Category Archives: Puppies

Looking Ahead

Swim Attire-3

Cliff and Winnie have been in the farm pond already. Cliff wears hip waders, and sometimes he records the swim with our GoPro. I still take the individual videos of each pup’s first swim. Of course, the prospective owners love it.

Eventually, most folks attempt to get their Weimaraner in the water. Some are more successful than others. Regardless, anyone willing to be patient and work through the process can get their Weimaraner to swim. We believe this shows you how natural it is and at the same imprints the experience on the pup’s psyche.

It won’t be long, and we will be swimming pups. Just so you can see kind of what we do, here is last year’s first litter swim of the year. We sincerely hope you enjoy it!

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.


Off to A Good Start

We love our Berkley. You chose well!!

Peck's Berkley-9374

Here’s an update on CRATE TRAINING:

She was totally content in her crate for the 4-hour ride home from Oregon. We stopped once and she went potty. Her first night home, she was not happy at all to be away from her litter mates and her mama. We put her crate in our room so she could see us, but she still howled and whined much of the night. Yesterday we put her in her crate several times, for 20-45 minutes each time, during the day while we ate our meals and ran an errand. She was a little vocal about it each time but got better as the day progressed. We hosted a lunch event and a dinner event, and she did splendid meeting and greeting all the shoe-less guests (parvo precautionary rule). She was the absolute center of attention for a good chunk of the day. When it was time for bed last night we put her in her crate and she went right to sleep. Not one howl or yelp! She stirred at 2 am and gave me a little whimper. I took her outside and she went potty right away. She went back to sleep in her crate until almost 6 am, which is my wake-up time anyway! We were so thrilled and gave her lots of praise for doing such a good job.

An update on POTTY TRAINING:

We used the bell method with our first Weim, and it worked like a champ. So we knew this was the way to go the second time around. Every time we take her outside to go potty (after she eats, wakes up, just before bed or crate time, or every 30 minutes or so), we take her little paws and ring that bell and say “outside”. Yesterday she rang the bell all on her own. We took her out and she went potty right away. Then again today, she rang the bell on her own, and the same thing happened!!! She is catching on so fast. We haven’t had to clean up after any accidents. I am shocked.


She is retrieving like a champ to our hand….stuffed toys, mostly. She isn’t into the balls yet for some reason. She is coming on command and just starting to get “sit”. I started working with her on heeling as well, but that’s a little trickier. She is starting to get it, but barely. Berkley went with us to take big sister to school for her first day of school today. And then she snuggled on the couch with us and listened in as I read a Sofia the First story to our youngest. She’s one fun pup. I attached a few pictures.

Thanks so much, Amanda

Breeder Comment

It was very sweet of you to update us on Berkley. We appreciate the follow through you are doing too! It is paying off. Yes, we try to set the pups up for success, but it takes more than a little knack to step quickly toward success.

The potty training is excellent. I love that you used the bell system. Around here that would not work, but in a traditional family setting it can get you off to a good start fast. Be sure to get a fecal exam. Giardia and coccidia are common one-celled parasites that can quickly multiply and reek havoc on the pup’s intestine. Treatment isn’t a big deal if you catch it early. Pups prefer puddle water, and they also lick their feet all the time. These are great ways to ingest something that can take off like a wildfire.

For those that have never collected a sample–you invert a baggie (Mark your name on this baggie first to ensure it is labeled). Grab a portion of a suspicious looking sample and invert and seal the baggie. Label a second baggie with your name, the pup’s name as well as the date and time the sample was collected. Keep this sample cool (not frozen). Freshness is important; therefore, get the collected sample to the Vet office ASAP. Collect it just before you leave when possible.

This one thing can save you a lot of trouble. Stress diarrhea is a thing. We might fear the worst, and it could be stress. Canned or steamed pumpkin is great for correcting a loose stool. It is not a bad idea to give your pup a couple of tablespoons twice a day and even some berry yogurt–the kind with live cultures. These are very good for their digestion, and the yogurt helps ward off yeast infections too.

The Look

The Weimaraner Knows

           ~my eyes are on you!


The Velcro-nature of the Weimaraner is no secret. Are you going somewhere? You best be taking me along or I am going to eat this place. “Woof!”

Separation Anxiety

         ~Its a Thing

Set an early goal to teach your Weimaraner how to stay alone. No one can say they will never have to be away from their beloved Weimaraner–the retired or those that work from home included. There is nothing harder than leaving the beloved new family addition. The dream and excitement of bringing your baby home all too often are what paves the way for well-meaning poor decisions. People align their whole schedule for the event–and so should they. Nevertheless, part of this needs to include finding a way to prepare them for when you are gone. Taking two weeks off from work to help the puppy adapt (and to feed your soul with puppy breath moments) is wonderful in theory. It can be a great experience; however, there is a question (or two) you need to ask yourself. Am I setting my new family member up to feel abandoned? Does my plan help them learn that they will be left alone but I am always going return? Is there another safe place and family that they will call their second home?

Preparing Them

Everyone’s lifestyle is different. It is more challenging to accomplish such a thing when you are home 24 X 7–the retired person, the person who works from home, or the stay at home parent. Through the Weimar pup’s eyes, they believe their initial two-week period to be their new lifestyle norm. You have replaced their litter. You are their everything. This feeling is both euphoric and at the same time presents unexpected challenges. Just balance the need to be everything to the new pup with the understanding you need to prepare them for anything. That is part of being an excellent Weimaraner parent. The unforeseen car accident, illness, or surgery means you need a plan. No one is immune. You Weimaraner needs to see the alternative living situation as something other than just being left behind. If not, things can go sideways just when you need stability–not something anyone wants to face.

 When we Create Extreme Dependency

All too often, the human element unwittingly sets the stage to create, even more, dependency. It happens when we employ our well-meaning doting type of behavior thinking. In our concerted effort to do what is best; we all too often create problems best avoided. The already prone to separation anxiety Weimaraner (when left behind) easily slips into a habitual acting out behaviors due to feeling abandoned. This goal of them feeling safe in your absence can only be achieved when they learn how to stay alone. There are several ways to reach this aim. Your plan needs to start early and be realistic for you and your lifestyle. Never forget freedom is earned–and each twist and turn is a new challenge that requires monitoring until the positive outcome is rock solid. Therefore, just leaving them in the yard can be a quick undoing of their previous excellent outdoor behavior. People typically find the crate training is vital to their success. Others employ the use of an alternative family or some other setting where the Weimaraner can learn to feel safe. You will return. The time to learn this skill is before it is needed.













Think Spring

Favorite Thing

We love making our trips to the sanctuary with the pups. It is so much fun to watch them play and interact. This is also our favored location to conduct the Discovery and Placement Test. bird-dixie-x-blue-week-d-p-2016_-5

The only access to this area on the farm is using snow shoes. We expect there will be a considerable amount of cleanup even though it a natural setting. The snow, and winter in general, most likely brought down branches and possibly a tree or two.

Secrets and Whispers

Piper is doing great!

Training classes have really helped both of us. She is impossible to wear out- this pup has endless energy and endurance- I love it! To help tucker her out she has doggy friends to play with from time to time. I love the action shots of her because that is when you really see her personality and she has a LOT of personality. secretsTo the right her best friend, Adelle, looks like she is telling Piper a secret, winking at us, and Piper is reacting to whatever she said. I can only imagine what they would say to each other! Trouble makers 😉 I love her with all my heart. 


Mousse’s Eighth Born

Ciampi's Piper At Wildhorse Meet


Indy the UK born Blue –undocked

Cliff Met several folks who have waited for some time for an OwyheeStar pup yesterday. Yes, Piper’s tail was left full length by request in the more European manner. 95% of Americans still prefer to stick to the American Breed Standard with their pup’s tail being docked.


To the right you see Indy–the undocked tail showing. He is from our lineage; however, he was born in the UK where tail docking is illegal.


This is a very controversial topic. For those that wonder, the docking of the tail is done very early. The skinny–doing the tails early is less painful, and the tail is much smaller in diameter. Waiting to make a decision means a more painful and severe procedure. In the OwyheeStar Weimaraner New’s Blog ‘Tails Vs Tales‘ you can read more about the Weimaraner and tail docking. Overall, there is less risk of tail injury when the tail is docked. For this hunting breed, it is the preferred option. Many American breeders will not consider catering to those who wish to have their pup with the full-length tail.

Reznor Advances

At SunStar All Breed Training

~ As Told By Reznor’s Humans

Hi Shela & Cliff

We are currently through two of six classes — with Jan at Sunstar. Reznor is having a great time meeting all the new dogs of all breeds & sizes! (He might have developed a little crush on a female boxer puppy.)

You were right about Jan & Willow

                They are great!!

We are enjoying the classes too! Wow–we are already learning so much from Jan. Willow is a wonderful calming influence for little Rez to be around although as you can see from these pics he isn’t that little anymore. :0)

Glad you Suggested Jan Magnuson

Thanks again for mentioning Jan & her awesome classes. We were lucky to get in as it filled up quick; having a Weim expert nearby is pretty nice:) It will go such a long way toward our achieving the goals and Reznor becoming well-adjusted. We hope you enjoy these pics of Willow & Reznor meeting for the first time🐶🐶

Breeder Comment

A good training program is vital. This can take many forms; however, it would be difficult to find many Weim experienced trainers in the whole world to rival Jan. She has forty-plus years of experience with the Weimaraner. That is nothing to sneeze at.




Our First Longhair


😀 thank you so much for such a fun loving overall spirited puppy!Mattie February 2016

I have been getting a lot of responses from the pictures I sent out of Mattie. I will send you some more soon. She is growing like a weed, and her tail has that OwyheeStar swagger to it.


Breeder’s Comment

She is adorable. We loved her personality. Everyone is going to be happy to see her because the Blue Longhair Littermates the stuff of frequent Facebook posts. They have also and had their blog update. We hope she brings you great joy.

Avoid This

Advice best heeded

The last thing any of us wants to be is a stumbling block to our pup’s development. We do everything in preparation; spend a small fortune. We study, research and find every area resource. The best Veterinarian is a must. Everyone in the pup’s life is vetted. Despite this plan, most of the behavioral problems on the path to maturity are caused by the well-meaning human. It is a sad fact. There is no one-size fits all situation guide book for the Weimaraner. It takes more than dog savvy; it takes a bit of a knack. Sometimes it takes some good fortune. Seriously, though, you can avoid many of the issues that haunt the Weimaraner and their owners. To be honest, most of the folks we know with this issue are non-hunters who didn’t introduce their Weimaraner to gunfire.

Annually our mailbox sees a flood of chat prior to the 4th of July. The impending holiday booms begin and all too many Weims shake and quiver; some become ill from the hubbub. They are wrapped in Thunder coats, shaking in the closet, and traumatized. It is a sad state of affair. At the same, it is a shocking truth that many Weims are unfazed by the loud sounds. Ask yourself what makes such a difference? We can find a clue among our gun enthusiast types. The last thing they want is a gun-shy hunting companion.

Avoiding This Pitfall


Introducing the gun.JPG

No Gunfire for the young pup who scents the gun. It must smell good!

While loud sounds might be unnerving; they are not (in most cases) cause for fear. Our Weimaraner must be conditioned to ignore them, and they should feel safe. Steve Snell (of Gun Dog Supply) is a professional trainer. He says it this way.


All gun shy dogs are man made. While some dogs may be more prone to becoming gunshy, it is not a genetic flaw. Some dogs are more sensitive, and this can make them more “likely” to become gunshy. Even the boldest of pups can become gunshy if the introduction to the gun is not handled correctly.

Non-Hunters Take Note

Sound sensitivity is just as much a priority for a companion Weimaraner as for those that participate in Versatile Hunting. As we mentioned early, fireworks for many Weim are their undoing. We feel it behooves us all to try to avoid this scenario where fear rules.

At OwyheeStar, the pups have received exposure to loud sounds–much like you introduce gun fire. It was systematic, and the noise became a backdrop. Some pups are more sensitive than others; however, with conditioning,they too ignore loud sounds. While many you might get lucky and nothing bad happens by not heeding this advice; better safe than sorry is a terrific approach. OwyheeStar pup conditioning is only a foundation–not the end. Proceed with caution, and even if you are non-hunter think of how nice it would be to avoid the gut-wrenching fear situation. Therefore, once the pups have come home, it is important to continue this process. With all the things going on this little detail (regarding sound) can be forgotten. The non-hunter can take a cue from these tips and make the necessary adjustments. Steve Snell goes on to share how to help avoid causing the problem.

The following method works fine with pointers, flushers, and retrievers. While I start all my pups using these techniques, this method will work with any age dog that needs conditioning to guns and gunfire.

There are several things that you should NEVER, EVER do to a young dog.

  • Never fire a gun around a dog to see IF he is gunshy
  • Never take a dog to a Shooting Range to introduce gunfire
  • Never take a dog “hunting” prior to the proper introduction to gunfire
  • Never take a young dog “hunting” with an older dog for some “on the job training” prior to the proper introduction to gunfire
  • Never fire a gun close to a young dog without proper introduction — keep him away from any kind target practice or random shooting
  • Never allow your dog to be exposed to fireworks
  • Never fire a gun close to a dog while feeding him (many folks do this but it does not make the proper association)
  • Do your best to keep him indoors during major lightning and thunder storms

Many young dogs become gunshy from things that are out of the owners control or unknown to the owner. It’s best to get started on gunfire and noise introduction as soon as possible. I start mine the day they get to my house. Click Here to read more from Steve Snell.

What Can We Do?

We can agree on avoiding the medication needed scenario. So, you will want to condition your young Weimaraner to noise. In many cases, this means introducing gunfire using tried and true practices. As Steve mentions; however, there are times when things go awry–despite your best effort. One such time is during what some people refer to as a sudden fear period. We have also heard it called teenage-flakiness. We prefer to think of it as a transition period, where the pup is at more risk of developing an issue. It comes out of seemingly nowhere.

The commonplace suddenly freaks them out. The unexpected can be almost anything. For example, someone wearing a hat reaches towards them and spooks them. You console them, but from there on out they are a hot mess when they see a man in a hat–it would be funny if it wasn’t so frustrating. Just transfer this example to the Weimaraner that is startled by the sudden loud sound. You console them, and your heart goes out to them. Did you know that you probably just ingrained that fear? Absolutely! The most natural response is the worst response. You say what are you talking about?

Beyond conditioning your puppy on every level (exposure to people, touch, the car, waves, dogs, and sound), the second most important thing you must do is to be non-reactive. The poor baby is not going to serve the pup well on any level. Instead, move forward with no concern and stay calm. Get out of the situation gracefully and leave it behind. If you treat it like it is nothing, then your Weimaraner is going to see it as much less of a threat. By the way, this applies to crazy people encounters, out of control dog situations, and loud noises. You set the tone, and you are the stabilizing factor.