Waltzing with the Weimaraner

First we are the student; then a teacher

The job of a teacher is to instruct in a manner in which the student not only understands the concept, but is inspired to embrace it. This also implies communication takes place; the act of communicating is more than speaking, showing, hearing, or watching. Merriam-Webster defines communication as:

  • an act or instance of transmitting
  • a process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs, or behavior <the function of pheromones in insectcommunication>; also :  exchange of information
  • personal rapport

Jan Maguson, Pet Advocate Extraordinaire 

Jan Magnuson— Successful dog ownership is like a dance, and is all about respect. I tell my obedience students it is important to work WITH your dog, not against him- be the (calm, kind and firm) leader. When I am contacted about dogs with severe behavior issues, the one common denominator is that the problem(s) has been going on for a while, so the behavior(s) has been repeated over and over; it makes it SO much more difficult to solve than if the dog owner had addressed it immediately, as almost every bad behavior can be “nipped in the bud”. Having a dog’s respect is of ultimate importance, as if your dog does not respect you, you will never have a trained, well-behaved dog, period. Dogs respect calm, kind, firm leaders; folks who are nervous, get angry with their dog and are scattered do best when they learn to settle down, be loving and consistent with their dogs. Remember to be the leader in the dance and you will waltz through life with your canine companion!

Are you a Master Teacher

           and/or an Expert Student?

Mom and I danced to a Canine Good Citizen Award

Mom and I danced to a Canine Good Citizen Award

Canine Good Citizen Award

Canine Good Citizen Award

We are not all master teachers. We do not all excel at learning in the same manner.

Despite this fact, we can all achieve success using the right approach. The effective instructor wants to make sure their pupil (or audience) is grasping the concept. Sure, some folks never implement the concept learned. The path to failure is paved with good intentions. Regardless, to fail because you embraced the wrong concept, or you didn’t understand the principle is unthinkable. In the information age, we are more apt to experience the former setback.

Abundant Advice Abounds

Everyone is an expert. Everyone wants to show you how to do it the right way. If it worked for them, then they are positive it will work for you. That is not always true. The effective communicator often employs several visual, and hands-on techniques to help their pupil achieve the desired outcome.

Comparisons are best avoided

When it comes to canine training, there are so many variables. This situation is not a one-size-fit all one. Jan alludes to this fact by referring to dog ownership as a dance. We don’t all have the same skill set. The dog, and the environment will be unique. Isn’t that a part of the thrill? As the two of you find your way, (and dance the dance) it is a very personal experience. Unconditional love, trust, and respect can weave a gorgeously unique one-of-a-kind tapestry. In your life, you may be privileged to have more than one of these experiences; however, each one will have its own twist. There will be the surprising sidestep, or dip that the two of share. Embrace the uniqueness, and forget comparing this experience to any other–previous dogs, or your friend’s experience.

Good Leaders are followed

I am dressed and ready

I am dressed and ready

A good leader can waltz their partner around the room, making them look skilled. This is true even if the dance partner is inept (or inexperienced). Nonetheless, the leader will need a willing participant. An acceptable outcome depends upon having a participant. Even if they are reluctant, a good leader can make something happen. Then, with a positive experience in the back-pocket, there is something to build upon.

Like two humans who hit the waltz floor, our dog will have to want to follow our lead–participate. There must be a relationship, and a desire to dance.  This cannot be dictated. It is evoked, as we engage the Weimaraner in a fun, but controlled activity. Respect, and relationship make the dance possible. The dance steps are dictated by the depth of your Weim’s respect as well as your relationship. This doesn’t happen overnight. The dancing Weimaraner is unlike any other relationship (in our biased opinion). No, they are not for everyone, but for some, they are the only worthy dance partner.

About OwyheeStar

We are Professional Weimaraner breeders--with forty years experience at raising puppies. For many years, we have focused exclusively on the Weimaraner! If you are considering the Weimaraner, or live with one, we welcome you to sign up to our blog. We sincerely hope you will find the information, the stories, and varied posts insightful (as well as entertaining). To those who live with an OwyheeStar Weimaraner, we send special thanks. We appreciate the photos, the news, and your friendship. Thank you for being a part of the extended OwyheeStar family.

Posted on March 10, 2014, in Behavior & Training, Information and Education, News, OwyheeStar, Training and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. CONGRATS ON YOUR CGC!! We are dancing in the Rally class now. We are dancing sometimes I have 2 left feet! It is refreshing to read your post and it was a pleasure speaking with you about my first weim. Although I have had many many dogs there is none that is close to the weim. We are still figuring things out and will be for awhile no doubt. I would love to get over to see you with her and get some hands on input!!

  2. I wrote Jan an email to be sure she saw your comment. :O)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: