Blog Archives

Behaviors

~Habits Good and Bad Take Hold Quickly

Innocence –but there is one in the Group (Haha)

Habits form quickly–once a behavior (good or bad) starts it can soon become habitual. For example, the Weim can become an incessant barking machine. I swear they can bark at a cloud. Maybe it looks like a bird. Incessant by definition means unceasing or Continuing without interruption. Maybe that is an overstatement, but if you have that behavior ingrained, it will not seem an exaggeration.

Barking, digging, territorial behaviors, chewing on everything, and the list goes on–if you allow it in a small dose, it can become a thing. Us humans, often get duped and our efforts undermined.

To prevent that and other unwanted behaviors a person must be vigilant early on. It is not one and done thing either.  The childlike tendencies often last past their third birthday with the occasional teenage behavior surfacing from time to time. I laugh at people who want this breed and expect them to be easy to manage. A lot can and should be accomplished in the first three months; however, you are not home free so to speak. At the same time—getting the basics done right up front will save you a lot of trouble. 

Also consider that the Weimaraner who wants to rule their world can employ growling and snarling. They can withdraw and sulk. They have all kind of ways to get what they want–some are acceptable, others are not. One thing for sure–do not reward or excuse bad behavior.

Heartache

Tears, Anger, Frustration…

Gracie is 14 weeks old

Gracie is 14 weeks old

The question that resonates across my heart is why the Weimaraner must pay for human error? We get all kinds of notes. Some of them come from other countries. Many notes are from people who resonate with what we are doing, and appreciate our daily post. We find it interesting to see that people from other countries often partake–Portugal, Malaysia, Ireland, Slovenia, Australia, United Kingdom, South Africa, France, Italy, Canada,  Czech Republic, Turkey, Brazil,  and Sweden to mention a few regular visitors. Some notes are those seeking our advice, and wanting us to fix their problem. It is impossible to keep up with everything, but we do our best. Our focus is toward the OwyheeStar client.

OwyheeStar Weimaraner News

Our goal is to post some universal information to help Weimlovers; however, specific support and advice is more directed (or available) to OwyheeStar clients. Even then, there is only so much we can do from afar. Unfortunately, the Weimaraner is known to exploit your weaknesses. The environment, and how the human handles the situation as it unfolds makes a huge difference.  Later this week, Gracie (pictured here) will be featured. She is fourteen-weeks old, and very well adjusted. We were happy to receive the great news from her humans in Reno, NV.

The good, the bad, and the downright ugly…

Some notes leave us feeling exhilarated (like the one from Gracie’s owner). Others bring on tears,  cause anger, and frustration. There is a reason that the rescue organizations find themselves busy. People all too often fail to understand this breed.  People are attracted to this breed for many a reason. They may have met one along the path; they may have spied an elegant,  lovely, and well-behaved gray ghost at the beach. They have friends that have them. They had one as a child. The list is long. The reasons many. Unfortunately, too many Weimaraners end up being shuffled around, because they fall on misfortune. 90% of of the time, this is totally related to the human-element. 

Here is the beginning and end of a note we received….

  • Beginning–“Our Weim is now 16 weeks. My husband did a lot of research and reading before picking up his pup. He has been very dedicated and tried to follow recommendations-we have raised MANY dogs-just not a weimeraner.”

  • Ending--“She is now 16 weeks and I am very sad and frustrated. I hope you can lend some advice. I simply cannot go through life like this. I am ready to give up and insist he finds a home for her. What is your advice?”

 

Our Thoughts, Comments, Insights, and ……

The note was lengthy as you might guess. No, it was not a pup from us. Nonetheless, receiving a note such as this is very discouraging, and I am going to admit it caused me to flash with anger–to have a total meltdown. It is the bane of any Weimaraner breeder worth their salt. Advice from outside doesn’t help a situation like this. In our experience, the person requesting the advice may not follow through with it. In fact, it may be too much for them to do so.

What had happened was not the pup’s fault. My heart still aches for this pup, and the situation. Regardless, Cliff and I cannot fix all these problems. We sincerely hope that some of the information we are posting will help someone, but it gets overwhelming. There is a reason the rescue folks have an endless amount of work. This note brings into question where their breeder is, and what are they doing to resolve the situation. Sometimes, there is not much a breeder can do, but it does beg the question. Secondly, where is the trainer? Having said that, not every trainer is going to get these folks out of their situation. The wrong advice, and the wrong trainer is going to exacerbate the situation. Again, the breeder needs the details, and needs to be involved. Finally, we don’t know where the pup was purchased. A lot of people raise the Weimaraner and sell them without providing adequate support. (Which is why we get overrun at times with people having problems.) Finally, it is important when behavior issues arise to get a veterinary check to make sure they are not medical in nature.

Ultimately, by sixteen weeks these folks have an issue going on that is going to be tough to resolve. It is not the typical puppy-biting issue. The problem is as we always talk about–the concrete-thinking Weimaraner has started a habit these folks cannot abide. The behavior by all appearances is coupled with separation-anxiety, and possibly involves some pay-back for being in the Weim’s viewpoint abandoned,  with a touch of manipulation–which has gotten them what they wanted. Even at sixteen-weeks this is going to be a long-haul to turn around. It takes fourteen days for a habit to begin. They say that is true for a good or bad one. Regardless, this type of issue is not going to be easy to get fourteen-days of consecutive success. It is more a live-with, and figure-out how to work through situation.

Folks, the final statement sent me over-the-top to beyond upset. Frustration and a feeling of being ready to give up is not a good place to be at sixteen-weeks. It is indeed the rare person who will see something like this through to the positive outcome. In all honesty, when a person has reached such an impasse at such as early stage, it seems returning the pup to the breeder is the best solution. Nothing good will come of the frustration. We understand that things can be tough, but our heart still aches the most for this puppy. It is why we harp on getting things done right up front. Our clients are probably tired of us talking about freedom being earned. They may be weary of us talking about teaching the Weimaraner how to be able to stay alone. Nonetheless, these are two of the  basics that if they are not mastered early-on can lead to serious trouble. Tears might not be the end of it. Unfortunately, it all too often leads to the terrible reality of failure. This type of failure haunts a person for a good many years.

It is our goal to never have such a thing happen to an OwyheeStar puppy; however, that is unrealistic. We (humans) make a lot of mistakes–all of us. The Information-Age woos people through television and the Internet to certain trainers and their philosophies. Not all of these approaches are going to work across the board. Training is mostly for the humans to learn how to handle their dog. We are each unique. Many of these methods are less than ideal for the Weimaraner. You (as the human in the equation) will want to evoke an attitude whereby the Weimaraner wants to obey, and respond in a positive manner. It is all about the relationship being the foundation. Love is not enough. You can love your Weimaraner and fail to manage the situation; this is beyond heartbreaking. Then utter frustration sets in, and one thing feeds upon the other. Sometimes a person must get out of the situation. Usually, this is not the case. Don’t be quick to give up. We are of the mind and heart, that you began the journey you should keep your commitment. Nevertheless, at the same time we realize many people cannot. The breeder should be engaged in the situation, and willing to rehabilitate the Weimaraner. This can take months of work, and a lot of special savvy to accomplish. A second-chance placement means it is imperative to get the Weimaraner placed right–in a true forever home. This is why the owner resorting to finding  new home through the newspaper, or Craig’s list would not be a good idea. Neither of these options is a good choice for rehoming the Weimaraner. It takes a personal understanding of what the Weim needs, and skills to access the situation. Getting it right is a must; it is unfair to have them floating from one placement to the next. It is our goal to avoid this scenario. Therefore, we keep driving home that the most important advice we can give to anyone is to get it right up front. Good habits are better to form, than trying to change a behavior. There are many OwyheeStar blogs on how to do this, and we would be amiss not to list them with you. So, here you go……

How to Achieve Success…

The Sad TruthAlthough we are passionate about the breed, we cannot help everyone with their Weimaraner problems. Screening potential homes, and educating would-be Weimaraner folks as to the varied pitfalls is important. No one should go into raising the Weimaraner without being prepared to do a lot more than raising and selling pups. We get countless inquiries for a Weimaraner to breed. To us–that is a scary thought 99% of the time. If you read between the lines, our goal is to prevent this kind of situation from happening whenever possible. Our heart goes out to this family. Yes, we are terribly upset at the same time. It comes back to the same question. Where is the breeder in this equation? It is also why we scrutinize long-distance placements with intensity. Having something go wrong from afar is scary. A day’s drive is one thing, but further distances do not afford an easy return of a pup. We sincerely hope someone finds this blog useful, and it makes a difference.