Category Archives: Training
~ Our Prima Donna
Hope this finds you and Cliff well. Attached is a picture from Remy’s birthday last month. The kids insisted that she get a special doggie cannoli from our local pet store. She is obviously spoiled.
I have been working a ton on her leash training and she’s doing much better. She is still scared of other dogs but overall we are making progress, tons of positive reinforcement and she isn’t lunging anymore. The only time we have a problem is if a dog is off leash and approaches her on the leash, but that is understandable at this point. I am hopeful that we can get past the aggressive behavior and I’m seeking some 1:1 training with a professional.
We had a scare – she was spayed last month and there were complications. The surgeon nicked a vein or something and she lost a lot of blood. They sent us home but we were concerned that she still had internal bleeding and took her to urgent care. Glad we did because she probably wouldn’t have made it. Poor thing, she did not need additional surgery luckily and had a rough recovery, but is fine now.
Anyway, until next time 😀
We are sorry to hear you have issues. To us, this sounds a lot more like a territorial behavior (which is a Weimaraner thing) mixed in with some fear. Who can guess what brought it on? There are a lot of unknowns. Here are some links that might be useful.
The worst thing to do with FNS is to force your dog to do something he’s frightened of. It’s also not a good idea to soothe or praise the dog’s fear in this situation. That can unwittingly reinforce the dog’s fearful behavior, while using force may lead to a permanent fearful response. The best approach is to be patient, be jolly, remove your dog if possible, and know that adolescence is just a period—and it’s my fervent hope that it’s short-lived.
There is some useful information in these articles; however, like every bit of dog-related advice–it is essential not to overreact or make something into more than it might become. I am always cautious when labeling a dog as aggressive–especially in a situation where they don’t like another dog in their space or even humans coming at them. This issue seems like a fear –but territorial behaviors are also a bit issue with this breed. Don Wilbur (a long time Weimaraner breeder /expert) said of them, “they may be the most territorial of breeds.”
Territorial behaviors may express in many ways — protecting their crate, their fence line, a corner of the room, etc.
Quite possibly the most successful way to deal with this behavior in our experience is to remove the trigger and not to force the issue. I think we expect that we will be able to do everything with our fur family member and sometimes it is not possible. Seriously, every environment is unique. We each have different leadership skills–and worst of all when we are disappointed or frustrated our Weimaraner picks up on the cues. This information may help someone. I think it is essential to realize there is any number of things that can occur. There is not always an easy solution. Thank you to Remy’s family for all the hard work and making her life special. And Happy Birthday Remy!
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
~Birds are Great
First time out hunting with Macy today she did great. She was a little slow at the start but picked it up and had a great day. Very proud Poppa. Thank you so much.
Yes, Indeed, I still have to share her with my son. They are still the best of friends–which is a good thing. She is very well behaved outside can’t say the same for the inside. She loves the food that she thinks we leave for her on the counter.
We are happy to hear that Macy is in the field successfully. We love to get hunt testimonials. Bernie is an excellent hunter. Boone comes from solid working hunt lines–but he has not had as many opportunities to hunt as Bernie. The offspring have proven to be excellent hunting companions. Thanks for remembering us, Don.
We also appreciate your loyalty. It has been a long time as well as a long distance relationship. Of course, the fact that you had to fly to the West Coast and somehow this all converged was outstanding.
From Southern California
We are doing well. She has quite the temper and will let you know if she doesn’t like something. We are working at getting past the sharp puppy teeth thing. She is going to be a Sharp Hunter.
All Tuckered Out
We are happy to hear that you are doing well with Style. We look forward to hearing about her future training and exploits. Thanks for thinking of us.
Smart and Opinionated
Azula is super smart, she was already bringing her toy back to me.
She is an opinionated and self-assured little girl – and has bonded to us quickly. She’s also been super good about going outside to do her business! We love her spunk and affectionate manner. Now if only her tiny raptor teeth were less sharp…
Azula was sleeping in her crate 😊. As you can see, she doesn’t always sleep in her crate. Right now she’s crashed out next to my 16-year-old.
Other Fur Family
Here she is checking out one of the cats….
Neither of our two cats is amused by her – but the one you saw will actually probably be fine soon – she loves to play and was out hunting voles while we were keeping Azula entertained…
We are happy that little Miss Azula is settling in quickly. Before long, she and the cats will have things worked out–probably a chess match situation. We appreciate the update–the photos and the video is fabulous. We look forward to hearing how things go as she matures. We expect great things. Thanks for your loyalty. We don’t take it lightly.
~In a Good Way
I didn’ t realize that Henry has only been learning scent-work since March. We got involved because being an energetic, 3-year-old Weim, with a flair for being extreme nosey, it seemed to be fit. Also, I found the science behind a dogs nose fascinating.
What We Accomplished
Henry has completed Level 1, 2, 3 and working in level 4. More than anything though, it has been an experience for me! I have learned more about myself in the last few months and for that, I am most grateful to my handsome Blue boy. Scentwork is a team trust sport.
Your dog knows what to do, however until dogs and humans can speak the same language, the sport is much more about learning patience, watching your dogs every move, and even more important, trust. We have had good trials and not so good, one thing is certain Henry loves this sport and so do I. We take away something new from each practice or trial. We figure a way through false alerts and keep rewarding the sourced odor.
Henry’s hard work has left us with 3 titles, Level 1 and 2 C-WAGS, Level 1 ABC games, Noteworthy, in our seemingly short period of time. I am very lucky to have Henry enjoy this sport as much as I do. It’s a special bond with a Weimaraner, I’m finding out truly how extraordinary Henry is. Thank-you Cliff and Shela!!
We are happy to hear about your continued success. Congratulations to you Patti–what a great team the two of you make. Fun–that is something that is so important. If you are having a good time more than likely, the Weimaraner is as well. At least in Henry’s case, this seems to be his element. Keep up the good work!
An Unsuperversized Weimaraner
There is a common saying about the unsupervised Weimaraner. We are not repeating it. Maybe the sign should say, “You didn’t Watch Me, Shame on You!” Or it might read, “Got you again, when you were not looking.” Possibly, it might even read, “Your dinner was delicious, thank you!” Of course, they would ask what we are having tomorrow. (OMG)
At Sixteen Weeks
~We can Report
I wanted to give you a quick Milly update. She is 16 weeks old today and weighing in at 28lbs. I’m so curious as to how big she will be, how large was her mom? She is such a sweet girl with the perfect amount of spunk!She is patient (mostly 😉) with the kiddos and is such a quick learner! The piranha syndrome is slowing down a bit too which is great. She has taken to her crate like a champ and enjoys most everyone we meet, person or dog.
We have been working with her on pheasant scent and a wing and she has a beautiful point! I have included a picture of her pointing below. We plan to expose her to some live birds soon.
She had her titer test today in lieu of the 16-week vaccine and her vet says he predicts she will have good numbers! Thank you for such a wonderful pup! All your hard work is evident! We had such an amazing experience with our last Weim, I was worried I would never have such a wonderful experience again. Milly is proving that she is up to the challenge of taking over where her predecessor left off!
~and your answer
I must say—I find this the most obnoxious thing about the Weimaraner puppy—the mouthing and biting. Even though it is shark-like (despite what some folks think), it is not aggression. They are a very mouthing-type of a puppy—possibly the worst of all.
How delightful it is to have an engaging and friendly Weimaraner. Not every Weim welcomes those outside their inner circle.
You folks are doing fabulous with her. Thank you, for doing the titer test instead of automatically doing a 16-week puppy shot. And for staying on top of other things as well. Once they arrive, the work begins afresh. Thank you, for all you are doing and have done with her. I am excited to hear more in the future.