Arto vom Nollenwald (SUI) x Cottilion`s Acumen-Ambria (SWE)
breeder: Pernilla & Rolf Ryberg, Sweden
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The more I learn and experience, the more I’m convinced Tiki is one of the best weimaraners ever born, and I don't say that lightly.
Started late at hunting training, meeting first dead and live game at 2,5 years of age, still developed into one among handful of “extreme” weimaraners. Running many times together with some of the best swedish bretons, she did not look “less”, usually matching their extreme, glaze-eyed NEED to find SOMETHING, their range. Not too usual for any larger continental. There’s also not many weims who according to more than one german pointer judge ran too damn wide! In regular, empty search, she would most usually run out in straight lines reaching 300-400m to ONE side of you (making her total range 600-800 meters) and actually who knows how far, if not turned with several long whistles almost every single turn. Every reach across the field with even, clean and driven way (no stops on scent, lowering the speed, running often “deeper” into the wind after a scent). Even when on just regular daily "walks”, from about being 1,5 years old, Tiki would always stay ahead 150-200 meters, stop when you stopped, start moving again when you did, change direction when you did - from her own distance, only coming back when you called or turned around. Did that with only our akita who often was lagging 200m behind us in the opposite direction, and later with our growing pack of 2-4 happy weimaraners that would all yo-yo back and forth. I have not seen anything similar in other weimaraners so far. Not a dog to be affected by what others did, that’s for sure.
From the start it was obvious that even for a weimaraner, she had extremely high will to work with/for the handler. She had extremely serious and devoted attitude towards any work and the handler. From a 3-month old puppy she was focused and serious, waiting to work, in control of her body - like a tiny adult. At puppy play groups at 3 months, she would not at all be interested in tens of puppies of different breeds, digging by herself and doing other "serious work". The attitude made working with her very interesting, I'm sure she could have done almost anything or learned to BE anything that was physically possible. A rescue dog, a bomb or a cadaver dog, a herding or a war dog, a guide/help dog … I have not met another dog with so vague limits in ability. Or another with such almost unbreakable spirit and ability to function through difficulties - rare in any dog of any breed and for a bitch. The situation could mentally or physically “beat her down” a hundred times in a row. She would endure it out, and then just jump up and spring right back to work, looking as the same happy, focused, motivated dog as before - continue trying, offering, pleasing, endlessly. You basically could not get her to shut down, stop trying. She would let herself be sewn up without sedation at the clinic, without being held, while eating her dry kibble as some god awesome treats, and then immediately put up an obedience show right then and there, working her heart out. She also had pretty vague limits of self preservation. If I would have asked her to, she would immediately, without hesitation, jumped down the London Bridge on just one single whispered command. She would have tried to bring me down the moon without hesitation, even if it meant hurting herself. She was mentally very tough, quite "hard" (opposite of "soft") and extremely reliable and stable, un-flinching in any kind of new or difficult situation. A dog you could take to war and rely on.
And not the most sensitive dog physically, either - for a good example, she would walk three times into cattle electric fence, before deciding after third time in a row, “ok, fine!! you pricks, suppose I CAN go some other direction just as well”, in a calm, resigned way - where most other dogs would have reacted sooner or much stronger. I had to rescue her several times from near drowning in winter, almost drowning myself, when she fell through ice and could not get out, and she still made me nuts by walking on exactly the same, when land changed into cracking, bending ice under her paws. She just did not care.
This all has made for one of the most amazing, STRONG workers. When she worked - be it Obedience World Championships among top border collies, a retrieving test, field trial, hunting for various game with your regular, “rough” hunters used to totally different breeds - she would get NOTICED. I have heard some german pointer judges say, she was the best weimaraner they had ever seen. There was just “something” about her, even if it was not her absolute best day.
As a working hunter she was really versatile, used at different types of hunting (stalking, driven etc), on almost everything we can hunt here. We witnessed her constraining a big male boar alone, biting hard the ass of a large live moose, killing raccoon dogs/foxes, tearing down and killing wounded deer, tracking successfully many wounded game, working in water as well as any of the world's best retrievers, sichtlaut when hunting together with others. Very durable, consistent, hardy workman, hard enough in her mind not give up even in very hard conditions or when injured or forcefully distracted.
At retrieving, she was great to work with from the very start, zero efforts with anything other than being bit hard in mouth at times - her first grip at any game or wooden or canvas apport (even if not thrown or taking from your hand) was with this high-drive attack/jump/catch, like it was still alive! Excellent at first try with anything, never hesitating with new type of game, including cold fox first time at 5 years. She would not mind if freshly shot/warm game, days old/smelling or fully frozen game or plastic dummies were all mixed up together, she would work for hours, with same passion for everything. On our field-runs she typically and spontaneously brought anything she found to us, holding it and sometimes walking long time beside us, before we noticed her carrying a newborn mouse-baby the size of your fingertip, a piece of old fur, chunk of bacon, animal scull or shed antlers. Never taught or guided her to do that.
Somebody recently said, we "got a lot out of her" … But in fact, it was the opposite. She was naturally so over-motivated to work and offer stuff it was like SHE was pressuring US to work. It all NEEDED to come out of her. Always self-initiatedly offering things with such speed and force it frankly did not make her learning curve the shortest of our dogs, she really did not care THAT much, what it was exactly WHAT was wanted, as long as she got to offer us stuff, even if we lost patience a million times, she just kept going at it! I do not remember really any moment when I felt I lost our connection, her will to work on something - most dogs have those small moments, be it when they want to sniff interesting scents instead of doing something YOU want, or when they prefer a bird over an old dummy … Tiki really had no preferations. I really do think she HERSELF made what she became. We're convinced it is her genetic makeup, that made her so special - in those single uncommon qualities but to be found together in one dog, her own breed or any other. We feel extremely thankful that those qualities run on in the genes of dogs after her. Once you have experienced a dog like that, there is no going back. She will always be the guide to a perfect working weimaraner for us.
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