Category Archives: Health and Wellness

Food and Such

Life with Bella

     ~and Levi

Levi in Bella's spot on the couch)

“What do you think you are doing Levi? You are in my spot!”

Let me set the backdrop (the scenario, or the stage) what I am going to share with you– before Bella, Levi the 11-yr-old lab was a grazer. I would fill the Bowl in the morning, and there would still be food the next morning.

Since Bella arrived, things have changed.

When she first came, I fed both of them separately because Bella ate different food. That lasted about a week because they both kept eating each other’s food. So I put Levi on the same food as Bella. That worked out perfect. Well, except for one thing.  Bella would chow down her food and then go finish off Levi’s.

I started putting more in Bella’s Bowl and less in Levi’s.  Then Levi started to eat Bella’s food right out of her bowl. Levi would eat a little move on to her own bowl. All the while, Bella hovers over Levi. There is no barking– no growling. It is just Bella silently hovering–watching and waiting. Once Levi’s finished she will go lay down now it’s Bella’s turn to eat.  (It is kind of funny watching cuz it is like she’s waiting. ) Then Bella will growl and bark at Levi who is not even near her (she does this also with treats.) I point this fact out to her to no avail. She has never attacked Levi or anything like that. (She’s such a sweetheart I doubt anything like that would ever happen). I believe this is nothing–it seems to be because I’m able to take the bowl away without her doing anything. It’s just odd that she does this whole grumbling thing, and it is a lengthy process, or I would send a video.

Bella’s new favorite pastime is licking my food air (lol).   I just thought it was kind of a funny story–maybe others will relate.

Have an awesome day
Debbie

Breeder Comment

Debbie, thanks for the effort to write out your funny food-related story. I think people will love reading about it. Also, we agree this is not food aggression–it is good that she allows you to take her dish, etc.
I do believe she is plotting and planning to manipulate the system to her liking. (OMG) Weims are interesting and very intelligent. Those dog intelligence tests don’t work, because when they show their stuff is in the inner circle of their little world. (Haha) You are an awesome Weimloving Mama.

To Wait, Or Not

Nancy Shares Her Thoughts

     ~Spaying and Neutering

Garin's Tikka Panties

To wait or not to wait, that is the question! The current thoughts dictate that it is best to wait until your dog is a year or older to spay. Well, we all want what is the absolute best for our fur babies. They say wait, ok I’m going to wait which means going through at least one heat cycle. Let me tell you going through a heat cycle is not an easy thing, not for the owner or the dog! If you don’t have the time to monitor your pup 24/7 for at least two plus weeks then you should spay before a heat cycle begins. We have let both of our girls go through a heat cycle before spaying. I don’t remember much about Luna’s cycle, but Tikka’s is fresh In My mind!
   Once she started bleeding it was two and a half weeks of dripping, two and a half weeks of not being able to go potty by herself (we have fenced property, but when it comes to breeding nature finds a way!) , two and a half weeks of being kenneled when we leave the house, two and a half weeks of not getting to go out due to her “condition”. My girls hated the bulky diaper things you can buy for dogs in heat so for Tikka … Victoria Secret panties (modified a bit!) with a panty liner seemed to be the most comfortable 😊
  When she finally stopped bleeding I realized that it wasn’t just miserable for me, she seemed genuinely happy to be done with that too, she didn’t understand the changed handling or the change in the way she felt, it was difficult for all of us.
   I would say if you don’t have the time or patience to monitor your pup 24/7  to prevent an unwanted pregnancy then it might be best to spay before the first heat cycle.

Breeder Comment

This topic is often heated–even Veterinarians may disagree on when it is ideal to alter your pet. It is not a topic we want to discuss–especially when it comes to the female. We (Cliff and I) feel the ideal time to alter your Weimaraner might vary from person to person. The hormones do play an essential role in the growth process. Proponents talk about waiting through the first heat-cycle–when that might happen can vary. We like to suggest you hold off a bit–altering around 8 months and sometimes waiting until they are about a year old. The growth plates close sometime between 12-15 months. A male can produce a litter around eight months. Some females show little evidence of being in heat, while others bleed profusely–it can be quite the challenge. Possibly, thinking about as timing rather than the heat cycle would help some of you.

Honestly, many are better off altering their Weimaraner around eight months for the reasons Nancy mentions. We won’t repeat what she has already said. The idea is to alter them around six months. We suggest you consider all the facts and then discuss your options with your Veterinarian of choice. Thank you, Nancy, for sharing your thoughts as well as the experience.

Cliff and Shela

Water and Your Weimaraner

     ~Puppy Swim

Most of you know that we try to swim puppies–time and weather permitting. Above is a GoPro Video of a litter swim taken a couple of years ago. It gives you a different perspective. Some pups are excellent swimmers; others struggle a little. Nonetheless, we have never had a puppy fail to be able to swim. Does this mean they will naturally take to the water? No! If you expect them to jump and take off, you may be disappointed. It will most likely require work to get them into the water and swimming. This effort is work we hope you invest. We deem this an essential part of the puppy raising process.DSC03640

The Why and the How

Over the years we have written extensively on how to achieve the swim. More and more of our clients have managed to do this. Sometimes to their own surprise. It is one of the best things you can do for yourself and the Weimaraner.

To expend energy. The growing Weimaraner has boundless energy; however, they cannot be beating the pavement to run off this energy. Until the growth plates close, you need to limit high impact exercise. Many experts agree that about three miles is the limit. Imagine how quickly the Weimaraner puts in the three miles. Seriously, about a mile into your run they have probably gone this far. Using the swim is the ideal way to exercise without causing damage to the growing joints. We would go so far as to suggest it probably helps your Weimaraner get more years and miles from their body. That is something that serves everyone’s best interest. We think you can agree.

Hunter or not you need to master the recall. You say what do you mean by the recall? That is coming when called. Getting the retrieve to hand is also a part of the recall. The rock solid come when you call or give a command–verbal or otherwise. The bringing of a bumper or toy back to you. Keep away it funny and laughable; however, we don’t feel this is ever in the best interest of the Weimaraner or you.

Cliff and I suggest you find an area where there is no escape route. For example–a hallway (closing all the adjoining doors) will work for this exercise. You want to make this an exciting event. Something that they look forward to doing with you. Sit down in that hallway and work on the retrieve at least every day. You want to ingrain the love of the retrieve as well as getting them to bring the dedicated item it to hand. This discipline will serve you well and help you achieve the swim.

The hallway exercise should begin as soon as they arrive. Make it an event–the same person, the same bumper or toy, and somewhat a routine. Five-Seven throws blocking the exit with your body. Toss and retoss keeping the excitement going. This activity should be fun, short-lived, and you want to stop while they are still excited. Once you have the rock solid recall—then you can move to the yard. You may need to use a check cord in the larger venue. If you don’t know what that is, ask us. It is a long line that attaches to their collar and allows you to reel them back to you. Always giving them praise like it was all their idea.

Why the Retrieve

The Weimaraner that is in loves the retrieve then can be worked along the water–at first shallow water. A pond or something similar is ideal. Slopping sides even better. That way they can play at the water’s edge and retrieve. Eventually, you can edge them out a bit, and they will take off and swim a couple of strokes. This process takes patience. You might wonder how long. Can we say it takes as long as it takes? Typically, Cliff gets the water-retrieve in two weeks or less. The rewards are almost endless. You can do this! Believe in the process. Stay optimistic. Keep it fun. Stay at it until you achieve success.

Running Companions

For the long distance runner, this is the best way to set the Weimaraner up as your running companion. The growth plates typically close around 15 months. By then you should have them swimming. The waterwork can keep your running companion in the tip-top shape you need as well as help them develop muscles which may help prevent injury.

To Burn Off Energy

For those less inclined or find themselves challenged to keep up with the Weimaraner, this is an excellent way to burn off the excess energy. The Weimaraner will still be able to join you on walks, etc. But tiring the Weimaraner out is challenging. The waterwork helps and does it without injury. Of course, there are other pros to having the water-friendly Weimaraner.

Imprinting the Idea

We swim the pups with the idea that it imprints this experience. If you wonder, the Weimaraner has webbed toes. There are hundreds of updates on our blog that feature OwyheeStar pups and adults enjoying the water–swimming, retrieving, and playing in it. We hope you will achieve the swim.

Here is Stackhouse — a strong swimmer

Wondering

Pushkin

    ~Wavy Hair

Clement's Pushkin 183422
I have included Pushkin’s neuter certificate. Please let me know if this will suffice or if you need me to mail you a hard copy.
He obviously does not like the E collar; however, he caught on quickly to the fact that if he quit licking he didn’t have to wear it.
We start intermediate obedience training on the 29th. Unfortunately, we have to put his “swimming lessons” on hold for at least 10 days. When we went to the lake the first of the week he would go into the water until it was chest high but no swimming yet.

Just out of curiosity, do either of his parents have wavy hair on their back? Push has a large patch of the most beautiful short wavy hair😊 Push has beautiful hair. Everyone that pets him comments on how soft his coat is.

Breeder Comment

Thank you, for the neuter certificate. We are happy to hear you continue to work on his training. It is great you have enrolled in Obedience Training–the swimming lessons have to wait. Nonetheless, we suspect they remain on the horizon.
Keep working on the water when he heals. I believe you have said he has a strong retrieve. Cliff can help you with advice if it comes to that, but just keep him retrieving in the water and give no thought to anything. Make it fun–work him along the edge. When he is totally comfortable, you might want to attach a rope to your dummy and toss it on the cusp of him needing to swim–very slowly (and without concern, knowing you’ve got this) toss it ever so slightly beyond his comfort zone. With a rope, you could nudge it back a little way. you can reel it in if necessary. You’ve got this.
I don’t remember Dixie having it. Boone does not. Nevertheless, Dixie (Greta X Stackhouse) is a Longhair Carrier. That can travel forward for many generations without folks knowing it is present.

 

Ah—he may well be a carrier of the Longhair DNA marker. It does improve the coat a lot. Some Weims have sparse hair that is very coarse.

Before Summer

A Spokane Family

~and their Weims–Part One

Hello OwyheeStar family!!

We’ve been having an eventful spring…well not so much for Max. He’s just chills out.
Lucy got spayed. She had some stitches come loose because she can’t not run, but all is well now.Crane_5998
She still loves to snuggle. Especially in Dad’s chair!Crane_6069
We added to our furry and feathered friends with some baby chickens. Lucy is sooooo curious, but I think it’s because she sees them as a snack. She’s become a bit of a hunter (see below)Crane_6082
Crane_6106So far, she jumps up and grabs birds out of the air, comes home with marmots, finds rabbits on hikes and most recently, a porcupine!!! 😞 (see below) that little lesson cost $300 at the pet emergency! Silly Lucy!

Crane_5064

             ~Jeff Melissa Max Lucy and Toby

                     (watch for part two)

Breeder Comment

“Ouch” porcupines are not fair game Miss Lucy. It is just horrid to see you suffer this indignity. Please be careful in the future. (OMG)

Dear Friends — we cannot thank you enough. The years we have shared, the stories, and your continued loyalty we do not take lightly. What else can we say?

Product Review

Breeder Comment

Dear Weimlovers and OwyheeStar Fans!

You know us well, I think. We don’t make a habit of endorsing products unless it is something we believe in and want to recommend. You might remember we are reviewing products for Chewy.com. We cannot recommend them (the company) enough. Rather than discussing all the reasons, can I suggest you try them? If you have, I believe you will come to the same conclusion we did. They have excellent prices, customer service as well a wide array of products.

Natural Flea and Tick Towelettes

IMG_1812Pet Naturals (of Vermont) makes the Flea +Tick 60 Pre-Moistened towelettes we are reviewing. Honestly, Cliff opened them and used them for the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association Hunt Test (last weekend). Ticks are an issue along the rivers and lakes–reports are that they are a lot worse this year. He wiped down Winnie before she got out at the test site. Cliff said he loves the convenience as well as the fact that it is so pleasant smelling.

Christina has started to use them on the pups that are out in the yard. We sincerely hope they will help deter gnats. Some puppies end up with little gnat bites because their tummies are rubbing the lawn. We don’t use chemicals on our yards. These wipes repel fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, and flies so it seems reasonable that they should work for gnats, too. Yes, they are safe for puppies and kittens. You do have to reapply every 2-3 days though. Nonetheless, being holistic and natural appeals to us when we are talking about our sensitive Weimaraner. Like anything, we suggest you try them on one area before jumping in wholeheartedly and discovering your Weimaraner is allergic–we don’t believe that should be an issue; however, caution is the smart approach.

Buzzwords Aside

Holistic

     ~Veterinary Care

Dusty-4342-2 2Cliff and I proponents of a more Holistic approach to caring for the beloved Weimaraner. Limitations may exist–possibly a budget issue. Nonetheless, we always recommend you feed a quality grain-free appropriate food. Some folks have gone so far as to opt for a cooked diet or the raw diet. These are very personal choices, and if you choose them rather than the typical kibble menu, you need to do your research.

What does the Holistic approach entail? Most assuredly it begins with the diet. Many ailments and health issues can be avoided with a proper diet. In truth, one type doesn’t fit all. Some Weims like certain humans are allergic to various things–grains, specific proteins, and particular grasses. Removing these from their environment is the right decision. Ultimately, the choices you and your Veterinarian make should be Holistic in their approach–building their immune system and improving the Weimaraner’s health.

Beyond the diet, there are other considerations such as the vaccine protocol and medications. We won’t go into detail here. Nonetheless, we have shared on several occasions about some medications that are best avoided. The vaccine protocol is something we discuss with every puppy client. Immunization is essential, but you need to know and understand the Weimaraner vaccine recommendations. There is a reason that the Weimaraner Club of America makes such recommendations.

Click here to read what Dr. Jeff Feinman has to say, here is an excerpt from one of his articles:

In a Holistic practice we see our patient’s current health status as part of a continuum which begins before birth and ends in death, with each step along the way influencing what happens subsequently. Thus, rather than selectively suppressing or palliating a symptom, the aim is to elevate the health status so that not only are today’s symptoms addressed curatively, but we leave our patient healthier and more resilient for the days to come. If maladies are truly cured early in life, the patient will grow old gracefully and without the common degenerations we have come to call “normal” aging processes. (There is a great difference between “common” and “normal”.)

What About

Worms

      ~and Other Parasites

3-Juniper X Boone 2018 Wk3-17This topic (of worms) is not one we like to discuss unless we are talking about putting the fishing worm on the hook–even then, to many it is a nauseating thought. Nonetheless, worms and parasites are opportunistic. They find ways to survive inside your pet as well as in extreme environmental conditions. Dog’s Naturally has posted some natural solutions that you might find helpful. Here is their article —click here to find out more.

Signs of Worms

Some worms cause more obvious symptoms than others. I’ve provided more specific symptom information below along with information about the different types of worms (See Types of Worms below) … but here are a few clues your dog may give you that could mean he has worms:

  • Intermittent or frequent diarrhea or vomiting can be signs your dog has worms.
  • Your dog may have a fever.
  • He may scoot and lick his rear (though scooting can mean other things too).
  • Your dog may be off his food or be a little lethargic; his coat may look dull.
  • You might see stools that are coated in mucus (but otherwise look normal).
  • Or you might see squiggly worms or “rice bodies” in his stool.

But some worms can’t be seen with the naked eye, so if your dog’s showing some of these signs, you might want to get a fecal sample analyzed by your vet.

Cliff and I suggest you keep your eye on the pooh–I know it doesn’t sound lovely, but getting a fecal check can help you avoid some of the more unpleasant scenarios. A loose stool doesn’t always mean there is something amiss, but when something like that happens, you want to keep watch. Of course, we love adding the pumpkin (or even banana squash). We are planting Banana Squash in our garden. Right now I only have two hills ready to plant. I would like more, but we have to see if we can make more room. Last year, I baked the banana squash and frozen it in chunks for easy serving. The Weims love it!

Extraordinary

Weim Families

     ~ Like Virginia

dog-pond

Here is a picture of the pond I had built for my babies Dusty and Stormy (Weims).

Mom I don't look like a Blue, ....I am a Blue Weimaraner. I love this pond you built Mom...

Breeder’s Comment

Maybe you follow OwyheeStar Weimaraners both here and on Facebook. If so, you know about the late Stormy and our aging Dusty.

Seriously I thought I was the go-to person

 

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.

Did You Know

It is National Pet ID Week

April 15-21, 2018

IMG_9609 2We embrace the microchip concept for our OwyheeStar puppies. Every pup leaves with the AKC Reunite Microchip implanted. All our puppy family must do is to register their chip (pay a small lifetime fee) with AKC Reunite. Honestly, if you don’t register the microchip is probably not going to do much good.

Let’s not forget the 4th of July and the hoopla associated with it fills shelters to the brim. These hardworking folks do their best to get every pup back to their family; however, it is an arduous process. This one step does more than anything to get your pup back to and along with the ID collar increases your odds of return astronomically.

Did you register the microchip? We sincerely hope you did. Here is more information from AKC Reunite. Our experience has been positive–they are accommodating.

 


If a neighbor finds your dog, a pet ID tag is the fastest and most efficient way to be reunited with your pet. However, ID tags can fade or fall off, or your pet’s collar can be removed. This is when an enrolled microchip with up-to-date contact information links you and your pet to help ensure you are reunited with your lost or stolen pet.

Save $2 on replacement collar tags and dog collars with coupon code Tag2 through April 21, 2018.