Blog Archives

4th of July

~With Lu–ears flapping

I’m not always on the waterI love every season


In the video below our grand-daughter is tubing on July 4 and Lu is playing “spotter” – wondering why in the world she’s not in there too!

Lu loves to ride and alternates between going to the front of the boat and sitting on the cushioned bench (gets major scents up there) and sitting or standing right by dad, the pilot. 

Lu with her Ears –spotting that Granddaughter


First couple of times she was uncertain about the noise and vibration, but quickly became accustomed to riding on water and loves watching the scenery, birds, and just getting to “be with” (you know how that is!). 

Fireworks — No Problem


BTW, she has never reacted at all one way or another to the loud firecrackers on the 4th, or thunder, or anything else that we as humans might consider as disturbing. Not sure if you pre-conditioned them to loud noises, but we also have a gun range that we walk by regularly on our way to running on the dunes. same thing, no reaction. But let someone walk or ride a bike past the front gate she’s on full protection mode!


Sharyl

Breeder Comment

This video not only entertained us–it was so much fun to watch Lu with her ears flapping. Thank you, Sharyl, for thinking of us. I am sure all our readers will enjoy this, too.

We do condition the pups to sound–all bets are off when they leave here. (Haha) They have to adjust to a new family, the new environment, and their humans may unwittingly do things that ingrain a fear. It happens. Kudos to you for keeping Lu well-balanced.

New Year Celebrations

Fireworks-Remix-2015052712Fireworks!

     ~Fireworks can screw up a dog faster than anything.

 

From Steve Snell @

        Gun Dog Supply

IMG_4089Everybody needs to be careful with fireworks around their young dogs and older dogs that have not been properly conditioned to gunfire (see video).

Fireworks are unnatural. You don’t have a lot of control over when or where the noise happens. Fireworks can screw up a dog faster than anything. It’s a lot harder to fix a gun shy or noise sensitive dog than it is to prevent gun shyness in the first place.

This year, only one of my dogs is showing a little gun sensitivity, so Loretta is going to stay in the house over the holiday while the neighbors are shooting off fireworks.

Here are some tips to prevent fireworks sensitivity in your dogs:

  • Keep your dogs as far away from fireworks as possible.
  • If possible, bring your dogs inside in a closed-off, interior room.
  • Block out the noise with a TV, radio, or white-noise maker.
  • Check with your neighbors about their fireworks plans.
  • Ask for a phone call before they start.

Sometimes the fireworks start before New Year’s Eve or the 4th of July and run a few days after the holiday.

There is NO REASON for a dog to be around fireworks, and I do everything I can to keep my dogs away from them. Usually dogs conditioned to gunfire can handle the noise of fireworks, but there really isn’t anything good about them as far as dogs are concerned. We sell a couple of products that are designed to help dogs get over the fear of fireworks, but I really prefer NOT to have to sell them.

CONCERNS

My biggest concern is that a dog will hurt themselves trying to get away from the noise. My second concern is that exposure will create a gun shy or noise-sensitive problem where there doesn’t have to be one.

NOISE-SHY DOES NOT EQUAL GUN SHY

Just because a dog is noise-sensitive to fireworks, does NOT necessarily mean that will translate into gunshyness, but why take a chance?

My best gun dog ever, Em, never had a problem with gunfire, but she was so afraid of thunderstorms that we had to build a special top for her kennel run so she couldn’t climb out or hurt herself trying.

HOW NOT TO EXPOSE A NEW PUP TO FIREWORKS

I was at a party a few years back and watched a new dog get exposed to fireworks completely the wrong way. The dog was in her kennel but still in full view of everything that was going on. Once the fireworks started she became more and more upset and wanted out of the kennel. To calm her down they let her out of her crate and she made a break for it. They didn’t find her for two days.

The volume and brightness of fireworks is just too much for most dogs and nothing good is going to come from it. Please take the time to protect your pets while the possibility of unexpected explosions are around.

I do my best to keep all my dogs away from any kind of fireworks. Even dogs that have been properly conditioned to gunfire can become upset or nervous when exposed to fireworks. It just isn’t worth it.

Fireworks happens twice a year with New Year’s and Fourth of July. You might want to condition your dogs to fireworks, especially if you live where your dogs will be exposed a couple of weeks out of the year. It never hurts to check with your neighbors about their fireworks plans. Give them a heads up that you have a young dog and ask them to give you a call before they start.

People don’t think about fireworks until it’s too late, so think about it a little now. The majority of dogs don’t have a problem with it, but some do. Why take a chance? No point in stressing your dogs out.

Remember, if you want to shoot fireworks, be safe and have fun. Just keep in mind that unexpected noise and stress could create a problem where one doesn’t exist. — Steve

Safe 4th Of July

graphics-fireworks-399589Happy Birthday, America!

 

19598437_10213244750335880_8067902691027160628_n

As birthday celebrations go, American’s Independence Day is spectacular. It tends to begin early and drag on for days afterward. This scenario is to many a person and their pet’s chagrin. Even the rock-solid gun dog may well shake and quiver at the barrage of blasts coming from seemingly ever direction. It is no secret that every year shelters are filled to overflowing, and workers are scrambling to reunite pets with their families. We trust everyone has their pet’s microchip on file with AKC Reunite–this can get them back to you quickly should the unthinkable happen.

Separation is not the only untoward situation stemming from this holiday. Fireworks poisoning is a thing–click here to get the details. If it isn’t enough that so many pets are traumatized by the blasts, there are other ways to get into trouble. We don’t want to think about those things on a day like to today, but ingested fireworks can lead to an emergency situation. For the pet that isn’t afraid of anything, they might chase and capture the pod–they might swallow poison or get burned. Then too, while you have your eyes on the sparklers or whatever, who would see the Weimaraner’s stealthy action at the food table or in the garbage. Cooked bones (in particular poultry) can be deadly. Long after the plate is cleaned (or the trash raided) the reality can surface. It is hard to be vigilant 24 X 7 on a day such as today. The Weimaraner is paw-ty smart and manipulative by nature.

Thank you, for including your Weimaraner in the family activities. Only you know what is appropriate. We mention these potential dangers because it is impossible to think of everything in the midst of all we are doing to make the day special. We don’t want your holiday ruined due to one moment you let down your guard. Here’s to hoping everyone comes through without a hitch. Have a fabulous 4th of July!

PS: This photo at the top is of Lily–from her Daycare this week where they celebrated the holiday early.

Fireworks Sensitivity

From Steve Snell

      ~ Gundog Supply

Be Careful with Your Dogs and Fireworks!

Fireworks can screw up a dog faster than anything.

Everybody needs to be careful with fireworks around their young dogs and older dogs that have not been properly conditioned to gunfire (see video).

Fireworks are unnatural. You don’t have a lot of control over when or where the noise happens. Fireworks can screw up a dog faster than anything. It’s a lot harder to fix a gun shy or noise sensitive dog than it is to prevent gun shyness in the first place.

This year, only one of my dogs is showing a little gun sensitivity, so Loretta is going to stay in the house over the holiday while the neighbors are shooting off fireworks.

Here are some tips to prevent fireworks sensitivity in your dogs:

  • Keep your dogs as far away from fireworks as possible.
  • If possible, bring your dogs inside in a closed-off, interior room.
  • Block out the noise with a TV, radio, or white-noise maker.
  • Check with your neighbors about their fireworks plans.
  • Ask for a phone call before they start.

Sometimes the fireworks start before New Year’s Eve or the 4th of July and run a few days after the holiday.

There is NO REASON for a dog to be around fireworks, and I do everything I can to keep my dogs away from them. Usually dogs conditioned to gunfire can handle the noise of fireworks, but there really isn’t anything good about them as far as dogs are concerned. We sell a couple of products that are designed to help dogs get over the fear of fireworks, but I really prefer NOT to have to sell them.

CONCERNS

My biggest concern is that a dog will hurt themselves trying to get away from the noise. My second concern is that exposure will create a gun shy or noise-sensitive problem where there doesn’t have to be one.

NOISE-SHY DOES NOT EQUAL GUN SHY

Just because a dog is noise-sensitive to fireworks, does NOT necessarily mean that will translate into gunshyness, but why take a chance?

My best gun dog ever, Em, never had a problem with gunfire, but she was so afraid of thunderstorms that we had to build a special top for her kennel run so she couldn’t climb out or hurt herself trying.

HOW NOT TO EXPOSE A NEW PUP TO FIREWORKS

19204997_10213100850778481_1451570928_o

I was at a party a few years back and watched a new dog get exposed to fireworks completely the wrong way. The dog was in her kennel but still in full view of everything that was going on. Once the fireworks started she became more and more upset and wanted out of the kennel. To calm her down they let her out of her crate and she made a break for it. They didn’t find her for two days.

The volume and brightness of fireworks is just too much for most dogs and nothing good is going to come from it. Please take the time to protect your pets while the possibility of unexpected explosions are around.

I do my best to keep all my dogs away from any kind of fireworks. Even dogs that have been properly conditioned to gunfire can become upset or nervous when exposed to fireworks. It just isn’t worth it.

Fireworks happens twice a year with New Year’s and Fourth of July. You might want to condition your dogs to fireworks, especially if you live where your dogs will be exposed a couple of weeks out of the year. It never hurts to check with your neighbors about their fireworks plans. Give them a heads up that you have a young dog and ask them to give you a call before they start.

People don’t think about fireworks until it’s too late, so think about it a little now. The majority of dogs don’t have a problem with it, but some do. Why take a chance? No point in stressing your dogs out.

Remember, if you want to shoot fireworks, be safe and have fun. Just keep in mind that unexpected noise and stress could create a problem where one doesn’t exist.

                             —  Steve

Breeder Comment

We talked about fireworks yesterday; however, we thought it was good to hear from someone who is intimately involved with the sporting dog industry. Steve makes a living advising and selling supplies that help canine enthusiasts. In all his great tutorials and bits of information, he provides there is a segment on introducing a dog to gunfire. His advice might prove helpful to some of our OwyheeStar Weimaraner News readers. We hope you find a nugget of truth that helps you get through the next two weeks without incident. Most of all, prepare, plan and make provision for what is about to come.

Be Safe and have fun!

Click Here to go directly to Steve’s article.

Horrible Night in the Portland Area

Rupert was Troubled by the endless Fireworks

11701110_10153178359763025_805181680000824788_nMama can you make it stop please?!

11541992_10153178359823025_7741805441985125290_nSeriously will it ever end?

11659320_10153179881268025_7638900748062347412_nIs it the end of the world Mama?

11209524_10153179881288025_5374387456494150290_n

I’m so tired; I didn’t sleep a wink and this Thundershirt (you put on me) sure attracted the noise Mama.

From Cliff and Shela-Thank you, Wendy for keeping Roo safe. Not every Weimaraner or pet is so fortunate to be loved and cared for in such a manner. 

This Week at OwyheeStar

image0005

Greetings From OwyheeStar

image0011To say it was a hot way to end June, and to say hello July wold be a vast understatement. The triple-digit temperatures are difficult for many of us. Probably no one is more affected than the farmers who were already short on irrigation water. The evaporation factor, as well as limit water available, will affect the outcome. There is no way around these problems.

image0010Local corn crops seem to grow while we watch. The grain ripened overnight, and harvest is in full swing for those fields. Our hay looks near to be ready for another cutting. The Weims are not interested in romping out through the field. It is too hot for them. They will stop and cool off in the farm pond. Like us, they want to be inside where the temperature is a bit cooler.

The hot temperature is not the only thing gaining our attention. Every year the shelters are flooded with pets that went berserk during the celebration fireworks. They become disoriented and frightened. It is ideal to prepare your pet for the ensuing noise; however, many pets have already been ingrained with the fear of loud noises. If your beloved pet is one of the fearful ones, please ensure their safety. image0004Take them out of the city to a more remote location. Keep them tethered to you, and possibly in your lap.  Invest in a thunder jacket. More than anything escape the areas where the extreme noise is going to be the agenda. image0011We honestly hope you have a desensitized your Weimaraner to the loud sounds. Nevertheless, if you have not succeeded, it is your responsibility to make sure they are safe. No pet should spend forty-eight hours shaking or end up separated from their family. Finally, be sure their ID is intact and your records of their microchip, etc. is handy. A photo with your pet’s information might prove vital to getting them back.

The Week on the Blog

We are once again thankful for the updates that make this possible! We are a bit thin the on material to work with, but there was enough.

Sunday June 28— We love Smiles

Monday June 29— Hailey wears Purple

Tuesday June 30 – Bentley Travels with his Sister

Wednesday July 1— Bella the Beautiful

Thursday  July 2—Trigger Lives In Idaho

Friday  July 3— Celebrating our Independence

On a very personal note……

IMG_0098Cliff and his three helpers were laying hardwood floor in the farmhouse remodel on Thursday and Friday. No, we don’t have photos of the progress made. We are a long way from being done. 

Health has become a focus. It should have gotten more attention before I was diagnosed with cancer in late August 2014; however, it was never far from our mind and heart. We were careful about our diet, but the changes we have made are more extreme. We are both gluten free. We try to meat, cheese, and milk products that are hormone free. In addition, we like to keep things organic. This takes a bit more planning. The ingredients cost more. Nevertheless, paying for medical services and wondering if you will live puts things in perspective.

I have said this repeatedly. I mean it wholeheartedly. Thank you for you concern, care, prayers, and support. It means the world to us. As you can see in this photo, my health is returning. I have a host of people to thank who are invested in my wellbeing. The person who has sacrificed the most is my dear husband. There is no way to repay him for all he has done for me, and for his countless selfless gestures during my time of extreme need. It has been said that going through something like this is the toughest on the spouse. That is the undoctored truth. Thank you to my husband of almost 45 years–We will celebrate on August 9th.

As Always…

To our fans, facebook friends, and blog subsribers. we appreciate the countless ways you have shown us you care. To those who are a part of the OwyheeStar community (because you live with one of our Weimaraners) you warm our hearts with your updates and photos. We love your emails and facebook posts. As you might know, you can also comment on any of these blog posts. Please keep the puppy updates coming. I need them for inspiration, they insure we have fresh material to keep the blog going. Yes, and they brighten our day. That is no small thing.

Quiet Moments to Reflect

On the Other-side of the Insanity…

      ……things have doubt quieted down!

Dad and Gracie

Dad and Gracie

What could be more American than Dad and the Weim chilling together? Each has their own seat. Can we say perfect?

What Hoopla are we talking about? I did not know I should be alarmed...

What Hoopla are we talking about? I did not know I should be alarmed…

How did you make out?

Some Weims were immune to the boom-making holiday events–taking the 4th of July (Independence Day) in stride. Others were anything but calm, and suffered for the better part of a week. One thing to keep in mind for the future is there are ways to desensitize the Weimaraner to loud sounds. It can take many months to achieve rock-solid results.

360 Days from now it will happen again…

There are different ways to approach this holiday. You might want to purchase some discount fireworks for the subsequent year; alternatively, they might be useful in working with the Weimaraner. It would take a considerable amount of work, and the right location–so you could distance your noise-makers early-on. Do you know what we mean? Initially, noise should be a goodly distance away, and over time, you bring it nearer.

Cliff says he would never do the initial introduction closer than 300′. The same is true when introducing gun fire. We suggest working on desensitization by preparing for the next eleven months. There are also DVDs you can play that use music and gunfire (and/or fireworks). They have been proven to help the Weimaraner adjust to fireworks.  A lot of work, and the right combination will get results. A combination of the the DVD approach, with some real fireworks might be the best approach. Here are a few information links on the topic (in no particular order)….

Preparing for the future…

Some folks are glad to have the 4th of July in the rear-view mirror; however, once the dust has settled it is the best time to begin preparing for next year.  Most of us would do anything to make life better for our Weimaraner. Conditioning them to deal with the noisy, and unpredictable situations is important. Now is the time to think about what you will do to ensure you get on a better path, or stay on the best possible smooth-sailing route. Bomb-proofing some Weimaraners for the unexpected takes a lot of effort. Others may be less affected, but who can say exactly how they came by that demeanor? It doesn’t matter. You must deal with your reality. We make choices, which can inadvertently ingrain the phobia, or help them cope. Many times one or the other happens without us giving it a thought.

 

It is important to review how this year’s activities went. You want to do this before we get too far down the road. Otherwise, it will soon be put on the back shelf in a dark corner, and forgotten. It is a good time to think about improving their ability to cope. Make it your priority to work on teaching the Weimaraner how to adapt, deal with change, and to be less reactive. Maybe loud noise is not your issue, but adapting to any change is often a problem for the Weimaraner. There is always room for improvement-with the Weimaraner, and your handling skills.

This Week’s OwyheeStar News

Hello July and Hello to all you Weimlovers

Rupert requires the Thundershirt

Rupert requires the Thundershirt

The fireworks, the fanfare, and the hoopla associated with early July meets with mixed reviews.

Kirby is totally chillin-relaxed

Kirby is totally chillin-relaxed

Some folks cannot wait for it, while others dread another upsetting week plus of the unwanted noise. We trust everyone (and their Weims) made it through more than safely. We heard news of a few Thundershirts being put to use. Rupert needed his. To him this is a gone out-of-control-world–humans are crazier than ever. Then there is Kirby. He doesn’t even seem to care that fireworks are exploding everywhere.

Weims are a bit like humans; wired uniquely, but affected by their early environment. We start the noise-association while they are still at OwyheeStar; however, there are many transition points along the path that could potentially ingrain a fear. Fear of loud noises is not an exception.

This would be disastrous for the hunter. Most hunters introduce the gunfire properly. We have never had an incident when the young Weim acted inappropriately to the gunfire introduction process. This is true, even though some people forgot to do the graduated-method of introduction. Helping the young Weimaraner associate loud-sounds with a positive (treat or fun activity) is a plus even for the non-hunter. Nevertheless, when raising the Weimaraner it is easy to forget about this facet of their training-program. There are so many things pulling you every which way, it is understandable. Some Weimaraners are less easily acclimated to the noise-factor; others seem to breeze through. This may well be attributed to the accidental avoidance (of a scary incident) during one of those fear-imprint junctures. Simply put, this particular Weim didn’t run into something spooky on a day when they were experiencing freaky weird changes in their persona. 

 Here are the links for this week’s blogs….

On a personal note……

Mousse's First Baby 7.04.2014-3Cliff and I missed our family BBQ, and fireworks watch. Mousse decided to grace us with puppies on the 4th of July. Her litter was smaller than we had hoped–only four pups. One is very small. It remains to be seen how they fare. We are on that two-week wait-and-see-period. (Take a deep breath, and see what happens.) We are thankful and blessed for their arrival. We are exhausted, and our back-end is dragging a bit. Nonetheless, all is good.

We are still waiting for the hay to be baled, and we hope it is before the next thunder storm. The grain field is growing gold. The harvest will begin soon. Once the hay is removed, the irrigation will continue. Our dad’s house is scheduled to see some renovation this week. Lauren will be here to help with training, grooming, and paperwork. There will be no lollygagging at OwyheeStar.

As Always…

Thank you for your love and support. Keep the puppy updates coming. In the weeks ahead we can use them. We appreciate you all!

 

Many blessings and warm wishes from Shela and Cliff–(and the OwyheeStar Weimars too!)

~Thank you for being a part of our lives!