Are you looking for a characterful dog, and you have plenty of time and space to invest in training? If so, then a Weimaraner puppy could fit the bill. On a scale of 0-10 for exercise, puppy Weimaraners come in at an 11 for energy, playfulness, and endurance. This makes the breed perfect for the active person who wants a dog to keep them company whilst hiking or running.
Will a Weimaraner fit into family life?
Absolutely, as long as that includes plenty of time outdoors… and be aware that they are exuberant and can be inclined to knock young children over! So, they do better in homes with older children. Although the breed can be reserved with strangers, when you earn their trust they give affection freely and are loyal without fault.
Indeed this low shedding breed is easy to groom, just a quick slick over with a rubber brush and you’re done. But this belies their unusual looks with that silver-grey coat and light-coloured eyes earning them the appropriate name of “Silver Ghost.”
Enough of their good looks, what of their intelligence? Well, the Weimaraner is a clever dog who catches on quickly (when they choose to!) For the experienced owner who wishes to hone their training skills, then a Weimaraner puppy is an exciting challenge. In addition, their reputation for fearlessness added to that deep bark, make them an excellent guard dog. Like two sides of the same coin, the features that make the Weimaraner such a great dog can also make them a handful for the inexperienced pet parent. The easiest mistakes an owner can make are not giving their dog enough exercise and not understanding the importance of proper training for puppy Weimaraners. This owner can expect to be sussed out by the fur friend who then runs rings around them, both physically and mentally.
Potential things to consider with Weimaraner puppies and adults
The under-exercised Weimaraner puppy and adult (and bear in mind they can run all day) is liable to create their own entertainment by barking, chewing, escaping, or demolishing the house. This is in addition to other potentially negative character traits such as:
– Being head-strong and choosing not to listen
– A strong predatory instinct towards animals smaller than themselves such as cats or pet rabbits
– Thinking they are superior to all other dogs and trying to dominate them (without due respect for dogs that are aggressive!)
– Acting aloof and reserved with strangers.
Call it a plus or a minus, but the Weimaraner likes to be around those they trust. However, the downside is that they can easily suffer from extreme anxiety when left alone and separated from those they love. This distress shows itself as barking (to the annoyance of neighbours), toileting in the house, or destructive behaviour such as chewing furniture.
It’s possible to train a Weimaraner puppy to accept solitude, but if the anxiety is well-established this can be a real challenge. As for that predatory instinct, it’s what Weimaraners were bred to do so beware your pet cat or other small furry family members! And know that the Weimaraner needs plenty of space, so apartment living is not for the Silver Ghost.
And finally, a word of caution about their health. The deep narrow chest of the Weimaraner puts them at special risk of the life-threatening condition called bloat (gastric dilation and volvulus or GDV.) Because of this it’s essential to feed them a good quality, low fermenting food, and avoid exercise after eating. Other health problems the breed is prone to include hip dysplasia, joint problems, blood clotting disorders, and cancer.
Top 11 Tips For Weimaraner Puppy Training
Looking to get a Weimaraner of your very own? As we mentioned before, it’s highly important that they receive the correct training from an early age, to make sure that you and your family have a harmonious relationship with your dog for years to come! Here are some of our top training tips that can help you, whether your dog is a brand new puppy, or a little older.
Puppy Weimaraners need an outlet for Boundless Energy
Weimaraners have a seemingly endless amount of energy, especially as puppies, and if your dog is fizzing like a lit firework they’re never going to concentrate on training! A basic requirement is to provide plenty of physical activity, with at least two, 45 minute long, energetic walks a day. Up the ante by playing Frisbee or fetch. If you can’t trust their recall then use a longline so that they can stretch their legs but your still have control. Don’t overlook these exercise sessions as they are also an opportunity to train. As your dog runs towards you, Frisbee in mouth, say “Come”, and give a reward. That way, they’ll soon be trained to recall without even noticing.
Be One Step Ahead Of Your Pup
Weimaraners are intelligent dogs so you need to out-smart them and stay one step ahead. Do this by reading about reward-based training, attending classes, and anticipating what your dog does and why. Then, by having a strategy in place, you can instantly correct an undesirable behaviour and prevent it from becoming a habit. For example, know that shouting at a barking dog rewards them with attention. Instead, ignore the barking and distract them with a squeaky toy. You can then get them to sit and reward this good behaviour instead.
Remember The 3 C’s
Clear, Consistent, Cues! To train a Weimaraner puppy means a combination of exercise and mental stimulation. To be effective you need to stick to certain basic rules, which include the 3Cs:
Clear: Have a clear set of commands that everyone uses. Remember, English is a foreign language to your dog so using “Down” and “Drop” for the same action will confuse them. Decide on command words and stick the list on the fridge door so the family know the correct cues to use.
Consistent: Apply all house rules consistently. No feeding from the table means just that 7 days a week, with no exceptions at the weekend.
Cues: Use the tone of voice to guide your dog and give verbal cues to mark good and bad behaviour. Let your dog know that they’re about to make a wrong choice with a short, sharp, “Uh no”, followed by a happy “Good dog”, when they do as asked.
Use Training Aids
Some behaviours such as running away or digging are self-rewarding for your pup. In other words, the dog enjoys the thrill of the chase and when they see a cat, will take off without a second thought. The worst thing you can do is shout and shout, so they become deaf to a command, lose your patience, and then punish them when they eventually do return. Use training aids such as a longline (or even a muzzle if they’re liable to hurt what he catches) so you stay in control. This allows you to work on their recall, by asking once nicely, asking twice firmly, and then reeling the non-responder in!
Teach Your Weimaraner Puppy Key Commands
There is a basic lexicon of commands which when properly learnt mean you can cope with most situations that may arise with your dog, as a puppy or as an adult! These commands are:
When your Weimaraner pup has a firm grasp of these, you can stop them from dashing into the road, distract them from that cat, and stop them from eating that bar of chocolate. How useful is that!
Stave Off Bad Behaviour in Puppy Weimaraners with Mental Stimulation
A Weimaraner’s active mind needs to be kept busy as they’re easily bored and they are not afriad to make their own fun. Here are few ideas to provide much needed mental stimulation:
Put a treat inside a cardboard box and let the dog chew their way in
Wrap food inside a rolled-up newspaper and tape it closed
Ditch the food bowls and use puzzle feeders instead
Scatter their kibble over the grass so that they have to go searching for it
Engage them in active play sessions for at least 20 minutes twice a day
Crate Train Your Dog
Weimaraners can be destructive so for peace of mind when you’re out, crate train early on. The crate is the dog’s den, and a place of safety to call their own. Make it enticing with toys and treats, and heap praise on them when they go inside. Feed them in the crate so they build strong associations with good things. Once they are regularly going inside, shut the door for a few seconds, praise calm behaviour and open the door whilst they’re quiet. Build up the amount of time with the door closed, until they’re accepting of it and can safely be left in there unattended.
Increase Thier Confidencewhen Left Alone.
Weimaraners hate being alone, both as puppies and as adults, and are prone to over-anxiety when left which results in the dog soiling themself, chewing furniture, digging, or barking. Not only is the dog distressed in your absence, but you come home to irate neighbours or destruction. Instead, slowly build the dog’s independence by not allowing them to follow you around the house. Have them stay in one room while you briefly visit another. Return when they are quiet and calm (not when they are crying, or you are rewarding the noise.)
Vary your departure routine
For example, avoid always putting your shoes on immediately before leaving the house, and instead wear shoes whilst doing household chores. Do a similar thing with your coat, and carry car keys around but without leaving the house. All of these things help to diffuse the cues telling your dog that they’re about to be left, which can also help their separation anxiety.
Be Careful, Weimaraners Are Bouncy!
You should know that Weimaraners are bouncy and boisterous, espeically when they are puppies! Small children or the elderly are liable to be knocked over by a boisterous Weimaraner, so anticipate this and train them not to jump up. Teaching a solid “Sit” is a great start, as is keeping a lead on in the house so you can step on it when the dog goes to jump up. Get into the habit of taking a step backwards when they jump up, and reward them for sitting. And don’t forget – plenty of exercise means less energy for bouncing!
Little and Often
Train a little every time you remember you have a dog! Keep treats on you and teach “Sit,”, “Stay”, “Down”, and “Look”, as you move around the house. And don’t be too proud to seek professional help if you’re struggling. The more you delay, the more established bad behaviour becomes!
Consistent and proper trainign can have great results, leading to well-behaved puppies that develop into calmer adults, as this video shows!
Here at Royvon, we love training dogs of all breeds, including Weimaraners! We’ve got over 60 years of experience in dog training, so we’ve seen it all before. Whatever issues you may be experiencing, from basic puppy training to extreme anxiety, we are here to help. Simply visit our website to find out more about what we offer at our three locations in Esher, Rugby, and Merthyr Tydfil!
Darren is the Managing Director of Royvon Dog Training & Hotels. The business has been in his family for over 60 years! Darren uses this blog to share knowledge and information about dog training and more.