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Ahhh the Weimaraner

Beginnings Happen….

 

Little Miss Alli with Little Miss Jocelyn

Little Miss Alli with Little Miss Jocelyn

The adventure has begun. Getting off to the best possible start is important. We have posted blogs on this topic, and provided information in your packet. Beginnings are important. The first six months will see a lot of change. The puppy will go from a tiny, precious little pup, to an adult-looking active juvenile. Along the way, there will be ups and downs. The frustrations, and the problems we face, is often a direct result of doing what we think is right. We all want to do the very best for our new puppy. All the while, that cute little face is scoping out the territory, and figuring a way to manage things—you included. The Weimaraner likes to be in control. They can take control of your home by manipulation, or by their out-of-control behaviors. They will exploit your weaknesses.  Sometimes when we are trying to figure out our next move, they see it as an opportunity to exploit for their own purposes. That being said, much of what they will become, is directly related to the relationship you develop. A healthy relationship, with them showing you proper respect is the outcome for which we hope.

 

Jan and Willow

Jan an Willow

If you live near enough to Des Moines, WA, we recommend Jan Magnuson. She has thirty-five years of experience with the Weimaraner. (Click here to visit her Website .) Many of you can begin without a trainer, or attending classes. The first steps are about your relationship, house-breaking, crate-training, and the recall. You want them to come when called, follow you, and to learn to run to the door to go outside. We believe we have them set up to succeed, but we also realize it takes a great deal of work to finish the training process. It is not going to happen overnight.

Being relaxed, and letting the process unfold is the wise approach. That doesn’t mean anything goes. Being too easy never comes to a good end; however, pushing to have the perfectly trained pup at three months may end up not working out as planned. Those who focus intently on training the pup, and getting them to do everything perfect, are often those that run into a huge issue. The process is best served by not having a timeline, and working together to achieve the small steps. Then you build upon a well-laid foundation as time moves forward. If you get caught looking at the end-result-wanted (most likely a well-trained, well-socialized) dog, something gets lost. This is about each moment together, and finding your way on this journey. It doesn’t matter what your friend, family member, or neighbor thinks. Unless it is directly affecting them, their opinion doesn’t count. It is not a competition. It is not a contest to see who can have the best-trained dog. This is about your relationship, and the journey you will make together. It takes as long as it takes. These guys are very intelligent, and they can learn many things. Cliff always says that keeping the training session fun, and shorter is the best approach. You will achieve more with a consistent, positive, upbeat approach.

That being said, Cliff and I have written extensively on topics that we believe will help you get the best possible outcome. We are invested in your success. Jan has shared a lot of advice with us, and some of these (blog posts) have her years of experience woven through, or directly listed for your benefit. You might want to check out these previous posts.

 

Trigger at home with his new family

Trigger at home with his new family

We put a lot of time and effort into writing these informational blogs. We sincerely hope you find them extremely beneficial. Regardless, it is one thing to read, research, and educate one’s self. It is another thing to put what you have learned into practice. We all come with different abilities, and skill sets. We all approach this with preconceived ideas, and we read our experience into the process. When faced with the actual situation, it can become pretty daunting. It is easy to become overwhelmed, and frustrated. Maybe you will fly through the process of training with ease. More than likely, it will not happen quite that easily. It is a bit like a chess game. We understand the game the Weimaraner brings to the table. Sometimes they find ways to out maneuver even the most savvy dog person. The best approach is to look at this as a learning experience. Those of us who have been engaged with the Weimaraner for any time realize that they make us better humans. They change our lives in so many ways, but sometimes in the most unexpected way possible. Thanks for listening to our thoughts.

The Weimaraner and Sophie

How will the family cat fare?

ellie-sofie

I thought you would find this funny.  Ellie likes to groom our cat Sofie, and Sofie really enjoys it. ~ Bob

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Breeder’s Comment: Ellie and other OwyheeStar Weims have done well with family (household) cats. They often will chase a feral cat out of their yard, but embrace the one they consider their own. Some cats will align with the household Weim; others watch from a distance. This kind of relationship is not a given. Most Weims that grow up with a household kitty will forge some kind of relationship. Introducing the new puppy to the kitty takes some skill, and supervision. Not every situation is the same. We suggest monitoring the situation; and making sure your kitty can find a place to escape the Weim’s vices. In Ellie and Sophia’s case, clearly that they have a sophisticated relationship. 

Cliff on the Weimaraner Basics

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.

A regular (or flat) collar

A regular (or flat) collar

This is what I hope every OwyheeStar Weimlover will accomplish……..

  1. Loose Leash Heeling (on a regular flat collar)
  2. Sit-stay
  3. Down-Stay
  4. 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: advantage-wetlands-d-end-camo-collar-camouflage-210We 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.