Category Archives: Information and Education

Parvo Paranoia

~ Real or Imagined

Our Client Asked —

Luna not too long before she joined her family.

Is the Parvo virus threat just until they get through their 16 week Titler test? Or is it until they reach a certain age? Just a little unclear what constitutes them being safe for public areas/dog parks etc. If you get the titer test done at 16 weeks it will show if she has immunity to Parvo and if you also have her tested for the Distemper it would also show that. Last time we just tested for the Parvo because Distemper just is not something they are seeing in our area. 

OwyheeStar’s Response

Parvo is a very real risk. Ask any Vet office and they will tell you that the risk is out there, and it is beyond sad when a puppy comes in and they are determined infected. We have never had an OwyheeStar puppy diagnosed with Parvo. Nonetheless, even though nowhere in the Pacific NW is listed as a ‘Hot Spot’ we still need to exercise caution.

I think if you take your puppy for a walk in the neighborhood you should wipe the feet (not let them lick her paws) and make sure they are not investigating a lot of areas where the ground might be infected. In all likelihood, your local neighborhood (if it is a low traffic area) may be fairly safe.

So what do I mean by low traffic? A place less traveled by those with pups. Any area where people are taking random puppies (which might be unknowingly infected). It is understandable that the owner doesn’t yet have a clue. The pups begin shedding the virus long before there is a definitive sign that they are ill. So they are leaving behind the virus everywhere. Of course, they are infecting the ground. But did you know if you viewed this virus under the microscope that one end is barbed–it sticks to clothing, shoes, etc. It is very portable which makes the spread even more commonplace.

More Information

Here are a couple of links that talk about the prevalence of Parvo and how to avoid it—and while it sounds paranoid, you want to socialize the puppy BUT avoid risk.  

Parvo In Puppies

Parvo Virus in Dogs

Precautions

~We are extra careful

We always leave the pups in the car (when scheduled for the Veterinary Wellness) until the room is ready at the Vet office. It is essential to avoid exposure—to Parvo, Kennel Cough, etc. We never take a young dog that doesn’t have immunity to public places including pet stores (where well-meaning folks might share the virus) such a  Pet Store, Park, Dog Area, or even to socialize at the local Farm Store– etc.

The Vaccine Titer Test

Once the Titer test shows immunity (with a high titer count) you are good to go. We honestly believe if you follow our vaccine protocol you will attain protection. Then by getting the sixteen-week titer test (instead of the typical puppy shot) it is going to allow you to have the freedom to be anywhere. In the meantime though, visit friends homes in a fenced back yard—where pets are vaccinated, etc. Figure out ways to safely socialize your puppy–a hundred different touches in a hundred days would be a good goal. Do what you can–but be safe, my friend.

The Ocean

~Willow Makes a Splash

We wanted a water dog & we weren’t disappointed with Willow. She’s definitely claimed Ventura Beach and isn’t afraid to jump in. She’s also an avid ball chaser. She cracks us up with her stealthy fetching skills. At 10 months, she’s grown into a gorgeous Weim, and such a love. We couldn’t be happier with our new baby. 



Breeder Comment

We are glad that Willow didn’t disappoint. We appreciate all the Facebook posts featuring Willow. So, we have known you for a very long time–our connection is through the Weimaraner. First, it was Roxy and now Willow. Thank you–for your loyalty and keeping us updated.

Every Breath You Take

~ Sounds Like

I often wonder how we do it. You know–raise a puppy. We bring the little bundle home and hover over them. It is essential to do the hovering thing–otherwise, how can you accomplish the housebreaking, etc.? But this obsession with our new fur baby runs deep–some of this never goes away.

Their every sound–a rattling, a snore, a hacking sound is cause for alarm. We watch breath-abated wondering if we need to run to the Vet. Ah–it is hard to know sometimes. We always suggest you wait and watch a bit–possibly take their temperature. Remember that a pet’s temperature is much higher than ours–typically around 101 degrees. Anything above 104 degrees is emergent. Of course, if you were monitoring their temperature and it was 102 degrees and then within an hour 103 degrees, there might be cause for alarm. Always err on the side of caution–but rushing to the Vet for everything is probably not necessary. In fact, your alarm will be internalized by the puppy increasing the stress-factor. Try to stay calm.

A lot–and I do mean a lot, of our concerns, are for nothing. Puppies can cough, they snort, the sneeze, they can reverse sneeze (something we recently learned), they choke, and create a myriad of noises. Many of which are concerning. Most of which are in the end nothing at all. Thank goodness.

Keep your eye on them. A pup can ingest something in quick order–so despite saying not to overreact, there is vigilance. Recently, Henri went under my recliner and came out with a packet –that must have been attached underneath the chair. We didn’t realize it was there, but Henri found two–probably toxic packets. Oh my gosh–it is good we heard the crackling sound and asked what she had. We retrieved each package and tossed them in the trash. Thankfully they were not broken open.

Remy

~ Our Prima Donna

Hope this finds you and Cliff well. Attached is a picture from Remy’s birthday last month. The kids insisted that she get a special doggie cannoli from our local pet store. She is obviously spoiled.
I have been working a ton on her leash training and she’s doing much better. She is still scared of other dogs but overall we are making progress, tons of positive reinforcement and she isn’t lunging anymore. The only time we have a problem is if a dog is off leash and approaches her on the leash, but that is understandable at this point. I am hopeful that we can get past the aggressive behavior and I’m seeking some 1:1 training with a professional.


We had a scare – she was spayed last month and there were complications. The surgeon nicked a vein or something and she lost a lot of blood. They sent us home but we were concerned that she still had internal bleeding and took her to urgent care. Glad we did because she probably wouldn’t have made it. Poor thing, she did not need additional surgery luckily and had a rough recovery, but is fine now.
Anyway, until next time 😀
Haley

Breeder Comment

We are sorry to hear you have issues. To us, this sounds a lot more like a territorial behavior (which is a Weimaraner thing) mixed in with some fear. Who can guess what brought it on? There are a lot of unknowns. Here are some links that might be useful.

Critical Fear Periods

Dogs Go Through an Adolescent Fear Period

The worst thing to do with FNS is to force your dog to do something he’s frightened of. It’s also not a good idea to soothe or praise the dog’s fear in this situation. That can unwittingly reinforce the dog’s fearful behavior, while using force may lead to a permanent fearful response. The best approach is to be patient, be jolly, remove your dog if possible, and know that adolescence is just a period—and it’s my fervent hope that it’s short-lived.

Canine Fear Periods

There is some useful information in these articles; however, like every bit of dog-related advice–it is essential not to overreact or make something into more than it might become. I am always cautious when labeling a dog as aggressive–especially in a situation where they don’t like another dog in their space or even humans coming at them. This issue seems like a fear –but territorial behaviors are also a bit issue with this breed. Don Wilbur (a long time Weimaraner breeder /expert) said of them, “they may be the most territorial of breeds.”

Territorial behaviors may express in many ways — protecting their crate, their fence line, a corner of the room, etc.

Caesar on Territorial Behavior

Territorial Behavior in Dogs

Dogs and Territorial Behaviors

Quite possibly the most successful way to deal with this behavior in our experience is to remove the trigger and not to force the issue. I think we expect that we will be able to do everything with our fur family member and sometimes it is not possible. Seriously, every environment is unique. We each have different leadership skills–and worst of all when we are disappointed or frustrated our Weimaraner picks up on the cues. This information may help someone. I think it is essential to realize there is any number of things that can occur. There is not always an easy solution. Thank you to Remy’s family for all the hard work and making her life special. And Happy Birthday Remy!

Expert Advice

~ We Do What we are able

Breeder Comment

Cliff and I get a lot of Email inquiries–most are from folks hoping we have a puppy that can make their dream come true. Others are from folks like Dale–seeking advice and making commentary on our blog. We cannot always offer the level of advice some need or expect. Recommendations are hard to give when we are not in the loop and time is limited; however, we do what we are able to do. In this situation, we shared the food we have used and some information about the Weimaraner and heart issues. We have not seen many cases –so relax. Nevertheless, there are plenty of things that can go wrong when it comes to health. We always recommend being as Holistic in your approach as possible. I have posted Dale’s note (with his permission)–maybe some of you can identify with Dale. We all can agree that the loss of our beloved Weimaraner is something inexplicable. There are no words to adequately describe our relationship and the hole they leave behind. It is best to focus on what they brought to our life–to count every day allotted a blessing.

From Dale

Hello Shela,  Your Owyheestar blog is the first email I open EVERY day.   And re-read.   And forward to friends and family.  I know it’s a lot of work keeping up with the blog, but know that you do a great job, and all these Weimaraner pix and stories warm a lot of hearts.    Although we adopted Duke, our Weim, at 1, we did not get him from you.  Though we will next time.  But this question is important to you and all your Weim lovers.   I stumbled upon your website a few months after we lost our beloved Weimaraner, Duke (below) at age 10.   He was a bullet running, swimming, hiking, playing until two weeks before he died of asymptomatic congestive heart failure and cardiomyopathy.   It’s been almost 8 months and I still can’t believe he’s gone.   Such a personality. I’d like to discuss your food recommendations.  I purchased what I researched as the best foods, mixing up flavors every month.   The brands were Origen, Acana and Zignature.  Mainly Acana.   They all had high protein levels (28%), and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.   No grain.  He received 5 cups of food a day, mostly chicken, beef and fish, until shortly before he died.  One month after Duke died, research came out from Joshua Stern, UC Davis, that certain foods that were high in legumes, were linked to heart disease in several breeds that lack a genetic history of the ailment.  (Canine diluted cardiomyopathy CDM)  Apparently these expensive boutique foods had a taurine deficiency.  Meats have plenty of taurine, but legumes do not.   So the red flag is legumes listed in the first six ingredients of the food.   Also, chicken and beef are high in taurine, while many exotic meats such as lamb, rabbit and others, and legumes have little or none.  Research is ongoing, and I know that CDM happens in these big-hearted dogs like Weims, pointers, etc.  I don’t know if the food caused or contributed to Duke’s premature death, but given his excellent health, it is a possibility.   But have you heard anything?   And what foods do you recommend? Also, we’re wondering about getting another Weim at our age.   I’m 66, my husband is 68, and we’re not sure we can keep up and do justice to another Weim.   Any thoughts on this?  Thank you for all you do, Dale

Grooming

More than a bath

Dremeling our Nails

Breeder Comment

Thank you, for always thinking of us Cal. We appreciate the extra effort you put into these updates. We are tickled pink your two boys are well-adjusted, happy, and thriving.

Grace & Bella Rae

              “Shela and Cliff — I made it to New Hampshire”

After a flight recovery day(flight went smooth and easy, no issues) everyone tired but now settling into day to day….Grace and Bella Rae are totally bonded❤️

Breeder Comment

You might remember that yesterday’s blog featured Roger and CW–they flew to Salt Lake City. Yes, we get quite a few folks that fly with their Weimaraner puppy. Nonetheless, it is getting more difficult to make these kinds of flights happen. Smaller planes and different carry-on criteria are the reason it is not as easy as it once was. Nonetheless, here are two families who were able to pull it off.

Why fly, you might ask. Well–in many cases, it is the best option. A road trip is not always in the best interest of the puppy. Nor, is it in many cases the best way to start–get the routine going to ensure you are on the right track. The road trip means you have the concern of where to potty your puppy–it is essential to be extremely careful. Parvo has most likely infected every roadside potty area–read up on this dreadful situation, and you will agree. Being very careful is essential. Every year, more pups are lost to this disease than you can imagine. I hold my breath as I write we have never lost an OwyheeStar to Parvo. We want to keep this way.

Another perk with the carry-on experience might not be as evident. People who fly must get their puppy to settle in the travel bag. If you can teach a puppy to settle–you can teach them anything. It is also a great time to bond. There is something about the travel experience of this sort–it sets you up for an extraordinary transition.

And It Begins

Note: Before CW there was Melvin

The plan was in the works to add a second Weimaraner when Melvin crossed over the rainbow bridge. He could never be replaced, but he had the best possible life–was loved and cherished. Now, Roger and Camille begin a new journey with C. W. They have shared a few comments about their life thus far. It is a bit late in coming. CW left here January 3rd–Roger flew in and carried him home as his airline carryon. Thanks, again for your loyalty Roger. Now, for the story…

Shela and CW on the morning of the flight

Roger Reports — It was a long trip and day.  The dog is more than perfect.  He is adjusting so well.  He is velcro.  I got him to go down at 2:00 A..M.   I covered the crate with a black sheet for darkness.
He cried for 15 minutes, then he slept.  He woke up at 6:00 and cried for 5 minutes.  And, then he slept. 
It was important that he just cried without being rescued.  I’m trying to remember from 11 years ago.  We want to be around him 24/7.  So, the compromise is hard at first. So, he is bonding really well.  I even have him going out the dog door.  Trust is the first elementary factor in the process—I think.  Thank you again for such a wonderful companion.  

I hung the bells and prepared the crate area before I flew up to Boise.  We are ringing the bell with him, and out the dog door, he goes into the fenced area.  We are starting out right. 10-minute training in the hallway comes tonight.  We are determined to get off to a good start. 

From Camille — We are in puppy heaven!! Thank you for CW. He is so cute and Roger has him on the way to house trained already. These dogs are so smart. Above is a photo we took of CW and Eliel. It looks like the puppy has trained the baby to hold toys in his mouth!!!

Dunkin

Happy New Year!  Thought I would give you an update on Dunkin…he turns 2 in January.

He is a great family member…he does not consider himself the family ”pet”  ha ha…Smartest family member we have ever had!

He loves water…will launch in after a stick, Frisbee…whatever.  Love pheasants, could care less about quail,  is totally into ducks.  We run into them a lot on our walks but have never hunted them because I would rather go fishing.  He loves fishing in the boat.  

He is great around other dogs; my son has a 6-month-old female pound puppy…she is feisty, pretty aggressive……and the two of them can play for hours.

He is an excellent retriever…loves to play Frisbee…is really good at catching it out of the air…we do this when I get home from work…whether I want to or not…..

I hope all is well with you.  Scott

Breeder Comment

Thanks for the fabulous update. We are so happy to hear that Dunkin is doing well. Sorry, I could not get the video to turn–I hope it works okay.

That Puppy Look

One Too Many Flashes

~Are We Done Yet?

The wiggles, the squiggles, and let’s not forget the squint. Yes, the puppies find the camera too demanding. They try to escape. We squeak a toy, clap our hands, and try to get them to look at the camera. Sometimes we get the look–oh the process is so exhausting.