Category Archives: Getting started with a Weim

Say What?!?

Our Boy, Duke

     ~Who Did That?!?FB_IMG_1538060132357

**This turd turned 1 yesterday! We love him so much, but there is this!FB_IMG_1538060112180
He also loves chewing on ginormous logs, rocks, the siding of our house, our deck and our walls. Oh and every. single. dog bed. 🤷🤦 In the life of a Weim! ❤️**
As I knew it would be, it’s been difficult to train him with us and the kids not being consistent with commands, expectations etc. But, he has really changed (better) the last couple months.

At The End of the Day

~This How It Looks

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Breeder Comment

We love these folks–they are dedicated Weimlovers. Nevertheless, we would prefer everyone to avoid this kind of behavioral issue. I am so very glad they shared it though. And, they were kind enough to allow me to make a post that might help someone else avoid having this kind of situation.

I can only guess what lead to this–but the best way to avoid having this type of situation is to follow through with constant supervision at the early stages. If you are not watching them, all kinds of bad things can and do happen. Duke is not the first, nor will he be the last Weim to much on the sheetrock. The exterior siding, flower pots, carpeting, dog beds, wood posts, and just about anything they can get their lips on is a target.

The trick to avoiding it is not to let the behavior start. The crate-training is essential. It only takes a moment for the Weimaraner to get into trouble. My mantra is freedom is earned. Just remember that habits (good and bad) are quickly ingrained, and then nearly impossible to change in the concrete-thinking Weimaraner.

Also, you have to consider the separation anxiety factor. People often spend 24 X 7 with their Weimaraner puppy and think they are doing a fabulous thing. Then, they leave for an hour to run to the grocery and come home to something like this or worse. It is the same for the yard–you cannot just leave a Weimaraner home in the yard–that is unless they have become adapted to that situation. So, that brings me to the point, even once they have earned a measure of freedom, it is essential that they also learn to be somewhat flexible. It is a lot better when they learn how to adapt to schedule changes–or being left behind when necessary.

Finally, can I mentioned that Dusty, back in the day, ate a $2,000 rock. Another time it was an $ 800 rock. One required major surgery, the other not. Rocks are hard on the teeth, and if ingested, they pose a life-threatening issue. Yes, the Weimaraner is not for the weak of heart. Even people who have the best intentions can get into trouble.

Luna

Joined her family 

    ~ a few days ago

 

Dapp's Luna3Thank you guys for the followup emails as we get going with the new pup.

This is all great.  I got her chip registered this AM and she’s on the DN puppy food you recommend — the online Chewy.com shipping option looks nice for future reference. So thank you.
We also have a Vet appt next week and we’re so thankful for the clearly outlined vaccination protocol you recommend.  We’ll work with the vet to get this completed without the unnecessary workups.
She’s been a blast so far and kennel training has been a breeze.  What a joy to have around!
Thank again and we’ll be in touch.  -Michael and Michelle

Breeder Comment

Thank you, Michael and Michelle, for the lovely update. We appreciate the photos and your comments. We are glad this could work out for your summer schedule. Who knew? We didn’t until it just happened. (Haha). We cannot be more delighted that you love her and that you are enjoying the experience.

At Six Months

Updating You

     ~Loki’s Adventures

Now that spring seems to finally be here Loki and I are having all sorts of adventures. For the last month or so I’ve been working on introducing Loki to water. First, it was getting his toes wet, then the ankles, and so on. I’ve attached a video from this evening— we headed out to the lake after work. Needless to say, we’ve come a little ways from not getting our paws wet. You may notice the cord on the bumper— sometimes Loki needs to remember that the game is retrieving, not keep away, but the water work has seemed to really help this. Also great insurance in case he doesn’t go for it, so I don’t have to swim.

Aamodt's Loki_3761Other adventures include hide-and-go-seek at lunchtime on a trail system near my office. It’s a great game for anyone to play to help their pup remember to check in on hikes, but with Loki, in particular, we want to develop the idea that he can use his nose to find people. When we’re out on the trail, I wait until he gets just a little too far ahead of me, and I hide in the bushes next to the trail where I can still see him. He is quick to notice that I’m no longer in sight, so he runs back down the trail. He usually goes past me until he hits my scent (in the air), and then he usually works the scent cone back towards me. When he finds me, we enthusiastically play with his favorite toy.
Another new thing is teaching Loki to pull me on my longboard. I keep it short and easy so as to not stress his joints, but it’s a great way to practice verbal directive commands. And to take the edge off the wiggles!
Loki is also turning into quite a camping dog. Last week was his first tent camping adventure in Glacier National Park over Memorial Day weekend.
The two pictures I’m sharing here show our work on the down-stay (he’s not tied in either). You can see the drool starting to come with the cheese! That’s what happens to those who attempt to counter surf. He got no cheese.
Aamodt's Loki_3760As always, we constantly incorporate sit-down-stay-heel-come into our daily routine. The heel is finally taking hold— at least 50% loose-leash on a flat collar, and his off-leash heel is almost better. The red harness he’s wearing in the picture is his working harness and includes a handle to help keep him safe on the chairlift. We are working on associating it with good listening and lots of fun search games.
Anyway, I can’t believe he’s 6 months old already! It has gone so fast. ~ Erica

Breeder Comment

We are so delighted to see all that Loki has learned thus far–in such a short time. The development of his nose–scenting for the human is coming along nicely. The water work, the basic obedience, and all continue to come together. You are doing fantastic with him on every level. Thank you, for the diligent effort you are investing in training for the well-balanced (Search and Rescue ready) Weimaraner. Also, thank you for keeping us informed. We love being a part of the journey. We realize he is a typical Weimaraner in many ways (such as the counter-surfing thing); however, it remains to be seen what the two of you can become. Go Erica and Loki–we applaud your efforts.

How Important is

The Fetch

Crane's Toby_4985

How Important is it to achieve the recall? The retrieve. The Fetch. Combined with the essential rock-solid recall it is a thing of beauty. Exercise is easy and fun–for both you and the Weimaraner. The Fetch-addicted Weimar can be eased into the water retrieve. The benefits are nearly endless.

When should you begin? There is no time like the present. The earlier you achieve the recall and have the pup retrieving–the better.

Jeff writes, “Toby loves to fetch!”

Loki

The Basics

     ~Part Two– Off to a Grand Beginning

  • Learning

play drive.jpgNow that Loki’s had a solid start on the basics (potty and crate training), we’re adding some simple commands. He’s beginning to learn the house rules that my roommate’s dog is expected to follow—sitting and waiting before charging out the door, not jumping up on furniture and being respectful at mealtimes. For the last few days Loki has had to work for his food—he is now responding to “sit,” “down”, “wait”, and “ok!”. When he’s doing well I add something new, and if he’s having a more difficult time I go back and do something easy. I’ve noticed that he’s been more positive and respectful since I began this new meal routine. It also slows down his eating! More importantly, he is learning to settle and look to me– we began with that before I added any verbal commands.

  • Training

 

elevator rideLoki doesn’t know it yet, but there are some big plans for him. Right now he’s focused on being a puppy, but I’m learning and preparing for training a search and rescue canine.  Loki’s formal training will begin once he’s passed the CGC test. For now, we are working on socialization and doing as many new things as possible (that are safe for him at this age, of course). He voluntarily walked for most of a two-hour hike in the snow, had a blast playing with his toy and riding an elevator up and down, and observed the other dogs during an HRD (Human Remains Detection) training. His best-behaved days are the ones where we’ve done something new and exciting, so I’m doing my best to keep him busy!

Breeder CommentWatch for Part Three. Coming Soon!

Lapdog

What Does Your Weim Do?

 

Ari the Lap Dog_4490018248684979043_n

Ari is a Lap Weim and  very clever at trying to run the show

 

 

We who love the breed know they are the ultimate velcro dog. This attribute can work against us; however, most Weimlovers are addicted to this trait. New to the Weimaraner–you might be shocked at a large breed being this clingy. They are also prone to separation anxiety.

How This Works

When present you are their security blanket. When their humans are absent, the unprepared Weimaraner may freak out. All too many have ended up in rescue or a shelter because unaware admirers acquired them only to discover they couldn’t live with them. Not understanding the separation anxiety lead to unearned freedom and coming home to destruction. It might be your favorite shoes. The sofa arm by the front window or the carpet might be the target of the Weim’s reaction to feeling abandoned. The arm-missing-castoff-sofas greet the unsuspecting returning owner. Most often the human counterpart is perplexed. They might have had a Weim before that didn’t behave like this; however, in this instance, something went awry. Your absence causes them to act out–typically chewing up something to relieve their stress. They fear you will not return to them. You forgot them. The amount of destruction can vary. Sometimes the Weimaraner can escape the environment and give chase looking for you–desperate to find you. The last scenario has ended in a loss more times than you can imagine.

Twists and Turns

 

Griffin's Zeus and Ari Mess

Ari and Zeus made this mess for fun

Separation anxiety can take other forms. Some Weims sulk and then chew because they are upset with you. Nevertheless, they might withhold their love and refuse to even look at you. When your response is heartbrokenness and trying to win back their affection, they have the upper paw. Now, they can expand their toolbox with extreme manipulation. So, they can chew to relieve stress. They can chew because it has become a habit. They can chew to punish you. For those who are less committed, you can see how this can spin out of control.

 

Spiraling Out of Control

When coupled with incessant barking (and your neighbors are reporting you to the police) the destructive Weimaraner soon becomes abhorrent. People imagine that they would never dump their Weim at a shelter. Unfortunately, it happens too often. Therefore, our application process looks to discover the potential for failure with the breed as well as to gather the vital information necessary. Someone who is offended by us wanting the information may look elsewhere for their Weimaraner. It has to be that way. There are too many ways things can go awry–even for the most dog savvy person.

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

Berkley

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.

An update on TRAINING AND LIFE IN GENERAL:

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.

Extending our Time

Delicate Discussions

   ~ Part Two

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Last Friday we discussed the accidental loss of the Weimaraner. One of those haunting and gut-wrenching scenarios that stick with you forever. Of course, we have to be ever vigilant and make sure they are as secure as it is possible. There are; however, other considerations that may well extend your pup’s chance of survival.

No one wants to consider that they might lose their puppy sooner rather than later. While there are no guarantees there a few things we can do to increase the potential longevity.

  1.  Be cautious with the vaccine — we recommend never doubling up the vaccine. That means if you are planning to get an annual DAPPv (Canine Distemper, Adenovirus Type 1 (Hepatitis), Adenovirus Type 2 (Respiratory Disease), Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus) do not combine it with Lepto, Kennel Cough Protection, or the Rabies. It may be your Vet’s standard protocol, but spreading them out is less of a hit on their immune system. (Getting the Lepto only vaccine also gives you greater protection against Lepto).8-Bernie X Boone WK1-22Follow the suggested OwyheeStar puppy vaccine protocol and get a titer test instead of the typical sixteen-week puppy shot. Getting the titers checked for immunity is the smart approach–even if your puppy has shown no sign of being vaccine reactive. Most Weimaraners who have a severe, life-threatening reaction to the sixteen-week shot never had a problem with any previous puppy vaccination. The vaccine titer costs a bit more but nothing in comparison to developing an ongoing immune system issue.

    After the one-year booster, you might consider (down the road) checking the titers again to see if they are still immune. Many professionals have come around to the idea that the DAPPv protection often lasts three years or even longer. The beautiful thing about a titer test is you can find out their immunity level. The unnecessary vaccine could be a potential trigger to a serious health issue.

  2.  Be as Holistic as possible. There are different approaches to Veterinary care. According to the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association (AHVMA)  holistic medicine humane to the core. The techniques used in holistic medicine are gentle, minimally invasive, and incorporate patient well-being and stress reduction. Holistic thinking is centered on love, empathy, and respect. Click on the link in this paragraph to learn more about this approach to Veterinary medicine.
  3.  Medications–some are not as safe as others in our opinion and experience. 20229379_10155028879813305_8042793045446538520_nRimadyl (carprofen) and its generic counterpart Novox Carprofen are something we are not comfortable using for the Weimaraner. You never know when it is going to have a serious adverse side effect–in our case and that of two other OwyheeStar clients experience it led to severe and uncontrollable seizures. There are alternative anti-inflammatory medications. Whenever possible, we recommend you avoid Rimadyl. If it becomes necessary, then try to reduce the dosage or get off it as soon as possible. To manage or to prevent this situation; however, requires that you advocate because it is most usually the go to drug of choice after surgery or when facing arthritic situations.
  4. No one food is right for every Weimaraner. A quality grain-free food is our suggestion, and we are not speaking about one of these premium brands that touts all kind of additives. We believe in adding a quality supplement in the right dosage and staying away from foods that claim they add these things. Why? You might ask. Well,  supplements get old, and even dog food needs to be fresh. Also, how do you know the quality of the additives? You don’t. Stick with the basic quality food and add something that is proven and has excellent quality control. Keep in mind, many of the Big Name Brands are not as high quality as you might think. Your pocketbook may not be able to afford a raw food diet, or the best dog food money can buy. You can provide basic quality food. The right food is apt to help them live longer.
  5. NuVet--we cannot say enough about this supplement. The only caution we have is for young pups. Too much of a good thing can be counterproductive. We suggest you follow our recommended protocol. A small amount of the NuVet powder sprinkled on the young Weimaraner’s food every day will make a big difference. It might take time to see results if you have existing problems, but there are many testimonials including the one we received last week from Mary.  (Click on the NuVet  link below to learn more about this supplement.)

    She writes. PS – when we got Olli we started both dogs on Nuvet. Rudi had horrible allergies but they steadily improved over the last 2 years to the point of not needing any medication. Coincidence?  I think not. We are sold on the benefits.

  6. Bloat is a complicated and somewhat mysterious life-threatening situation. We are going to refer you to an article (rather than addressing it ourselves).  Click Here to find out more about the risk of bloat, thank you!
  7. Insurance–the pros and cons of having it. We believe you should invest in some kind of major medical coverage. Eventually, the athletic Weimaraner is going to need extreme Veterinary or special care. Sometimes this happens early in life–a torn ACL, etc. There is the threat of bloat (as mentioned above) in this breed, too! We cannot speak to which insurance company pays the best. Our Vet Office has their favorite company because they say they pay quickly. Some people say that if you get the insurance up front that the first year is nearly a wash. Many policies cover the vaccine, general care and then you have the cost of the spay or the neuter. (Typically, there is a set allotted amount to cover basic visits in some of these policies–each one is different).
  8. Do your research, but keep in mind that many of these surgical procedures cost Crane's Lucy4$2,000 and up. Insurance doesn’t negate your personal responsibility. We might forget we are the gatekeeper and in the heat of the moment simply say do whatever is needed. Insurance means it might not be a cost consideration–in the midst of a crisis, your Weimaraner may receive medication that leads to other issues. Everyone just wants to trust their Vet to do what is right. We understand. Nevertheless, it is important to always keep in mind that they are treating all breeds and a lot of mutts. Each Veterinary fur client is important, but they are not all equally sensitive to certain vaccines, medication, etc.

Thank you, for doing the best by your Weimaraner. We appreciate every sacrifice made for our OwyheeStar offspring. We work with the best Weimlovers in the universe. How privileged we are!?!

The photos we added are not directly related to loss–just a reminder of what we value.