Riverspruce Hounds - 2009 Otterhound Puppies

6 weeks old - July 7, 2009

Here's the gang at 6 weeks of age. It's SO hard to believe they've been here for 6 weeks already! Time sure does fly when you are having fun!

Again, my apologies for not being timely on this update... it is SOOO hard to make computer time when we are spending so much time with the little guys, spending group time, one on one time, training, taking them places, having people visit, etc.

We opted to try for "stacked" pictures again - both sides, fronts, and rears. The gang was fairly cooperative - although the weather was blistering hot (we have been in the 90's) and the pups (and their dads) weren't too into a photo shoot on this particular day. Unfortunately, the pictures reflect this and aren't a great representation of what they really look like! As the photos will also attest to, stacking 6 week old puplets isn't much easier than doing it with them when they are 4 weeks old! Bless their little hearts for putting up with so much!!!! While each have their own individual personality, they are still really very uniform overall. If something bothers any of them, at this point they recover almost immediately and go on about their business. All are responsive and also independent at times, and all of them are good at solving problems... how to get around obstacles, how to offer behaviors in order to get us to give them treats, etc. Such a delightful bunch of puppies, if I do say so myself!

Momma Liv still requests to nurse the pups about once a day, though only for about 3 minutes even though she doesn't really have that much milk, and she still ensures that she removes any and all of the food that they slop all over themselves when they are eating. When she has had enough of their nursing, she lets them know gently that the milk bar is closed, and for the most part they are very respectful after only a couple of reprimands. She's very tolerant of them pulling on her ears, beard, and tail, and very much enjoys taking them for walks around the yard - exploring new things.

Rocko

Here is the Rockmeister. He was pretty complacent about the whole photo shoot, although somewhat wiggly. I'd have to say that this boy probably has the second most bone of all the pups - and is still the most coated. He really isn't lightening up much in color at this point. He's a goofy boy, and definitely has a mind of his own. He loves treats and is very food motivated, and is also pretty toy motivated, which has been making training a breeze. He's still probably the most "middle of the road" in temperament and activity level. While independent, he is also very affectionate. Not much bothers him, and he happily spends one on one time with us away from his siblings. He does love to rough and tumble with his siblings. He is still pretty adventurous, and enjoys exploring on his own - further and further away. Rocko is going through a growing phase and his front end doesn't seem to know what his back end is doing now - which makes for a lot of comedy when they decide to go different directions!

Mouse

Also fondly referred to as "M&M", which frequently stands for Mighty Mouse of Monkey Mask - both appropriately fitting! She is still the puppy with the second to least coat, and more than likely will not carry much into adulthood. What she does have is exceptionally coarse, and she is getting some nice little wisps of a beard, ears, on the sides of her face, and on her legs. She is a VERY agile puppy, and delights in challenges. She'll climb over, onto, and under most all obstacles. She is VERY food and play motivated, and delights in spending one on one training time with us. She is probably the most likely to end up curling up next to us to take a nap - frequently on top of the puppy "agility dog walk" if we happen to be sitting on it. Mouse seems to be a very physically sound girl, and moves very nicely. She still tends to take things slowly at first, but then... watch out! I believe she has the makings of a great performance Otterhound.

Magnus

Magnus also has many nicknames... Mags, Magnum Opus, Monster, and most frequently... "You BIG lug" - due to his size and bone! He is still decidedly larger than his siblings, but has learned that if he wants them to continue to play with him, he has to play without throwing his weight around so much. Far and above the least coated of all of the pups. He is getting stray, long, sparse guard hairs sprinkled throughout, but will more than likely be contained to simply eyebrows, beard, ear fringe, and leg fringe as he ages - but that is simply our best guess at this point. While still independent, he REALLY is a charmingly affectionate boy who loves to cuddle up to us on his own terms. He is still the one that notices new things and different sounds the most, and takes his time approaching them... but approach them he does and then immediately acts as if it is "old news". This boy is currently the least food motivated, but that may be in part because he is such a piglet at meal time. He enjoys training, but follows the Otterhound philosophy of "once or twice is enough at a time", so we work with him in short, frequent, very motivational sessions. He is the BIGGEST lover of water, and DELIGHTS in biting at water that is squirted near him. He is the one most likely to be found wandering around in the puppy wading pool.

Lilith

Lilith is turning into a very sweet girl and is outgrowing her overly mischievous early ways. She has a nice balance of personality and temperament. She is one that is very food and play motivated and enjoys training, yet can be independent when the mood strikes her. She is one of the three heaviest coated of the litter, and like her brother Rocko, is remaining pretty dark so far. She has a very sweet facial expression, and true to the breed... is learning how to use that to her advantage! I think she has the nicest ear set and head at this point in time. Having had her moments when she was one of the least confident of the pups, she is growing steadily in confidence. If something does bother her, she tends to simply sit and watch it, trying to figure it out - and then it is back to life as usual. She reminds me very much of her older brother "Henley" in her demeanor - as she is very thoughtful about things. She shares Magnus's enjoyment of water.

Bertha

Her nicknames are regularly BB, Bert, Bertie, and "Won't you ever go to sleep?". She is an active girl, and still to this day reminds me much of our Spring - still tending to be the last to crash after a busy day. She is very food, toy and praise motivated, and really, really enjoys training. She is less distractable when training than most of the others (with the exception of Mouse). Bertha has a LOT of performance potential, and is really very unflappable. That being said, she has decided that she DOES NOT like standing for photos on the grooming table, and if it appears that I am holding her up a bit by her tail... it is probably because I am! We are working on this with her, trying to encourage her to NOT be a lump of goo on the table. That being said, she LOVES the puppy agility equipment... the teeter totter, the wobble board, and the dog walk. She delights in playing on those. This girl is definitely one of the smallest now, and one of the happiest. She is also very "in between" as relates to the amount of coat she has. She definitely has a good bit more than Magnus and Mouse, but not as much as Rocko, Lilith and Howdy. It is anybody's guess as to what the end result of her coat will be - but what she has now is really very nice and coarse.

Howdy

Little Howdy-Dudey, or the Dude, or Doodey, or Doodle-head, or.... this boy probably has more nicknames than all the others put together! A couple of days after these pictures were taken, he actually started getting ears! (It is interesting how they each grow ears at different times / rates) Howdy is still the lightest in color, and is getting lighter all the time. He has a good bit of coat as well. He is one of the more food, toy and praise motivated puppies, and also is really pretty un phased by things. While very, very adventurous and energetic, he is also very eager to spend time with people and enjoys training sessions. He isn't one that likes to shoulder his way through his siblings for attention, and usually watches for an opening to make his move for lap time. He is one of the more complacent of the pups when it comes to spending time on his back in our arms. He could best be described as "happy go lucky". He still has Ron wrapped around his little paws!