Category Archives: Information and Education

Happy 4th of July

~Here’s to Hoping it is A Good One

We are hanging out with Cliff and Shela — No Fireworks here!

Every year we hear about the Weimaraner shaking and scared of fireworks–but it is not true for every Weim. Recently we heard Bart and Jorga are unfazed. Possibly a big part of this phenomena is they were forced to become more adaptable. Jorja traveled to Belgium (where she spent the first part of her life), and recently she returned to the Pacific Northwest. That kind of journey requires acclimation to loud sounds, unfamiliar territory, and adaptability.

Bart was here longer than the average OwyheeStar puppy. The family slated to get him opted to wait for a future Longhair. He received more time and some attention to learning how to adjust and adapt. Possibly this worked in his favor. Also, his family was very savvy at the transition–careful not to overwhelm him. That is no longer an issue–he travels in large crowds (dogs, children, and noise are not a problem). Below are the notes we received yesterday.

We have opted to keep Bernie’s litter here an extra week. Having them out and about amid the 4th of July Fireworks and the additional potential exposure to Parvo didn’t seem wise.

Dan Reported

Bart (Atti X Boone) There were some fireworks the other night and Bart just looked up and kind of went “what was that?, huh? oh well, back to what I was doing”. We’ll see about tomorrow.

Eileen Writes . –Jorja’s First (Rosie X Zee)

Wa fireworks, doors open fireworks exploding and she is snoring away! Xoxoxo to a relaxed girl,

Pet Food

~ In The News

Whipping Cream is still good, right?

We are positive you have heard the news. Grain-free food is out. “Grain-free” (defined as having no corn, soy, wheat, rice, barley or other grains) is linked to Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). It is a type of canine heart disease that affects the heart muscle. Food for your fur family members is always a hot topic. Raising a concern such as this is the type of thing that makes a lot of good pet owners think twice about what they are feeding.

Click Here to Read the Report–and for your convenience here are the foods on their:

  • Acana (67 reports)
  • Zignature (64 reports)
  • Taste of the Wild (53 reports)
  • 4Health (32 reports)
  • Earthborn Holistic (32 reports)
  • Blue Buffalo (31 reports)
  • Nature’s Domain (29 reports)
  • Fromm (24 reports)
  • Merrick (16 reports)
  • California Natural (15 reports)
  • Natural Balance (15 reports)
  • Orijen (12 reports)
  • Nature’s Variety (10 reports)
  • Nutrisource (10 reports)
  • Nutro (10 reports)
  • Rachael Ray Nutrish (10 reports)

We believe all our Weim-loving folks are buying what they believe is in the best interest of their fur family member. You might wonder about our recommendation or what we are using. We like the two options we list below for our adults. Which one of these foods a particular Weimaraner eats depends upon their dietary need, age, etc.—Cliff makes that calls. They are not considered Grain-free, because they contain rice. The allergens that seem to cause the most issues in our beloved Weimaraner are beef, corn, barley, and wheat. Along with the food we use for the adults, we are also listing the puppy food we use as well.

Not Just Grain-Free

~Let’s Not Forget Recalls

While we are all in an uproar about the grain-free diet potentially causing health issue, let’s not forget all the recalls. Click Here to check out the list. Honestly, we don’t know if there is a company that has avoided a recall, but we believe the last time Diamond had a problem was in 2012. When you look at this list of recalls, it will put that into perspective. It was a minimal recall which didn’t affect the Pacific NW if I recall correctly.

Everyone is going to have to make up their mind about what to do. Keep in mind though–each company makes a variety of food–under various labels. Their less expensive food is often something you want to avoid–of course, But a more costly food doesn’t always mean it is the best choice for you fur family member. For example, the highly touted Diamond made Taste of the Wild is identified with a serious implications.

Just Putting This Out There

Nestle owns Purina–say what? Click Here to view the 15 companies making most of the pet food. For a quick reference, look below.

Mars –Altogether Mars Petcare owns 41 brands including Pedigree, Iams, Whiskas, Royal Canin and Banfield Pet Hospitals. Of course there are other foods made under different labels or brands: California Naturals, Catson, Cesar, Chappi, Dreamies, Eukanuba, Sheba and Temptations.

Nestle –it might shock you to learn that the second largest pet food producer is another candy company. Nestlé Purina PetCare brands include recognizable names such as: Alpo, Bakers, Chef Michael’s Canine Creations, Dog Chow, Fancy Feast, Felix, Gourmet, Kit & Kaboodle, Purina and Purina ONE.

Hills — Science Diet, Prescription Diet, Ideal Balance and Healthy Advantage. 

Diamond — Diamond, Diamond Naturals, Diamond Naturals Grain-Free, Nutra-Gold, Nutra-Gold Grain-Free, Nutra Nuggets Global, Nutra Nuggets US, Premium Edge, Professional and Taste of the Wild.

Blue Buffalo — BLUE, Basics, Wilderness, Freedom, Life Protection Formula, Naturally Fresh and LifeSource Bits.

Well Pet — Sojos, Wellness Natural Pet Food, Holistic Select, Old Mother Hubbard Natural Dog Snacks and Eagle Pack Natural Pet Food.

Merrick –Backcountry, Backcountry Raw, Before Grain, Classic, Good Buddy, Grain Free, Lil’ Plates, Limited Ingredient Diet, Natural Ultramix, Organix, Purrfect Bistro, Treats and Whole Earth Farms.

Ainsworth —  Dad’s, Rachel Ray Nutrish, Better Than and Kibble Select Complete.

Dear friend, if you to write us about what to do, you will get a link to this Blog. We have gotten several Emails from concerned Weimlovers. We understand. Honestly–there is a lot to consider when selecting any pet food. We are not Licensed Veterinarians, or Licensed Vet Techs, or Canine Food Scientists. The only thing we have to share is what we read and our experience. If you have been feeding a Grain-free diet, you might want to rethink your food situation. I believe you are going to see a huge shift away from grain-free pet foods.

Into the Ball

~ And Water, Too!

Diesel is so into the ball! He loves the water retrieve. Oh, and by the way, Duchess did well in the water too!

As always, my boy Foster is in the mix. He and the Weims–they are pretty much my life.

Yes, Duchess who is about six-months old now also swam. She loves the water. She is a natural.

Breeder Comment

We wish you lovely summer weather–and lots of opportunities to enjoy the water as well as the sunshine this summer.

Water and Your Weimaraner

~Puppy Swim

     Dear Readers–this is a repost of a previous blog. We are getting ready to swim the Bernie X Boone 2019 Litter–we wanted to share this essential information to those with the young Weimaraner.

Most of you know that we try to swim puppies–time and weather permitting. Above is a GoPro Video of a litter swim taken a couple of years ago. It gives you a different perspective. Some pups are excellent swimmers; others struggle a little. Nonetheless, we have never had a puppy fail to be able to swim. Does this mean they will naturally take to the water? No! If you expect them to jump and take off, you may be disappointed. It will most likely require work to get them into the water and swimming. This effort is work we hope you invest. We deem this an essential part of the puppy raising process.

DSC03640

The Why and the How

Over the years, we have written extensively on how to achieve the swim. More and more of our clients have managed to do this. Sometimes to their own surprise. It is one of the best things you can do for yourself and the Weimaraner.

To expend energy. The growing Weimaraner has boundless energy; however, they cannot be beating the pavement to run off this energy. Until the growth plates close, you need to limit high impact exercise. Many experts agree that about three miles should be the limit. Imagine how quickly the Weimaraner puts in the three miles. Seriously, nearly a mile into your run they have probably gone this far. Using the swim is the ideal way to exercise without causing damage to the growing joints. We would go so far as to suggest it probably helps your Weimaraner get more years and miles from their body. That is something that serves everyone’s best interest. We think you can agree.

Hunter or not, you need to master the recall. You say what do you mean by the recall? That is coming when called. Getting the retrieve to hand is also a part of the recall. The rock-solid come when you call or give a command–verbal or otherwise. The bringing of a bumper or toy back to you is a must. Keep away it funny and laughable; however, we don’t feel this is ever in the best interest of the Weimaraner or you.

Cliff and I suggest you find an area where there is no escape route. For example–a hallway (closing all the adjoining doors) will work for this exercise. You want to make this an exciting event. Something that they look forward to doing with you. Sit down in that hallway and work on the retrieve at least every day. You want to ingrain the love of the retrieve as well as getting them to bring the dedicated item it to hand. This discipline will serve you well and help you achieve the swim.

The hallway exercise should begin as soon as they arrive. Make it an event–the same person, the same bumper or toy, and somewhat a routine. Five-Seven throws blocking the exit with your body. Toss and retoss keeping the excitement going. This activity should be fun, short-lived, and you want to stop while they are still excited. Once you have the rock-solid recall—then you can move to the yard. You may need to use a check cord in the larger venue. If you don’t know what that is, ask us. It is a long line that attaches to their collar and allows you to reel them back to you. Always giving them praise like it was all their idea.

Why the Retrieve

The Weimaraner that is in loves the retrieve then can be worked along the water–at first, make it shallow water. A pond or something similar is ideal. Sloping sides are the best. That way, the Weimaraner can play at the water’s edge and retrieve. Eventually, you can edge them out a bit, and they will take off and swim a couple of strokes. This process takes patience. You might wonder how long. Can we say it takes as long as it takes? Typically, Cliff gets the water-retrieve in two weeks or less. The rewards are almost endless. You can do this! Believe in the process. Stay optimistic. Keep it fun. Stay at it until you achieve success.

Running Companions

For the long distance runner, this is the best way to set the Weimaraner up as your running companion. The growth plates typically close around 15 months. By then you should have them swimming. The waterwork can keep your running companion in the tip-top shape you need as well as help them develop muscles which may help prevent injury.

To Burn Off Energy

For those less inclined or find themselves challenged to keep up with the Weimaraner, this is an excellent way to burn off the excess energy. The Weimaraner will still be able to join you on walks, etc. But tiring the Weimaraner out is challenging. The waterwork helps and does it without injury. Of course, there are other pros to having the water-friendly Weimaraner.

Imprinting the Idea

We swim the pups with the idea that it imprints this experience. If you wonder, the Weimaraner has webbed toes. There are hundreds of updates on our blog that feature OwyheeStar pups and adults enjoying the water–swimming, retrieving, and playing in it. We hope your Weimaraner will swim–and love the water.

Here is Stackhouse — a strong swimmer


Nose Work

~All things Aroma Focused

Michelle and Asher earn three ribbons

Well, yesterday, we heard from Asher about his exploits and challenges to earn Nose Work titles. It is pretty much a mystery to us–you have to get into the discipline to understand the nuances as well as the process. All of this has twists and turns that to the outsider seem confusing.

Michelle explained it like this- “Nose work is not an easy topic…people have spreadsheets to sort out their titles and levels.”

I have been wondering about this discipline as I know many of you have too. We know at least six OwyheeStar Weims who are engaged in Nosework at various levels. If I missed someone, please let us know. We would love an update with information and pictures to share.

Henry (Zula Blue X Blue)

Shiny–(Zula Blue X Stackhouse) ~NACSW Nosework Trialing Level 3

Asher (Bernie X Blue)–AKC Scent work

Porsche (Mesquite X Stackhouse)

Pushkin (Dixie X Boone)

Skye (Sage X Blue) AKC Nosework

Michelle was kind enough to fill in a few blanks. So far, she and Asher have competed in the Nose Work or scenting events hosted by four groups. Yes–there are four different options in which Michelle and Asher took part.–there are a few more she has not yet encountered.

  1. NACSW — National Association of Canine Scent Work
  2. USCSW –United States Canine Scent Work
  3. UKC –United Kennel Club UKC Scent Work Event Calendar
  4. AKC –American Kennel Club AKC Scent Work News

Each club has their way of doing things–so, keep that in mind. Michelle’s weekend AKC trial event had more than 50 dogs competing at various levels. The NACSW event where Julia and Shiny netted a second place she faced a total of 38 competitors. Both gals and their OwyheeStar wonder Weims did outstanding. We are so proud!

Michelle Explains Asher’s Titles

NW1, DDI, AKC TKN, UKC NC, UKC NV, UKC NE

NACSW NW1 is novice level

USCSS DDI is detection dog intermediate which is one level up from novice.

AKC TKN is novice trick dog

UKC Novice Exterior, Vehicle, and Containers

Each club/group has their own set of rules and what it takes to earn a title.  For an example in UKC, we have novice titles in exterior, vehicle, and containers and compete at the next level in those 3. We missed our interior, so we are novice level in the interior for UKC. Most of the venues are similar, but AKC has buried hides instead of vehicles. NACSW is credited as the founder of the sport. I understand it is a bit confusing–even people involved in the Nose Work keep spreadsheets to be able to remember their titles and levels.

Politics and Whatnot

Well, maybe you have heard about it or not. There is the dog politic thing. Some venues are steeped in it more than others–AKC possibly would be the worst. (Sorry, but it is the truth.) If you are running your Blue or your Longhair Blue, not everyone is going to give you credit due. There is a strong bias within the Weimaraner Club against the blue coats. Nonetheless, people love them and want them.

Michelle says–“I always get compliments on Asher…many comment on what a nice looking dog he is. We have ran into the definition of a “standard weim” several times in our very short time in the world of competition.  At times, people have made some comments that have caught me off guard.  Such as, “They are not our kind.”  At times, I have wanted to strike up a conversation, but let’s just say—body language speaks volumes.  Regardless, I am a girl just wanting to have fun with her dog.  I am not trying to play in your confirmation ring.”

It is the truth that if you want to compete, you have to have a tough hide. Anything can happen. Competitors come with bias as well as swagger. Some are more gracious than others. Scenting sports are fun. There is for sure, not the same level of issues faced with competing for a Show Title.

Asher Speaks

~”Woof!” (Sniff, Sniff, too!)

I have this Paw-Awesome report. 

Mom and I have been so busy with the smell game.  At times it can be confusing because sometimes my mom calls it Nosework and other times its called Scent Work.  Got me what the differences are.  I just nose’s its all about the bacon. (HA-did you catch my humor?)  I love bacon…shhh do not tell mom that I told you this.  But ever so often, I see mom eat my dog treats.  LOL! She must like bacon too.

Last time, I updated you on our first title with United States Canine Scent Sports (USCSS).  Since then we have gained our second title with USCSS called Detection Dog Intermediate.  This trial was at a school campground where we found 8 hides and overcame a very tough search in a bunkhouse.  The judge told my mom, “Great job in being patient!”   I have no idea why the judge would say that –Weim-Zoomies are a normal every day occurrence.  Right?

We recently went for the NW2 with the National Association Canine Scent Work (NACSW).  We missed 1 hide because we were about two feet from source. So did not gain our title.  We learned a lot about that, “No, I am sorry that is not correct!”  

Scent Work or Nose Work whatever it may be called is not just about finding the smell, the alert or the bacon.  NERD ALERT:  It is about a team that works through the problem analyzing the environment and how the conditions of terrain, climate, vegetation and weather play into how the scent molecules are traveling.  

REALITY CHECK: Now try and remember all of that when the birds or the bunnies are queued– seriously NOT FAIR, Right?  No worries, we just shake it off and learn and grow.

We have since earned our first title in UKC in three of the elements (Containers, Exterior and Vehicles Searches).  This last UKC trial we were in shock when we learned we earned a High-In Trial.

This last weekend we tried our luck at our first AKC Trial.  The nice thing about AKC and UKC is your YES’s are accumulative and you must pass each element three times to gain a title in that specific element.  We learned another trial opens this coming week, so maybe by the end of July we will gain our first titles in AKC elements.

To be continued…now I lay me down to sleep!

Love,

Asher Von Owyheestar,

NW1, DDI, AKC TKN, UKC NC, UKC NV, UKC NE

Breeder Comment

Everyone at OwyheeStar is very impressed, Asher. Thank you for the report and all the hard work. Tomorrow, I will write a bit more about this topic and list what these titles earn mean. I am positive that several readers would like to know more.

Shiny

~NACSW Nosework Trialing Level 3

I wanted to share Shiny’s recent accomplishments with you and Cliff. He is at Level 3 in NACSW Nose work trialing. A couple weekends ago we had the best trialing ever! He got 3 placements and 2 titles!! He won second overall in trial!! 


He is a wonderful worker, best friend and representative of the breed – thank you so much for my Shiny!!
Julia

Breeder Comment

–Drumroll Please!

We are thrilled to hear of Shiny and your success, Julia. That is outstanding! We have never had the opportunity to visit a Nose Work Trial, but a lot of our clients are getting interested in this venue. What great news!

For those wanting to learn more–please click the Facebook Link above or go to the NACSW Website–click here!

Click Here to learn more about NACSW Titles and Awards.

Julia and Shiny have participated in previous competitions–here are three links featuring Shiny and Julia.

Title Earned

Nosework

Rally

Finn

~Inside or Out

Not so long ago we brought Finn home

So, Finn is doing really well. Here are a couple of recent videos

Breeder Comment

Thank you, for the photos and videos–as well as the newsy notes letting us know that things are going well.

Summer Vacation

~Can Mean a lot of things

You might remember that we picked up Duchess not all that long ago–and our Diesel was not all that thrilled with her arrival at first. He wasn’t bad, but his attitude said, “and I don’t think we need this.” So, we were off and running back to the Two-Weim family again, hoping that Diesel would fall in love with Duchess, too.

Fast Forward six-weeks

School is officially out. This is what I see as I leave for work–Foster and the two Weims snuggled in. This boy is not short on Weim snuggles!  

We are getting out into the community, too! Since we got back the good results from the recent titer test (showing we were protected from the Parvovirus), we have gotten out and about. For one, we made it to the dog park, and I now have two really tired Weims.

Change happened

Yes, Duchess will rule the roost, it is what it is. Scout and Diesel aren’t impressed where HER game of keep away with the ball 😂Well, here is the look that speaks volumes from our boy, Diesel.

Duchess Swam

I figured Duchess had already been swimming at your place. She took to the water naturally. Later, I learned that you didn’t have water in the pond, and this was her first water experience. Wow–and she swam, too!

Breeder Comment

We love hearing about Diesel and Duchess. It was especially sweet to learn that she is a natural in the water. Have a fun summer–Foster, has a job.

In the Limelight

~Our Charlie Mae Shines

Well, that is interesting. You might remember Charlie Mae as the girl who wears the Christmas lights every December. Here she is in all her glory–, isn’t this spectacular? Oh–what more can we say?

limelight

noun lime·​light | \ ˈlīm-ˌlīt  \

Definition of limelight

 (Entry 1 of 2)1aa stage lighting instrument producing illumination by means of an oxyhydrogen flame directed on a cylinder of lime and usually equipped with a lens to concentrate the light in a beambthe white light produced by such an instrumentcBritishSPOTLIGHT2the center of public attention