Category Archives: Behavior & Training
Watching Our Back
The Weimaraner is always watching our back, our front, and our side. No matter what we are doing, they have a pose to go with the event.event.
We are very active and generally walk at least three miles, six days a week, and we also do training in obedience, agility, rally, retrieving, and tricks. It is also very important to rest and recharge- Daisy, Willow, Violet and I are having a nice, quiet, relaxing Sunday 🙂
SUNSTAR All-Breed Dog Training
Des Moines, WA 98198
Jan, we appreciate you thinking of us and sharing about your weekly routine. Everyone loves Willow! And thank you for this very easy to post update, too. It makes my life easier–and people never tire of Willow–or your advice.
UKC Best-In-Show and High-In-Trial Champion/Altered Grand Champion Sunstar Willow of OwyheeStar, AKC Canine Good Citizen, AKC Novice Trick Dog, UKC Rally Obedience I, UKC Agility I, Therapy Dog International certified
Some exciting news – the weekend before last Casey took Kenai up to Kennewick, WA for a hunt test. He passed his remaining 2 legs to earn his Junior Hunter title! Both judges also commented that they hadn’t seen a Weimaraner run that hard in a long time. Next week, he goes off for some finishing training for a few months. At least he’ll only be at Sauvie Island, so we’ll be able to see him on the weekends, and work on further handling with the trainer. I’m going to miss my snuggly running buddy while he’s gone, but I know it’s the best for his continued development.
Congratulations! We know Kenai earned AKC puppy awards–click here, but we are happy he continues to advance.
No Names Here
I suppose it is realistic to admit the Weimaraner might be one of the more entitled family members. They quite possibly get by with antics that some parents would not allow human children to do. (Oops)
The best seat in the house is often the sofa, the sofa back, your favorite chair, or anything that provides the comfort and visual advantage they need. After all, they are considered a Watchdog–nothing misses their eye if it interests them. They are game for the taunting squirrel, birds, bunnies, and even the occasional toad. Of course, sky raisins can entertain them endlessly.
~ Olympic Class Chewer
I wanted to send you a few photos of Bisbee. He is such a handsome and comical boy. He also chews up and spits out everything in sight! The highlights are portions of 3 handmade quilts, a retainer, a section of carpet in the middle of the room, and a small fruit tree in the yard! He is also very cuddly.
We try to get him as tired as we can which helps a lot with the chewing. Our two neighbors have a one year old Burmese mountain dog and a two year old cattle dog so we do play dates every week. He also goes to doggie daycare twice a week and hikes on the weekends. He certainly gives us a run for our money but we love him dearly.
Thank you for updating us on Bisbee. All we can say is habits take hold quickly with this breed, and once they do, they are nearly impossible to change. What some excuse as puppy behavior become a lifetime of this and that. (OMG) Thanks for loving him and facing the challenges.
~ Deer Exhaust is Stinky Perfume She Loves
It has been quite some time since I have given you an update on Zula Blue. She has become an integral part of my dog family. Unfortunately her favorite outside activity is still to roll in deer exhaust, the older the better.
A cold water bath from the hose does not dampen her desire for the stinky stuff. It is hilarious because Pushkin is so much larger than she is but one growl out of her is all it takes to put him in his place.
Thank you for the sweet and sometimes feisty girl.
I think Zula feels as if she relocated to heaven. Thank you for all the love and care you give this old gal. We truly appreciate it! And what can we say–Oh, Pushkin.
~ The Ups and Downs–We are Finally Trained!
–As with ever Weimaraner, it is a work in progress.
I wanted to send an update on Henry. It’s been a while. The last I emailed I was asking for help regarding Henry growling when he was in a cozy spot on the couch or our bed. We ultimately decided that we did not know how to manage the behavior and sought out professional help.
We learned that he was resource guarding. He had always done this with a full bowl or food and we just left him alone while he ate. Along the way Henry had also developed other bad habits, like counter surfing, barking incessantly, and greeting company way to enthusiastically.
You know better than most that weims are very hard headed, and Henry is no exception. Henry boarded with a trainer for one month, and during that time worked on better leash manners, recall, and ways to stop resource guarding. We knew that we he came home it would be like having a puppy in training all over again, but it has been so worth it. He is a new man!! One of the things we are doing is hand feeding him, we use feeding time to practice skills like going and staying on his rug, here, and heal. We also have a leash on him at all times while out of his crate, that way if he growls, or doesn’t listen, we have a way to control him. We don’t expect to have to use the leash for long, but it has been a great tool to reestablish the hierarchy in our home. Prior to training, Henry would stay for as long as you wanted him to only when incentivized by food, otherwise he would get up two seconds later. Now he will stay for long periods of time without food rewards. If I am in the kitchen, he goes to his rug and stays. Another improvement is leash walking. We used to either take Henry leashless on his training collar or with a gentle leader (we called it his soul crusher because he hated it), now we take him on his regular collar , and sometime with a training collar–with a leash around my waist.
He is still a work in progress, but the fact that I can take him on his regular collar and his doesn’t pull is amazing. He does need occasional reminders to heel, sometimes he listens without any correction, other times he needs a reminder. Henry is chomping at the bit when he knows we are going for a walk. Since we always have him on a leash, he is unable to counter surf. Barking is very minimal now, not sure how or why, but he gives us a few warning barks, then stops, thank God!!
He has not had to wear his bark collar since he came home. We will continue to work on greeting guests, but as you can imagine during such times, we don’t have many. The few times we have, we have let the company know ahead of time that Henry is in training, and to bear with us as we slowly let them in. This is a work in progress, but all has drastically improved.
The moral to my update, it took 4.5 years for Henry to develop bad habits, and years of us not dealing with it correctly. He is smart, and did everything in his power to outsmart us, so now we are in training together!!
Weims are not an easy breed, as you know, but Henry is so worth the time investment. He is the sweetest guy ever, and the best snuggle buddy.
Thank you for all you do and are doing with Henry. Each Weimaraner presents with challenges (much like various human siblings)–and somehow, they know how to find our weaknesses and how to push our buttons, too. The conundrum of the relationship should never be discounted–and this is where we say, better now than later to have managed the issues. The Weimaraner tends to wrap their paw around a person, manipulate the situation to their liking–and it is hardly in their best interest. Ah, and Cliff is thrilled you have moved to the flat color and are doing well. Keep up the excellent work.
The Place Command
~Does Your Weimaraner Know Their Place?
We thought we would throw this information out there for you Weimlovers. Some of you would never consider this command, but (for others) teaching ‘Place’ might be the answer you are looking to find.
We do a lot of business with Gun Dog Supply, and we are confident in their staff’s ability and willingness to assist you. They carry Cato Boards and the video on how to train your dog to know their place–click here to shop for a Cato Board. You can use a bed, a pillow, or manufacture a short stand like these. To order TEACHING THE PLACE COMMAND by Robin MacFarlane, click here.
Note: Cliff and Shela Nielsen and OwyheeStar Weimaraners are not affiliated with Gun Dog Supply. We do believe in teaching the Weimaraner to settle, and having a place they know to do that is ideal.
~AKC Puppy Class
First ribbon on the books!
Maybe you noticed that Dink earned his first ribbon and wondered about this program. To learn more—click here!
20 STEPS To Success: The
AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy®
- Maintains puppy’s health (vaccines, exams,
- Owner receives Responsible Dog Owner’s Pledge
- Owner describes adequate daily play and exercise plan
- Owner and puppy attend at least 6 classes by an AKC
Approved CGC Evaluator
- Owner brings bags to classes for cleaning up
- Owner has obtained some form of ID for
puppy-collar tag, etc.
- Free of aggression toward people during at least
6 weeks of class
- Free of aggression toward other puppies in class
- Tolerates collar or body harness of owner’s choice
- Owner can hug or hold puppy (depending on size)
- Puppy allows owner to take away a treat or toy
PRE-CANINE GOOD CITIZEN®
- Allows (in any position) petting by a person other
than the owner
- Grooming-Allows owner handling and brief exam
- Walks on a Leash-Follows owner on lead in a straight
line (15 steps)
- Walks by other people-Walks on leash past other
people 5-ft away
- Sits on command-Owner may use a food lure
- Down on command-Owner may use a food lure
- Comes to owner from 5-ft when name is called
- Reaction to Distractions-distractions are presented
- Stay on leash with another person (owner walks
10 steps and returns)
~Habits Good and Bad Take Hold Quickly
Habits form quickly–once a behavior (good or bad) starts it can soon become habitual. For example, the Weim can become an incessant barking machine. I swear they can bark at a cloud. Maybe it looks like a bird. Incessant by definition means unceasing or Continuing without interruption. Maybe that is an overstatement, but if you have that behavior ingrained, it will not seem an exaggeration.
Barking, digging, territorial behaviors, chewing on everything, and the list goes on–if you allow it in a small dose, it can become a thing. Us humans, often get duped and our efforts undermined.
To prevent that and other unwanted behaviors a person must be vigilant early on. It is not one and done thing either. The childlike tendencies often last past their third birthday with the occasional teenage behavior surfacing from time to time. I laugh at people who want this breed and expect them to be easy to manage. A lot can and should be accomplished in the first three months; however, you are not home free so to speak. At the same time—getting the basics done right up front will save you a lot of trouble.
Also consider that the Weimaraner who wants to rule their world can employ growling and snarling. They can withdraw and sulk. They have all kind of ways to get what they want–some are acceptable, others are not. One thing for sure–do not reward or excuse bad behavior.