Sunnynook Large Munsterlanders

The X Litter

Joe & Sheila Schmutz, R.R. 2 Box 123, Saskatoon, SK Canada S7K 3J5

last updated December 27, 2012 by Sheila Schmutz


The X litter at Sunnynook was whelped March 6, 2011. 9 pups were born: 6 females and 3 males. The dam is Sunnynook's Ulna and the sire is Muddy Waters Buteo (see more about them below). This is the first litter for both parents. This was a LMCNA® sanctioned and registered litter.

This litter received a LMAC Progeny Performance Award in 2012!

The adjacent photo shows the new mom Ulna, with her "little herd of LMs". Week 1 & 2 consisted of eating and sleeping, and blossoming under mom's constant care. On day 10 the eyelids began to open, and by day 13 they were open, but likely not yet fully functional.

At Week 4, the pups began to eat soft food in addition to mom's milk. At this time, they also played with the frequent visitors and chewed their shoelaces. Mom gradually paid less attention to the pups, but wanted attention from the visitors too.

From Week 7 onward, exploration began in earnest. At Sunnynook Kennel we believe this is an enormously important time that sets the stage for the kind of hunting and family dog a pup will become. Adjacent, the pups begin to explore water and the soft mud below – no pressure, just stepping, tasting, sniffing on their own terms.

Pigeons too entered the pup's lives then. Here Xerica and Xoni point a pigeon before it pops up. They learn what scent is, the strength of scent by distance, and get used to the sudden and startling opening of wings and flight home by the pigeon. The photo is fuzzy because they gave us little time, as if saying "pointing is in our nature but so is capture – don't dawdle!"


By summer the pups had gone to their new homes from Saskatchewan to northern California, except for Xerica, who stayed at Sunnynook. The pups have enriched their owners' lives and hunting reports are already coming in. Good breeding and early exposure is paying off – these young dogs are hunting with their owners at 8 months old, as adolescents.

Xandra "Purdey" was the first to work under the gun. Whether grey partridge were in a suburban city park or out in ranch country, she was going to work them regardless.

Xyla "Minnie" and Larry had a great Fall of 2011 hunting pheasants.  Here, on her first birthday, Minnie is pointing and holding a Spring pair of grey partridge on a walk in Calgary's Nose Hill Park.

Xzeke has found a spot in the heart of every human in his new home. He keeps their lives enriched as only an intelligent dog can. His experience with pheasants and dove is topped up with a rabbit here.

Occasionally Ulna gets to see for herself how her pups are doing. Here she is (far right) at the end of a day of pheasant hunting with her son Xola, his owner Ian, and her owner Joe, near Val Marie, Saskatchewan.

We look forward to hearing more about the X-pups as they mature in the bond between human hunter and dog, a bond that is as old as human culture itself.


Four of the X pups were run in a puppy level test and one, Xyla "Minnie" also ran in an intermediate test. See their scores below.


Ulna and Buteo, the Parents of the X Litter

At a mere 3-4 years, both Ulna and Buteo have developed into capable hunting dogs and are a joy to hunt with. They've proven their ample ability at both puppy- and hunting-level testing, in an independent evaluation from trained judges. Above that, they have slightly different strengths chosen to complement one another.

Ulna had a strong pointing instinct from puppyhood on, but is also prone to crowding a bird and letting her retrieving instinct take over when her owner is too far away or out of sight. This is correctly reflected in her pointing scores of 9 and 7, and 4 in steadiness (see below). Buteo, on the other hand, stands his birds cautiously and at good distances, and will hold a point, or back another dog, for a considerable time.

Both Ulna and Buteo are accustomed to hunting open prairie, and search with purpose, good pace and endurance. Ulna's range is medium; Buteo will go out several hundred yards when the cover encourages it and still handle birds well. Ulna has learned more quickly than Buteo to search the water independently, without seeing a bird fall or scenting it. Both are reliable retrievers on land and water.

Buteo and Ulna are calm around the house, the vehicle or kennel. Ulna especially, but also Buteo, may bark to alert us of strangers, but loves people and hunts easily with other dogs. Ulna may rest her head gently on one's knee to get attention, Buteo is more demonstrative about it. Ulna can be a character and need to be reminded who's boss. Buteo responded to a gentle hand in training, and passed both levels of tests by the time he was 1.5 years old.

In their conformation, both satisfy the breed standard. They are slightly below average in both height (Ulna 59 cm, Buteo 62 cm) and weight (Ulna 56 lbs., Buteo 61 lbs). Both have a protective coat of medium length, with moderate feathering. Buteo can develop some curls, depending on the season.

Buteo and Ulna come from a proven hunting dog tradition. Not only they but also all of their parents and grandparents have proven their ability in tests of puppy and hunting levels.


Sunnynook's Ulna, a current Sunnynook Dam

Ulna was born in 2007 at Sunnynook. She is the daughter of Sunnynook's Pika and Aron von Grinzing. See more about her siblings from this litter on the Sunnynook U Litter page.

Ulna was radiographed at 20 months and her hips were rated excellent. She obtained a score of Very Good in HAE (65) and AHAE (154) in the Versatile Hunting Dog Federation testing system, detailed scores below. She has been DNA tested and does not carry brown or Black Hair Follicular Dysplasia.

Ulna is shown on the right, holding a Mearns quail she had handled nicely in Arizona.

Detailed scores for Ulna and Buteo are shown below. See another webpage for more information about these tests.

HAE Scores

Name Search Pointing Tracking Water Nose Desire Cooperation
Ulna 9 11 6 11 9 9 10
Buteo 8 10 9 10 10 9 10

AHAE Scores

Name Search Pointing Duck Search Nose Desire Cooperation Steadiness Retrieve Shot Bird Marked Water Retrieve Blind Water Entry Game Drag Obedience
Ulna 9 7 10 10 9 7 4 10 10 8 10 8
Buteo 10 10 9 10 10 9 10 8 9 10 9 9


Muddy Waters Buteo, the sire of the Sunnynook X Litter

Muddy Waters Buteo came to live at Sunnynook, with his sire. He is the son of Muddy Waters Athena "Buffy" and Sunnynook's Macaw. He is shown pointing a Mearns Quail on a hunt in Arizona.

Buteo was radiographed at 19 months and his hips were rated excellent. He obtained a score of Very Good in HAE (66) and AHAE (171) in the Versatile Hunting Dog Federation testing system, detailed scores above. The fall after siring this litter, Buteo rand the VHDF PE test (187 points - Very Good). He has been DNA tested and does not carry brown or Black Hair Follicular Dysplasia.

Buteo is shown at the right, cautious on a flock of Mearns still hidden in the grass in Arizona. Below: Buteo, on a late season Saskatchewan duck hunt.


Back to Sunnynook Kennel Homepage

For more information on the Large Munsterlander, visit The Large Munsterlander Club of North America® Website

Please call us if you have any specific questions (306)382-8964. e-mail joe.schmutz@usask.ca or e-mail sheila.schmutz@usask.ca