Category Archives: Quirks and Quandaries

Berry Picking

~With Maizie

LaBash's Maizie at the Rose GardenWhile the folks picked huckleberries and filled their buckets, I filled my tummy!

Linda writes

Maizie, the Huckleberry picking queen! We didn’t do bad either. 

I have been picking huckleberries at Lost Lake since the 70’s–and this is the best I have ever seen it! We came home with 3 gallons!

Breeder Comment

13501579_562233180628277_6417558351075309623_nMaize is an amazing girl. She goes on many adventures other than berry picking. Here are a few of those adventures; however, life is a daily run. Those feet keep her going. Maybe she needs some Musher’s Secret–a year-round foot conditioner that protects the paws. Give it a try!

Porsche

JuneAnn Writes

So you sold me a ringer LOL.

Porsche is too smart.  Attached, I hope, are sprinkler pictures. I
turned down the water while retrieving the camera, and Porsche didn’t
approve.  She went to the spigot and turned up the water so she could
play in the sprinkler.  Now we do have a quarter turn ball valve with a
five-inch handle for the spigot.  Still, that was pretty clever.
Enjoy.  Porsche did.

Lifesaver

molly-summer-2013_3055

Molly and Jim

Jim and Molly at 6 Months

jim-molly-at-6-months_1262We would not have guessed the role Molly would have played in Jim’s life. From the beginning, it was a different one than was planned. Honestly, we had our concerns about Jim’s request for a high-spirited Weimaraner. Who can rain on a man’s dream? A retired senior training their first Weimaraner is something that is more than a bit concerning. Old skin tends to be thin and a scratch can lead to problems. These folks can look like they are in an abusive relationship–getting hooked on the shark baby’s teeth as we call them or catching a toenail is never a good thing.

Despite our concerns for Jim and whether he could keep up with the Weimaraner, they soon proved to us they could do it. Not long after Jim took Molly home he had a stroke. It was then that Molly began her career as Jim’s personal therapy dog. Many years later she is still keeping him alive. We received this note yesterday. Here in Jim’s words, he describes a recent life-saving act by the amazing Molly.

Hi Shela n Cliff,
It has been a long time since I last wrote to you. Molly has evolved into a loving companion and my best friend. But sometimes she is a bundle of energy. On Sunday February  21, 2116,  she was bounding at her normal speed of “hell bent for leather”. When she got to the bed n jumped up to receive her morning kisses n hugs from me. She freaked out, I was not responding to her usual wake up. By licking my face, or by her pushing me around on the bed. She then started to HOWL N CRY. Tim came into the bedroom to find out, what all the commotion was about. According to Tim, he could not rouse me either. He said that he tried to call my name n shake me to get me up. But he had no luck either. So he called the paramedics. They arrived at the house about 5-10 minutes later, or so Tim tells me. They also  tried to rouse me, but no luck either. They then tested my blood sugars and found them at a very dangerous level. My blood sugar level was at a LOW of 20. Which meant that I was very close to death, as anyone with diabetes could be. Maybe, I was dead n they brought me back to life. I don’t really know.  When I came awake with 5 five paramedics around me, with a flask of glucose going into my arm. They were preparing me to go to the hospital. They then started to ask me questions about where I was. What city did I live in. And where I was. When I got to the hospital the Drs. n nurses all said I was very lucky to be alive. They have only seen a few people that were alive, with the level of sugars like mine. I spent the next two days in the hospital, trying to get the sugars to remain at a normal level. They would go up n crash down until they reached a safe level.
I OWE MY LIFE TO MOLLY. I thank Molly and God for saving my life. She gets more kisses n hugs from me then before.
Since then I test my sugar level when I go to bed and if I wake up around 3 AM, I retest my sugars. I am so afraid that I will experience
that event again. When Molly is around me when I test. I have to tell her that I am alright. If I fail to tell her she starts to bark at me. As if she
was telling me to test again and to tell her.
I know that I have told you before how great Molly is n that I thank you again.
Jim (Central Oregon)

Thank You, Molly

The amazing Molly continues her work on a daily basis. She is a self-taught therapy dog.

Why oh Why?

Quirks and Quandaries

Many years of working with the Weimaraner and people associated with the breed have taught us a few things. One to keep in mind is that even though you have had the breed before it doesn’t ensure smooth sailing. The twists and turns of getting them raised can take a sudden spin and normally this in direct response to human error. Very often, this associated issue develops when it appears you are doing everything right. It has always worked before; however, those with multiple children will tell you that even with the same parents (and DNA pool) no two are identical. Each must be considered for the person they are and what works for them. A stressor for one is of no concern to another. With that in mind, we saw this comment from an OwyheeStar Client. Here is their response to a blog posted last week.

Hi we received a puppy from you, Bella from the litter on May 5, 2015. We are experiencing something I’m not sure how to deal with. When Jon and I go to work or at night when we are asleep, she is chewing holes in our drywall. She is exercised two a day off leash. She has plenty of toys and chew things. We know it is separation anxiety (except that we are home at night). We’re not sure how to address this. We’ve never had a dog do this before and we previously owned two Weimies.

 

Jardine's Trigger_n

Trigger

A few of Bella’s Littermates

Please note this is not the Bella featured in Sunday’s Blog. Nevertheless, this Bella is a littermate to two recently featured Weims–Bentley and Molly. Trigger is also a littermate.  You may well remember Trigger because he was lost and found and his story of recovery was featured on this blog too!

Sheetrock Chewing

This hole-in-the-wall-chewing is not an uncommon occurrence with this breed. Nevertheless, we have written about this on several occasions, and it is a behavior best avoided akin to digging, incessant barking, and chewing on the house siding. These behaviors can begin during a stressful situation or a transition period–some call them ‘fear periods’ during the developmental first three years. Yes, I said three years. The Weimaraner can demonstrate a teenage-type of flakiness that rivals the human counterpart.

The only response we know is to reel in the Weimaraner and to rely on the crate. Freedom must be earned. Continued freedom and allowance of this or any unwanted activity will ingrain it, and it can become nearly impossible to break the cycle. With the smallest stress, they may sneak around and find a place to chew for comfort or to let off the stress. No doubt the incurring response creates further anxiety and fuels the issue in many cases.

Unwanted Behaviors Thwarted

This (and other) undesirable behaviors can be overcome; however, the key is finding an approach that works. Being calm and proactive will serve you well. We recommend using the crate and supervising all activities until the behavior no longer becomes an issue. Positive reinforcement and getting them to realize you do not want this behavior is a plus. Stay calm and this means inside. If you are upset by the hole in the drywall (and who wouldn’t be?) then, this can add to the problem. Maybe some of you readers can speak to this situation. Please feel free to share your experience if you have overcome a quirky behavior situation. We appreciate your positive and appropriate suggestions. Cliff and I thank you in advance.

Please Note: A rehomed Weimaraner would also experience this type of stressor and can quickly become unmanageable. Change in a schedule, location, your attention, etc. are all potential catalysts.

Comments

Insight From OwyheeStar Clients & Fans

Yesterday, we spoke about the problem of relocating a separation anxiety prone Weimaraner. There are many considerations, and you can read the Dodging a Potential Issue blog and our suggestions if you missed yesterday’s post. Nevertheless, here are some of the comments and advice given.

Easy is a velcro-dog too… but he fortunately makes other places like hotels or houses of relatives to “his home” very quickly… my aunt was surprised to find him in her bed, but she has a sense for humor :o)

 

Hi, this is Ron Weatherman to tell you about OUR Sadie and her recent move. We sold our winter home in Mesquite, Nv. to return to our main home in Chewelah Wa. Sadie, who had a bed in most every room loves to travel and has gotten much better about being left for short periods of time. I have used a bark collar on occasion with great success. Returning to Washington was made more easy for her as she has many great memories here but her special toys, chew rags, bedding as well as sleeping on our bed for a few days made the transition more easy for her. She is very clingy with me and must be with me or under foot all the time. She has now returned to her nighttime bed and is doing fine. She is also 7 years old in one more month. Sadie is a big girl, now at 95 pounds of solid muscle. She gets a couple of miles walking every morning and play time in the afternoon. Instead of her life revolving around us, our lives revolve around her and all her needs. Worse or better than having children. Things we dislike the most are the facts that she is a Democrat or must be. She gets everything done for her and provided for her. Try as we do to convert her to being more conservative, she demands on being depended on us for everything and contributes nothing. Is that not a Democrat?

Jan and Willow8461_o

Jan and Willow

 

All good suggestions! I also make a point from the start (when I get a new puppy or dog) to leave them safe places for short time periods, so they get used to being left and know they don’t need to be upset. I leave my puppy/dog with a trusted friend, family, at the vet, boarding kennel, anywhere else you can think of that is safe. I try to do this after they have exercised and are tired out, so they are calmer. This can also be started anytime, I would suggest it for Sadie. It is important to always NOT make a big deal out of coming and going- our Weimars tend to be overly-dramatic sometimes, and when we feed into that or act dramatic ourselves, it makes things worse. Just be calm and non-chalant and know they are fine! Jan–Sunstar All-Breed Dog Training and a Weimaraner Expert (40+ years experience)

Breeder’s Comment

These shares were comments made to our Blog. There were other comments made on Facebook. Please feel free to comment, like, or share your thoughts. It doesn’t matter if we are not all of the same exact persuasion. Each of us has a different experience and something tidbit of information that might be helpful.

Oops Something HappenedFor those starting out with a puppy, we suggest you consider this situation in the mix. The concrete thinking Weimaraner can be trained very quickly; however, there are twists and turns. Your process needs to include a plan to help them become adaptable to change. Otherwise, an unforeseen situation may catch you and the Weimaraner off guard, and it can pose issues best avoided. Adding this factor in the mix also can help prevent severe separation anxiety.

Many thanks again for all the comments and your invaluable insight. 

Dodging a Potential Issue

Lisa and Sadie

 

IMG_0660[1].JPG

“What Do You Mean We Have To Move?”

Hello, my name is Lisa, and our weim is Sadie.  She just had her 7th birthday on 4/29.  We are going to relocate from our house to an apartment.

Sadie does have a lot of separation anxiety when she’s left home alone.  She is mostly never home alone for longer than an hour.  We take her with us in the car when it is possible. Sadie barks the full time she is left alone in the car. She sometimes quiets if she sees us go into the store. Anyhow, she doesn’t like to be away from us.
The weather is warming up here in Vancouver, WA. I cannot be taking her along and leaving her in the car. The warmer weather means that she must be left alone at home rather than taking her along. Now that we are moving it concerns me–I mean the heat means we need to leave her behind. I’m also concerned she will have a difficult time adjusting to her new surroundings or will she?
Can you tell me how to help Sadie become accustomed to the new apartment?

Thoughts from Cliff and Shela

Separation anxiety is something the Weimaraner is prone to develop. The best approach is preventative; however, even once your Weim has a healthy dose all is not lost. Here are a few thoughts that may help Sadie deal with or adjust to the changes.
1. First, don’t make a big deal out of the move yourself. Your frustration, anxiety, and concern will be internalized and externalized by Sadie. The Weimaraner tends to pick up on our cues.
2. Rely on the crate and go back to the basics. Freedom is earned until the adjustment is made. Safety first and apartment living also means closer neighbors.
3. Depending upon Sadies quirks, it might be a good idea to sleep on a pillowcase and then use it for a bedding cover in the crate. Don’t wash it–get your scent on it and then just use it. Your scent is a powerful thing to her–a comfort. Nevertheless, if she chews up her bedding and ingests it that can create a different kind of havoc.
4. If Sadie’s anxiety is severe, you might consider using Prozac. Medication can be a short-term solution to help her bridge the change. We like to avoid this situation; however, it is a judgment call as to whether this is something you need. If you are concerned, consider asking your Veterinary if this would be an option.
5. Old dogs can learn new tricks and one way you can help Sadie a lot is to help her learn to be more adaptable. That means mixing up her schedule and introducing new things. Don’t make a big deal out of this but even before you move, try relocating her crate and using it more. Do things in a different way instead of keeping things even keel.
6. Try to make a new Vancouver doggie friend and schedule a play date. Maybe you can work out a situation where you help someone else by taking the kids for an adventure and Sadie can learn to go with them. A home-away-from-home situation is always a welcome alternative.
7. Remain calm and believe in your heart everything is going to work out. Positive and upbeat thoughts will help you succeed.

Tell Us What Worked For You

We welcome ideas from our OwyheeStar clients. Can you help Sadie with this adjustment process? Please drop a comment here for Sadie and her mother. They live in the Vancouver, WA area if that helps anyone with a suggestion.

Time For

TV

Murphy Ready for TVMurphy says

 

Ok Dad, time to watch TV now right?!?!  I’m sitting like you and everything!!!

Charlie Mae and Elle

Charlie Mae Enjoying TV.jpg

Time Watchers

Does anyone at your house tell time? Our Weims know when it is bedtime, mealtime and the general routine we keep. They are not happy about us not keeping on schedule. Evidently there is television time and place too. Murphy and Charlie Mae know their routine. They might know how to work things to their advantage too.

 

Eke

Not What You Think

12771579_10205303200238861_7747397698196847021_o

The Weimar might bring an occasion rodent, bird, or the found object to the door. Nevertheless, for most of us, there is a limit to our excitement for these gifts.

I am reminded of an adventure Leon, and I had when I about four years old. We came back from the woodsy neighborhood trek with a stick wrapped with a rattlesnake. We thought it was great. We didn’t understand the dangers. We had found this great snake, and it was dead. We just wanted to share our delight which was met with shrieks and a stern warning never to touch another snake. Today, I have no love for snakes even though I am acutely aware of the benefits they provide.

This story ended better than it began. Jessica writes:

Timber brought this snake out of the trees today while we were on our walk. Freaked me out until I realized it was a rubber snake.

It is the truth that this turned out well; however, for most of it, there would have been a certain amount of alarm. We say, rightly so. How on earth would you get then to leave a dangerous snake without getting hurt? There is a scary thought.

OwyheeStar’s Succeeding with the Weimaraner.11

Is The Weimaraner Right for You?

~ Part Three

 Lawrence's Addy-10
The American Kennel Club (AKC) is the oldest and most respected kennel club in America. The United Kennel Club (UKC) is another choice, but for most Weimaraner breeders they must get the AKC papers even if they are associated with the UKC. We mention this only to set the stage for our third segment discussing the Weimaraner as a choice. Many folks go straight to the AKC to discover which breed is right for them. Here is what they will find listed as the AKC on the Weimaraner’s temperament.
Lauded for his ability to work with great speed, fearlessness and endurance when on the hunt, the Weimaraner is also known for being an easily trainable, friendly and obedient member of the family. This is a breed that loves children and enjoys being part of his family’s “pack.ʺ A well-trained Weimaraner is a delight to live with, but an untrained one is akin to a canine demolition derby. Puppies should be started in classes at an early age.

Accurate–however, a bit Misleading

We can agree on one thing–the Weimaraner is hard to define on paper. People write they did their research and discovered the Weimaraner is a match. On paper or via a quiz that asks a few questions this might be true. Nevertheless, these bits of information can lead you to a decision that is either heartwarming or something shocking–it doesn’t work out for you. The latter means you probably find yourself embroiled in the soul-searching battle to get the Weimaraner to become what you expected. This concerted effort to get the Weim to become what you believe they should be is all too often followed by a drop at the rescue. Sometimes these fur-kids appear on Craig’s List (God forbid). Desperate people paint a lovely picture to look for unsuspecting people to take the Weim off their hands. Typically this is preceded by a small fortune spent on various trainers and equipment but in defeat, the desperation to get them out of the household can lead good people to do the unthinkable.
No one goes into this process thinking it will be easy. Almost everyone asks their self if they are crazy–even when this is a second time around Weim. This magnificent creature can throw you a curve ball of the best or worst kind. Depending on whether you get the save or not. With that being said, let’s look at these touted characteristics one at a time.
  • Easily trainable

Depending upon breeding and early breeder socialization the puppy you receive should be ready to learn the basics. For those who understand the commitment and follow through faithfully with the basics (house breaking, crate training, the recall as well as the loose-leash heel) things go well. All of this and more is achievable. The ease of doing so will depend on your understanding of the breed, how you follow through and is contingent on you making the right choices.

Freedom is Earned!

OwyheeStar admonishes their clients to remember that freedom is earned. Too much freedom (and who doesn’t want the puppy running around) will lead to accidents as well as the idea they are free to do as they please. This situation will affect the housebreaking or all of the basics as mentioned earlier. Even more disconcerting is the fact failure to achieve these areas of discipline may also set your pup up to develop bad habits. These behavioral issues will lead to non-compliance and in turn, create other scenarios such as making them less than welcome to others.

The Human Factor

The vast majority of the OwyheeStar puppy clients achieve success with ease; however, even some of those fall on hard times. The Weimaraner is not a dog you train and move on–they require a strong leader and insistence that they meet the standards you have set. We don’t know anyone who would claim this is an easy breed to train. Nonetheless, if you get it right, they can become a joy. To enjoy living with them requires a sense of humor as well as the ability to deal with their quirks and the quandaries to which they gravitate.

Described As

  • Friendly
  • Obedient
  • Loves children
  • Pack-loving
  • Delight to live with
Friendly— Most Weims are friendly to some degree. Socialization is important once you bring home your puppy. They can gravitate toward only caring about their family. They can become aloof and standoffish with strangers. Some are more prone to this behavior than others.
Obedient — Many people fail to master compliance on the leash. They resort to head halters or front hooking leashes to manage the situation, but that is not compliance. Others are unable to get the recall–the Weim coming when called part down. We need to remember that the Weimaraner can spend lots of time manipulating their humans. Is that the description of obedient compliance?
Miles kissingLoves Children — Raising the Weimaraner with children usually makes a big difference. There have been cases when the Weimaraner doesn’t tolerate a child. We believe this to be rare–it does happen. Conditioning the young Weimaraner to children and situations is important. They need to learn to tolerate children if nothing else. Some Weims just love the baby of the family and will lay with them for hours.
Pack-loving — The family is their pack. They are never happier than when they are leaning against, sitting on, or close to their beloved family members. This leads to a propensity towards severe separation anxiety. They really don’t like being left behind.
Delight to live with — This is probably the one item on the list we think is very misleading. 11891270_10207599167758656_1427309952331633864_nWhether they are delightful or not is going to depend on your expectations. If you are a neat freak and come home to the toilet paper shredded, the trash was strewn, and a vomiting pooch will this be upsetting? How will you approach this issue. Some are perpetually into the garbage or stealing things from the kitchen counter. Some are chewers–they munch on your house siding, furniture, etc. They shred every toy you buy. Some dig, bark, and demand constant attention. Many of these behaviors are the result of human failure to condition them while it counts. Avoiding behaviors start while the pup is young and continues as they reach teenage behaviors. Freedom is earned — write that on your heart. It might save your Weim’s life and you a lot of frustration.

Got Birds

Dad!!

      ~Do you see those birds outside????

We’re chasing them with our mind RIGHT NOW!!!!

Breeder Comment

Charlie Mae (Gray Longhair Female) and her Blue Ghost brother (Murphy) have more than their eyes on these interloping birds. They come; we chase. They have excellent manners. The blinds are intact. They are so focused they stayed with their tracking project while Will snapped these photos. The Weimaraner–either they are so entertaining that we spend a great deal of time watching them or we are easily entertained. Then too–there is the fact you need to know what is going on with them. The silence of the Weims is rarely a good thing.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,150 other followers