At Priest Lake
~ August 2017
Lu and Lucy
A fun and unexpected meeting between our Owyhee Star Blue Weim “Lu” and a beautiful dark blue Weim “Lucy” (and her “brother” Max – not shown) at Priest Lake, ID in late August – they weren’t too excited at first about each other, but then got into the lake fun and swimming…. ~Sharyl
When Jeff shared he had met some nice folks who had an OwyheeStar named ‘Lu’ I thought who can it be beside you folks? Of course, we were not sure because you reside in Sisters, OR and have the coastal second home. Nevertheless, we realize people are mobile and explore other parts of the country. It was very fun to hear about the encounter and to see the two swimming in the beautiful North Idaho Lake.
The Weimaraner is a powerful swimmer once they get going. The trick is getting to take the first step. Their toes are webbed making them better equipped to paddle.
There is no one way to get them to swim; however, we find having a love of the retrieve ingrained goes a long way towards accomplishing this discipline. (Sorry to some of you!) For the non-hunter, many times the retrieve is not an important thing. They allow their Weimaraner to abscond and run around the yard with the toy or the bumper. Yes, this is a hoot–although it is just one more Weim antic, this is one we suggest you not allow to take root.
You want the Weimaraner coming when called. The Recall is a safety issue and the underpinning of compliance. Two areas where compromise cannot be allowed (in our opinion). Depending upon your approach to training there are various ways to get this done–we will forgo the discussion on methodology. Let’s just say get this done!
When you first bring your puppy home, there is so much going on, and the atmosphere is ethereal. It is hard to stay focused or to decide what is most important. Housebreaking and crate training is at the top of the list; however, a little retrieving work is a smart investment.
Cliff suggests you find a place to do this exercise. One place that works well is a hallway. Close all the adjoining doors (so they cannot take off with the bumper of the toy). Make this a special event and stop before they tire–while they are still begging for more. He also suggests you use a dedicated toy or bumper you save for this activity only. Depending on your pup’s attention and skill level keep the number of reps down–at first maybe as few as three. Bear in mind; the idea is to make this celebratory and fun. You want them having the desire. This activity will serve you well on so many levels and enhance your training outcome positively.
Weather Permitting the OwyheeStar puppy will see the water before they depart. Nevertheless, this is not going to ensure they will swim. It will still require time, effort, and patience to get your Weimaraner to swim most of the time. A few suddenly jump in but don’t expect it to happen that way.
With the solid retrieve, you can begin working along the edges of a pond and very slowly ease them into the water beyond their comfort. It might take a few tries, a few days, or a few weeks. It takes as long as it takes, but if you follow this protocol, you will achieve the goal. Like anything with the concrete thinking Weimaraner, you want to make this part of the early life training. Then it becomes the norm.
Imagine the possibilities!
Update on Lucy
At first we were scared that she may not like the water, which would be rough since we spend a LOT of time boating and playing at the lake, BUT a couple of weekends ago, my brother’s lab, Harken, taught Lucy how to fetch sticks in the lake and ever since, she LOVES to swim and is faster than he is! Thank goodness we have a swimmer! And thank goodness for playful friends who help us grow!
The Water Retrieve
Ringo loves Lake Michigan this summer (and Oakie still does too)!
Abbey Comments on Ringo’s Tail
We love it, and it’s never been an issue or gotten in the way. He gives us great big wags every time we get home. Oakie has a short tail, and it startles us every time we visit.
Swimming is an excellent summer activity. It is cooling but also great exercise as well as being easy on the joints. You might notice that Ringo sports the undocked tail. Nick and Abbey requested the undocked tail. Oakley is Nick’s parent’s Weimaraner, and he has the traditional docked tail. They didn’t get him from us, so that is about all I know about him.
For those just took home a Mesquite X Stackhouse puppy, Ringo is from a previous litter born to the same parents. The undocked tail preference upsets a lot of people. Others feel you should be allowed to have a tail undocked by choice. In many countries, tail docking and ear-cropping are either illegal or discouraged. Personal preferences run deep.
Before The Swim
Here are three pictures before the swimming part happened. My daughter, Libby, threw the ball and not one of the three dogs (she has two-Merle, a black lab, and Millie, a Burmese mountain dog) would go get it. Merle loves sticks and doesn’t really care about balls. Millie is eight and she just thinks water is not that great. Only Stella would consider saving her orange ball. It was so hilarious! Eventually, she did it!
I thought I’d pass along two videos. Video_1 is her first moment of realizing that she can swim and the Video is actually the next day when she’s got it down pat and we are in a different part of Bend.
Then This Happened!
We are really lucky to live in a place that is very welcoming to dogs. We have lots of trails and water areas that she’s been experiencing. I love the persistence Stella shows in video_1 where you can almost see her thinking, I can do this! We love our sweet girl.Have a great week! ❤️ jill
This is our Dutch dog. From the very beginning, you could tell he was going to be a great hunter. But to tell you the truth he’s always going to be my kid. When he was just a babe I started him out young training him with pheasant wings and of course ‘the ball.’ Dutch wouldn’t stop..and in his training he became great.
I decided about three years ago to teach him how to swim. ( Oh, he was 2 years old when he first swam. ) Mind you he always liked the water. Short hairs usually don’t like the water but he’s a mix* because his Dad is a Longhair. I’d thought I’d risk it. We live on some pretty big water in Boring, Oregon along the Sandy River. The day was hot and water just right. I started him off slow throwing him a stick a little farther each time. After a few trial by error and gulps of water Dutch learned to raise his head and use that long whipping tail as a rudder. By that rate I couldn’t stop him from taking the plunge, jumping in and swimming against the strong currents. Dutch is unstoppable. Thank you, soo much for the joy you’ve brought into our lives. He’s really such a great dog! 😘 ~ Bonney
From Bonney’s Mom–Jane
Dutch has been the best of all the Weimaraners that we have owned. Some of that may be due to our own growth in how to train a hunting dog, but most of it has to do with his personality.He plays alone with a stick ball or blanket…throwing it up into the air and pouncing on it, tossing it and chasing it on his own while he spins, jumps and prances.He plays well with other dogs, too and will lower himself to their level if they are small breeds.Of course, we treat him like a human member of our family, but he has his own dog bed and toys. Bonney has assisted greatly in his training to hold or stay. He will allow Sam to walk around the area while he is on point (hold) and Dutch loves to dive into the brush to retrieve. He does not like to come back empty handed. He has also been swimming in the Colorado River and loves the water.Mom’s dog, Molly, was born about 12 days after Dutch. Mom and Bonney keep me up to date!
At OwyheeStar Earlier This Year
The Sadie X Stackhouse Litter
Longhair’s Tail Fluff
~ Weim Tales
Virgil got a sticky fly trap thingy stuck on the last 1/5th of his beautiful, gorgeous, lovely tail!!!! What the Whaaaat. He was wagging the thing so much that it swung around where it had no business being and bam! Fly strip on the tail. First I have to say it’s not easy trying to get a weim to stay put.
First I have to say it’s not easy trying to get a Weim to stay put when something like that happens, however, I did and was able to remove said fly strip. Washed tail to no avail. Had to trim some. The question is will it fill back in? I feel like I should know this but I do not.
Yes, Kaliece, the tail will grow back entirely. It might take months but the Weimaraner sheds hair (even the smooth coat), and new hair comes in from the follicle. During the first couple of years, the feathering fills in and for those that love the look–the tail becomes a beautiful flag.
We knew a person who used to shave their Longhair Weimaraners during the summer. Their coat came back full and lush, but they were cooler during the heat of the summer. We often clip the tail a bit (on the underside) before they whelp. This trimming process saves a lot of mess because there is a considerable amount of blood and ewe during the whelp. You don’t want this flipped all over the walls etc. It always grows back. So, for all you who are concerned about losing a little fluff–now you know. It will grow back. Some folks also groom the toe hair during the muddy season. They just have a groomer remove it. The toe tassels always come back. If you ever are worried, just clip a spot that is not noticeable and document it with a photo. Look at it over time.
As difficult as it might be to accomplish, rubbing peanut butter in something sticky like gum will dissolve it. This tip that might save needing to cut chunks of hair.
~ Swimming is Exhausting
We love him so much. Such a sweet boy. He is now LOVING to go swimming and he loves running with me. He is training up very well for that, he runs by my side nicely. He is fearless and very protective of me so I’ve really had to work on him relaxing on that aspect. I love knowing he’s watching out for me and he’s learning to watch my cues for leave it and quiet and learning to trust me and where I put him as much as I’m learning to trust his judgment as well. I don know if you know but he is my first male dog ever. So, Thank you for sending me such a nice boy. Just he needs to hush when asked and that is progressing very well. Thanks again for another great OwhyheeStar companion.
This breed is different from other breeds in many ways. Many people who decide to get their first Weimaraner end up with a male. They might have wanted a female, but possibly there were none available. It is then they discover the truth–the boys are very sweet. Oh, they can be headstrong. The females can be tough to manage too! Regardless, they have a quality that catches a lot of folks off guard. It is not something you can put into words; however, in many cases, the way they bond to you wins you over. After being forced to get a first-time male dog, many end up having the male Weimaraner preference.
We have talked a lot about the difference between the male and female. Of course, there are exceptions. Regardless, in many cases, the female Weimaraner tends to be less engaged in their owner’s agenda and to value less the desire to please. (They can be such a prima donna). While all Weims can be manipulative, the female takes it to a new level. This trait can manifest in many different ways, and much of what happens depends upon their human and the relationship. Yes, it depends on the type of leadership role and your ability to evoke the desire to please you. How this expresses itself can vary. Each time it is a bit unique, and at the same time, it always sports a lot of the similar expression.
Just for Reference
Some Weimaraner tails are fuller than others. Here is a photo of Max (at five) showing his beautiful plumage.
A Little Water Work
Sadly not able to make the Weimie Play date on last Sunday. So Maddy settled for an hour at Hill’s Creek. 🐾💕
I got it!
Look what I brought you Ma!! 🤗
Motoring on the lake! — at Hills Creek Reservoir
Thank you, for sharing the fun with Maddie at the reservoir. It looks lovely and she is quite the water retriever. That is excellent!
The First Swim
I posted this video on Facebook yesterday. I never gave it much thought, but it deserves an explanation. There are six puppies; four are Longhairs. Of the six, five have the natural European-style tail–full length. This tail length is typical around the world for the Longhairs–and it is the Breed Standard. You may have noticed that the one Blue Ghost puppy has a full-length tail too. It was by request.
The traditional undocked puppy requires advance notice. We have a very specific protocol for this situation. I will forego the details here, other than to say we require a larger deposit for the obvious reasons. The number of inquiries regarding the undocked tail continues to increase each year.
Introducing Something New
The pups had never seen more than their water dish. Cliff set them in the water as gentle as possible. They all swam. The Weimaraner has webbed toes, and it should be noted that they are often excellent swimmers. When introducing them to water, it is important to be sure they don’t get spooked. Cliff uses lots of patience when he is working an older pup or an adult into the water. Obviously, you cannot carry them out into the water and then set them gently as Cliff did with the pups.
It is important not to spook them. The best technique is to engrain the love of the retrieve from and early age. This obsession with the retrieve works in your favor to get them into the water. A pond with sloping sides is ideal. First, get them retrieving along the water’s edge. Gradually you will ease them out where they must go beyond the bottom. This process could take a couple of days or weeks. With patience, any Weimaraner can learn to swim.
Here is Stackhouse
~ another Longhair
Keep In Mind
All Weimaraners have the potential to take to the water. It takes a bit of knack and patience. Our puppy imprinting does guarantee success–nor does it hurt the process. The retrieving and water-work sometimes get cast to the side during the flurry of early adjustment. There are so many things pulling at the process it is easy to forget a few. Socialization (a lot of touches in a safe way), exposure to noise, ingraining the love of the retrieve (not playing keep away) as well as engaging the pup with water are equally important. Balancing everything you are trying to accomplish–the basics we keep talking about and a lot more while doing it in the right manner is not a small task. It is important to spook them and create a fear of people, places, or situations. Some pups are more sensitive to stimuli, and others let it roll off their back. Approach the process with caution staying optimistic and upbeat. Small steps to success will get you results. Preconceived ideas should be shelved. See what you can become together.
Joins Skeeter Valentine
~ At the Pool
January 23, 2017–Kaliece wrote
Hi! Wow, time flies.
So Virgil is doing great and I just can’t be more pleased with my Skeeter girl. She has accepted him so well and for the most part is really helpful in his training…except when she’s not haha. They are going to be best friends forever. So I have been doing loose leash training with Virgil and it is soooo beneficial to start from the get-go. He totally gets it, now the human needs to continue to follow through haha.Skeeter is really helpful in this area as she stays by me for the most part. So, super excited about this…
I booked Virgil’s swim assessment at Paw’s aquatic on February 2nd. I’m trying to make it so Skeeter can swim at the same time.
We captured this you tube video so we could let you know how it went. We’re excited to see him swim–thought he did great for his first time.
It is great to hear from you and to see Virgil doing so well with training. We are glad you were able to have them swim in tandem. It is going to be great fun for all concerned. Thank you, for keeping us in the loop.