~Why we don’t use a harness
One of our greatest frustrations is reading or seeing that a Weimaraner is out of control. A lot happens on to the way to developing a problem–typically, those who get into the biggest mess, are the same ones trying to do everything perfectly–in the correct manner. (Deep breath.)
Yes, the best intentions can lead you down the path to problems–serious issues. The little things that people want to dismiss might grow into something disruptive or even worse. When we talk about not liking harnesses, head halters, prong collars, etc.–we have a reason. In our experience, the use of the devices typically means the Weimaraner is not compliant. Somehow, you have to go from forcing control, to evoke their desire to want to please. This process is easier said than done.
Raising the well-balanced (obedient) Weimaraner can be tricky. Even with a lot of socialization, things can go sideways. This type of issue can lead to frustration–frustration is like throwing wood on a burning fire. Folks they (the Weimaraner) read us–they know how to play us, and they are out to get their way. Sometimes this is cute, and other times not so much.
If you are an off-leash advocate, be careful. Some of you tell us your Weim only behaves when they are off leash. What does that say? Honestly, it means they don’t want to be under your control. Once the Weimar gets the upper paw, things can become scary–lunging, pulling, and going after other dogs, or sometimes certain people. These behaviors are ones you want to avoid. Can we suggest that you get the Weimaraner compliant on the leash?
We have helped a lot of people who found their self in this type of dilemma–Cliff taking the Weim getting compliance in short order. However, when the leash is passed back to the owner–things quickly go sideways. Letting your Weimaraner win this battle is not a win for anyone.
There is one exception to this thought. That would be one designed for a Service Dog or when it is used in a particular discipline–like this one Loki uses. There are times when a harness is a must.
Cliff on Collars
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.