Category Archives: Hot Topics

Talking About

The Longhair

     ~ Part One

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Stackhouse, the infamous OwyheeStar Gray Longhair Stud Dog, was featured on yesterday’s blog. Many of our readers have gorgeous pups from a Stackhouse-sired litter. You might find it interesting to note that there are more smooth coats than longhairs. To get a litter in which the longhair pups present requires a Mama who carries the DNA marker for the fluffy-coat, too! Even when they do, unless they are also a Longhair (and not just a Carrier), only a portion of the litter will have the longer coat length.

The Affected and The Carrier

When mating the Affected (a Longhair such as Stackhouse) with a Weimaraner who is a Carrier (such as Dazee) statistically, we should be able to expect 50% of the pups to be Longhairs. Over the last decade plus, we have learned this is an average and not a guarantee. (Ha!) For example, we mated the same pair two years in a row. The first year we only had two longhairs in a litter of eight pups. The next year (with the same everything) we had six longhairs in a litter of eight. It is like everything Weimaraner; predictions are nearly impossible.

Two Carriers mated are said to result in a 25% longhair to smooth coat ratio. There are other factors, but as with the aforementioned (Longhair to Carrier) scenario, it is impossible to predict the outcome. On a couple of occasions, the Carrier to Carrier mating produced no longhairs-othertimes, the result was near the 50% ratio. It is difficult for everyone who is hoping for the Longhair arrival status.

Many folks covet the smooth coats out of such a mating. Their coats tend to be thicker and velvet-like. Waterfowl hunters like to find such a pup because the coat is not only a bit warmer but water resistant. Sure they still get wet, but there is a measure of protection.

The Hair Factor

There is no doubt that the Longhairs are a bit messier; however, it is nothing as you imagine. Unlike the more popular Labrador, the Longhair Weimaraner doesn’t deposit hair all over you and your belongings. It is hard to believe this as being true–especially if you are coming from a situation where you are vacuuming hair from a fur family member who has been gone for some time. It is good to keep them groomed, but even for those that go natural, it is shocking how little they shed.

Longhair Discussions

Stackhouse_9692This blog is the first in a short series discussing the Longhair Weimaraner. Some of you are adverse to the idea of the tendrils (or the feathering) and a fluffy tail. Others are intrigued, and still many of you have both a Longhair and a traditional smooth coat Weimaraner.

We might also mention that the Longhair coat varies widely–some are thick, but more often they are similar looking to the classic look with the feathering on the ears and legs. Oh and then there is the ever so slight additional fluff on the face that almost speaks to a teddy bear look.

The Longhair always sports the undocked tail (unless there was a mistaken assumption that they were a smooth coat). Expedited DNA Testing helps prevent such an error. The newborn pups (longhair and traditional) are nearly impossible to sort; therefore, to ensure accuracy, we do the DNA testing.

 

 

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 www.animalfoundation.com — 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.

Age

Your Weim’s Age 

      ~ in human years

 

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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).

 

DogYears_Infographic

 

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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.

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.

Pushkin

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.
Marie

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.

Berkley

In The Groove

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Berkley is settling well into the routine of our family. She loves her walks. She likes to eat ice. She’s learning lots of commands and especially how to contain her enthusiasm by NOT jumping up on people. She thinks the living room is her jungle gym, jumping from chair to couch with very little effort. We’re working on curbing that. She has begun meeting other dogs and is showing an appropriate blend of curiosity and submission. She also enjoys riding in the car.

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Her naughtiest moment so far (which really is not her fault…Blame it on her nose and on my husband) : My husband got a pizza out to put in the oven. She was sleeping peacefully on the couch at the time. He intended to return promptly to put it in the over so it would be ready for my return home, but he got sidetracked and forgot. When I came home he remembered that he didn’t put the pizza in the oven. I said, “no problem, I’ll put it in.” As I entered the kitchen, I realized that Berkley had pulled the pizza off the counter and eaten half of it! Thankfully, other than a little gas and the need to go outside in the middle of the night (which my husband took care of), she was fine.

Preventative Action

Sooooo…our friends showed us a trick to keep her paws off of the counter and it’s working so far. The second she puts her paws up on the counter, we shake this thing we made out of foil pans. It is so startling she takes off running and several days go by before she attempts to put her paws up again. As you can see from the picture, she is sitting on the chair in the background quite content to be away from the scary shiny shaker. As long as we have it on the counter she remembers to stay down. Our former Weimie had the same tendency… Such a good nose and such a strong desire for food!
One of my favorite times of the day is when, after the kids are in bed, she snuggles up on the couch with me, tuckered out from the day’s activities.
Berkley is a tremendous source of laughter and entertainment in our family, and we are thrilled to be making memories with her!!!
Thanks again for making such a great match!
Sincerely,
Amanda

Breeder Comment

We are delighted to hear of your continued success and joy. We are in the business of making dreams come true–at least that is our goal. This breed is not for everyone. Anyone who loves the Weimaraner finds they both want to expound on the fabulous life with the Weimar and at the same time warn others it is not all that easy to raise one.

You are doing fabulous! I think it is vital to get the basics done; then you work on things such as counter-surfing, living room agility, and meet-and-greet techniques. Nonetheless, a friendly, happy, and active Weimaraner is a delight. I am sure we can agree on that fact.

Some of our readers recently began the training of a Weimar pup. They quickly learned that freedom is earned. You want to get the housebreaking, crate-training, and the desire to please engrained very soon. Then you can move on to other things–like compliance on the leash. We were so thrilled to see not all that long ago you had achieved excellent loose-leash-compliance. (Click here to read the previous Berkley update.) Those things go a long way toward having a well-adjusted and easier to live with Weimaraner. Keep up the great effort and thank you for thinking of us.

Final Thought 

For those embarking on a journey–remember not to compare your situation with others. They (like this family) can give you hope of what can be achieved. Nevertheless, each family is unique. This adventure is a journey. It takes as long as it takes. It is a one-step at a time thing. Achieve the basics, so you have the solid foundation. Then, together, you can see what you can become.

Did you Move?

Don’t Forget To Update

 

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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.

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin Pie Diversions

Happy Thanksgiving!

      ~What’s for the Weimar?

Whatever they can nab.

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While you are eating your pumpkin pie piled high with whipped cream, don’t forget us fur kids. We are on holiday alert. No plate goes uncleaned or unclaimed. We are no respecter of leaving the food. We take it and then we will deal with the consequences.

Did you say Whipped Cream?

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Hey-there peeps–remember the list of stuff that will take us on a trip to the Emergency Room. Try to selective in the counter surfing. I don’t want to be reading about an emergency surgery, stomach pumping, or pancreatitis.

Breeder’s Comment

We at OwyheeStar wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. No matter what is happening in our lives, we have much to give thanks for without question. Please do keep an eye on your opportunist Weimaraner. Remember not everyone is going to follow the rules. Keep them safe.

Gobble Gobble

For Thanksgiving

          ~What We Don’t Want

Where's the Turkey

OK–I see you, now where is the good stuff?

The emergency Vet Vist probably tops our list. It is the quickest way to spoil our celebration. Nonetheless, is there a time when our attention is more divided? The snatch and grab Weimaraner could abscond with some spectacular finds. They are everywhere–the counter, the dining table, the plates, and possibly on the floor. One thing you might overlook–the rising bread dough or rolls. Bread Dough Toxicosis can prove life-threatening. Maybe a toddler is waving a turkey leg. Is that an invite? The opportunist Weimaraner will make the most of this food-driven holiday gathering.

The humans at your table–they are a significant threat to the Weimaraner. Who doesn’t want to sneak the pup a treat? But too many sneaks and the gut can become overloaded even with acceptable food. The sensitive Weim might have a bout of pancreatitis from too much fatty food. Then there are the cooked poultry bones–be sure if you throw them out it is where the Weimaraner cannot steal them.

You Might Consider

What if you made a plate for the Weimaraner that everyone could help share? This plating idea might work. Here are some excellent choices.

  • Turkey — no bones
  • Green beans (plain)
  • Squash or Pumpkin (plain)
  • Apple slices (without the seeds)

Avoid These

      ~ to mention a few

  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Stuffing
  • Gravy
  • Corn on the Cob
  • Nuts (pecans and Macadamia)
  • Grapes and Raisins

You can bake a Weim cookie or a Weim pie that forgoes the seasonings. Eggs and pumpkin and a tiny bit of milk will bake up nicely. You could make the crust using treats. Possibly make them in a silicone cupcake pan or cupcake papers. We are not saying it cannot be a lot of fun for the Weimar too. However, no one wants the unthinkable to spoil all the fun.

The Question

Most Asked

When do you expect your next litter?

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A simple answer it would make things oh so much easier. The complexities of answering what others imagine as absolute, it anything but the case. No one knows this more than people who have waited for a lengthy season to get an OwyheeStar puppy. (Thank you, to everyone who stuck it out and stayed loyal. To those whose trust was implicit.)

Inexplicable Craziness

The inexplicable craziness associated with raising the Weimaraner cannot be precisely defined. Nonetheless, we would like to shed some light on things from our side of the fence. We understand that many folks who come to us in search of the Weimaraner have waited until the eleventh hour and now they are in the hope of finding a pup sooner rather than later. On a rare occasion, we might see ourselves with an available pup upon your inquiry. This scenario could happen if the folks on the wait list are not ready (have a different timeline). There are the other factors too–the sex, the coat color, and the coat length to mention the three biggies. Also, for example, some folks want to hunt upland game, truffles, or sheds. We are looking for the Weims with the most hunt-potential for those engaged in hunting. During our Discovery and Placement Test process, we ascertain whether the pup is more inclined towards scent, and other cues. That doesn’t mean the less hunt-potential pup could not be a suitable hunting companion; however, we hope to place those pups with the Companion Weim folks. Other than the Weim-seeker’s preferences, availability and litters are affected by factors we often have little to no control over.

Heat Cycles

The female’s heat cycle might not be entirely consistent. Certain age-appropriate females will come into season every six months–others not so much. We figure on average any female might cycle about every seven months; however, there are times when our best guess is off. Last winter, for example, all the girls came into heat way behind schedule despite the chagrin of many. The lateness caused the arrival we got to be later and for some people, this time change was not going to work.

Mating Complexities

The complexity of mating cannot be understated. There is a reason we have more than one sire–we don’t keep breeding back to the same lineage. The right sire choice is essential. In some situations, we have had the luxury to use multiple sires; however, many times we have but one option. Or, where we have mixed in the Longhairs, we might have one option if we don’t want any Longhair pups in a litter. For example, Boone doesn’t carry the Longhair DNA marker–whereas, Stackhouse is a Longhair. Any female that carries the Longhair marker and is mated to Stackhouse would produce some Longhair pups. All this planning doesn’t always end up producing a litter.

When You Get Nothing

There are times when a mating happens, and it doesn’t produce pups. We suspect this happens a lot more than anyone talks about because we get inquiries from folks who have waited elsewhere and after two matings they never got a puppy. We also know, as we talked about with the four (from the Callie X Zee litter), not every female is a good producer. Vidalia never produced a single pup despite many efforts. Ginger and Cindee inconsistently produced small litters. Only Mousse produced the average-sized litter consistently. Who would have guessed? The lack of litters from a mating thing is not the end of the challenges.

To list a few other things–some females do not carry the litter to term. You watch their tummy grow, and they miscarry. Yes, it happens to the Weimaraner just as it does to some women. Or the litter might only produce one or two pups. All that time spent hoping, and you have not much to show for it. Those folks waiting for a puppy can become disillusioned. We can experience these feelings too! We have to shake off anything negative quickly. After waiting, and the pups arrive new information is available. Sometimes it is not as we hoped.

What a Year

2017 was such a year. Our litters leaned toward producing more males than females. Who can guess why? The opposite has happened in the past. When there are only one or two females to six males, soon the Wait List becomes prevalently female oriented. It would be easy to sigh and grow frustrated. Instead, we opt to rejoice in each pup as they arrive.

Our Wait List

We hope you can better understand how difficult the earlier question is to answer. When is our next litter expected? Those simple words imply more than a matter of who is pregnant. Reading between the lines, we believe the real question to be–when could I expect an OwyheeStar puppy? It is complicated. It is impossible to reply with any measure of accuracy. For some, they might turn in an application and find the option to move forward coming swiftly. Others, while vetted for some time must continue to wait. Know one thing–we are waiting and hoping with you. Nonetheless, we can only raise pups for which we know we have a quality home. That means, although we might hope for seven females, we cannot mate three additional litters to meet a quota.

1-Dixie X Boone 2017 Newborn-7We leave 2017 with the shortest Wait List in a decade. Therefore, we assume that the wait will be less. Nevertheless, keep in mind, we have to wait for the girls to be in heat to mate. Then is nine long weeks of waiting until the whelp (or if you prefer–the delivery). It is then we learn the outcome of the former mating. Typically, we mention it is between four and six months on average. Sometimes longer depends upon what is born and who is on the Wait List. People imagine if they could look at all the details they could figure out what is going to happen. Can I say that is laughable? Cliff and I have been raising pups for forty years. We continue to be surprised. The juggling act and the unknows require us to breathe and to (patiently) wait to see what happens.