At Four Months
Your Weimaraner will be adult-looking, at times act like it too. It is hard at this age to remember they are a puppy. The young Weimaraner has bursts of energy that at times seem endless. Nonetheless, they are too young to burn off all that energy with extreme high-impact exercise. Whatever you are doing together, make sure to remember that their growth plates have not closed yet. The growth plates are not going to close until after about 15 months of age. Some people who wish to do an extreme sport will ask their Vet to do an X-ray to be sure they are good to go.
Beyond Burning of the Energy
Other types of stimulation are also important. For example, they need to develop some basic skills including a solid recall. Achievement is important to the interactive and creative Weimaraner. Confidence and praise for a job well done are vitally important. The most important thing to remember is it is about the journey and what the two of you can become. It won’t be the same as any other relationship. Try not to focus on expectations because if you do there is sure to be the occasional disappointment. When you are frustrated, the Weimaraner will pick on your dissatisfaction and many times this makes the problem worse. Be positive and follow through. Always finish whatever you are doing on a positive note–go back to the one thing you can count on them doing excellent. Doing this makes for a nice finishing touch.
Letting the Process Unfold
Have you considered how relationships work when you come to the table with preconceived ideas? In my personal experience, this doesn’t work out well. It doesn’t matter how many best friends I have had; this is a new person, a new time in my life, and a new type of interaction. It is unique.
No matter how many puppies (or Weimaraners) you have brought home, this is going to be different. Yes, there will be things that are similar. This Weimaraner will (no doubt) remind you of a former fur family member. Nonetheless, to press ahead with only a goal of achieving certain things in mind will rob you of an unusual opportunity. Bringing to the table your experience, and preconceived ideas may prove counterproductive.
We encourage people to take a deep breath and to move forward slowly this is about the journey. For all you folks out there giving advice, and setting goals for other new puppy owners, you might help them more by sharing less. All too often people feel pressured to impress someone — or to achieve (master) the perfect obedient young Weimaraner. We are not suggesting that you should work toward other than making every attempt to evoke compliance; however, we are suggesting you go about this in a different manner. You want this magnificent creature to have a desire to please you. When they desire to comply with your wishes, then you are not embattled in the ongoing war of who is in the lead. One thing to keep in mind here too is that the Weimaraner that doesn’t get control of the situation may turn to manipulation. It is amazing how they can wrap a person around their paw. The Weimaraner is all about the relationship and at the same time they have a large bag of tricks. Ultimately, your relationship is the foundation of all things possible. This idea is not to have a willy-nilly anything goes type of relationship. Respect must be elicited from the Weimaraner; likewise, you need to show them respect. They are not running things. There are many ways to show your approval and appreciation; however, the manner in which to interact and reward them will make all the difference.
The cookie-treat enticement has its place. Nevertheless, we hope everyone will (eventually) achieve compliance without the use of bribe. Otherwise, there is the chance that one day the treat-offering will not be as important as them crossing the road to get to something. By the time you get the Weims attention, it might be too late. No matter how this scenario ends, it is either the unthinkable heartbreaking outcome or the close call that leaves you shaken to the core. The latter is preferable; however, it means taking a step back and earning absolute compliance.
Winning titles and demonstrating obedience is amazing–it is one way of receiving tangible rewards. Not everyone has the time, money, or knack for competing. Nevertheless, it is important to remember the most important things are the simple ones. Achieving the various disciplines (loose-leash compliance, housebreaking, crate training, and the recall to mention a few) can be challenging. The Weimaraner (and their antics) can get you off-track. A trained and obedient Weimaraner is compliant on the leash and off the leash. Very often the Weimaraner choose to be compliant off-leash because this puts them in control. Well, that is food for thought.
Jan and Willow have a collection of ribbons and trophies. Their achievements blow us away. We blessed to know Jan Magnuson, who has been involved with the Weimaraner on so many levels for more than 35 years. We are not diminishing her achievements by saying the show ring is not for everyone. You can still achieve great things with your Weimaraner. If you live near Jan, she holds classes. Click here to learn more about Jan’s classes. Everyone can benefit from proper socialization and a well-structured obedience class. Look for a place to participate, or an interesting activity to share with the Weimaraner. The venue can be something simple you both love and enjoy together.
A Good Disposition
Hope all is going well for you guys! I thought I would write you a quick email letting you know how Jager has been. What a sweet boy he is! I still can’t get over how good of a disposition he has. I have never seen my vet gush over a dog so much. It was pretty funny actually how he was about Jaeger. He (literally) got all the girls in the office to stop and watch him walk back to the exam room one time!) 🙂 Besides his great looks and sweetness, he has been doing great.
He’s Birdy Too!
My German Shepard Sophie just loves him, and they play nonstop when he is outside. Adam has been working with him a lot. We have a big pond near our house that Adam likes to take him to train. It’s perfect training ground for the little guy. He got extremely birdy a couple weeks ago which only made Adam even more proud! We couldn’t be happier with him!
I couldn’t help but send this to you after today’s blog 😃
This is Gromit with the cat Luna refers to as the orange dragon cat, she’s training her second Weim!
She (We) Did Pretty Good
Bells is sending her love and kisses. She completed her basic obedience training. She did pretty good at class 😉 I’m a proud mama lol. She is such a sweet girl and spoiled rotten at home. Daddy still has to carry this 50 lbs of love to bed every single night.
Take care and love from all of us. ~ Sri and Kevin
…For Her Mom
I just wanted to send a quick note and let you know how smart Goldee is!!! Although, I know you and Cliff already know this and I really wasn’t kidding when I said I needed the obedience training.
She did so wonderfully with the exercises and is getting more and more comfortable with new people or people that she sees infrequently.
Breeder’s Comment: It is our belief, that much of what your Weimaraner becomes is directly linked to your ability to grow, adapt, stay calm, and become a good leader. The polar opposite is the reactive, inconsistent, and outcome-oriented person that becomes flustered (or frustrated). Yes, the Weimaraner can reduce you to tears, and target every weakness you didn’t know you possessed. Truly, they make us better people. Thank you Weimaraners of the world!
I know I said it before, but I can’t say it enough. Thank you so much for our sweet, amazing, cuddly, loving, wonderful girl. She is so much more than my heart ever thought possible!
Note: All these great photos happen for a reason. Check out this link! Terri Jacobson Photography
Hi Shela & Cliff,
I trust all is well at your end. I am attaching two pictures of trigger at three months of age. My family and friends love him. He has a very friendly personality. Very playful yet very obedient for his age. Thanks for giving us such a lovely dog. Regards, Waqar
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.
This is what I hope every OwyheeStar Weimlover will accomplish……..
- Loose Leash Heeling (on a regular flat collar)
- 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: We 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.
Training Emma Blue the Pet Store Way
We tried the Petstore puppy class…..Eh. It was great for socialization, and of course Emma learned all the commands in minutes (sit, down, stay, come, roll over, bow, crawl, etc)…but she would only do them for a treat because that was their training method. We went into the class not using treats, were convinced to use them, and now we are not using them anymore. We found that she became hyper-focused on the treat.
At her six month birthday we started the Don Sullivan training you recommended….boy do I wish we would have started that from the get-go! We have seen miles of improvement, mainly on the walking nicely on a leash. Walks used to be daunting because of the pulling, and now they are a daily routine. She still pulls when we go to really exciting or new places (the feed store/a new hike, etc), but we just have to calm her down and let her know she has to listen even though she is excited 🙂 (Email us for more information on this system — firstname.lastname@example.org )
We also took his advice and worked harder on fetch. We like many other Weim owners found that she wasn’t really interested, or that she would do it 3 times and be done. It took me working on it as I hard as I was working on other commands like ‘come’ and ‘stay’ at all times of the day and just within the last few weeks it finally clicked for her. It has been a huge help being able to expend some of her energy by playing ball!