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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.


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.

The complexities and challenges

Good Morning Weimlovers!

We thought a short personal note from us might be in order. It seems we find ourselves repeating things. That is because the same issues frequently arise–behaviors, problems, challenges, and issues. Then too, we are talking about a certain breed–the Weimaraner.

The attraction; considerations…

People are drawn to this breed for many reasons. First-time Weimaraner folks equate everything to their previous dog experience. This (and their research) is how they evaluate the appropriateness of the Weimaraner for them. There are a few questions new Weim people ask, more often than not it is about shedding. Possibly, they are sad to see their Labrador (or mixed-breed) depart this world; however, they will not miss the hair. Some write that their Labrador has been gone for two years, and they are still extracting hair from the house, and car. That might be an exaggeration, or not. Nevertheless, people remember the hair. The hair on their clothing; the hair on the furniture, and the amount of hair on the floor. The Weimaraner will shed. All dogs shed. The traditional Weimaraner has an eyelash-length hair. The hair loss is minimal, but it happens. A monthly brushing with the short-coat furminator will almost eliminate noticeable hair loss. The other distinct difference when comparing them to the Labrador is they do not have oily skin; those who have lived with the Labrador may have noticed the filmy deposit they leave on the hallway walls–or anywhere they rub.

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The shedding factor might be the main reason people are drawn to this breed; however, many times it is a chance encounter that snags their heart. Others have friends, or family members that have a Weimaraner. They secretly plan their next dog will be as Weimar. This breed is elegant, and when well trained can be a testament to the German breeding program. Americans have three main pots of DNA weaving happening. Cross-over and mixing of DNA pools will happen, and on occasion; breeders import. First, there are the Show-Breeders. Secondly, there are the Hunt-Breeders. Finally, there are the backyard breeders. Unfortunately, the latter usually grabs whatever they can get–the best possible in their eyes. The folks breeding for showing must have temperament as well as breed-appropriate looks; some work both in the field and show. Hunt breeders vary greatly. Some will only sell to hunters, and every Weimaraner they breed must score well–be field proven.Temperament is equally important, but to achieve field points, there must be a pocket of hunt-potential traits. Nevertheless, an untrainable out of control hunting Weimaraner will not achieve in the field, or make a good family companion.

Achieving anything with the Weimaraner takes patience, time, and a special knack. For those that live near Jan Magnuson, we urge them to attend her classes. She has thirty-five years of experience with this breed. It would be tough to overstate her ability to help you succeed. We sincerely believe if you follow our recommendations, and get off to the right start, you can avoid the pitfalls known to surround this breed. There is a reason the Weimaraner rescue sees too many cast-off Weims. Sadly, people get this breed for it’s looks, without counting the cost in time, and out of pocket. They don’t understand, that it is not a non-shedding Labrador. In general, folks want to believe that all hunting dogs are the same, and nothing could be further from the truth. Even in the Versatile hunting breeds, such as the Weimaraner, there are vast differences in personality, drive, and what is required. The Weimaraner does not make for a good outdoor kennel dog; some may be kenneled on occasion for short periods of time; however, they must be an integral part of the family, and family life. Unless that happens, they will  become disconnected, and resist compliance. They are all about the relationship. The successful Weimaraner person understands the balance required between getting compliance, earning respect, and having an excellent relationship.

The Journey and the Challenges…

Under estimating the Weimaraner is commonplace. Some savvy dog folks are tripped up to their chagrin. This can be true for the person who has had a Weimaraner (or even a couple of them). There are many ways to get in trouble with this breed, and the first is to run ahead thinking you know how this will happen. The better approach is to follow through, and to let the process unfold. Yes, there are many must-do steps; however, much of what you will achieve together will happen because you are patient, and remember not to give the Weimaraner unearned freedom. Too much freedom, can lead to all kinds of behaviors, and non-compliance.

There are many factors that contribute to finding yourself snagged or embroiled in a battle. The development process poses transitional hurdles; you are going along well, when the well-socialized young Weimaraner suddenly freaks-out over the commonplace. The key to getting back on track is the right human response; or not making a big deal out of it by focusing on the situation. In most every instance, the worst possible thing you could do is baby them–it is also the most natural response. You want to stay calm, and be pro-active. Get out of the situation, and back to a successful scenario. Otherwise, you will ingrain the fear; and that makes a bigger hurdle to overcome. Relax, don’t make a big deal over small stuff.

Challenges will come your direction. When you add the characteristic difficulties listed below to the hormonal, and flaky juvenile behavior patterns it can create a mystical convergence of issues. This in turn can send the handler into a tailspin. The handler’s tail-spin (or sheer frustration) fuels the issue. You can see how this can very soon gain momentum, and become too big for the average person.


  • Separation-anxiety–it is ridiculously easy to set up the Weimaraner for severe-separation-anxiety. They can become so attached to being with you, that your absence makes them crazy. This can trigger acting-out, destructive behavior, or tummy upset.


  • Concrete-thinking–once they get an idea, it is very difficult to change their mind. When the unwanted behavior starts, it can soon become habitual; it then may be nearly impossible to stop.


  • Digging, Barking, Chewing, Acting-out Behaviors are best avoided. Some Weims chew their entire life, and cannot be trusted with bedding, stuffed toys, free in the house, or even outside in the yard alone.


  • Manipulation–is how they gain the upper-paw. They use manipulative savvy to play on your weakness, and to push your buttons.


  • The Relationship is primary to your success; losing your relationship means all is lost.

562909_10202087541054554_941634985_n[1]We realize that it is easy to get in over your head with a Weimaraner. This is when people go running to a trainer. Not every situation is going to be cured by just any trainer. All trainers will claim success with the breed; however, some of the worst messes Cliff has had to rehabilitate were created by trainers. Nevertheless, there are many good trainers, and we recommend finding one that can help you. Not every person is going to need a trainer. Many of our clients have found that they are able to do the training on their own; however, the right class can help with socialization. It can help with public skills.

Sending your Weimaraner off to a trainer, or to boot camp is unwise. Refer to the last listed point–they are all about the relationship. They will return put-off that you abandoned them, and more than likely what they did at the training facility is not going to carry over with you. If it does, more often than not, it is short-lived. You have to change the way you handle things. You must gain their respect, and compliance. This is all about you, the journey together. Despite the concerns listed here, many first time Weim persons succeed, and go on to get another. Nevertheless, each Weimar-experience is life-changing on some level.

This Week’s OwyheeStar News

March is in full Bloom

2nd Round of TulipsEver Blooming CyclamenWe have not seen any flowers emerging in people’s yards yet. I have blooms–forced tulips, forced crocus, and the ever-blooming Cyclamen. You might remember that our friend (and my personal assistant) gave me the cyclamen plant when I had surgery (June 2012). It was blooming then, and it has never failed to produce blooms on any given week. A few times there was only a single opening bud, but it was there nonetheless.

The First Tulips

The First Tulips

The second group of forced tulips are (my other good friend’s favorite color) pink. The first were purple; the blooms lasted for a couple of weeks. These blossoms appear a little more fragile; they are delicate–both in structure and color.

I have been wanting to get out to the garden. It needs some work. Yesterday, we planted the pea pods (and snap peas) in one of the garden beds. We had a little problem finding the inoculant (bacteria) that works in conjunction with natural occurring nitrogen to encourage a good crop of plants to emerge. Legumes can be a little difficult to start. Using inoculant sounds a little sinister, (and not so natural); however, is a very smart idea. I am hoping to get a good crop of peas and beans this year. Our garden patch is small, but it has been very productive.

Planting, Puppies, and Possibilities

The next step in the process is to get the seeds started. Again, I had been wanting to get this process rolling forward (a couple of weeks ago). Regardless, other things have required my time, and immediate attention. Then too, there are the bare-root hibiscus plants stored in the refrigerator. I hope to get them in the veranda pots this weekend. We said good-bye to February; now we are embracing the hope of spring on every level. Doesn’t it make your heart happy? For us, the equation includes the Weimaraner puppy–the exhaustion, the joy, and the thrill of seeing dreams come true.

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

News can make our heart happy……

                      …..sometimes news makes us sad.

Koa at 5 Weeks

Koa at 5 Weeks

The sad reality is some folks that attempt to do everything right fail. They are willing to spend any amount of money; they believe their choices are the best. One truth about us (Weim-loving humans) is hard to swallow, we all too often fail to see ourselves as the catalyst for the problem. It is easy to finger-point, over-think, and to deflect blame. Sometimes even when we are willing to accept the blame, we cannot see where we went wrong. We believe in positive thinking; however, when someone shows up with a Weim that is out of control that Cliff can reel them in within minutes, you have to wonder. Training suggested doesn’t work. Is this because the training is wrong, or the person was unable to implement it in the right manner? We think it is the latter. There are so many ways to set the Weim up for problems it is unbelievable. Saying these things scares some folks. Nonetheless, mentioning them is important. The vast majority of folks succeed beyond their wildest imagination. A few because they lack to gain their Weim’s respect, or because they unwittingly set them up for problems, experience a heartbreaking failure.

We realize our clients don’t all come to the situation with the same skill-set. Being too soft, or being rigidly hard-handed will not get the result you want. Regardless, once you get into the no-win situation; it may require personal changes that include digging deep. Honestly, we all want the easy-fix. Changing who we are, and how we handle the situation, is easier said than done. Everyone within the household needs to get on the same page Start by limiting freedom (or maybe exposure is a better term), and being sure each event is successful. Then, proceed as if you are working with a puppy, and build one success upon the next–one block at a time. You cannot fix everything that is happening in a week. It is going to take time, effort, and revamping to get the right outcome.

We mentioned the territorial behavior in a recent post. This can take all forms and shapes. All too often people fuel this behavior in ways that seem like it should not be a problem. Such a Weim would not get a bone to protect. If you gave them something, and they were growling protectively, then you get it and set it up. This is a showdown of what kind of behavior is tolerated; at the same time, you don’t want to set them up to get in trouble–snapping at someone over the treasure. Other people see this behavior erupt in the form of property line guarding. A boundary fence that warns them to stay back from the actual fence line in some instances would be required. A collar and such a fence can keep them from engaging in this behavior–which might mean they are attacking sidewalk users, and scaring you (as well as others). To achieve bullet-proof success, it would require a lot of patience, and some collar on and off work. It might require months to achieve the outcome you need. Ultimately, we hope every OwyheeStar client will avoid getting into these situations. Getting off to the right start, and building on each success is vitally important. The wonderful Weim experience can be achieved. Read on as Amber talks about her experience with Koa–a longhair Weimaraner that she has dreamed about for the last couple of years.

Cliff and I received news from Amber about her OwyheeStar Longhair–Koa (Mesquite X Stackhouse) puppy. Here is what she wrote us……

Wow! Cliff and Shela…I could have never dreamed how wonderful this puppy would be! Thank you a million times over!

I wanted to let you know he is growing so big every day. He has a vet visit again for shots on the 19th of March. At that time I will send you his weight and photos. From what we, the vets on his first visit, and his trainers on his first class think – he will grow to be a big guy. (Or a “big lug” as Cliff described him when he handed him over to me in Pendleton.)

As suspected, I cannot take him anywhere without him being admired and me being asked a million questions about what kind of dog he is, where I got him, how old he is…
Today I was introducing him to a friend at the Fred Meyer office and her colleague came out: she immediately knew he was a LH Wiem; asked if I got him local and when I said he came from Eastern Oregon she immediately asked: “OwhyeeStar”? She said she had a friend who got hers from you. This friend’s colleague had had had two Weims in the past and was thinking that her next would come from you. She told me she knew of you from Wiem rescue association. You guys have a great rep. And I am a proud mama and proud to tell people where my Koa baby came from!

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! I’ll be in touch soon with pics and weight of the cutest puppy in the world. (AKA “big lug”) ~Amber


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

~Thank you for being a part of our lives!