Well, here we are on the cusp of Spring–and I am so excited for warmer weather. And I am looking forward to Cliff filling the farm pond so we can swim pups. I can hardly wait, but while we wait, I thought, let’s look at a litter swim from the past. I hope you enjoy this!
Dear Readers–this is a repost of a previous blog. We are getting ready to swim the Bernie X Boone 2019 Litter–we wanted to share this essential information to those with the young Weimaraner.
Most of you know that we try to swim puppies–time and weather permitting. Above is a GoPro Video of a litter swim taken a couple of years ago. It gives you a different perspective. Some pups are excellent swimmers; others struggle a little. Nonetheless, we have never had a puppy fail to be able to swim. Does this mean they will naturally take to the water? No! If you expect them to jump and take off, you may be disappointed. It will most likely require work to get them into the water and swimming. This effort is work we hope you invest. We deem this an essential part of the puppy raising process.
The Why and the How
Over the years, we have written extensively on how to achieve the swim. More and more of our clients have managed to do this. Sometimes to their own surprise. It is one of the best things you can do for yourself and the Weimaraner.
To expend energy. The growing Weimaraner has boundless energy; however, they cannot be beating the pavement to run off this energy. Until the growth plates close, you need to limit high impact exercise. Many experts agree that about three miles should be the limit. Imagine how quickly the Weimaraner puts in the three miles. Seriously, nearly a mile into your run they have probably gone this far. Using the swim is the ideal way to exercise without causing damage to the growing joints. We would go so far as to suggest it probably helps your Weimaraner get more years and miles from their body. That is something that serves everyone’s best interest. We think you can agree.
Hunter or not, you need to master the recall. You say what do you mean by the recall? That is coming when called. Getting the retrieve to hand is also a part of the recall. The rock-solid come when you call or give a command–verbal or otherwise. The bringing of a bumper or toy back to you is a must. Keep away it funny and laughable; however, we don’t feel this is ever in the best interest of the Weimaraner or you.
Cliff and I suggest you find an area where there is no escape route. For example–a hallway (closing all the adjoining doors) will work for this exercise. You want to make this an exciting event. Something that they look forward to doing with you. Sit down in that hallway and work on the retrieve at least every day. You want to ingrain the love of the retrieve as well as getting them to bring the dedicated item it to hand. This discipline will serve you well and help you achieve the swim.
The hallway exercise should begin as soon as they arrive. Make it an event–the same person, the same bumper or toy, and somewhat a routine. Five-Seven throws blocking the exit with your body. Toss and retoss keeping the excitement going. This activity should be fun, short-lived, and you want to stop while they are still excited. Once you have the rock-solid recall—then you can move to the yard. You may need to use a check cord in the larger venue. If you don’t know what that is, ask us. It is a long line that attaches to their collar and allows you to reel them back to you. Always giving them praise like it was all their idea.
Why the Retrieve
The Weimaraner that is in loves the retrieve then can be worked along the water–at first, make it shallow water. A pond or something similar is ideal. Sloping sides are the best. That way, the Weimaraner can play at the water’s edge and retrieve. Eventually, you can edge them out a bit, and they will take off and swim a couple of strokes. This process takes patience. You might wonder how long. Can we say it takes as long as it takes? Typically, Cliff gets the water-retrieve in two weeks or less. The rewards are almost endless. You can do this! Believe in the process. Stay optimistic. Keep it fun. Stay at it until you achieve success.
For the long distance runner, this is the best way to set the Weimaraner up as your running companion. The growth plates typically close around 15 months. By then you should have them swimming. The waterwork can keep your running companion in the tip-top shape you need as well as help them develop muscles which may help prevent injury.
To Burn Off Energy
For those less inclined or find themselves challenged to keep up with the Weimaraner, this is an excellent way to burn off the excess energy. The Weimaraner will still be able to join you on walks, etc. But tiring the Weimaraner out is challenging. The waterwork helps and does it without injury. Of course, there are other pros to having the water-friendly Weimaraner.
Imprinting the Idea
We swim the pups with the idea that it imprints this experience. If you wonder, the Weimaraner has webbed toes. There are hundreds of updates on our blog that feature OwyheeStar pups and adults enjoying the water–swimming, retrieving, and playing in it. We hope your Weimaraner will swim–and love the water.
We don’t always post everything about the puppies, but on occasion we think we need to do this. This week, we posted some cute photos of the pups. The most recent was of them getting a bath. Cliff installed a utility sink in my laundry room, and it is perfect for the pups at this age.
We knew we could not bathe them all this morning and send them out the door in time. So, they got the works, and will get a little touch-up this morning. They were glad to hear it was not a repeat performance.
This process included a quick nail trim, ear cleaning, and bath. They will see these events again in the future.
Weather permitting pups swim
Comments on swimming
Swimming the pups does not ensure they will be natural swimmers. It is a good experience for them, and they are imprinted with it for the future. Nevertheless, unless a pup retrieves well, and can be enticed to water-retrieve, many will not swim on their own accord. Cliff does a good job getting the Weims to swim, and sometimes even when they learn to swim like a fish, the process is arduous. It can take a knack, and a great deal of patience to accomplish. The you tube is of one of the eight pups who swam this week.
Thank you Will and Jill for the lovely Weimar coffee mugs. I am drinking coffee out of it as I work on the blog, and make the typical Facebook post. Cliff and I appreciate you guys–your love for the Weimaraner is of course what draws us together. Thank you for being a part of the extended OwyheeStar family, and for these two lovely coffee mugs. We will cherish them always!
Looking ahead, we find ourselves busy with the exits until late on Tuesday. Then we will need Wednesday (at least) to recoup. The usual agenda must continue. Living creatures do not exist without care, and that means we have things calling us each and every day. 🙂
Right now, I am not sure about the blogs we will have for this week. We are waiting for some photos; nevertheless, there is no reason to worry, we will publish a blog each day. We hope you enjoy them.
We receive many notes thanking us for the blogs, so we know they are appreciated.
Many blessings and warm wishes from Shela and Cliff–(and the OwyheeStar Weimars too!)