Just a quick note to let you know that my sweet, loving, energetic and manipulative Pushkin graduated from the novice obedience training class tonight. He received a score of 94 out of 100 points. Half of the test was done off leash. We start the advanced class sometime in September. A great 9-month birthday present.~Marie
~ The Battle of the Wills
It has been awhile since I have sent you an update. Push is all Weim in every sense of the word. He is a manipulator par excellence! We are still working on the check cord that Cliff recommended. Pushkin will come 90% of the time. It is the remaining 10% that comes to a contest of wills, and mine is stronger! We started puppy classes about 3 weeks ago he is doing well with everything but the “down stay”. Again it becomes a contest of wills. Last week we worked on agility. He did great in the tunnel. I would run, he would run and he would be sitting outside the end of the tunnel waiting for me and of course his treat. He is feisty, stubborn and completely lovable. Thanks so much for the great dog!Marie
P.S. he now weighs 36.5 pounds.
You no doubt remember our opportunistic Cat Tree Sitting Weimar. This happened not so long ago on the homefront; however, Jaeger is busy working on his field training too!
The Savvy Weimaraner
~Trainable Natual Ability is a Plus!
We went out to get some fieldwork/playing. Came across a huge chest-deep puddle from the recent melt off. Jaeger followed Ruger in without a pause. Considering that water was cold and he went right in, I’m hoping for good things come spring and summer.
Ruger also pointed some quail, Jaeger pointed Ruger… instinct is such an amazing thing. He is doing great, smart and stubborn (lol), they go hand in hand.
You might remember that our Ruger was not too thrilled with Jaeger, but he tolerated him. Well, Ruger has broke down and finally realized MAYBE Jaeger isn’t always an annoyance. At times, they will play. It is fun to watch the process.
Before the Melt
~Playin in the Snow
Lend me your ears
Those that follow our blog realize this has been anything but a typical week. Cliff has been wanting our blog to share with you (our readers) the most important key factors (from his perspective). Understanding and embracing these truths will net positive results. It will give you a firm grasp on what you need to accomplish with the young Weimaraner. Each day, this week, we have shared a topic dear to our heart; the kind we believe will bring you closer to the relationship you need (and desire). Whatever type of relationship you are involved in (human or Weimaraner), respect will lead to a healthy right-type of relationship. Unfortunately, we all too often, create an unhealthy relationship because of who we are, and what we feel we need. Our weaknesses, our bias, our preconceived ideas, and our realm of influence all play into what we hear, as well as how we interpret what is being said.
Simple and Pro-Active
OwyheeStar recommends a pro-active approach. Our hope is you will embrace these simple truths, and in turn reap the benefit. At the same time, you will avoid many of the potential setbacks along the way to success. When you get the foundation laid, that stays intact. You don’t rip up the foundation unless things go completely awry. As you build, the new activities should be well-supported by the good foundation laid.
What is success? It doesn’t always look the same. Nevertheless, it shares those attributes we have been sharing this week. The average Weimlover needs to achieve these goals, and to incorporate them into their life.
- Loose Leash Heeling (on a regular flat collar)
- Come; followed by the Sit-stay
Accomplishing the four listed disciplines will help you with proper socialization, and off-leash compliance.
We love the idea of Freedom
Is freedom your their primary goal? Your list might looks something like this….
- Get free from using the crate.
- Get off-leash
We love freedom; however, making it a focus all too often backfires. We recommend you stay crate-friendly, and maintain the loose-leash heel throughout the entire relationship. A person can never say what life will bring their direction, and if the Weimaraner has these two skills; they can make it through the tough times. We understand some folks cannot embrace the crate-training concept. On the other hand, overall the Weimaraner is better for being crate-trained.
Achieving a measure of freedom is important. You want to shoot for the goal of not needing to rely on the crate in every situation. You want the Weimaraner to be able to experience the exhilaration of off-leash adventures. Nonetheless, achieving compliance must be the primary goal. Then freedom will come, and socialization will have a better result. Jumping up, not coming when called, and other not-lovely occurrences are easier to avoid when the Weimaraner is rock-solid in the four (above listed skill sets).
Many training programs rely on enticements to get compliance. During the early training phase, a treat-for-performance approach can work. Please know that the cookie approach might not serve you well during the heat of the moment. Too many Weims have lost their lives, when they failed to return for an enticement. Folks, you need to very quickly move past the idea that they get a treat for doing the required work. Treats should be random rewards.
The Basics …
Nothing is more important than loose leash heeling. It is imperative it be achieved. I am not talking about using a head halter, gentle leader, front-hooking harness, or a prong collar in order to accomplish the goal.
This is what I hope every OwyheeStar Weimlover will accomplish……..
- Loose Leash Heeling (on a regular flat collar)
- Come; followed by the Sit-stay
We (Shela and I) would like you to focus on achieving these four goals with your OwyheeStar Weimaraner. I am positive when accomplished in the right manner, the outcome will be good. There are various ideas on the appropriate timeline to have mastered these disciplines. I would like to see you have them done by the time the pup reaches 7 months–before the hormones kick in. Puppy classes can get you off to a good start, but the quality of sit-stay, etc. is not finished at 4 months. As the Weimaraner develops, there will be challenges.
Respect and the Relationship
Depth in your relationship is worth achieving; respect is a crucial part of your relationship-development. When you get the loose-lead respect, then you can easily achieve these other goals. It is a bit like a thread that pulls you through a good novel (or movie); without a strong relationship (or the underlying story-line), it is hard to get to end. Distractions come along.
Jan Magnuson –The priorities in my basic obedience/good manners classes are loose leash heeling, sit-stay, down-stay, come and sit-stay, and no bite. I agree, if folks can get these down pat, everything else tends to fall into place. Loose leash walking is imperative, as it is representative of the relationship between dog and handler (if the leash is relaxed, so is your relationship, if the leash is tense and strained, so is your relationship). Dogs that “do better off leash” feel they are in charge and do what pleases them, and if they mind it is because they happen to feel like it at the moment- that is not a trained dog. I like down-stays a lot because it is a subservient posture, the dog should learn to be totally relaxed so we do lots of these- we allow them to lie on one hip or their side and get their head and tummy rubbed, with lots of calm praise.
Get it done; Keep it Fun…
Never forget to have fun. If this becomes a grind, neither you nor the Weimaraner will enjoy it. If it becomes boring, there are always other things you want to do. Once these four things are mastered, you need to keep them sharp. It is not something you achieve and forget about; these are lifelong skills you take with you on the entire journey.
Note: We will discuss collars (and choices) in a later blog. There are many suitable styles of the regular (flat-collar) type. Collar purchases are more a fashion-statement than we like to admit. Hunters are field-fashion conscious. Some prefer a fine leather collar, while others prefer a durable plastic-based collar that resists dirt, odor, and fading. These collars wipe clean. They come in a variety of colors; fluorescent orange, fluorescent green, and fluorescent yellow are popular. Some hunters find the cammo collar a must-have accessory. One of our favorite vet techs saw a purple collar we had on a girl, and asked where we found it. There are other great colors too.