Category Archives: The Weimaraner

Every Breath You Take

~ Sounds Like

I often wonder how we do it. You know–raise a puppy. We bring the little bundle home and hover over them. It is essential to do the hovering thing–otherwise, how can you accomplish the housebreaking, etc.? But this obsession with our new fur baby runs deep–some of this never goes away.

Their every sound–a rattling, a snore, a hacking sound is cause for alarm. We watch breath-abated wondering if we need to run to the Vet. Ah–it is hard to know sometimes. We always suggest you wait and watch a bit–possibly take their temperature. Remember that a pet’s temperature is much higher than ours–typically around 101 degrees. Anything above 104 degrees is emergent. Of course, if you were monitoring their temperature and it was 102 degrees and then within an hour 103 degrees, there might be cause for alarm. Always err on the side of caution–but rushing to the Vet for everything is probably not necessary. In fact, your alarm will be internalized by the puppy increasing the stress-factor. Try to stay calm.

A lot–and I do mean a lot, of our concerns, are for nothing. Puppies can cough, they snort, the sneeze, they can reverse sneeze (something we recently learned), they choke, and create a myriad of noises. Many of which are concerning. Most of which are in the end nothing at all. Thank goodness.

Keep your eye on them. A pup can ingest something in quick order–so despite saying not to overreact, there is vigilance. Recently, Henri went under my recliner and came out with a packet –that must have been attached underneath the chair. We didn’t realize it was there, but Henri found two–probably toxic packets. Oh my gosh–it is good we heard the crackling sound and asked what she had. We retrieved each package and tossed them in the trash. Thankfully they were not broken open.

Expert Advice

~ We Do What we are able

Breeder Comment

Cliff and I get a lot of Email inquiries–most are from folks hoping we have a puppy that can make their dream come true. Others are from folks like Dale–seeking advice and making commentary on our blog. We cannot always offer the level of advice some need or expect. Recommendations are hard to give when we are not in the loop and time is limited; however, we do what we are able to do. In this situation, we shared the food we have used and some information about the Weimaraner and heart issues. We have not seen many cases –so relax. Nevertheless, there are plenty of things that can go wrong when it comes to health. We always recommend being as Holistic in your approach as possible. I have posted Dale’s note (with his permission)–maybe some of you can identify with Dale. We all can agree that the loss of our beloved Weimaraner is something inexplicable. There are no words to adequately describe our relationship and the hole they leave behind. It is best to focus on what they brought to our life–to count every day allotted a blessing.

From Dale

Hello Shela,  Your Owyheestar blog is the first email I open EVERY day.   And re-read.   And forward to friends and family.  I know it’s a lot of work keeping up with the blog, but know that you do a great job, and all these Weimaraner pix and stories warm a lot of hearts.    Although we adopted Duke, our Weim, at 1, we did not get him from you.  Though we will next time.  But this question is important to you and all your Weim lovers.   I stumbled upon your website a few months after we lost our beloved Weimaraner, Duke (below) at age 10.   He was a bullet running, swimming, hiking, playing until two weeks before he died of asymptomatic congestive heart failure and cardiomyopathy.   It’s been almost 8 months and I still can’t believe he’s gone.   Such a personality. I’d like to discuss your food recommendations.  I purchased what I researched as the best foods, mixing up flavors every month.   The brands were Origen, Acana and Zignature.  Mainly Acana.   They all had high protein levels (28%), and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.   No grain.  He received 5 cups of food a day, mostly chicken, beef and fish, until shortly before he died.  One month after Duke died, research came out from Joshua Stern, UC Davis, that certain foods that were high in legumes, were linked to heart disease in several breeds that lack a genetic history of the ailment.  (Canine diluted cardiomyopathy CDM)  Apparently these expensive boutique foods had a taurine deficiency.  Meats have plenty of taurine, but legumes do not.   So the red flag is legumes listed in the first six ingredients of the food.   Also, chicken and beef are high in taurine, while many exotic meats such as lamb, rabbit and others, and legumes have little or none.  Research is ongoing, and I know that CDM happens in these big-hearted dogs like Weims, pointers, etc.  I don’t know if the food caused or contributed to Duke’s premature death, but given his excellent health, it is a possibility.   But have you heard anything?   And what foods do you recommend? Also, we’re wondering about getting another Weim at our age.   I’m 66, my husband is 68, and we’re not sure we can keep up and do justice to another Weim.   Any thoughts on this?  Thank you for all you do, Dale

Seven Steps to Success

OwyheeStar Recommends

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Note: This is a repost of an article we have shared several times. Our pups are ready to acclimate to their new environment upon arrival. We recommend not over-thinking at the early stages.

  1. Be committed — Commitment to the process is primary. Training your pup will take time. Think of this as a journey (a road trip) with a destination in mind. Don’t set timelines; instead, take this adventure together. It will take as long as it takes for each achievement. Sometimes just when you think, you have arrived; your Weimaraner will hit a snag or transitional phase. There are many of these stages in the first couple of years. As with an adolescent, they can be going along well and suddenly regress. Please take this in stride it is nothing personal. The first occurrence could well be prior to week twelve. Stay calm and move ahead–this is how to avoid ingraining fear or some unwanted behavior.
  2. Keep your eye on the young puppy at all times—This is vitally important for at least the first 2-3 weeks, or until you have the housebreaking part accomplished. Use a crate, bag, or soft-side crate to confine the pup when you cannot be vigilant. The crate should not be too large. If it is more than they need they may select one end for a potty area.
  3. Be consistent–Do everything in the same manner! For example, the pup wakes up and stirs. At first, you would pick them up and carry them out to the area where you want them to go potty. Each time you see them circling or rousing from a nap go to the potty-area. If you use the bells hung at the door, then ring them as you go out the door. Soon they will be ringing the bells as a signal for you to open the door.
  4. Keep it simple — Although your pup can learn amazing things, it is best to do a few simple things and build upon those experiences. The process will unfold naturally if you allow it to do so; start with getting them to come. Although they all follow and come to us, it is different once they start to mature. Do the hallway exercise (5-7 retrieves each night). By using a hallway (with adjoining doors closed) there is nowhere for them to escape with the toy, ball, or dummy. Some people treat them when they bring the item to their hand. It is not necessary. The activity is a reward in and of itself. Have a couple of bumpers or toys (designated for this activity). Make it an event every day until you move to the yard because you have compliance.
  5. Keep it fun — Weimaraners are brilliant and learn quickly. A trainer might tell you to work for an hour and even a half hour doing one exercise every night, but we suggest ten minutes. Do it for ten minutes and then do something fun. This approach works for us! If your Weim pup loses interest, you lose ground in the training process.
  6. Remember it is about your relationship — No matter what you are doing it is important to remember that Weims are all about relationship. If they get their feelings hurt, things can go sour quickly. Your bonding experience is vital to the success of this relationship. Take time to think and see things from their perspective. You are the center of their world. They not only want to control you, but they want to own you. Weimaraners are the ultimate Velcro dog and must learn how to stay alone. Your relationship is a double-edged sword. They need a lot of time, attention, and affection. They also need to find ways to cope when you are absent. We recommend starting this process very early, or they will come to expect you will be there 24 X 7. Separation anxiety can be a huge issue in this breed.
  7. Be patient — When you go out to teach your pup a skill, make sure it is a learn-able task. Plan enough time to accomplish the task–but keep your training focused to ten to twenty minutes maximum. The short bursts of success are more effective than lengthy sessions. Your attitude and demeanor play into the equation too! If you are feeling stressed, forego training your Weimaraner. There are many methods of training. Nevertheless, choose one that enhances your bonding experience and one that creates a respectful environment for all concerned.

The best Weimaraner people are those that are natural leaders. Anytime you feel your relationship is stressed then you are going down the wrong road. The persons that are neither too strict nor too lenient are usually, the ones that excel. Regardless of what happens, it is always best to pro-active than to be reactive. Stay calm. Keep it simple. Get results. Plan little steps of learning and build upon them. Try our 7 steps to Success, and we believe you will be on the right path.

Wishing you fewer puppy bites and more puppy kisses

One Last Love before he leaves…..

~ Shela and Cliff

A Penchant for Paper!

      ~Naughty Maizie, Or Not!

No Paper on My Lips or Anywhere

You wouldn’t believe that this little beauty, MAIZIE, age 6.5, has a penchant for paper!  

You can file this in a chapter of “Weim Crimes!”  Yesterday, we left the house for an hour.  Maizie stayed home.  Usually always on our return home, she happily greets us—smiling, chattering, nibbling, wiggling with glee.  Yesterday she did not greet us.  Uh oh.   (She doesn’t greet us if she’s been naughty).   I found her laying in her living room sofa bed—ears back and shivering!  Uh oh.  Major telltale guilt!  We did a search of the house to find the “evidence” and came up with nothing!  We assumed then that she was just “thinking” about doing something naughty—reason for her guilty behavior.  That was, UNTIL…..
…..I went to make dinner!  Before we left home, I had printed a new recipe, Martha Stewart’s “Bacon-Mushroom-Leek Galette.”  It printed out on 3 pages.  I had left it on the dining room table.  It was nowhere to be found!  
BUSTED!  She didn’t leave a trace!  I had to reprint it to make dinner!  This is why we close our office door when we leave the house, can’t leave mail on the table, or leave a package in sight!  This girl’s got a penchant for paper!
Linda ❤️🐾

Breeder Comment

We cannot believe how smart this girl is, and as I replied–this is not her first paper raid you told us about. Old habits die hard. I guess the good news is it is paper—just so she doesn’t take to eating cash or important documents. (OMG)

Turkey Talk

Thanksgiving

          ~What We Don’t Want

Where's the Turkey

The emergency Vet Vist probably tops our list. It is the quickest way to spoil our celebration. Nonetheless, is there a time when our attention is more divided? The snatch and grab Weimaraner could abscond with some spectacular finds. They are everywhere–the counter, the dining table, the plates, and possibly on the floor. One thing you might overlook–the rising bread dough or rolls. Bread Dough Toxicosis can prove life-threatening. Maybe a toddler is waving a turkey leg. Is that an invite? The opportunist Weimaraner will make the most of this food-driven holiday gathering.

The humans at your table–they are a significant threat to the Weimaraner. Who doesn’t want to sneak the pup a treat? But too many sneaks and the gut can become overloaded even with acceptable food. The sensitive Weim might have a bout of pancreatitis from too much fatty food. Then there are the cooked poultry bones–be sure if you throw them out it is where the Weimaraner cannot steal them.

You Might Consider

IMG_5035What if you made a plate for the Weimaraner that everyone could help share? This plating idea might work. Here are some excellent choices.

  • Turkey — no bones
  • Green beans (plain)
  • Squash or Pumpkin (plain)
  • Apple slices (without the seeds)

Avoid These

      ~ to mention a few

  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Stuffing
  • Gravy
  • Corn on the Cob
  • Nuts (pecans and Macadamia)
  • Grapes and Raisins

You can bake a Weim cookie or a Weim pie that forgoes the seasonings. Eggs and pumpkin and a tiny bit of milk will bake up nicely. You could make the crust using treats. Possibly make them in a silicone cupcake pan or cupcake papers. We are not saying it cannot be a lot of fun for the Weimar too. However, no one wants the unthinkable to spoil all the fun.

Remember, it is all good and fun until the unthinkable happens!

Here’s to an excellent Thanksgiving Day Celebration for all our Weim-loving Friends!!

Titles Earned

Hello there from the snowy Rocky Mountains!

     ~ Julia and Shiny–Nosework

IMG_3688A couple weeks ago, Shiny earned his second title in nosework from the NACSW (National Association of Canine Nosework). He was tested on 2 different odors – birch and anise, as well as his ability to distinguish between converging odors in interior spaces, exterior spaces, on vehicles and in containers. To attain the level 2 title, he had to search perfectly in all 4 of those challenges. He performed beautifully!! And was given all the most delicious treats his heart desired!! 56236783715__8EF6683F-C7D1-43DF-A0F7-4D6F48711259He was very tired at the end of the day.
Thank you for such a wonderful dog and best friend!!

Breeder Comment

Julia, with your Weimaraner experience as well as you being a Licensed Vet Tech, we are honored by your compliment. Of course, we are thrilled that Shiny is doing well with the Nosework. (Haha) We appreciate your concerted effort to take your experience with Shiny to new heights. Thanks for everything you, and especially for remembering us. We truly appreciate it.

Food and Such

Life with Bella

     ~and Levi

Levi in Bella's spot on the couch)

“What do you think you are doing Levi? You are in my spot!”

Let me set the backdrop (the scenario, or the stage) what I am going to share with you– before Bella, Levi the 11-yr-old lab was a grazer. I would fill the Bowl in the morning, and there would still be food the next morning.

Since Bella arrived, things have changed.

When she first came, I fed both of them separately because Bella ate different food. That lasted about a week because they both kept eating each other’s food. So I put Levi on the same food as Bella. That worked out perfect. Well, except for one thing.  Bella would chow down her food and then go finish off Levi’s.

I started putting more in Bella’s Bowl and less in Levi’s.  Then Levi started to eat Bella’s food right out of her bowl. Levi would eat a little move on to her own bowl. All the while, Bella hovers over Levi. There is no barking– no growling. It is just Bella silently hovering–watching and waiting. Once Levi’s finished she will go lay down now it’s Bella’s turn to eat.  (It is kind of funny watching cuz it is like she’s waiting. ) Then Bella will growl and bark at Levi who is not even near her (she does this also with treats.) I point this fact out to her to no avail. She has never attacked Levi or anything like that. (She’s such a sweetheart I doubt anything like that would ever happen). I believe this is nothing–it seems to be because I’m able to take the bowl away without her doing anything. It’s just odd that she does this whole grumbling thing, and it is a lengthy process, or I would send a video.

Bella’s new favorite pastime is licking my food air (lol).   I just thought it was kind of a funny story–maybe others will relate.

Have an awesome day
Debbie

Breeder Comment

Debbie, thanks for the effort to write out your funny food-related story. I think people will love reading about it. Also, we agree this is not food aggression–it is good that she allows you to take her dish, etc.
I do believe she is plotting and planning to manipulate the system to her liking. (OMG) Weims are interesting and very intelligent. Those dog intelligence tests don’t work, because when they show their stuff is in the inner circle of their little world. (Haha) You are an awesome Weimloving Mama.

Opportunistic

Our Turn

     ~Pilikia and Kula Bleu

The photo you posted yesterday made me send you this when April and I get up, they get in bed and take our place!
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Mahalo,
Brent

Breeder Comment

How many OwyheeStar Weims like to crawl under the covers. We all know that this is a thing. Some share the bed with their owners. Others might not be able to take it over until their ‘hoomans’ get up. Either way, they take full advantage when given the opportunity. Isn’t this about the cutest thing ever?

Cat Problems

Ellie’s Life

     ~No Space Between

Davidson's Ellie

Ellie continues to have cat problems.  She can barely sleep!
She also has a great nose and a soft mouth.  I know this because she brings us pheasants from the cornfield.  I tell her to let them go and the pheasants fly off back to the corn, only a little worse for wear.

Breeder Comment

Ellie has an amazing life. She enjoys all the comfort of home even though she is required to share her space with the cat. This just cracks me us.
I think it is safe to say that most of the OwyheeStar Weims have a soft mouth approach to their prey–well unless it is the house siding, etc. (Haha)

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.