Category Archives: OwyheeStar’s Succeeding with the Weimaraner

The Last for the Year

At the Nielsen Farm Pond

Atti X Boone Swim.jpgWe promised an OwyheeStar client who is getting one of the Atti X Boone pups that we could swim the pup before they depart. Any promise is subject to being derailed by circumstances beyond our control. Mr. Winter could push in and steal the stage. He has already made it evident that he is intent on an early arrival. We didn’t get snow; however, other not so far away places did–Cotton Mountain for one. The forecast has been for a warmer fall, and we hoped for the Indian Summer weather that we love so much.

The icy temperatures departed, and the pups came of age. Isn’t it grand when the stars align? The pond filled and despite the straw-like trim that floated around the edge it made for the perfect opportunity to get the swim accomplished. The last induction to water for the year. We don’t have access to an indoor swimming pool.

We love adding the puppy swim to the list of early life experiences. Nevertheless, many OwyheeStar Weims swim without the benefit of this imprint experience. Therefore, folks getting a winter pup should not fear their pup won’t take to the water. In fact, any Weimaraner can become an excellent swimmer. Some are more natural swimmers than others. It takes knack and patience. The right setting also helps you achieve the swim. A love of the retrieve is an invaluable tool. If you are patient and keep working on this discipline, we have no doubt you will achieve a positive outcome.

Walking

With Tikka

22291299_10210523866033859_1412669170486689341_oYou remember our previous blog post and my concern about Luna and my relationship–well, we are doing well. There are the fun challenges. Have you ever walked a pup?

 

Tikka: She is doing great! Like all of the other reports, she is super smart, healthy & fitting in perfectly! She is very good about house training (only one accident, but we were not paying attention!), not afraid of anything (except Luna’s bark, must be serious if Luna is concerned!), we are working on a small remodel project and she’s not even scared of any of the power tools! Beautiful little girl!

Accepted

 

IMG_2886.JPG

 

She’s also become friends with Luna’s kitty!

 

 

The 7 Steps To Success

OwyheeStar Recommends

22137020_10213771625108142_1638204146398558713_oNote: 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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

What’s Behind?

The Photo Shoot

~ or the glamor photos as I like to call them

A lot happens behind the scenes. The pups in this photo shoot are three-weeks-old.  They are not willing participants. We are not professional photographers. We have decent equipment–thank goodness. We take a lot of photos to get a few we consider good enough to post for the weekly update. Cliff and Christina run the camera. Sometimes there is puppy whispering involved or mollycoddling too. The pups see and hear so we make noise and try to get them to look at the camera–the result is often something entirely different.

 

Eventually, We Get Something Like This

Please Note: These are not current pups available for placement. They are pictures from a previous photo shoot.

Understanding the Application Process

Dear OwyheeStar Applicants

14711261_10154671211567300_6666669904620206790_oCommunication is tricky–no matter whether you are writing, texting or having a discussion. The goal is communicating our idea or thought, or possibly trying to educate someone. I reply to a lot of emails. Then too, there are the application responses. Sometimes this involves a follow-up query to clarify the applicant’s answer or to fill in something left blank. A recent encounter left me feeling cold and licking more than a few wounds; however, I am sure my intent was misunderstood. Maybe I should have added some emojis–honestly, I am not too skilled at using those cute add-ins. That would set a tone rather than leaving the recipient to guess what I mean and the voice behind the ink.

Grammerly.com says, “If there’s controversy around emojis in business communication, then why do we feel compelled to use them? Why not forego them altogether? The simple answer: we want to be better understood. Email communication is notoriously problematic in that it lacks the emotional cues we rely on with face-to-face or phone conversations. Without tone of voice or facial expressions to guide us, there’s a lot of room for misunderstanding when we read an email. Messages meant to be positive are often interpreted as neutral, and neutral messages are interpreted as negative”.

Setting a Positive Tone

Well then, that leaves me being negative sounding a lot. Our application process is an area where I am positive more than a few persons have been miffed by the questions. In fact, someone said they were sick of my interrogation techniques–I was shocked because I was merely asking one question about a two-part question–the second part was left blank. I think the question is valid; they see my asking them as intrusive and are offended. In all honesty, I could have prefaced the question more tactfully–and the addition of emoji may have set a more friendly tone. Would that family have made a good puppy home? We will never know. Of course, I want to avoid these types of scenarios, but when it comes to matters of the heart a lot of things can go sideways. I was scolded and let know their money is good and their character the same. I am sure both things are true; however, that was not what was in question.

 

Delays Happen

Bradford's Lily Arrives_2616.jpg

Eventually, if all goes as planned there is this!

A delay may seem like I don’t value you or our application. It is in truth, nothing like that. Rather I am engaged with the must-do and the most pressing things. Some of these cannot wait. Each day I am amazed at the workload for both Cliff and I. At the same time, we give thanks for this opportunity to provide a service so many appreciate.

We Take This Process Serious

The importance of our application process cannot be understated. Asking clear and concise questions to get the information that will clue us about the pup’s future seems valid. Nevertheless, communication issues (being misunderstood) will probably always be an issue. There other factors behind the scene too!

1. Each inquiry has an agenda–sometimes these are hidden (you would be surprised).
2. Everyone has done research; however, no one can guess how deep you are going to be required to dig to get through the Weimaraner puppy phase.
3. Each person comes with experience–this is all too often not going to apply to the Weimaraner. It is hard for a diehard Labrador person to believe this breed is different.
4. Each candidate believes they are ideal. Implying anything less or inquiring about something is offensive. We understand.
5. Dog savvy persons fail with this breed–it happens for a myriad of reasons. Let’s not place blame; instead, let’s agree it happens too often.
6. First-time Weim folks sometimes succeed beyond our wildest expectations. A pattern seems apparent to us. Most of these listen to our advice on how to raise the Weimaraner and do their best to follow it.
7. Honestly, it takes patience and a measure of trust to work with us. We typically have a Wait List. We cannot guess exactly how things will unfold–whether a mating will result in a litter, how many pups will be born, what sex or what coat color they will be. Yes, we sometimes have an all blue litter or an all gray litter; however, most of our litters have mixed coat colors. Some litters will produce a few Longhairs–how many is always in question. There are statistics, but we have learned the hard way that it is an average. The same parents might only produce two Longhair (of eight) pups one year. The next they may yield six of eight. Therefore, when statistically it says you will get 50% or 25% depending on the situation, the percentage can vary more than we expected in a specific litter.

From our side of the Fence

14715557_10154671175832300_446631710715652189_oWe must consider the pup’s welfare first and foremost. If we don’t have peace about a situation, it might not reflect on you at all. It may mean that we are not the right breeder for you. Sometimes we dare to tell applicants that we feel another breed choice would better suit their needs. Should we ever say that? I think we should. It is our opinion. A person can take it or leave. They can buy the Weimaraner from someone else. If all else fails, they can get one online.

Despite Communication Hiccups

Over time we have forged some beautiful relationships with OwyheeStar clients. If we had passed on the street we might not have given each other more than a nod or a smile; however, our hearts are forever joined. It is amazing how a fur family member can impact our lives in ways we would never have imagined. So, when we delve into the ticky-tacky details we sincerely hope you understand our motive. We are not interested in how much money you have–just that you have enough to give adequate care. Yes, we realize having money means better food and unlimited veterinary care. Nevertheless, even when a person has plenty of money and the desire, it is not a rock-solid guarantee that things will not go sideways.

We thank you for your patience and your understanding. We are honored to think of some many of you are friends. Some of you are more like family. We share things others would never understand.

~ Shela (and Cliff)

Elio

At 16 Weeks

Lorenzen's Elio June 23 2017Elio continues to be an absolute joy and an incredible addition to my little fur family!  He’s a calm, well-mannered puppy who picks up on things incredibly fast! We’re going into week 3 of puppy classes and he’s doing great! 🙂

Breeder Comment

Vaccine Crossroad

A Reminder to Proceed with Caution

The Sadie X Stackhouse Litter will celebrate their sixteen-week birthday on this coming Sunday (June 25th). That brings everyone to a crossroad. By now a lot has happened, and everyone will have found themselves insanely busy raising their Weimaraner. The Weimaraner’s (and the OwyheeStar) Vaccine Protocol can have been forgotten.

Your Veterinary office will have a different (broad-based) vaccine protocol. Even if they agree to follow the recommendations, it will fall on the pup’s owner to remember these details. We suggest putting the dates on your calendar and ignoring the Veterinary office alerts. Otherwise, it gets very confusing. If you have forgotten the protocol read on1

 

  • 6-Week NEOPAR® Puppy Shot(given at OwyheeStar)
  • 9-Week *Nobivac Canine 1-DAPPv
  • 12- Week *Nobivac Canine 1-DAPPv
  • Other vaccines such as Lepto and Kennel Cough (Bordatella) should be given as needed–and avoided when possible. We recommend not combining these shots with any other vaccine–, especially rabies. Vaccine challenges the immune system to build antibodies; therefore, we strongly encourage you to space Lepto, Bordetella, and Rabies vaccination at least two weeks apart. We realize that many veterinary practices give multiple vaccinations at a single visit; however, this approach is easier on the immune system. If a reaction does occur, then you know what caused it and plan to avoid it in the future. Yes, we understand this is a more costly approach–avoiding the risk is worth it!
  • 16-Week Crossroad <== Opt for the Vaccine Titer Test instead of automatically getting another puppy shot. Your Vet is going to recommend just doing the shot because that is typical for the all-breed approach; however, a percentage of Weims are vaccine sensitive. Although your pup probably never had a reaction before, please do not ignore this warning. Even a mild vaccine reaction can trigger immune system issues–some of these lead to on-going health problems and in certain instances death. It is not worth the risk! The vaccine titer test runs more than double the cost of the typical puppy shot, but it might save you thousands over time as well as the potential heartache. Almost without exception, our protocol has been producing immunity by week sixteen, which means your puppy doesn’t need any more essential vaccine. If you need the optional vaccines (Bordetella or Lepto) these can be done; however, please space them at least two weeks apart from the Rabies.
  • Vaccine Blog Post   For the OwyheeStar Client Only click here! (requires password)

PUPPY VACCINE CLARIFICATION (Lepto)

There is a significant push by the Veterinary community (due to the recent rise of Lepto) to include Lepto in the puppy shot. The Weimaraner Club of America (as well as others who study this breed) recommend you wait to give the Lepto, etc. until the puppy shots are completed. The puppy shot should not include Lepto or Corona. No other vaccine should be combined with the puppy shot. Waiting for the Lepto, Bordetella, and another vaccine until the pup is a little older is less risky. It takes more effort and costs a bit more to space the vaccine, but is worth it.

What is the DAPPv?

Canine Distemper, Adenovirus Type 1 (Hepatitis), Adenovirus Type 2 (Respiratory Disease), Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus (Click Here to read more about the vaccine we use. Remember the Puppy Shot should not contain the Lepto or Corona.

OwyheeStar Disclaimer

The Weimaraner Club of America (WCA) Vaccine Protocol

We are neither Licensed Veterinarians nor Licensed Veterinary Techs. Our recommendations are based on twenty-plus years breeding the Weimaraner (exclusively) as well as the breed recommendation (from the Weimaraner Club of America). Ultimately, you have to decide what is the best approach. This protocol is considered a more Holistic and safer approach. That being said, our advice cannot replace that of your Veterinary of choice. 

Feeling Safe

Much Loved Lily

16409334_10211759143916648_1128018835_oIt is Sunday. We all need to feel like this Weimaraner. Today, we hope you feel enveloped in love. That you have what you need and more importantly, you feel safe. Keep your focus on who and what matters.

Don’t Be Pulled Down the Street

Getting Compliance on the Lead

       ~ or achieving a loose leash heel

Good Collar.jpgWe have discussed this on many occasions because it is vital to the foundation of success. All too many Weim folks cite compliance as best off-leash. Your Weimaraner likes to be in control of what they are doing. The Weimaraner loves to run free–we love to see them too! We suggest this is something that is an earned privilege.

Jan Magnuson about the Magic Collar!

I would recommend forgoing the harness, it will likely just teach your pup bad habits that you will have to deal with later at an accelerated pace.  I use a nylon martingale collar on my dogs 24/7 where I keep their pet license tag, that is what I put on puppies at 8 weeks of age.  For training, we use the Good Dog collar (photo enclosed), it is a humane and effective check collar that emulates a “mama dog correction” and works amazingly well (some of my dog obedience students dub it the “magic collar”!)

Jan Magnuson @ SunStar All Breed Dog Training

Breeder’s Comment

This collar needs to be used correctly in order to achieve success. As with any training collar, it is a tool and it is meant to be used to achieve a desirable outcome. It can be used when you are out and about. We do not see this as something they wear continuously–just for clarification.

 

 

7 Steps To Getting Off to a Good Start

~We recommend the simple approachBoot's Bentley-3

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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

 

 

Therapy vs Service Dogs

Jan and Willow8461_o

 

I do Therapy Dog visits with my dogs; my dogs are certified and registered through Therapy Dogs International   http://sunstardogtraining.com/recommended-links/  .  Please note that there is a difference between “Therapy Dogs” which provide comfort to anyone, and “Service Dogs” which are classified federally through the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and are trained to do specific tasks to assist people with their disabilities like Guide Dogs for the Blind and Seizure Alert Dogs (contact the ADA for more info).

To work toward Therapy Dog certification, you need a sound, stable-temperamented dog that is highly socialized and trained; so, start the moment you get your pup!  Contact a recommended humane trainer in your area http://sunstardogtraining.com/how-do-i-choose-the-right-dog-trainer-for-me-and-my-dog/  and start your puppy off on the right “paw”!  Jan~

sunstardogtraining.com
Like any job or career, there are many different types of people who train dogs, and the range goes from fabulous, professional, quality trainers to abusive, ego …

 

Jan Magnuson
SUNSTAR All-Breed Dog Training

Best-In-Show Champion American Bulldogs & Weimaraners, LLC
P.O. Box 98072, Des Moines, WA 98198 (206) 241-2908