Eli x Penny: Puppy Number One Grows Up


Evaluation of Puppy Number One at 11 weeks:

Puppy Number One was the smallest of the two bitches until about six weeks, when she started gaining on her sister, eventually overtaking her in size. Although she isn't measuring bigger than her older half-sister, "Lil" (Ashburton Foxglove All Of Me), at the same age, she is "more puppy" than we are used to seeing. Our bitch puppies that consistently measure at the top of the Nobel chart's grey area -- or even slightly over -- usually end up around 14-3/4 to 15 inches as adults. (The ones that look "safer" according to the chart -- climbing right up the middle of the white area -- usually don't get big enough.) Lil, who rode the top of the chart until about five months, ended up at about 15 inches. Still, this one has a "bigger look" than Lil.

Otherwise, in terms of general "type" (head detail and bodily proportions), she reminds us a lot of another older half-sister, "Janey" (Foxglove Ashburton Ingenue, maj. pts.) as a puppy, but with better angulation both front and rear. If she continues in Janey's footsteps, it will be interesting to watch her grow up. Though it is hard to believe from looking at Janey now (click here), she went through some absolutely hideous growth stages (which, unfortunately, I could not bear to document with camera and film at the time). At one point during Janey's puppyhood, we actually sent her to live with a friend in another state 1,200 miles away for a few months, because we were afraid we would give up on her and sell her as a pet if we had to wake up every morning and look at her! So, stay tuned for this puppy's first year -- it could be a doozy!

 Six weeks

 Eleven weeks

Evaluation of Puppy Number One at 19 weeks:

Four and a half months is not the prettiest age for most puppies, and Puppy Number One is no exception to the rule. Still, she is fairly well-balanced compared to many puppies this age. She is still "a lot of puppy." Although she measures close to 14 inches already, her physical maturity in comparison to her her littermates gives us some hope that she will stop growing early and stay in size. First, her haircoat is very advanced for her age. She lost all her puppy fuzz very early, and all the hair on her body right now is adult coat. Furthermore, it is growing in at a fast and furious rate. Note, for example, the length of her belly hair. Her littermates, in comparison, have a strip of adult coat down the center of their backs while the rest of their coat is still puppy fuzz. Secondly, her dentition is quite advanced for her age. She had six or seven adult teeth before either of her littermates had lost a single baby tooth. And at this point, she has a full mouth of adult teeth, with the exception of three of the four canines.

Puppy Number One has the best front of any puppy in this litter (see About the Front Assembly). She also has a very well-angulated rear. At this point, she is moving close in the rear -- toeing out just a bit at a trot -- and tends to stand cow-hocked. Close movement (but without the toeing out) is actually very typical of Penny puppies between the ages of five and six months; but if they moved correctly at an earlier age, that correct movement returns by seven months of age. Puppy Number One is only four and a half months old, but since she seems mature for her age, we are hoping that the rear movement we are currently seeing is the "funky stage" typical for puppies of this breeding -- albeit a bit early.

Puppy Number One has "a lot of head," which we hope she will grow into. Still, we like her sweet eye, full muzzle, clean lipline and lean backskull. At this point, she has more fill through the stop than we would like.

Puppy Number One -- Update at 24 weeks:

Photos of Puppy Number One will be updated as soon as possible. We were unable to photograph her with her littermates this time because she is currently "out on loan" to a friend's eight-year-old son. Jonathan loves dogs, and this puppy LOVES children of any age or size. So, when Jonathan asked very nicely if he could "borrow" her for a few weeks, we readily agreed. Jonathan shares his bed with the puppy, reads her bedtime stories, and brings her to visit his friends' houses after school. When last heard from, the puppy was "helping" Jonathan and a friend bake cookies.

At almost six months, Puppy Number One is almost 15 inches at the shoulder -- still a big girl for her age. On the other hand, she's had a full set of adult teeth since the age of 21 weeks and does not seem to have much knuckle remaining. (The theory is that puppies "grow into" the knuckles on their front legs; when the knuckles are gone, the puppy is finished growing.) Her coat is also much more mature than those of her littermates. Her rear may be a bit better than it was a month earlier... or maybe not. As far as her conformation future, the jury's still out on this one... but we CAN say for sure that they don't come much sweeter in temperament!

Photos coming very soon!

Evaluation of Puppy Number One at 27 weeks:

Puppy Number One is still "out on loan" to eight-year-old Jonathan Caplan (left) and enjoying a busy schedule of social activities. We were very glad when the two of them were able to find time for a brief photo session (just one day before 20 inches of snow fell, as it turned out).

The last photo of this puppy was taken eight weeks prior to these (See Evaluation of Puppy Number One at 19 weeks above), and a comparison shows that a great deal of change has taken place in just under two months. First, although this puppy is not standing quite correctly in the rear for either body shot (slightly overstretched in the photo on the left and standing under herself on one side in the photo at right), she does seem to be growing into that very well-angulated rear. She also seems to have grown into her head, which, at 19 weeks, seemed MUCH too big for the rest of her. As a whole, she's looking more and more balanced and mature.

We continue to love the front on this puppy (see About the Front Assembly). This is especially evident in the body shot at left -- note how the front legs are set well under her. When she moves, that front looks as good as we hoped it would; she single-tracks and shows little evidence of wasted motion in front -- no loosey-goosey, puppy movement for this gal! We also love this puppy's elegance and length of neck, more evident in the body shot at right where she is "using herself."

Her rear continues to be a concern. Although photos seem to show her "growing into" all that rear angulation, she isn't handling the rear significantly better while moving. She continues to move close and toe out slightly. This may take more time to improve, or it may never improve. But she is still developing and maturing, so we'll just have to wait and see what happens.

As for size, she measures about 15-1/2 inches at just under seven months. She has no discernable "knuckle" remaining and appears to have attained mature bodily proportions. She could still creep a bit more and approach the 16-inch limit, but we're hoping that her upward growth is now finished or nearly so.


Puppy Number One -- Update at 13 months:

Puppy Number One is now co-owned with nine-year-old Jonathan Caplan; we'll get photos of her as soon as we can, but life with a nine-year-old kid is pretty busy! Aside from participating in all the fun "kid" activities with Jonathan, the two of them are also doing some "doggy" activities like handling class and a week of "Kids and Dogs Summer Camp." Jonathan wants to be ready for AKC junior handling competitions when he turns 10.

Puppy Number One was "a lot of puppy;" now, not surprisingly, she's "a lot of bitch." She measures in but is very close to 16 inches. She is balanced and feminine, despite her size, but physically very immature. Her front is still excellent, and the rear seems to be improving but we don't think it will ever be wonderful. She's not going to be in the conformation ring anytime soon, but she's got plenty to keep her busy while we wait for her to grow up a bit more.

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BACK to litter evaluation

SEE Puppy #1 as an adult


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