Quirks and Quandaries
Embroiled in a battle of crate-training, Lee calls saying she cannot do this. She has consulted all the experts, and followed all the directions. Now, she finds herself in an unbearable situation. Tears are the unseen backdrop to the conversation. They stream down Lee’s cheeks as her discouragement and exhaustion come through. By now, it is day three and things are worse rather than better.
During the day Lee admits to having fewer problems. As she works in the kitchen, the pup has been able to adjust in the crate. He often watches her. He sometimes falls asleep. The first two days he was resistant, but after two days he will use the crate during the day.
We listen to Lee’s story. She speaks of her success with little notice going directly to the part where she has lost the battle. She speaks of climbing the stairs to her bedroom, only to hear the wailing begin. Defensively, she explains how she stayed the course. Resolute in her decision to see this situation through to the end, she continues on to bed. It is now 3 AM and Felix is still wailing. Everyone is traumatized. The books say not to remove him from the crate. What to do is the question? 4 AM comes and passes. The crescendo gets louder if possible. At 4:40 AM Lee heads downstairs to the dining room. Felix’s chest is heaving from the wailing, but he wags. At 5 AM, Bill comes downstairs. He glaces toward the living room; all is quiet. There he finds Felix nestled inside Lee’s arm, and they are dead to the world asleep on the sofa. No one takes notice of his arrival.
Note: this story could have any number of names and varied scenarios–and has over the years. This type of scenario has been played-out more times than you want to know. It is definitely a Weim quirk and the new owner’s quandary. If your name and your Weim’s name could be inserted into this story, please know we are not picking on you. You have a lot of good company.
Lee went on to explain that they didn’t know why this had happened, because they had done everything the right way. Exhaustion, frustration, and doubt had taken over her every thought. Their preparation, study, and planning have not worked out. It is easy to move on to the task of pointing of the finger at others, especially when you have followed the expert’s advice to the tee.
What went wrong?
…….. or Crate Placement Saves the Day!
Coming to this point, more than one person has given up on crate training! Every dog trainer, guru, and expert have their thoughts on how to crate-train, but some people end up down the wrong road. Then too, it is like raising children. There are pointers, but you have to find your way together. Your situation, your personality, your skill-set, and your puppy are each unique. Saying one size fits all can get you into a mess.
First, expect crate-training to be horrid for you, but absolutely necessary for the Weimaraner. Backing up this thought with the knowledge that it is not puppy jail. Secondly, expect that you are going to be punished by the pup for implementing the use of the crate. Even though they are den creatures, in the new setting they will balk. Third, possibly most importantly, do not allow yourself to feel bad. Embrace that this will end up well, and serve the Weimaraner’s best interest.
When you start down this path, there are other than the basic considerations when it comes to the Velcro-like Weimaraner. Everyone does the same thing! We finally get our puppy, and we treat them like a baby, hugging, oohing, and awing over them. We coddle them and love the kisses. Maybe it is a blessing to get one of the less cuddly pups. Some Weimaraner pup’s squiggle away and want to explore, play, and be doing something. Sometimes in response, we feel wounded, but possibly, these pups are easier for us to confine, or crate-train.
The placement of the crate is the key to success. One reason people get into trouble, is that in relegating the pup to another room–the Weim feels totally abandoned. Going upstairs or into a different room, makes them feel not only abandoned, but as if they did something wrong. If they understand you are close by, and don’t want to be near them, it is more difficult than you leaving the house. They don’t understand the concept that you are upstairs. We suggest beginning with the crate in the bedroom, near your bed, in sight of you. Get them out only when they stop carrying on. It is an art to know when to get them out and when not to get them out. For now, except they will need to go out once a night, but more often may be a manipulation.