Category Archives: Health and Wellness




I just want to thank you both again for bringing this little boy (“Bear”) into my life. He had a rough time in his first few weeks of life, and it was questionable if he would pull through. But he is a survivor and is definitely making up for lost time.
We are having a great time bonding and getting to know each other. He is super smart and has already learned to retrieve to my hand (amazing!). He is such a fast learner. I’m impressed. We have many more things to learn together. MVIMG_20180224_190018
You both do a great job and I am thankful for your gift.

I included some cute pics of Bear for you 😍

Breeder Comment

This pup is the little boy who gave us so much concern. A round of antibiotics and he bounced back with no sign of an issue. He has such a great personality. Not every pup gets off to the perfect start. No Breeder wants to talk about mortality rates. Places like AKC publish those statistics. We secretly are thankful our numbers are below average. Nonetheless, no one can avoid every problem. It is impossible.

We are happy that you folks wanted ‘Bear’ even knowing full well about his early challenges. We are blessed indeed to meet some of the planet’s best humans. Thank you, for loving this boy so much.

Things To Know

About Parvovirus

     ~From The Animal Foundation

Canine parvovirus (commonly called parvo) is a highly contagious viral disease that can produce a life-threatening illness in puppies and dogs. It can be transmitted by any person, animal or object that comes in contact with an infected dog’s feces.

Puppies, adolescent dogs, and adult dogs who are not vaccinated are at risk of contracting the virus. Protecting your puppy or dog from parvovirus could save his life.

Keep your dog healthy and parvo-free with these 8 tips:

  1. Make sure your dog is properly vaccinated. Puppies should receive their first vaccines at 6-8 weeks of age; boosters should be administered at three-week intervals until the puppy is 16 weeks of age, and then again at one year of age. Previously vaccinated adult dogs need boosters every year. Visit The Animal Foundation’s Low-Cost Vaccine Clinic for affordable vaccines administered seven days a week — no appointment needed!

  2. Limit your puppy or unvaccinated dog’s exposure to other dogs until he’s had his first two vaccinations, unless you are sure the other dogs are fully vaccinated.

  3. Avoid places where your puppy or unvaccinated dog could be exposed to parvovirus from unvaccinated dogs. Dog parks, pet stores, play groups, and other public areas should be avoided until your dog or puppy is fully vaccinated.

  4. When visiting your vet for wellness check-ups and vaccinations, carry your puppy in your arms outside and leave him on your lap while waiting in the lobby. Walking where other dogs have walked and gone to the bathroom will increase your puppy’s risk of contracting disease.

  5. Parvovirus is very difficult to kill and can live in the environment for over a year. If you suspect your house or yard has been infected, clean with a 1:32 dilution of bleach (1/2 cup bleach in a gallon of water). Regular soaps and disinfectants DO NOT kill parvovirus. Areas that cannot be cleaned with bleach may remain contaminated. Remember, the virus can survive on a variety of objects, including food bowls, shoes, clothes, carpet and floors.

  6. If you work or spend time in places where you have contact with dogs, change your clothes and shoes before returning home to your dog or puppy.

  7. If your dog or puppy is vomiting, has diarrhea, is not eating or is lethargic, you should take him to the vet as soon as possible. These are all symptoms of parvovirus. Remember, Infected dogs may show only one symptom!

  8. If you are considering adopting a new dog, we encourage leaving your unvaccinated puppies or dogs at home. It is very important to do a meet and greet, but take the time to make sure your dog is fully vaccinated first!

For more information on canine parvovirus, visit the American Veterinary Medical Association or the ASPCA online. And don’t forget to regularly vaccinate your dog! Click here for The Animal Foundation’s Low-Cost Vaccine Clinic Hours and Pricing.

OwyheeStar Comment2-Bernie X Boone 2017 WK3-48

The above post was from the — which is verbatim from their Website. The dangers of the parvovirus are well documented. While many of these recommendations seem absurd, there is a good reason for the concerns. All too often people unknowingly take their new puppy out to show them off in public–like to the pet store. The same place where the person with an infected puppy visit. Sadly, you have to stay away from this kind of place and pet areas during the first 16-20 weeks. We recommend getting the sixteen-week vaccine titer test for a lot of reasons. One benefit is the test results will indicate if your Weimaraner has immunity or now. You also avoid the potential severe vaccine reaction that affects around 8% of Weimaraners. These vaccine reactions are equally life-threatening. Get the vaccine titer test–if your puppy has immunity then you can out and about sooner. :O)

In twenty years, we have not had a single case of Parvo strike an OwyheeStar puppy. A lot of things have happened, but so far, we have been fortunate. We would like to keep it that way. Many of these symptoms can occur from other issues–for example, parasites. This is especially true of the nasty one-celled varieties like Giardia or Coccidia. Nonetheless, while the symptoms are horrid, it is far more treatable than the parvovirus.

We agree with the dangers of this virus, but for your Weimaraner, we recommend a different vaccine protocol. One that is very similar to that recommended by the Weimaraner Club of America (WCA). If you get a puppy from us, that protocol is found in the OwyheeStar Health Record.


More about our Adventure

     ~ Part ThreeSAR pupUps and Downs

We had some trouble early on with puppy biting. When I tried to correct Loki he would get angry, which worried me. I’ve since used your advice, Shela—a good screech stops him in his tracks! Since then, I’ve screeched and redirected him to something he’s allowed to chew on, and I haven’t had many issues this past week. I’m keeping Cliff’s trick in reserve in case we have more serious difficulties in the future, but for now, we’re on a good, positive track. Though Loki did well with the crate the first couple of weeks, he’s become more vocal this past week and I’ve temporarily revoked his office privileges (his crate is now in an area where his complaints won’t bother anyone). I imagine his increasing energy levels have something to do with it, so I’m making sure he gets more exercise, and he still gets some nice breaks from his crate throughout the day. I’m hoping this is just a phase, and that he learns that fussing won’t get him out of his crate (I’m also doing work to make sure that his crate is a positive place for him—he just objects to not being the center of attention, I think!).

The Vet

We had a nice visit with the vet for Loki’s 9-week shot. She was impressed with the detailed portfolio you sent and is supportive of the vaccine protocol. She is also happy that I’m feeding the Diamond Naturals Large Breed Puppy Chow with the NuVet supplement. Good news—one of Loki’s testes has descended, and the other was in a good position, so I think we’re going to be just fine on that account. She is also an advocate of neutering closer to the 6-month mark rather than to wait longer.

tasty thumbIn Summary

those eyesLoki and I are getting along quite nicely. He’s already my little adventure buddy, and he’s always up for snuggle time at the end of the day. I love this little guy—he is so intelligent and energetic. Though I wrote a fair amount about training, to Loki it’s all fun and games, and I intend to keep it that way. Thank you for all your help in selecting Loki. We’ll be sure to keep you updated!

Click Here for Part One

Click Here for Part Two

Breeder Comment

Thanks, Erica, for providing so much information about your process and Loki. The photos were outstanding, too! We look forward to hearing from you in the future. Keep up the great work.



Your Weim’s Age 

      ~ in human years



Dusty at 12.5 Years still looking cute

We’ve all see the charts that convert the canine companion’s age to the equivalent in human years. Recently, the last couple of days, I received one in my Email from the Farmer’s Almanac. You would think they would have it right; however, I knew it could not be accurate because they lump all dogs into the same chart. The AKC has a chart that breaks out the age according to the breed size–anything over 50 Lbs is considered Large Breed. Without a doubt, the Farmer’s Almanac is based on a small-sized dog. Here is the chart showing how to convert your dog’s age to human years compliments of the American Kennel Club (AKC).





Dusty and his littermates–Cesar’s Mom shared this with us.

Time flies by so quickly. It is hard to realize they will only be with us for a decade or more if things go well. (OMG) A few Weimaraner live to see sixteen years. I believe this is due to the luck of the draw and extraordinary care. Nonetheless, sometimes things don’t go as planned. We just learned that Dusty’s brother (Cesar) passed on in 2013 due to an issue with his spleen. I have heard of this happening in other breeds (mostly with the German Shorthair Pointer), but it could happen to any dog. I am going, to be honest, I am glad I didn’t know about this before now, for I might have worried way too much. That is a silly thing to do because all the pups in a litter are unique.


We all hope for sixteen years. It is not realistic. A few will get the extraordinary gift of sharing their lives for more than 14 years. What can we say? It is hard to talk about this topic and to realize that to love eventually means to let them go when the time comes. It is beyond painful for the reasons you understand. I am hoping Dusty will be around for a while longer.

I also learned that Cesar’s Mom was able to get a female (that they call Daisy) from Dusty’s lineage from a Midwest breeder that we have worked with over the last decade. Sometimes life is kind even when things don’t go as expected.


A Dream Come True

FullSizeRenderWe wanted to let you know how well our Dasher is doing. He continues to be all that we could have ever wanted. We just returned from a weekend in Truckee, his first snow experience, and he just loved it.

It got down to 18 degrees so we put a jacket on him and he was off grabbing every stick and pinecone that he could find. He noticed some grass weeds growing out from the snow and decided that he wanted to get to the roots. He buried his head under the snow and looked like an ostrich.  He came out of it covered in white and went back for more.

FullSizeRender[1]FullSizeRender[2]He is one of the smartest pups I have ever had. He has taken to obedience training extremely well. He has all the basics down, including coming to us (off leash) when called. Well most of the time…. Unless he has a pine cone in his mouth then its a 50/50 proposition, he does come, but reluctantly!  Shela, I remember you telling me that his mom ( Bernie) has the best temperament. Dasher is so balanced. He cuddles and plays gently until I kick it up a notch and get him going, then he settles right down and chills out. He has the BEST temperament. He and Dobby are best buds, and Dasher is just so beautiful to look at. We get compliments just about every time we go on a walk. He is built like a thoroughbred horse and is super healthy. Needless to say, we are beyond happy and are forever grateful for our Dasher.
Again thank you, Shela & Cliff, for all that you two do!
~ Sincerely — Dave and Audrey.

Breeder Comment

Thank you ever so much, Dave and Audrey, for this fantastic update. I think I remember telling you that Boone has such an excellent temperament. He is unflappable and very engaging. Bernie is Bernie–she is a great girl, who is sweet but she also is one who wants to be on the go–out chasing birds and hunting. She sometimes forgets to pay attention to the human when she sees something she wants to investigate. That being said, she is pretty impressive, too! We were confident that the two would be an excellent match. Best Bernie Nov 2016A-118
For those reading this update, you might not realize that Bernie is a Gray Longhair. Yes, she is the mother of Dasher. We love this photo for the silly look on her face–she smiles.

Tough Decisions

Mixed Information


2-Bernie X Boone 2017 WK3-48

What do you mean I will eventually need to be altered? I thought I was perfect!




Cliff fields a lot of questions about spaying and neutering the Weimaraner. The information on the Internet is mixed and often confusing.

The OwyheeStar basic guideline for spaying a female is the same as altering the male–no earlier than six months, and possibly closer to eight months. It depends upon your pup’s development and environment.

Each situation is unique, but for the vast majority of our clients somewhere between 7-8 months is going to work well. Margaret V. Root Kustritz, DVM, Ph.D., is an expert on the topic of reproduction. Click here to read the in-depth article written by Dr. Kustritz, and to learn more about what she has to say! Margaret gave us permission to republish her articles (July 2007), but they are more readily available today.

It is no secret that the push to get pets altered is an effort to prevent unplanned litters; this is rightly so too! The pups (born to unplanned litters) often turn into beautiful pets. Sadly though, all too many of these dogs end up in a shelter or rescue situation. Responsible pet owners spay and neuter their pets. How and when they do this may vary, but until their pet is altered, the human caregiver is charged with keeping them safe–including from mating with other dogs of opportunity.

Note: This information is from a previous blog and we felt it was time to share it again. We are getting a lot of inquiries about spaying and neutering timeframes. People go from one extreme to another–some want to alter was too early (in our opinion), and others prefer not to alter their pet. Here are some additional bits of information on this topic.


Overall we are doing WellClement's Pushkin3238

I set up the crate – left the door open and Pushkin went right in – kennel arrives on Tuesday. So far only one accident in the house.

Oh, and outdoors we have a little challenge. It is pouring rain here, and the ground is saturated and muddy. Yes, we have grass, but it is that wet. Do you have a recommendation as to something that can be put down as a ground cover?

Wishing you well.

Breeder Comment


Kudos to you for keeping accidents to a minimum. Getting the housebreaking done right early on is vital. You know that! So, that is fabulous.

It doesn’t matter when you get your puppy; there is always some challenge. Wow! That is a lot of rain, but then we are talking Oregon–and not our side of the state either. I suggest you try some sand. It should be OK except for tracking it into the house. Nevertheless, it will help with that mud situation. I wish we could buy two truckloads here, but the rain and mud will soon be history. Afterall, it is far Eastern Oregon–the high desert that is typically arid.

Sand should not be a problem. Removal should be relatively easy once you no longer need it. Scoop up the excess and put it wherever. Wash the remainder into the ground. The cool, wet weather is also ideal for one-celled organisms such as Giardia and Coccidia. Birds and other critters can bring this into your yard, and it can thrive in a wet environment. Therefore, getting a fecal check at the 9-week puppy visit and possibly again at the 12-week visit would be a wise investment. A garden sprayer loaded with 10% bleach solution used in between visits –or even once a day might help eradicate this issue. (No, the bleach will not hurt your lawn.) Sure picking up after the Weimaraner will make a difference; however, there are plenty of ways they can ingest a cyst. Everything goes in the mouth–including their paws.

When a pup leaves OwyheeStar they are parasite free; however, this can change in a blink of an eye. These opportunistic one-celled parasites are in our environment. We talk a lot about avoiding Paravirus infected locations, but most of those high-traffic areas are infected with the one-celled organisms too. The reality seems to be that some Weimaraners are more prone to picking up this type of infection. It is a nasty affair, and it can set back the housebreaking progress. Here’s to hoping everyone escapes this mishap.

The Wire Crate

Marie has purchased the Life Stages Wire Kennel or Crate for Indoor Use. This crate features a divider that allows you to adjust the size. We just wanted to point out the divider and how it works. Excellent job Marie.

New Year Celebrations


     ~Fireworks can screw up a dog faster than anything.


From Steve Snell @

        Gun Dog Supply

IMG_4089Everybody needs to be careful with fireworks around their young dogs and older dogs that have not been properly conditioned to gunfire (see video).

Fireworks are unnatural. You don’t have a lot of control over when or where the noise happens. Fireworks can screw up a dog faster than anything. It’s a lot harder to fix a gun shy or noise sensitive dog than it is to prevent gun shyness in the first place.

This year, only one of my dogs is showing a little gun sensitivity, so Loretta is going to stay in the house over the holiday while the neighbors are shooting off fireworks.

Here are some tips to prevent fireworks sensitivity in your dogs:

  • Keep your dogs as far away from fireworks as possible.
  • If possible, bring your dogs inside in a closed-off, interior room.
  • Block out the noise with a TV, radio, or white-noise maker.
  • Check with your neighbors about their fireworks plans.
  • Ask for a phone call before they start.

Sometimes the fireworks start before New Year’s Eve or the 4th of July and run a few days after the holiday.

There is NO REASON for a dog to be around fireworks, and I do everything I can to keep my dogs away from them. Usually dogs conditioned to gunfire can handle the noise of fireworks, but there really isn’t anything good about them as far as dogs are concerned. We sell a couple of products that are designed to help dogs get over the fear of fireworks, but I really prefer NOT to have to sell them.


My biggest concern is that a dog will hurt themselves trying to get away from the noise. My second concern is that exposure will create a gun shy or noise-sensitive problem where there doesn’t have to be one.


Just because a dog is noise-sensitive to fireworks, does NOT necessarily mean that will translate into gunshyness, but why take a chance?

My best gun dog ever, Em, never had a problem with gunfire, but she was so afraid of thunderstorms that we had to build a special top for her kennel run so she couldn’t climb out or hurt herself trying.


I was at a party a few years back and watched a new dog get exposed to fireworks completely the wrong way. The dog was in her kennel but still in full view of everything that was going on. Once the fireworks started she became more and more upset and wanted out of the kennel. To calm her down they let her out of her crate and she made a break for it. They didn’t find her for two days.

The volume and brightness of fireworks is just too much for most dogs and nothing good is going to come from it. Please take the time to protect your pets while the possibility of unexpected explosions are around.

I do my best to keep all my dogs away from any kind of fireworks. Even dogs that have been properly conditioned to gunfire can become upset or nervous when exposed to fireworks. It just isn’t worth it.

Fireworks happens twice a year with New Year’s and Fourth of July. You might want to condition your dogs to fireworks, especially if you live where your dogs will be exposed a couple of weeks out of the year. It never hurts to check with your neighbors about their fireworks plans. Give them a heads up that you have a young dog and ask them to give you a call before they start.

People don’t think about fireworks until it’s too late, so think about it a little now. The majority of dogs don’t have a problem with it, but some do. Why take a chance? No point in stressing your dogs out.

Remember, if you want to shoot fireworks, be safe and have fun. Just keep in mind that unexpected noise and stress could create a problem where one doesn’t exist. — Steve

Kitchen Finds

Holiday Baking

     ~for the Weimar

Dog-Treats-2-600x906Bob’s Red Mill is an employee-owned Pacific Northwest company located in Milwaukee, Oregon. Most of you probably know them and their products. If you don’t, click here to check out their Website.

These lovely pup cookies could easily hang on your Christmas Tree, but would they last? Maybe you have a friend who is tough to buy for but would love to get a container with homemade dog treats. I wonder why I never thought of doing this before. While you are busy baking, maybe you want to stir up a batch of these goodies. I wonder if you could double the rice flour instead of using the wheat flour? Perhaps it would work, or you could use Bob’s Gluten-free flour. The company makes a one-to-one flour that we have used. If not for Christmas, then maybe for Valentines. Oh, the things we do for our beloved Weimars.

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F; line a baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine farina, flours, wheat germ, nutritional yeast, oats, and dried apples.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together water or broth, peanut butter, eggs, and molasses until smooth. Add dry mixture and carrots and mix until combined.
  4. Roll out to ¼-inch thickness on a well-floured surface and cut into desired shapes.
  5. Place 1-inch apart on the prepared baking pan and bake until dry, 20 – 25 minutes. Let cool completely before serving. Store in an airtight container.
Recipe Notes

Remember to discuss your dog’s diet with your vet.

Did you Move?

Don’t Forget To Update


Birch's Mesquite_0627

Mesquite near the gate at her new home in Washington


Are you moving across town or the country? If you have moved or are moving one thing that is often forgotten is to update the Microchip Registry. Better yet, before you move make sure your contact information is up to date. What if the unforeseen happened during the relocation? Moving is demanding. All the packing and logistics of the relocation takes a concerted effort on your part. We understand how easy it would be to forget this little detail. AKC Reunite has you covered–Click Here to get to the Website.

AKC Reunite.png

Did You Forget Altogether?

When you took home the OwyheeStar puppy, it was microchipped. Our records indicate a percentage of you didn’t register with AKC Reunite. The fee is a one-time thing. That is your only cost for the microchip. We have you covered. Inside your portfolio, there were three papers all containing the microchip number.

  1. The OwyheeStar Health Record
  2. The AKC Reunite Portfolio
  3. The Veterinary Report

All three of these records can be found in the front flap slot of your puppy record folder. We talk a lot of people who feel displaced during the holiday season. Pets can also be left out of the mix and the Weimaraner, in particular, could suffer from anxiety. Separation anxiety often surfaces during a time of change or when the Weimar is left behind.