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Talking About

Water

     ~ and the Weimaraner (photos of Stackhouse)

Recently, we have been discussing the Weimaraner and water. Many of you have succeeded beyond your wildest dreams. Others have doubts that you will ever see such a thing happen. Comments from some naysayers include the struggles with water in any form–the bath, the sprinkler, and for heaven’s sake that stuff that falls from the sky. It is out to get your beloved family member. Nevertheless, there are some that are Okay with a bath, and not with a pond. Some wallow in every puddle they find–the muddy ones are their favorite. Swimming has nothing do with their joyful mud bath.

We have exhorted you to get the Weimaraner water-friendly. Achieving the retrieve and working them into a pond is how we at OwyheeStar approach this process. Nonetheless, Weims may swim for many reasons.

For Example, This!

     ~Cal’s Luke in the Pool

Cal writes, “he loves – loves – loves the pool – he even jumps without a

Retrieve task just to be with me”.

Water Weims

Webbed Toes

     ~Propel them through the Water

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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 viewed as essential. All too many of you allow the Weimaraner to abscond and run around the yard with the toy or the bumper–instead of bringing back to hand. Yes, this is a hoot–although it is just one more Weim antic, this is one we suggest you not allow to take root. The idea of achieving the swim is only one reason in a myriad of why you need to get the rock-solid retrieve. We won’t list those as we are speaking about achieving the Water Retrieve.

The Recall

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 on 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! It is going to help you with achieving more than a Water Retrieve.

Early On

Cliff suggests you find a place to do this exercise. One location 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.

Water Exposure

Weather Permitting the OwyheeStar puppy will see the water before they depart. You saw the video we shared, if not we included it here. Nevertheless, this is not going to ensure that your pup will swim. It will still require time, effort, and patience to get your Weimaraner to swim–plus a bit of knack. A few suddenly jump in but don’t wait for that to happen. Oh–and if you doubt, the Weimaraner is more than likely going to read your thoughts and agree with you.

You might wonder how to begin. Cliff does it this way–your situation may require you to adapt. Using the reliable retrieve, you work along the edges of a pond. Just play in the water’s edge–a tiny bit on their feet initially. Slowly ease them into the water beyond their comfort zone. 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. Oh, and you notice he mentions using the pond. Waves could spook them. You want to avoid that scenario.

Imagine the possibilities!

Crane's Lucy 957

A Few Final Thoughts

  1. Weims who balk at the sight of rain or a sprinkler often achieve the swim.
  2. Don’t go in with the *pre-conceived idea that it cannot be achieved.
  3. Select the venue to work on this carefully.
  4. Go in with the idea it takes as long as it takes.
  5. Make this part of your young pup’s agenda.
  6. If you *failed to achieve the swim early on, don’t believe it is impossible.
  7. Some people use a life vest**. The vests are not necessary.
  8. Often Cliff is teaching a Weimaraner who has not swum since they were a puppy. They might be 2 years old or older. They always learn. Cliff knows it can be achieved. Sometimes it is challenging but, with patience, it always happens.
  9. Deem this as invaluable to your process. It is a healthy activity that can burn off the excess energy and not take such a toll on the hips and joints. It is good for their cardiovascular as well.

~ We hope this helps someone achieve the swim! ~ Cliff and Shela

 

*You would be shocked to learn how many folks achieved the swim after they told us it was impossible.

**Life Vests–just a note here that Cliff never uses one. The only vest he might use is a Neoprene one if he were to swim them in inclement weather–like for Duck Hunting. Some of you need this for peace of mind. It might help the Weimaraner take their first few steps, but again–it is not necessary. A lot of clients who live in cold water regions cannot keep their Weims out of the water. This scenario is true even in the winter.

 

 

 

Extraordinary

Weim Families

     ~ Like Virginia

dog-pond

Here is a picture of the pond I had built for my babies Dusty and Stormy (Weims).

Mom I don't look like a Blue, ....I am a Blue Weimaraner. I love this pond you built Mom...

Breeder’s Comment

Maybe you follow OwyheeStar Weimaraners both here and on Facebook. If so, you know about the late Stormy and our aging Dusty.

Seriously I thought I was the go-to person

 

These are not the same Weims–they are Virginia’s Stormy and Dusty. Ours and Virginia’s Weims are all the Blue Weimaraner. Virginia’s Stormy is a Blue Longhair Weimaraner.

OwyheeStar’s Dusty is the father of both of Virginia’s pups. He is a smooth-coated Weimaraner (pictured to the left), but he carries the DNA marker for the Longhair. This Story originally ran some time ago.–click here to read the full story.

This Can Happen

If Your Weim 

     ~ Doesn’t Swim

 

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Goldee’s First Swim

 

Yesterday, we shared what happens during our puppy swim–something we do weather permitting with each litter. Doesn’t this guarantee the Weimaraner will take naturally to the water? No. Nonetheless, it expands their experience, imprints the idea of the water, and gives their family inspiration to keep them swimming.

Not every Weim that swims at OwyheeStar takes to the water. This concrete-thinking breed can get a notion that they don’t want to do that. They can get spooked–that is never a good thing. If that happens, don’t make the mistake of ingraining the fear by babying them. Stay matter of fact and move forward as if everything is just fine–because it is.

The extremes our OwyheeStar folks to achieve the Swim is impressive. The benefits are too many to list here. You know–it is a great way to get a lot of exercise without damaging the young Weim’s joints. It is a fabulous way to expend a lot of energy–speaking of the water retrieve. (Once the Weimaraner embraces that activity), then you have a lifetime of tossing the ball for the retrieve. We used to use a rocket launcher to toss the bumper way out in the reservoir. Cliff’s arm could only make so many throws–this solved that solution. Even then, we stopped sending before the Weims were ready. They would swim for the bumper until they could no longer go if allowed.

If you are looking for Inspiration, look no further.

 

Trigger

My Versatile Hunting Weim

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I just wanted to take a minute and tell you a little bit about my weim. He has been a ball of joy since day one! He is my best friend, and we literally do everything together. And he gets so bummed if he doesn’t get to go with me when I leave, for something like school or work.
23231453_10156136166669411_7213260034136713095_nFrom a little puppy, I worked with him to become the amazing hunting buddy he is today. I’ve trained a couple of dogs before, and none of them were so coachable as him. He’s not perfect, but we are still in some of the training. By next summer he should be on point!!! He has an amazing nose, and I’m amazed by what he’ll find.
He is always happy and loves to go for rides in the truck, bed or in the cab with the windows down. And he starts whining like crazy when we’re getting close to our hunting spots outta excitement.you can tell hunting is in his blood, he’s all smiles and joy when out in the blind, he watches all the birds flying and starts to wag his tail like crazy when they start coming in.
He does an amazing job at retrieving and pointing on birds, he does great in water and loves to be outdoors. He loves hunting!! 4:30 in the morning he’s up and pumped to go hunting and has plenty of energy to hunt all day but when we get home, and its time for bed, he jumps on my bed and turns into a snuggleball and take up most of my bed but I love it.
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He has been the best hunting dog, truck passenger, Saturday explorer and most importantly, my best friend. And I’d like to thank you so much for everything you’ve done over at Owyhee Star. You’re my number one choice when getting a dog and always be!! Everyone asks where I got such a beautiful dog and Owyhee Star’s the answer!! Thank you again so much!!

Breeder Comment

We are thrilled to learn that Trigger is a great Versatile Hunting Dog. Thank you, for the endorsement. It means the world to us. Most of our business comes from repeats or referrals.
Dear Readers, can we ask you a favor. This young man has an incredible business. If you know a serious Waterfowl Hunter, here is a great idea for Christmas. Order a custom duck or goose call from Hunter’s business — Northern Custom Calls.

Dora (a Blue Weimaraner) swims and more

2012-07-12 19.27.12We hope you enjoy this video of Dora Mose swimming. She’s so funny and proud of herself. And we’re very proud as well 😉

She also got stung by a bee the other day, much to her dismay. She has a bit of a bee phobia, and what we call “the bee run”, with her back arched, her tail tucked and a wild look in her eyes, which we learned to recognize after she got stung a few times last summer. It’s not really funny, but we do get a chuckle out of her antics.

This time she was enjoying a swim session with several other dogs (one of which also got stung) but decided right then and there it was all over. Her doggy friends continued to swim and play, but Dora sat down next to me and moped/licked her sting for the rest of the time. Always dramatic, this one!

So good to hear that Dora’s puppy siblings got placed well this year. I love love to see all the faces on the blog- all such perfect variations on a theme. 🙂

Thanks for keeping us all together and updated on the blog. You’re doing such an awesome thing. ~ Carrie

Breeder’s Note: Many Weims are allergic to bee stings. They will swell up like a basketball. Ask your vet about Benedryl dosage–you might need to be prepared for such a reaction.