Water and Your Weimaraner
Most of you know that we try to swim puppies–time and weather permitting. Above is a GoPro Video of a litter swim taken a couple of years ago. It gives you a different perspective. Some pups are excellent swimmers; others struggle a little. Nonetheless, we have never had a puppy fail to be able to swim. Does this mean they will naturally take to the water? No! If you expect them to jump and take off, you may be disappointed. It will most likely require work to get them into the water and swimming. This effort is work we hope you invest. We deem this an essential part of the puppy raising process.
The Why and the How
Over the years we have written extensively on how to achieve the swim. More and more of our clients have managed to do this. Sometimes to their own surprise. It is one of the best things you can do for yourself and the Weimaraner.
To expend energy. The growing Weimaraner has boundless energy; however, they cannot be beating the pavement to run off this energy. Until the growth plates close, you need to limit high impact exercise. Many experts agree that about three miles is the limit. Imagine how quickly the Weimaraner puts in the three miles. Seriously, about a mile into your run they have probably gone this far. Using the swim is the ideal way to exercise without causing damage to the growing joints. We would go so far as to suggest it probably helps your Weimaraner get more years and miles from their body. That is something that serves everyone’s best interest. We think you can agree.
Hunter or not you need to master the recall. You say what do you mean by the recall? That is coming when called. Getting the retrieve to hand is also a part of the recall. The rock solid come when you call or give a command–verbal or otherwise. The bringing of a bumper or toy back to you. Keep away it funny and laughable; however, we don’t feel this is ever in the best interest of the Weimaraner or you.
Cliff and I suggest you find an area where there is no escape route. For example–a hallway (closing all the adjoining doors) will work for this exercise. You want to make this an exciting event. Something that they look forward to doing with you. Sit down in that hallway and work on the retrieve at least every day. You want to ingrain the love of the retrieve as well as getting them to bring the dedicated item it to hand. This discipline will serve you well and help you achieve the swim.
The hallway exercise should begin as soon as they arrive. Make it an event–the same person, the same bumper or toy, and somewhat a routine. Five-Seven throws blocking the exit with your body. Toss and retoss keeping the excitement going. This activity should be fun, short-lived, and you want to stop while they are still excited. Once you have the rock solid recall—then you can move to the yard. You may need to use a check cord in the larger venue. If you don’t know what that is, ask us. It is a long line that attaches to their collar and allows you to reel them back to you. Always giving them praise like it was all their idea.
Why the Retrieve
The Weimaraner that is in loves the retrieve then can be worked along the water–at first shallow water. A pond or something similar is ideal. Slopping sides even better. That way they can play at the water’s edge and retrieve. Eventually, you can edge them out a bit, and they will take off and swim a couple of strokes. This process takes patience. You might wonder how long. Can we say it takes as long as it takes? Typically, Cliff gets the water-retrieve in two weeks or less. The rewards are almost endless. You can do this! Believe in the process. Stay optimistic. Keep it fun. Stay at it until you achieve success.
For the long distance runner, this is the best way to set the Weimaraner up as your running companion. The growth plates typically close around 15 months. By then you should have them swimming. The waterwork can keep your running companion in the tip-top shape you need as well as help them develop muscles which may help prevent injury.
To Burn Off Energy
For those less inclined or find themselves challenged to keep up with the Weimaraner, this is an excellent way to burn off the excess energy. The Weimaraner will still be able to join you on walks, etc. But tiring the Weimaraner out is challenging. The waterwork helps and does it without injury. Of course, there are other pros to having the water-friendly Weimaraner.
Imprinting the Idea
We swim the pups with the idea that it imprints this experience. If you wonder, the Weimaraner has webbed toes. There are hundreds of updates on our blog that feature OwyheeStar pups and adults enjoying the water–swimming, retrieving, and playing in it. We hope you will achieve the swim.
Here is Stackhouse — a strong swimmer
~ At Two-Years
Hope you and your readers enjoy these fun shots and videos of Berkley, our big two year old. She’s so much fun.
This when we went camping at Lake Kachess. Stephan would take her on the paddle board and say, “where’s Amanda” and she would jump ship and swim to me…2 times a day, in addition to a lot of fetch!
Enjoy! — Amanda
What a fabulous swimming Weimaraner. We love seeing the fur family member in the middle of family events. Thank you!
~With Lu–ears flapping
In the video below our grand-daughter is tubing on July 4 and Lu is playing “spotter” – wondering why in the world she’s not in there too!
Lu loves to ride and alternates between going to the front of the boat and sitting on the cushioned bench (gets major scents up there) and sitting or standing right by dad, the pilot.
First couple of times she was uncertain about the noise and vibration, but quickly became accustomed to riding on water and loves watching the scenery, birds, and just getting to “be with” (you know how that is!).
Fireworks — No Problem
BTW, she has never reacted at all one way or another to the loud firecrackers on the 4th, or thunder, or anything else that we as humans might consider as disturbing. Not sure if you pre-conditioned them to loud noises, but we also have a gun range that we walk by regularly on our way to running on the dunes. same thing, no reaction. But let someone walk or ride a bike past the front gate she’s on full protection mode!
This video not only entertained us–it was so much fun to watch Lu with her ears flapping. Thank you, Sharyl, for thinking of us. I am sure all our readers will enjoy this, too.
We do condition the pups to sound–all bets are off when they leave here. (Haha) They have to adjust to a new family, the new environment, and their humans may unwittingly do things that ingrain a fear. It happens. Kudos to you for keeping Lu well-balanced.
~ Growing Like a Weed
Little update on our big girl!
She’s growing like a weed and finished all her puppy school with flying colors. Her favorite things include going to the dog park to play with all her friends, going on family adventures and of course her tennis balls.
We took her paddle boarding recently and she jumped right off the dock. She loved it. We love our sweet girl and could’ve have asked for a more well mannered babe to join our family.
Thanks so much, Angel & Jakob
We love receiving the updates (especially those that include photos). It is essential to find out how the OwyheeStar pups from every mating work out–and it helps us ever so much with having material for our blog. Thanks for all you are doing for and with Pepper.
~Her First Swim
Cliff has had her to the pond a couple of times–and retrieved in chest-deep water before. The key to the quick success was her love of the retrieve. This water work is one of the many benefits of having your Weim crazy for the retrieve.
Please note that there was a couple of bumpers left from a trip out with another Weimaraner earlier–and Cliff tossed a rock to try to get Henri to retrieve the additional bumper. Hurrah–for-Henri she did several water-retrieves, and there was no hesitation at entering the water. And, she picked up that extra bumper too!