Category Archives: Raising Versatile Hunting Weims
~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.
Good morning! Duchess slept through the night and was a bit of a bed hog! Imagine that!
Duchess was such a cuddly bug last night! When I sat down this morning with my coffee she curled up on my lap next the to cat. It was a pretty awesome morning! Now I am excited for Saturday morning when I don’t have to get up and get ready for work.
Foster has Diesel
~Duchess is for me, right?
Well, I will share her of course (with Foster)–but not all the time. Still, these guys have my heart. Here are some photos from picking her up to getting settled in at home. Diesel is still working on the idea –he and Duke were friends, but she is something new and different.
My beautiful boy, Foster, is infected with the Weimaraner virus. I think we are both hopelessly in love with these wonderful creatures.
Dear Sheila–I am sad you lost the beloved Duke, at the same time I am happy you had Diesel there to bridge the gap. He and Foster made the loss a bit less if anything could. We are also delighted that we happened to have a gorgeous Silver Gray Female that could slip into your life. (BTW) It was precious to see Foster and how he reacted to the whole process. He is such a sweet boy, with a big heart. You are a good Mama.
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.
All is well. All systems are working and we have had only one accident (my fault), otherwise, she’s going outside regularly. She does well at the office and actually asked to go out!
P.S. please put me down for a blue female with the tail. Let me know when I need to send a deposit.
First, we want to thank Steve for being such a fantastic Weimlover. Now, some of you might wonder he what he means when he says, “with a tail.” Don’t all Weims have a tail? Yes, they do.
Steve means he wants an undocked tail on his next pup–which is what this one has by request. We have a particular protocol we follow for this type of request. For one thing, the deposit is sizeable–because if the person happens to walk away, then finding another home for the pup is an arduous task. It can be done, but it requires a lot of extra work. Therefore, we need more to get on the Wait List for the undocked tail, as well as to reserve such a puppy. Once the decision has been made, as about one-week, then docking the tail also becomes more involved.
~ Smart and Playful
Charlie and I just wanted to give you an update on our Kimber girl!
She’s doing amazing. She is so smart and playful. We are really starting to see her personality come through! She also loves the snow. Thanks again for such a great pup.
Hope all is well!-Alix & Charlie
We are happy to hear that Kimber is doing well. It looks like you got the snow, too. (Haha) Thanks for the great pictures and the positive news.
~She is adjusting well
Here is a story I thought you would appreciate. Saturday me and My girlfriend Samantha took our puppy to Lowe’s to get some supplies and ran into a gentleman (the name I forgot) who have a beautiful almost 2-year-old blue male Weimaraner named Kota (Dakota) I’m assuming?
He explained he got his dog from you as well and that he got one of the blue males from the same litter as our little girl! Small world! Meanwhile, Athena is having a lot of good experiences beyond the crate training I mentioned last time we spoke.
Also, this link (click here) might be of interest as I am sure she was the main reason we made the news! 2 segments at that!
Hey Nick–we appreciate the cute photos. We are glad that you were able to connect again with Koda’s & Mylo’s family–I am sure you have a playdate in the works. Maybe you didn’t realize it, but yesterday’s blog featured the two Blue boys belonging to the gentleman you met at Lowes.
We hope you will stay in touch–and that your training continues to unfold in an excellent manner. Thanks ever so much for this lovely update.
Note: This is a repost of an article we have shared several times. Our pups are ready to acclimate to their new environment upon arrival. We recommend not over-thinking at the early stages.
- Be committed — Commitment to the process is primary. Training your pup will take time. Think of this as a journey (a road trip) with a destination in mind. Don’t set timelines; instead, take this adventure together. It will take as long as it takes for each achievement. Sometimes just when you think, you have arrived; your Weimaraner will hit a snag or transitional phase. There are many of these stages in the first couple of years. As with an adolescent, they can be going along well and suddenly regress. Please take this in stride it is nothing personal. The first occurrence could well be prior to week twelve. Stay calm and move ahead–this is how to avoid ingraining fear or some unwanted behavior.
- Keep your eye on the young puppy at all times—This is vitally important for at least the first 2-3 weeks, or until you have the housebreaking part accomplished. Use a crate, bag, or soft-side crate to confine the pup when you cannot be vigilant. The crate should not be too large. If it is more than they need they may select one end for a potty area.
- Be consistent–Do everything in the same manner! For example, the pup wakes up and stirs. At first, you would pick them up and carry them out to the area where you want them to go potty. Each time you see them circling or rousing from a nap go to the potty-area. If you use the bells hung at the door, then ring them as you go out the door. Soon they will be ringing the bells as a signal for you to open the door.
- Keep it simple — Although your pup can learn amazing things, it is best to do a few simple things and build upon those experiences. The process will unfold naturally if you allow it to do so; start with getting them to come. Although they all follow and come to us, it is different once they start to mature. Do the hallway exercise (5-7 retrieves each night). By using a hallway (with adjoining doors closed) there is nowhere for them to escape with the toy, ball, or dummy. Some people treat them when they bring the item to their hand. It is not necessary. The activity is a reward in and of itself. Have a couple of bumpers or toys (designated for this activity). Make it an event every day until you move to the yard because you have compliance.
- Keep it fun — Weimaraners are brilliant and learn quickly. A trainer might tell you to work for an hour and even a half hour doing one exercise every night, but we suggest ten minutes. Do it for ten minutes and then do something fun. This approach works for us! If your Weim pup loses interest, you lose ground in the training process.
- Remember it is about your relationship — No matter what you are doing it is important to remember that Weims are all about relationship. If they get their feelings hurt, things can go sour quickly. Your bonding experience is vital to the success of this relationship. Take time to think and see things from their perspective. You are the center of their world. They not only want to control you, but they want to own you. Weimaraners are the ultimate Velcro dog and must learn how to stay alone. Your relationship is a double-edged sword. They need a lot of time, attention, and affection. They also need to find ways to cope when you are absent. We recommend starting this process very early, or they will come to expect you will be there 24 X 7. Separation anxiety can be a huge issue in this breed.
- Be patient — When you go out to teach your pup a skill, make sure it is a learn-able task. Plan enough time to accomplish the task–but keep your training focused to ten to twenty minutes maximum. The short bursts of success are more effective than lengthy sessions. Your attitude and demeanor play into the equation too! If you are feeling stressed, forego training your Weimaraner. There are many methods of training. Nevertheless, choose one that enhances your bonding experience and one that creates a respectful environment for all concerned.
The best Weimaraner people are those that are natural leaders. Anytime you feel your relationship is stressed then you are going down the wrong road. The persons that are neither too strict nor too lenient are usually, the ones that excel. Regardless of what happens, it is always best to pro-active than to be reactive. Stay calm. Keep it simple. Get results. Plan little steps of learning and build upon them. Try our 7 steps to Success, and we believe you will be on the right path.
Wishing you fewer puppy bites and more puppy kisses
~ Shela and Cliff
~Out and About Together
It’s been a while since we checked in so I thought I’d send you a few pictures of Koda. We went out mainly for exercise but also to see if he could stir up any birds.
We covered a lot of distance but unfortunately, the only thing flying was a few geese that came into a pond we were circling. Koda sure had a great time sniffing around and I think he’d do well but I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Thank you, we appreciate the update. Koda looks the part–and genetically he would have excellent potential. Both Stackhouse, as well as Sadie, are proven hunters. Of course, it takes a knack to hone the field skills–once they get the idea, it should be fun for the hunter and the companion Weimar, too!
Just wanted to share some pics from Milly’s first hunts as requested. Her first hunt was at a release sight, and she did fantastic. Pointed a few, didn’t range too far and listened well. She had her first wild bird hunt this weekend and did amazing. Pointed several birds, worked methodically, and most importantly had a blast.
Chris and two others hunted behind her and both couldn’t believe how well she performed, especially for being so young. Chris and his hunting companions are looking forward to many more hunts behind this extremely birdy girl! 😊
We are happy to get this update with the photos. Thank you, ever so much for taking the time and effort to record her first hunt. You are off to a fabulous start. We could not be happier. Go, Milly!