California sheepdog gives birth to 17 puppies

(ABC Owned Television Stations | Napa Grass Farmer/Facebook)

A mother dog at Napa Grass Farmer in California just gave birth to quite the litter: 17 puppies.

The puppies were born in late January, according to owner John Costanzo. It's believed to be the largest litter ever of Maremma sheepdogs.

The mom, Stella, has an important job on the farm, Costanzo explained, as she helps the animals rotate between pastures and forests, which is an integral part of grass farming. Costanzo plans for the puppies to follow in their mother's footsteps.

"Right now we are introducing them to pasture," he told ABC, "but the majority of them will start their real training at 6 months old. Until then they will stay and learn from their parents while spending most of their day eating, sleeping, and playing in tall spring grass."

All of the puppies are "happy, healthy and strong," their vet told ABC News.

Napa Grass Famer is in the process of finding homes for the puppies at similar farms.
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