Category Archives: Behavior & Training
In The Groove
Berkley is settling well into the routine of our family. She loves her walks. She likes to eat ice. She’s learning lots of commands and especially how to contain her enthusiasm by NOT jumping up on people. She thinks the living room is her jungle gym, jumping from chair to couch with very little effort. We’re working on curbing that. She has begun meeting other dogs and is showing an appropriate blend of curiosity and submission. She also enjoys riding in the car.
Pizza For Dinner
Her naughtiest moment so far (which really is not her fault…Blame it on her nose and on my husband) : My husband got a pizza out to put in the oven. She was sleeping peacefully on the couch at the time. He intended to return promptly to put it in the over so it would be ready for my return home, but he got sidetracked and forgot. When I came home he remembered that he didn’t put the pizza in the oven. I said, “no problem, I’ll put it in.” As I entered the kitchen, I realized that Berkley had pulled the pizza off the counter and eaten half of it! Thankfully, other than a little gas and the need to go outside in the middle of the night (which my husband took care of), she was fine.
Sooooo…our friends showed us a trick to keep her paws off of the counter and it’s working so far. The second she puts her paws up on the counter, we shake this thing we made out of foil pans. It is so startling she takes off running and several days go by before she attempts to put her paws up again. As you can see from the picture, she is sitting on the chair in the background quite content to be away from the scary shiny shaker. As long as we have it on the counter she remembers to stay down. Our former Weimie had the same tendency… Such a good nose and such a strong desire for food!One of my favorite times of the day is when, after the kids are in bed, she snuggles up on the couch with me, tuckered out from the day’s activities.Berkley is a tremendous source of laughter and entertainment in our family, and we are thrilled to be making memories with her!!!Thanks again for making such a great match!Sincerely,Amanda
We are delighted to hear of your continued success and joy. We are in the business of making dreams come true–at least that is our goal. This breed is not for everyone. Anyone who loves the Weimaraner finds they both want to expound on the fabulous life with the Weimar and at the same time warn others it is not all that easy to raise one.
You are doing fabulous! I think it is vital to get the basics done; then you work on things such as counter-surfing, living room agility, and meet-and-greet techniques. Nonetheless, a friendly, happy, and active Weimaraner is a delight. I am sure we can agree on that fact.
Some of our readers recently began the training of a Weimar pup. They quickly learned that freedom is earned. You want to get the housebreaking, crate-training, and the desire to please engrained very soon. Then you can move on to other things–like compliance on the leash. We were so thrilled to see not all that long ago you had achieved excellent loose-leash-compliance. (Click here to read the previous Berkley update.) Those things go a long way toward having a well-adjusted and easier to live with Weimaraner. Keep up the great effort and thank you for thinking of us.
For those embarking on a journey–remember not to compare your situation with others. They (like this family) can give you hope of what can be achieved. Nevertheless, each family is unique. This adventure is a journey. It takes as long as it takes. It is a one-step at a time thing. Achieve the basics, so you have the solid foundation. Then, together, you can see what you can become.
~What We Don’t Want
The emergency Vet Vist probably tops our list. It is the quickest way to spoil our celebration. Nonetheless, is there a time when our attention is more divided? The snatch and grab Weimaraner could abscond with some spectacular finds. They are everywhere–the counter, the dining table, the plates, and possibly on the floor. One thing you might overlook–the rising bread dough or rolls. Bread Dough Toxicosis can prove life-threatening. Maybe a toddler is waving a turkey leg. Is that an invite? The opportunist Weimaraner will make the most of this food-driven holiday gathering.
The humans at your table–they are a significant threat to the Weimaraner. Who doesn’t want to sneak the pup a treat? But too many sneaks and the gut can become overloaded even with acceptable food. The sensitive Weim might have a bout of pancreatitis from too much fatty food. Then there are the cooked poultry bones–be sure if you throw them out it is where the Weimaraner cannot steal them.
You Might Consider
What if you made a plate for the Weimaraner that everyone could help share? This plating idea might work. Here are some excellent choices.
- Turkey — no bones
- Green beans (plain)
- Squash or Pumpkin (plain)
- Apple slices (without the seeds)
~ to mention a few
- Mashed Potatoes
- Corn on the Cob
- Nuts (pecans and Macadamia)
- Grapes and Raisins
You can bake a Weim cookie or a Weim pie that forgoes the seasonings. Eggs and pumpkin and a tiny bit of milk will bake up nicely. You could make the crust using treats. Possibly make them in a silicone cupcake pan or cupcake papers. We are not saying it cannot be a lot of fun for the Weimar too. However, no one wants the unthinkable to spoil all the fun.
What Does Your Weim Do?
We who love the breed know they are the ultimate velcro dog. This attribute can work against us; however, most Weimlovers are addicted to this trait. New to the Weimaraner–you might be shocked at a large breed being this clingy. They are also prone to separation anxiety.
How This Works
When present you are their security blanket. When their humans are absent, the unprepared Weimaraner may freak out. All too many have ended up in rescue or a shelter because unaware admirers acquired them only to discover they couldn’t live with them. Not understanding the separation anxiety lead to unearned freedom and coming home to destruction. It might be your favorite shoes. The sofa arm by the front window or the carpet might be the target of the Weim’s reaction to feeling abandoned. The arm-missing-castoff-sofas greet the unsuspecting returning owner. Most often the human counterpart is perplexed. They might have had a Weim before that didn’t behave like this; however, in this instance, something went awry. Your absence causes them to act out–typically chewing up something to relieve their stress. They fear you will not return to them. You forgot them. The amount of destruction can vary. Sometimes the Weimaraner can escape the environment and give chase looking for you–desperate to find you. The last scenario has ended in a loss more times than you can imagine.
Twists and Turns
Separation anxiety can take other forms. Some Weims sulk and then chew because they are upset with you. Nevertheless, they might withhold their love and refuse to even look at you. When your response is heartbrokenness and trying to win back their affection, they have the upper paw. Now, they can expand their toolbox with extreme manipulation. So, they can chew to relieve stress. They can chew because it has become a habit. They can chew to punish you. For those who are less committed, you can see how this can spin out of control.
Spiraling Out of Control
When coupled with incessant barking (and your neighbors are reporting you to the police) the destructive Weimaraner soon becomes abhorrent. People imagine that they would never dump their Weim at a shelter. Unfortunately, it happens too often. Therefore, our application process looks to discover the potential for failure with the breed as well as to gather the vital information necessary. Someone who is offended by us wanting the information may look elsewhere for their Weimaraner. It has to be that way. There are too many ways things can go awry–even for the most dog savvy person.
Not Long Ago
The Weimaraner is going to love the water if they feel at home in and on it. Tikka and Bill are off to a great start together. Big Sister ( Luna) does the Standup Paddle Board too! When watersports are something you love and want to share with the Weimaraner the introduction to water is essential.
Achieving the water retrieve might take patience. Some Weims are more natural swimmers than other. Nonetheless, they all have webbed toes and can become proficient swimmers.
Luna Sets the Standard
Tikka has a lot to learn, and Luna will be sharing the inside secrets. Nail grooming is key to being girlie. Other tips are important to such as how to cover up properly. The undercover Weim-mode is crucial to the Weimar person.
My Versatile Hunting Weim
I just wanted to take a minute and tell you a little bit about my weim. He has been a ball of joy since day one! He is my best friend, and we literally do everything together. And he gets so bummed if he doesn’t get to go with me when I leave, for something like school or work.From a little puppy, I worked with him to become the amazing hunting buddy he is today. I’ve trained a couple of dogs before, and none of them were so coachable as him. He’s not perfect, but we are still in some of the training. By next summer he should be on point!!! He has an amazing nose, and I’m amazed by what he’ll find.
He is always happy and loves to go for rides in the truck, bed or in the cab with the windows down. And he starts whining like crazy when we’re getting close to our hunting spots outta excitement.you can tell hunting is in his blood, he’s all smiles and joy when out in the blind, he watches all the birds flying and starts to wag his tail like crazy when they start coming in.
He does an amazing job at retrieving and pointing on birds, he does great in water and loves to be outdoors. He loves hunting!! 4:30 in the morning he’s up and pumped to go hunting and has plenty of energy to hunt all day but when we get home, and its time for bed, he jumps on my bed and turns into a snuggleball and take up most of my bed but I love it.
He has been the best hunting dog, truck passenger, Saturday explorer and most importantly, my best friend. And I’d like to thank you so much for everything you’ve done over at Owyhee Star. You’re my number one choice when getting a dog and always be!! Everyone asks where I got such a beautiful dog and Owyhee Star’s the answer!! Thank you again so much!!
Not Short on Adventures
~ Digging for Sport
I think Stella’s about nine months old now and we just moved into our brand new, very own home! That’s some good news. The bad news is that we are working on our backyard. Of course, Stella thinks it’s awesome because she has a lot of dirt to bury bones in. She is so silly and dirty.
Running Free and Swimming
Another piece of good news is that Stella’s been on lots of adventures with her dog pals! Here are some pictures from our last trip up the Deschutes River. There’s no bad news to that. Stella runs free and happy through the woods and eagerly swims in the river! She’s also ‘almost’ stopped jumping on all the people she meets. Maybe that’s some bad news….
Snacking on the Stairs
Anyway, the worst news is that on the day she was contained in our new dog run and had access to our garage in case of rain…. she opened (or we left open) the door to our new house. There were builders in the backyard putting up the new fence. Anyway, long story short…SHE ATE A STAIR! She’s never chewed anything! Yikes! I included a picture!
Looking Pretty or Contemplating her next Antic
Anyhow, through that whole adventure, we love our beautiful girl still. That’s the best news. I attached a picture of her posing. Or maybe, she was contemplating her next move! Hahahahahaha.That’s the scoop from our family! We hope your family is doing well.
Relocating a Weim can be laden with pitfalls. They don’t do change well, but it seems Stella is adapting well. The most significant concern may be that she is developing the habit of digging. The concrete-thinking Weimaraner is tough to retrain once they get the idea that something is the norm. (oops) This way of thinking can carry over into all areas. Well, such as chewing the stairs could transfer to fencing, etc.
It is outstanding that she is water-friendly–swims in the river. Jumping up on people she greets is not pleasant for those being welcomed; however, at least she is super friendly. We would Prepare these jumping-up issues rather than dealing with a Weimaraner that is not people-friendly. Thank you, for the great share. We truly appreciate it!
Growing, Learning, and a lot of Fun!
Berkley is growing like a weed. Sometimes we call her “bean stalk” because she is growing so fast.
She’s learning more and more every day and we are enjoying her so very much. She is sweet with a twist of feistiness!
Berkley and Our DaughtersBerkley is excited about learning Latin along with our daughters.
Then, she is showing off her ability to heel alongside our 7-year-old. We use the Starmark Collar you recommend on your website and taught our girls how to use it properly.Until next time,Amanda
We are delighted to learn that things are going well with Berkley. It is great she is such an integral part of the family. Then too–it is beyond surprising that she is heeling for your 7-year-old daughter. Many of our adults (write us) that they are unable to achieve the loose-leash heel. When you understand how to use that collar, and it is used (correctly) a lot of good things can happen.
We sincerely appreciate you thinking of us and sharing a window into your life with Berkley. Keep up the consistent effort and things will continue to move forward positively.
Note: This is a repost of an article we have shared several times. Our pups are ready to acclimate to their new environment upon arrival. We recommend not over-thinking at the early stages.
- Be committed — Commitment to the process is primary. Training your pup will take time. Think of this as a journey (a road trip) with a destination in mind. Don’t set timelines; instead, take this adventure together. It will take as long as it takes for each achievement. Sometimes just when you think, you have arrived; your Weimaraner will hit a snag or transitional phase. There are many of these stages in the first couple of years. As with an adolescent, they can be going along well and suddenly regress. Please take this in stride it is nothing personal. The first occurrence could well be prior to week twelve. Stay calm and move ahead–this is how to avoid ingraining fear or some unwanted behavior.
- Keep your eye on the young puppy at all times—This is vitally important for at least the first 2-3 weeks, or until you have the housebreaking part accomplished. Use a crate, bag, or soft-side crate to confine the pup when you cannot be vigilant. The crate should not be too large. If it is more than they need they may select one end for a potty area.
- Be consistent–Do everything in the same manner! For example, the pup wakes up and stirs. At first, you would pick them up and carry them out to the area where you want them to go potty. Each time you see them circling or rousing from a nap go to the potty-area. If you use the bells hung at the door, then ring them as you go out the door. Soon they will be ringing the bells as a signal for you to open the door.
- Keep it simple — Although your pup can learn amazing things, it is best to do a few simple things and build upon those experiences. The process will unfold naturally if you allow it to do so; start with getting them to come. Although they all follow and come to us, it is different once they start to mature. Do the hallway exercise (5-7 retrieves each night). By using a hallway (with adjoining doors closed) there is nowhere for them to escape with the toy, ball, or dummy. Some people treat them when they bring the item to their hand. It is not necessary. The activity is a reward in and of itself. Have a couple of bumpers or toys (designated for this activity). Make it an event every day until you move to the yard because you have compliance.
- Keep it fun — Weimaraners are brilliant and learn quickly. A trainer might tell you to work for an hour and even a half hour doing one exercise every night, but we suggest ten minutes. Do it for ten minutes and then do something fun. This approach works for us! If your Weim pup loses interest, you lose ground in the training process.
- Remember it is about your relationship — No matter what you are doing it is important to remember that Weims are all about relationship. If they get their feelings hurt, things can go sour quickly. Your bonding experience is vital to the success of this relationship. Take time to think and see things from their perspective. You are the center of their world. They not only want to control you, but they want to own you. Weimaraners are the ultimate Velcro dog and must learn how to stay alone. Your relationship is a double-edged sword. They need a lot of time, attention, and affection. They also need to find ways to cope when you are absent. We recommend starting this process very early, or they will come to expect you will be there 24 X 7. Separation anxiety can be a huge issue in this breed.
- Be patient — When you go out to teach your pup a skill, make sure it is a learn-able task. Plan enough time to accomplish the task–but keep your training focused to ten to twenty minutes maximum. The short bursts of success are more effective than lengthy sessions. Your attitude and demeanor play into the equation too! If you are feeling stressed, forego training your Weimaraner. There are many methods of training. Nevertheless, choose one that enhances your bonding experience and one that creates a respectful environment for all concerned.
The best Weimaraner people are those that are natural leaders. Anytime you feel your relationship is stressed then you are going down the wrong road. The persons that are neither too strict nor too lenient are usually, the ones that excel. Regardless of what happens, it is always best to pro-active than to be reactive. Stay calm. Keep it simple. Get results. Plan little steps of learning and build upon them. Try our 7 steps to Success, and we believe you will be on the right path.
Wishing you fewer puppy bites and more puppy kisses
~ Shela and Cliff
Need I Say More?
It’s crazy to see how much Koda has grown in the 4 months we’ve had him. He used to fit on my lap with no problems and now… well not so much. LOL! He’s doing great. Typical 6 months old.
You Know What I Mean
Ornery, loveable, too smart, counter-surfer and a huge cuddle bug!!! Every day I’m reminded why we added another Weim to the family.
Koda has taken on several behaviors from our 13-year-old, Gabriel. He drools while waiting for you to put the food in his bowl, has to be with one of us constantly and thinks the couch/bed is their property just to name a few. They are truly incredible animals!!! Thanks again for adding so much to our family!
Thank you, Chris, for the glimpse into raising your Koda. We know there have been challenges of the sort you would expect. Nonetheless, you have dug deep and accommodated the new fur-family-member. You are in the thick of adolescent behavior issues, but here you are working at the keyboard with your new kid helping you (tongue-in-cheek humor). The rewards are many, but we understand what it takes to make all this happen. Keep up the great work, and we appreciate your frequent updates on the process–as do our readers.