Sunnynook Large Munsterlanders
The I2 Litter
Joe & Sheila Schmutz, R.R. 2 Box 123, Saskatoon, SK Canada S7K 3J5
last updated 24 January 2021 by Sheila Schmutz
Krokus had 11 puppies on 27 December, 2021. There are 5 females and 6 males.
This is the 35th Sunnynook litter over 44 years of placing puppies with hunters. Our chosen dam Krokus von Kleinenkneten and sire Sunnynook's Fergus have proven their worth as indispensable hunting and family dogs. Krokus and Fergus have both passed upper level testing in VHDF-Canada, and have also passed health requirements and satisfy the international breed standard administered by the century-old breed club in Germany. (please see the prospective pup's pedigree at the bottom of the page)
We’re inviting dedicated hunters, and especially those who can work with us to keep these high breed-maintenance standards alive. Please complete the attached questionnaire, available as a downloadable pdf, if you are interested in a pup. If you'd like a copy in Word to type into, e-mail .
The pups are shown when Krokus went for a step out. She does that every few hours now, with all the extra eating and because she loves to first roll and roll and roll for a snow bath.
The numbers next to the pups indicate their birth order, which is of no significance, but for now how we keep track of them. I try to sketch their spotting pattern as they are born and to identify them. The F or M indicates their sex. If you count, you'll probably find only 10 in this photo. That's because 4F is buried under her brothers 9M and 10M in this picture. The moment Krokus leaves they immediately crawl into a giant pile-up, so I wasn't able to take a photo of them all separated yet.
You'll note that none of them show their ticks on their backs yet, although most will be ticked. The ticks come in on their tummy first. In the photo above, two pups were sleeping on their backs. The one on the left, 2F, will be plated. Note that it has more pink skin showing and no ticks on the belly. The one of the right, with more black on the pads, will be ticked.
The bit of pink on 2F's nose (right) will gradually fill in black.
By day 15, 11 Jan, all the pups have their eyes open.
Patricia Oderkirk is a photographer and she and her husband Derek are the owners of Fergus, the pup's sire. She took the photos of the males and females above on 15 Jan 2021. I've numbered them and add their "marking names", which is how we tell them apart.
Their weights were very similar, from 385 g to 495 g on December 29. The weights are starting to change by days 11 & 12.
On Sunday, Jan 17, Joe began feeding puppy milk replacer in a shallow cake pan to the pups. They got more on themselves, than in! But by Thursday, they are eagerly lapping it up, a few times per day.
Using our camera to take short videos is very new to me. But since people can't visit, I thought I'd try. In the last day or two (Jan 13 & 14), they are trying to stand on their legs and take a few steps. The little grunting noises are very typical. Very few attempts at barking so far. I had just taken them all out to change their blanket, but they are already going into their pileup formation. One is already asleep on its back!
The pups spent a few hours in the outside kennel, inside their dog box with a heated floor, for a few hours this past week (at 3 1/2 weeks) and then overnight for the first time on Wednesday night.
On Thursday, 21 Jan, two of them were introduced to toys in the living room. Krokus decided it was play time too!
8M Half-Collar picked up the red octopus and shook it! But I wasn't quick enough to capture it. Amazing how that instinct appears so early. (21 Jan)
9M Hourglass went exploring. He's checking out the rug into front of the fireplace. (21 Jan)
6M Triangle held the brown "seal" and carried it around briefly. (22 Jan)
10M Saddlebag clearly did not like Joe's choice of music! He attempted to select different CDs, but then wasn't so sure which he wanted to pick. (24 Jan)
7F Comma was interested in the bright yellow "seal". But the triangular patch of sunlight might have also attracted her attention. (23 Jan)
1F Guernsey is attacking the brown "seal". (22 Jan)
Krokus was born 21 February 2017 in Germany. She came to Sunnynook Kennel from a successful German breeder. Krokus was a perfect travel companion in the cabin of three different airplanes, on a 22-hr trip. Since then she has fit beautifully into our hunting and our home, alongside all of our other Sunnynook dogs.
Krokus had her first litter on December 30, 2019, the H2 litter. She and the sire received a Breeder's Award because 4 of the pups ran in and passed a young dog test in fall 2020. We've also heard good reports from other owners as the hunting season progressed this fall.
Krokus's scored 65 (Very Good) in Hunting Aptitude Evaluation (HAE) at 5.5 months and 132 (Good) in Advanced HAE at 18.5 months. Details are shown below. These tests are a breeder's tool for confirming the all-around versatile hunting qualities all LMs should have. See another webpage for more information about these tests.
Her hips were Good-Excellent and elbows are Normal. She was genotyped by HealthGene and carries neither brown nor Grey (Black Hair Follicular Dysplasia).
Krokus is described as “Ticked”, which means she has black patches – which all LMs have, roan patches of mixed black and white hair and small ticks of black in her white patches. Krokus occupies the mid-upper range of the international size standard: 60 cm at withers, and 62 lbs or 28.4 kg in lean-good body condition. In the LMAC conformation test she earned a Very Good rating in both body form and coat.
Krokus is a sweetheart in the house and travelling. She loves people. She ignores other dogs while hunting and accepts a submissive position in the hierarchy when her kennel mates try to act pushy. However, when it comes to her food, that’s where she draws the line.
Krokus has a balanced hunting instinct whereby her drive is always on, but she also stays in contact with us. She ranges further or closer depending on open prairie or woods. She’s a joy to watch in her search where she casts purposefully across the wind. When making scent, her body is stretched out as though pulled by an invisible thread. This caution also carries over to her cooperative pointing.
Krokus has an excellent nose. She has shown that, for example, by bringing birds from places where I did not think they had fallen. Krokus is comfortable in the water. This is shown by her Water score, where a score of 9 in the VHDF testing system shows that she had entered the water on her own to hunt as confidently as she would hunt on land. When it came to retrieving, Krokus showed some need for growth (see scores below).
Hunting Aptitude Evaluation (HAE) Scores
Advanced Hunting Aptitude Evaluation (AHAE) Scores
|Name||Search||Pointing||Search Behind Duck||Nose||Desire||Cooperation||Steadiness||Retrieve Shot Bird||Marked Water Retrieve||Blind Water Entry||Game Drag||Obedience||Total|
Sunnynook's Fergus, was born on 8 July 2017, part of Sunnynook’s 31st litter. This I2 litter is also Fergus’ first.
Fergus is a house dog who lives with one other dog and a cat in the home. In the words of his owners, “Fergus is the most amazing dog ever!” His calm and confident demeanor is very endearing. Fergus hunts readily even with other intact males that go about their hunting business.
Fergus hunts upland birds and waterfowl, including hunts over decoys. Fergus loves the water. Fergus will break ice to enter water, so much so that for the sake of his own health he’s not allowed prolonged exposure to ice cold water and is dried and looked after once soaking wet on very cold days. Fergus’ medium length but very dense coat helps protect him in water and brush.
Fergus has an Instagram account @following_fergus
Photo by Patricia Oderkirk
Fergus has pointed nicely since early puppyhood. He is very cooperative and will hold point as long as needed for a shot. Fergus is a gentle retriever and often brings birds to hand still alive.
Fergus has also been trained for blood tracking of potentially crippled big game. He was moderately successful in his first test in a 4 hr. old blood track over 400 m. None of the three dogs tested on that hot and windy day were successful and Fergus and his owner plan to try again next year.
Fergus has a medium-bone frame at 65 cm high, 71 cm long and 33.6 kg or 74 lbs. The conformation judges gave him a Very Good in both Body and Coat.
Fergus was certified free of hip (Good-Excellent) and elbow dysplasia. Neither of Fergus's parents were carriers of brown coat color or Black Hair Follicular Dysplasia, so he can't pass these undesirable traits on to his pups either.
Both Krokus and Fergus are close to mid-size in the LM range, with a dense and protective coat for mid-season water work and late season field work.
Both showed a strong pointing instinct, already in puppyhood.
Krokus is prone to chewing small and wet birds on the retrieve. We’re counting on Fergus to balance that small blemish, as Fergus is a gentle retriever.
In her H2 litter, some of Krokus’ puppies had puppy canine teeth persist longer than normal and needed to be pulled. According to veterinary geneticist Lowell Ackerman the so-called deciduous teeth persisting beyond 6 months has a genetic basis although the mechanism by which this is inherited has not been identified. By pairing Krokus with a male whose ancestry we know well and know to be without this anomaly, we hope to disrupt whatever gene combination may have existed in the H2 pups.
Krokus' H2 pups were exceptionally successful in hunting and companionship traits. At a young age of 10 months, 4 puppies passed the natural hunting aptitude tests (see scores of 3 here). And an additional 4 pups have been hunting waterfowl, ruffed grouse and pheasants and have swelled their owners with pride and wowed hunting companions. We expect similar successes with the I2 pups, in keeping with a sound hunting, testing and breeding strategy at Sunnynook Kennel.
The pedigree of the proposed Sunnynook I2 pups is shown below.
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