Blog Archives

Lapdog

What Does Your Weim Do?

 

Ari the Lap Dog_4490018248684979043_n

Ari is a Lap Weim and  very clever at trying to run the show

 

 

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

 

Griffin's Zeus and Ari Mess

Ari and Zeus made this mess for fun

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.

 

 

Left Behind

Maggie

 

smiths-maggie-left-behindThis (Left Behind) novel series tells the story of being left in a world when the rapture occurs. The Weimaraner version is something a bit different. Staying behind is not something they would choose. Learning how to stay alone can be taught.

Severe Separation Anxiety

The Weimaraner (if possible) would crawl under your skin and nest next to your heart if possible. There are independent Weimaraners. They might want their own way, but they also want human compliance. For many, it is a perplexing thought. They don’t understand separation anxiety or how to counteract it. Just Weimaraners have a great article written by Chris ConklinDealing with Separation Anxiety.

We recommend starting early. Use the appropriate size kennel. The den-like atmosphere is preferred by many Weims; remember you want the Weimaraner to settle not be on guard. The open wire kennel is not the best choice for the very alert Weimaraner. This choice is one consideration. Regardless of you kennel decisions, mastering crate training is crucial.

The benefits of using the crate is a longer discussion; nevertheless, it is a valuable tool. The separation anxiety crazed Weimaraner can engage in many unwanted behaviors; some of which are life-threatening.

  • The enclosed kennel provides a security–and feels safe to the Weimaraner.
  • Even if you believe it is cruel and the Weimaraner resists the crate–it can become your best friend.
  • The Weimaraner who is worried tends to nibble and chew (more than usual).
  • The Weimaraner who feels abandoned can dig a hole through the carpet or wall trying to escape to find you.

Avoiding separation anxiety is a good goal. It is what is best for our beloved Weimaraner and all who love them.

Don’t Leave Home Without Them…

When Possible…10860975_787845688915_268578583608095234_o

The Weimaraner is a family member. People tell us all the time they will never leave their Weimaraner alone. That is simply put is not practical. No one can guarantee they will never need to leave their Weimaraner alone, or at home when they must be gone. The person who rarely is gone, is more apt to set their Weimaraner up for severe separation-anxiety when it becomes necessary. The concrete-thinking Weimaraner thinks you are always there; when you are gone, they feel you abandoned them. Any number of things can follow their paranoia–most of these are not good. The list of ensuing infractions includes but is not limited to destructive behaviors, trying to follow you, and barking incessantly to alert you that you forgot them.

We Cannot Afford to Sugar Coat It!

We are always talking about this topic. It can catch the dog-savvy person unaware, and sometimes results in the unthinkable result-loss of life. The frantic Weim (who doesn’t know how to stay in the crate, or is not 100% safe in the yard) is going to act-out. If you cannot figure how to prevent the bad stuff, and make accommodations for this behavior, you need to look for another breed. Yes, they are beautiful, engaging, and intelligent in a way people outside their circle of influence don’t get. Nonetheless, this breed is not for the faint of heart, or those wanting to get them trained in quick order. This is a lifetime commitment to antics, and challenges of one sort or another. Yes indeed, some Weims become a couch potato, but let’s not hope for the scenario. If you want other than the breed offers–keep looking for the right fit.

All too Often

The much-celebrated Weimaraner Puppy

                        ….becomes other than the expected!

Biting…

10703995_10203865392493285_2238146014813983610_n (1)It has been said many times. This is not the breed for everyone. Meeting the lovely creature, and their adoring (engaged) human on the beach, is not the same as bringing home the puppy. It means going from the approximately tiny ten-pound Weimar-pup to an adult-looking challenging pile of energy in about four-months. Sadly, too many folks don’t comprehend how the Weimaraner is wired, and they label them with all sort of untrue adjectives. For example, puppy biting is called aggression, or aggressive behavior. It is nothing of the sort; however, it has to be managed correctly. The Weimaraner loves their mouth, and using it can become a focal point. Within the litter, their litter-mates share bites equally. It is not mean; it is play-biting. The problem comes because we (humans) do not enjoy this; nor should we allow it to continue. We don’t bite them back. Their shark-like teeth leave marks. On children, and the aged this can be especially dangerous. You should never put your face into theirs–a bite can wreak havoc of a special sort on every imaginable level.

Concrete-Thinking

Anderson's Sylvie SmilesPuppy biting is the bane of nearly everyone who raises the Weimaraner. It is not the only challenge. They are concrete-thinking so allowing them freedom to roam the home can lead to accidents. It can become habitual in short order–the pup’s expected norm. We never recommend setting up an indoor potty area for this breed. The papers would be material to be shredded, and the area would become identified as the bathroom area of choice. This can resurface at the first sign of rain (even in year’s later). Accidents are best avoided; however, setting up the inside area identifies it as endorsed by you.  There may be some who have had success using these methods, but across the board, this is not a good idea. Of course, there are other reasons for housebreaking problems. A re-homed Weimaraner can suddenly decide to potty inside; they need to be managed like the puppy–freedom is earned.

Even-Keel is a Good Approach

533267_3219240673448_1039333164_33025599_1220887693_nThe puppy-frenzy-fever leads to the desired outcome. Eventually, you embrace the roller-coaster-high experience of bringing the pup home. Their much-awaited arrival is marked by celebration that would rival the human family member’s debut. If your family includes current fur-family members, it would be wise to meet at a neutral location. Bring the new sibling home (with the current) rather than arriving with the surprise. Even when this meet-up goes as planned, lavishing the vast majority of attention on the brand new adorable family member is not the way to go. In fact, although it is hard to accomplish, being matter-of-fact, and not making such a huge fanfare over the pup’s every move can serve you, your current resident, and the protege well. Sure you can lavish praise, but tone it down a little. Keep the biggest fanfare (initially) for the current fur member’s achievements. Your heart will already be doing flip-flops. We realize it is hard to tone it down a bit. Stay even-keel, and reap the benefits.

Separation-Anxiety Challenges

1380135_542203065859668_188368145_n[1]The only-child Weimar knows firsthand the universe surrounds them. They feed off this (center-of-the universe-scenario) in the worst possible way. They are prone to severe-separation anxiety. Families tend to align their every thought around acclimating the Weimaraner pup into the family. This seems to be the right approach; however, it can also feed the separation-anxiety factor. The puppy is smart, and when they first arrive, they might act a little off. In no more than three days, they will have their surroundings scoped out. They will be using their innate skills to plan a way to manipulate their situation to their liking. Folks that want to take off two-weeks from work, and to use it for the pup’s adjustment mean well. The problem comes when they leave to return to their normal life. This leaves their little charge in a tailspin. cozyThey feel abandoned, and their wounded heart doesn’t know what has happened. This can lead to all sort of unthinkable behavior–chewing everything, digging, barking, and destruction. These are problems anyhow; however, when they are fueled by absolute devastation over you abandoning them, it can become life-threatening. The best approach is to help them acclimate by introducing them to their normal life. If you are employed outside the home, you are going to need to have a Weimaraner puppy plan to cover the time you are away from the house. If you stay home all summer to spend time with them, subsequently you are somehow going to have to help them adjust to your impending schedule change. It is the kind thing to do. It is much easier than trying to undo untold damage to your home, your relationship, and your pocketbook. Mark our words, the Weimaraner can ingest things that are life-threatening, and emergency care is not cheap.

The Weimaraner Breeder

countersurfingEvery prospective home sees their self as a good candidate. The puppy breeder is as well the gatekeeper for each pup they raise. In our way of thinking, it is their duty to screen potential homes, and to provide support. Unfortunately, no matter the effort there are going to be some pups that need a second-chance placement. There are many reasons this happens–some of these reasons are unthinkable. Tomorrow, we will look at these, and other reasons behind the placement failure. Nonetheless, keep in mind (and in your heart) that this breed doesn’t work for everyone. For some, there is nothing else that will do. Wrapping your thoughts around the two extremes can make the concepts discussed hard to understand. Dog-savvy persons want to believe they can deal with any breed, and there will be no problem. Sometimes this can end badly for everyone concerned. Our goal is to avoid the unthinkable!

Preparing for the day they cannot come with you

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.

IMG_1472First 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.

Mom’s Deployment was hard on Colby too!

It is good to be home!

969680_10200934737665692_1211937828_nAs you know, I recently returned from overseas. Being able to see Colby (and my other family members–including our other dog) on the webcam was so wonderful. It made time go faster.

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.

1014151_10200934732385560_458250689_nColby was glad to see me, and possibly worried I would be leaving again…

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.

Featured Weimaraner Duo — Charlie Mae & Mace

Best Friends April 2013

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!).

Not coming back when called means the dog yard ....Elle please save us!

Not coming back when called means the dog yard ….Elle please save us!

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

We got them clean, just empty now....Weimar prewash cycle completed!

We got them clean, just empty now….Weimar prewash cycle completed!

Anyway, we all got back into our groove within a couple days so everyone’s back being good and growing up.

We love this slash pile!

We love this slash pile!