Category Archives: Behavior & Training
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.
The More Invested Family
~A Move Worth Making
We now have Taun, a 5-year-old (Topper x Blue) Weimaraner pup. Having him with us floods our life with all the wonderful memories from our beloved Nadja (a former Weimaraner girl whose life was cut way short). Our family returns to life with the Weimaraner at the arrival of Taun. This breed has very distinct personality traits that no other breed we’ve owned or met duplicates. They are not for everyone, but that’s OK.
This joyous happening of Taun joining our family occurred by chance. My wife who is related to Chris was in Oregon visiting her Dad when she met Taun. It turns out, Chris and Freddy are moving, and it was not going to be the best situation for an energetic dog like Taun.
For the joy and the fun of it, Laura took him on a few walks and spent a fair bit of time with him while she was out there. When she was asked if we would be open to bringing Taun home, it didn’t take but a second to decide. We are delighted to have him in our household.
I wanted to introduce myself and say how incredibly wonderful fate sometimes works, i.e., Taking Taun was the bestest decision ever. It feels now as though he’s always been a part of our family. He settled in nicely–we have added a fair amount of structure from the start, so he knew what to expect from day to day after the big transition. I love your blog from Taun’s perspective and seems pretty right on.
What I love about Taun: He’s a family dog, he’s happiest when he can be with any one of us, but he’s ok when no one is home (for short periods of time). He doesn’t appear to have been anxious, seems to nap on any one of his many dog beds. Nevertheless, upon our arrival, he is quick to greet us with his sleepy face. He often sleeps in our daughter’s room, but every so often he sleeps in our room. He just likes to be near one of us when we’re home. He may never be an off-leash dog, but when we move to the bigger farm we will work on that, as for now, he walks every morning and evening (round trip 2.2 miles twice daily) to the barn to take care of horses. He’s an awesome communicator as far as needing to go out and when we’re behind schedule with breakfast/dinner. He has an abundance of enduring expressions, as Weim’s do!
On the walk to the barn this morning Jon and I discussed the new puppy, and although it’s hard not to jump right in, we want to be settled into the new property and to have more time to devote to the needs of a new brother……Hence, Jon’s and I discussed when/who that happens. Jon filled in application male or female but I think we’d prefer another male, boys will be boys, and I’m also opting for another Blue. I had never seen a Blue till I met Taun and I/we do love his coloring, so if that’s
I understand that Tauns parents have been retired, but something akin to those personality traits is what we are looking for.
Thank you for what you do, bringing wonderful Weim’s into the world and look forward to working with you toward expanding our family.
A Few comments about our Nadja
We had a Weim a few years back that broke our heart. Nadja had the extreme misfortune to develop severe degenerative disc disease at an early age. By the age of 5, she had deteriorated to the point that she was in severe pain and essentially paralyzed in her back end. I made the decision to put her down, and it was one of the bleakest days of my life. I had raised her from a poop-covered pup, and she was a very special dog. She never needed a leash except for her own safety. We could be anywhere, and all I had to say was, “Nadja, come.” and she would race to my left side and sit waiting for me to say, “OK,” before bounding off again. The loss was heartbreaking, but we could not continue on without a Weimaraner or two forever. We will never forget our Nadja.
It has been a while since we received these emailed tidbits about Taun. He continues to settle into his new life and family. He has an ever-expanding role. Here are two more photos of him that speak volumes.
Off to A Good Start
We love our Berkley. You chose well!!
Here’s an update on CRATE TRAINING:
She was totally content in her crate for the 4-hour ride home from Oregon. We stopped once and she went potty. Her first night home, she was not happy at all to be away from her litter mates and her mama. We put her crate in our room so she could see us, but she still howled and whined much of the night. Yesterday we put her in her crate several times, for 20-45 minutes each time, during the day while we ate our meals and ran an errand. She was a little vocal about it each time but got better as the day progressed. We hosted a lunch event and a dinner event, and she did splendid meeting and greeting all the shoe-less guests (parvo precautionary rule). She was the absolute center of attention for a good chunk of the day. When it was time for bed last night we put her in her crate and she went right to sleep. Not one howl or yelp! She stirred at 2 am and gave me a little whimper. I took her outside and she went potty right away. She went back to sleep in her crate until almost 6 am, which is my wake-up time anyway! We were so thrilled and gave her lots of praise for doing such a good job.
An update on POTTY TRAINING:
We used the bell method with our first Weim, and it worked like a champ. So we knew this was the way to go the second time around. Every time we take her outside to go potty (after she eats, wakes up, just before bed or crate time, or every 30 minutes or so), we take her little paws and ring that bell and say “outside”. Yesterday she rang the bell all on her own. We took her out and she went potty right away. Then again today, she rang the bell on her own, and the same thing happened!!! She is catching on so fast. We haven’t had to clean up after any accidents. I am shocked.
An update on TRAINING AND LIFE IN GENERAL:
She is retrieving like a champ to our hand….stuffed toys, mostly. She isn’t into the balls yet for some reason. She is coming on command and just starting to get “sit”. I started working with her on heeling as well, but that’s a little trickier. She is starting to get it, but barely. Berkley went with us to take big sister to school for her first day of school today. And then she snuggled on the couch with us and listened in as I read a Sofia the First story to our youngest. She’s one fun pup. I attached a few pictures.
Thanks so much, Amanda
It was very sweet of you to update us on Berkley. We appreciate the follow through you are doing too! It is paying off. Yes, we try to set the pups up for success, but it takes more than a little knack to step quickly toward success.
The potty training is excellent. I love that you used the bell system. Around here that would not work, but in a traditional family setting it can get you off to a good start fast. Be sure to get a fecal exam. Giardia and coccidia are common one-celled parasites that can quickly multiply and reek havoc on the pup’s intestine. Treatment isn’t a big deal if you catch it early. Pups prefer puddle water, and they also lick their feet all the time. These are great ways to ingest something that can take off like a wildfire.
For those that have never collected a sample–you invert a baggie (Mark your name on this baggie first to ensure it is labeled). Grab a portion of a suspicious looking sample and invert and seal the baggie. Label a second baggie with your name, the pup’s name as well as the date and time the sample was collected. Keep this sample cool (not frozen). Freshness is important; therefore, get the collected sample to the Vet office ASAP. Collect it just before you leave when possible.
This one thing can save you a lot of trouble. Stress diarrhea is a thing. We might fear the worst, and it could be stress. Canned or steamed pumpkin is great for correcting a loose stool. It is not a bad idea to give your pup a couple of tablespoons twice a day and even some berry yogurt–the kind with live cultures. These are very good for their digestion, and the yogurt helps ward off yeast infections too.
Welcome Football Season
What is it about this game that is so addictive? It is probably the same thing that causes us to be crazy for the Weimaraner. Addictions of this sort are different in some ways to the ones associated with alcohol and drugs. One way it differs is there are no treatment programs to help us curb the desire. Typically, this job is handled by our soulmate.
Maybe that is why we torture them with the fan-based attire. Stackhouse sported the Boise State Bronco shirt. We may expand on that, but we are easing him into the lucky-charm job. BTW-he did a good job with the juju juice today. Boise came away with a nice win. The game was exceedingly entertaining for BSU fans.
Waylon donned the Oregon Green to root for the Ducks! That game went extremely well for Duck fans too! It looks like Waylon will be wearing his jersey often.
If you have photos of your Weimar in game day attire, we would love to post a photo or two of them. If we get enough, we can create a Football Fan Page. What do you think?
We figured Kula must be old enough to drive now, so we got him and Pilikia a van to drive around….. Brent
This is not the first Weim Crime pair at the wheel. You might remember Ilsa and Indi the two Blue sisters who borrowed the camper while Mom and Dad went on vacation. Pilikia and Kula Bleu’s ride is pretty upscale, but the idea has not changed. Thanks for the fabulous share!
Many of you who were waiting for a puppy arrival know it has been an unusual year at OwyheeStar. The girls didn’t come into heat around their typical cycle–leaving us to wonder why. We felt it was due to the harsh winter, but we will never know for sure. The typical spring puppy thing didn’t happen, but we have summer pups. It seems to work.
Our Wait List is officially short for the expected Fall pups. We have a couple of summer Blue Males not yet promised–we are accepting applications for them. Preferences run in cycles like everything. We go through times when we cannot get enough Blues and then, like now, it has been the Silver Gray (mostly females) people are wanting.
Whatever your preference, the Weimaraner is not for everyone. That being said, nothing else will do for others. If you are one of those folks doing research, we hope you understand it is tough to determine the fit by merely reading about them. Regardless, there are many blog posts that reveal the good, the bad, and the sometimes ugly side of the Weimaraner. Living with them is different than you might imagine. They require attention–and supervision. They simply are not the get trained and throw in the yard dog. The Labrador adapts to that situation more readily than the Weimaraner. Some folks resort to using a daycare situation for their fur-baby; this can hold true even when they are well beyond adolescence.
The Name Change
A Learning Experience
The Trip Home and Nordy
How It Went
Oh we love him so very, very much!!!! He’s super loving, smart and just ornery enough to make you laugh often!!! Wouldn’t trade him for the world.
Koda still doesn’t like being in a crate while we are gone! A carabiner solved the getting out issue but I have no idea how he got the zipper on his bed open to tear up the foam. I guess we take out everything except his stuffy while we are gone now. His crating seems to be going backwards. Koda doesn’t realize how stubborn his dad is though. Ha-ha! 🙂
I just wish he would do better when we were gone. I’m sure part of it is due to how much time he spends with me during the day. Working from home isn’t always a good thing. We are talking about taking him to the doggy day care one day a week some friends of ours take their dogs to. I think that would be good for him. Don’t worry, he’s not going anywhere!!! 🙂
I don’t suppose Koda can blame this on the neighbor’s dog.