Category Archives: NAVHDA
The Man Behind OwyheeStar
~ 70 Candles Who Needs the Oven?
I hope you get the joke–70 candles would bake a cake. Well, probably not, but it is a funny idea.
For as long as I can remember, Cliff and I have been raising pups–all our married life. My parents raised a few when I was growing up in the 50s–the world was very different back then. Patti Page was singing her hit tune, “How Much For That Doggy in the Window.”.
The man, the legend, and his expertise are essential to OwyheeStar. Since I field the inquiries, keep up with the social media, the blogging, the website posts, etc., people forget that this would be impossible without him.
And the reasons are many–he is a Weim Whisperer. How many times have Christina and I tried to get a Weimaraner to do something, and along comes Cliff, and boom–they just do what seemed impossible moments ago. He is the team’s technical expert–more than once, a pup has been born that didn’t seem viable. He would calmly take measures to breathe life into them, and they would live and thrive. I am constantly in awe of him–from the moment we first met until 50-plus years later.
Beyond breathing life into pups, he keeps all our equipment running, keeps up the farm, trains Weimaraners, and competes in the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association (NAVHDA) events. Recently he took two OwyheeStar Weims to an event (Martee and Hope)–both prized.
He consoles me when I am totally overrun or overwhelmed with my side of things. When he can, he helps clients who need assistance–but as you might guess, he is not sitting around waiting for a request. He has to fit these things in around his schedule.
Above, he is preparing for a puppy swim in the Nielsen Farm Pond. When the weather permits, pups swim before joining their families. This swim is a top-rated event. The pond is not the usual farm pond –we have to fill it for each puppy swim.
This blog doesn’t begin to cover all the things Cliff does to keep us going. Those things that allow us to raise the Weimaraner. It does give you some insight as to what goes on behind the scene. Thank you for helping me celebrate Cliff’s 70th Birthday. ~ Shela
~ OwyheeStar’s Newest Blue Stud Dog
Martee and Cliff made an appearance at the Treasure Valley North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association Hunt Test a few weeks ago. The preparation for the hunt test was extremely thin–so expectations were limited. Nonetheless, they managed to earn a Natural Ability Prize. Martee also made friends and loved being social even though COVID-19 has thwarted his ability to get out and meet other dogs and people. We all know how that works.
Boone is still an active Stud Dog, but he is getting some age. Several females are related to him, so we need fresh blood. In many ways, temperament is the most essential element, followed by health. Martee is listed on our Stud Dog Page–click here. We have all the Stud Dogs we have owned there for reference.
NAVHDA Natural Ability Prize One
~ Our Score 112
Hi guys just wanted to drop a quick note. Me and Luna were first alternate and luckily got into the NA test yesterday.
We surprisingly got a prize 1 – 112 score! Wow. I’m still shocked but she did it all and we trained hard. Now just getting ready for hunting season.
Mike and Michelle
–The North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association (NAVHDA)
NAVHDA chapters sponsor four kinds of tests:
The Natural Ability Test is designed to evaluate the inherent natural abilities of young dogs and gain insight into their possible usefulness as versatile gun dogs. It rates seven important inherited abilities: nose, search, tracking, pointing, water, desire and cooperation. Dogs are eligible for a Natural Ability Test up until, and including, the day they reach 16 months of age. Dogs over 16 months may be run for evaluation only. Dogs over 16 months may only be run if space is available. No prize classification can be awarded the dog run for evaluation.
The Utility Preparatory Test measures the dogs’ development midway through their training toward the Utility Test. No previous testing required.The Utility Test evaluates trained dogs in water and field, before and after the shot, as finished versatile hunting companions as well as many other specific tasks. No previous testing required. The Invitational Test is our highest level of testing. Only those dogs that have achieved a Prize I in Utility are eligible. This limits the entry to exceptional animals who have demonstrated a high level of training and tests their skills in the advanced work.
Breeder Comment on Points Earned
The maximum possible score for a dog running in the NAVHDA Natural Ability Test is 112 Points. You must earn a minimum of 99 points to net a Prize One. Luna got a perfect score–we cannot tell you how difficult it is to achieve this goal. Honestly, it is even more remarkable with the Weimaraner–who can potential flake out at the wrong moment.
To Learn More about competing your Weimaraner with NAVHDA click here!
~Earns Her Junior Hunt Title
I wanted to send a quick note about our Luna. She just received her AKC Junior Hunter title for pointing breeds this weekend in Ellensburg. We did a double double with a few clubs (she went 4 for 4!) and she hunted well, found some birds and held those points! It was awfully hot for her too.
Next up is breaking her to shot and honoring for a Senior Title and maybe running her in August at the NAVDHA NA test later this fall. We’ll see.
Michael and Michelle
Thank you, Michael and Michelle, for all you have done with Luna. Oh, and we appreciate you sending along the photos as well as the news for us to share, too!
~Her First Swim
Cliff has had her to the pond a couple of times–and retrieved in chest-deep water before. The key to the quick success was her love of the retrieve. This water work is one of the many benefits of having your Weim crazy for the retrieve.
Please note that there was a couple of bumpers left from a trip out with another Weimaraner earlier–and Cliff tossed a rock to try to get Henri to retrieve the additional bumper. Hurrah–for-Henri she did several water-retrieves, and there was no hesitation at entering the water. And, she picked up that extra bumper too!
~What I Imagined
I remember when I first heard about the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association (NAVHDA) Natural Ability Test, I imagined you didn’t prepare. You took your young Weimaraner (or whatever Versatile Hunting Dog you had) to this event–and the experts discovered if you had a natural hunter or not.
This approach would be like flushing time and money down the toilet. These guys who participate work hard to prepare their hunting companions. There are several elements (or disciplines) involved in the process–you have to have them ready for each (and all). There are seven critical inherited abilities: nose, search, tracking, pointing, water, desire, and cooperation.
It might seem wrong to work at developing these abilities, but it is the opposite. It is a bit like exercising a muscle–it gets stronger when worked. This preparation works.
Our Discovery and Placement Test
We test pups at six-weeks realizing that we are pushing the envelope at that age–at seven or eight weeks would be apt to test more easily. Nevertheless, we have had success at six-weeks when the pups are prepared and mature enough to engage in the activities. Below are some photos from a recent litter of Longhairs who were visiting the Three Cliff’s Sanctuary in preparation of the Discovery and Placement Test.
As with the NAVHDA Natural Ability Test process, preparation is essential. I am sure people wonder we are doing. We are exposing the pups to different locations, and expanding their world. We are showing them toys, and interacting with them in small groups and sometimes on a one-on-one basis. This preparation is an essential part–and all the while we are not gathering information or sizing up the pups. That might be hard to believe but one thing we have learned–don’t come (to the test) with preconceived ideas. Don’t allow yourself to be influenced by anything–not clients, not what we seen before, etc. We are taking a fresh look–trying to get pure information or findings. At six-weeks these pups don’t do all that much– we hope to have them ready to engage with us as well as the exercises as they are presented.
2019 Weekly Synopsis
GREETINGS FROM FAR EASTERN OREGON
~April 6, 2019
We had phone calls, a visit, and more from our Hay Guy. Thanks to Chris and Darcy’s crew our alfalfa got planted. Thanks to Mother Nature it got watered, too! Yes–we have had some rain. Not a lot but it is welcome.
Cliff has been busy on the tractor–well, on both tractors. Recently he moved quite a bit of dirt with the John Deere 730, but the little Red Massey Ferguson has been equally busy. While I enjoy the pottery diversion, it is the tractor that Cliff enjoys. Although, it is not as easy to sit on a tractor all day as it once was. (Haha) Farm equipment is busy all around us, too!
Spring walks around the farm are picking up. We were out with some young pups this week. They enjoyed the walk from the farmhouse to the sanctuary. Cliff will be getting out and around the farm (and other locations) to train for the up coming hunt tests. Today he is heading over to Notus –I am hoping for an excellent outcome.
Our outdoor puppy yards have taken a real beating with the earlier than usual Spring pups. The winter and the puppies pounding, digging, and whatnot make it clear we need to purchase some replacement sod sooner rather than later. (Oh, my goodness.) Cliff is preparing to put down some waterlines along that puppy area which will make clean up and lawn care a lot easier. It is going to be a lot nicer to have that done and a better walking path at the back of the house.
This Week On the Blog…
We are ever so thankful for each of you who sent us the updates (with photos and/or videos). We were encouraged as well as excited to read about each of these OwyheeStar Weimaraners.
Sunday— March 31 — Pilikia and Kula
Monday–-April 1 — Lexi
Tuesday — April 2 — Mauka
Wednesday — April 3 — The Head Turning (Luna)
Thursday –- April 4 — The Solid Retrieve
Friday — April 5 — From Tennessee
On a very personal note
Our granddaughters make sure we are well taken care of on several levels. They help out as they are able. Of course, Christina works for us and helps with the Weimaraner. Ashley pitches in with the Weims when we need extra help, but she also helps Cliff with projects that require muscle. Recently she helped Cliff put down some pavers. Whatever would we do without their help? I don’t know.
The garden is showing promise. The peas we planted a couple of weeks ago are beginning to emerge. The Greenhouse plants are also sprouted and starting to produce those first leaves. We are behind the curve–the plants arriving at the local farm store are well rooted and larger sized. Somehow I believe ours will catch up and thrive. We will purchase what we need should our efforts fall short.
Overall, April is off to a good start — the garden speaks to my heart. What a blessing it is to be able to do this garden project with Ashley and the two Great Granddaughters. I can hear them squeal with delight when we pick the first cucumber.
~Today–August 28, 2018
Mesquite has lived in Prosser for a year today.
She has recovered nicely from the dog food debacle. Her coat is nice and full and has that slick look again. I see she is growing some longer fur around her pads, probably starting her winter coat. I hope that isn’t the sign of a cold winter to come.
She likes the Diamond Naturals dog food. She is always looking for her pan at dinner time. She has always been a good eater. My last Vizsla ate like a bird and was very picky. Everything had to be just right.
Mesquite likes to play with her stuffed animals. She is always packing one of them around in the house.
I can’t wait to get back on birds this fall. The rabbits are getting old. She enjoys her daily morning walks. She is always ready to go each morning. She just loves going in the car and doesn’t get sick anymore.
Mesquite is a real doll! Thanks again for getting her together with us! She has filled a real hole in our lives. ~ Lyle
We cannot thank you enough for loving Mesquite and giving her an excellent Golden Year Home.
2018 Weekly Synopsis
GREETINGS FROM FAR EASTERN OREGON
~AUGUST 25, 2018
Onion harvest is in the works. Of course, we live on Onion Avenue. That might give you a clue that they grow a few onions in the Treasure Valley. We have met the bean harvester on the back road a couple of times, too. The fields are being picked clean all too soon for my liking. I am no rush for Autumn’s arrival. It is my favorite, but I am not about to wish the summer away.
We were in New Plymouth yesterday, and on our way home we came by a couple of farm stands. The one was packed with folks buying fresh produce. We drove on by not stopping to buy anything–Kamashige’s dropped off their excellent corn. We have the veggies from our garden. Of course, there are few things we must still buy if we want them–lettuce for one. We don’t have any growing, but also bananas, pineapples, etc. must always be picked up at the grocery. The best part of the trip was taking Manfred on his first outing. He made his first NAVHDA appearance. He also made a lot of new friends.
We continue to be engaged with the current litter. It is; however, not the only thing we have going. Today, Cliff is at the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association (NAVHDA) hunt test. The Treasure Valley NAVHDA is the host club, and the test runs for three days (Friday-Sunday). We dropped by during the Utility Portion, and the atmosphere was thick with tension–training for this event requires a lot. Getting here and putting everything on the line is sometimes touch-and-go. Sure you prepared. Your Versatile Hunting Companion can do it all, but will the conditions be favorable. Will the dog perform to the best of their ability. Ah shucks–Cliff is taking a Weimaraner. What do we know about this breed? Anything can happen. I hope for the best–even a little miracle.
This Week on the Blog
Sunday— August 19 — Rumor Has It
Monday–- August 20 — A Natural (Henry)
Tuesday — August 21 — Planning Ahead (for the next OwyheeStar)
Wednesday — August 22 — Snippets
Thursday –- August 23 — Five Years (Thunder)
Friday — August 24 — Vacation (Arliss and Jorga)
On a very personal note
I am happy to report I had my annual Oncologist visit. All was good. I am four years out from the original cancer finding. Hurrah! There is not much more to say about my health. It improves at a snail’s pace. I am ever so happy about that simple truth.
Cliff has been busy around the farm. He installed a little strip of gated pipe to help get water to the Three Cliff’s Sanctuary.
Oh, and speaking of the sanctuary, we are so happy to have a new picnic table. It was gifted to us by our friends Kendra and Dale. It is no ordinary picnic table. Well, you might not call it classy, but it is perfect for us. It was much-loved at its old residence, but no longer needed or practical. Therefore, we are the beneficiary. It took three guys to load it into our pickup. We cannot wait to get it down to the sanctuary, but for now, it sits in the back of the truck. (Haha) Kendra promises to come out and visit her old table in its new location. I cannot wait to share this moment with her. I think she will be happy for her old friend.
Meanwhile, the gardening girls faithfully work with me. No, it is not perfect–but we are doing pretty good for our first-year garden. We got off to a late start. There were many challenges. We need improvements here and there, but all-in-all we managed to pull together something we are pleased with–and we are harvesting some delicious eats. Ashley picked the first Honeydew. Oops–it got dropped on the way to the front door. We had to taste test it immediately. It met our expectations. The girls toted off what wasn’t eaten along with a box of cucumbers, tomatoes, and whatnot. Oh, and we have sunflowers, too. A little something for the soul. Let’s not forget the giant pumpkins, the banana squash (for the Weims), and grandpa Cliff’s cantaloupe.