The complexities and challenges

Good Morning Weimlovers!

We thought a short personal note from us might be in order. It seems we find ourselves repeating things. That is because the same issues frequently arise–behaviors, problems, challenges, and issues. Then too, we are talking about a certain breed–the Weimaraner.

The attraction; considerations…

People are drawn to this breed for many reasons. First-time Weimaraner folks equate everything to their previous dog experience. This (and their research) is how they evaluate the appropriateness of the Weimaraner for them. There are a few questions new Weim people ask, more often than not it is about shedding. Possibly, they are sad to see their Labrador (or mixed-breed) depart this world; however, they will not miss the hair. Some write that their Labrador has been gone for two years, and they are still extracting hair from the house, and car. That might be an exaggeration, or not. Nevertheless, people remember the hair. The hair on their clothing; the hair on the furniture, and the amount of hair on the floor. The Weimaraner will shed. All dogs shed. The traditional Weimaraner has an eyelash-length hair. The hair loss is minimal, but it happens. A monthly brushing with the short-coat furminator will almost eliminate noticeable hair loss. The other distinct difference when comparing them to the Labrador is they do not have oily skin; those who have lived with the Labrador may have noticed the filmy deposit they leave on the hallway walls–or anywhere they rub.

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The shedding factor might be the main reason people are drawn to this breed; however, many times it is a chance encounter that snags their heart. Others have friends, or family members that have a Weimaraner. They secretly plan their next dog will be as Weimar. This breed is elegant, and when well trained can be a testament to the German breeding program. Americans have three main pots of DNA weaving happening. Cross-over and mixing of DNA pools will happen, and on occasion; breeders import. First, there are the Show-Breeders. Secondly, there are the Hunt-Breeders. Finally, there are the backyard breeders. Unfortunately, the latter usually grabs whatever they can get–the best possible in their eyes. The folks breeding for showing must have temperament as well as breed-appropriate looks; some work both in the field and show. Hunt breeders vary greatly. Some will only sell to hunters, and every Weimaraner they breed must score well–be field proven.Temperament is equally important, but to achieve field points, there must be a pocket of hunt-potential traits. Nevertheless, an untrainable out of control hunting Weimaraner will not achieve in the field, or make a good family companion.

Achieving anything with the Weimaraner takes patience, time, and a special knack. For those that live near Jan Magnuson, we urge them to attend her classes. She has thirty-five years of experience with this breed. It would be tough to overstate her ability to help you succeed. We sincerely believe if you follow our recommendations, and get off to the right start, you can avoid the pitfalls known to surround this breed. There is a reason the Weimaraner rescue sees too many cast-off Weims. Sadly, people get this breed for it’s looks, without counting the cost in time, and out of pocket. They don’t understand, that it is not a non-shedding Labrador. In general, folks want to believe that all hunting dogs are the same, and nothing could be further from the truth. Even in the Versatile hunting breeds, such as the Weimaraner, there are vast differences in personality, drive, and what is required. The Weimaraner does not make for a good outdoor kennel dog; some may be kenneled on occasion for short periods of time; however, they must be an integral part of the family, and family life. Unless that happens, they will  become disconnected, and resist compliance. They are all about the relationship. The successful Weimaraner person understands the balance required between getting compliance, earning respect, and having an excellent relationship.

The Journey and the Challenges…

Under estimating the Weimaraner is commonplace. Some savvy dog folks are tripped up to their chagrin. This can be true for the person who has had a Weimaraner (or even a couple of them). There are many ways to get in trouble with this breed, and the first is to run ahead thinking you know how this will happen. The better approach is to follow through, and to let the process unfold. Yes, there are many must-do steps; however, much of what you will achieve together will happen because you are patient, and remember not to give the Weimaraner unearned freedom. Too much freedom, can lead to all kinds of behaviors, and non-compliance.

There are many factors that contribute to finding yourself snagged or embroiled in a battle. The development process poses transitional hurdles; you are going along well, when the well-socialized young Weimaraner suddenly freaks-out over the commonplace. The key to getting back on track is the right human response; or not making a big deal out of it by focusing on the situation. In most every instance, the worst possible thing you could do is baby them–it is also the most natural response. You want to stay calm, and be pro-active. Get out of the situation, and back to a successful scenario. Otherwise, you will ingrain the fear; and that makes a bigger hurdle to overcome. Relax, don’t make a big deal over small stuff.

Challenges will come your direction. When you add the characteristic difficulties listed below to the hormonal, and flaky juvenile behavior patterns it can create a mystical convergence of issues. This in turn can send the handler into a tailspin. The handler’s tail-spin (or sheer frustration) fuels the issue. You can see how this can very soon gain momentum, and become too big for the average person.

 

  • Separation-anxiety–it is ridiculously easy to set up the Weimaraner for severe-separation-anxiety. They can become so attached to being with you, that your absence makes them crazy. This can trigger acting-out, destructive behavior, or tummy upset.

 

  • Concrete-thinking–once they get an idea, it is very difficult to change their mind. When the unwanted behavior starts, it can soon become habitual; it then may be nearly impossible to stop.

 

  • Digging, Barking, Chewing, Acting-out Behaviors are best avoided. Some Weims chew their entire life, and cannot be trusted with bedding, stuffed toys, free in the house, or even outside in the yard alone.

 

  • Manipulation–is how they gain the upper-paw. They use manipulative savvy to play on your weakness, and to push your buttons.

 

  • The Relationship is primary to your success; losing your relationship means all is lost.

562909_10202087541054554_941634985_n[1]We realize that it is easy to get in over your head with a Weimaraner. This is when people go running to a trainer. Not every situation is going to be cured by just any trainer. All trainers will claim success with the breed; however, some of the worst messes Cliff has had to rehabilitate were created by trainers. Nevertheless, there are many good trainers, and we recommend finding one that can help you. Not every person is going to need a trainer. Many of our clients have found that they are able to do the training on their own; however, the right class can help with socialization. It can help with public skills.

Sending your Weimaraner off to a trainer, or to boot camp is unwise. Refer to the last listed point–they are all about the relationship. They will return put-off that you abandoned them, and more than likely what they did at the training facility is not going to carry over with you. If it does, more often than not, it is short-lived. You have to change the way you handle things. You must gain their respect, and compliance. This is all about you, the journey together. Despite the concerns listed here, many first time Weim persons succeed, and go on to get another. Nevertheless, each Weimar-experience is life-changing on some level.

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 April 23, 2014, in Behavior & Training, Information and Education, Raising Versatile Hunting Weims, Training and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I wish I would live near Jan Magnuson, I would enter her class immediately. And I would like to meet Willow :o) After 14 years with two Huskies we appreciate Easy’s fur, although his small spiky hairs stick in every knitted stuff like glued :o)

  2. Great article. I would love to make a road trip to Jan and Cliff!

  3. Me too………especially to Cliff. We hardly have moment together even though we work together. LOL

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