Category Archives: Behavior & Training
~ guess we found our niche
Hey Shela and Cliff, Asher here. It has been awhile but I wanted to update you with a Paw-Awesome report. My days are filled with many adventures from joy rides to the coffee shop, Farmers Markets, and any store that allow dogs. Funny thing about coffee shops is a friendly hello bark gets me treats. Seriously, that is all I have to do to get a treat. Love it! (Psst, if any other Weim’s are reading this—heads up Chick-fil-A does it too.)
Sniff, sniff, sniff…there is a game that my mom and I play it is called Nose Work. She hides treats and I find them. I know right—more treats—love this game! However, my mom tells me that she created a nose detective monster. As I built my confidence in sniffing it came time for the Odor Recognition Tests (ORT’S). My mom questioned, if she was ready and if she should enter all three or just the one. I told her, “Mom—we got this!”
Paw-Awesome isn’t it?!? My mom and I make such a great team. We passed all three odors birch, anise and clove. She was so happy—I thought, “stop-it mom you’re embarrassing me” but don’t tell her. I was really jumping up and down inside!
And that is how it all began, mom and I trained for the next event our very first trial. She was nervous because it was the first time she has done anything like this. She said, “Okay God calm my butterflies and let Asher do what you created him to do!” She whispered in my little ear, “Okay, handsome—you got this! Let’s go have some fun!”
We had some fun all right. My mom was so excited; I think I even saw tears in her eyes—Gesh, woman! I tell ya! Well, here it is, nine months of preparation of training and confidence building. We received our first title in Detection Dog Class Novice.
Now that is my superstar moment but let me tell ya—the game of Rally-Obedience not so much. My trainer told me, ”My focus has been upgraded from a gnat to a small fly.” I know right, “Are you talking about me?”
Well that is a quick Paw-Awesome report, we have some more trials coming up later in the year and working towards our first competition in Rally-Obedience. A small fly—I’ll show them! Keeping my eye on the prize!!
But first, I am going back to bed!
Asher Von Owyheestar, DDCN
Happy, Healthy, and More
~a gift to our family
Winchester has been a gift to my family he is so loving and energetic and we are so happy to have him. We took him to his new vet’s office on Saturday for his 9-week booster and they said he is a very healthy pup and they all just loved him.
He has been doing much better with his kennel training. It is still not his favorite place but he is getting used to it. Brandon’s family members have been coming to let him out and play with him while we are at work. He loves his toys and stealing Brandon’s socks hee hee. He is still learning and growing but I know he is gonna be the best fur baby. Thank you so much!Whitney and Brandon
Mom says at the kennel they call me the wild one. It’s just because when we get to the kennel I run straight into the front door of the kennel and when Mom picks me up, I run from the kennel door into Moms car.
Benson loves playing with other dogs. He is fast, happy, loves to retrieve, and is loveable. To his delight, there are deer and lots of quail in our backyard. He will retrieve into the lake but stops when it gets deep. We will continue working on this. I thank you for Benson, he is a big joy in my life. Marsha
It is good to hear about Benson. Keep working on the water retrieve–you will get him swimming. We love that you love him so much. Thanks for thinking of us.
In Perfect Harmony
Today is THE day that we have worked toward and practiced for since we became a team almost 3 years ago!!
Today Shiny and I melded together in perfect harmony to run 7 miles…on leash. No pulling, swerving or stopping to sniff.
In perfect step with each other – even though we were on the well traveled (and breath taking) Glenwood Canyon trail.
It was if he was owning his “job” regardless of bicycles, tourists, and other dogs.
“I am running with my Mom. Don’t bother me.”
And it was Beautiful!!!! ~Julia and Shiny
There are no adequate words to describe our admiration and appreciation. You and Shiny are doing amazing things together. This running with purpose (and in unison) is one more area where we see the fruit of all your consistent labor. We look forward to hearing more about Shiny–maybe next time it will be another bit of Nosework news. Thanks ever so much for this update.
Now that spring seems to finally be here Loki and I are having all sorts of adventures. For the last month or so I’ve been working on introducing Loki to water. First, it was getting his toes wet, then the ankles, and so on. I’ve attached a video from this evening— we headed out to the lake after work. Needless to say, we’ve come a little ways from not getting our paws wet. You may notice the cord on the bumper— sometimes Loki needs to remember that the game is retrieving, not keep away, but the water work has seemed to really help this. Also great insurance in case he doesn’t go for it, so I don’t have to swim.
Other adventures include hide-and-go-seek at lunchtime on a trail system near my office. It’s a great game for anyone to play to help their pup remember to check in on hikes, but with Loki, in particular, we want to develop the idea that he can use his nose to find people. When we’re out on the trail, I wait until he gets just a little too far ahead of me, and I hide in the bushes next to the trail where I can still see him. He is quick to notice that I’m no longer in sight, so he runs back down the trail. He usually goes past me until he hits my scent (in the air), and then he usually works the scent cone back towards me. When he finds me, we enthusiastically play with his favorite toy.Another new thing is teaching Loki to pull me on my longboard. I keep it short and easy so as to not stress his joints, but it’s a great way to practice verbal directive commands. And to take the edge off the wiggles!Loki is also turning into quite a camping dog. Last week was his first tent camping adventure in Glacier National Park over Memorial Day weekend.The two pictures I’m sharing here show our work on the down-stay (he’s not tied in either). You can see the drool starting to come with the cheese! That’s what happens to those who attempt to counter surf. He got no cheese.
As always, we constantly incorporate sit-down-stay-heel-come into our daily routine. The heel is finally taking hold— at least 50% loose-leash on a flat collar, and his off-leash heel is almost better. The red harness he’s wearing in the picture is his working harness and includes a handle to help keep him safe on the chairlift. We are working on associating it with good listening and lots of fun search games.Anyway, I can’t believe he’s 6 months old already! It has gone so fast. ~ Erica
~Propel them through the Water
The Weimaraner is a powerful swimmer once they get going. The trick is getting to take the first step. Their toes are webbed making them better equipped to paddle.
There is no one way to get them to swim; however, we find having a love of the retrieve ingrained goes a long way towards accomplishing this discipline. (Sorry to some of you!) For the non-hunter, many times the retrieve is not viewed as essential. All too many of you allow the Weimaraner to abscond and run around the yard with the toy or the bumper–instead of bringing back to hand. Yes, this is a hoot–although it is just one more Weim antic, this is one we suggest you not allow to take root. The idea of achieving the swim is only one reason in a myriad of why you need to get the rock-solid retrieve. We won’t list those as we are speaking about achieving the Water Retrieve.
You want the Weimaraner coming when called. The Recall is a safety issue and the underpinning of compliance. Two areas where compromise cannot be allowed (in our opinion). Depending on your approach to training there are various ways to get this done–we will forgo the discussion on methodology. Let’s just say get this done! It is going to help you with achieving more than a Water Retrieve.
Cliff suggests you find a place to do this exercise. One location that works well is a hallway. Close all the adjoining doors (so they cannot take off with the bumper of the toy). Make this a special event and stop before they tire–while they are still begging for more. He also suggests you use a dedicated toy or bumper you save for this activity only. Depending on your pup’s attention and skill level keep the number of reps down–at first maybe as few as three. Bear in mind; the idea is to make this celebratory and fun. You want them having the desire. This activity will serve you well on so many levels and enhance your training outcome positively.
Weather Permitting the OwyheeStar puppy will see the water before they depart. You saw the video we shared, if not we included it here. Nevertheless, this is not going to ensure that your pup will swim. It will still require time, effort, and patience to get your Weimaraner to swim–plus a bit of knack. A few suddenly jump in but don’t wait for that to happen. Oh–and if you doubt, the Weimaraner is more than likely going to read your thoughts and agree with you.
You might wonder how to begin. Cliff does it this way–your situation may require you to adapt. Using the reliable retrieve, you work along the edges of a pond. Just play in the water’s edge–a tiny bit on their feet initially. Slowly ease them into the water beyond their comfort zone. It might take a few tries, a few days, or a few weeks. It takes as long as it takes, but if you follow this protocol, you will achieve the goal. Like anything with the concrete thinking Weimaraner, you want to make this part of the early life training. Then it becomes the norm. Oh, and you notice he mentions using the pond. Waves could spook them. You want to avoid that scenario.
Imagine the possibilities!
A Few Final Thoughts
- Weims who balk at the sight of rain or a sprinkler often achieve the swim.
- Don’t go in with the *pre-conceived idea that it cannot be achieved.
- Select the venue to work on this carefully.
- Go in with the idea it takes as long as it takes.
- Make this part of your young pup’s agenda.
- If you *failed to achieve the swim early on, don’t believe it is impossible.
- Some people use a life vest**. The vests are not necessary.
- Often Cliff is teaching a Weimaraner who has not swum since they were a puppy. They might be 2 years old or older. They always learn. Cliff knows it can be achieved. Sometimes it is challenging but, with patience, it always happens.
- Deem this as invaluable to your process. It is a healthy activity that can burn off the excess energy and not take such a toll on the hips and joints. It is good for their cardiovascular as well.
~ We hope this helps someone achieve the swim! ~ Cliff and Shela
*You would be shocked to learn how many folks achieved the swim after they told us it was impossible.
**Life Vests–just a note here that Cliff never uses one. The only vest he might use is a Neoprene one if he were to swim them in inclement weather–like for Duck Hunting. Some of you need this for peace of mind. It might help the Weimaraner take their first few steps, but again–it is not necessary. A lot of clients who live in cold water regions cannot keep their Weims out of the water. This scenario is true even in the winter.
~ Like Virginia
Here is a picture of the pond I had built for my babies Dusty and Stormy (Weims).
Maybe you follow OwyheeStar Weimaraners both here and on Facebook. If so, you know about the late Stormy and our aging Dusty.
These are not the same Weims–they are Virginia’s Stormy and Dusty. Ours and Virginia’s Weims are all the Blue Weimaraner. Virginia’s Stormy is a Blue Longhair Weimaraner.
OwyheeStar’s Dusty is the father of both of Virginia’s pups. He is a smooth-coated Weimaraner (pictured to the left), but he carries the DNA marker for the Longhair. This Story originally ran some time ago.–click here to read the full story.
~ And More!
We wanted to give you an update on our sweet Darcy. She is 2 years old now. We are so grateful for our beautiful girl. She is such a wonderful part of our family, and it’s hard to remember what life was like before she came to us.
She loves to hunt, hike, swim, play with the kids, give the baby lots of kisses, go running with mom, and torment the chickens. Everywhere we go we get compliments on what a beautiful dog she is. People familiar with weims also comment on how small she is. She’s 45 lbs and a lot smaller than other weims we come across. We remember you mentioning that her mother and grandmother were on the smaller side as well, so we’ve never worried about it. She is just the perfect size for us. 😊
We’ve attached a few pictures. One is on her birthday. She wasn’t very thrilled about the silly crown we put on her, but she tolerated it because she knew a tasty breakfast was coming.
Thanks again for all you do! We love our sweet Darcy.
We have fewer and fewer under-sized pups. That will make many sad. Nevertheless, you cannot keep breeding back to the same lineage. New blood (such as Boone) brings depth and diversity to our gene pool. That is a good thing.
We are thrilled to hear she is versatile on every level–the perfect fit for your hunting and the family life. What more could we hope? Thank you, ever so much for remembering us with this update. It means the world!
It is Lizards
Did you know the Weimaraner is a Watch Dog? Of course, you did. All that nose art on your window didn’t come from the goldfish. (Haha)
In the Northwest, it is the squirrels who taunt the Weim window watchers. Or maybe it is a feral cat that walks the fence gingerly out of reach. Bunnies and other scurriers are also fair game–sometimes the watching crew gets after the watched. The chase is on if caught it might not end well.
In the southwest, the lizards taunt the Weimaraner. It doesn’t take much to get their attention–sparrows, blackbirds, robins, butterflies, and sometimes bugs. Some Weims are more attuned to their duty of watching the premises than others. Nothing gets by these two.