Category Archives: Raising Versatile Hunting Weims
~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!
~We Are Figuring Things Out
(July 14, 2019)–We were so excited to pick up our puppy (who we have decided to call “Frida”) that I didn’t get to really tell you how thankful we are for you guys!
Frida initially was not a fan of the car or her crate, but after some quick cuddles on Chase’s lap, she settled right in and spent the rest of the ride in comfort.
Our first night went ok – she did great with potty training until I was too slow getting up this morning and found a sad, poopy puppy. Luckily, she loves baths!
We’re quite in love, the kids are all “taking turns” walking her around our yard and seeing which toys she favors.
We are so happy to have found you guys and are so thankful for this whole process.
I hope you are recovering from yesterday and get at least a little break!
Thank you again, Lauren, Chase, Henry, Emelia, Charlotte, and Frida
(July 14, 2019–after we responded)–Thank you for the advice! We’re open to any and all help!
Yes- and I totally agree! We need to condense her space in the kennel and one of us needs to be better about letting her out. She is in our living room, not bedroom, so she was vocal ALL night about being alone. Therefore making it sort of hard to tell the difference between sadness and needing a bathroom…We’ll keep working on it. She’s had no accidents otherwise.
We’re going to put something in the crate tonight to see if it helps. Otherwise, we’ll get something different and smaller for the time being.
I also may sleep in the room with her tonight to help.
Finally, we were in the car most of the day yesterday. (We got home at 7:30pm) So, hopefully, after a busy day today, she is much more tired!
(July 15, 2019)–A much better night! No accidents, quieter, and we found a blanket she loves so she’s happy staying in the crate. We also added a divider to make the crate smaller.
Thank you, Lauren, for graciously allowing us to post your experience. Something here could help another person who is struggling. We were so happy to learn you turned a corner–and had the much improved night. We think you are doing great–love to you and Frida.
~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.
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.