How to Obedience Train a Weimaraner

Medium
1-6 Weeks
General

Introduction

Weimaraners are high energy dogs bred for hunting large animals and for protection. They are smart, energetic and need lots of attention and exercise, especially in their first few years. If not properly socialized and trained, they can become willful and even aggressive, so it's best you start obedience training a Weimaraner as soon as possible.

When you obedience train a Weimaraner, you are creating important boundaries and setting a formative foundation to build your future together. When you start with simple obedience like 'sit', 'stay', and 'come', you are teaching your dog skills that will keep him safe and happy throughout his life. These skills create the basis for all other tricks and obedience, so it's important to teach them as soon as possible.

Defining Tasks

Before you can begin to obedience train a Weimaraner, you have to make sure he's been properly exercised or he won't be likely to pay attention. These hunting dogs are very smart, but their attention spans can be limited if they are thinking about running or burning off energy. Weimeriners are smart and are known to be stubborn if you don't establish yourself as the leader.

You need to show him boundaries from the very beginning. Don't allow biting, even play biting, and don't allow him to jump up, especially if he is a puppy. Obedience training can start right away, but even if you have an older dog, he'll still benefit from learning basic commands. You want your dog to 'sit', 'stay', and 'come' at the very least.

Getting Started

For basic obedience training, the most important item to bring is consistency and patience. These will go much farther than the fanciest training tool. However, you should have a few things on hand to help you with the process and to make it fun for your dog. 

  • Tasty training treats
  • A treat pouch
  • A long leash
  • A quiet place to practice
  • A favorite toy

Start with the basics and work from there. Below you'll find three commands to try - 'sit', 'stay', and 'come'. Practice twice per day for 15 minutes and after a while, your dog will be excited to try even more tricks and training exercises.

The 'Sit' Training Method

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Step
1
Grab some treats
Grab a handful of treats or place them in a treat pouch at your waist.
Step
2
Get his attention
Take one treat in your hand and use it to get his attention. Hold it just above his head, but not so high that he will jump.
Step
3
Move the treat back
Take the treat and slowly move it over his head. This should make him naturally sit so he can keep an eye on it.
Step
4
Reward the 'sit'
As soon as his hind-end hits the floor, say "yes!" and give him a treat. Keep practicing.
Step
5
Use a hand signal
In your free hand, make a hand signal, like a closed fist, while your dog is following the treat in the other hand. Soon he should sit as you make the hand signal. Make sure you keep giving him treats for the correct behavior.
Step
6
Introduce the command
Now, as you make the hand signal say "sit." Give him a treat each time he sits. Soon he should sit for either the hand or verbal signal.
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The 'Stay' Training Method

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Step
1
Start with 'sit'
Once you've mastered 'sit', you can move on to the 'stay'. Start by asking your dog to sit.
Step
2
Say the command and step back
Once your dog is sitting, say "stay" and take a step back. If he stays sitting, say "yes!" and give him a treat. If he doesn't stay, say "no" sternly and go back to the 'sit'.
Step
3
Use a release word
Once he's staying a little bit, you can start using a release word like "OK" to release him before you treat him. He should learn to wait for the release.
Step
4
Increase the distance
Slowly start to take more steps back, increasing your distance and the amount of time your dog has to stay. If he breaks the stay, say "no" and go back to the 'sit' and shorten your distance a little bit.
Step
5
Increase the challenge
As he gets better at staying, try moving out of his sight or have someone attempt to distract him. He should only break the 'sit' when you give him the release word.
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The 'Come' Training Method

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Step
1
Use a long leash
Purchase a long leash about 12 - 15 feet long. This is essential in obedience training because your dog will never have the option to ignore you.
Step
2
Get his attention
While your dog is clipped to the long leash, get his attention by making a noise or squeaking a toy in your hand. When looks at you, call out his name and encourage him to come get the toy.
Step
3
Lots of praise
Give him lots of praise for coming to you and give him the toy. Keep practicing for a while.
Step
4
Introduce 'come'
When he's consistently coming to you, start saying "come" right before you treat him.
Step
5
Practice on walks
After your dog has had some time to play and burn off energy on a walk, try to get his attention with the toy and say "come". If he comes, give him lots of praise and treats. If he doesn't or tries to ignore you, stop the long leash and add some tension to the line. Ask for him to come again.
Step
6
Practice with distractions
When your dog is coming when called with some consistency while you have his attention, add in distractions. These may come naturally, like chasing a squirrel or wanting to meet a new dog. Use the long leash in these instances to stop his forward momentum when he is ignoring your command. He'll learn that he gets great rewards when he listens to you and no rewards when he doesn't.
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Written by Katie Smith

Published: 02/13/2018, edited: 01/08/2021

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Gracie
Weimaraner
4 Years
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Question
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Gracie
Weimaraner
4 Years

I have 2 challenges that we need help with. Gracie’s barking is out of control. Mainly it’s when she is outside and wants back in. It sounds like Jurassic Park as she barks and almost breaks through the door.

She also gets really excited when visitors come over. Gracie jumps on them with all 70 lbs. Luckily now one has been hurt.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
912 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jennifer, Start by teaching pup some new commands so that you can better communicate with them during times of excitement. Step Toward method and Leash method for jumping: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-australian-shepherds-to-not-jump Leave It: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Out - leave the area - to give guests space when needed: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Place - have pup work up to a 1 hour Place with a dog food stuffed chew toy to work on, for times when pup needs to be calmer: Start by practicing with everything calm for short periods. Work up gradually to you being able to leave and re-enter the room. Next, practice with family members or those pup knows coming to the door, entering and leaving over and over again until their presence is less exciting and pup can succeed. Finally, recruit some friends to practice the whole scenario often as guests coming to your home - but with people who know ahead of time this will be a training session so can help facilitate the interactions while you train. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O75dyWITP1s Heel - Turns method - have pup work on obedience during walks to wear them out not only physically but also mentally, to help with calmness: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel For the barking, you need a way to communicate with him so I suggest teaching the Quiet command from the Quiet method in the article I have linked below - don't expect this alone to work but it will be part of the puzzle for what I will suggest next. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Next, once pup understands what Quiet means you will choose an interrupter - neither too harsh nor ineffective. A Pet Convincer is one example of an interrupter. A pet convincer is a small canister of pressurized, unscented air that you can spray a quick puff of at the dog's side to surprise them enough to help them calm back down. (Don't use citronella and avoid spraying in the face!). In situations where you know pup will bark or is already barking, (like at the door or while standing by the door before they begin), command "Quiet". If they obey, open the door slightly and toss a treat out, then close again. If they sit or stay quiet for an extended amount of time - open the door and let them in completely as a reward for calmness. If they bark anyway or continue to bark, say "Ah Ah" firmly but calmly and give a brief correction without opening the door more than what's required to spray briefly, then close it again. Repeat the correction each time they bark until you get a brief pause in the barking. When they pause, praise and reward then. The combination of communication, correction, and rewarding - with the "Ah Ah" and praise to mark their good and bad behavior with the right timing, is very important. Once pup is calmer in general after the initial training, whenever he DOESN'T bark around something that he normally would have or in a situation he normally would have (like at the door), calmly praise and reward him to continue the desensitization process, rather than just waiting until he barks and stops. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Darling Clementine
Weimaraner
7 Months
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Question
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Darling Clementine
Weimaraner
7 Months

She was abused so she's very afraid when I try to teach her something. How do I make her less afraid because I would never hurt her.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
912 Dog owners recommended

Hello Amber, I would work on building trust in general by gently tossing pup a treat whenever you enter the room where she is, she comes over to say hi, or she generally acts friendly or calm around you. For teaching commands, I would use methods that are Lure Reward training - where you lure pup into doing an action or into a position using a treat, instead of touching pup very much, then genuinely praise and give the treat when pup does the action or behavior. Another option is to work on methods that "capture" the behavior you want pup to learn, meaning that when pup does something like Sit on her own, keep treats in a baggie in your pocket or in a training pouch at all times around her, and praise and calmly say Sit as soon as you see her sitting on her own, then toss a treat at her paws. These two methods tend to be the least confrontational while pup is still learning to trust you. Know that building trust also tends to take time. As pup gets to the point where they are comfortable with more interaction with you, teaching commands, taking pup on walks, rewarding pup for good responses toward you, and playing training games are actually good ways in themselves to build the trust further, it can just be slow getting to the point where you can do those things initially, with lower contact activities like the treat tosses at first. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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