Category Archives: Bringing home the Weimaraner
Note: This is a repost of an article we have shared several times. Our pups are ready to acclimate to their new environment upon arrival. We recommend not over-thinking at the early stages.
- Be committed — Commitment to the process is primary. Training your pup will take time. Think of this as a journey (a road trip) with a destination in mind. Don’t set timelines; instead, take this adventure together. It will take as long as it takes for each achievement. Sometimes just when you think, you have arrived; your Weimaraner will hit a snag or transitional phase. There are many of these stages in the first couple of years. As with an adolescent, they can be going along well and suddenly regress. Please take this in stride it is nothing personal. The first occurrence could well be prior to week twelve. Stay calm and move ahead–this is how to avoid ingraining fear or some unwanted behavior.
- Keep your eye on the young puppy at all times—This is vitally important for at least the first 2-3 weeks, or until you have the housebreaking part accomplished. Use a crate, bag, or soft-side crate to confine the pup when you cannot be vigilant. The crate should not be too large. If it is more than they need they may select one end for a potty area.
- Be consistent–Do everything in the same manner! For example, the pup wakes up and stirs. At first, you would pick them up and carry them out to the area where you want them to go potty. Each time you see them circling or rousing from a nap go to the potty-area. If you use the bells hung at the door, then ring them as you go out the door. Soon they will be ringing the bells as a signal for you to open the door.
- Keep it simple — Although your pup can learn amazing things, it is best to do a few simple things and build upon those experiences. The process will unfold naturally if you allow it to do so; start with getting them to come. Although they all follow and come to us, it is different once they start to mature. Do the hallway exercise (5-7 retrieves each night). By using a hallway (with adjoining doors closed) there is nowhere for them to escape with the toy, ball, or dummy. Some people treat them when they bring the item to their hand. It is not necessary. The activity is a reward in and of itself. Have a couple of bumpers or toys (designated for this activity). Make it an event every day until you move to the yard because you have compliance.
- Keep it fun — Weimaraners are brilliant and learn quickly. A trainer might tell you to work for an hour and even a half hour doing one exercise every night, but we suggest ten minutes. Do it for ten minutes and then do something fun. This approach works for us! If your Weim pup loses interest, you lose ground in the training process.
- Remember it is about your relationship — No matter what you are doing it is important to remember that Weims are all about relationship. If they get their feelings hurt, things can go sour quickly. Your bonding experience is vital to the success of this relationship. Take time to think and see things from their perspective. You are the center of their world. They not only want to control you, but they want to own you. Weimaraners are the ultimate Velcro dog and must learn how to stay alone. Your relationship is a double-edged sword. They need a lot of time, attention, and affection. They also need to find ways to cope when you are absent. We recommend starting this process very early, or they will come to expect you will be there 24 X 7. Separation anxiety can be a huge issue in this breed.
- Be patient — When you go out to teach your pup a skill, make sure it is a learn-able task. Plan enough time to accomplish the task–but keep your training focused to ten to twenty minutes maximum. The short bursts of success are more effective than lengthy sessions. Your attitude and demeanor play into the equation too! If you are feeling stressed, forego training your Weimaraner. There are many methods of training. Nevertheless, choose one that enhances your bonding experience and one that creates a respectful environment for all concerned.
The best Weimaraner people are those that are natural leaders. Anytime you feel your relationship is stressed then you are going down the wrong road. The persons that are neither too strict nor too lenient are usually, the ones that excel. Regardless of what happens, it is always best to pro-active than to be reactive. Stay calm. Keep it simple. Get results. Plan little steps of learning and build upon them. Try our 7 steps to Success, and we believe you will be on the right path.
Wishing you fewer puppy bites and more puppy kisses
~ Shela and Cliff
Dear OwyheeStar Applicants
Communication is tricky–no matter whether you are writing, texting or having a discussion. The goal is communicating our idea or thought, or possibly trying to educate someone. I reply to a lot of emails. Then too, there are the application responses. Sometimes this involves a follow-up query to clarify the applicant’s answer or to fill in something left blank. A recent encounter left me feeling cold and licking more than a few wounds; however, I am sure my intent was misunderstood. Maybe I should have added some emojis–honestly, I am not too skilled at using those cute add-ins. That would set a tone rather than leaving the recipient to guess what I mean and the voice behind the ink.
Grammerly.com says, “If there’s controversy around emojis in business communication, then why do we feel compelled to use them? Why not forego them altogether? The simple answer: we want to be better understood. Email communication is notoriously problematic in that it lacks the emotional cues we rely on with face-to-face or phone conversations. Without tone of voice or facial expressions to guide us, there’s a lot of room for misunderstanding when we read an email. Messages meant to be positive are often interpreted as neutral, and neutral messages are interpreted as negative”.
Setting a Positive Tone
Well then, that leaves me being negative sounding a lot. Our application process is an area where I am positive more than a few persons have been miffed by the questions. In fact, someone said they were sick of my interrogation techniques–I was shocked because I was merely asking one question about a two-part question–the second part was left blank. I think the question is valid; they see my asking them as intrusive and are offended. In all honesty, I could have prefaced the question more tactfully–and the addition of emoji may have set a more friendly tone. Would that family have made a good puppy home? We will never know. Of course, I want to avoid these types of scenarios, but when it comes to matters of the heart a lot of things can go sideways. I was scolded and let know their money is good and their character the same. I am sure both things are true; however, that was not what was in question.
A delay may seem like I don’t value you or our application. It is in truth, nothing like that. Rather I am engaged with the must-do and the most pressing things. Some of these cannot wait. Each day I am amazed at the workload for both Cliff and I. At the same time, we give thanks for this opportunity to provide a service so many appreciate.
We Take This Process Serious
The importance of our application process cannot be understated. Asking clear and concise questions to get the information that will clue us about the pup’s future seems valid. Nevertheless, communication issues (being misunderstood) will probably always be an issue. There other factors behind the scene too!
1. Each inquiry has an agenda–sometimes these are hidden (you would be surprised).
2. Everyone has done research; however, no one can guess how deep you are going to be required to dig to get through the Weimaraner puppy phase.
3. Each person comes with experience–this is all too often not going to apply to the Weimaraner. It is hard for a diehard Labrador person to believe this breed is different.
4. Each candidate believes they are ideal. Implying anything less or inquiring about something is offensive. We understand.
5. Dog savvy persons fail with this breed–it happens for a myriad of reasons. Let’s not place blame; instead, let’s agree it happens too often.
6. First-time Weim folks sometimes succeed beyond our wildest expectations. A pattern seems apparent to us. Most of these listen to our advice on how to raise the Weimaraner and do their best to follow it.
7. Honestly, it takes patience and a measure of trust to work with us. We typically have a Wait List. We cannot guess exactly how things will unfold–whether a mating will result in a litter, how many pups will be born, what sex or what coat color they will be. Yes, we sometimes have an all blue litter or an all gray litter; however, most of our litters have mixed coat colors. Some litters will produce a few Longhairs–how many is always in question. There are statistics, but we have learned the hard way that it is an average. The same parents might only produce two Longhair (of eight) pups one year. The next they may yield six of eight. Therefore, when statistically it says you will get 50% or 25% depending on the situation, the percentage can vary more than we expected in a specific litter.
From our side of the Fence
We must consider the pup’s welfare first and foremost. If we don’t have peace about a situation, it might not reflect on you at all. It may mean that we are not the right breeder for you. Sometimes we dare to tell applicants that we feel another breed choice would better suit their needs. Should we ever say that? I think we should. It is our opinion. A person can take it or leave. They can buy the Weimaraner from someone else. If all else fails, they can get one online.
Despite Communication Hiccups
Over time we have forged some beautiful relationships with OwyheeStar clients. If we had passed on the street we might not have given each other more than a nod or a smile; however, our hearts are forever joined. It is amazing how a fur family member can impact our lives in ways we would never have imagined. So, when we delve into the ticky-tacky details we sincerely hope you understand our motive. We are not interested in how much money you have–just that you have enough to give adequate care. Yes, we realize having money means better food and unlimited veterinary care. Nevertheless, even when a person has plenty of money and the desire, it is not a rock-solid guarantee that things will not go sideways.
We thank you for your patience and your understanding. We are honored to think of some many of you are friends. Some of you are more like family. We share things others would never understand.
~ Shela (and Cliff)
Patos is Thriving; I am exhausted!
Weimar Disdain turned to Snuggles and Kisses
The 9-Week Puppy Shot
Big hugs to you and Cliff! ~Meg
We are happy that Sucia has turned the corner and realized that Patos is not only staying, but it is an excellent thing to have a sister.
I am glad you are sticking to the vaccine protocol. It has proven time and again to produce high vaccine titer results–in turn, keeping the additional vaccine at bay with the risk of a severe vaccine reaction.
We do encourage folks to worm their puppy on a regular basis. There are certain things we cannot speak to for a broad-based audience. Each person must decide what the real risk is when it comes to Heartworm–is it vital to start the new puppy on this medication. Well, maybe. If so, should you use the Plus version that covers the worming as well as guarding against the dreaded heartworm scenario? The one caution we do have is to not overload your Weimaraner’s system with a lot of chemicals. Be as Holistic as possible–this is even more important with the young Weimaraner; however, some adult Weims can react to various medications. Proceed with caution and do a bit of research–if there are reports from dog owners who have used a product and it caused seizures, we recommend choosing another option–different pain medication, etc. Weigh the risks and just because one person didn’t have an issue, keep in mind a percentage of Weims do have severe (even life-threatening) vaccine reactions–as well as a low tolerance for certain medications. One that comes to mind is the Rimadyl.
Annie Needs A Sister
~ Stepping up to a Two-Weimaraner Status
Sister For Annie
Bob and I are thinking of getting another Weim, a Blue female. Do you have any pups?
Shela Says—Availability is typically going to require a wait. We recommend everyone complete the application process at least six-months in advance and follow up by locking in a place on the Wait List (by giving us a deposit). Until we have the Wait List deposit, you are not in line to get a puppy. Of course Patricia, I have answered you privately about our current availability and the timeline.
Shipping A Pup
Also, it is an 8-hour drive for us, do you ever ship the pups?
Shela Says —We can ship a puppy, and it is only a one-hop flight from Boise to Portland or Seattle. That being said Patricia, Cliff and I try to make the exit process as safe, stress-free and easy for the pup and their new family. Most Pacific Northwest families meet him near Pendleton. This exit scenario requires planning as we can only make one trip per litter, but this is in the best interest of the pup and their families.
There is less risk of exposure to the deadly Parvo Virus–which undoubtedly has infected every pet area or frequent stop along the highways. Secondly, when the pups travel a distance together, it seems to ease the stress. It is like one of our many adventures–they load up and go for a drive a way from their former home, and then depart with their new forever family.
My suggestion is that we explore the options and see how we can best accommodate the exit process. I should also mention that folks have taken a flight from Seattle or other airports, and flown into Boise. We met them at the airport, and then they carried the new baby home as a carry-on. It is another way to get off to a great start with a lower risk factor. The time spent settling in the Sherpa Bag often proves beneficial on so many levels.
~She a Whiner Weimaraner (oops)
Previous Annie Updates to Explore
Annie is doing well, such a sweetheart and very spoiled. She really is a good girl most of the time, very busy! Took her to the beach for 5 days. Every time we slowed down in all the coastal towns she would start whining. Finally, after listening to her for a few hours we parked in the shade, rolled down the windows a bit and went into some shops. Gone for about 20 minutes, got back and boy was she a good girl for the rest of the trip. She finally got her ice cream cone. (photo above)
We are glad the much-loved Annie got her ice cream. We sincerely look forward to working with you again–getting Annie, a sister. We are positive she can lead the way and teach ‘Whining 101’ to the new upstart.
Off to A Good Start
We love our Berkley. You chose well!!
Here’s an update on CRATE TRAINING:
She was totally content in her crate for the 4-hour ride home from Oregon. We stopped once and she went potty. Her first night home, she was not happy at all to be away from her litter mates and her mama. We put her crate in our room so she could see us, but she still howled and whined much of the night. Yesterday we put her in her crate several times, for 20-45 minutes each time, during the day while we ate our meals and ran an errand. She was a little vocal about it each time but got better as the day progressed. We hosted a lunch event and a dinner event, and she did splendid meeting and greeting all the shoe-less guests (parvo precautionary rule). She was the absolute center of attention for a good chunk of the day. When it was time for bed last night we put her in her crate and she went right to sleep. Not one howl or yelp! She stirred at 2 am and gave me a little whimper. I took her outside and she went potty right away. She went back to sleep in her crate until almost 6 am, which is my wake-up time anyway! We were so thrilled and gave her lots of praise for doing such a good job.
An update on POTTY TRAINING:
We used the bell method with our first Weim, and it worked like a champ. So we knew this was the way to go the second time around. Every time we take her outside to go potty (after she eats, wakes up, just before bed or crate time, or every 30 minutes or so), we take her little paws and ring that bell and say “outside”. Yesterday she rang the bell all on her own. We took her out and she went potty right away. Then again today, she rang the bell on her own, and the same thing happened!!! She is catching on so fast. We haven’t had to clean up after any accidents. I am shocked.
An update on TRAINING AND LIFE IN GENERAL:
She is retrieving like a champ to our hand….stuffed toys, mostly. She isn’t into the balls yet for some reason. She is coming on command and just starting to get “sit”. I started working with her on heeling as well, but that’s a little trickier. She is starting to get it, but barely. Berkley went with us to take big sister to school for her first day of school today. And then she snuggled on the couch with us and listened in as I read a Sofia the First story to our youngest. She’s one fun pup. I attached a few pictures.
Thanks so much, Amanda
It was very sweet of you to update us on Berkley. We appreciate the follow through you are doing too! It is paying off. Yes, we try to set the pups up for success, but it takes more than a little knack to step quickly toward success.
The potty training is excellent. I love that you used the bell system. Around here that would not work, but in a traditional family setting it can get you off to a good start fast. Be sure to get a fecal exam. Giardia and coccidia are common one-celled parasites that can quickly multiply and reek havoc on the pup’s intestine. Treatment isn’t a big deal if you catch it early. Pups prefer puddle water, and they also lick their feet all the time. These are great ways to ingest something that can take off like a wildfire.
For those that have never collected a sample–you invert a baggie (Mark your name on this baggie first to ensure it is labeled). Grab a portion of a suspicious looking sample and invert and seal the baggie. Label a second baggie with your name, the pup’s name as well as the date and time the sample was collected. Keep this sample cool (not frozen). Freshness is important; therefore, get the collected sample to the Vet office ASAP. Collect it just before you leave when possible.
This one thing can save you a lot of trouble. Stress diarrhea is a thing. We might fear the worst, and it could be stress. Canned or steamed pumpkin is great for correcting a loose stool. It is not a bad idea to give your pup a couple of tablespoons twice a day and even some berry yogurt–the kind with live cultures. These are very good for their digestion, and the yogurt helps ward off yeast infections too.
Many of you who were waiting for a puppy arrival know it has been an unusual year at OwyheeStar. The girls didn’t come into heat around their typical cycle–leaving us to wonder why. We felt it was due to the harsh winter, but we will never know for sure. The typical spring puppy thing didn’t happen, but we have summer pups. It seems to work.
Our Wait List is officially short for the expected Fall pups. We have a couple of summer Blue Males not yet promised–we are accepting applications for them. Preferences run in cycles like everything. We go through times when we cannot get enough Blues and then, like now, it has been the Silver Gray (mostly females) people are wanting.
Whatever your preference, the Weimaraner is not for everyone. That being said, nothing else will do for others. If you are one of those folks doing research, we hope you understand it is tough to determine the fit by merely reading about them. Regardless, there are many blog posts that reveal the good, the bad, and the sometimes ugly side of the Weimaraner. Living with them is different than you might imagine. They require attention–and supervision. They simply are not the get trained and throw in the yard dog. The Labrador adapts to that situation more readily than the Weimaraner. Some folks resort to using a daycare situation for their fur-baby; this can hold true even when they are well beyond adolescence.
A Little Blue Longhair Girl
Just wanted to drop a note to let you know Lily’s doing well. We had our initial vet visit this past Tuesday & she weighed 13.5 pounds. She plays and plays and plays & can’t figure out why Sis’s 14-year-old Daisy doesn’t want to play. Daisy is so patient with Lily’s nipping at her haunches and trying to grab the scruff of her neck…there’s only been a couple of big ‘woofs’…..and they have played, but Daisy’s arthritis makes it hard for her.
Lily finally sat still enough for Sis to get a decent picture, although the angle makes her looks HUGE…..she’s not the big (yet) Lol
Lily looks happy and like she is loving her new life. She is fortunate to have a very patient big sister in Daisy.