Tuesday, April 16, 2013

More About Teal {Guest Post From My Husband}

I would like to introduce all of you readers to the newest member of our family; our new puppy, Lakewood’s Dazzling Indigo, call name Teal.  Teal is a Small Munsterlander Pointer or Kleiner Münsterländer, a breed that originated in and around Münster, Germany around 500 years ago.  They are a versatile hunting dog which share that distinction with other, more well-known, breeds such as the German Shorthaired Pointer and the Brittany Spaniel.  The North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association defines versatility as "the dog that is bred and trained to dependably hunt and point game, to retrieve on both land and water, and to track wounded game on both land and water.”  They are a relatively new breed to the United States and, at this point, there are only around 2,000 Small Munsterlanders residing in the United States.

I am a very avid outdoorsman and have always wanted a hunting dog but didn’t want to get one until we moved out of town, as our small yard and city life was not dog friendly.  We finally moved out of town onto four acres about a year ago so the search began to find the right pup.  Our new property just happened to be all set up for dogs with two kennels and an underground “invisible” fence encompassing the entire property.

I did a lot of research before settling on the Small Munsterlander as my breed of choice.  Initially we put ourselves on a waiting list for a Stabyhoun; a rare breed from the Netherlands area.  After discussing the Stabyhoun with several breeders in the U.S. we ultimately decided to keep looking as this breed wasn’t likely to be as promising a hunter as we were hoping for.  Plan B ended up being the Drentse Patrijshond, which stands for Dutch Partridge Dog or Drent for short.  This breed required a very long wait as there are very few litters born in the U.S. each year and, at this point, we didn’t want to import a pup from overseas. 

Ultimately we ended up picking the Small Munsterlander as the dog for us.  This breed, while still quite rare, was going to be much easier to acquire because we happen to have two local breeders within a few miles of our home.  This also allowed us to visit the pups nearly every day during the seven-week wait to bring our little girl home.

We put our name on the waiting list last August and ended up getting second choice female.  The breeder we chose is very thorough and did his homework to pick an amazing pairing with his female and a stud from eastern Iowa who is the best, most decorated male Small Munsterlander in the United States.  His registered name is Max vom Schützenknapp, call name Max.  Our pup’s mother is beautiful and gentle and an amazing hunter herself.  Her registered name is Crabtree’s Daisy Belle, call name Daisy. 

So finally the litter was whelped on January 30, 2013, resulting in five males and four females.  We almost immediately narrowed our search down to two of the females but, of course, had to wait for the first pick to make her choice before we could make ours.  The first choice female, a lady from Texas, ended up picking one of the other two pups that weren’t on our “list” so we were still able to make our own decision on which pup was right for us.  We ended up picking a pup that the breeder called “Rusty” (due to her having a small rust colored spot on her back).  She was the pup we were more leaning toward the whole time as she was just so calm and content with our family.  We wanted a dog that would be good with our children and she really seemed to fit the bill.

We brought our little bundle of energy and needle teeth home on the evening of March 22 at seven weeks and two days old.  She fit perfectly into our family from the start and has been a joy to be around and play with. 

As of today she is just one day shy of eleven weeks old and is growing rapidly. I have been busy teaching basic obedience and getting Teal socialized at this critical time in her life.  She has shown amazing intelligence thus far in her training and catches on quickly.  Her natural tracking and retrieving abilities are very strong and getting better each day.  We currently have her going to “Doggy Daycare” two to three days a week in order to get her socialized well with other people, dogs, and even cats.  I have also been taking her to work quite often, where she has a chance to interact with the other people at the shop and just be constantly exposed to new things and experiences. 

I plan on running Teal in a North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association (NAVHDA) Natural Ability test in June, where pups are tested to a standard and awarded points and prizes depending on how well they do.  I am hoping for the best and can’t wait to see how Teal progresses in her training.  We will keep you updated!

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