Teach your Weim how to stay alone!
That must seem like an odd question to people who do not know or understand the Weimaraner. In our experience, failing to teach your Weimaraner to stay alone is going to lead to nothing good. By nature the Weimaraner is clingy. Many call the Weimaraner the ultimate Velcro dog. Clearly, the Weimaraner is never happier than when they are doing whatever you are doing; they are all about being with you! Having said that, it is important to understand that this adoring (and sometimes perplexing and even frustrating) quality sets a Weimaraner up for failure. The underlying reason for this issue, is the Weimaraner by nature is prone to severe separation anxiety.
Other than being inclined to have separation anxiety issues, the Weimaraner is most often set up for severe separation anxiety by well intentioned family members. Most of the time it is the very caregivers who want to do nothing but the best for their beloved Weim that cause the problem. They begin by taking a two week leave of absence planning to get the puppy settled in and adjusted. Upon their return to work, the Weimaraner begins to act out in any number of ways. Most of these behaviors tend to be destructive by nature. It is important to understand the destruction is not so much about being destructive as about being frustrated and feeling abandoned.
Other Weimlovers tend to feel they will never need to leave their Weimaraner ever. Therefore, they do not employ the use of the crate. Their pups are with them 24 X 7 and things tend to work out until one day some unforeseen issue arises. By then their Weimaraner expects to have them home with them all the time and if not to join them wherever they go. No one can guarantee their Weimaraner will never need to stay alone.
The unforeseen tends to slip in the back door and give us pause.
Regardless of your mindset, it is wise to prepare your Weimaraner to not only accept the crate but to embrace it. They will learn to love their personal space if you view and appreciate them being able to use the crate as a good thing. Then when the unexpected hits you and your Weimaraner are prepared. There are many things, which could pose an issue whereby the crate could prove to be lifesaving or at least a solution. Here are a few of those situations:
- An illness — your own or someone close to you that requires you to be away from home for a period of time.
- Guests — Some people are not dog lovers. Some dogs don’t do well with certain guests. We believe better safe than sorry. Often the best policy is to crate the Weimaraner until everyone is in and settled and then incorporate them into the activity under a watchful eye.
- Schedule changes — Often the Weimaraner feels stressed due a change in to their activity level, interaction level, or routine. Employing the crate can make them feel safe and prevent chewing on furniture or Sheetrock in order to alleviate the stress.
- Travel — Using the crate in the vehicle may save upholstery, the wiring harness, or other items. It could also keep your Weim from absconding out the door of the vehicle one day. Then too, if you are staying in a motel or at friends home the crate can be great for all concerned.
- During Events — An event big or small could benefit from the Weimaraner using a crate for awhile. Depending upon your level of control and their compliance it may be necessary to employ a crate during dinner hour, barbecues, while cooking, or when you may be distracted.
The crate is not a cure all for every issue. However, it can help you control and create the right environment for success. The right sized kennel or crate can aid in housebreaking a puppy. No, you cannot shut them up in a kennel or crate all the time and expect to forge a great relationship. Nevertheless, the Weimaraner like most dogs spends a great deal of time laying around. Whether they are laying in a crate or outside the crate they are still lazing around.
Our Email is filled with people who pressed to get crate free to discover they made a huge mistake. Having gained freedom from the crate, owners soon discover that when caught with schedule changes or other stressful situations and behavior issues, they cannot revert to the crate.
The Weimaraner in many instances will refuse the crate and if forced to use it the battle of the wills becomes a standoff. Then it is vitally important that the caregiver wins the battle. Although your method of getting them to comply doesn’t matter so much as getting compliance, being too strong-handed can backfire.
The Weim’s refusal of the crate can take many forms, including soiling, wetting, and chewing. Barking and howling may also be employed by the Weimaraner in an attempt to make known their extreme displeasure. In truth, when a Weim’s feelings are wounded and they often sulk and pull away from you. This relationship distancing maneuver is employed in an attempt to manipulate you into doing things their way. Ultimately, they want to gain the upper paw and run the show.
The Weimaraner likes to think they know what is best not only for them but for you as well. Their endearing and cunning ways often work on those who love and adore them. As you can see this can get a bit like a game of chess. Our best advice is to teach your Weimaraner to accept the crate and keep them crate friendly. Secondly, teach them how to stay alone or to be able to be away from you. Some Weim owners create a home-away-from-home situation whereby they have a second home for the beloved Weimaraner. Others have dog walkers or visiting caregivers who can care for their Weimaraner in their absence. Whatever scenario you come up that works you had better be the one saying checkmate and not your Weim.