July 5, 2021. Day 56. We made it to eight weeks! Congratulations to everyone getting their new puppy this week. Blue Boy (at left) is now Rigel, a blue supergiant star in the constellation of Orion, approximately 860 light-years from Earth. Rigel is the brightest and most massive component, and the eponym of a star system of at least four starts that appear as a single blue-white point of light to the naked eye. What a PERFECT name for a puppy out of the “Constellation litter!”
July 4, 2021. Day 55. As we make our way into our final few days with the puppies, we’re setting them up to be individuals. This includes putting them into crates for naps by themselves, taking them outside for 1:1 time, and feeding them in individual bowls. I’m happy to report that everyone is very well adjusted and no one minds eating on their own!
July 1, 2021. Day 52. In the seventh week, puppies are learning that when the door is open, they can just hop in and out to go where they want to go (at left is a shot of Green Girl hopping over the threshold to get back in again). And since the pen is adjacent to the slider leading into the backyard, puppies have easy access to the great outdoors where they can potty, run and play.
June 28, 2021. Day 49. One of the best ways to get your puppy acclimated to his or her crate is to have one available in the main part of your house. Make sure there’s a blanket in there, and leave the door open so your puppy can enter and exit as he pleases. At this age, if they fall asleep in there, I gently close the door so once they wake up, they can’t sneak out and potty on the floor while I’m not watching. As of this week, puppies are napping in their crates and eating individual meals in their crates.
June 27, 2021. Day 48. Aptitude and prey drive testing day!!! We began the day at 10:00 AM at my friend Beth’s house in Lancaster, CA. The weather was forecasted to be stupid hot, but it was actually tolerable in the shade. One by one, Charles (Baja’s owner) aptitude tested each puppy as I took copious notes on the score sheets. After giving puppies a brief nap, we put bird wings down for them to assess their initial reaction to scent, and after another break, we put down a real/live pigeon for them.
The goal for this litter was to produce not just hunting dogs, but field trial capable dogs. (In other words, extreme hunting dogs.) The best puppies out of this litter will be those who are energetic, confident, independent, and possess high bird/prey drive. Those who don’t make the grade will make excellent home companions.
Overall, the Baja x Brandy kids did very well. As a litter, the puppies were very people focused, consistent, athletic, well-coordinated, and stable. Individually, maturity levels varied, and some demonstrated more focus and drive than others. As this line is known to be slow to mature (and that’s not a bad thing), the aptitude and prey drive testing today gave us a good gauge of who the puppies are, but we’ll still be evaluating everyone for the next few days to gather more data and make final decisions.
Individual notes will be posted here as I get a chance to edit photos and write summaries (probably in the next day or so). Families will be notified of who their puppies are by the end of this week. If you are getting a puppy, please let me know when you’re coming. As a reminder, I’m out of town from Friday through Sunday, but I’ll be back home on Monday, July 5th.
Thank you Bob and Beth for letting us use your property, Charles for conducting the aptitude test, and everyone who came to help us socialize the puppies!
Charles and the “grandkids”
June 26, 2021. Day 47. In performance events, the tail is a crown jewel.
A show dog cannot win a Sporting Group nor can a field trial dog earn a blue ribbon when it doesn’t have the right tail.
Not that it’s about the winning.
Outside of performance events, the tail is a tell-tale sign (say THAT three times fast) of a dog’s state of mind. A high tail, confidently carried, says “LOOK AT ME!!!!!!!” whereas a saggy/hanging/low carried tail says, “nothing to see here, move along please…”
A Weimaraner on point with a high, staunchly held tail with a LOOK AT ME attitude is a sight to behold. And once we add that gem to our treasure chest, we’ll hold on tight so we don’t ever lose it.
For those who are lucky enough to bring one of these baubles home, congratulations on your little firecracker!!!
Pretty much as good as it gets
June 25, 2021. Day 46. BREAKING NEWS. We left all eight puppies sleeping on top of the blue blanket in their pen and went into town for dinner. Upon arriving home about 90 minutes later, we discovered all eight puppies were still asleep on the blanket, and NO ONE had bothered to get up and potty. Not on the floor, not on the pad, not anywhere. !!! Impressed, I just HAD to snap this photo right after we woke them up and let them outside to potty in the backyard.
An update on crate training: We’ve been closing the crate doors on the puppies overnight for the last few days now. There are two intermediate sized Ruffland crates in the pen, with four puppies sleeping in each. On the first night, some of the puppies peed on their blankets, but after that, their crates were dry. We’ve been serving dinner around 5:00 PM, and picking up their water bowl at 8:00 PM. Last call is around 11:00 PM, and puppies are good in there until about 6:00 AM. You may adjust this schedule if you wish, but once you bring your puppy home, try to feed dinner approximately six hours before bedtime, and pick-up the water bowl approximately three hours before bedtime. Failure to do so means you’ll be getting up throughout the night to potty your pup. Not the end of the world, but not my favorite chore, either.
– Signed, value my sleep in SoCal
June 24, 2021. Day 45. I was able to get home before it got dark tonight, so all the puppies were able to spend some time in the backyard, exploring the great outdoors and getting acclimated to dirt, rocks, and sticks. At 6.5 weeks of age, some puppies embraced their new experiences while others were a little shell-shocked and needed more reassurance that new is not necessarily bad. In the next few days we expect that the new exposure will help puppies seek out new things to examine and build confidence as they wander away from their littermates.
June 23, 2021. Day 44. Surprise! We’re #nailsnobs. In other words, we are fanatics about nail care (for both ourselves and our dogs) so nail care started when the puppies were a day old. By the time these puppies are old enough to go home, they will have been clipped more than a dozen times and also introduced to a nail grinder. Please keep up the work we’ve started so your puppy’s nails don’t turn into nasty talons that scratch your patio doors and etch your wood floors.
June 21, 2021. Day 42. And just like that, they’re big dogs now. At six weeks of age, the puppies were “stacked up” for the first time so we could take a look at their structure. Even though this litter wasn’t bred to be competitive in the sport of dog shows, it’s valuable for us to see/understand how they’re built. And our assessment? Overall, nice! The puppies are all very food motivated, and once shown the spoon full of cream cheese, they were very focused on their treat and had zero problems being manipulated/stacked. All puppies had nice, high tails, and a good attitude. Angles are all moderate, but balanced. Based on size, it’s safe to say that all puppies will be at the smaller end of the breed standard at maturity (girls will be around 22″-23″ in height and boys will be 24″-25″ in height), so I’m going on the record here to state that I hope new owners will appreciate a pocket sized Weimaraner! 🙂
June 20, 2021. Hi friends! Apologies for the brief interruption; I was away in Boulder, Utah over the weekend to get away for a few days of R&R. I took with me a 10-week old puppy named Cane (he’s my stud fee puppy out of L&L Weimaraners’ recent litter) so I could get him out of the house for a few days and socialize the snot out of him. Speaking of socialization, if you’re about to bring a Brandy puppy home, please take a look at the Raising Cane micro-blog, and make sure your puppy gets all of the same experiences in. It’s CRITICAL that puppies are well-socialized before they turn four months old.
June 17, 2021. Day 38. The gate to the puppy pen was left open tonight as an observation to see who first would get out and explore. The winner of tonight’s experiment goes to… BLUE BOY!!! He was followed closely by BLACK BOY. No one else had the desire to explore new digs, so Blue and Black had the living room all to themselves. While they were out, they probed the kitchen, the inside of the big dog crates, and pulled at towels and blankets that were on the floor. Both boys were joyful and curious as they bounced their way through the house. In the days to come we expect that the remaining puppies will figure out there’s a world to discover just outside their pen.
June 16, 2021. Day 37. Enrichment is a BIG part of what we do. Tonight, a wooden stool with baby toys and rattles tied to it was brought out for the puppies to play with and explore. Everyone was fascinated by things that crinkled, things that rattled, and things that squeaked. Bonus, everyone also loved climbing up and inside the stool, and because the distance to the ground wasn’t all that high, anyone who inadvertently rolled off just got up and went on with their business. This is important as the experience safely teaches puppies to recover after a setback. Over time puppies learn that a fall, a new experience, or an unknown situation is not something to be afraid of, it’s just another thing to recover from and move on from.
Heads up folks, Pink Girl loooooves people!!!
June 15, 2021. Day 36. Bonding time!!! Now that puppies are a bit older, it’s time to get them away from their littermates to acclimate them to life with humans. Tonight’s 1:1 was for Black Boy, who sat with us on the sofa while we had dinner (shrimp scampi FTW) and watched some television. He later fell asleep on my lap. Guess basketball isn’t really that exciting for him.
June 13, 2021. Day 34. Puppies instinctively avoid pottying where they 1) eat, 2) sleep, and 3) play. So this week, what we’re doing is jamming a WHOLE BUNCH OF TOYS into the blanketed area, and covering 100% of the balance of the space with potty pads so puppies are accurate pottying where they’re supposed to. In the next couple of weeks, we’ll increase the size of the blanketed area and decrease the size of the potty pads to hone in on where they go. The goal is that by eight weeks of age, all we’ll have to do is lay a single potty pad down and puppies will seek it out to do their business.
Week Five – Puppy Pen
June 12, 2021. Day 33. The puppies received some very special visitors today!!! Charles and Kristi Salse, along with their son Anthony and his girlfriend Kathleen, came up to Tehachapi to visit with their “grandpuppies” (they own Baja, the sire to the litter). The puppies loved exploring their expanded space, playing with new toys, and getting snuggled up on by some humans.
June 11, 2021. Day 32. New digs, and everyone loves it!!! Below are a few photos of the puppies’ first day in their expanded play area. Water is provided in the corner. Two crates are available for exploration or rest. Potty pads are placed in areas where we want puppies to potty, and blankets are put down where we want puppies to eat, sleep, and play. In the next few days, we expect all puppies to sharpen their potty skills by targeting the potty pads. Little by little, we’ll expand the play areas and reduce the potty areas, until we achieve the goal of having every puppy seek out one single potty pad to do their business on.
June 9, 2021. Day 30. The puppies have officially discovered the comforts of hanging out and sleeping in a crate!!! This is the first step of crate training (acclimation). In the next week or so, we’ll start shutting them into their crates while they nap so we can better control when we lead them out to potty (this is also an element of the potty training process). We’ll also give them some more real estate so they can wander and explore. Please please please keep up with crate training once you bring your puppy home. Further reading here:
- The Value of Crate Training
- Seven Reasons to Crate Train Your Weimaraner
- A Beginner’s Guide to Crate Training Part I
- A Pet Owner’s Guide to the Dog Crate
June 6, 2021. Day 27. Introduction to raw goats milk and their first meal (a warm mixture of milk and pulverized puppy kibble) was a smashing success! Everyone filled their bellies until they waddled like piggies. Mamma Brandy is also still happy to nurse the kiddos so they’re very well taken care of. As the puppies get older, the gruel will include more kibble and less milk, and by the time they’re about 6 weeks old, the kibble will be left in chunks for them to chew on (their teeth are already in, by the way). And the puppies LOVE their stuffy crinkly toys.
June 4, 2021. Day 25. Puppies can see! Puppies can hear! And they’ve officially entered the stage where they play with one another, bite one another, and wrestle altogether. In the next few days we’ll introduce the puppies to a few toys with different smells and textures, and we’ll also introduce new flooring to get them used to walking all over different surfaces.
June 1, 2021. Day 22. New digs!!! The puppies have moved from the guest bedroom upstairs to the dining room downstairs. Their current home is a 4′ x 6′ area with an elevated platform in the back, and potty pads on the ground in the front. There’s also an Intermediate Ruffland crate in the back without the doors on to help acclimate puppies to a crate. The set-up includes little stair steps to help the puppies get up and down, but as you can see in one of the below photos, they don’t really need it. At night, everyone fell asleep just outside their crate. That’s okay, they’ll figure out how to sleep inside in the next few days.
May 31, 2021. Day 21. While Barry stayed home to take care of the puppies, I hit the road for a long weekend to attend a field trial in Flagstaff, Arizona. (For the uninitiated, field trials are sporting events for hunting dogs, and many Barrett dogs compete in them across the country throughout the year.) It was a quick trip, but we were able to unplug from cell phone range for a few days and catch up with some friends. At home, Brandy’s puppies were observed to be climbing out of their whelping box (which started on Day 20), so our next move will be moving them downstairs into a bigger area.
May 26, 2021. Day 16. Baby puppies normally get satin ribbons when they’re born, and those ribbons are usually pretty good for them until about week four, when we switch them into their first set of biothane collars. Imagine our surprise, then, that at just two weeks of age, Brandy’s puppies have hulked out of their ribbons and are now sporting their solid “big kid” collars. What this means: Brandy’s doing a great job keeping everyone fed and happy, and puppies are getting bigger by the minute!
May 24, 2021. Day 14. The puppies are growing like weeds, and their eyes are now open. Puppies have begun to walk and toddle across the whelping box. Mamma Brandy is doing a great job feeding everyone but also likes to enjoy her “rest time” by napping on top of the guest bed. We have three more days of bio-sensing puppies and then we’ll move onto the next development phase. The biggest boy continues to be Blue Collar, and the smallest girl continues to be Purple Collar. Everyone’s doing great!!
May 17, 2021. Day 7. The puppies are one week old today and very well taken care of. Brandy is a dedicated mom who spends 100% of her day in the whelping box feeding and cleaning all eight of them. Special thanks to Barry for holding down the fort while I was away most of the week. Also, a “thanks in advance” to Barry for taking care of the puppies this week as well, since I’m flying to Phoenix tomorrow to deliver Josie’s puppies on Wednesday.
May 10, 2021. Day 0. Barrett Weimaraners is pleased to announce the safe and uneventful arrival of four boys and four girls affectionately dubbed as “The Constellation Eight.” Mama Brandy took to motherhood like a duck to water and everyone is gaining weight. Families on the wait-list for a Brandy puppy will be notified in the next few days. Those who aren’t able to get a puppy out of this litter will be moved to another litter later in the year.
November 20, 2020. Barrett Weimaraners is pleased to confirm a planned breeding this Spring between Baja and Brandy. The purpose of this breeding is to produce a tough, powerful, athletic hunting dog with excellent stamina and good range.
The best puppies out of this litter are expected to do very well in AKC field trials, hunt tests and ratings. As companion dogs, we expect them to be active, loyal, affectionate, protective, and family-oriented.
The best homes for puppies out of this litter are those who are experienced with Weimaraners, and who don’t have cats in the house. The anticipated prey drive for puppies out of this litter is too high for the average family to successfully acclimate the puppy to household cats.
More about Baja. Baja (2016 Rossi x Mika) was bred to be a big running, hard hunting dog. With loads of natural talent, Baja won the 2018 Western Field Futurity, and was later steadied up by his owner to compete in local adult field trial stakes. In their down-time, Charles and Baja have been known to try other things: Baja has his Junior Hunter title, is NAVHDA NA prized, and has show points to boot. !!! At home Baja loves to go swimming, and is easy going, loyal, and sweet.
Baja and his dad in the show ring
Baja is his dad’s best boy
Earning his Junior Hunter title
Baja in the snow
More about Brandy. Brandy was bred to be a field trial powerhouse. As a youngster, she lived with Mike in Michigan and was given a proper start with basic training and socialization. As a juvenile dog, Brandy went on to train with Diane Vater of AlphaDog, and traveled the Field Trial circuit in the Open Puppy and Open Derby stakes. Her greatest placement was getting into the ribbons in the National Open Derby stake in Ardmore, Oklahoma. (Her littermate sister Trixey won the stake.) In Summer 2020, Brandy came out west to try her hand at field trialing in the wide open desert. Brandy will be steadied up in Summer 2021 and be ready to compete in Open Gun Dog stakes in Autumn 2021. At home Brandy is quiet, sweet, affectionate, and naturally very well behaved.
Brandy 4th Place National Open Derby – December 2019 – Ardmore, OK
Brandy loves to snuggle
Brandy at home
Brandy – The look on her face when I told her she was five weeks pregnant
- March 2021 – Breeding
- April 2021 – Pregnancy confirmation
- May 2021 – Puppies due
- July 2021 – Puppies placed with new families
12/15 UPDATE: The interest list for this litter is full. For those interested in a future Barrett puppy (pet/companion, or otherwise), please feel free to check out our other planned breedings and submit a prospective owner questionnaire if there’s a litter you might be interested in getting a puppy from. Thank you!
Barrett’s Stars N’ Stripes JH NSD NAVHDA NA III, “Baja”
AKC SR93981412, DOB 7/2/2016, Sire: FCH PM Trax Trigger Happy NAVHDA NAI, “Rossi,” Dam: Southpaw’s In the Red, “Mika,” Bred by Kim Burnell, Owned by Charles and Kristi Salse, OFA Hips: Good, OFA Thyroid: Normal, OFA Elbows: Normal, HUU N/N, HYM N/N, SD N/N, Coat Length S/S
Heartbeats Back Door Baby Brandy, “Brandy”
AKC SS09122201, DOB 6/13/2018, Sire: Heartbeats Stroked and Blowin, “Camaro,” Dam: Heartbeats Bravo Beanie, “Beanie“ Bred by Mike Wiacek, Owned by Mike Wiacek and Kim Burnell, OFA Hips: Good, OFA Thyroid: Pending, HUU N/N, HYM N/N, SD N/N, Coat Length S/S