The Personalities Behind the Cute

July 18, 2013 Posted by: Jayme Dittmar

The puppies are now eight weeks old. They are growing strong and have startling appetites. They are taking short puppy walks through the woods and are now beating the kennels staff back to the pen in our runs around around the track. Socialization continues to be a critical part of their training and they are introduced to and held by Denali Park staff throughout the day. At this age the puppies have fully functioning brains and each one is starting to develop their own personality. Prusik, Munter and Clove have recently completed the Volhard Puppy Aptitude Test and we are now busy determining each puppy's strengths and best methods of trining from results. You can view the testing process on last years litter by  watching our YouTube Series, The Puppy Paws, in the episode, "The Perfect Puppy?" However, this test is just one of many tools that we take into consideration when applying training strategies. The "Climbing Knots" litter had a range of different scores in their testing. There was not any strong consistency in their marks, but here are some of the results and what we have noticed about these puppies in particular.


Prusik blog2

(NPS photo: Jayme Dittmar)

Prusik’s independence was evident throughout his testing session and in our daily interactions .  He will readily follow us around the track, but on walks he will often wander a short distance to look for his own adventures. In the first few weeks of growth Prusik was the pup asleep in the house while his littermates were playing. Now he is the first to boldly run down a hill, investigate a new object and isn’t reluctant to be away from the puppy pack.  He is very attentive and seems to be more tolerant of unpredictable situations than the others. In puppy testing he demonstrated that is not fearful when faced with new environments and will even thrive in fluctuating situations. This confidence is critical in our lead dogs when we encounter various obstacles, such as ice or overflow, on the trail.  



(NPS Photo: Jayme Dittmar)

Munter displayed many characteristics of a dog that will be easy to train, with the ability to learn very quickly, in his testing session. He is very sensitive to sounds and comes readily to strangers calling him.  However, he is a very energetic puppy that is going to need lots of exercise to focus his attention. We have also noticed that Munter seems to be more submissive than his littermates. He will often be the first to let a toy go to his sister or brother in a game of tug-of-war. He is also a confident pup, but doesn't display it through confrontation.  We think the Munter will learn the commands of the trail very quickly and be responsive to the training required to be a working backcountry sled dog.



(NPS photo: Jayme Dittmar)                                                          

In most situations Clove wants to be the girl in charge.  We think she is going to mature to be very similar to Sultana. In testing, she would often flail or refuse to be put in a situation where she is not dominant.  In many of the puppy scuffles, we have noticed that she will be the victor, pinning her brothers.  She is also very human-focused and was the only puppy to follow and come when being called by a complete stranger.  Clove is very fast and often always leads the puppy pack in our runs around the track. She displays the drive to be the front runner and take charge, needed in a leader on the trail.

We are excited to keep watching these puppies continue to grow and we hope you keep up with them as well on Facebook and the Puppy Cam. 

13 Comments Comments icon

  1. Sam
    June 15, 2014 at 01:04

    I visited today and my favorite out of all the dogs was easily Prusik. It was good to see his puppy pictures. So cute! Hope my parents are planning for us to come back next summer!

  2. October 29, 2013 at 03:37

    Awesome. Huge paws! I like to check on the pups with my class of students with special needs.

  3. August 30, 2013 at 05:20

    Have loved watching their growth this summer. Met them in early July. Have had difficiuirs lately, camera not working well. Will check back. Great video of their creek adventures.

  4. August 19, 2013 at 09:21

    I enjoy watching the Puppy Cam. Any way you could add a Kennel Cam? I'd like to check in on the sled dogs from time to time throughout the entire year. Thanks

  5. August 07, 2013 at 11:21

    Is Sultana still in the kennel with the pups? I haven't seen her lately.

  6. July 30, 2013 at 10:19

    Thanks for the great update and the beautiful pictures. I have loved watching their progress, they are growing so quickly. Is it my imagination or Sultana with them less and less these days?

  7. July 28, 2013 at 03:41

    I love watching the puppy cam and checking the development of my favourite sled puppies. It's great reading the puppy blog , l feel like l am back at Denali , Alaska. A howl to you all.

  8. July 22, 2013 at 10:41

    Each year I enjoy learning about each of the puppies. Thanks for sharing their growth and development throught the Puppy Cam and the Blog. Keep up the good work.

  9. July 19, 2013 at 09:12

    What beauties they all are.. so would love to be there to see them. What great work you do with them!

  10. July 19, 2013 at 07:06

    I look in on the puppies via the webcam several times throughout the day. I am really enjoying watching their physical development and seeing their personalities emerge.

  11. July 19, 2013 at 05:47

    Thanks for sharing the test results. It's nice to know a bit about their individual personalities.

  12. July 19, 2013 at 05:11

    I enjoy watching them grow and I have my favorites....

  13. July 19, 2013 at 04:23

    Thanks for posting the test results and their pictures; They are such beauties, and I have enjoyed watching them daily as they grow and change.

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Last updated: April 14, 2015

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