“If you do nothing else, get the Weimaraner to walk beside you on the loose leash–using a regular collar.”
Make it your number-one priority. Yes, we talk about other things, but beyond housebreaking, achieving the loose-lead compliance is the most important thing you will ever do. If you accomplish this one thing, the others will be easier to achieve.
The Weimaraner that honors the lead, and is in compliance on it, will make a great companion. This ONE THING is the cornerstone to achieving the other important goals. It is going to help you achieve your goal of being a good leader, as well as avoiding the unthinkable mishap.
If your Weimaraner is trying to run ahead of you on the leash, they want to control the tempo. They want to (not only) set the pace, but to get you to do what they want. That is never a good thing. You need to flip this around to where they are thinking about pleasing you, and doing what you ask of them. You can do it!
Head Halters, Gentle Leaders, and Front Fastening Harnesses
Some of our favorite people in the whole world (OwyheeStar clients) have used head halters, Gentle Leaders, or a front fastening harness. They do so because these devices prevent the Weimaraner from pulling on the lead. I am dead set against the use of this type of collar and harnesses in general. We know people like them; however, from my perspective, they are not the solution. In fact, they are part of the problem. You need to get compliance on the leash without resorting to these measures. If you do not get loose-leash compliance, then you have underlying issues that can sabotage your success. This can happen anywhere along the journey on which the two of you have embarked.
Let me be clear, I am not talking about resorting to the use of the prong-collar to gain control either. Again, the underlying problem is not corrected by using the prong collar. If the device (or collar) is not meant to transition you very quickly to a basic collar, and full compliance, it is not a solution I can endorse.
Jan Magnuson– Loose leash walking is imperative, as it is representative of the relationship between dog and handler (if the leash is relaxed, so is your relationship, if the leash is tense and strained, so is your relationship).
Invested in Your Success
I have never talked to a person who had an out-of-control Weimaraner that had mastered the loose-leash (heeling by your side) walk.
We have all spotted a dog pulling their human down the street. Sometimes the dog is lunging, and acting-out along the path. (You try to avoid these folks–especially if you are walking your dog.) Some of these dogs are the friendly-sort that want to jump up on people; others are more protective. Either way, this is not a behavior you want to endorse. Get the loose-leash heeling walk accomplished. It is what is best for you, and for your Weimaraner.
Breeder’s Comment: We understand that many pet professionals recommend head halters, Gentle Leaders, Harnesses, and prong collars. Yes, these can make it easy to walk your Weimaraner. Nevertheless, over the years, it has become clear to us, that many of these folks (using these devices) continue to have a problem with compliance. Their Weimaraner doesn’t pull them down the street when they are wearing the Gentle Leader, but once it is off, most of the time all bets are off The Weimaraner is engaging in risky behavior all too often. The idea of having a well-mannered Weimaraner has met a compromise, and you have decided to settle for less. Can you see how this all points back to the loose-leash walking not being accomplished? The sales for these collars, and harnesses are appealing. Everyone wants to achieve a happy, and stress-free walk. It can be so exhausting to raise the puppy, and to work at the training, that these collars seem like a God-send. They do not fix the underlying problem.