-year-old cat Mini. All 15 puppies have been quietly cuddling up to one another at night, and have been feeding from their mother on almost constant rotation.
Mum-of-four Eleanor, from Telford, Shropshire, said: ‘We had been given a due date of Tuesday, but on Sunday at around 1.50am I heard this scratching noise from the bottom of the stairs. ‘Jessie had already given birth to one puppy under the stairs and another in her bed, without us even knowing.
‘Ian and I both rushed down to come to see her, and from then on we just watched what was happening. It was amazing. ‘We hadn’t had an ultrasound, because it’s so expensive and I’d been told to expect something between six and eight babies. ‘After the sixth puppy, I was saying: “That’s a good girl, you can stop now, you don’t have to do anymore”.
‘But they just kept coming and coming. ‘We didn’t even need to do anything to assist her, they were all just coming out without any need for help. She made it so easy for us. ‘We just thought: ‘Oh my god, when is she going to stop?’ ‘After the eleventh, we started to look into records, and discovered that the highest in the UK was 18, and the second highest was 13. ‘The way that Jessie was going, and the speed at which they were coming out of her, we were fearing that it would get as high as 20. Thankfully it was all over by about 8.00am.’ Eleanor has called the smallest puppy Daisy and the biggest Walter. But all the others do not have names as they look too similar.