Category Archives: Quirks and Quandaries
~Is the Weim Onboard?
Separation anxiety is real and palpable –and the consequences are sometimes staggering. We have received notes from people who suffered the worst of outcomes–a loss. Others, and more frequently this is what happens, come home to destruction. The rock-solid trustworthy Weimaraner didn’t handle the absence as expected. Anyone who loves this breed has most likely seen reports outlining shocking Weimaraner behavior. We are positive that many of you have experienced this phenomenon firsthand. (Ouch)
Ideally, we need to help our Weimaraner learn how to adapt and adjust to change. For people new to this breed, this can be a foreign concept. Possibly they equate the Weimaraner separation to what they experienced with another breed–somehow, I highly doubt it. Maybe, but more than likely, this person is going to be caught short–shocked at what can happen. This separation anxiety thing is one of the reasons so many Weimaraner end up being rehomed. It is a sad reality. Nonetheless, many Weimar-addicts walk into the relationship eyes-open knowing about this trait and the other quirks and quandaries they might face.
~Naughty Maizie, Or Not!
You wouldn’t believe that this little beauty, MAIZIE, age 6.5, has a penchant for paper!
You can file this in a chapter of “Weim Crimes!” Yesterday, we left the house for an hour. Maizie stayed home. Usually always on our return home, she happily greets us—smiling, chattering, nibbling, wiggling with glee. Yesterday she did not greet us. Uh oh. (She doesn’t greet us if she’s been naughty). I found her laying in her living room sofa bed—ears back and shivering! Uh oh. Major telltale guilt! We did a search of the house to find the “evidence” and came up with nothing! We assumed then that she was just “thinking” about doing something naughty—reason for her guilty behavior. That was, UNTIL…..
…..I went to make dinner! Before we left home, I had printed a new recipe, Martha Stewart’s “Bacon-Mushroom-Leek Galette.” It printed out on 3 pages. I had left it on the dining room table. It was nowhere to be found!
BUSTED! She didn’t leave a trace! I had to reprint it to make dinner! This is why we close our office door when we leave the house, can’t leave mail on the table, or leave a package in sight! This girl’s got a penchant for paper!
We cannot believe how smart this girl is, and as I replied–this is not her first paper raid you told us about. Old habits die hard. I guess the good news is it is paper—just so she doesn’t take to eating cash or important documents. (OMG)
Life with Bella
Let me set the backdrop (the scenario, or the stage) what I am going to share with you– before Bella, Levi the 11-yr-old lab was a grazer. I would fill the Bowl in the morning, and there would still be food the next morning.
Since Bella arrived, things have changed.
When she first came, I fed both of them separately because Bella ate different food. That lasted about a week because they both kept eating each other’s food. So I put Levi on the same food as Bella. That worked out perfect. Well, except for one thing. Bella would chow down her food and then go finish off Levi’s.
I started putting more in Bella’s Bowl and less in Levi’s. Then Levi started to eat Bella’s food right out of her bowl. Levi would eat a little move on to her own bowl. All the while, Bella hovers over Levi. There is no barking– no growling. It is just Bella silently hovering–watching and waiting. Once Levi’s finished she will go lay down now it’s Bella’s turn to eat. (It is kind of funny watching cuz it is like she’s waiting. ) Then Bella will growl and bark at Levi who is not even near her (she does this also with treats.) I point this fact out to her to no avail. She has never attacked Levi or anything like that. (She’s such a sweetheart I doubt anything like that would ever happen). I believe this is nothing–it seems to be because I’m able to take the bowl away without her doing anything. It’s just odd that she does this whole grumbling thing, and it is a lengthy process, or I would send a video.
Bella’s new favorite pastime is licking my food air (lol). I just thought it was kind of a funny story–maybe others will relate.Have an awesome dayDebbie
Our Boy, Duke
~Who Did That?!?**This turd turned 1 yesterday! We love him so much, but there is this!
He also loves chewing on ginormous logs, rocks, the siding of our house, our deck and our walls. Oh and every. single. dog bed. 🤷🤦 In the life of a Weim! ❤️**As I knew it would be, it’s been difficult to train him with us and the kids not being consistent with commands, expectations etc. But, he has really changed (better) the last couple months.
At The End of the Day
~This How It Looks
We love these folks–they are dedicated Weimlovers. Nevertheless, we would prefer everyone to avoid this kind of behavioral issue. I am so very glad they shared it though. And, they were kind enough to allow me to make a post that might help someone else avoid having this kind of situation.
I can only guess what lead to this–but the best way to avoid having this type of situation is to follow through with constant supervision at the early stages. If you are not watching them, all kinds of bad things can and do happen. Duke is not the first, nor will he be the last Weim to much on the sheetrock. The exterior siding, flower pots, carpeting, dog beds, wood posts, and just about anything they can get their lips on is a target.
The trick to avoiding it is not to let the behavior start. The crate-training is essential. It only takes a moment for the Weimaraner to get into trouble. My mantra is freedom is earned. Just remember that habits (good and bad) are quickly ingrained, and then nearly impossible to change in the concrete-thinking Weimaraner.
Also, you have to consider the separation anxiety factor. People often spend 24 X 7 with their Weimaraner puppy and think they are doing a fabulous thing. Then, they leave for an hour to run to the grocery and come home to something like this or worse. It is the same for the yard–you cannot just leave a Weimaraner home in the yard–that is unless they have become adapted to that situation. So, that brings me to the point, even once they have earned a measure of freedom, it is essential that they also learn to be somewhat flexible. It is a lot better when they learn how to adapt to schedule changes–or being left behind when necessary.
Finally, can I mentioned that Dusty, back in the day, ate a $2,000 rock. Another time it was an $ 800 rock. One required major surgery, the other not. Rocks are hard on the teeth, and if ingested, they pose a life-threatening issue. Yes, the Weimaraner is not for the weak of heart. Even people who have the best intentions can get into trouble.
Water and Your Weimaraner
Most of you know that we try to swim puppies–time and weather permitting. Above is a GoPro Video of a litter swim taken a couple of years ago. It gives you a different perspective. Some pups are excellent swimmers; others struggle a little. Nonetheless, we have never had a puppy fail to be able to swim. Does this mean they will naturally take to the water? No! If you expect them to jump and take off, you may be disappointed. It will most likely require work to get them into the water and swimming. This effort is work we hope you invest. We deem this an essential part of the puppy raising process.
The Why and the How
Over the years we have written extensively on how to achieve the swim. More and more of our clients have managed to do this. Sometimes to their own surprise. It is one of the best things you can do for yourself and the Weimaraner.
To expend energy. The growing Weimaraner has boundless energy; however, they cannot be beating the pavement to run off this energy. Until the growth plates close, you need to limit high impact exercise. Many experts agree that about three miles is the limit. Imagine how quickly the Weimaraner puts in the three miles. Seriously, about a mile into your run they have probably gone this far. Using the swim is the ideal way to exercise without causing damage to the growing joints. We would go so far as to suggest it probably helps your Weimaraner get more years and miles from their body. That is something that serves everyone’s best interest. We think you can agree.
Hunter or not you need to master the recall. You say what do you mean by the recall? That is coming when called. Getting the retrieve to hand is also a part of the recall. The rock solid come when you call or give a command–verbal or otherwise. The bringing of a bumper or toy back to you. Keep away it funny and laughable; however, we don’t feel this is ever in the best interest of the Weimaraner or you.
Cliff and I suggest you find an area where there is no escape route. For example–a hallway (closing all the adjoining doors) will work for this exercise. You want to make this an exciting event. Something that they look forward to doing with you. Sit down in that hallway and work on the retrieve at least every day. You want to ingrain the love of the retrieve as well as getting them to bring the dedicated item it to hand. This discipline will serve you well and help you achieve the swim.
The hallway exercise should begin as soon as they arrive. Make it an event–the same person, the same bumper or toy, and somewhat a routine. Five-Seven throws blocking the exit with your body. Toss and retoss keeping the excitement going. This activity should be fun, short-lived, and you want to stop while they are still excited. Once you have the rock solid recall—then you can move to the yard. You may need to use a check cord in the larger venue. If you don’t know what that is, ask us. It is a long line that attaches to their collar and allows you to reel them back to you. Always giving them praise like it was all their idea.
Why the Retrieve
The Weimaraner that is in loves the retrieve then can be worked along the water–at first shallow water. A pond or something similar is ideal. Slopping sides even better. That way they can play at the water’s edge and retrieve. Eventually, you can edge them out a bit, and they will take off and swim a couple of strokes. This process takes patience. You might wonder how long. Can we say it takes as long as it takes? Typically, Cliff gets the water-retrieve in two weeks or less. The rewards are almost endless. You can do this! Believe in the process. Stay optimistic. Keep it fun. Stay at it until you achieve success.
For the long distance runner, this is the best way to set the Weimaraner up as your running companion. The growth plates typically close around 15 months. By then you should have them swimming. The waterwork can keep your running companion in the tip-top shape you need as well as help them develop muscles which may help prevent injury.
To Burn Off Energy
For those less inclined or find themselves challenged to keep up with the Weimaraner, this is an excellent way to burn off the excess energy. The Weimaraner will still be able to join you on walks, etc. But tiring the Weimaraner out is challenging. The waterwork helps and does it without injury. Of course, there are other pros to having the water-friendly Weimaraner.
Imprinting the Idea
We swim the pups with the idea that it imprints this experience. If you wonder, the Weimaraner has webbed toes. There are hundreds of updates on our blog that feature OwyheeStar pups and adults enjoying the water–swimming, retrieving, and playing in it. We hope you will achieve the swim.
Here is Stackhouse — a strong swimmer
~of seeing the cuteness
Well, I must admit I never grow weary of puppy faces. I know I am not alone. While they are not mine to keep, for a day or two I care for yours.
What can they become you ask? Well, for the most part, it remains to be seen. The journey on which you embark may have twists and turns. Sometimes the desire to get everything right this time is your undoing. Well, isn’t it the truth that we overcompensate and create a new issue in all likelihood? Or so it seems.
Quirks and quandaries are a thing. You cannot go far when exploring the Weimaraner before you run across something downright silly. Their antics are celebrated. Well, these are for the most part celebrated. There are the hair-pulling crazy times I suppose. Yet we are addicted. What can I say? You know what I mean.
~Our Mud Boy
Murray loves to hunt, dig gophers get muddy, filthy dirty, jump in the water and roll in the pasture. He is always on guard for anything out of the norm around our place. He is Mr. personality and is so stinking smart.
When digging up gophers he will rip chunks of soil up and end up with a mouthful of dirt.Crazy dog, good thing he doesn’t live in LA
Thank you, for sharing about Murray and his affiliation with mud. He comes by it honestly, Stackhouse can be going along at a good pace; however, should he come upon a mud puddle flopping in it is essential.
For those who don’t remember Murray, he lives near Baker, Oregon. He has several fur family members who reside and work the ranch with him. The list includes another OwyheeStar Longhair Bodhi. Watch for the lengthy detailed report (coming soon) featuring the two Longhairs who live the excellent ranch life with Rebecca and Jerry.
~Propel them through the Water
The Weimaraner is a powerful swimmer once they get going. The trick is getting to take the first step. Their toes are webbed making them better equipped to paddle.
There is no one way to get them to swim; however, we find having a love of the retrieve ingrained goes a long way towards accomplishing this discipline. (Sorry to some of you!) For the non-hunter, many times the retrieve is not viewed as essential. All too many of you allow the Weimaraner to abscond and run around the yard with the toy or the bumper–instead of bringing back to hand. Yes, this is a hoot–although it is just one more Weim antic, this is one we suggest you not allow to take root. The idea of achieving the swim is only one reason in a myriad of why you need to get the rock-solid retrieve. We won’t list those as we are speaking about achieving the Water Retrieve.
You want the Weimaraner coming when called. The Recall is a safety issue and the underpinning of compliance. Two areas where compromise cannot be allowed (in our opinion). Depending on your approach to training there are various ways to get this done–we will forgo the discussion on methodology. Let’s just say get this done! It is going to help you with achieving more than a Water Retrieve.
Cliff suggests you find a place to do this exercise. One location that works well is a hallway. Close all the adjoining doors (so they cannot take off with the bumper of the toy). Make this a special event and stop before they tire–while they are still begging for more. He also suggests you use a dedicated toy or bumper you save for this activity only. Depending on your pup’s attention and skill level keep the number of reps down–at first maybe as few as three. Bear in mind; the idea is to make this celebratory and fun. You want them having the desire. This activity will serve you well on so many levels and enhance your training outcome positively.
Weather Permitting the OwyheeStar puppy will see the water before they depart. You saw the video we shared, if not we included it here. Nevertheless, this is not going to ensure that your pup will swim. It will still require time, effort, and patience to get your Weimaraner to swim–plus a bit of knack. A few suddenly jump in but don’t wait for that to happen. Oh–and if you doubt, the Weimaraner is more than likely going to read your thoughts and agree with you.
You might wonder how to begin. Cliff does it this way–your situation may require you to adapt. Using the reliable retrieve, you work along the edges of a pond. Just play in the water’s edge–a tiny bit on their feet initially. Slowly ease them into the water beyond their comfort zone. It might take a few tries, a few days, or a few weeks. It takes as long as it takes, but if you follow this protocol, you will achieve the goal. Like anything with the concrete thinking Weimaraner, you want to make this part of the early life training. Then it becomes the norm. Oh, and you notice he mentions using the pond. Waves could spook them. You want to avoid that scenario.
Imagine the possibilities!
A Few Final Thoughts
- Weims who balk at the sight of rain or a sprinkler often achieve the swim.
- Don’t go in with the *pre-conceived idea that it cannot be achieved.
- Select the venue to work on this carefully.
- Go in with the idea it takes as long as it takes.
- Make this part of your young pup’s agenda.
- If you *failed to achieve the swim early on, don’t believe it is impossible.
- Some people use a life vest**. The vests are not necessary.
- Often Cliff is teaching a Weimaraner who has not swum since they were a puppy. They might be 2 years old or older. They always learn. Cliff knows it can be achieved. Sometimes it is challenging but, with patience, it always happens.
- Deem this as invaluable to your process. It is a healthy activity that can burn off the excess energy and not take such a toll on the hips and joints. It is good for their cardiovascular as well.
~ We hope this helps someone achieve the swim! ~ Cliff and Shela
*You would be shocked to learn how many folks achieved the swim after they told us it was impossible.
**Life Vests–just a note here that Cliff never uses one. The only vest he might use is a Neoprene one if he were to swim them in inclement weather–like for Duck Hunting. Some of you need this for peace of mind. It might help the Weimaraner take their first few steps, but again–it is not necessary. A lot of clients who live in cold water regions cannot keep their Weims out of the water. This scenario is true even in the winter.
It is Lizards
Did you know the Weimaraner is a Watch Dog? Of course, you did. All that nose art on your window didn’t come from the goldfish. (Haha)
In the Northwest, it is the squirrels who taunt the Weim window watchers. Or maybe it is a feral cat that walks the fence gingerly out of reach. Bunnies and other scurriers are also fair game–sometimes the watching crew gets after the watched. The chase is on if caught it might not end well.
In the southwest, the lizards taunt the Weimaraner. It doesn’t take much to get their attention–sparrows, blackbirds, robins, butterflies, and sometimes bugs. Some Weims are more attuned to their duty of watching the premises than others. Nothing gets by these two.
Whiner or Weimar
~It kind of Goes Together
Recently, a friend who will remain anonymous sent we a list of reasons someone dropped a Weimaraner off at a shelter. It didn’t happen in America, but people are people worldwide, I think. This is not a joke. Here are the reasons for which he was being released.
- He wakes up his masters at 7 in the morning moaning ‘ cause he wants to go out while their other dog never gets out before 9
- The Weim sits moaning while they prepare his bowl while the other dog is silent
- Also, he moans very loudly when he has to wait in front of the baker to the point that passers-by will return (the abandoned Weimar song! )
- He also is moaning (loudly expresses his joy) when we put his leash to get out (I understand that the walk in the neighborhood was the only walk to get off)
- He pulls too much — while madame has tendinitis
- In every way, he moans too often and it doesn’t go well with Monsieur who has high blood pressure.
No reputable breeder wants a pup to end up in rescue. How do we avoid that? We screen applicants. Regardless, things happen. People sometimes say all the right things. As we often share with folks that say they have done their research, “there is no amount of research that will adequately prepare you for what could arise in the process of raising or living with the Weimaraner.” Honestly, this breed either suits you, or it doesn’t. It is demanding of your time and resources. They simply put are not the a-leave-in-the-yard type of dog.