Category Archives: Puppy Tips & Info
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.
Other 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.
As 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
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!”
What Does Your Weim Do?
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
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.
At the Nielsen Farm Pond
We 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!!
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
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.
At 16 Weeks
Elio continues to be an absolute joy and an incredible addition to my little fur family! He’s a calm, well-mannered puppy who picks up on things incredibly fast! We’re going into week 3 of puppy classes and he’s doing great! 🙂
A Reminder to Proceed with Caution
The Sadie X Stackhouse Litter will celebrate their sixteen-week birthday on this coming Sunday (June 25th). That brings everyone to a crossroad. By now a lot has happened, and everyone will have found themselves insanely busy raising their Weimaraner. The Weimaraner’s (and the OwyheeStar) Vaccine Protocol can have been forgotten.
Your Veterinary office will have a different (broad-based) vaccine protocol. Even if they agree to follow the recommendations, it will fall on the pup’s owner to remember these details. We suggest putting the dates on your calendar and ignoring the Veterinary office alerts. Otherwise, it gets very confusing. If you have forgotten the protocol read on1
- 6-Week NEOPAR® Puppy Shot(given at OwyheeStar)
- 9-Week *Nobivac Canine 1-DAPPv
- 12- Week *Nobivac Canine 1-DAPPv
- Other vaccines such as Lepto and Kennel Cough (Bordatella) should be given as needed–and avoided when possible. We recommend not combining these shots with any other vaccine–, especially rabies. Vaccine challenges the immune system to build antibodies; therefore, we strongly encourage you to space Lepto, Bordetella, and Rabies vaccination at least two weeks apart. We realize that many veterinary practices give multiple vaccinations at a single visit; however, this approach is easier on the immune system. If a reaction does occur, then you know what caused it and plan to avoid it in the future. Yes, we understand this is a more costly approach–avoiding the risk is worth it!
- 16-Week Crossroad <== Opt for the Vaccine Titer Test instead of automatically getting another puppy shot. Your Vet is going to recommend just doing the shot because that is typical for the all-breed approach; however, a percentage of Weims are vaccine sensitive. Although your pup probably never had a reaction before, please do not ignore this warning. Even a mild vaccine reaction can trigger immune system issues–some of these lead to on-going health problems and in certain instances death. It is not worth the risk! The vaccine titer test runs more than double the cost of the typical puppy shot, but it might save you thousands over time as well as the potential heartache. Almost without exception, our protocol has been producing immunity by week sixteen, which means your puppy doesn’t need any more essential vaccine. If you need the optional vaccines (Bordetella or Lepto) these can be done; however, please space them at least two weeks apart from the Rabies.
Vaccine Blog Post For the OwyheeStar Client Only click here! (requires password)
PUPPY VACCINE CLARIFICATION (Lepto)
There is a significant push by the Veterinary community (due to the recent rise of Lepto) to include Lepto in the puppy shot. The Weimaraner Club of America (as well as others who study this breed) recommend you wait to give the Lepto, etc. until the puppy shots are completed. The puppy shot should not include Lepto or Corona. No other vaccine should be combined with the puppy shot. Waiting for the Lepto, Bordetella, and another vaccine until the pup is a little older is less risky. It takes more effort and costs a bit more to space the vaccine, but is worth it.
What is the DAPPv?
Canine Distemper, Adenovirus Type 1 (Hepatitis), Adenovirus Type 2 (Respiratory Disease), Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus (Click Here to read more about the vaccine we use. Remember the Puppy Shot should not contain the Lepto or Corona.
We are neither Licensed Veterinarians nor Licensed Veterinary Techs. Our recommendations are based on twenty-plus years breeding the Weimaraner (exclusively) as well as the breed recommendation (from the Weimaraner Club of America). Ultimately, you have to decide what is the best approach. This protocol is considered a more Holistic and safer approach. That being said, our advice cannot replace that of your Veterinary of choice.
One Family’s Journey
May 3, 2017
Hi All! Koda slept through the night on Saturday. I woke him up at 2:00 to go out then he woke us up around 5:30-6:00 to go out. The last couple of nights it’s been more of what I expected. He wants out every 2.5 – 3 hours. During the night he does great in the crate. It’s rougher during the day for sure. Patience is the key along with staying on the plan but wow, does this boy have a set of lungs! LOL. He’s been doing so good for the most part. When we go out to potty he does his thing then goes and sits in front of the door to let you know he’s done and ready to go back in. We’ve been setting him down then standing off to the side of the dogs “bathroom” and he sniffs around then goes. We have a separate yard that we’ve rocked for the dogs to use as a bathroom. He did have a couple of accidents this morning but I’m pretty sure he was stressed a bit. We had a tough morning with my son. Most days he wakes up great but occasionally he is a total bear. Argues, is mean, etc. Today was that day. After everybody settled down so did Koda. We all got puppy kisses and he fell asleep on the couch with his blanket and a stuffy. J He’s asleep right now under my desk, between my feet. He is so smart, cute and loveable!!! Thank you so very much for helping bring him into our family!!!
May 4, 2017
I got 6 hours of sleep last night!!!!!!! I was feeling reeeaaalllyyy tired, to the point I was just running on auto pilot. Koda and I fell asleep between 10 and 10:30, he was in his kennel which I moved closer to my side of the bed. I woke up about 4:30, amazed that it was that late and wondering if I should wake him up. He must have felt that I was awake, he gave a couple small scratches at the gate to let me know and off we went to the bathroom. Of course he didn’t want to stay there when we came back in so we snuggled on the floor in front of the kennel. I know he fell back asleep and I must have because my wife’s alarm woke me up about 6:15. He is such a good snuggler.
May 5, 2017I wish I could say that sleep was my friend last night but Mr. Koda had other plans. He didn’t want to settle into his kennel at first. Finally around 11:00 or so he did. Woke up at 2:30 wanting out then really didn’t want to be in the kennel. Took about 30 minutes and me laying in front of it for him to sleep. Up at 5:30… no way was I going to fight that fight so snuggled him for 30 minutes until it was time for us to get up. I need coffee 🙂May 6, 2017Koda threw a fit for a long time last night. Julie thinks it was almost 2 hours. My wife and the kids were sleeping upstairs and I was with Koda downstairs. After about 45 minutes I fell asleep. LOL! I was tired and I have some good ear buds. Tough love it is. Thanks again!!!May 8, 2017Great night last night!!! Slept from 10:30 to 6:25 this morning!!!
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.
The 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.
At One Year
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
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!
More From Kiley
Ps. 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.