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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.
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.
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
Grab some treats
Grab a handful of treats or place them in a treat pouch at your waist.
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.
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.
Reward the 'sit'
As soon as his hind-end hits the floor, say "yes!" and give him a treat. Keep practicing.
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.
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.
The 'Stay' Training Method
Start with 'sit'
Once you've mastered 'sit', you can move on to the 'stay'. Start by asking your dog to sit.
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'.
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.
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.
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.
The 'Come' Training Method
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.
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.
Lots of praise
Give him lots of praise for coming to you and give him the toy. Keep practicing for a while.
When he's consistently coming to you, start saying "come" right before you treat him.
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.
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.
By Katie Smith
Published: 02/13/2018, edited: 01/08/2021