An Australian dalmatian has broken a world record after giving birth to 19 adorable, spotty puppies in a single litter*.
It sounds like a storyline from a Disney movie, but it was reality for breeder* Melissa O’Brien when her dog Melody gave birth to the huge litter in June in Albury in NSW.
Melody put on 15kg before the birth so Ms O’Brien knew it would be a large litter, but it was still difficult for her to predict the final number of puppies.
“I thought there’d be 18,” she said. “One of my friends had a litter of 18 and that was a lot,” she said.
Once the puppies started arriving, they were all big in size and it took four headcounts to convince the vet and Ms O’Brien that there were 19 in total.
For the record, Melody is the proud mum of 10 boys and nine girls. They are all named after Disney characters including Belle from Beauty and the Beast and Pumbaa from The Lion King.
Ms O’Brien, who has been breeding for more than 10 years, said this was Melody’s first litter and would also be her last as she is now officially retired.
“She’s had two litters in one, so that’s it for her,” she said.
Australia seems to be the ideal place for breeding large dalmatian litters.
CC dalmatians breeder Cecilia Langton-Bunker equalled the world record two years ago when her dog Miley gave birth to 18 puppies after a 13-and-a-half hour labour in Ballarat in Victoria.
VIDEO: The 18 dalmatian pups born in Ballarat in 2017.
18 dalmatians pups delivered in a single litter
FACTS ABOUT DALMATIANS
- Named after its first home in the Adriatic coastal region of Dalmatia in Croatia
- Best known for working as an escort* and guard for horse-drawn vehicles
- Other jobs the dalmatian has served as include as a sentinel*, war dog, fire department mascot, hunter, shepherd, and performer
- Pups are born all white and the spots develop a few weeks after birth
- Grows up to 58cm tall and can weigh about 25kg
- Known as a friendly breed
- Nicknames for the breed include English coach dog, firehouse dog and plum pudding dog
- litter: group of newborn puppies
- breeder: a person who breeds animals
- escort: someone or something that accompanies to provide protection
- sentinel: soldier or guard who keeps watch
- What is the name of the mother dog?
- What are the 19 puppies all named after?
- Where were the puppies born in Australia?
- How many litters has Melody had in her lifetime?
- The dalmatian breed gets its name from which coastal region?
LISTEN TO THIS STORY
1. Name that puppy
Melissa O’Brien chose Disney names for her litter of 19 puppies. If your dog gave birth to 19 puppies, what names would you choose? Would you follow a theme such as all names starting with D, names similar to movie characters or something else?
Write out the theme and the list of names you would choose.
Time: Allow 15 minutes for this activity
Curriculum Links: English
How do you think Melody the mother dog would feel after giving birth to 19 babies and then having them sold to live in other homes?
Write a paragraph using lots of adjectives to describe her thoughts and feelings.
Time: allow 20 minutes for this activity
Curriculum Links: English
After reading the article, with a partner, highlight as many pieces of punctuation as you can find in green. Discuss how these are being used, where and how often. What level of the punctuation pyramid is the journalist using in this article?
HAVE YOUR SAY: What is your favourite breed of dog and why?
No one-word answers. Use full sentences to explain your thinking. No comments will show until approved by editors.