Category Archives: Quirks and Quandaries
It’s been an interesting week, and my cast is just too comical NOT to share. I had surgery last week to fix my right foot and I’m not allowed to walk AT ALL for two weeks. I am to lay on my back with my foot 18 inches above my heart and I can get up once an hour to use the restroom, that’s it! Well! Fine!
Nursing Staff and Assistants
I’m getting along ok, my husband and son have been great, our friends have been lifesavers. I fell, of course, and landed on my foot because it’s there, and woke everyone up at 5:45 am with my blood-curdling screams. After Pedro helped me to the bed, Winchester practically threw himself on me, trying to calm me down. It was fascinating and, it worked. I think he could be a therapy dog!
Opus is handling the situation a little differently. He spent the first 72 hours lurking in the corners and sliding along the walls and furniture to avoid the crutches. He’s back to his usual puppy-self now. This is my world right now. I’m blessed with wonderful friends, my patient husband and son, good company and a smooth recovery. It’s all good! I’ll be dancing in no time!
Breeder’s Comments: Isn’t it amazing how the Weimaraner takes a cue from what is going on? Winchester is glued to you. Opus is a bit afraid of what is happening. He may even be taking his baseline-reaction from Winchester who is alarmed. While the humans are important, Opus is surely attached at the hip to his brother–the blue Weimar known as Winchester.
You might remember that not long ago Winchester was calming a young person in need of a companion (click here to read the story).
She may not be overly trained and that is our fault but she is more than loved. Spoiled rotten and has that concrete will that is hard to break, just like a Weim. As she gets older my heart breaks to know she will not be with us forever.
A brief update
Of course there are things I wish we would done differently like leash training her better so that we could take her places and not have to fight her with her nose to the ground constantly. Yep, I know she is a bird dog for sure. Riding in the car is the worst. She gets so excited and won’t stay in the back seat well and if she has been somewhere before she starts screaming louder and louder the closer we get there or back home. Unbearable screaming.
She has to take meds twice a day as she has lost bladder control slowly and wets all over when she is sleeping or laying down. In order to preserve our home we just had to do it. Slowly she will have to increase dosage and that scares the heck out of me. We also have to put Neosporin on her nose to keep if from drying out so bad, cracking and making the cells on her nose look so big. I am sure you have heard of these problems before and this is nothing new but I just wanted to tell you what was going on in her life health wise as she gets older.
As a companion
My dream would be to have her be able to go with us and ride my paddle board with me as she loves the water, her ears don’t but she does. Nothing beats her just coming and laying beside or on us and follow us everywhere in the house. She is my companion when Rod works nights.
The funniest thing about her is her water. We have two bowls out for her at all times. She picks and chooses which she will drink out of and we never know which it is on a daily basis. She will go lay in front of the bowls and both, or one can be completely full but if it is not her chosen bowl she will lay there till we know she is missing and refill that specific one. Silly girl but it is her thing.
Thank you once again for her and always being there for all your Weim families even if we do not keep in touch often. ~ Janice
Breeder’s Note: Unfortunately, medication compensate. There bring Thank her.
Breeder’s Note: We were beyond ill after receiving this note. We have withheld information about the pup’s identity, and anything that would lead back to the owner’s identity. Having a Weimaraner means being vigilant, and sometimes making big changes to your lifestyle. Failure to do so, might lead to tragedy.
Here is the edited note we received…
All 3 dogs were adjusting and getting along much better. I had many different thoughts about the future of all our weims, but, i never imagined that our OwyheeStar Weim would pass away so young….. all our hearts are breaking, the pain is almost unbearable. We had only known him for a few months — he was smart, he could retrieve balls and a frisbee, he barked the most often and the loudest in the neighborhood (pissing off our next door neighbor no end). he was a delightful dog and we loved him with all our hearts and souls. We miss him so much! Our house and the entire neighborhood is silent since his passing — no barks from any dog can be heard — they must know he is gone.
This pup had a bad habit of counter surfing, which we were not able to break him of. He recently grabbed a piece of uncooked meat I was preparing for dinner from the cutting board — he was so fast, none of us could catch him, and he consumed it before i could get him.
The final Counter Surf
Anyway, he got a hold of some blood pressure pills from the counter (he had the cap in his mouth when I came into the living room) so we never knew how many he took. The vets did their best, but to no avail. He died at home on Saturday afternoon with his mom and dad and Tony.
A sad ending
I thank you for selling us him. I am most sorry for this dreadful sorrowful ending.
Cat Wrote this question to us!
When you have a free moment, I was wondering if you might be able to shed some light on a small behavioral quirk exhibited by our oldest Weim, Deb. For lack of better explanation, she has a ‘suckling’ obsession. Almost like a child who sucks her thumb, except Deb focuses on plush items (blankets, pillows, bathrobes, etc). It’s the strangest thing! It’s not bothersome in the least..actually, it’s kind of adorable :) And she’s not chewing, so it isn’t harmful to her. But it is strange, so I was wondering if you’ve ever seen this before? Any thoughts as to why she might do this? Jeremy and I suspect that maybe she was weened a bit too early, but I also wonder if it isn’t some sort of self-soothing mechanism. In which case, are there additional steps (aside from the customary snuggles) that we should be taking to comfort her?
Breeder’s Reply: If you follow the blog closely you will have noticed that some OwyheeStar Weims also suck their blankets, etc. A recent blog post featured Winchester (click here), and he loves to suck his blanket. If we didn’t know the length we go to with each OwyheeStar Weimaraner puppy, we might wonder if this behavior is always a result of not enough mommy-time or the litter socialization process was cut short. Deb (not an OwyheeStar) is obsessed with her sucking on things.
All we can say is that Weims are like children; they find comfort where it is afforded. We place value on these behaviors that may not have anything to do how the child (or pup) was raised. Often, we go to a great deal of trouble to try to curb these behaviors. We do this because our perception is that they reflect back on us–a weakness or a shortcoming is exposed. Some living creatures are pre-disposed to certain little quirks. As long as these quirks are within acceptable bounds, we should accept these as what they are–and innocuous behavior. Sometimes we do not like them, but if they are not harmful, then it is best we give them little attention. Our attention should be focused on the positive side of things.
The Weimaraner by nature can be either super-engaging and friendly, or aloof. Probably, the latter is more common than most folks realize. The Weimaraner prefers their own kind, their friends, and their own humans over others.
Despite this fact, there are those that engage everyone by jumping-up, licking, or trying to mouth them. This is equally frustrating to the Weimaraner owner (or those owned by their Weimaraner). As a breeder of Weimaraner puppies, our hope to net the middle-range. That means if possible, we would like to get a genetically-wired Weimaraner that is friendly, but a little reserved when it comes to others. Nonetheless, DNA quirks can show up generations later. Each living creature is unique and programmed to be their own special person–Weims included. With this in mind, we all have to realize there are always going to be things we love about our Weimaraner, and some things we wish were different.
Those in search of the perfect Weimaraner often end up with less than they hoped for, because of their own desires. (Although expectations can be a good thing, they also can set us up to be disappointed.) We cannot say it enough. This is about a journey. It is not about perfection. It is not about getting the job done quickly, with a timeline for each portion of the process. This is certainly not about making you look good. This is about finding your way together, and becoming what you can become. When you approach raising the Weimaraner in this manner, things not only go better, but your chance of success multiplies rapidly.
The DNA does set the stage, but even then there are many other vitally important components. The friendly, well-behaved, but engaging Weimaraner doesn’t come by chance. Once they are born, the breeder needs to understand and implement early socialization. It is one thing to talk about it, and quite another to do it. At every transition point, there are changes that must be addressed in a calm and positive manner. Upon arrival at their new home, some pups seem almost drugged and lethargic, but trust us to tell you this is short-lived. The Weimaraner puppy is getting the lay of the land, and adjusting to the stress of the relocation. Many mistakes of consequence are grounded in the first two weeks of the pup’s arrival. They are your baby, and being matter-of-fact and on top of things doesn’t seem quite right.
Transition points are a huge factor. The Weimaraner isn’t grown until they are two years old. They often will randomly push-your-buttons, but at other times, there are really developmental factors going on. Some of these are referred to as ‘fear periods.’ During these events the Weimaraner suddenly finds the norm is scary. It is best not to change your demeanor, and vitally important not to baby the Weimaraner when these situations arise. Doing so will ingrain the fear of noise, people, or a certain situation. The friendly engaging Weimaraner may suddenly turn on a dime and tuck-tail, or attack those entering their territory. Remember they don’t think like you, and for some reason; they are viewing this as scary. It is not a big deal. It won’t be a big deal if you are pro-active and not reactive and caught off-guard. We believe the friendly well-balanced Weimaraner doesn’t happen naturally. It takes a knack to raise these wonderful creatures.
Never forget to have fun, and keep it all about your relationship! If you remain calm, consistent, and do proper socialization your Weimaraner will learn to trust those he doesn’t know–to a certain degree. They are intuitive, and pick up on things. We don’t want to take that element away. The friendly and well-adjusted Weimaraner takes time and effort to achieve. To say it is life-changing would be accurate. Expect to spend three years at least to get where you wanted to be in one year. This is indeed why many choose to add the second Weimaraner at this point time to capitalize on the training and achievement with their first Weimaraner.
Note: We must once again thank Larry Cleveland (hobby photographer owned by Reno–and OwyheeStar Weimaraner). He has graciously shared these photos and this thought with us!
Dear Shela and Cliff —
Your early socialization of weim pups is very important. Reno will approach anyone with the full body wag and win them over.
Question: When you have a free moment, I was wondering if you might be able to shed some light on a small behavioral quirk exhibited by our oldest Weim, Deb. For lack of better explanation, she has a ‘suckling’ obsession. Almost like a child who sucks her thumb, except Deb focuses on plush items (blankets, pillows, bathrobes, etc). It’s the strangest thing! It’s not bothersome in the least..actually, it’s kind of adorable :) And she’s not chewing, so it isn’t harmful to her. But it is strange, so I was wondering if you’ve ever seen this before? Any thoughts as to why she might do this? Jeremy and I suspect that maybe she was weened a bit too early, but I also wonder if it isn’t some sort of self-soothing mechanism. In which case, are there additional steps (aside from the customary snuggles) that we should be taking to comfort her?
Thoughts from OwyheeStar: At first blush, a person might believe the Weim you have was weaned early. Having a large bank of information garnered over years of experience, we cannot say that was the case. We have firsthand experience with an OwyheeStar Weimaraner that exhibits this behavior, and we know she was not weaned early. In truth, she was nursed longer, because the mother was extremely connected mother. Check out Molly of the Yukon.
We love your terminology citing this as a self-soothing mechanism. That is an apt way to put it, and most likely this started out that way, and soon became a habitual way to comfort herself.
Embroiled in a battle of crate-training, Lee calls saying she cannot do this. She has consulted all the experts, and followed all the directions. Now, she finds herself in an unbearable situation. Tears are the unseen backdrop to the conversation. They stream down Lee’s cheeks as her discouragement and exhaustion come through. By now, it is day three and things are worse rather than better.
During the day Lee admits to having fewer problems. As she works in the kitchen, the pup has been able to adjust in the crate. He often watches her. He sometimes falls asleep. The first two days he was resistant, but after two days he will use the crate during the day.
We listen to Lee’s story. She speaks of her success with little notice going directly to the part where she has lost the battle. She speaks of climbing the stairs to her bedroom, only to hear the wailing begin. Defensively, she explains how she stayed the course. Resolute in her decision to see this situation through to the end, she continues on to bed. It is now 3 AM and Felix is still wailing. Everyone is traumatized. The books say not to remove him from the crate. What to do is the question? 4 AM comes and passes. The crescendo gets louder if possible. At 4:40 AM Lee heads downstairs to the dining room. Felix’s chest is heaving from the wailing, but he wags. At 5 AM, Bill comes downstairs. He glaces toward the living room; all is quiet. There he finds Felix nestled inside Lee’s arm, and they are dead to the world asleep on the sofa. No one takes notice of his arrival.
Note: this story could have any number of names and varied scenarios–and has over the years. This type of scenario has been played-out more times than you want to know. It is definitely a Weim quirk and the new owner’s quandary. If your name and your Weim’s name could be inserted into this story, please know we are not picking on you. You have a lot of good company.
Lee went on to explain that they didn’t know why this had happened, because they had done everything the right way. Exhaustion, frustration, and doubt had taken over her every thought. Their preparation, study, and planning have not worked out. It is easy to move on to the task of pointing of the finger at others, especially when you have followed the expert’s advice to the tee.
What went wrong?
…….. or Crate Placement Saves the Day!
Coming to this point, more than one person has given up on crate training! Every dog trainer, guru, and expert have their thoughts on how to crate-train, but some people end up down the wrong road. Then too, it is like raising children. There are pointers, but you have to find your way together. Your situation, your personality, your skill-set, and your puppy are each unique. Saying one size fits all can get you into a mess.
First, expect crate-training to be horrid for you, but absolutely necessary for the Weimaraner. Backing up this thought with the knowledge that it is not puppy jail. Secondly, expect that you are going to be punished by the pup for implementing the use of the crate. Even though they are den creatures, in the new setting they will balk. Third, possibly most importantly, do not allow yourself to feel bad. Embrace that this will end up well, and serve the Weimaraner’s best interest.
When you start down this path, there are other than the basic considerations when it comes to the Velcro-like Weimaraner. Everyone does the same thing! We finally get our puppy, and we treat them like a baby, hugging, oohing, and awing over them. We coddle them and love the kisses. Maybe it is a blessing to get one of the less cuddly pups. Some Weimaraner pup’s squiggle away and want to explore, play, and be doing something. Sometimes in response, we feel wounded, but possibly, these pups are easier for us to confine, or crate-train.
The placement of the crate is the key to success. One reason people get into trouble, is that in relegating the pup to another room–the Weim feels totally abandoned. Going upstairs or into a different room, makes them feel not only abandoned, but as if they did something wrong. If they understand you are close by, and don’t want to be near them, it is more difficult than you leaving the house. They don’t understand the concept that you are upstairs. We suggest beginning with the crate in the bedroom, near your bed, in sight of you. Get them out only when they stop carrying on. It is an art to know when to get them out and when not to get them out. For now, except they will need to go out once a night, but more often may be a manipulation.
Jacie is growing and getting smarter by the day. I had to send a quick note to let you know what she does not. If her water bowl is empty she has started to pick it up, put it in the middle of the floor. Initially, I didn’t know how the water bowl was getting in the middle of the floor until I saw her do it. The first couple of times, I would just put it back and step away for a quick second. I would come back and the water bowl was back in the same spot. She is too funny.
By the way, she is still getting carsick. We will continue the small rides to see how she does. Doing well on the crate training. She will actually go to her cage in the evening at a certain time (without being told).
I got a few photos and they are attached. She has killed the teddy so now her favorite stuff toys are the geese and a frog.
Breeder’s Note: A small percentage of Weims are prone to true car sickness. For some it is a form of anxiety that brings on the nausea. There are some medications to help with the problem. In addition, there are natural and OTC medications that might help.
The Weimaraner by nature finds ways to get what they want. Here is yet another example where her water dish is empty and she needs to get their attention. Is that clever or what?
Underwear, Socks, and Toys…
Clothing that smells like you is like a irresistible perfume scented pillow. It is like a magnet drawing their full attention. If they could climb inside they would. Possibly this could give us a clue as to why they eat these items. Ingesting toys and clothing clearly has nothing to do with hunger!
Toys take on scent too and become precious. Many people have reported the toy we gave their Weimar pup when they left OwyheeStar was still intact a year later. They had gone through numerous other toys but somehow this toy was always preserved. There is no accounting for this phenomena other than it is precious to them.
Ingested clothing, chewed toys, and bits of fabric..
Then there is the destruction associated with panties, socks, or toys. Some Weims acquire the habit of removing the insides of any new toy within seconds. It is like a time trial for them. How fast can they remove all the stuffing? This is one of those perplexing matters that drive Weimlovers to the edge. Then too while looking over the edge of the cliff and ponding the insanity of buying yet another toy in light of the last which was momentarily destroyed, many find themselves laughing so hard it brings tears to their eyes.
Question–Why does the Weimar feel the need to ingest panties, portions of your sock or to unstuff the new toy?
Removing stuffing and the squeaker can soon become a favorite Weimar pastime. We are very careful about unsupervised stuffed toys. Even those without stuffing (so called flat-toys) can be ingested and at worst cause an intestinal blockage. At best an ingested flat toy (or stolen sock) may pass. And there are the head-turning moments. Those times or precarious situations where you see something hanging directly under the tail. Extracting this bit of fabric is less expensive as well as less dangerous. If, however, your Weim continues to ingest items the risk factor for a blockage increase proportionately. One of the major sale points for Doggie Health Insurance is for these kinds of events.
Above you see Dusty with his coveted gray bunny. Puppies have played with it, other Weim have retrieved it, and Dusty has enjoyed it. The bunny has signs of wear and tear but lives on for another day. It is probably well past a year old and maybe two years. Regardless, without supervision it would not have lived to see old age. Pictured left and below is a recent oops. Cliff forgot to get his socks to the laundry basket–oops again. (Apology to Cliff for using his moment of laxness for blog fodder.) Dusty (sorry Dusty too for revealing your weaknesses in a public forum) snagged one and we found it laying on the edge of his bedroom crate. He doesn’t always use the crate but on occasion he uses it depending upon what is happening. Really, he was only running around for a few moments when he could have snagged this sock. He must have slipped in the crate out of sight and done his deed. Imagine that Weimlovers?!?
The Weimaraner has its fair share
Note: This is the third in a series. If you didn’t read the previous posts or want to review either or both here are the links…
- Click Here to read the first segment of Quirks and Quandaries
- Click Here to read the second segment of Quirks and Quandaries
Our previous discussions on this topic discussed a couple incidents where Weimlovers found themselves in a quandary. While this could be said of other breeds, the Weimaraner seems to have more than their share of quirks and quandaries. Sometimes it is difficult to understand or dissect the origin. Often the perplexing behavior seems to come from thin-air. Turning around the behavior without understanding it can send the most patient human into a tailspin of their own.
Understanding that the Weimaraner will cling to routine can take us a long ways but there is always the moment when we think things are set in stone and something odd happens. For example, housebreaking is going really well. There has not been an accident for quite sometime but a new issue has cropped up. An issue you cannot abide and you are very upset by this tragic happening.
Each morning you grab your coffee in one hand and simultaneously put the Weimar out the door with the other. You might want to pat yourself on the back due to the deftness with which you handle these tasks. You are in your wake-up mode so you grab the newspaper, a magazine, or the Internet and get your morning wake-up news. A little dose of whats going on in the world to start your day.
All too soon you hear the Weimar doorbell ringing (this could be scratching, barking, or whining). If you are high-tech Weim person maybe your Weimar is super well trained. This person has a Weim that rings a bell. Whatever the method your Weimaraner is set on getting your attention. They have done their business and checked the yard and now they are attuned to getting your attention.
Maybe you amble over to the door coffee in hand wishing they would take just a little more time for their business. With your eyes begging to be closed for a little more shut-eye you open the door to discover a deposit directly in front of your door. Eke……………”What is wrong with this critter?”
To make matters worse, while you took your time coffee in-hand getting to the door their excitement escalated. In their excitement paws have made merry dancing in the pooh. Ooooh and as dance in the door, you are jarred awake with a scent your prefer not to smell on any given day. Worse yet, they are now tracking this muck into the house. Face it–this is not the way you planned to start your day. In all fairness the Weimar doesn’t understand what is so upsetting to you.
When you look at this scenario closely and put aside the emotion and frustration it is easier to see how this can happen. You may have to continue the Weimar accompaniment to the yard for some time. Your Weimar may always want to stay close to the door that separates them from you–their beloved human. If they could they would crawl under your skin and be closer to your heart.
Almost certainly, they will eventually run out and use their select location. This might take some time. If a habit forms you might have to go to extreme measures to change that habit. A squirt bottle filled with water, waving your arms getting them to go out to the yard, a hose turned on them. Or you might just have to continue on going to the yard. We don’t recommend using these extreme measures such as squirting them with the hose if they are still a puppy. An adult Weim is not going to be hurt by a spritz with the hose on occasion to deter them from barking, going on the deck, or chewing on your house siding. Nevertheless, it is better to avoid these scenarios and try to keep bad habits from forming early on.
Therefore should a person continues to shuffle them out to the yard without accompanying them early on, they increase their risk factor. The risk factor in this case being , deck deposits, doorway deposits, or walkway deposits. Even worse yet, the deck, doorway, or some other not-so-nice place might become your Weim’s choice potty area forever.