~Who is in the lead?
A lack of respect (for your authority) often shows up when the Weimar is walking on the lead (or leash). Go anywhere there are dogs, and you will see dogs lunging and yanking on the leash. You see dog owners pulled down the street. This scenario is scary stuff for a public venue. Some owners gain compliance early in their morning walk only to find when they turn for home it is almost impossible to prevent the pulling. It is as if to say, “I know where we are going, and I can get us there.” It’s true. Maybe this is a horse-thing–heading for the barn syndrome. Nonetheless, it is smart for you to be in control and for them to defer to your pace.
Loose is Important
I understand how much fun it is to have the off-leash freedom. I say go for it when it is appropriate and once you have this skill mastered. There are places where being off-leash is safe. Otherwise, you need to reel them in, and to get them to comply by walking on a loose lead at your side. Pulling, lunging, and dragging you where they want you to go is not Okay. When faced with this scenario, many people turn to a front-clip harness or a head-halter like a Gentle Leader. Yes, these get you away from the behavior, but they don’t change the underlying cause of the problem. I urge you to master the loose-lead walk. I see it as a necessary skill and a sign of respect for your leadership.
In many cases, we see Weimlovers, who are so addicted to this breed that they are willingly blinded to the Weimaraner’s ability to manipulate them, and their surrounding world. Most of the time this is not lethal as with Jonestown, but it can have some pretty ugly outcomes.
Mouthing can seem harmless. Over time, it can become a problem. It can be so cute when the Weimaraner meets you at the door, and gently grabs you by your arm. They continue on by leading you (arm-in-their-mouth) into the house. Their tail is wagging, and there is nothing aggressive about this behavior. It might scare another person, but you (the beloved human) find it amusing. The two of you have a special connection. That being said, mouthing from a Weim’s point of view puts them in control. It gives them the upper-paw. You are the one blindly letting them leading the way. This is empowering to the Weimaraner.
We suggest you discourage this behavior. Don’t overreact, but find ways not to allow this to happen. For example, carry a ball that you hand them; keep a toy by the door that they get when you come home. It is so much the better they carry this, than they lead you. We are sure some of our readers will post suggestions here. There are other ways to stop this unwanted behavior.
This behavior can Prove Costly
Consider the risks involved. Allowing them to mouth you could escalate into a battle of the wills. You must always win their respect, and gain their compliance. At the same time, you have to maintain your composure, and stay upbeat (as well as positive). A fun atmosphere produces positive outcomes. Beyond the jockeying for compliance, your best friend might get into trouble when someone catches a tooth. Older people have thin skin, and a tooth can create a deep gouge that appears to be more than happenstance. This can cost you emotionally, and financially. Someone could file a grievance against you and your beloved (well-manner, and well-meaning) pet. They don’t love them like you do. Children are another danger.
It Comes Back to Your Relationship
process to work.
about those everyone. in some instances
Recently, we spoke about the basics of raising the Weimaraner. We are invested in your success. We talk a lot about earning the Weimaraner’s respect; this means achieving the loose leash heel. When I suggested this must be done with the use of a flat collar, that caused some people to wonder what I meant.
The reference to achieving the loose leash heel while using a flat collar means, that you have only succeeded when the collar has no part in you achieving the result. Gentle leaders, head halters, and front clipping harness will give you a feeling of relief. They will thwart the Weim’s ability to pull; however, they do not (in my opinion) change the behavior. The first change the Weimaraner gets they will go right back to dragging you around by the leash. Earning respect requires that you achieve compliance, because the Weimaraner wants to please you. There are no gimmicks.
I am good with using an interim (or training) collar of the sort that leads you toward achieving this goal. To be clear, another acceptable end-result collar would be the adjustable collars. Many companies make this style of collar. Some people prefer them over the buckle collars. Those pictured here are linked to the website where we borrowed the photo. The Adjustable collar (pictured to the left) is a Lupine brand collar which not only makes a fashion statement, but offers a lifetime warranty. The other collars are from Gun Dog Supply. Steve Snell of Gun Dog Supply has a tutorial on collars, and his reasoning behind what you should list on a name tag.
I am asking you to remember if you to remember if you resort to another alternative to escape the tugging, and lunging on the leash, that this doesn’t solve the underlying issue. You and the Weimaraner are in a situation where they are winning control. They may comply in some areas, but when they get their head (so to speak) they are dead-set on being in the lead. It is at this point other folks give the Weimaraner more freedom. They let them go loose; and the Weimaraner is never happier. Happiness doesn’t always lead to good things. The Weimaraner that learns to be in compliance, and gives you proper respect, is going to be much happier in the long run. Those around this Weimaraner, likewise, enjoy the benefits of their respectful behavior, and the training you invested.
Achieving the Loose Leash Heel
This brings us to the question of how we achieve the loose leash heel. There are various methods of achieving this goal. Different trainers use various philosophies. You want the rock-solid outcome. For our OwyheeStar clients, we have a video in the works. You need to turn to the trainer of your choice for help.
Good luck in achieving results. I believe if you do this you will reap the benefit. The loose leash heel needs to be maintained throughout the life of your Weimaraner. Thank you for considering this training information. I do hope it proves beneficial, and that you get it done.