Updated: March 22, 2021 06:18 PM
Created: March 22, 2021 05:13 PM
A Duluth-area dog breeder had the biggest litter of her 30-year career in February. Mom Lucy gave birth to 16 puppies.
"She blew us all away. She really did," Colette Wolfe Dickmeyer of Wolf Den Retrievers said.
Dickmeyer was especially surprised because it was Lucy's first litter. In her experience, the first tends to be the smallest.
"I couldn't believe it. She started and it just kept one after the other," Dickmeyer said. "She started at about 7 at night. She stopped at about 5 in the morning. Or I thought she stopped. And then by 11 o'clock, she had gone to 16."
She thinks Lucy's larger frame might have been a factor but said there's no way to predict how many puppies you'll get after a breeding. The American Kennel Club says the average Labrador litter is about seven puppies.
The Wolf Den Retrievers pups are American Pointer Labradors and will make great hunting dogs with training.
"Some hunters call it puddle jumping where you can hunt the upland for your pheasant and then you'll have a duck slough and be able to use the same dog to do that," Dickmeyer said.
She fondly refers to the puppies as the "red hailstorm" litter.
"Being Lucy's red and Teddy is red, it just was like a storm that night," she said. "I could not believe the puppies just kept coming. It was just crazy."
She said the next biggest litter she's had was 14 puppies in 1989.
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