7/12/10 – Puppy Evaluation
Sorry it’s late, but last week was SOO busy that I didn’t have a chance to write about evaluation day. We had quite an audience with several owners in attendance to watch as well as some of my friends and family wanting to visit and play with the puppies. First on the agenda was field evaluations with Brad Higgins of Higgins Gun Dogs. With 12 puppies this had the potential to take a looooonnnnngggggg time. So Brad started off with some group evaluations to test for pack mentality. Then we took each puppy out of the pen alone to see if they would stay with the pack or if they showed independance and ventured out to explore on their own. They all did well, and didn’t show signs of insecurity and enjoyed the back yard. Then we let them all out and placed a bird in the yard to see what they would do. They were all very interested and a couple of them decided they wanted the bird for themselves and took off running with it. Then we took 1 at a time to let them react to the bird without the competition. Unfortunately, the neighbor dogs started barking at the fence scaring the puppies and causing them to be unsure of what to do. So we brought out a few at a time and soon, the bird was all they were interested in. We tested the pups to see what they would do when the birds flushed and they all stood to watch it fly away. None tried to chase, they knew they wouldn’t catch it. So they just watched in awe.
Overall, Brad was pleased with the litter and felt that they would all make good hunting dogs. He reminded us that at 7 weeks old, they are bound to change interests as they grow. Some that may not have seemed all that interested may be gung ho the next week and vice versa. That with early exposure and development, they will make great hunting companions. Independant thinkers with a nose for what’s really important.
Below is a slideshow of the field evaluation photos. I had taken video of it but unfortunately due to technical difficulties (and a bonehead move), I lost them all before transfering them to my computer :(. Please be aware, there are photos of the puppies with LIVE BIRDS. If you are remotely squimish or sensitive view with caution. These are hunting dogs with hunting instinct. Some birds WERE harmed in this evaluation, however most flew away home.
After the field evaluation was the conformation evaluation with Debbie Hopkins of Top Hat Weimaraners. Debbie is a good friend to both Liz and I and her dog Bo is Roxie’s dad. Debbie has a special place in her heart for Roxie and was willing to help us evaluate this litter. Debbie is a Weim breeder and professional handler of Weims and German Shepherd Dogs. She knows what she is looking for and how to spot structure that will be beneficial for field dogs as well as pleasing to the eye. As in all litters, there are some that are “show” quality, those tend to be few in any litter, even out of two show dogs. We had a few good ones, some average ones and one that was below average conformation wise. However, to the average pet person, what the dog looks like is secondary to their temprament and their hunt ability. To read more about puppy evaluations and how they are administered and what they mean, click here: http://justweimaraners.com/2010/07/are-you-rab/
At the end of the day, five puppies went home with their new owners. I kept one to hand deliver to Denver on my way to Texas. Liz took home five, four of which still need homes. Roxie tried to go with them by jumping in the van and making herself comfortable on the seat beside the puppy crate. She didn’t want to come out.
The puppy that stayed with me was green boy and I had forgotten what it was like to have a puppy around. Boy, they are a lot of work… and I only had ONE and for one day! he was pretty good and followed me around the house. Went potty whenever I took him outside. I had to run an errand and put both Roxie and the pup in the x-pen while I was gone. When I came back 2.5 hrs later, there was no potty mess and both eagerly ran outside to go. Roxie was a good mom and helped the puppy learn to play and she even shared her toy with him after I showed her how to share. At first she growled at him when he wanted to tug the rope too. Soon, they were playing nice together and sharing the couch. That night, I penned them both together to sleep. Roxie wasn’t too happy not to be able to sleep by Mommy, but she got over it. It was a late night for me and an early morning so 5 hrs later when I woke up to let them out, NO MESS! YAY! Hopefully this little boy’s new family is experincing good potty training. Then it was off to the airport. Roxie was NOT happy that I was taking her baby away. She whined and whimpered as I put him in his travel bag and her in her pen and left without her. I was running late so I didn’t have time to go back in and check on her. I was a bit worried that she would jump the gate to come after us, but she didn’t. The little boy did really well in his little carry-on bag and slept the whole way. His new owners were eagerly waiting for us at the gate. I wish them well. Here is video of the two playing together.
Renee our boy Kalen is 14 weeks old now. Learning with Pan how we have to ignore birds here as we feed ducks, Sandhill Cranes, and pheasant at the ground feeder in our open yard. We have 8 ducks in the pond and both Weims will now ignore them as well as the cranes. They are such smart dogs they want to do things right for you so go against their instinct to chase fowl if that’s what you want. Neither dog was put on birds as a little puppy either.
Well having had the pleasure of spending time with Miss Laika, she is a little pistol. Takes everything in stride and is a confident girl. She also LOVES birds. I hope the owner will put her in the field, she seems to have lots of potential! And is very sweet too!
Riley, a.k.a blue with red collar is doing well. He first bonded to Lily, our 12 y.o. weim and Abby, our 5 y.o. Pointer firmly let him know where he stood on the food chain! In tha last several days Abby and Riley are playing-burning off some serious dog energy! It has been interesting to see Lily and Abby’s relationship change with the addition of Riley. Less tension in the air as Lily becomes older and more limited. Riley has pointed several times in the yard and once when he was pooping and promptly fell over! He has shown much interest in the resident squirrel who taunts Abby. As was shown in the eval little red blue does have a strong prey drive!