A five-year-old Stabyhoun named Rikje has been beaming with pride after giving birth to 10 healthy puppies. What makes this story so special is the fact that Stabyhouns are one of the rarest dog breeds in the world.
Only seven of the dogs were living in the UK before Rikje gave life to her pups. Also known as Stabij, the breed originated in Friesland, which is a province in North of the Netherlands. The dogs are known for their black and white coats, sleek bodies and gentle temperaments.
Rikje’s Canadian owner, Janice Vittachi, is said to be thrilled with the arrival of the puppies, due to the fact that another litter will not likely be born in Britain until 2015. Ms Vitacchi moved to the United Kingdom two years ago and she learned about the breed after researching online. She made the trip from her home in Teddington, Middlesex to get Rikje impregnated in Holland. Just nine weeks later, the dog gave birth to seven males and three females.
Speaking about the experience, Ms. Vitacchi said:
“It all went very well and although it seemed to take forever, Rikje is doing great now.”
The puppies sell for approximately £950 each and will settle into new homes in November. This isn’t the first time the Danish-born dog has become a mother though – she gave birth to her first litter of eight puppies in North America a few years prior.
Ms Vitacchi has since founded the UK Stabyhoun Association with friend Christina Savage. The duo now manages the sales and imports of Stabyhouns in the UK.