~Is the Weim Onboard?
Separation anxiety is real and palpable –and the consequences are sometimes staggering. We have received notes from people who suffered the worst of outcomes–a loss. Others, and more frequently this is what happens, come home to destruction. The rock-solid trustworthy Weimaraner didn’t handle the absence as expected. Anyone who loves this breed has most likely seen reports outlining shocking Weimaraner behavior. We are positive that many of you have experienced this phenomenon firsthand. (Ouch)
Ideally, we need to help our Weimaraner learn how to adapt and adjust to change. For people new to this breed, this can be a foreign concept. Possibly they equate the Weimaraner separation to what they experienced with another breed–somehow, I highly doubt it. Maybe, but more than likely, this person is going to be caught short–shocked at what can happen. This separation anxiety thing is one of the reasons so many Weimaraner end up being rehomed. It is a sad reality. Nonetheless, many Weimar-addicts walk into the relationship eyes-open knowing about this trait and the other quirks and quandaries they might face.
Our Boy, Duke
~Who Did That?!?**This turd turned 1 yesterday! We love him so much, but there is this!
He also loves chewing on ginormous logs, rocks, the siding of our house, our deck and our walls. Oh and every. single. dog bed. 🤷🤦 In the life of a Weim! ❤️**As I knew it would be, it’s been difficult to train him with us and the kids not being consistent with commands, expectations etc. But, he has really changed (better) the last couple months.
At The End of the Day
~This How It Looks
We love these folks–they are dedicated Weimlovers. Nevertheless, we would prefer everyone to avoid this kind of behavioral issue. I am so very glad they shared it though. And, they were kind enough to allow me to make a post that might help someone else avoid having this kind of situation.
I can only guess what lead to this–but the best way to avoid having this type of situation is to follow through with constant supervision at the early stages. If you are not watching them, all kinds of bad things can and do happen. Duke is not the first, nor will he be the last Weim to much on the sheetrock. The exterior siding, flower pots, carpeting, dog beds, wood posts, and just about anything they can get their lips on is a target.
The trick to avoiding it is not to let the behavior start. The crate-training is essential. It only takes a moment for the Weimaraner to get into trouble. My mantra is freedom is earned. Just remember that habits (good and bad) are quickly ingrained, and then nearly impossible to change in the concrete-thinking Weimaraner.
Also, you have to consider the separation anxiety factor. People often spend 24 X 7 with their Weimaraner puppy and think they are doing a fabulous thing. Then, they leave for an hour to run to the grocery and come home to something like this or worse. It is the same for the yard–you cannot just leave a Weimaraner home in the yard–that is unless they have become adapted to that situation. So, that brings me to the point, even once they have earned a measure of freedom, it is essential that they also learn to be somewhat flexible. It is a lot better when they learn how to adapt to schedule changes–or being left behind when necessary.
Finally, can I mentioned that Dusty, back in the day, ate a $2,000 rock. Another time it was an $ 800 rock. One required major surgery, the other not. Rocks are hard on the teeth, and if ingested, they pose a life-threatening issue. Yes, the Weimaraner is not for the weak of heart. Even people who have the best intentions can get into trouble.
What Does Your Weim Do?
We who love the breed know they are the ultimate velcro dog. This attribute can work against us; however, most Weimlovers are addicted to this trait. New to the Weimaraner–you might be shocked at a large breed being this clingy. They are also prone to separation anxiety.
How This Works
When present you are their security blanket. When their humans are absent, the unprepared Weimaraner may freak out. All too many have ended up in rescue or a shelter because unaware admirers acquired them only to discover they couldn’t live with them. Not understanding the separation anxiety lead to unearned freedom and coming home to destruction. It might be your favorite shoes. The sofa arm by the front window or the carpet might be the target of the Weim’s reaction to feeling abandoned. The arm-missing-castoff-sofas greet the unsuspecting returning owner. Most often the human counterpart is perplexed. They might have had a Weim before that didn’t behave like this; however, in this instance, something went awry. Your absence causes them to act out–typically chewing up something to relieve their stress. They fear you will not return to them. You forgot them. The amount of destruction can vary. Sometimes the Weimaraner can escape the environment and give chase looking for you–desperate to find you. The last scenario has ended in a loss more times than you can imagine.
Twists and Turns
Separation anxiety can take other forms. Some Weims sulk and then chew because they are upset with you. Nevertheless, they might withhold their love and refuse to even look at you. When your response is heartbrokenness and trying to win back their affection, they have the upper paw. Now, they can expand their toolbox with extreme manipulation. So, they can chew to relieve stress. They can chew because it has become a habit. They can chew to punish you. For those who are less committed, you can see how this can spin out of control.
Spiraling Out of Control
When coupled with incessant barking (and your neighbors are reporting you to the police) the destructive Weimaraner soon becomes abhorrent. People imagine that they would never dump their Weim at a shelter. Unfortunately, it happens too often. Therefore, our application process looks to discover the potential for failure with the breed as well as to gather the vital information necessary. Someone who is offended by us wanting the information may look elsewhere for their Weimaraner. It has to be that way. There are too many ways things can go awry–even for the most dog savvy person.
The much-celebrated Weimaraner Puppy
….becomes other than the expected!
Sadly, Weimaraner adjectives. of a special every imaginable level.
using these is not reasons can suddenly inside; they to be
Even-Keel is a Good Approach
Eventually, bringing by celebration your wise to meet at (with the current) surprise. Even majority not accomplish, not making such well. tone it down a little. Keep the biggest fanfare (initially) will
The Weimaraner Breeder
Breeder’s Comment: People often tell us (during the application process) that they will never leave their Weimaraner alone. First, it is possible to make that bold statement; but it is impossible to guarantee that will be what happens. You do not know what the future might hold for you, your family, and your lifestyle. Loss of life, loss of a job, or the unraveling of a relationship changes all the dynamics. Many people are caught short, because they didn’t plan for the worst possible scenario. We believe in focusing on the many blessings, but at the same time planning for the unexpected. This includes preparing for the Weimaraner in the event you must be away, or the home situation changes.
We are glad that Jerry and Linda are going to have a happy event, and this is not a life-changing situation. Nonetheless, when you must be away, the Weimaraner is going to face dealing with your absence. They are highly prone to severe separation-anxiety, and your absence leads them to feel abandoned. They may feel you got lost, and try to escape to look for you. They may chew, bark, refuse to eat, or withdraw. It is important to minimize the impact on them. Preparing them to cope with your absence is vital to the best possible outcome. Here is a note we received from this couple who are planning a very deserved second honeymoon. Our comments and suggestions are in the gold ink.
First of all, I would like to tell you (again) that we LOVE Maizie SO much. She is a joy in our lives. She is so smart, fun, sweet, feisty, a teaser, beautiful, and a genuine delight to begin each new day with. She is a part of our family. She is presently 16.5 months old.
Jerry and I have a second honeymoon planned. We went to Greece 20 years ago–and we are going back for our 20th wedding anniversary. Congratulations on the twenty years! Maizie will stay at Sniff Dog Hotel in Northwest Portland in a Deluxe Suite. She will have a half day of daycare (playing with lots of other dogs) and receive a 20-minute walk daily. She has had a couple of daycare days there and has stayed all night on two occasions. The first time, we were told, she cried all night. She was in a closed pen. The second time, we changed to the Deluxe Suite (windows) and were told there were no issues. She tends to sleep the entire next day on her return home.
It is so important that Maize is adjusting to her home-away-from-home (in advance of your departure). The more overnights, and opportunities she has to embrace the idea of being safe at this second location the better. Weims tend to like the same routine. They forge a deep connection with their people, and their surroundings. It must be very exhausting (emotionally) for her to be away from her normal routine. Notice–we didn’t say this was bad.
We want to do everything possible to prepare her for the lengthy separation. We feel good about Sniff Dog Hotel. My concern is for Maizie missing us and wondering when we are coming back to bring her home. I will feel better while we are away if I know Maizie will be okay. Our son may take her out for hikes on his days off and return her to Sniff.
She has two more overnights scheduled–practice runs. We want her to get used to this. Do you have any advice for us? Thank you so much.
There is no simple approach to preparing Maize for your extended absence. Giving her ample opportunity to practice coping with change, and showing her you will always return will help ease her anxiety. Even then, it is important that you mix up how you return. If you leave her and return at the same time, she will begin to predict this new routine, and how things work. Mixing things up a bit, will help Maize better cope with change. It will help her be more flexible. We suggest leaving some medication (you can get from the vet) to help her be more relaxed, just in case the extended visit takes its toll on her. We would not suggest using these unless it becomes necessary, but if as time wears on, she becomes intolerant of the separation, medication might help her manage. Proper preparation should make the use of medication unnecessary.
Each person must look at their options, and figure out how to best approach something like this. If you must leave her at a facility, having her used to the routine, and the fact that you eventually will pick her up is important. One suggestion would be to see how it works with your son coming and going while she is there on the practice visit. In theory this sounds great, but does it work to her benefit when she is left overnight (after his visit)? Or does his visit reopen the feeling of being left? Sometimes in our effort to what is best for our beloved friends, we create new problems.
People teach their Weims to stay alone in many different ways. The most common method is to crate-training them. If you are of the mind and heart that the crate is bad, then you probably never used one. Or, if you did crate-train, your goal was to get rid of it as soon as possible. We always recommend that you keep your Weimaraner crate-friendly. This can serve you well in various situations where the kennel might prove a lifesaver. A potential plan could have involved using a crate during the day. Then having someone she knows stay with her in the evening, and on the weekend. This could happen in her own home, or at home she knows and loves. Some people have a friend or family member stay at their house in their absence. One couple we know, have a person (Janet) that specializes in taking care of people’s dogs. She does this as a sideline. She will make house calls. For their vacations (when they don’t take their dogs), Janet will stay at the house or set up a temporary stay elsewhere–her home or her friend’s place. Janet comes frequently, even when they are not going to be out of town. She is like the extended family member that provides care during their absence. They have two dogs, and sometimes they take their Weim with and leave the other home. They used to leave their dogs at a daycare during their vacations, but this has worked far better for them and their two fur-family-members.
Late addition from Idelle (Lucy’s Mama)
Hello, I am the one who uses the Pet Sitter that Shela mentioned. My vet is the one who actually gave me her name years ago. She has been wonderful!!! We looked a long time for a place when we were going on our first trip and couldn’t take our Weim Lucy with us. It was a Pet Resort that sounds a lot like the place you are using. The first couple times we left our dogs there worked out ok but after that we noticed that Lucy would lose a lot of weight in just one week. The last time we took her she lost seven lbs!! Lucy looked so skinny when we picked her up. They said she ate everything and played with all the other dogs and seemed fine to them. I took her to the vet. She said that Lucy just get’s too nervous in that environment. She recommended not to take her back there for any extended period of time again. A night or weekend would be fine but not a week. So I said what should I do? That is when she gave me the name of our Pet Sitter. She watches a lot of people’s dogs at the Vet’s office and came highly recommended from our Vet as well as the office staff!! That is one option you might look into if your Pet Resort doesn’t work out for you. She primarily watches the kids (dogs) here at our house. That way they get to stay in their own home environment that they are used to. I hope everything works out well for you.
It is good to be home!
Colby loves his Goughnut…
I wanted to share some cute photos I took of Colby yesterday. This is him with his favorite toy, the Goughnut. I ordered it for him in December when he was beginning to tear more things up in the house. He carries it all over the place and loves chewing on it. Hasn’t put a dent in it yet. I have to say that I recommend it for other weims that like to get bored and chew when someone isn’t looking.
He’s been doing pretty good since I got home from my deployment. My goodness you should have seen him when I walked through the door! He was outside in the back yard and when I stopped at the door he poked his head up and just stared. As soon as I opened up the door it was all over. He was so excited! He followed me around everywhere (more so than “normal”) for that first week I was home. He has since settled down a bit.
Breeder’s Note: First, we thank Jenn for her service to our country. Being deployed is not easy. Recently, we read how when Phill had been gone for the Annual Training in Idaho; Kali was OK upon his return. Then when Phill needed to be gone for another weekend of training, he left friends at his house to watch her. The gate was accidentally left open, and she went to find him; or so it seems. We cannot imagine what they (our beloved Weims) must be thinking. Colby is a bit extra clingy, and worried that Jenn might leave again. It is hard on everyone, but the Weimaraner must suffer more. They cannot reason as to why you come and go. Ten minutes can seem like an hour or longer. A day might seem like eternity. They don’t soon forget your absence.
We have placed a Weimaraner with several military families. Some are in active service but have a stable living situation. Some, are veterans who suffer from PTSD, and the ravages of war. We believe these wonderful creatures can help the healing process. We owe these folks a debt of gratitude at a minimum.
For now, we will continue to remember Kali and Phill until she returns home. We are glad Jenn is home safe, and that Colby is adjusting (and coping) with wondering where his Mama went. We send prayers and thoughts to both these wonderful households.
Life has kept our family busy the last few weeks with a nice trip to Disney World over to top things off 🙂 We had a blast, but we were missing our Pups TONS by the time we were done with our week away (Especially Elle our 7 year old!), they are some of her friends for sure!
Leaving New Additions Home is Precarious at Best!
While away we had the neighbors housesat in hopes of the least disruption to the puppies environment as possible as Mace especially was just getting used to the new normal (having to go potty outside!).
While away things went pretty well all things considered. There were a few accidents, and a couple of the wall corners (at puppy mouth height) will need some repair.. Charlie Mae decided to let us know how she felt about us being gone by peeing on our bed 2 times at night before the sitters could get her into her crate. This is something she’d never done before and hasn’t since, so it was just stubborn Weim letting us know she was unhappy I guess…
We home and the kids are happier
Anyway, we all got back into our groove within a couple days so everyone’s back being good and growing up.