AN ONLINE television station devoted to dogs has generated record audience figures after launching 24-hour live coverage of a litter of very rare puppies.

Dog fans from across the world have logged on to North Yorkshire-based to watch the progress of five Entlebucher mountain dogs, which were born in Tholthorpe, near Easingwold, on Monday.

The puppies, Beethoven, Bumble, Bossanova, Britannia and Boadicea, are among only 34 of their breed, which is thought to be descended from the fighting and guarding mastiffs of the Roman legions, in the UK.

Chris Wise, the channel’s executive producer, said: “We have had live coverage of puppies before, but haven't had anything like the number of hits.

"Our figures are showing that people from as far as Australia keep coming back to see them as they are so rare and growing so rapidly.”

Due to the small gene pool in the country and fears of inter-breeding, their owner Rosemary Kind has driven 6,000 miles, including two trips to Switzerland, find a mate for her two-year-old bitch Shadow.

There is a nine to 12-month waiting list just to join the waiting list of potential Entlebucher owners and Shadow’s puppies are all spoken for.