Category Archives: Puppy Development

To Wait, Or Not

Nancy Shares Her Thoughts

     ~Spaying and Neutering

Garin's Tikka Panties

To wait or not to wait, that is the question! The current thoughts dictate that it is best to wait until your dog is a year or older to spay. Well, we all want what is the absolute best for our fur babies. They say wait, ok I’m going to wait which means going through at least one heat cycle. Let me tell you going through a heat cycle is not an easy thing, not for the owner or the dog! If you don’t have the time to monitor your pup 24/7 for at least two plus weeks then you should spay before a heat cycle begins. We have let both of our girls go through a heat cycle before spaying. I don’t remember much about Luna’s cycle, but Tikka’s is fresh In My mind!
   Once she started bleeding it was two and a half weeks of dripping, two and a half weeks of not being able to go potty by herself (we have fenced property, but when it comes to breeding nature finds a way!) , two and a half weeks of being kenneled when we leave the house, two and a half weeks of not getting to go out due to her “condition”. My girls hated the bulky diaper things you can buy for dogs in heat so for Tikka … Victoria Secret panties (modified a bit!) with a panty liner seemed to be the most comfortable 😊
  When she finally stopped bleeding I realized that it wasn’t just miserable for me, she seemed genuinely happy to be done with that too, she didn’t understand the changed handling or the change in the way she felt, it was difficult for all of us.
   I would say if you don’t have the time or patience to monitor your pup 24/7  to prevent an unwanted pregnancy then it might be best to spay before the first heat cycle.

Breeder Comment

This topic is often heated–even Veterinarians may disagree on when it is ideal to alter your pet. It is not a topic we want to discuss–especially when it comes to the female. We (Cliff and I) feel the ideal time to alter your Weimaraner might vary from person to person. The hormones do play an essential role in the growth process. Proponents talk about waiting through the first heat-cycle–when that might happen can vary. We like to suggest you hold off a bit–altering around 8 months and sometimes waiting until they are about a year old. The growth plates close sometime between 12-15 months. A male can produce a litter around eight months. Some females show little evidence of being in heat, while others bleed profusely–it can be quite the challenge. Possibly, thinking about as timing rather than the heat cycle would help some of you.

Honestly, many are better off altering their Weimaraner around eight months for the reasons Nancy mentions. We won’t repeat what she has already said. The idea is to alter them around six months. We suggest you consider all the facts and then discuss your options with your Veterinarian of choice. Thank you, Nancy, for sharing your thoughts as well as the experience.

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.

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!

Pushkin

Roadtrip

     ~Coping with Excess Energy 

20180414_154025
Pushkin and I are preparing for a long road trip to Arizona to move my mother into an assisted living facility. Once that has been taken care of we are going on to the Chaco Canyons of New Mexico.  It is the oldest Anasazi site in the U.S. In preparation for the trip to Arizona, we took a trip from Salem to Kennewick to see my grandchildren.

What I learned on the drive was that we had to stop quite often, not because Push had to “potty” but because he needed exercise. Once he was out of the car and we walked for a bit he settled right down when we started up again. At every rest stop, someone would comment on what a beautiful dog he is. I have attached some pictures for you. The man is my son, the children are obviously my grandchildren. I am not sure who that white-haired old woman is, could it be me?😏

What a great dog he is!
Marie

Breeder Comment

Thanks for the great share–we are excited you’re traveling together. That is fun. We loved your pointer on burning off the excess energy. It is good for humans as well.
One suggestion we might have is to be careful about dusty areas you visit while in the Southwest. Valley Fever in dogs is a thing. We would not want anything to happen to the lovely Puskin. Click here to read a bit about this potential risk. 

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!”

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.