Two Vital Disciplines
Here You Go!
We have all been there. You know, where it is either the Weimaraner pulling and lunging on the lead, or we encounter someone facing an out of control dog. It is not enjoyable to walk when you are being pulled or jerked down the road. For this reason, people often resort to the unwarranted off-leash or to using a device that doesn’t allow them to pull or lunge. The head halter, front clipping harness, or the Gentle Leader are popular choices. Others opt for a prong collar.
The underlying danger (when using these devices) is that you do not have a compliant and willingly obedient Weimaraner. You gain control using the device, but your Weimaraner is only deferring because the device (special harness or lead) prevents them from pulling and lunging. This scenario is not ideal and may prove dangerous in the long run. Part of getting the Weimaraner raised is to earn their respect and a desire to want to please you. If you settle for less, you will get less. All too many of you are comfortable with needing the device, but there are times when they are not hooked up. What then?
The Weimaraner (in the moment) knocks down a toddler or a senior citizen, and you think well, I should have had the Gentle Leader on them. Honestly, your goal should be to move to compliance without the need for the device. You cannot unwind the past, once something bad has happened.
Before Off Leash
Obedience on the loose walking lead as well as a reliable recall (them coming when you call) is essential. Both of these skills should be rock solid before you are off leash. Sure it is fun to let them run and play. It is important. Do this early in life and work on it, so it becomes second nature–then you are not in a fight for control for the rest of their life.
All Weims are happiest when they are in control–they love being off leash, and it is nice to be able to have this luxury. Nevertheless, if the Weim is not in absolute leash compliance (on the leash), they are at risk. There is nothing worse than having the Weimaraner that pulls you down the street or lunges at everything as you try to walk them. It is bad manners and ultimately dangerous for you and them. Avoid this scenario. Getting off the tether also requires that achieving the reliable recall. If they only come when they get around to it, it is again a dangerous situation.
Struggling–You Are Not Alone
Many people struggle with these two disciplines. We recommend getting these disciplines mastered early, so you have a better and safer outcome. It is a plus for you as well as the Weimaraner.
Take a deep breath and stay the course. Achieving this level of proficiency can only be accomplished with patience. You want to get them in compliance early, but don’t set a timeline per say. Doing so can lead to frustration. Don’t compare this dog to any other–yours or someone else’s either. Your journey together is unique to the relationship you share. What you can become will remain to be seen, but getting the basics is nothing short of vital. It will save you and your Weimaraner a lot of problems. Just believe and stay baby steps to get there–if you opt for a device only use it for a tool to get to the loose leash option. You may well find; however, the decision to compromise early is a bigger setback and achieving the goal become more involved. We recommend avoiding these choices or using them only as a last resort.