I will include a temperament test evaluation in their puppy pack that will be performed by a neutral third party. Temperament tests are not the end-all-be-all personality indicator, but they can point out areas that new owners can help solidify or minimize through training.
I'll go on to discuss individuals in a minute - the entire litter has a few things going for it.
- Suspension Test: They're all doing great on the "suspension test" since they've been handled so extensively. Basically, a tester holds a dog in mid air at arm's length and tests the time to reaction, if any. Hanging limp means the pup is respectful and deferential to human authority. All the puppies are very used to being handled.
- Sound Sensitivity: Our house bustles with activity, so it's unlikely they'll overreact to sounds when tested. Microwaves, vacuums, football games, Nerf gun battles...they're used to family life.
- Social Dominance: They're all regularly on their backs during playtime, and they seem to accept that is something normal at this point.
- Touch Sensitivity: I'm afraid they'll all flunk the sensitivity test indication because their paws are regularly handled and massaged to make them accustomed to nail trimming and paw grooming. A "flunking" score is when they show no reaction after 10 seconds. There's nothing worse than trying to trim the nails on a skittish dog, so we try to work on that daily.
On to the first round of observations:
- Hudson: He's a happy little guy and likes to sleep a lot. I would put him on the more mild side of temperament at this juncture. His frame is also tending more towards mom at this point, so I think he'll top out around 50 lbs (again just a guess). He hangs back to check out the situation, and then if it's not too boisterous he joins in. When the other puppies are rough housing he will join in after a few minutes, but if the action gets too lively, he'll bow out. He barks and chases in his dreams and it's pretty darn adorable. Typically a puppy's eyes will turn darker around the time of weaning. The other puppies eyes have turned, but his eyes are still blue along with his sister LuLu, and if they remain blue it will be exceedingly rare. Likely the melanin is just taking a bit longer to darken up.
- Maeby: She's a thinker - mindful and alert of her environment. She waits patiently for her turn with mom and doesn't seem to be too anxious about anything right now. If a puppy can be classified as deliberate, I'd say she's it. It seems she's always thinking about the best way to approach, whether it be a toy tangle with her siblings, a place at mom or place at the food and water bowls. Her reactions are generally enthusiastic to all who approach.
- LuLu: This gal is head of the household when it comes to the ladies. She is bigger than all the rest of the female dogs in size and in personality. She and Wallace and Kingston like to hop out of the pool to explore the kitchen on a fairly regular basis. They'll love their new divided playpen. I expect LuLu will be 65+ lbs in adulthood. Her personality is well balanced - she is curious but also a great napper. She is always first at the food bowl and often is in the middle of the food bowl claiming the unexplored territory. Of the rough-n-tumble, she's a tumbler.
- Kingston: A total snuggler and partner in crime to Wallace. He loves to get out of the pen and into mom's food and water bowls. He loves to be held and also is content exploring the house on his own. He and Wallace are crazy playful and love the Kong puppy toys and the braided chew rope.
- Wallace: Escape artist deluxe! I thought about nicknaming him Columbus because he's so frequently dropping of the edge of his world to explore the new world of the kitchen. He is also currently the new favorite of the boys, so he's been getting a whole lotta love (no worries other puppy parents, they usually shift their attention weekly!) He's so very chill in the bathtub and is beginning to recognize his name...usually because I'm telling him to hop down off the pen wall. I'm going to guess he'll love to swim. He loves his toys and exploring the kitchen. He is teething like a madman - his molars are through. This means we're getting ever closer to the days where I won't have to puree puppy kibble! Hooray!
- JuJu: She is the smallest of the bunch, and more laid back and timid. She does vocalize quite a bit when the other dogs aren't giving her a fair share of a meal, but since she's a full pound behind it's understandable. We try to give her special alone time with mama so she can catch up. She has the frame of her mother and I think she'll probably end up around 40 to 45 lbs with fine features. Her coat is a gorgeous cloud of apricot and white and she looks like a fleecy little tuft of cotton candy.
- Penny: She is a go-with-the flow dog content to hang out with the group. If there ever was a middle of the road dog, she's it! She makes her way to the center of the puppy pile to sleep. No crazy barking, plays nice with the toys and with other dogs. She is very affectionate when handled and docile otherwise. Penny will be a great complement to a relaxed household.