Category Archives: Puppy Development

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.

Six-Months-Old

Need I Say More?

Hartung's Koda_1436

It’s crazy to see how much Koda has grown in the 4 months we’ve had him.  He used to fit on my lap with no problems and now… well not so much. LOL!  He’s doing great.  Typical 6 months old.

Hartung's Koda_1435

You Know What I Mean

Ornery, loveable, too smart, counter-surfer and a huge cuddle bug!!!  Every day I’m reminded why we added another Weim to the family.

Hartung's Koda_1119

Weim Mentoring

Koda has taken on several behaviors from our 13-year-old, Gabriel.  He drools while waiting for you to put the food in his bowl, has to be with one of us constantly and thinks the couch/bed is their property just to name a few.  They are truly incredible animals!!!  Thanks again for adding so much to our family!

~Chris

Breeder Comment

Thank you, Chris, for the glimpse into raising your Koda. We know there have been challenges of the sort you would expect. Nonetheless, you have dug deep and accommodated the new fur-family-member. You are in the thick of adolescent behavior issues, but here you are working at the keyboard with your new kid helping you (tongue-in-cheek humor). The rewards are many, but we understand what it takes to make all this happen. Keep up the great work, and we appreciate your frequent updates on the process–as do our readers.

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

5-Hollee X Benton_4942

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.

 

 

 

Much-Loved

Koda

Hartung's Koda_1244Oh we love him so very, very much!!!!   He’s super loving, smart and just ornery enough to make you laugh often!!!  Wouldn’t trade him for the world.
Hartung's Koda_1243

Koda still doesn’t like being in a crate while we are gone!   A carabiner solved the getting out issue but I have no idea how he got the zipper on his bed open to tear up the foam.  I guess we take out everything except his stuffy while we are gone now. His crating seems to be going backwards.  Koda doesn’t realize how stubborn his dad is though. Ha-ha! 🙂

I just wish he would do better when we were gone.  I’m sure part of it is due to how much time he spends with me during the day. Working from home isn’t always a good thing. We are talking about taking him to the doggy day care one day a week some friends of ours take their dogs to. I think that would be good for him.  Don’t worry, he’s not going anywhere!!!  🙂

Breeder’s Comment

I don’t suppose Koda can blame this on the neighbor’s dog.

Swimming Pups

The First Swim

I posted this video on Facebook yesterday. I never gave it much thought, but it deserves an explanation. There are six puppies; four are Longhairs. Of the six, five have the natural European-style tail–full length. This tail length is typical around the world for the Longhairs–and it is the Breed Standard. You may have noticed that the one Blue Ghost puppy has a full-length tail too. It was by request.

B-Sadie X Stackhouse 2017 Week Five Adventure-4.jpgThe traditional undocked puppy requires advance notice. We have a very specific protocol for this situation. I will forego the details here, other than to say we require a larger deposit for the obvious reasons. The number of inquiries regarding the undocked tail continues to increase each year.

Introducing Something New

The pups had never seen more than their water dish. Cliff set them in the water as gentle as possible. They all swam. The Weimaraner has webbed toes, and it should be noted that they are often excellent swimmers. When introducing them to water, it is important to be sure they don’t get spooked. Cliff uses lots of patience when he is working an older pup or an adult into the water. Obviously, you cannot carry them out into the water and then set them gently as Cliff did with the pups.

It is important not to spook them. The best technique is to engrain the love of the retrieve from and early age. This obsession with the retrieve works in your favor to get them into the water. A pond with sloping sides is ideal. First, get them retrieving along the water’s edge. Gradually you will ease them out where they must go beyond the bottom. This process could take a couple of days or weeks. With patience, any Weimaraner can learn to swim.

Here is Stackhouse

     ~ another Longhair

Keep In Mind

All Weimaraners have the potential to take to the water. It takes a bit of knack and patience. Our puppy imprinting does guarantee success–nor does it hurt the process. The retrieving and water-work sometimes get cast to the side during the flurry of early adjustment. There are so many things pulling at the process it is easy to forget a few. Socialization (a lot of touches in a safe way), exposure to noise, ingraining the love of the retrieve (not playing keep away) as well as engaging the pup with water are equally important. Balancing everything you are trying to accomplish–the basics we keep talking about and a lot more while doing it in the right manner is not a small task. It is important to spook them and create a fear of people, places, or situations. Some pups are more sensitive to stimuli, and others let it roll off their back. Approach the process with caution staying optimistic and upbeat. Small steps to success will get you results. Preconceived ideas should be shelved. See what you can become together.

Henry

At One YearFilger's Henry Special

Question From a Weimar Mom

Okay, so Henry is 1. And I’ve learned that 18 months is when you can start running with your dog. I’m kind of confused by this because “run” is so vague with this breed. When Henry is playing catch, and darts across the yard with the speed of wind, I consider this running. It’s strenuous, fast, he breathes heavier, etc. I’ve taken him on a few short runs with me, less than 2 miles, and my observation, even though I run at a 9 minutes/mile pace, he appears to just be walking fast. Obviously I don’t want to cause health issues for him in the future, so I am wondering if you could give me more information. Are short runs with me, less than 5 miles, going to cause joint issues for him if I don’t wait another 6 months? And do you think a 9 minute mile pace is really considered a running pace for a weimeraner? ~Kiley

Breeder Comment

Knowing when and how to add age-appropriate exercise is hard to define. Being a serious runner means you want to get the maximum benefit from the time you have together. Longer distances and frequent runs will eventually affect their body–just as it does with humans. The extreme athlete typically would benefit from a major medical insurance policy. A torn ACL or ligament can mean a sizeable Veterinary bill. One such injury often leads to another. No one wants to face such a situation. Nevertheless, this type of thing is a reality even if you have done everything right along the way. Insurance–another consideration when speaking of you and the Weimaraner.

Joint development is affected by various things–their DNA, how fast they grow and the amount of high-pact exercise they see before the growth plates close. Typically, we expect the growth plates to close sometime between a year and a year and a half. During this time of development, recommendations are to keep the runs shorter–about 3 miles a day. With the very high-energy Weimaraner, this seems like too little. It is easy to forget the caution when you are trying to achieve a tired Weim pup. In light of this dilemma, we always suggest swimming. The water retrieve is the best and the safest way to burn a lot of energy without causing harm to the developing joints.

Speaking of high impact exercise–things like playing the frisbee is equally hard on the young Weimaraner. Jumping and beating their feet on the pavement should be avoided. The dirt or grass path is much easier, but still, we feel it is wise to hold off on the pounding regime of a long distance runner until they for sure have those growth plates closed. Only an X-ray can determine if the growth plates are closed. So, for the longevity you want, please take to exercising the young Weimaraner with care. Also, we mentioned it earlier–make sure they grow slow. Feeding the large breed (rather than the regular puppy) food is vital to the hips and joints. That puppy chow stuff will fill them out like a butterball and cause them to grow even faster. Slow growth is preferred. Regardless, they grow to adult-looking before the six month birthday. It is shocking!

Rule of Thumb–about three miles should be fine from day one until about a year. From there on out, you have to kind of guess. No one can speak to your exact situation. Of course, the Weimaraner is capable of running more than a nine-minute mile. The biggest concern is the pounding of the pavement or whatever surface on which you run. It is the impact factor because the growth plates are at the end of the bones. Click Here to read a blog on this topic.

More From Kiley

17425926_10155017109079564_5112457838743378612_nPs. I wanted to pass along too how Henry excels at being an active and lazy dog. He loves his walks, loves being outside, but he doesn’t mind being lazy either. Last night I worked and Kevin was out of town, so Henry was in his kennel. I got home this morning, let him out, fed him, and then took him to bed with me this morning. He contently slept with me until 1:30. Exercising him is ideal, but on the days it doesn’t happen, he doesn’t get restless or destructive, he just goes with the flow.
Other than the above questions, Henry has done well with our few runs. He stays to the left, remains mostly focused on me and what is ahead, and doesn’t pull. Henry will be a fabulous running partner for me!!

 

More Comments from Shela and Cliff

 

We like to say the Weimaraner has two speeds–on and off. Wiggle your toe while watching TV and they might assume you are getting ready to do something and in turn fly off the sofa.

More than anything the Weimaraner is all about the relationship. If they want to please you and they respect you and you them, it is a beautiful thing. You are off to an awesome beginning. We wish you all the best on your journey.

Litter Socialization

Interaction Counts

     ~ Human and with Littermates

Evie and River-Sadie X Stackhouse 2017 Week Five Adventure-13The raising puppies and litter socialization has seen a lot of ink. There are different philosophies. Some variances are due to a particular breed. Personal preference, and in some cases scientific evidence define the protocol. It was once commonplace to pick up a puppy at five or six weeks of age. We now this is not in a pups best interest.

B-Sadie X Stackhouse 2017 Week Five Adventure-4Important things are happening within the litter from day one; however, from day thirty-five to the departure (around eight weeks of age) the litter hierarchy and interaction is vital to development. These lessons impact the Weimaraner’s future. It doesn’t mean that raising the Weim pup will be easy; nevertheless, these lessons cannot be short-changed. They are the foundation for socialization and the maturing process. Litter interaction is not the end of the socialization process. The first three years of their life (and especially the first eighteen months) require a concerted effort. Regardless, what seems like play is invaluable.

Considerations

A breeder has to manage the socialization and at the same time balance it with risk. Parvo being tracking onto the property would be a tragedy. Shoes must be sanitized, and access has to be limited. A constant stream of visitors would not be a healthy situation. Nevertheless, it is important to take advantage of the perfect opportunity. We believe it is important to have a child touch or handle a pup somewhere along the way as well as to have both female and males in the loop. The pups gain a lot of the experience, and their senses pick up on the different types of handling as well as the scents. Evie and River-Sadie X Stackhouse 2017 Week Five Adventure-6

Ongoing Socialization 

Exposing the pups to various experiences is also important. Not every litter can have the same exact experience. Summer pups are not going to experience snow. They should experience water–we like to swim the pups when possible.

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Jan Magnuson’s SunStar All Breed Training Graduation

 

Once they join their forever family, the process continues. Some recommend one hundred touches in a hundred days. This process has to be carefully managed too. Limiting risk (exposure to the Parvo virus as well as other dangers–aggressive dogs and some scary humans) is vital. Knowing how to react when something goes awry is equally important. Pups need to learn to love to meet people and other dogs. Each experience should be a building block. They also need to acquire skills that make them good citizens. Socialization takes place whether you guide it in the right direction or not. We want the best possible outcome–this is going to require you being an excellent handler/leader and getting involved in a positive classroom setting.

Waylon

Off To A Good Start

17192077_10210819050745348_7420979322273107579_oIt’s hard not to brag how good he’s doing!  Sleeping pretty much through the night ( sometimes needs out once). He’s a chewer but sticks to his toys.  He loves attention but isn’t whining at all when he goes in the crate ( I’ve been doing random times for an hour or so when I’m home so he isn’t anxious when he does have to be left). He plays a few hours and sleeps a few hours.  He goes into his crate and sleeps on his own. And also goes into the living room to sleep on his bed. Needy but not anxious to be apart.

He has the calmest yet playful personality!!
Hope all is well with you and Cliff 🐾🐾🐾

~ Cristi (Bend, Or)

Breeder Comment

Thank you, Cristi, for thinking of us in the midst of raising the Weimaraner puppy. We are thrilled it is going well–stay the course, and let it unfold bit-bit-bit. You are doing perfectly. There will be ups as well as downs–these guys tend to test the boundaries as well as your authority as things move along. Your relationship is key to the success. Getting them to want to please you now will pay life-long dividends.

storm_5243

Stormy “So, you want a kiss?”

Waylon’s lineage is pretty amazing. It includes maternal Grandma Deli, Grandpa Zee as well as the infamous Stormy and Dusty on the paternal side. Dusty is the only living grandparent, but all the aforementioned Weims had more than decent longevity. Hollee was a late in life offspring for Miss Deli–a single pup litter (after many attempts in the hope of getting her. Almost every OwyheeStar pup is related to one or more of these foundational Weimaraners.

We sincerely hope Waylon lives long and continues to thrive. Again, we sincerely thank you, for this update. We know others appreciate reading it too!

The Look

The Weimaraner Knows

           ~my eyes are on you!

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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.