Category Archives: Raising Versatile Hunting Weims
~ The Adult-Looking Nine-Month Old Weimaraner
36 weeks (from AKC)
At 9 months, you’re probably starting to wonder when your puppy will be fully grown. Expect your adolescent puppy to continue to grow and develop emotionally for a little while longer, and keep up on your puppy’s training. Take a moment during training to reflect on what you might be doing to encourage some of your puppy’s bad habits and make a commitment to change your behavior.
These comments are meant for puppies in general; however, they apply even more so for the Weimaraner puppy. Letting your 12-week old pup jump up is not a good idea. If you do, by the time they are 9-months-old, you have a bigger problem. Letting them bite your fingers–as a young pup, may well lead to mouthing issues as the Weimaraner matures. Some do this mouthing-thing for their entire life–and for their owner, it might not seem like a problem until they put their mouth on someone else–those teeth can easily tear a hole in a thin-skinned older adult, or alarm someone.
~For All She Does
Every OwyheeStar puppy is hand-raised, and this process requires a good eye as well as focus. Then there is follow-through–steps we take at every transition point from birth for the exit. We are fortunate to have our granddaughter (who we trained) as a puppy-whisperer. You cannot teach someone to do this–it takes instinct and the ability–and the eye to see the little things before they spiral into something bigger. Pups get scratched, develop little issues, need nails trimmed, ears cleaned, etc. –it is a lot because a young pup is susceptible to all kind of bacterial, viral, and yeast infections.
You might remember Dink–he was a miracle pup. Christina decided she would keep him with her 24 X 7 because he needed around the clock care. She did this knowing she might not be able to save him–but if she could, it would be so rewarding. Over the years, we have saved many ultra-small pups that needed extra care. They could not survive because the bigger, stronger littermates would push them off the best teats. There might not be enough teats for everyone to drink at once–and the bigger keep growing while the small ones get shoved away. This scenario doesn’t mean that a smaller pup has anything wrong, but without intervention, their chance of survival is slim.
You Probably Know the Story
Dr. Calhoun at the Idaho Veterinary Hospital gave his as through of a check that is possible at the six-week visit.
It takes all of us to produce a well-balanced ready to adapt puppy. People ask, “do you have them house-trained.” I always say, “no, but we have them ready.” I think that is the better approach–they have to learn your routine, the household layout, and adjust. If you stay after it, the housebreaking can happen very quickly.
~Habits Good and Bad Take Hold Quickly
Habits form quickly–once a behavior (good or bad) starts it can soon become habitual. For example, the Weim can become an incessant barking machine. I swear they can bark at a cloud. Maybe it looks like a bird. Incessant by definition means unceasing or Continuing without interruption. Maybe that is an overstatement, but if you have that behavior ingrained, it will not seem an exaggeration.
Barking, digging, territorial behaviors, chewing on everything, and the list goes on–if you allow it in a small dose, it can become a thing. Us humans, often get duped and our efforts undermined.
To prevent that and other unwanted behaviors a person must be vigilant early on. It is not one and done thing either. The childlike tendencies often last past their third birthday with the occasional teenage behavior surfacing from time to time. I laugh at people who want this breed and expect them to be easy to manage. A lot can and should be accomplished in the first three months; however, you are not home free so to speak. At the same time—getting the basics done right up front will save you a lot of trouble.
Also consider that the Weimaraner who wants to rule their world can employ growling and snarling. They can withdraw and sulk. They have all kind of ways to get what they want–some are acceptable, others are not. One thing for sure–do not reward or excuse bad behavior.
The Basics …
Nothing is more important than loose leash heeling. It is imperative it be achieved. I am not talking about using a head halter, gentle leader, front-hooking harness, or a prong collar in order to accomplish the goal.
A regular (or flat) collar
This is what I hope every OwyheeStar Weimlover will accomplish……..
- Loose Leash Heeling (on a regular flat collar)
- Come; followed by the Sit-stay
We (Shela and I) would like you to focus on achieving these four goals with your OwyheeStar Weimaraner. I am positive when accomplished in the right manner, the outcome will be good. There are various ideas on the appropriate timeline to have mastered these disciplines. I would like to see you have them done by the time the pup reaches 7 months–before the hormones kick in. Puppy classes can get you off to a good start, but the quality of sit-stay, etc. is not finished at 4 months. As the Weimaraner develops, there will be challenges.
Respect and the Relationship
Depth in your relationship is worth achieving; respect is a crucial part of your relationship-development. When you get the loose-lead respect, then you can easily achieve these other goals. It is a bit like a thread that pulls you through a good novel (or movie); without a strong relationship (or the underlying story-line), it is hard to get to end. Distractions come along.
Jan Magnuson –The priorities in my basic obedience/good manners classes are loose leash heeling, sit-stay, down-stay, come and sit-stay, and no bite. I agree, if folks can get these down pat, everything else tends to fall into place. Loose leash walking is imperative, as it is representative of the relationship between dog and handler (if the leash is relaxed, so is your relationship, if the leash is tense and strained, so is your relationship). Dogs that “do better off leash” feel they are in charge and do what pleases them, and if they mind it is because they happen to feel like it at the moment- that is not a trained dog. I like down-stays a lot because it is a subservient posture, the dog should learn to be totally relaxed so we do lots of these- we allow them to lie on one hip or their side and get their head and tummy rubbed, with lots of calm praise.
Get it done; Keep it Fun…
Never forget to have fun. If this becomes a grind, neither you nor the Weimaraner will enjoy it. If it becomes boring, there are always other things you want to do. Once these four things are mastered, you need to keep them sharp. It is not something you achieve and forget about; these are lifelong skills you take with you on the entire journey.
Note: We will discuss collars (and choices) in a later blog. There are many suitable styles of the regular (flat-collar) type. Collar purchases are more a fashion-statement than we like to admit. Hunters are field-fashion conscious. Some prefer a fine leather collar, while others prefer a durable plastic-based collar that resists dirt, odor, and fading. These collars wipe clean. They come in a variety of colors; fluorescent orange, fluorescent green, and fluorescent yellow are popular. Some hunters find the cammo collar a must-have accessory. One of our favorite vet techs saw a purple collar we had on a girl, and asked where we found it. There are other great colors too.
~ Meet Kip (Dutch’s Shadow)
Yes, Kip’s pointing. Both Sam and Bonney have gotten him on point with the wing.
And so, it begins. What more is there to say?
Hope is 13 months old, and yesterday was the first time she had been to the pond since she was a pup. I don’t remember exactly, but I am reasonably sure she did the puppy swim about a year ago.
Regardless, she has not been acclimated to the water until now. Cliff took her out to the pond on Monday evening. She got into the water chest high but didn’t swim. Tuesday, a whole different thing happened. Remember when we say to ingrain the love of the retrieve. Here is why–
~Preparing for Competition
Whisky has been in training now for 6 months and is becoming a great bird dog. He loves it. The trainer feels he would do great in Hunt Test competition, so we will start training for that.
At the age of 6 months, Whisky started retriever and obedience training at Coyote Creek Oregon Gun Dog Training in Eugene. He started at the age of 6 months and has been doing very well. We visit him at least twice a week to work with him and train ourselves. The trainer is very impressed with his abilities and drive and is confident that Whisky will excel in the field and in competition.
We are glad you are doing well with Whiskey and that your trainer feels he has good hunt trial potential. We look forward to hearing about the experience.
Before the pups arrive, the Mamas have our full attention–we work to ensure they eat well. We watch for any sign of a problem, etc. The whelp-window is typically from day 59 to day 64. The pups must be at least 59 days old to survive–although we might use extraordinary measures to save a puppy–there are limitations.
Once the pups are here, Christina and I do most of the hands-on work. We do like to involve Cliff when possible–a man’s touch is a good thing. Some pups require a lot more than others–case in point, Dink. You might remember the tiny undersized puppy which Christina took to feeding and caring for around the clock. Sometimes intervention doesn’t work–because there is something wrong. Other times such a pup starts to thrive and eventually catches up with their litter.
From Day-One, there is a lot of hands-on work. Thankfully, Christina is a skilled puppy handler-whisperer sort of helper. Recently, she whelped a pup when we had to be away from the house. She has an eye for details–watching and looking the puppies over constantly while she adjusts their collars, handles them, and works with each one. As you might imagine, this kind of process is labor-intensive–but we believe it works–is essential.
There are many stages and steps involved in the raising of the Weimaraner. We hope to have them set up for success–but once they transition to their ‘forever family,’ the work continues. No matter our efforts, it is almost as if you are starting from scratch–it is a new environment. They have to adjust and adapt, which they will do very quickly, and at the same time, the humans must take control of the leadership role, or the puppy will rule the house in short order.
~Spunk and Snuggles
We just love Kenai more and more each day. He’s a little adventurer, and a great combination of spunk and snuggle. Casey has been working on his beginning hunting training – introducing him to birds and gunshots. He’s been doing fantastic!
His vet cleared him to start exploring more, and to go camping! So last week we headed up to Olympic National Park, and then down the coast, stopping in Astoria for a night before heading home. He wasn’t able to go everywhere in the national park, of course, but there were a few dog-friendly areas to explore, and meet new people. He loved it! Here’s a few shots taken on our trip.
Kaylen and Casey
Cliff and I are so delighted to receive your report. What a fun adventure. Thanks for the hard work–keep it up. You are off to a fabulous beginning.
~ 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)
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!