Category Archives: Vaccine Info


At 7 Months

Foss's Chloe_1306


My how time flies! Our Chloe (from Hattee x Stackhouse) is now almost 7 months old and we can hardly believe that she’s been with us 5 months. You don’t quite realize as it’s happening but she has grown so much. We did her 12 week puppy shots then the 16 week titer check which showed positive antibodies so didn’t need the 16 week shots! She got her Rabies shot at 6 months and other than being a little lethargic the day after seems to have tolerated it well, she weighs 46.8lbs. Does that seem about on track for her age? I have hundreds of pictures but tried to narrow down for this update but will send more. The attached are of her sitting pretty for a photo at 9 weeks and 6 months.
She is so smart and has a very good recall-largely achieved in the early stages with the use of treats/praise for coming when called and now occasionally gets a treat reward but always praise. She walks calmly with loose leash about 60% of the time (our work is ongoing). We were prepared to put in a lot of effort for ongoing mental and physical exercise and I believe it’s been paying off. We have our pre-meal routine of 20 minutes playing fetch then 10-15 minutes obedience training before she gets breakfast/dinner.
Foss's Chloe_0641

Nine Weeks

We are so thankful that we crate trained her from day one and she now voluntarily naps in her crate and sleeps in it 3-4 nights/week (yes she sleeps on the bed with us the other nights). Chloe also spends some alone time in her crate often; whether its for an hour while we run to the store, half hour while I clean floors or sometimes for several hours while I’m sleeping during the day between work shifts. Overall Chloe is so incredibly sweet and has been such an amazing addition to our home and I cannot imagine life without her. We are immensely grateful for this wonderful Weimaraner puppy and have even started talking about when to add a 2nd-we think maybe once Chloe is about a year old.

Foss's Chloe_1344

Six Months

I have whole collections of photos/updates about our trips to the Sandy river delta dog park, to the coast, and hiking around that I’ll send in additional emails in the next week or so in better format if you would like to include them on the OwyheeStar website. Hope you and Cliff are well and enjoying some spring weather!

Take care,
Brittany, Don, and Chloe

Breeder Comment

Thank you for the great update. It was good to hear you followed the vaccine protocol. As you can see, the Rabies is a very powerful shot. The Weimaraner Vaccine protocol, which ended at the twelve-week puppy shot (no Lepto) was more than enough to provide protection. It is well known that a percentage of Weimaraners have a severe reaction to the sixteen-week puppy shot–even when they have no response to previous vaccinations. We always believe it is better to be safe than sorry. In addition, there are many unknowns. Who can say what the vaccine reaction (evident or not) causes behind the scenes. We wholeheartedly believe in vaccines but the right protocol is a must.

Your training accomplishments are admirable. We know it requires digging deep and staying the course. It is so worth it. Keep up the great work. It is paying huge dividends. We look forward to working with you again.

Titer Test

Mousse X Stackhouse

~ The Titer Test Results are In!

We had the titer test done last week.  It showed positive so Maverick is good with the vaccines that he has had done so far.  Our Vet recommended that we bring him in this week for his rabies.

Schweitzer's Maverick_5373

I have attached a recent picture of him.  He is getting big!  If his paws are any indicator… he is going to be a BIG boy!  

The Weimaraner and current Vaccine Concerns

Ripped from the Headlines

11134166_10206301045794832_7089835874738168121_nEven the thought of a current canine flu epidemic making the rounds,  is apt to send shivers down our spine. Signs declaring risk of exposure shakes us to our core.  Our pets are one of the most important things in our life. Their importance would be akin to food, water, air, and life-sustaining other stuff. They are family–for some; they are the only family. They share our bed, and our secrets. What could be more intimate?

The Canine flu is scary. The whole idea of protecting our beloved Weimaraner begs us to find something that ensures they are safe. Vaccine is normally the first thing mentioned when a topic like arises.  Vaccine has changed the landscape of society, but it is not the answer for everything. I will be forever thankful that is thwarted epidemics like polio, small pox, and the like. Nevertheless, when it comes to the Weimaraner, vaccine is always a concern. Our recommendation is to avoid unnecessary vaccine–this means you have to determine which is absolutely necessary, and which is optional. It is to you to know what is best for your beloved Weimaraner. We know how tough that is, and most of us want to (solely) rely on our vet’s opinion. This could prove precarious at times. Most of you know it was hard to find a vet to agree to doing the titer test, in lieu of an automatic sixteen-week puppy shot, but this is important. Secondly, (whenever vaccine is called for) we recommend not combining shots. We know it is a common practice to have a Rabies, and a booster. We suggest you separate them at least by two weeks–longer is preferable. Never get a Bordetella (kennel Cough) shot with any other shot. Make sure you really need the annual booster; new studies show that vaccine protects your pet longer than they used to think. Keep the jolt to the immune system at a minimum, and work on building immunity.

Vaccine’s Dark Side

According to many experts, vaccination causes immune suppression … and that’s one really big reason why you probably should avoid the flu vaccine. This fact also sheds light on the Weimaraner vaccine protocol. Click here to read more from OwyheeStar.

Media and Dog Park Officials Sound and Alarm


The Dog Flu Epidemic: The Real Truth

Have you taken your dog for a romp in the local park, only to be stopped in your tracks by a sign warning dog owners to enter at their own risk because of a disease striking down dogs at epidemic proportions?

If you live in the Chicago area, you’ve probably seen these signs:



The Canine Influenza Virus (the “Dog Flu”) is causing illness throughout the Chicago area. All unvaccinated dogs may be at risk. Even dogs showing no sign of illness may carry this virus. 


Click Here to read the whole story….

Holistic for the Weimaraner

3 & 8 Zula Blue 6Wks-49We are always concerned when puppies exit for their new home. It is not because I am ill over their departure. I can actually rejoice, because we put a great deal of work into each pup’s place. We know the kind of folks that are taking this pup home. The concern surrounds the on-going decisions each family must face.

Once the pup arrives, they will soon be visiting their veterinary of choice. There are all kinds of approaches to veterinary practice. They vary in their way of doing things much like other medical doctors. In truth, most of them have studied longer, and more intently than those that serve us humans. We have a deep respect for them. This is true, even if we disagree with their approach.

The Weimaraner is sensitive; vaccine reactions are real. We highly doubt your veterinarian has ever seen the Weimaraner have a severe vaccine reaction. In reality, this breed would not make up 1% of their practice. That doesn’t mean they don’t care, it means the Weimaraner’s potential problems occur in only about 5% of the breed; the odds of them facing it are slim to none. Regardless, the severe vaccine reaction should be avoided at all cost.

4_Zula Blue 6WksMild reactions are not something we like to see either; however, the severe reaction can be lethal ( or bring on chronic health issues). Who can guess what is affected when the immune system is over-challenged? Vaccine is meant to challenge the pup’s system to develop antibodies to fight off some of the more life-threatening viral infections. Parvo is the greatest risk, and has been for a number of years. There are others, but all pale in comparison.

We are well aware of the recommendation (and the reasoning behind the recommendation) to forego any puppy shot before the 8-week mark. Nevertheless, we have stuck with our six-week high-titer Parvo only vaccine. People who have followed the recommendations, have been getting excellent results. Our protocol, which is based on the Weimaraner Club of America’s breed-specific protocol, works. We have never lost a pup to Parvo. We want to keep it that way. To put things in perspective, over the years we have received notes from people who never vaccinated their pup. We do not recommend that; however, letting a puppy leave with no vaccination whatsoever, is something we cannot do.

OwyheeStar on the Basics

The basics are something you are going to have to ensure happen. Your veterinary doesn’t have the time to do this for you. They have a broad-based practice, and they do not see the point in this protocol. Reactions when presented with these options can vary, but the pressure to do something else can be immense. It is not unreasonable to follow this protocol. You are not compromising the pup’s health. In a nutshell what you need to remember is fairly simple (the details are listed below).

  1. They need two puppy shots–our protocol calls for a 9-week, and a 12-week shot.
  2. This puppy shot should not contain Lepto or Corona
  3. Skip the 16-week puppy shot — ask the vet to get a titer test. The titer test will determine immunity levels. Only do the the sixteen-week puppy shot if the titer test shows a lack of immunity.
  4. Do not combine shots–this includes when you get the pup’s rabies vaccination.
  5. Do any other shot at a separate visit -processing one vaccine is enough for the young pup.
  6. If you are concerned about the dangers of Lepto spray your yard with a 10% bleach solution using a garden sprayer —frequency would based upon how many Lepto-carrying critters who visit your yard. Once a week might be a good rule of thumb. Lepto is treatable, but of course, we want to avoid it. Wait to get the Lepto vaccine until the pup is a bit older. We recommend 20 weeks.

Note: You are the guardian of the pup’s health. Be holistic in your approach. It is not rude to ask the vet to do each shot separate. It will cost you a bit more doing it that way. It is easier on their immune system. We can all agree we want to avoid health issues, and we do not want something that is meant to protect our new family member to shorten his or her life.

From The Weimaraner Club of America

The use of Corona, Leptospirosis, Bordatella and Lyme vaccines are not recommended unless these diseases are prevalent in the area; and should never be administered along with the core vaccines listed above, but rather separately, and at a time when the pup’s immune system is mature. Rabies vaccinations should be given as required by law, but not coincident with other vaccinations. If possible, wait until the puppy is older than 16 weeks.

Vaccine recommendations are confusing. 

Please keep in mind that at least  5% of  Weimaraners reportedly exhibit a severe reaction to vaccine.  Over vaccination may compromise your pup’s health and well-being.

The Weimaraner Puppy should not receive

  • Lepto  (or any shot containing Lepto)
  • Avoid the 16 Week puppy shot

The Weimaraner Puppy needs  a…

  • 9  week: Canine Distemper, Adenovirus Type 2, Parainfluenza- Parvovirus
  • 12 week: Canine Distemper, Adenovirus Type 2, Parainfluenza- Parvovirus

Choose the antibody test at 16 weeks

  • At 16 week  rather than risk a vaccine reaction, we advise getting a titer test.
  • Should the titer test show low immunity to the Parvo , we recommend a  Parvo-only vaccination rather than a combination  shot.


Bloat and Lepto

We had a great first vet visit this morning and Addie is doing really well. Couple of things the vet asked us to ask you:


  1. Lepto. The vets would normally give this medicine, especially as Addie is going to spend a fair amount of time in the mountains. So they wanted to better understand your reasons for avoiding it.


  1. Torsion. Do you have an opinion on preventing this with surgery? We did it for our previous Weim at the same time she was spayed, but wanted to check with you first.

Shark Baby Look


As you can see from the photo, Addie may have a little piranha mixed in with her. But we’re working on it, and she is so smart, bold and affectionate. The only time she took fright was when a flock of noisy parrots flew over the yard. Other than that, she seems to be crate-trained and sleeps silently through the night, so thanks for the head-start you gave her.

Breeder’s Note: We are glad you are delighted with Addie. She is a cute girl. Our advice is to forego the Lepto vaccine when combined in the puppy shot. There are many reasons we believe it is beneficial to give the Lepto alone, and a bit later. Ideally, it is best having to use that particular vaccine, but when you are in a high-risk, location it is necessary. Unfortunately, when combined with the puppy-shot it may well compromise the pup’s health. In a small percentage of cases, it can be life-threatening. We feel those risks are not worth taking. 

The surgical procedure of tacking-the stomach to prevent bloat is something we have no direct experience on doing. When we discussed it with Dr. Calhoun, he said he is not in favor of any unnecessary operative procedures. There is more information in yesterday’s blog on this topic. (Click Here) Honestly, our best guess is there are trade-offs, but maybe someone will have a comment to share on the topic. 

Layna’s Vaccine Reaction

Hi Cliff and Shela,DSC_0007 (640x427)

Here is a photo of Lanya’s vaccination reaction from her 12 weeks shot. You can see the bump it made on the back of her neck at the injection site.  It took a week for the reaction to appear and about 2 weeks for it to go back to normal. The bump was her only reaction that we noticed. I was pretty nervous for her 16 week tither test but we had very good news, her tests came back that she was protected so we could skip the shot.  We delayed both the 12 week shot and the 16 test by a few weeks to be extra cautious.  It all worked out and we are very thankful we had these suggested vaccination protocols from you guys. Thanks again!

Breeder’s Comment: A small percentage of Weimaraners develop a severe (or life-threatening) reaction to certain vaccines. A serious reaction, is most often associated with post 16-week vaccinations; therefore, we recommend a holistic approach to vaccine. Avoid puppy shots containing Lepto, we recomend you not combine vaccines, and in lieu of a sixteen-week shot we advise you invest in the titre test. We subscribe to the philosophy that it is better to be safe than sorry.

Layna’s reaction happened at the twelve-shot–it was the right shot, and it did not contain Lepto. We are glad her titre test came back showing she had adequate immunity.Here are some other photos of the lovely Layna.

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Zelda the Blue Weimaraner

Zelda continues to do well!

She’s getting so big! She’s beautiful though. Everyone that meets her thinks she’s gorgeous. Thank you so much for everything.

 Vaccine Questions…..

I notice that our veterinary office is  calling for another set of puppy shots at the 16 week birthday. This would be a third puppy shot in the series.  Is that typical vet protocol? It says on the blog no 16 week dapp2 shots.

Our answer: You are correct! The Weimaraner Club of America (WCA) has established the vaccine protocol based on the Weimaraner. The local veterinarian must establish an all-breed-practice. Unless you push for the WCA protocol to be followed, your puppy will get the sixteen-week shot. People handle this issue in different ways:

  1. They insist upon forgoing the vaccine. Instead, they order a titer test which measures the antibodies (or tests to see if the puppy has adequate immunity).
  2. Others will opt to forego the vaccine altogether.
The recommendation is for the titer test, instead of getting another puppy shot. A percentage of Weims will have a severe or deadly reaction to the sixteen-week puppy shot (even when it doesn’t include the Lepto vaccine). The puppy shot for the Weimaraner should never include Lepto or Corona, these increase the risk of a life-threatening reaction. Only the Weimaraners that fail to show immunity should get the 16-week shot. Even then, some experts cite that the titer-testing may not be all that accurate. Jean Dodds has written, (and we included the link directly below–the trouble with titer testing) where Jean explains she  believes many pups, which titer-test as unprotected, may well have immunity. Therefore, vaccine protocols continue to remain controversial even among the experts. 
Other vaccine related questions–(Please find the questions listed below in blue ink, and our thoughts in gold ink)

I’m also wondering what the antibody titer is so I’ll know whether or not its necessary for her. The titer-test measure antibodies, and it is antibodies that produce protection against disease. For a more detailed explanation, please check out these links:

When do you recommend the rabies? We believe rabies is a potent vaccine, and should never be combined with other vaccines. In many veterinary offices, this is a common practice. We feel it is best avoided. Rabies is required by law. The first rabies is a one-year vaccination, and should be given between sixteen weeks and six months of age. People who must license their pets, must vaccinate sooner than those who do not license. We prefer waiting, and limiting outside exposure. Each person must figure out what their local law requires and be in compliance.

Our information states that the Rabies should be given separate from other vaccine–at least two weeks after the core vaccinations (puppy shot) are complete and separate from all other vaccines.. Correct–the rabies vaccine should never be combined with any other vaccine. It is much easier on the immune system. We recommend spacing the rabies at least two weeks from other shots. In our opinion, it is even preferable to wait a full four weeks.

Please click here to read another post of the topic of vaccines for the Weimaraner. The problem with vaccine discussions is immunity and vaccine protection are not exact sciences. Most experts agree, that an eight-week, and a twelve-week puppy shot will provide adequate protection. There is no easy solution. We tend to follow the WCA recommendations, because no one is more invested in this breed than than the breed club. 

Eva ~ the best dog in the world!

Today Eva got her 8 week shot. The vet was really nice and Eva was extremely good. She actually did not fuss or put up any kind of fight or anything she was a little angel. The vet did say that she should really have a Lepto shot because it is common around here. But she said not to combine it with anything else so in case of a reaction we’d know what it was from right away and treat it etc.

Better Safe than Sorry is a two-edged sword!

Our Advice: Avoid potential vaccine reactions whenever possible!

Breeder’s Note: It is vitally important to realize that giving the Lepto even alone early can lead to a serious reaction. If you are an OwyheeStar client, please read about vaccine reactions in your material. Failure to follow the WCA protocol is important for the Weimaraner pup’s health and longevity. A vaccine reaction can range from mild to deadly. Vaccine reactions are best avoided.

Potential on-going health issues brought on by a vaccine reaction will not only affect your pocketbook, but the Weim’s quality of life! In our opinion, you should wait for the stand-alone Lepto (or other extra vaccines) until the pup is mature, and it should not be combined with any other shot. Risk factors can affect the timing, but avoiding exposure and waiting until at least 16 weeks if not 20 weeks is smart. If possible, wait until the Weimaraner is six months old and their immune system is more developed. There are many benefits. Of course, potential risks (exposure and vaccine related) are the true deciding factor. Ask the number of diagnosed Lepto cases before you overreact. If the Vet has seen five cases in six months it is a concern, but how great is the risk? They will see a lot of dogs in six months. Lepto, while best avoided, is treatable. Our recommendation is to use caution, and to wait as long as it is possible before getting the vaccination. Furthermore, the longevity of protection is very short-lived. While many people who are very worried about the Lepto protection rely on an annual vaccination, it should be noted that normally the Lepto vaccine is effective for 6-8 months. Please refer to the WCA vaccine protocol. We discussed this protocol in a recent blog, click here to view those details. 

She has been doing great, she goes outside a lot and we sprayed the yard with the bleach and water solution and wipe her paws off with baby wipes everytime she comes back in. Taking the extra step there haha. She is really sociable very friendly towards the neighbors she has seen so far. She’s a lot of fun, and her favorite thing is to steal Fritz’s toys out of my room and run as fast as she can around the house so i cant catch her LOL boy does she give me a work out.

I love her so so so much, thank you again for giving me the best dog in the world!! ~Adrienne

Additional Breeder’s Note: Adrienne has gone to extreme measures to ensure Eva’s safety. Yard-sanitation can be important if you don’t know who lived there and if the yard has been infected with the Parvo virus. It can also clear up Giardia in standing water, and Lepto virus tracked onto the property–such as by a feral raccoon. Wiping a pup’s feet off can never hurt, especially if you stop to potty them along the road or in a neighbor’s yard. 


Zoey is doing great…. 

She’s doing great and loves Griff (our Labradoodle) most of all of us.

She really only fusses if she’s left alone without him. She’s learned sit and down and will come when called as long as a treat is involved. She’s a bit shy around people she doesn’t know but Griff is helping her overcome that by being his overly exuberant self.

Zoey is a smart cookie!

She’s so smart and sweet and we love her dearly. 

Our Veterinary likes to do a hip evaluation on all large breed puppies.  Therefore, we wanted to let you know that Zoey had the hip evaluation and she passed with flying colors. In light of the Weimaraner Vaccine protocol, we also persuaded our Vet to do the titer test. She came back showing good protection, therefore she didn’t need any more puppy shots. We have also spaced the shots to ensure less risk of a serious reaction. Next week she’ll get her lepto as a separate shot. 

Griff and Zoey

Griff and Zoey get along well. Every doodle I meet around here looks different. He’s goofy like a lab and smart and dedicated to us like a standard. He’s thrilled to have another dog to play with and he’s getting over being jealous of our attention. This is where Griff likes to sit and survey his domain. Zoey wanted to join him so we put another chair by the window so she could also look out. 

Zoey is very confident around him and they play very vigorously. She’s fearless with him and she mirrors what he does most of the time.

Zoey is our first Weim and we have no expectations. I’ve always treated my dogs as individuals with their own personalities. She is different than other dogs we’ve had. She’s very independent but sweet. And the two dogs get revved up to top gear nightly. It’s very sweet to see them together.

Breeder’s Note: It is great to have these health reports. We thank Amy for letting us know.This is the second titer test on a pup that followed the prescribed protocol. Both came back with good results.

We recommend all our Weimaraner clients stick to the WCA protocol. Normally, breeders do hip evaluations. There are important for the purpose of making a decision as to whether to breed or not. Having said that, there are many factors that are equally important. The big picture has to be taken into account. These are decisions that need to be carefully weighed. Putting your seal of approval and backing up a puppy with a true guarantee is not to be taken lightly.

A long history of good hips, good health, and a great temperament goes a long way towards producing quality pups. However, there is always risk that something could go awry. We all want to feel we are above reproach, but in truth DNA weaves through the process. Sometimes despite best efforts things don’t work as planned. More often, when the right approach is taken the results are like those for Zoey.

Reis at 3

Healthy and doing well….

Hello From Sunny California……..

I Love Our Bed

It’s been far too long! Reis is doing great! She just turned 3 years old on Friday, 6/4, boy does time fly! Still very much a puppy, but a very sweet girl! She still thinks herself to be the Alpha female in the house. She can be quite the stubborn little diva. 🙂 She is currently taking a nice little snooze on the couch, one of her favorite past times. She ended up being quite petite, weighing in around 51 lbs, but she’s a long one!

Reis--Computer Lap Dog In Action!

Brett and I are amazed at how small she thinks she still is sometimes, fighting to climb onto our laps when we work at our computers… Not the most comfortable situation, but she makes sure to make it work to fit her needs, haha! But we couldn’t be happier with her and she provides us with so much entertainment. Reis is always good for a needed laugh, she’s such a goofball!
We’ve been so fortunate to have such a healthy girl, and we thank you for that! She’s still on the same Holistic Select food and still getting her NuVet every night before bedtime! She never fully relaxes for bed until she’s had her “treat” and she’s makes sure we know that too. Such a smarty pants! 😉

Reis enjoys the comforts of home!

We hope everything is going great in Oregon! We miss living up there, but it’s nice to be back home and near family again. While looking over your website I always get puppy fever! I’d love to have another soon!

We hope you enjoy these pics!

Our Sun Goddess

On another note thanks again for your quick response. It always makes us feel better than we know we can count on you for advice when it comes to our girl! We were vigilant about following the WCA vaccine protocol when she was a puppy. Our Vet has been very cool about not forcing the issue and leaving it up to us. I’m a strong believer in “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”, and I am very concerned about anything that has to do with Reis’s care.

Melanie and Brett

Breeder’s Note: This is super great. We feel very strongly about being careful with vaccine and other medications. No one can say for sure the long term affects of even a slight vaccine reaction. Some Weimaraner pups have severe reactions to Lepto in particular. With Fort Dodge introducing a stand-alone Lepto vaccine — this should be a non-issue. We feel the Fort Dodge Lepto vaccine is superior and we feel that giving the Lepto vaccine separate is the smart move. If you need Lepto protection this stand-alone protection covers more strains and seems to have fewer complications across the board. Also if you study the longevity of the Lepto protection you will find it is short-lived. This means if you need protection and your Weim tolerates the vaccination it can be used every 8 months to ensure full protection. Other vaccines such as what has been used as an annual booster have been shown to longevity and may only need repeated once every 2-3 years.

When it comes to puppy shots, we still recommend avoiding the Lepto as well as Corona. We also recommend giving other vaccines separately (2 week intervals at least)–this includes your Rabies. We feel it is wise to separate the vaccines and that will best serve your Weimaraner’s long term health. If you understand how the vaccine works you know it challenges their immune system to create the protective antibodies. We feel that overtaxing their immune system could open the door to other problems. We encourage everyone to be cautious and vigilant when it comes to their Weim’s health. Some individuals in an effort to do what is good for their puppy (by protecting them with vaccine) have possibly opened the door to serious ailments that could have been avoided with a less aggressive vaccine protocol.

We Thank Brett & Melanie ……

1. For remembering us…..

2. For being such a great Weim family

3. For being heath vigilant-on vaccine!



Note: If you are part of the extended OwyheeStar family or on our waiting list, then please feel free to share your questions, comments, pointers, insights, experiences, and valued tips. Please keep in mind that all of our information is based from our experience and is our personal opinion.  Information found within this blog and on our website is not meant to replace that of your personal Veterinary. We are not licensed Veterinarians or licensed Vet Techs. We do not give treatment advice, diagnose illness, or consider ourselves the final authority on Veterinary medicine.
You may print or copy items ONLY for your own personal use! This Blog, information, and photos posted herein are copyright protected and remains the sole property of Cliff and Shela Nielsen. No unauthorized use is permitted. Owner’s Weim pictures are used with permission and the photos remain the sole property of their owners. (Confidentiality–OwyheeStar does not share names, phone numbers, Email addresses, or other contact information)