Category Archives: Spaying and Neutering

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.



    ~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.

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.

Extending our Time

Delicate Discussions

   ~ Part Two

5-Hollee X Benton_4942

Last Friday we discussed the accidental loss of the Weimaraner. One of those haunting and gut-wrenching scenarios that stick with you forever. Of course, we have to be ever vigilant and make sure they are as secure as it is possible. There are; however, other considerations that may well extend your pup’s chance of survival.

No one wants to consider that they might lose their puppy sooner rather than later. While there are no guarantees there a few things we can do to increase the potential longevity.

  1.  Be cautious with the vaccine — we recommend never doubling up the vaccine. That means if you are planning to get an annual DAPPv (Canine Distemper, Adenovirus Type 1 (Hepatitis), Adenovirus Type 2 (Respiratory Disease), Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus) do not combine it with Lepto, Kennel Cough Protection, or the Rabies. It may be your Vet’s standard protocol, but spreading them out is less of a hit on their immune system. (Getting the Lepto only vaccine also gives you greater protection against Lepto).8-Bernie X Boone WK1-22Follow the suggested OwyheeStar puppy vaccine protocol and get a titer test instead of the typical sixteen-week puppy shot. Getting the titers checked for immunity is the smart approach–even if your puppy has shown no sign of being vaccine reactive. Most Weimaraners who have a severe, life-threatening reaction to the sixteen-week shot never had a problem with any previous puppy vaccination. The vaccine titer costs a bit more but nothing in comparison to developing an ongoing immune system issue.

    After the one-year booster, you might consider (down the road) checking the titers again to see if they are still immune. Many professionals have come around to the idea that the DAPPv protection often lasts three years or even longer. The beautiful thing about a titer test is you can find out their immunity level. The unnecessary vaccine could be a potential trigger to a serious health issue.

  2.  Be as Holistic as possible. There are different approaches to Veterinary care. According to the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association (AHVMA)  holistic medicine humane to the core. The techniques used in holistic medicine are gentle, minimally invasive, and incorporate patient well-being and stress reduction. Holistic thinking is centered on love, empathy, and respect. Click on the link in this paragraph to learn more about this approach to Veterinary medicine.
  3.  Medications–some are not as safe as others in our opinion and experience. 20229379_10155028879813305_8042793045446538520_nRimadyl (carprofen) and its generic counterpart Novox Carprofen are something we are not comfortable using for the Weimaraner. You never know when it is going to have a serious adverse side effect–in our case and that of two other OwyheeStar clients experience it led to severe and uncontrollable seizures. There are alternative anti-inflammatory medications. Whenever possible, we recommend you avoid Rimadyl. If it becomes necessary, then try to reduce the dosage or get off it as soon as possible. To manage or to prevent this situation; however, requires that you advocate because it is most usually the go to drug of choice after surgery or when facing arthritic situations.
  4. No one food is right for every Weimaraner. A quality grain-free food is our suggestion, and we are not speaking about one of these premium brands that touts all kind of additives. We believe in adding a quality supplement in the right dosage and staying away from foods that claim they add these things. Why? You might ask. Well,  supplements get old, and even dog food needs to be fresh. Also, how do you know the quality of the additives? You don’t. Stick with the basic quality food and add something that is proven and has excellent quality control. Keep in mind, many of the Big Name Brands are not as high quality as you might think. Your pocketbook may not be able to afford a raw food diet, or the best dog food money can buy. You can provide basic quality food. The right food is apt to help them live longer.
  5. NuVet--we cannot say enough about this supplement. The only caution we have is for young pups. Too much of a good thing can be counterproductive. We suggest you follow our recommended protocol. A small amount of the NuVet powder sprinkled on the young Weimaraner’s food every day will make a big difference. It might take time to see results if you have existing problems, but there are many testimonials including the one we received last week from Mary.  (Click on the NuVet  link below to learn more about this supplement.)

    She writes. PS – when we got Olli we started both dogs on Nuvet. Rudi had horrible allergies but they steadily improved over the last 2 years to the point of not needing any medication. Coincidence?  I think not. We are sold on the benefits.

  6. Bloat is a complicated and somewhat mysterious life-threatening situation. We are going to refer you to an article (rather than addressing it ourselves).  Click Here to find out more about the risk of bloat, thank you!
  7. Insurance–the pros and cons of having it. We believe you should invest in some kind of major medical coverage. Eventually, the athletic Weimaraner is going to need extreme Veterinary or special care. Sometimes this happens early in life–a torn ACL, etc. There is the threat of bloat (as mentioned above) in this breed, too! We cannot speak to which insurance company pays the best. Our Vet Office has their favorite company because they say they pay quickly. Some people say that if you get the insurance up front that the first year is nearly a wash. Many policies cover the vaccine, general care and then you have the cost of the spay or the neuter. (Typically, there is a set allotted amount to cover basic visits in some of these policies–each one is different).
  8. Do your research, but keep in mind that many of these surgical procedures cost Crane's Lucy4$2,000 and up. Insurance doesn’t negate your personal responsibility. We might forget we are the gatekeeper and in the heat of the moment simply say do whatever is needed. Insurance means it might not be a cost consideration–in the midst of a crisis, your Weimaraner may receive medication that leads to other issues. Everyone just wants to trust their Vet to do what is right. We understand. Nevertheless, it is important to always keep in mind that they are treating all breeds and a lot of mutts. Each Veterinary fur client is important, but they are not all equally sensitive to certain vaccines, medication, etc.

Thank you, for doing the best by your Weimaraner. We appreciate every sacrifice made for our OwyheeStar offspring. We work with the best Weimlovers in the universe. How privileged we are!?!

The photos we added are not directly related to loss–just a reminder of what we value.





Leo after the Neuter


Leo did get altered. Last time I updated you on Leo, we talked about the timing, etc. As per the after procedure advice–keeping the Weim down is laughable. This big boy is way too excited and playful! Doesn’t even act like he had surgery!

And here’s a photo of him in the underwear we tried to put on him to protect his stitches. They didn’t last long overnight in his crate! But I thought the far off glance of embarrassment was worth the photo!:) goofy boy!


You Need Puppy Love


There are those times when nothing else will do. Isn’t this precious?

Nevertheless, getting a puppy is not something to rush into without careful consideration. It is east to get caught in this trap. Passing the Walmart parking lot where you spot a puppy and it captures your heart, give the thought some consideration before you rescue them.

Parking Lot Puppies

(In our way of thinking) this is not the place to be selling puppies, nor the place to be choosing one. Some of you will react to that statement. You got one of the best dogs ever at a parking lot. That can be true; however, so many of these pups end up in a bad situation. Many die of Parvo because they were not vaccinated or if they were it was not in time or the right vaccine. All too often, the idea ends badly because the pup is more work (or more costly) that the person assumed. It doesn’t work out. The shelters have a constant supply.

The Decision

The decision to get a puppy has many considerations. They involve more than the issue of the heart–money is not the only consideration. There is time and energy. The commitment level is great at the beginning; however, this is a lifetime requirement. If you are going to take them home and burn up their puppyhood only to forget them until it is convenient, that is not fair.

Follow Through

Some who read this blog undoubtedly will have strong feelings about this topic. Others have a memory that haunts them. However you feel about today’s blog, remember if you acquire a puppy and you are not a dedicated breeder, this puppy needs to be altered in a timely manner. The parking lot phenomena is all too often followed by the unplanned litter with a neighborhood pooch. The mating can happen in a flash.

Keep In Mind

If we do our part, then there will be less to regret. Alter your family companion in a timely manner. Until this happens, remember they (female and males) can reproduce well before their first birthday. Supervision and being certain they don’t get loose are a given expectation. Nonetheless, all too many good folks have thought they were in control only to experience their pet charging off unexpectedly. Hormonal urges can do this type of thing. They might come home, but sometimes they don’t make it. One doesn’t always think clearly when the titilating scent triggers the synapses into action.

Final Thought

If each of us does their part, there will be fewer pets who fall through the cracks. Take your decision to bring home a puppy serious. Consider the timing and your circumstances. Figure out how you will pay for the unplanned puppy expenses as well as the spaying or neuter. Consider your lifestyle. Does it accommodate or include the fur family member, or is this a passing fancy?  Consider donating your time to a rescue or the local shelter before you dive into the situation. This big-hearted action may help you find your new friend. More importantly, it may help you discover the truth about whether you are ready for the commitment.


At Almost 7 Months

 leo-at-7-monthsIt has been a while:) Leo is doing well, he is almost 7 months old now and weighs about 70 pounds! I don’t remember seeing information about neutering in his packet ( I will reread) and am wondering what the age recommendation you give? I have read that waiting can be beneficial for overall health and development with the Weim. Can you please shed some light on the best timing to alter Leo?

Breeder Comment

When to alter your pet is controversial. The perfect time could vary according to your situation. First, you want to consider your Weim’s temperament. Hormones can lead to aggressive and unwanted behaviors. They may also lead to the Weimaraner leaving your property in search of an in-season female. They send out news along the airwaves to attract a male suitor. This is a danger. A lot of males get run over. Pups arrive that might be cute; however, are the shelters not full enough? Here are a couple of previous blog links on this topic. We hope that you might find them helpful.

Our contract says that you will alter him in a timely manner. That means you will guard against him raising a litter with the neighborhood dog. You will consider his personality and development. Once the growth plates are closed, there is no value in keeping him intact. Hormones are essential to growth and development; however, once this process is completed, it is in his best interest to be neutered. Whenever you do it—be sure to avoid Rimadyl and the generic form of it too. Get something else for the subscribed anti-inflammatory. We know first hand of three Weims who have had seizures (sudden onset) after having received Rimadyl. We try to avoid the use of this drug. There are other options.



……and Puppy Frenzy Fever

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Just Say Puppies, and Smile

Who can say a puppy is not cute? All puppies and babies are precious. Their lives are held gently by those caregivers who take the risk to bring them in the world. The reason for doing so needs to be defined. Dog breeders should be the kind that approaches the process with a purposeful reason of the best sort. Our breeding philosophy doesn’t embrace those wanting to raise a litter so the kids can experience the joy of it; nor does it include making vacation money. The person who writes they want to raise a single litter doesn’t understand the implications. They are far-reaching, and only those that clean up the mess have some idea of what happens to these pups.

Our Goal the Forever-Home Placement

We are not raising pups to set up other breeders. That seems shocking to some folks. We raise our pups with the intention of weaving the DNA to create a certain outcome. This takes a lot of time, energy, cash, and experience. It is our passion. We enjoy doing it, and meeting all the folks that get a pup from us. Knowing we change their world forever is something special. Ultimately, our goals are to work toward making certain improvements. We are interested in health, temperament, and the whole outcome. Some of our pups have several OwyheeStar generations and lineages woven into their DNA. It is exciting, and challenging. It requires a support network which includes the right vet, other breeders, and professionals. All of this is done to breed for the future, and to find forever-placements for the other pups.

The Philosophy and Landscape of Dog Breeding

Cliff and I are not new to breeding. Raising puppies has changed over the last sixty years. Both of us grew up with dogs. Shela’s parents used to raise a few pups. Cliff grew up with livestock, and was used to raising critters of all sorts. Nevertheless, the Patti Page song of the Fifties (How Much is that Doggie in Window) describes the prevalent atmosphere. People shopped for a pup, and bought their pup of choice no questions asked. We do business in a different mode. Over the years, the philosophy of breeding has changed, and today’s conscientious breeder goes to great length to make a good puppy placement. Their methods might involve any number of things; however, without exception, it should involve a screening process Nonetheless, there are countless pups available via the Intenet, newspaper, and parking lots that are sold with no questions asked.

Society and Trends

Many a person has embraced the cause of the local shelter, and pound pups. We are happy for the light being shed on this need. Accidental breedings are the largest contributor to this problem. In our way of thinking, no puppy should come into this world without a plan. Yes, we realize accidents can happen, even for those being careful. Nevertheless, many of these litters are born to happen-chance encounters of the worst kind. An intact male could literally produce thousands of pups in a lifetime of running free. Despite this fact, breeders are often the target of criticism.  Current trends have made even the most conscientious breeders take a hit for raising puppies. Some clients have been verbally trashed for getting a puppy rather than adopting a needy pet from the local shelter. We heard this called reverse snobbery. That pretty much sums it up.

The Purebred Weimaraner

Purebreds have taken generations to develop. It takes more than a few dogs to keep the gene-pool viable, and to continue to work on improving the breed. To propose that only pound puppies are an option is to say that purebreds are no longer wanted. The pendulum has swung in favor of adopting a rescue first. That being said, we believe it is vitally important for breeders to continue to produce quality purebred pups.

Willow takes Best of Show

Willow takes Best of Show


What is the Solution?

Responsible pet ownership is at the core of curing the shelter issue. Unless a dog or cat is used for breeding purposes, it should be altered (spayed or neutered) in a timely manner. Some people fail to alter their pet due to not being able to afford to pay for the services. In certain locations, there are clinics that offer reduced prices. There are a few programs that aid those in need of help. There are other-than-money reasons for not getting the pet altered in a timely manner. This often leads to a shoulder shrugging comment to the neighbor about the Doxie and Dobie litter that is on the way. It makes us shudder. The pups may well be cute, and find homes, but this does nothing to solve the problem of the over-crowded shelters. The sad truth is many times a person doesn’t get around to getting their pet altered, or they secretly believe it is cruel. Men (sorry about this) hurt when they think of their intact male being altered.



We need to see the trend turn toward making sure our pets, and those in our neighborhood are altered. Talk to any ordinance officer and they will share that the vast majority of their calls involved intact-dogs–usually males. Wouldn’t it be great to see more programs to help the elderly, poor, and needy have a pet? They need them too, and the cost to have one is expensive. Seniors have been known to go without food to feed their pet, how on earth could they afford the cost to alter their pet? For those of us who want a puppy it is important to remember we need to get them altered in a timely manner. Our contract asks people to agree to these terms. That is another way in which breeders can be a part of the solution.


Neutering Happens……

………….a change for the best!

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Opus last Wednesday–Jun 16, 2014

Altering (Spaying/Neutering) your Weimaraner

Remember When????

                 Opus and Winchester last Christmas.Rosario Family with two OwyheeStar Weims

Featured Weimaraner — Annie

Annie surgery 001Annie got spayed

I don't like it. Where is the ice cream to compensate?

I don’t like it. Where is the ice cream to compensate?

Annie was spayed last week and she is doing very well. It is hard to keep her from running and jumping though. Her stitches come out this Friday and hopefully she will be able to jump and play after that.  It is pretty hard to keep an active Weim down-ha ha

Tube Collar is better than wearing the cone

The picture the top is right after we brought her home last Tuesday after surgery.  The other photo was taken the next day. She is not too happy with her tube collar but she likes it a lot better than the cone.  She is getting extra attention and being spoiled.

We would be heart-broken to lose our Annie

We have been follow Kali’s story, and are deeply saddened to hear of her loss.  I hope he finds his dog, we would be heart broken if Annie took off. Annie is so use to sleeping on our bed and because of her surgery she is not suppose to jump or run only leash walks so we have been sleeping in the front room with her.  She is spoiled but we love her so much.

Hope all is well with you ~ Patricia (7/9/2013)

Annie Snowmobiles

Annie Snowmobiles

Breeder’s Comment: Annie is well cared for, love-much, and spoiled rotten. Does that sound familiar? She is an integral part of the family. Bob and Patty adore her, and probably cater to her way too much. She is their first Weimaraner. Yes, Shela is always harping on getting crate training accomplished. This is one of those times when it makes life easier for all concerned. The Weimaraner that loves their safe-place, is indeed safer for a lot of reasons. Nevertheless, some humans cannot embrace the crate. Another collar choice would be one called the BiteNot (click here to read more about this collar). This can come in handy many times; however, it won’t work for front feet problems. Any time they can reach the spot without turning their neck the BiteNot will not work. This would be especially true with a front foot problem. They can still reach their front feet, eat, drink, and do a lot of stuff. They cannot bathe themselves, chew on stitches elsewhere, or reach their abdomen. They are nice because the Weimaraner can still get into the crate. Tubes and cones are very upsetting when they are kenneled.

Here are a couple of happier moments in Annie’s life. :O) Snowmobiling and birthday cake beats stitches any day, but spaying is important. Click here to read more….and click here too! Annie's 1st Birthday June 17, 2012 008 (2)