A dog in Germany has given birth to 17 cute puppies, leaving their owner thrilled but exhausted after having to feed them with a bottle for several weeks as their mother couldn't cope with the demand.

Ramona Wegemann says she barely slept for more than a couple of minutes without interruption during about four weeks in an "exhausting" struggle to make sure all 17 would survive.

She said Monday that when she was "finished feeding the last puppy, the first was hungry again."

Wegemann's Rhodesian Ridgeback gave birth to eight female and nine male puppies on Sept. 28 in Ebereschenhof near Berlin.

Wegemann, an animal psychiatrist, said when dogs give birth to so many puppies several of them die within the first week. "But all of our puppies survived. This is incredible and wonderful."