Category Archives: NAVHDA


At One Week
Zerbach's Griffey_6481

Griffey is doing absolutely fantastic and fitting into our family perfectly.

Commands: He is very good with the “sit”, “fetch”, and the “here” commands. We were pleasantly surprised with how easy these were to him. A couple 10-15 minutes sessions the first week did the trick. We are still working on “drop it” and “stay” but I am sure he will get it as we are more consistent with him. He loves his bird toys and tennis ball.

Eating: He eats like a champ. We make him sit before we allow him to his bowl and he is now used to that and eating in one sitting (generally 2-5 minutes).
Potty training: He is a dream when it comes to potty training. Because I work from home I am able to keep him consistent and he has only had 3 accidents in the house (all of them being my fault). We never punish him for this as it’s not his fault at all. When we do take him out he immediately eliminates. I generally kennel him a few hours a day while working and we always use the backyard afterwards.
His brother Nordy (the cat): They still are warming up to each other but Nordy has made huge progress. Nordy will lay in the middle of the living room while we love on Griffey. He sits up on top of the couch and watches Griffey. Nordy is patient with Griffey when he paws at and nips at Nordy. I am optimistic they will be great friends very soon.
Crate training: The first few nights were rough, but that is to be expected. The last couple nights have been great where he sleeps from 9:30ish – 5:00 or 6:00 when we normally get up. We have slowly moved his crate back to the far corner of our room (where he will remain).
Leash: He is getting more comfortable on the leash. We leave his lead on a couple times a day to get him use to the tension and we walk him around the house and yard when he eliminates so he is used to that as well.
Quirks: A couple of the funnier things that he does are…
  • He loves to put bark in his mouth (our backyard has bark in it), which we obviously disallow and don’t want him swallowing.
  • When he sleeps hard he rolls over on his back with all four paws extended out and sometimes snores which we think is adorable.
  • He likes to play hide and seek under the bed (which we tried to keep him from but the cat goes under there and I think he wants to play).
Griffey truly has stolen our hearts and we cannot wait to give more time and love to him to make him the best dog we can. Thank you very much for breeding amazing family members and all the hard work that goes into delivering amazing dogs to your clients.

                                                                        Alex & Morgan

P.S. I will be going down to Roseburg next week for work and plan on bringing a couple of my sheds home so he can start smelling and touching them in hopes we can get him out (after shots) to find more for us.

Breeder Comment

We couldn’t be more thrilled to hear of your quick success. Getting off to the right start is vital. Thanks for the additional follow up. Everyone will love to ready about your Griffey.


Natural Ability

Dealy's George_0084Hi guys, just wanted to touch base.  George had his NA (NAVHDA Natural Ability) test last weekend.  He pointed 3 chukars during the field search (even grabbed one on the wing) and, taking after Stackhouse it sounds like, has turned into an enthusiastic and strong swimmer, but blew the tracking phase.  Dea;y's George_0113He’s tracked dozens, maybe hundreds of birds this year so that was disappointing.  I have my theories but it is what it is.  only took home a Prize III and we were hoping for more but it’s just a trial and he’s already a proven field dog.  I thought I’d send over some photos we got.  I hope everything’s going well.

Richard and George

Breeder Comment

Congratulations Richard!

Earning any Prize is noteworthy. We always have to remind ourselves even though the Weimaraner has a steady skill set that on a given day any number of things can go awry. Everyone covets the Prize I and some folks travel from NAVHDA test to NAVHDA test to snag one. We don’t have that luxury.

The most important thing is the field performance. He is a young Weim with a solid set of skills. We are positive that competing in the NAVHDA event even though it didn’t net you the top prize helped cement the skill set even more. Thank you, for doing that and reporting back to us. Also, we love the photos you shared. Keep up the good work with George, and we wish you many years of success in the field.

OwyheeStar Foundations

Remembering Deli

Deli 9 Days before her departure

One year ago today, we said our final goodbye to the beloved Deli. She was right at the 16 year mark. Her life was full and well-lived until the very end. The photo and the video was taken nine days before her departure. You know (if you have walked this path) about the breath holding and wondering when the inevitable will come. It is never delayed enough.

There are many OwyheeStar notables. Possibly few are as foundational as Deli. Many of our clients have her lineage weaved into their pedigree. Here a few pups we saved over a period of fifteen years (and three generations).

  • Callie (Deli X Zeke) <–retired
  • Moxie (Deli X Zeke <–retired
  • Pepper (Mollie X Zeke) <–retired
  • Mollie (Deli X Dash) <–retired
  • Ginger (Callie X Zee) <–retired
  • Cindee (Callie X Zee) <–retired
  • Midge (Callie X Benton) <–retired
  • Millee (Moxie X Benton<–retired
  • Bernie (Millee X Stackhouse)
  • Wilma (Mesquite X Stackhouse)
  • Mesquite (Moxie X Benton)
  • Hollee (Deli X Zee) — Deli’s last baby
  • Mousse (Callie X Zee)

Weaving the DNA

You might understand more clearly what our DNA weaving involved. We used different sires with the females over time to gain our outcome. Ultimately, the pedigree will contain one or more of our foundation Weimars–Dash, Dusty, Stormy, Blue, Zee, Zeke, True, and Topper. I am sure there are others that should be mentioned but those are the most prevalent. It was a costly venture on every level to do this type of thing rather than to stick with a narrower process–only adding a new Stud Dog as the need arose.


First Camping Trip

All The Details

Diesel had his first camping trip this last weekend.  What a trooper!   Diesel had a German shepherd puppy to play with along a few other dogs. 

Diesel stayed close to camp and when he got tired went to the tent to nap or found a sunny spot to stretch out.

We hiked up to some lakes on Saturday and Diesel did amazing!   Puppy power to the fullest!

I did let my friends daughter take Diesel to her tent Saturday night since a queen air mattress with myself, Foster, and Duke is pretty full.  Apparently, Diesel woke up and started whining so she had to bring him home and she said as soon as he got to our tent his little tail went to wagging, he came in and plopped down between Duke and Foster so I had to move my sleeping position lol!

20160813_145328On a sadder note, this will be Duke’s last hiking trip,  It is just too hard on him.  He can go camping next year but the hike is just too much for him, I won’t put him through that again.  

It was a great weekend and excited to see how Diesel does next year-I am sure he will be thankful not to get high centered on logs 🙂



This is at the trailhead of the hike up the mountain,  I take a picture of Foster there every year, it will be fun to compare these and next years.

Breeder Comment

Cliff and I are glad this could work out for you–that we got a hunt-potential blue male pup in time for Foster to have the summer to spend some time with him. Thank you–for all the extra effort you put into making this work Sheila. You are an awesome Mom and a great Weimaraner person.


Young Arliss

Chester's ArlissBlue Runner Duck_

This Blue Runner Duck was introduced to the young Arliss. We can only imagine what he was thinking; both survived the experience. It was a good thing as the duck was a Christmas present.

Ten Year Old ArlissChester's Arliss Birdy

He is still checking out the birds. This time to his chagrin the pheasant has no bird scent, but it appeared on the deck. He did his duty.

The Weimaraner is a Versatile Hunting Dog.

               ~What does that mean? 

Here is the definition of a versatile hunting dog taken from the Versatile Hunting Dog Federation (VHDF) website:

The versatile hunting dog is a foot hunting dog developed for work before and after the shot under a variety of conditions in the field, forest, and water.   Generally speaking, most of the versatile hunting dogs were developed in Europe during the 19th century due to hunting laws which required all game to be recovered after it was shot.  This change in hunting ethics led to the need for a dog that could perform universally at a range of tasks.  Breeders of that time took traits from the best of the specialist breeds and combined them into what are known as the versatile breeds today.  Because of the demands placed on them, versatile dogs must be intelligent, with the willpower to persevere and the ability to concentrate under numerous and variable conditions.  Searching, pointing, tracking wounded game, cold water retrieving, blood tracking and blind searching are all necessary capabilities for versatile hunting dogs.

Since most versatile dogs enjoy a long tradition of selective breeding for highly cooperative and trainable character, they make great companions in and around the home.  Well bred versatile dogs are highly intelligent with a calm demeanor.  These characteristics make them suitable family dogs as they love people and are gentle around children.


Points & Retrieves

Gobbo is one-year old. He lives (and hunts) with Tom in Utah.

The Weimaraner by definition is a versatile hunting breed. What does that mean? In America, we refer to the two Versatile Hunting Dog Venue Opportunities. They vary in philosophy but give the versatile hunter and breeder a great opportunity. You can find the links to explore the information below for both the Versatile Hunting Dog Federation (VHDF) as well as the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association (NAVHDA).

The Versatile Hunting Dog (VHDF)

The versatile hunting dog is a foot hunting dog developed for work before and after the shot under a variety of conditions in the field, forest, and water.   Generally speaking, most of the versatile hunting dogs were developed in Europe during the 19th century due to hunting laws which required all game to be recovered after it was shot.  This change in hunting ethics led to the need for a dog that could perform universally at a range of tasks.  Breeders of that time took traits from the best of the specialist breeds and combined them into what are known as the versatile breeds today.  Because of the demands placed on them, versatile dogs must be intelligent, with the willpower to persevere and the ability to concentrate under numerous and variable conditions.  Searching, pointing, tracking wounded game, cold water retrieving, blood tracking and blind searching are all necessary capabilities for versatile hunting dogs. 
Since most versatile dogs enjoy a long tradition of selective breeding for highly cooperative and trainable character, they make great companions in and around the home.  Well bred versatile dogs are highly intelligent with a calm demeanor.  These characteristics make them suitable family dogs as they love people and are gentle around children. © Versatile Hunting Dog Federation

Versatile Hunting Dog In The Field (NAVHDA)

In the field, a versatile dog should exhibit a fine nose, staunch pointing and the desire to search for, track and retrieve game in a cooperative manner. A versatile dog needs to further prove his independence, stamina and quality of nose by transferring his search for, and retrieving of game, to the water. NAVHDA’s testing program provides an opportunity for dogs to exhibit these characteristics while remaining obedient and in control at all times. True versatile dogs should perform all tasks with enthusiasm and be willing to work with, and for, their handlers.

Breeder’s Comments

It is always great to have a hunter capture photos or a video. ???

Avoid This

Advice best heeded

The last thing any of us wants to be is a stumbling block to our pup’s development. We do everything in preparation; spend a small fortune. We study, research and find every area resource. The best Veterinarian is a must. Everyone in the pup’s life is vetted. Despite this plan, most of the behavioral problems on the path to maturity are caused by the well-meaning human. It is a sad fact. There is no one-size fits all situation guide book for the Weimaraner. It takes more than dog savvy; it takes a bit of a knack. Sometimes it takes some good fortune. Seriously, though, you can avoid many of the issues that haunt the Weimaraner and their owners. To be honest, most of the folks we know with this issue are non-hunters who didn’t introduce their Weimaraner to gunfire.

Annually our mailbox sees a flood of chat prior to the 4th of July. The impending holiday booms begin and all too many Weims shake and quiver; some become ill from the hubbub. They are wrapped in Thunder coats, shaking in the closet, and traumatized. It is a sad state of affair. At the same, it is a shocking truth that many Weims are unfazed by the loud sounds. Ask yourself what makes such a difference? We can find a clue among our gun enthusiast types. The last thing they want is a gun-shy hunting companion.

Avoiding This Pitfall


Introducing the gun.JPG

No Gunfire for the young pup who scents the gun. It must smell good!

While loud sounds might be unnerving; they are not (in most cases) cause for fear. Our Weimaraner must be conditioned to ignore them, and they should feel safe. Steve Snell (of Gun Dog Supply) is a professional trainer. He says it this way.


All gun shy dogs are man made. While some dogs may be more prone to becoming gunshy, it is not a genetic flaw. Some dogs are more sensitive, and this can make them more “likely” to become gunshy. Even the boldest of pups can become gunshy if the introduction to the gun is not handled correctly.

Non-Hunters Take Note

Sound sensitivity is just as much a priority for a companion Weimaraner as for those that participate in Versatile Hunting. As we mentioned early, fireworks for many Weim are their undoing. We feel it behooves us all to try to avoid this scenario where fear rules.

At OwyheeStar, the pups have received exposure to loud sounds–much like you introduce gun fire. It was systematic, and the noise became a backdrop. Some pups are more sensitive than others; however, with conditioning,they too ignore loud sounds. While many you might get lucky and nothing bad happens by not heeding this advice; better safe than sorry is a terrific approach. OwyheeStar pup conditioning is only a foundation–not the end. Proceed with caution, and even if you are non-hunter think of how nice it would be to avoid the gut-wrenching fear situation. Therefore, once the pups have come home, it is important to continue this process. With all the things going on this little detail (regarding sound) can be forgotten. The non-hunter can take a cue from these tips and make the necessary adjustments. Steve Snell goes on to share how to help avoid causing the problem.

The following method works fine with pointers, flushers, and retrievers. While I start all my pups using these techniques, this method will work with any age dog that needs conditioning to guns and gunfire.

There are several things that you should NEVER, EVER do to a young dog.

  • Never fire a gun around a dog to see IF he is gunshy
  • Never take a dog to a Shooting Range to introduce gunfire
  • Never take a dog “hunting” prior to the proper introduction to gunfire
  • Never take a young dog “hunting” with an older dog for some “on the job training” prior to the proper introduction to gunfire
  • Never fire a gun close to a young dog without proper introduction — keep him away from any kind target practice or random shooting
  • Never allow your dog to be exposed to fireworks
  • Never fire a gun close to a dog while feeding him (many folks do this but it does not make the proper association)
  • Do your best to keep him indoors during major lightning and thunder storms

Many young dogs become gunshy from things that are out of the owners control or unknown to the owner. It’s best to get started on gunfire and noise introduction as soon as possible. I start mine the day they get to my house. Click Here to read more from Steve Snell.

What Can We Do?

We can agree on avoiding the medication needed scenario. So, you will want to condition your young Weimaraner to noise. In many cases, this means introducing gunfire using tried and true practices. As Steve mentions; however, there are times when things go awry–despite your best effort. One such time is during what some people refer to as a sudden fear period. We have also heard it called teenage-flakiness. We prefer to think of it as a transition period, where the pup is at more risk of developing an issue. It comes out of seemingly nowhere.

The commonplace suddenly freaks them out. The unexpected can be almost anything. For example, someone wearing a hat reaches towards them and spooks them. You console them, but from there on out they are a hot mess when they see a man in a hat–it would be funny if it wasn’t so frustrating. Just transfer this example to the Weimaraner that is startled by the sudden loud sound. You console them, and your heart goes out to them. Did you know that you probably just ingrained that fear? Absolutely! The most natural response is the worst response. You say what are you talking about?

Beyond conditioning your puppy on every level (exposure to people, touch, the car, waves, dogs, and sound), the second most important thing you must do is to be non-reactive. The poor baby is not going to serve the pup well on any level. Instead, move forward with no concern and stay calm. Get out of the situation gracefully and leave it behind. If you treat it like it is nothing, then your Weimaraner is going to see it as much less of a threat. By the way, this applies to crazy people encounters, out of control dog situations, and loud noises. You set the tone, and you are the stabilizing factor.



And Zoey

Makes Us A Two-Weim Family

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Day One

She has adjusted so fast to the family, letting us flip her over and loom over her, playing, and of course biting. She chases Charli all around with a smile.   Charli wants nothing to do with her yet.

Day Three



Charli is still pouting, but with each day, we see a little bit more acceptance and interest toward Zoey.  We make sure she still gets just as much attention as before our new addition.  We know she will come around in her own time.

PS.     Zoey is a little stinker, but we love it!

Breeder’s Comment

Here is a success story that took some time. Nonetheless, a Two-Weim family success–click here to read that blog. We know you will get through the pouting and whatever comes. Thank you, two times over for being a loyal OwyheeStar client.

Sgt. Blue

Happy New Year!

IMG_0181I hope the year has treated you all well. I thought I would send a few photos of Sgt. Blue Gunderson Walker (we got him from you in May of 2013–Cindee’s litter). He has shown to be a very strong hunting dog and wonderful family addition. He had amazing point control. Below are a few pictures of my oldest two children and Blue. The first picture is a picture of Blue and Olive (my cousin’s dog–short/wire hair pointer mix) during the fall of 2014.

The first two pictures are of my son’s first hunt. Earlier this year, he received his license and attended a Jr Hunt with one of the clubs out here in Ca.  The last two pictures are of my oldest daughter. She enjoys working the field with her daddy and would rather go hunting than ride her quad. 🙂
We wish you well from CA and a happy new year!
Kim and Aaron
Breeder’s Note: Thank you, for remembering us and allowing this to share with the OwyheeStar readers. We truly appreciate it, and we are exceedingly happy to see Sgt. Blue is meeting your expectations.


Hunting Chukars

Stihl had a great time hunting chukars the past couple weekends. The snow is deep and the birds are plentiful. Despite having a challenging time getting through the snow, he had a good few days. He retrieved 2 birds last weekend (with help getting into the area). It’s amazing how fast he is learning. He retrieved 4 birds this last trip without any guidance. I’m excited to see how Stihl progresses through the rest of the bird season.
Thanks again,       ~Matt and Veronica Stanley