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.
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.
Elsa is settling in nicely with us. She has a lovely disposition. Our family is in love! So far so good with crate training and housebreaking. We’ll send photos and keep you posted on her progress–in the future.
Thank you for all that you have done to help us fill the void in our family!!
(Elsa is the silver-gray female wearing the pink collar).
Breeder’s Note: We taking time to note is doing well. We forward to news as well as sincerely and great joy.
Its hard to imagine, but our girls are turning 3 soon!!! We are still working on training, and continue to reinforce who is in charge around here, but all in all, these girls are growing into their own. It has been our pleasure to see these very distinct personalities grow and develop. We are very blessed with two loving, cuddly, and goofy girls.
I think we are all ready for spring and summer fun after this long cold winter. Having a small house and two weims, we often have to force ourselves, and our weims, to go out in the elements and get some exercise. I try and run with them on a regular basis in the mornings and Jake takes them for hikes in the afternoons. We have found though that Ilsa much prefers to stay in bed. There have been mornings where I have literally had to pull her out of bed. Indy on the other hand, is ready to run at any hour! She is good motivation on the mornings when I feel much more Ilsa like. 🙂
We have had some recent changes to our work schedules and this means that sometimes the girls are left home a bit longer than they were used to and on rare occasions they only get one outing of park or run!!! 😉 Surprisingly, they have responded incredibly well and adjusted without any challenge. We are very grateful for the early crate training, it is clearly paying off!
While having two girls the same age is every bit the challenge that you warned us it would be, we certainly couldn’t be happier with our little family. We don’t have kids but friends of ours that do have them notice how much raising a weim is much like parenting. 😉 Looking forward to many spring adventures and wishing you all many days of sunshine!
Weim Kisses from the Zimmerman’s
PS: We’ve been busy so we sent a lot of pics. Please choose which ever you feel fit best. Cheers
PPS: I wanted to add that both girls are loose leash trained and do great walking with us without a leash in very distracting environments! It was a huge win for all involved! Cliff was spot on with the importance of loose leash training! 😉
Breeder’s Note: Jake and Liz originally had one blue girl; the other was returned to us. Prior to her return, they met her many times (in and around the Portland area). When she was returned, they expressed interest in having the sister. Cliff did extensive work (including assessment, and rehabilitation) prior to agreeing to the placement. Liz and Jake have done wonderful with the two girls. That doesn’t mean it was easy either. Nevertheless, it was a doable situation. We cannot stress often enough that in many instances, two females will not do well together. No one thinks they will ever have a fur-flying situation, but in truth, you might be setting yourself up for one by choosing two females. The choice of the females, as well as your skill-level must be strongly assessed, and placement should only be made in the most positive of situations. We are thrilled that Ilsa and Indy have been able to thrive in this placement. Thank you for the photos, and the lovely update.
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.
HOUSE-BREAKING THE WEIMARANER
Rule #2 — Freedom is earned. Until the housebreaking is mastered rule # 1 applies.
Rule #3 — The crate needs to be the right size. It must be slightly larger than the puppy. Extra room means they can set up a potty-end in the crate.
Rule #4 — When the pup first wakes up from a nap in the crate, you need to take the pup out to the yard immediately. Walk around the yard, and give it time to potty. See the tip at the bottom of this page!
Rule # 5 — When you arrive home, be ready to go directly to the crate, and to take the pup outside to the yard. Don’t expect them to wait for you.
Rule # 6 — Never take the pup out when they are throwing a fit. (The exceptions are if they just woke up, and started to whine, or if you just walked in the door.) If you get the pup out of the crate because they whined, then they will know when they raise a ruckus, they get out of the crate.
Rule # 7 — Be Consistent. Stick with the program. Don’t become lax in your methods. Giving unwarranted freedom never comes to any good.
People take their puppy home. They believe that taking them to the yard to potty means the puppy can run around the house for a while. They are shocked when the puppy squats to pee in less than ten minutes. (Keep in mind) puppies have to learn to hold their pee–the crate training when done correctly will support this process. Until they show they are in control of their bladder, (and running for the door to go outside to potty) it is ill-advised to give them any freedom. The Weimaraner puppy who starts going potty inside the house, will soon believe this is the norm; you will find yourself embattled rather than empowered (and in control).
Did we say smart?
The Weimaraner puppy will do almost anything for a treat. This can also create a backlash so fast you won’t know what hit you. They can pretend-potty, ring a bell, or do some adorable antic for the reward. Relying on the treat-method all too frequently side-tracks the training. If your puppy runs to the door to ring the bell for a treat rather than to go outside, you have trained them to ring the bell for a treat. Can you see how confusing your training was to the Weimaraner? Sometimes praise is the best reward. Ingraining the desire to want to please will take you further than the treat-reward system. Do we ever use treats? Yes, but we don’t use them for a sustained length of time to achieve a goal. They are used on a random basis, and mostly when we have visitors.
It is a big shock to realize that the Weimaraner puppy has manipulated you. Never forget once they get an idea (the notion that something is going to be a certain way), the concrete-thinking Weimaraner will do whatever it takes to achieve the norm. You don’t want them thinking the inside potty is preferred. Puppies sleep a lot. They can spend a great deal of time in the crate next to where you are working, and it will not be harmful. If you have a ready-eye to keep on them, they could be on a bed next to you. Proceed with clear, concise, consistent follow through of the right type combined with supervised freedom.
If you got off on the wrong foot with the housebreaking, all is not lost. Start over. It might take you longer to get to the finish line; however, this is not a horse race. Making it one is best avoided. This is a journey; one that will take time to complete. You are making the trip together. It remains to be seen what the two of you can accomplish. Hang in there, and stay upbeat. It will come together if you follow these pointers.
Here’s a photo of me and Geist on the drive home.
Breeder’s Note: Our suggestion is to keep the adjustment process simple. Nothing is more important than your relationship. Cliff recommends keeping any training session short–10 minutes is about right. You always want to end on a positive note, with success. If you don’t master the current command, go back to one the pup has mastered. Do that, and reward them by lavishing praise for their achievement.
The two areas that are an exception to these instructions are housebreaking and crate-training. These are the two areas where you must achieve compliance–get results. A casual approach usually ends up in frustration, and sometimes in failure. It takes commitment, clear direction, and a realistic approach. Freedom needs to be earned. That means, do not let the puppy run around without you having your eye on them. The misconception that the pup just went potty outside, therefore; they should be good for a half an hour is just that–a misconception. Pups that are running around could need to go potty again in ten minutes. They need constant supervision. They have to learn how to ‘hold-it’ until they get out. They have to decide that going outside to potty is the right approach. They have to go out (or want to go out) even when it is raining. A big part of achieving this is your attitude. If you, yourself, balk at going outside in the rain; they will feel the same. With rain commonplace in the Pacific Northwest, it is good to make going out in the rain a fun event.
Mastering crate-training will help facilitate your housebreaking efforts. When using the crate, your puppy will learn to wait to go potty outside. This is where using an appropriately-sized crate becomes important to achieving success. The kennel should be slightly larger than the puppy. That way, they cannot set up a bathroom area. Make every effort not to feel bad about using the crate, or the size of the crate. We could write a chapter on this one topic, but just trust us. The right-sized crate is going to be what is best for the Weimaraner puppy. Using the crate when you cannot have your eye on your puppy is smart. Then, the habit of eliminating inside the house doesn’t begin. Once the puppy discovers they can eliminate inside, this can become a battle of the wills. This, like many other unwanted behaviors, is best avoided. Freedom is earned. Don’t feel bad about these steps. The crate is not doggy jail, and accidents usually happen because of human error.
Some people hang a bell on the doorknob (that they ring) when they take the puppy outside to potty. Many people find this method a good approach. Soon the pup may run for the door and ring the bell to ask to go out. Eventually, the bell may need to go away because some Weimaraners will manipulate you using the bell-system. Early-on it can be a grand approach to getting the housebreaking accomplished.
Whatever you do–keep your approach simple. Over-thinking, and getting elaborate may confuse your puppy. Clear, concise, consistent actions will facilitate your efforts. Getting off to a good start is very important. We believe (and many of our clients will attest to this fact), that we have our OwyheeStar puppies set up for the initial housebreaking. Even if you were to get a bit older puppy, and housebreaking (and crate-training) had been mastered prior to their arrival, you will still need to approach the process as if they are a puppy. This is about learning the ropes, establishing a pattern, and your relationship. These are the first steps in gaining compliance, and earning your pup’s respect.
Blue Vs. Silver or Gray
I know I originally said I wanted either a Silver or gray Weimaraner. However, we both know it came down to two choices–1. Me changing to a silver gray female. 2. Me accepting a blue male.I must say, I wouldn’t trade my blue for any silver. I am an absolute convert.
Getting off to a good Start
Crate training is going well, he still whines a little at times but is getting much more stable. I have started nightly 10 minute obedience sessions. I’ve started with commands “here” and “sit”. What should the timeline be with these. And what should I work into our sessions next. I think he is going to he a great bird dog.
It continues to go well…
(September 25, 2013) Hey there Shela and Cliff. I am happy to report that Geist is doing wonderfully. We are working on leash manners, going on short walks throughout the day. He is getting used to the crate, a little whining still but he’s getting way better. He has mastered “Sit”, and “Here”, and can do “down” when he really thinks hard. He is just a pleasure to have around.
Another day — we are having fun together….
(September 26, 2013) Like you recommended, I have been making our obedience sessions 10 minutes in the evening before dinner, so he is food motivated. It seems like a good time amount of time so he doesn’t get discouraged. Lots of treats, and
praise. At the same time, I am slowing down the reward process for certain things once they are learned. Sit is getting less an less rewarded, and should be combined with other behaviors to get a frequent reward.
Do you guys have any tips and tricks for starting them walking on leash. I feel like that is a next step to work on. I have read a lot about correcting and improving leash behavior, but not about getting them to walk with the leash to begin with. He definitely spend the day a little testily, I’m not giving him an inch until its earned, but I can sense that he is trying to find the loopholes in my behavior. Such a smart little guy, but otherwise it wouldn’t be as fun.
Cliff’s Comment—Leash training is important. It will be an area you will find yourself challenged even once mastered. This is so important to master. Honestly, there is no shortcut, or tip that will prevent them from wanting to walk-ahead, pull on the lead, or not to heel. Of all the devices, and methods I have used, the Don Sullivan collar (when used correctly) works the best for getting compliance. If you want to learn more about this system, or to order it, please click here! When you use this correctly, compliance can be achieved in a quick manner. Other than using the right methods, the most important component of training is the human-element. Your connection, and your demeanor is going to make all the difference. We harp on the importance of crate-training and mastering leash compliance. There are very good reasons we continue to bring up these two topics. They are a cornerstone to on-going success. Almost without exception, failure to achieve success in these two areas will result in challenges (best avoided) down the road. 🙂