It has been a little while since I have sent an update on Pushkin. How can I resist this face of anticipation? Push loves to play fetch. As soon as we get up in the morning he has his ball in his mouth, even as he heads out the door to take care of his morning necessities. I can hardly remember what it is like to have a morning cup of coffee without having a ball dropped in my lap and Push waiting, rather impatiently, for me to toss it to him. He loves to catch it in mid-air.
Advanced Obedience Again
I have decided that we are going to take the advanced obedience class a second time, more for my benefit than for Push. When we took it previously I was in an orthopedic boot due to a broken foot. The foot has healed so maybe I can keep up with him this time.
The Ease of it is not lost on me
I also want to let you know that when the local feed store closed down the in December, I decided to try Chewy to get the Diamond Naturals dog food. The food was actually a few dollars less from them. It was delivered as promised and in good condition. I would highly recommend them to anyone.
Push is a high energy, stubborn, independent, and totally lovable boy. Thank you for such a great dog. ~Marie
Hello Marie! Thank you, for the regular updates on you and your OwyheeStar Weims. We love the effort you have put into Pushkin’s training–even when you were challenged to keep up. You are a great Weimlover!
Readers–if you want to revisit the last Pushkin update–click here! If you don’t remember the backdrop to the earning of the certificate, you will want to take the time to read Marie’s story. I think it will put a smile on your face.
One Year Celebrated
For his 1 year birthday, Pushkin graduated from the advanced obedience course. I was not sure it was going to happen. He was fussing while other people and their dogs were going through their paces so I decided to take him outside for a couple of minutes. Unfortunately, just before we got to the door his training collar came loose. That would not have been too bad if someone had not dropped a pork roll on the floor. He spied that, ran over and got it and took off like a bat out of Hades. He was all over the facility and would not respond to a recall as he knew he was in trouble.I finally got him to sit and did a return and grabbed him by the scruff. Jennifer (the trainer) came over and held him while I got his collar back on. We waited until all of the other dogs finished and then went through the commands. He behaved quite well.
I hope you have a happy Thanksgiving.PS: These two flowers apparently do not realize that it is November
At 6.5 Months
Just wanted to send you a quick update on Milly (Bernie and Boone 18 litter). She is 6.5 months old now, wow where did time go? She is such a joy and we fall more in love with her every day. She is in level 4 (out of 4) in obedience training on her way to getting her canine good citizenship certificate. She does so well in class and we are working hard to enforce all her commands into everyday life. She is still growing like a weed and I believe is now around 45lbs. We love this spunky, smart, cuddly girl so much! Here are some recent photos!
(Milly and her Weim “cousin” Sky are best of friends)
(She is learning to enjoy playing in the rain, she’s a Seattle girl after all! This has taken much coercion but she’s getting used to it)
(Sometimes she thinks she is a cat! Notice her blanket which is spread out that she chose to ignore)
(She has daddy wrapped around her finger)Thanks again for a wonderful pup!Deanna
Just a quick note to let you know that my sweet, loving, energetic and manipulative Pushkin graduated from the novice obedience training class tonight. He received a score of 94 out of 100 points. Half of the test was done off leash. We start the advanced class sometime in September. A great 9-month birthday present.~Marie
~Who is in the lead?
A lack of respect (for your authority) often shows up when the Weimar is walking on the lead (or leash). Go anywhere there are dogs, and you will see dogs lunging and yanking on the leash. You see dog owners pulled down the street. This scenario is scary stuff for a public venue. Some owners gain compliance early in their morning walk only to find when they turn for home it is almost impossible to prevent the pulling. It is as if to say, “I know where we are going, and I can get us there.” It’s true. Maybe this is a horse-thing–heading for the barn syndrome. Nonetheless, it is smart for you to be in control and for them to defer to your pace.
Loose is Important
I understand how much fun it is to have the off-leash freedom. I say go for it when it is appropriate and once you have this skill mastered. There are places where being off-leash is safe. Otherwise, you need to reel them in, and to get them to comply by walking on a loose lead at your side. Pulling, lunging, and dragging you where they want you to go is not Okay. When faced with this scenario, many people turn to a front-clip harness or a head-halter like a Gentle Leader. Yes, these get you away from the behavior, but they don’t change the underlying cause of the problem. I urge you to master the loose-lead walk. I see it as a necessary skill and a sign of respect for your leadership.
~ Part One (with Cliff)
Nothing is more crucial than loose leash heeling. It is imperative it be achieved. I am not talking about using a head halter, gentle leader, front-hooking harness, or a prong collar in order to accomplish the goal.
I hope every OwyheeStar Weimlover will accomplish……..
- Loose Leash Heeling (on a regular flat collar)
- Come; followed by the Sit-stay
We (Shela and I) would like you to focus on achieving these four goals with your OwyheeStar Weimaraner. I am positive when accomplished in the right manner the outcome will be good. There are various ideas on the appropriate timeline to have mastered these disciplines. I would like to see you have them done by the time the pup reaches seven months–-before the hormones kick in. Puppy classes can get you off to a good start, but the quality of sit-stay etc. is not finished at four months. As the Weimaraner develops, there will be challenges. This process of achieving the basics takes as long as it takes. So often, we want to achieve something as quickly as possible and be done with it. My best guess is you need to revisit and shapen this basic skill set again and again. Keep at it and perfect it to the best of your ability. It will pay huge dividends.
Snacks for your Weimaraner….
Americans seem to be obsessed with giving treats to their pets. The Weim owner is no exception. This being said, an overweight Weimaraner is not a good thing. Pat Hastings, Dog Folk Enterprises, says that for every five pounds of extra weight, your dog carries, you lose one year of togetherness. Actually, her words were that you shorten his or her life. What we are accustomed to saying looks great, is often an overweight canine. You don’t want the backbone and the ribs hanging out bare, but a thin coating of fat is sufficient.
If you are using snacks to get compliance; they must be very small. There are several tiny-sized treats available. We use one that is the size of very small peppermint candy. However, we do not use treats to get compliance. We use them as rewards. We use them for no reason at all. We use them when we have visitors. OwyheeStar treats are almost never associated with our obedience training. Instead, we rely on praise, which is low-calorie and relationship enhancing.
Choosing the right snack is important. A good diet in general is the most important consideration. When you add food to the diet, do so in small amounts. You don’t want to unbalance their diet with too many treats. Snacks are like the frosting on the cake. Don’t pile it on thick, but add enough to cover what you need. Dog professionals disagree on what is a good snack. There are warnings for nearly every type of snack out there. There are dangers associated with many of them. Rawhide, pig ears, hooves, and bones might not be considered snacks. However they add-ins to the diet. Rawhide expands once it is ingested, and can cause a potential blockage. Pig ears are mostly fat, and dissolve but are not a good choice for adults who make quick work of them. Bones, are a complex topic. Bones vary and can present potential hazards–some a life threatening. Some are tooth breakers. Many people like to feed the raw diet and include raw bones; others believe in cooked bones. Clearly, whatever bone choice you make, it should be made understanding the risks. We recommend bones be supervised. If they splinter or break, then they should be tossed. Beyond weight gain, there are other serious health risks.
Prior to this jerky warning, it was imported sweet potato snacks that were the problem. Not every imported snack is going to pose a threat. However, some clearly are life-threatening. This is especially true for the young dog with a developing immune system, or any dog with a compromised immune system. We suggest avoiding the imported snacks, and if you want jerky or sweet potato snacks to make them American. That won’t completely cover every possible scenario, but it will limit the risk. You could consider making your own treats. We don’t make the jerky, but on occasion make meatballs, which are very small and frozen. We feed them frozen. Pumpkin can be baked, sliced, and frozen. This is as good as the sweet potato snacks and a healthy addition to the diet.
If you are thinking about making your own dog cookies, you can find recipes. There are grain-free dog-cookie recipes that use rice flour (or possibly a very small amount of wheat flour).
Click Here to learn more on making your own grain-free dog treats.
Whatever snack you choose to use, it is important that it is healthy and used correctly. To give a dog hundreds of snacks a week will make them “fluffy.” It will also shorten his or her life. Even small snacks add up. Be creative, and check out lower calorie snacks. Some Weims will eat apple slices (no seeds included because seeds have cyanide that can accumulate in the liver).
If you have fruit trees, and your Weimaraner can eat all they want, you need to be advised that most fruit seeds and pits pose health risks. The Weimaraner who likes to shop the garden, yard, and kitchen counter for delectables doesn’t know what is edible. Not everything we eat is safe. Zucchini is a great snack in small quantities. If they like the Zucchini, you could give them a slice several times a day. It is not a high-calorie snack, unless you add peanut butter. Our Weims also like cucumber slices. Although, fruit can be a great snack, raisins and grapes are not safe for your Weimaraner. Sometimes in our zeal to do what is best, we make a wrong decision.
We suggest avoiding fruits and vegetables until you look up if they are safe for pets or not. If the snack you are giving is larger than a cherry, it needs to be low-calorie. Be careful lumping types of foods together and thinking they are equally suitable. For example, not every nut is toxin-free. Peanuts are safe, but macadamia nuts are not. Nuts are high-calorie snacks, but when used right they can make a great snack. We know how much you love your Weimaraner family members. We hope this will help you keep them safe.