Gramayre Weimaraners 1

Your New Weimaraner Puppy..............................................................................................................3
Pointers for Puppy's People ......................................................................................................................3
Choosing a Vet.........................................................................................................................................4
What Is A Dog Crate? ..............................................................................................................................5
Why Use a Crate? ......................................................................................................................................5
Crating the Puppy -How to Use It............................................................................................................6
What Kind of Crate is Best? ....................................................................................................................6
Where Should I Put It?.............................................................................................................................7
Crating the Adult Dog -How to Use It .....................................................................................................7
How to Housebreak Your Puppy.............................................................................................................8
Your Weimaraner's Care .....................................................................................................................10
Grooming ...............................................................................................................................................12
Watch Those Toenails............................................................................................................................13
Dental Care ............................................................................................................................................14
Ear Cleaning...........................................................................................................................................15
Veterinary Examination..........................................................................................................................16
Obedience Training ..............................................................................................................................17
What is Dog Obedience?........................................................................................................................17
Basic Obedience.....................................................................................................................................17
Choosing a Dog Training Group ............................................................................................................18
Training Advice .....................................................................................................................................18
Remember --The Real Science of Dog Training ...................................................................................19
Owning a Weimaraner..........................................................................................................................21
The Weimaraner As A Companion........................................................................................................21
Why Own a Weimaraner? What Can I "Do With One?" ! ....................................................................21
HEALTH ISSUES....................................................................................................................................23
HOD By Judy Colan..............................................................................................................................23
Symptoms ...............................................................................................................................................26
Heat Stroke.............................................................................................................................................27
Bloat Update ..........................................................................................................................................28
Breedlines Articles ...............................................................................................................................29
The “Sucky” Weimaraner ......................................................................................................................29
Introduc tion to Water.............................................................................................................................30
Your New Weimaraner Puppy
Pointers for Puppy's People
So! You're getting a Weimaraner puppy? You're excited, and at the same time wondering whether you'll know
how to do the right thing for it. If you haven't raised a Weim puppy before, here are some do's and don'ts to
remember. Weimaraners have been described as the best "people-dogs" You'll ever see...
Do bring the puppy home in the morning if possible, so he can have all day to get used to his new surroundings.
Do request the feeding program of the breeder and keep to it for a few days. No teasing or petting when feeding,
Do have a bed prepared. A box that the puppy can't get out of, or an adult size kennel crate, makes the puppy feel
secure and helps with training. For bedding, use a bathroom rug, blanket, towel or folded artificial fur which is
washable (should he have an accident) provides good insulation against the cold. Avoid putting newspaper in or
under the crate since its odor may encourage elimination. Locate the crate or box at night near the bed of the
pup's master and move it during the day to the kitchen or center of activity. Weimaraners want to be with their
Do get a crate (adult size). The crate is your dog's den at home or in the car. On the road, your dog, in his crate,
will have the same safety advantage of a small child in its car seat. Knowing the dog is secure, your attention can
be devoted entirely to driving. In a sedan, the crate can be placed over the rear seat and floor, on plywood,
fastened to two uprights. In the station wagon or truck, brace the crate against the wall or place it on a rubber mat
to prevent shifting. The crate is one of the best investments you will ever make in a pleasant future with your dog;
field, show or pet.
Do be consistent with discipline. As the puppy grows in size physically, his personality needs shaping, also.
Permitting the puppy to do something wrong when you're in a generous mood, then punishing for the same thing
later in the day, is illogical, confusing, and inhumane. Be consistent! A firm "No!" without unnecessary chatter,
removal from the scene of mischief, is far more kind to the dog than constant fussing. A Weimaraner that is
raised permissively will drive you crazy and chew your furniture to shreds. Who should be blamed when an illmannered, awkward Weimaraner is placed on the market again???
Do plan a play area that is puppy proof. Pick up the trash cans, electric wires (dogs have been electrocuted) and
cover holes. Panties, pantyhose, slippers, etc., are targets of frequent mischief. We don't believe you should ever
give a puppy something to play with now that you don't want him to play with later. They don't know the
difference between an old towel and a new towel, or an old and new shoe. Toys should be either 100% digestible
or of very hard solid rubber that teeth can't penetrate.
Do see that your Weim gets daily exercise outside, rain or shine, day or night. This breed needs exercise to build
strong muscles, hips and topline, and most important, it seems to promote calm house manners. You should
always supervise their running, or see that an able-bodied person does. A Weimaraner can get into trouble all too
quickly, either in the city, the suburbs, or on the farm.
Do protect the puppy from visitors and small people. Overhandling, even in the family, is not to be condoned.
Children should be taught to respect the puppy. Any dog can turn against small children for the rest of its life
from rough use. Remove the puppy immediately from any situation which may be really frightening. Bad frights,
of any kind, leave deep scars on the memory that can seldom be overcome. An ounce of prevention...
Do take the puppy for short rides in your car to get him accustomed to driving. He should ride on an empty stomach
for the first couple months. Always allow the dog to relieve himself before getting into the car. As he gets used to
traveling, you can take him on longer trips, but make sure you include comfort stops. Don't forget your lead when
you drive with him; you'll never know when you'll need it! Diarrhea is caused in the dog and human upon change
of water on a trip; so carry sufficient water for your total needs.
Do leave the puppy home alone for only very short periods at first, but not trapped in a small room. For the very
young puppy, the best place would be his crate. Generally, Weimaraners do not take kindly to being left alone
daily for long periods of time. Destructive chewing is a frequent problem when they are lonely.
A Pet Owner's Guide to the Dog
Far too many potentially good pets are misunderstood, unfairly punished/abused, isolated, or simply "gotten rid
of" by otherwise kind and well-meaning owners who are unable to prevent, control, or live with the common
"problem" behavior of puppies and young adult dogs. The correct use of a dog crate could give many of these
innocent animals the chance they need --and deserve --to spend their lives as the appreciated pet of a satisfied
Since every dog deserves this chance, I hope you will read this manual carefully and give it some serious thought. It
was really written by pet owners just like you, since it represents the experiences of the many who have used my
Dog Crate Rental Service. They learned, and I hope you will too, that --"A SECURE DOG IS A HAPPIER
Choosing a Vet
Always set up an initial interview with several reputable veterinarians in your area. Do this before you take your
Weim to the animal hospital. This initial meeting with a new veterinarian should last no longer than 1/2 hour.
This is the time for you to ask questions that may help you determine which veterinarian is correct for you and
your Weim. The following is a list of questions which you should ask in your visits.
1. How many veterinarians are participating in this practice? Sometimes more can be better as each patient will
receive several opinions, oftentimes for one office call fee. It can be a problem if you never see the same vet
twice. Now is the time to ask which days each vet is available.
2. Is the hospital clean and sanitary?
3. Is the staff, including the receptionist, professional and courteous? Remember at least 75% of your hospital
contact will be with the receptionist. If he or she is rude, avoid this hospital.
4. Does the hospital provide a phone number for emergency care?
5. Do the veterinarians, after examining a patient, willingly provide written prescriptions if asked for necessary
medications? As in human medicine, a veterinarian should supply written prescriptions which enable pet owners
to purchase products from a source of their choice oftentimes at a much reduced price. If a veterinarian denies
you a written prescription, avoid that hospital. Clarify this point right up front.
6. Does the hospital have X-ray facilities? These can be an important aid to future diagnosis.
7. Compare the fees for office exams, vaccines, etc. Are they compatible with the fees other area veterinarians
8. Does this clinic offer price reductions for multiple pet owners or breeders?
What Is A Dog Crate?
A dog crate is a rectangular enclosure with a top and a door, made in a variety of sizes proportioned to fit any
type of dog. Constructed of wire, wood, metal, or molded fiberglass/plastic, its purpose is to provide guaranteed
confinement for reasons of security, safety, housebreaking, protection of household goods, travel, illness, or just
general control.
The dog crate has long been accepted, trusted, and taken for granted by dog show exhibitors, obedience and field
trial competitors, trainers, breeders, groomers, veterinarians, and anyone else who handles dogs regularly.
Individual pet owners, however, usually reject the idea of using a crate because they consider such enforced close
confinement unfair, and even harmful, to the dog.
Cruelty -or Kindness?
As The Pet Owner Sees It
"It's like a jail --it's cruel --I'd never put MY dog in a cage like that!" If this is your first reaction to using a crate,
you are a very typical pet owner. As a reasonable human being, you really value your freedom; and since you
consider your pet an extension of the human family it's only natural to feel that closing him in a crate would be
mean and inhumane, would probably cause him to resent and even to hate you, and might well result in
psychological damage. BUT --YOU ARE NOT A DOG!
As The Dog Sees It
"I love having a room/house of my very own, it's my private special place, my 'security blanket' and the closed
door really doesn't bother me." If your dog could talk, this is how he might well express his reaction to using a
crate! He would tell you that the crate helps to satisfy the "den instinct" inherited from his den-dwelling ancestors
and relatives, and that he is not afraid or frustrated when closed in. He would further admit that he is actually
much happier and more secure having his life controlled and structured by human beings --and would far rather
be prevented from causing trouble than be punished for it later.
so", to you it may be a "cage" --to him, it's "home",
Why Use a Crate?
A dog crate, correctly and humanely used, can have many advantages for both you and your pet. With the help of
a crate:
can enjoy complete peace of mind when leaving your dog home alone, knowing that nothing can be soiled
or destroyed and that he is comfortable, protected, and not developing any bad habits;
can housebreak your dog more quickly by using the close confinement to encourage control, establish a
regular routine for outdoor elimination, and to prevent "accidents" at night or when left alone;
can effectively confine your dog at times when he may be underfoot (meals, family activities, unwelcome
guests, workmen, etc.), over excited or bothered by too much confusion or too many children, or ill;
can travel with your dog without risk of the driver being dangerously distracted or the dog getting loose
and hopelessly lost, and with the assurance that he can easily adapt to any strange surroundings as long as
he has his familiar "security blanket" along.
Your dog:
can enjoy the privacy and security of a "den" of his own to which he can I retreat when tired, stressed, or
can avoid much of the fear/confusion/punishment caused by your reaction to problem behavior;
can more easily learn to control his bowels and to associate elimination only with the outdoors or other
designated location;
can be spared the loneliness and frustration of having to be isolated (basement, garage, outside) from
comfortable indoor surroundings when being restricted or left alone;
can be conveniently included in family outings, visits and trips instead of being left behind alone at home
or in a boarding kennel.
You want to enjoy your pet and be pleased with his behavior. Your dog wants little more from life than to please
you, A dog crate can help to make your relationship what each of you wants and needs it to be. But remember,
crate or no crate, any dog constantly denied the human companionship it needs and craves is going to be a lonely
pet --and may still find ways to express anxiety, depression, and general stress.
Crating the Puppy -How to Use It
A young puppy (8-16 weeks) should normally have no problem accepting a crate as his "own place." Any
complaining he might do at first is caused not by the crate, but by his learning to accept the controls of his
unfamiliar new environment. Actually, the crate will help him to adapt more easily and quickly to his new world.
Place the crate in a "people" area --the kitchen, if possible, in a spot free from drafts and not too near a direct heat
source. For bedding, use an old towel or piece of blanket which can be washed (should he have an accident).
Avoid putting newspaper in or under the crate since its odor may encourage elimination, corrugated cardboard is
better if there is no floor pan.
Make it very clear to children that the crate is NOT a playhouse for them, but a "special room" for the puppy,
whose rights should be recognized and respected. However, you should accustom the puppy from the start to
letting you reach into the crate at any time, lest he become overprotective of it.
Establish a "crate routine" immediately, closing the puppy in it at regular 1 to 2 hour intervals during the day (his
chosen nap times will guide you) and whenever he must be left alone for up to 2-3 hours maximum. Give him a
chew toy for distraction and be sure to remove collar and tags which could become caught in an opening.
Even if things do not go too smoothly at first –
DON'T WEAKEN and DON'T WORRY; be consistent, be firm, and be very aware that you are doing your
pet a real favor by preventing him from getting into trouble while left alone. Increase the space inside the crate as
the puppy grows so that he remains comfortable. If you do not choose, or are not able, to use a crate
permanently, plan to use it for at least 5 or 6 months or until the dog is well past the teething phase --then start
leaving the crate door open at night, when someone is at home during the day, or when he is briefly left alone. If
all goes well for a week or two, and the dog seems reliable when left alone, remove the crate itself and leave the
bedding in the same spot; although he will probably miss the crate enclosure, that spot will have become "his own
place" and his habit of good behavior should continue. Should any problem behavior occur at a future time
however, the decision whether or not to use a crate longer, or perhaps permanently, will have been made for you!
Even after a long period without a crate, a dog which has been raised in one will readily accept it again should the
need arise for travel, illness, behavior, etc. and may really welcome its return.
What Kind of Crate is Best?
The most practical dog crate for use by the pet owner is the collapsible wire mesh type, available in a wide variety
of sizes. Lightweight and easily handled, it allows total ventilation and permits the dog to see everything going on
around him. A wooden, metal, or fiberglass/plastic airline crate will certainly also serve the purpose, but it
restricts air and vision, is less convenient to handle and transport, and has a limited size selection.
What Size Should a Crate Be?
A crate should always be large enough to permit any age dog to stand and stretch out flat on his side without
being cramped. While the adult size of a pure bred puppy is fairly easy to predict, that of a mixed breed must be
estimated based on general breed/body type and puppy size at a given age. It is always better to use a crate a little
too large than one a little too small.
For a fully grown adult dog, measure the distance from tip of nose to base of tail and use a crate close to, but not
less than, this length. The height and width of most crates are properly proportioned to the length, including the
convenient "slant-front" models designed to fit station wagons and hatchbacks.
For a puppy, measure as above, then add about 12" for anticipated rapid growth. If a small crate is unavailable for
temporary use, reduce the space of an adult size one (width can serve for length if the crate is large) with a reversed carton or a moveable/removable partition made of wire, wood, or masonite.
Where Can I Get One?
New crates can be purchased in retail pet shops and discount pet food/supplies outlets, through large catalog
sales firms (such as Sears), at the larger dog shows, from dog equipment catalogs or from a crate manufacturer;
prices depend on size, quality, and make. Most brands include a removable metal pan/tray/floor and some can be
specially ordered with the door on the side instead of the end. The less expensive brands are quite adequate for
most family pets, although those made of non-plated/treated wire may discolor the coat of a light colored dog. A
used crate can often be borrowed, or found at a tag/garage/yard/rummage sale at a bargain price.
Where Should I Put It?
Since one of the main reasons for using a crate is to confine a dog without making him feel isolated or banished, it
should be placed in, or as close as possible to, a "people" area --kitchen, family room, etc. To provide an even
greater sense of den security and privacy, it should be put in a corner and/or have the sides and back loosely
draped with a sheet, large towel, or light blanket which can easily be adjusted for desired visibility or air. The top
of the crate, when covered with a piece of plywood or masonite, can also serve as handy extra shelf or table space.
Admittedly, a dog crate is not a "thing of beauty", but it can be forgiven for not being a welcome addition to the
household decor as it proves how much it can help the dog to remain a welcome addition to the household.
Crating the Adult Dog -How to Use It
Much of the usual problem behavior of an older puppy (over 6 months) or an adult dog is caused by the lack of a
feeling of security when left alone. Although a crate can fulfill this need, and hence hopefully solve the problems,
it must still be introduced gradually, with every possible effort made to be sure that the dog's first association with
it is very positive and pleasant. It must also be stressed again here that a dog crate is not intended for frequent
long hours of usage for the convenience of an absent owner.
If possible, borrow or rent a crate of adequate size. Place it in a location where the dog will definitely feel part of
the human family (though still have some privacy), secure the door open so that it can't unexpectedly shut and
frighten him, and do not put in any bedding. Encourage the dog to investigate this new object thoroughly, luring
him inside by tossing special "tidbits" (cheese, liver, hot dog, etc. which are even more tempting than regular dog
treats) into the far end, then letting him turn and come back out --praising him enthusiastically. When he begins
to enter the crate confidently, place his bedding and something of yours or a towel you have slept with inside and
start coaxing him to lie down and relax, still using food if necessary.
Continue this pattern for several days, encouraging him to use the crate as much as possible and shutting the door
briefly while you sit beside him or there are people visible and/or audible nearby. Do not hesitate, however, to
meet modest resistance with consistent firmness and authority so that the dog is clearly aware of the behavior you
desire; your goal may have to be acceptance, not contentment.
As soon as you feel confident that the dog will remain quietly in the closed crate (which could be from the
beginning!), you may safely leave him alone. Give him a chew toy or a safe bone to absorb his attention and be
sure that he has nothing around his neck which might become caught. If you are still uncertain or anxious, leave
him at first for only a brief period (1/2 hour to 1 hour) until he has proved that he will not resist the confinement.
Once he has accepted the crate as his bed and own "special place" your pet can stop being a problem and start
being a pleasure! In due time it may even be possible to wean him gradually off the crate without his resuming any
problem behavior.
Does the Crate Always Work?
Unfortunately, no. Although a crate can indeed be used successfully by most pet owners, there are always those
animals which simply can or will not tolerate this form of confinement. This reaction is not nearly as common
with a young puppy (but does happen!) as with an adult dog, especially an "adoptee" of unknown background, a
dog which may somehow have suffered a traumatic, frightening experience while crated, or an unadaptable
"senior citizen." Some pure bred breeds seem to have a special aversion to crates or show no desire, to keep one
clean. In some cases, a dog will use a crate readily as long as the door remains open, but will object violently the
moment it is closed and/or he is left alone. It should be stressed here, however, that these reactions definitely
represent the exception rather than the rule, and that most average pet dogs can be successfully trained to use a
If, despite every effort at positive conditioning and real firmness, a dog is obviously frantic or totally miserable
when confined to a crate, forcing him to use one is indeed inhumane and can result in real physical injury should
he attempt to chew his way out.
Even though a crate may not always work, it IS always worth a try -- because when it DOES prevent or solve
problem behavior it is truly the "best friend" you and your dog could ever have.
How to Housebreak Your Puppy
Many people object strenuously, especially "Mom", to acquiring a new
puppy because of the seemingly difficult job of housebreaking --not to
mention the damage and expense of soiled floors and carpeting. Within
these pages is the easiest, most simple method of housebreaking. One that
will take the "chore" out of the job and one that will make for a happy
well adjusted pup.
Housebreaking in theory is very simple. It is finding a means of
preventing the puppy from doing his duties in the house and giving him
only an opportunity to do it outside. A dog is a strong creature of habit
and because he learns by association, he will soon know there is no other
place to relieve himself but the great outdoors and good old terra firma.
The trick then, is to find this magic means of prevention. Here we take
advantage of a very natural instinct of the dog --his desire to keep his
sleeping quarters clean, i.e., not to mess his bed. It only follows that
if we can devise a bed that he cannot get out of --then presto --he is
going to stay clean. Add to this a common sense schedule of being taken
from his bed to outside and we have the perfect answer to housebreaking.
And now to the important part --the common sense schedule we mentioned
earlier. We'll start with the last thing at night --Bedtime for the
puppy. Take the puppy out and give him an opportunity to do his duties.
(If possible, and you are in a protected area, let him go free of the
leash. Very often to start with, the leash can be sufficient restriction
to keep him from doing his duties.) Be sure to praise him when he has
completed his duties. Take him inside at once and put him in his crate.
The first thing in the morning (and I mean the first thing) Pick him up
and take him outside. He's been clean all night --and holding it all
night --he should do his duties in a hurry. Now bring him in and give him
freedom, but in the kitchen only. A child's gate at the kitchen doorway
is an excellent barrier to the other rooms in the house. Give him this
freedom while breakfast is being prepared and while you are eating
breakfast. After your breakfast, and when you have time to take him out,
feed him his breakfast --and take him out immediately. Remember the rule
--outside after each meal.
Now bring him in and put him in his crate and go about your normal
routine of the morning. He should stay in the crate until about 11 :00 to
11 :30 a.m. Then out of the crate and outside. Bring him in, and while
you are preparing and eating lunch let him have the freedom of the
kitchen only, for an hour or two. Follow this with a quick trip outside.
Then back in and into the crate until 4:00 or 4:30 p.m.
It is now time to feed him his dinner. To save yourself an extra trip
outside, feed him in the crate and as soon as he has finished his last
mouthful, take him outside. After he has completed his duties, bring him
in and again give him the freedom of the kitchen while you are preparing
dinner and during the dinner hour. Give him another trip outside about
8:00 p.m. and again just before your bedtime.
Keep up this 24-hour schedule for at least two weeks, so that by
prevention in the house and repetition of the habit of doing his duties
outside, he has the firm association with the proper place to relieve
himself. You can now start increasing his freedom out of the crate. Do
this by first giving him freedom in the morning --but again only in the
kitchen. If he remains clean then the next day try freedom in the
afternoon. It is only through these testing periods that you will know
when he has arrived at the point of being reliable.
You should continue for a few more weeks (depending on the individual
puppy) to put him in the crate during the two most crucial periods --at
night and when he is left alone in the house during the day (shopping
periods, etc.) Although you might eventually be able to dispense with the
crate entirely, don't be surprised if your puppy now considers his crate
indispensable and insists upon having it available at all times. This
habit is handy and solves the problem of what to do with the puppy on
trips, etc.
Now that you have him reliable as far as the kitchen is concerned, start
introducing him to the other rooms of the house, but under strict
supervision. The best way to do this is with the aid of the leash. If you
wish to have him in the living room while you are looking at TV --put him
on the leash and hook the handle end of the leash around your foot. In
this way you'll know if he gets restless or mischievous. If he attempts
any chewing, a jerk on the leash together with a sharp "no" will get your
point home.
In addition to the proper routine there are other factors Involved for a
successful housebreaking job -they are as follows:
1. Make certain that the puppy is free of worms. Have your veterinarian
do a microscopic stool examination. A puppy with worms cannot control his
2. The proper diet --Most puppies in good health can do very well on two
and not more than three meals a day. Feed a bland nourishing diet that
produces a well-formed stool. Stick to this diet religiously. Do not vary
it for fear you may upset his intestinal tract.
3. Do not give him any food after 6 p.m. It takes a dog about six hours
to digest his food and have an elimination as a result of the meal. Any
food after 6 p.m. may give him an unexpected urge after he is put to bed.
4. In spite of a rigid routine, your puppy may have an occasional
accident during his periods of freedom. Here is where correction is
necessary. If you catch him in the act, give him a loud "no" and put him
outside at once. Remember a dog learns by association and in connection
with any act of wrong doing he must receive some form of discomfort in
order to learn that he has done wrong. However you must catch him in the
act --it does absolutely no good to punish him for a mistake he has made
an hour or even five minutes earlier. This applies whether the mistake is
messing on the floor or chewing your best pair of shoes.
5. During periods of freedom watch for any circling around, sudden loss
of interest in a toy, or going towards the door. These are signs he needs
to go out.
In ending, let me say a few words about "paper breaking," or I should say
against it. As I said before, a dog learns by association and if you
allow him to do his duties in the house on paper you are telling him in
effect that it is all right to do it within the four walls of the house;
you are making this association in his mind, so later when you expect him
to do his duties outside, he may think you are a little crazy and you
can't blame him. Any healthy pup eight weeks of age or older, even in
cold weather can go outside. Of course you don't leave him out long
enough to get chilled. You take him out just long enough to complete his
duties. Make good common sense the rule of the day.
Your Weimaraner's Care
Homer L. Carr, owner of Von Gaiberg Kennels in Santa Monica, California,
wrote in 1955: ln order to develop properly, Weimaraners should have
close human contact. They crave human attention and companionship. It
will not spoil your Weimaraner for hunting if you make a companion of
him. Under no circumstances should a Weimaraner be permitted to run at
large, nor should he be tied or chained for extended periods.
At about four to five months of age, your dog should begin to be
exercised. Avoid pavements and sandy roads. Coarse gravel and rocky roads
and trails are excellent for developing good tight feet. For proper foot
development it is essential that toenails are not permitted to grow so
long that they force the breakdown of the foot arches. Keep the toenails
short --just little buttons. Trim them down to proper length every week
or ten days. Accustom your dog to having his nails trimmed while he is a
little puppy. Many owners and handlers are now using the electric two
speed nail grinder (dremel) as a more modern method of nail care.
Weimaraner ears are long and hinder ear ventilation. If not kept clean
they soon become incubators for mites or infections which may result in
serious trouble. They should be cleaned every week or ten days. With
absorbent cotton on the end of your finger, carefully wipe clean the
inside of the ear. Be sure to get down deeply enough to clean the bottom
cup of the outer ear. There is no danger of injuring the ear drum with
your finger. It is impossible to get the finger into the ear canal or
anywhere near the eardrum. If there is any discharge from the ear,
shaking of the head, or holding of the head to one side, an inner-ear or
canal infection is possible and prompt veterinarian attention is
Fleas should not be tolerated. They are carriers of tapeworm and disease.
If your dog picks up fleas, he should be treated.
Your dog's teeth should be kept clean. Tartar accumulations on the teeth
or under the gums should be removed with a dentist's tooth scaler or
scraper. Unremoved tartar may cause teeth to loosen.
If your dog is brushed vigorously for a few minutes every day, he will be
reasonably free from odor, his coat will be maintained in good condition
and he will seldom, if ever, need a bath. If a strong doggy odor does
develop, check the anal glands or have your veterinarian do it for you.
Should any little eruptions, bumps, sores, red spots or hairless spots
appear anywhere on the dog's body, some skin infection may possibly be
starting and prompt veterinarian attention is indicated to head off
serious trouble. The skin between the dog's toes, both top and bottom,
should be checked for any redness or irritation; this is where fungus
trouble frequently starts and it spreads like wildfire unless it is
immediately stopped. The persistent licking of any spot on the dog's body
should be promptly investigated as it often indicates that something is
If the dog develops diarrhea or if the stool becomes loose or watery and
if the condition does not correct itself within a few hours, consult your
veterinarian promptly, as it may be the start of serious trouble.
A dog's normal temperature is between 101 and 102 F. If at any time the
temperature rises above 102 F. and stays there for more than two or three
hours, your veterinarian should be consulted without delay. A few hours
delay in obtaining proper treatment at the very beginning of any
temperature rise may very easily make the difference between a minor
upset and a very serious or fatal sickness.
A stubby type rectal thermometer should always be available. Whenever
the dog seems to be even just a little bit below par or slightly off his
feed, take his temperature at once by inserting in the dog's rectum the
lubricated bulb end of the thermometer. It only takes a couple of minutes
to take the dog's temperature and it is far better to be safe than sorry.
Do not depend upon such unreliable “old wives" fever tests as "a cold
nose" or a "wet nose", etc. I have seen dogs have a cold nose while
running a fever of 105. Keep hold of the thermometer while taking the
dog's temperature, otherwise he may expel it with such force that it will
fall on the floor and break or he may suck it up into his body.
The temperature of a dog that has been poisoned is usually below normal.
In general, and except for poisoning, dog diseases accompanied by fever
are apt to be more serious than those where fever is absent.
Grooming tools that are especially useful are listed below: Grooming
table. Solid with a non-slippery surface, the correct height is such that
you can work on your dog comfortably without having to bend. A small,
square folding table works well.
Nail clippers. Preferably those that have two cutting edges.
Electric two speed nail grinder /file. For easy filing of the nails to
remove sharp edges after clipping.
Brush. Rubber hand brush is recommended. Brush short hair with the lay of
the coat.
Hound glove. To remove dead hair and polish the coat.
Toweling. To remove loose dead hair.
Brushing and Bathing?
Dog hair, unlike scalp hair found in people, does not grow continuously.
Dog hair grows in cycles. It grows for a short period, then rests. Then
it dies and is shed before the cycle begins again. The coat of an average
dog takes about 130 days to grow, but there is a wide variation. Too much
estrogen in the system may slow growth of the coat hair. Too little
thyroid hormone in the system often impairs the growth, texture and
luster of a dog's coat. Ill health, a run-down condition, hormone
imbalance, vitamin deficiency or parasites on the dog or within the dog's
system may cause the coat to be too thin and brittle. Environmental
factors also have a definite influence on the thickness and abundance of
a dog's coat. Dogs living outdoors continuously in cold weather grow a
heavier coat for insulation and protection. Some additional fat in the
diet is indicated in winter to build up the subcutaneous layer of fat and
provide more warmth for dogs living outdoors.
Most dogs shed or "blow" their coats at least once a year. Bitches
sometimes blow their coats after heat, during pregnancy or after nursing.
Coat loss is occasionally precipitated by stress, illness, pregnancy and
changes in hormone levels. Stressful conditions causing hair to drop out
first appear on the body and flanks where hair grows the fastest. Many
people believe that it is the seasonal change in temperature that governs
when a dog sheds its coat. In fact, shedding is influenced more by
changes in surrounding light. The more exposure to light, the greater the
shedding. This is why house dogs, exposed to long hours of artificial
light, seem to shed excessively. ,
When shedding begins, remove as much of the dead hair as possible by
daily brushing. Brushing a few minutes each day will help to keep your
dog free of skin and hair problems also. Establish a routine and try to
adhere to it. If grooming a puppy, keep the sessions brief and make it a
pleasurable experience.
Overbathing can remove natural oils that are essential to the health of
your dog's coat. Weimaraners should be bathed only when necessary.
Maintain the coat by brushing to a shine with a hand towel or hound
glove. To give your dog a bath, first brush out the coat. Plug ears with
cotton. Instill ointment into the eyes to prevent soap burn. A drop of
mineral oil in each eye works well. The next question is what shampoo to
use. Most human shampoos are on the acid side. This is because human skin
is more acid than a dog's. Some human shampoos are on the alkaline side
and may be suitable. In general, though, it is best to use a good
commercial dog shampoo.
Tar and sulfa shampoos are frequently used in the treatment of various
skin diseases. They are specifically used in the treatment of
seborrhea’s, bacterial and fungal skin diseases, itchy dermatitis, and
where excessive dander and scaling is noted. They are excellent at
breaking down buildups of oils, dander, and dead skin cells. They rarely
produce much lather. To help eliminate the problems they are used for,
one should always rinse thoroughly as they flush unwanted materials out
with them.
Medicated shampoos are used to decrease the skins reaction to allergies,
irritations, infections, etc. Their goal is to decrease the bodies
response that causes the skin to itch, become inflamed, or in some way to
cause the animal to often mutilate his own skin. Just as you might use a
human cortisone ointment on a rash or irritation, these are formulated to
react correctly on your Weim's skin. Many times if you can get your dog
to stop scratching, the wounds will heal more rapidly.
wet your dog thoroughly, using a nozzle and spray. Then lather and
the head carefully, keeping soap and water out of eyes and ears.
the whole dog has been lathered and rinsed, relather and re-rinse
feet and other areas of stubborn stain.
The secret of getting a dog clean while preserving a healthy skin is to
rinse repeatedly until all soap and residue has been removed from its
coat. Use a spray hose and nozzle. Soap left behind dulls the coat and
irritates the skin. Special rinses are often recommended to bring out the
coat for show purposes. Adding Alpha-Keri bath oil to the final rinse
gives luster and conditions the skin and coat. Use one teaspoonful per
quart of water.
Now dry the coat gently with towels, or, if the dog doesn't object to it,
use an air comb. Remember that a coat takes time to dry and your dog
should be kept indoors in cold weather to prevent chilling.
Watch Those Toenails
Although Weimaraners require little grooming, one of the most important
grooming requirements, and the one most ignored, is the care of the
nails. At one of our recent obedience classes, it was observed that some
of our dogs are virtually crippled by long nails.
A correctly manicured Weimaraner should stand on the pads of his feet
with his nails well off the floor. He should be silent as he walks on a
hard floor --no clicking nails! (See Illustration A below)
Long nails force the dog's feet to become flat and splayed (Illustration
B), a condition which cannot be corrected. Also, the nails can lengthen
to the extent that they actually curve around and grow right into the
pad. In addition, long nails are easily broken and this is extremely
painful to your Weim. But you can prevent further damage to the feet by
correctly cutting his nails. This will also help him to walk and gait
properly, and far more comfortably.
Before clipping the nails, be sure to identify the pink part, or quick.
Do not cut into the quick, as it contains nerves and blood vessels.
If you have a puppy, now is the time to begin taking care of the nails.
By clipping or filing every few days, you can prevent the "quick" or vein
inside the nail from ever growing long with the nail, thereby preventing
the task of trying to shorten nails which have grown too long. The
puppy's nails are soft and it takes only a matter of minutes to clip
them. As he grows older, a weekly filing or clipping should be
For the dog whose nails have been allowed to remain long, the job is a
bit more difficult. The quick will have grown long with the nail
(Illustration C) and it, too, must be shortened, but not by cutting, as
this will be painful to the dog and will result in bleeding.
One method of shortening long nails: Obtain a file at your pet shop or
hardware store. (A good type to use is a small size bastard file.) File
the dog's nails to a point around the quick (Illustration D). You can see
the quick by holding the nail up to the light. Then exercise the dog on
asphalt or cement every day. If you file in this manner every other day
or so, the exercise on the hard surface will begin to push the quick back
up in the nail. When the dog's nails reach a healthy length, you may file
them bluntly and continue filing them once a week to maintain this
If the dog objects to the filing, lay him down and talk to him and take
his paw and begin filing. If he jerks his foot away, firmly take it back
and admonish him with a firm "No." He may try to tax your patience to its
limit, but you must outlast him, until he realizes that he can't win and
that the filing does not hurt.
Believe it or not, after a few times, most dogs will just lie on their
side and go to sleep. (HA HA!!)
The electric two speed nail grinder is a very easy tool to learn to use.
A small amount of nail is removed with each stroke and there is little
chance of injuring the quick if you use a short "brushing" motion on the
rounded lower edge of the nail. Always use the drum with an emery cover.
Puppy nails are best done with a finer emery drum at lower speeds than
the adult dog. Most pet supply houses carry the electric nail grinder and
some carry the cordless model.
If you accidentally cut into the quick, some blood may be seen. If
bleeding occurs, keep pressure over it with a cotton ball. The blood will
clot in a few minutes. If it doesn't, a styptic used for shaving can be
Dental Care
As with humans, dogs benefit from a regular program of routine dental
care. Tooth and gum disease is one of the most common disorders seen by
veterinarians. It is not just a problem associated with older animals,
and as with people, proper dental hygiene begins with the very young and
continues throughout life. Adult dogs have 42 teeth. The proper care of
these teeth is important to prevent gum disease, keep a healthy breath,
and extend the life of the teeth. Here are a few helpful tips.
When possible, feed a dry type of diet. Dry, hard food is abrasive and
helps scrape unwanted plaque and tarter from the teeth. In addition, the
art of chewing massages and cleans the gums.
Brush the teeth daily on a regular basis. Just as with people, this is
the most important step in dental hygiene. Use a toothbrush and paste
designed for pets. Do not use human toothpaste as they are not formulated
properly for pets. Following brushing, rinse the mouth with a pet
mouthwash. Remember, this should be performed daily.
On a weekly basis, use a dental instrument and scrape the tarter and
plaque from the teeth, especially along the gum line. The gums may bleed,
but this is not harmful as it actually stimulates new healthy gum tissue.
On a yearly basis, have the teeth examined by your veterinarian. He or
she will look for diseases of the mouth and teeth. Dogs get cavities just
as humans.
In conclusion, the need for regular (meaning daily and weekly) dental
care cannot be overemphasized. It is not sufficient to see the vet now
and then and have diseased teeth removed. It is far better to maintain
and prevent teeth and gum disease than to have a pet with a foul mouth
odor and painful gums. Remember pets smile too!
Ear Cleaning
Over the last thousands of years, dogs and cats have relied heavily on
hearing as a sense. The importance of this hearing sense led to the
development of having their ear drums set deep within a protective ear
canal. In Weims, the canal is then covered by hair and an external
With this type of design and covering, the ear canal becomes a long dark
moist tube with limited airflow. Wax builds up and cannot escape.
With little airflow and lots of wax, the canal and drums stay moist. All
of this adds up to a great home for bacteria, yeasts, and fungus.
To help prevent ear canal infections and hearing loss, it becomes very
important to routinely clean and sanitize the ear canals, although
excessive cleaning is not desirable because a certain amount of wax is
needed to maintain the health of the tissues.
To clean a dirty ear, moisten a cloth with mineral oil (or a specially
prepared cleanser for dogs such as Oti-Clens) and wrap it around your
finger. Then insert your finger into the ear canal as far as it will go
and gently wipe the surfaces to remove dirt, excess wax and debris. Also
clean the skin on the inside of the ear flap and under the ear flaps
after your dog has been in the field. Plant matter can enter the ear
canals by first clinging to the hair surrounding the outer openings.
Folds and crevices that cannot be reached with the cloth can be cleaned
with a cotton-tipped applicator, moistened with mineral oil. The ear
canal drops vertically a considerable distance before it takes a sharp
turn and then continues as the horizontal ear canal, ending at the
eardrum. The vertical canal can be swabbed without danger of damaging the
eardrum as long as the applicator is held vertically and directed
downward. The dog must not be allowed to jerk his head, as the tip of the
applicator can then injure the delicate skin lining the sides of the
Remember, when bathing your dog, see that no water gets into the ears.
Prevent by inserting cotton wadding into the
ear canals before bathing.
Veterinary Examination
A dog should receive a thorough physical exam at least yearly, which
should include the following:
heartworm test I
fecal examination for parasites and ova
a thorough exam of the dog, to include temperature, eyes, ears,
mouth, heart and a thorough examination of the skin and skeletal
blood chemistries and urinalysis if indicated by the results of the
physical examination and a thorough owner history
Immunizations and/or Titers as required
Obedience Training
What is Dog Obedience?
That's the "Name of the Game," which allows one to train their dogs to be under their control at all times under
all conditions. What do you mean by basic classes in obedience? I sometimes think, if we used Dog Control
Classes, it would be more explanatory. Because that is what is happening; you are being trained to control your
dog. Then you get the “Oh No, I couldn't do that, I'm going to show my dog in the field, or for show, or why
should I train my dog? He's only going to be used as a pet."
A dog which is properly trained is not a detriment to any endeavor you may undertake. In field work, a good
portion of field training known as yard work is done and it is "dog control."
In the conformation ring, whether you handle the dog yourself, or use a handler, your dog is controlled and is
used to being handled, used to other dogs and total strangers.
As a pet, it's a MUST. You bring home a lovable little grey angel, at three months the antics are cute; at six
months, only a little annoying; but somewhere between nine and twelve months, that grey angel becomes a grey
demon, a curse on his owner and the neighborhood.
The dog obedience game is full of those who were indoctrinated with a dog which either had to be controlled or
Basic Obedience
At five to six months of age, you can begin serious training. Following you'll learn how to teach your pup a few
basic commands. There a lots of good training books available, and you should consult one of them to continue
your dog's training beyond the basics. Enroll your pup in a training school.
During training, your pup should wear a correctly positioned "check chain" (also called a "choker" or "choke
chain"). With it, you can give your pup a short, quick tug with the lead that'll tell him he's doing wrong. The check
chain won't hurt if it's used properly.
To fit a check chain properly, hold the leash in your right hand and pick up the ring with your left hand, letting
the chain fall through to form a loop. With the leash still in your right hand, open out the chain loop and place it
over the dog's neck with the ring loop hanging down. If the ring loop is not hanging down, the chain will not
slacken when released and may hurt the dog.
"Sit" can sometimes be taught using a non-physical method. Hold one hand above the pup's head, keeping your
fingers together as though you have something in them. Your pup will be interested in your hand and will watch
it. When he does, move your hand back over the pup's head. Watching your hand move backwards will probably
cause him to sit, when he does, say "sit".
If your puppy doesn't respond well to the non-physical method, give him a little help. Attach a lead to your pup's
collar, and use it to keep him close. Push down gently on the dog's hindquarters and pull up slightly on the lead,
saying "sit".
With both methods, the final step is to praise your puppy when he does sit. Don't use snacks as a reward, your
approval and praise are the best incentive.
Now that your pup knows how to "sit", "down" should not be so difficult for him. Get your pup into the sit
position (which he should assume on your command), and crouch next to him. Slide his front paws forward while
pressing, gently on his shoulders until he is in the "down" position. Say "down" when he's in position. Keep him
there with your hand on his shoulders for a few seconds, repeating the command "down" once again. As always,
the final step is to I praise your dog when he's in the right position, even if he's only in that , position because
you're holding him there. He'll soon know what you want him to do.
When your puppy has a firm understanding of "sit", teach him to "heel", to walk along your left side on a loose
lead. If you've already introduced a lead to your puppy, he should be willing to walk along with you without a
great deal of argument or reluctance.
Start your dog in the "sit" position, on your left. Say "heel" and start walking, starting with your left foot. A gentle
tug on the lead will get your puppy started with you. If your pup goes too fast and far, or lags behind, give him a
quick tug to bring him to your side. Keep walking at the same speed and in the same direction, giving your pup
corrective tugs whenever he leaves the "heel" position and lavish praise when he's walking correctly "at heel".
When you first start to train your pup to heel, he may either race ahead or lag behind. When he does, the check
chain will tighten uncomfortably. If that doesn't convince him to return to your side, a gentle corrective tug is in
When your pup has learned the command, add some variety: walk in figure eights, weave between trees, take left
and right turns anything to keep your puppy interested and happy. Interrupt walking with full stops, stop walking,
and say "sit". Start with short "sits", after which you give the "heel" command and start walking again. After a few
lessons, your pup should automatically sit whenever you come to a stop. Praise him a lot while he's learning this
Use a different tone of voice for the "stay" command. While "sit", "down", and "heel" are delivered crisply in a
firm, authoritative voice, for "stay" your voice should be slower and drawn out.
Have your puppy sit at your side and put your right hand directly in front of his face with your palm facing the
pup. Don't frighten the pup with a sudden hand signal, keep your movement calm and even. Still holding your
hand in front of his face, say "s-t-a-a-a-y" while quietly moving around to stand in front of the puppy. Keep a firm
grip on the check chain in case your pup would rather go than stay. If he gets up, say "No. Sit. Stay", while
putting him back in position. The goal for right now is to have the pup "stay" for five to ten seconds, long enough
for you to leave his side, stand in front of him for a few seconds, and return to his side. When he successfully
accomplishes this, he deserves your praise.
Gradually increase the time you require the pup to "stay". When he's "staying" consistently, without physical help
from you, start to increase your distance from the pup, one giant step backwards at a time. Continue to use the
hand signal along with the verbal command, so your pup will learn that both together, or either signal alone, mean
"stay". Don't go too fast, give your pup, ample time to learn thoroughly. Praise every success, no matter how small.
Choosing a Dog Training Group
In choosing a dog training group, you may be wise to select one close to your home. Regardless of how much you
like such and such an instructor, if that class is miles away, you'll find yourself making excuses not to take that
long drive every week.
The Local Kennel Clubs in your area offer Obedience Programs. These programs are usually active during the
spring and summer months. They are usually as good as the individual instructor giving them. However, if you are
interested in more than just the basic dog control, I would try for one of the
other organized groups, as these seldom offer anything beyond the first 8 to 10 week course.
Most of the clubs require that your dog have all its primary immunization shots, and that the dog be at least 6
months old. However, a few take dogs from 3 months on, for puppy kindergarten training.
Most clubs have a waiting list, so contact a club when your puppy is 3 to 4 months old to layout a training
program. Take the plunge and Happy Heeling!
Training Advice
If... there is one rule that you must always follow: never, absolutely never, give a command you are not in a
position to enforce. When walking the dog in the fields, do not order him to 'whoa' when he is out of your reach.
By giving your commands only when you can enforce compliance, the dog soon learns not to trifle with you and
forms the habit of disobedience. Never punish a dog, particularly a young dog, unless you are positive that the
disobedience was deliberate.
Punishing a dog while teaching a command only produces confusion. Once the command has been fully learned,
however, and disobedience is merely willfulness, punishment must be applied if you are to retain the dog's
respect. Never call a dog to you to punish him. Go to him and make the punishment emphathetic. Punishment is
effective only if it is applied at the time the dog is doing wrong. A delay of two or three minutes renders it
ineffective and valueless. Never kick your dog, or hit him with a club or your closed fist. It is true that the better
trainer you are, the less punishment you will have to use.
The Weimaraner's aptitude for training varies with the individual dog. When bred from poorly selected, shouldhave-been-discarded parents, he is apt to have little or no capacity to develop into a good bird dog. When chosen
from sound hunting stock, he takes training readily and easily. The breed in general has a strong desire to please
the trainer and tries hard to learn. Some of the dogs, if they are allowed to do so, will dominate you. In other
words, they will take all the leeway you will give. Once they are convinced, however, that you are both willing and
able to take them down a peg or two, should the need arise, they will obey cheerfully without the necessity of
force. The Germans have always used a good deal of force in their training methods, both with police and hunting
dogs, and they have never yet developed a breed that could not take discipline if it was needed. Shy, nervous pups
were never raised, so most of our best dogs have a long line of tough, hardheaded ancestors behind them. While
they take training well, they must never be allowed to give halfway obedience to commands, or they will become
very hard to control.
The mental capabilities of a Weimaraner that comes from good stock are as great as, if not greater than, those of
any other breed of hunting dog. The Weimaraner is not a kennel dog, for he likes people, and he wants to be with
people. If allowed to do so, he will follow his master everywhere. He develops best in the field when he is given
the run of the house and is the canine lord of the premises. Like all dogs who live close to their masters, his
intelligence and perception develop to an amazing degree. Contrary to the old-fashioned belief, making him a pet
will actually increase his efficiency afield so long as you are never content with anything but instant and complete
obedience to your commands.
To satisfy their craving for human companionship, Weimaraners are inclined to chew things if they are left alone
for any length of time. Instead of quietly lying down and going to sleep, they have been known to jump through
closed windows and screen doors when they were left alone in the house. [Ed. Note: This means alone, day after
day, after day.] ... a s a breed they are very satisfactory ...while they will bark, ordinarily they will not attack unless
actual harm is offered to a member of the family. Those I have seen have been devoted to children.
Although most Weimaraners love people, they unfortunately do not always extend this love to other dogs. While
they may tolerate a Pointer or Setter, and a male dog and a bitch will usually get on well together, they almost
never tolerate another Weimaraner of the same sex... unless raised together, two males can rarely be kenneled
together or put into a car together. If hunted together, they must be watched very carefully when they are first
turned loose, and vigorous measures must be taken to prevent combat.
Mean, timid, nervous, or stupid dogs, as well as those that are physically unfit or off standard, should not be
allowed to mature. Starting with a good sound pup that has been fed well, housed well, and handled with
understanding, there can be no excuse for having at maturity a shy, timid, or nervous dog. A good puppy may be
spoiled in the process of development as the result of a virus infection affecting the nervous system. He may also
be harmed by excessive brutality, a jittery, nervous attitude on the part of his owner, or by training that is poorly
executed or ill-timed.
There has been much discussion of the Weimaraner as an "all-purpose" dog. Before we dive headlong into this
discussion, let us pause for a moment to consider the primary function of the modern field dog. That function is,
fundamentally, to give pleasure to his owner. If a dog does that, he is a success no matter how sorry others may
consider him. If he does not give pleasure to his owner, he is a failure no matter how many cups and ribbons he
may win. The dog's presence is justified only by the fun the owner gets from seeing him work, and by the mutual
love and affection they share.
Remember --The Real Science of Dog Training
dog and owner closer together through understanding of each other and to build a bond of complete devotion
and companionship. Your reward for this is a dog well trained; an asset to the neighborhood and a pleasure to
you and your family. The dog is happy, proud of himself and anxious to please you.
REMEMBER: The more you praise the faster he learns, respects and gives you his attention, and the more
willingly he works. Whenever you give a command, follow through --NEVER let the dog learn to disobey.
REMEMBER: Walk straight when heeling --use a normal gait, keeping a steady stride. Always start with your left
foot when heeling. Always leave your dog by using your right foot for stays.
REMEMBER: How you talk to your dog depends on whether you can control him or he controls you. By your
voice tone he can be exhilarated to joy or depressed to sorrow and shame. Your tone, mood and actions affect
him every minute he is with
REMEMBER: Practice 15 minutes a day. Play a few minutes before lessons. Be serious while training. Play with
the dog after the lesson is over and he is released from training.
Train With Your Dog's Tail Wagging
REMEMBER: The kindest way is the most intelligent way to train your dog.
AND RESPECT in you and makes training easy. Use your voice and leash for all corrections. NEVER STRIKE
your dog. Keep your hands off the dog except for PRAISE. Keep your lead loose so you won't choke or
discourage the dog. (A tight lead prevents the dog from staying close to you). Play with the dog before and after
the lessons, but let him know that you mean business while training. Always end the lesson with a successful
REMEMBER: Your VOICE and HAND SIGNALS are most important in training, as the dog reacts to sound
and motion. Make com- mands distinct and separate. Use distinct tones of voice -- commanding tone for
commands, shameful and disgusting tones for correction, happy, pleased, cheerful and exhilarating tones for
REMEMBER: Keep the lead LOOSE. Use QUICK JERK and RELEASE for correction! All corrections are
followed by definite commands and praise. NEVER use your dog's name for a correction.
Use your VOICE correctly; be consistent and always use the same words and hand signals so that you won't
confuse the dog.
REMEMBER: A dog that works with his tail wagging and his eyes on you is learning fast and proves that you're
doing the job right. Do not "baby" him and NEVER LAUGH at his mistakes.
REMEMBER: One of the most common mistakes an owner makes is confusing the dog, inconsistency in
handling and attitudes. A dog learns through repetition which forms his habits. Extreme variations cause
REMEMBER: You must have and hold the dog's complete attention to train him. The dog is trained with praise
and success --the trainer must first learn self-control before he can control the dog. Your dog's behavior is a
reflection of you as a handler. You will only get out of training your dog what you put into it.
REMEMBER: You cannot correct a dog if you have not shown or told him what to do. The fault is yours if he
does not understand what you want. Analyze your technique.
REMEMBER: The aim of punishment is improvement, not vengeance, for the dog has no conception of right or
wrong in our sense of words. A good trainer always blames himself for his dog's errors.
REMEMBER: The "COME" is the heart and soul of all training --complete control is achieved in this exercise.
Forceful methods such as chasing and whipping NEVER get results. Never punish the dog that comes when
called; he must come to us willingly.
If your dog fails to come when he is called, do not chase him, turn and go the opposite direction, hide from him,
or stoop down and entice him to come. Give plenty of praise. In stub- born cases give a tidbit as reward. Don't
grab your dog when he comes near you --wait until he is in all the way; then praise and gently take hold of his
collar constantly praising.
Owning a Weimaraner
The Weimaraner As A Companion
To describe the unique temperament and qualities of a Weimaraner to someone who has never known
one is a difficult task. Because of their total devotion to their owners, they can be aloof, cool, almost
snobbish toward strangers. Only to have spent some time with a Weimaraner can one really appreciate
the breed.
Highly intelligent, often times tending to be more human in nature than canine, is an accurate
description. Coupled with their intelligence is their ability to be demanding, strong-willed and spiteful.
Once you have established who is boss, they are an extremely devoted, responsive friend and companion
with an uncanny ability to almost talk with their eyes and expressions. They feel they are and should be a
part of the family and are best suited to this role in life.
Their charismatic, almost human temperament inspires unswerving allegiance and devotion. This can be
attested to by the number of phone calls breeders receive from pet owners who have just lost their
Weimaraner. These people, with no interest in breeding or showing, are willing to travel any distance or
pay any price to find a successor to their dog. The two phrases most commonly heard are: "He was more
than a dog, he was part of the family," and "He was more than a dog, he was my friend."
They are a breed that you either love or hate. If you want a dog who is going to be very much a part of
your life, demanding attention yet repaying you with complete devotion and companionship, you will
love the breed. If you want a dog who sits quietly in the corner, waiting until you decide to pet him or
say a kind word, you will hate the breed.
Why Own a Weimaraner? What Can I "Do With One?" !
A lot! But only if we come to one basic understanding first --unless you're careful (and sometimes even if
you are) the Weimaraner will own you rather than the other way around.
Seriously though, the Weimaraner has the talents to let you choose from amongst many things you can
do with one!
There's only one thing that you can't do with one --and that's NOTHING. The breed does not accept
being shut away from people well.
Because the Weimaraner is a breed that was bred to work for its master by finding, pointing, and
retrieving birds as well as being an intelligent and affectionate dog, the uses are many:
A companion -first and foremost- naturally clean, short coated, easy to care for.
A personal hunting dog -many are used with minimal training, and work ideally for the foot
hunter. Contrary to the original ballyhoo years ago, the Weimaraner is not a superdog, does not
walk on water, does not clear tall buildings in a single bound. It is a dog, does better if its instincts
are helped by some training, and does vary in its abilities from dog to dog.
A conformation (show) dog: dog shows offer fun and challenge to many. The Weimaraner can
provide its owner with many a pleasant day in quest of blue and purple ribbons, and eventually
the title of champion. He has also shown that he can compete successfully with other breeds in
competition for Group and Best in Show awards. For those with children, AKC offers the
challenge of competition (Junior Handling) to see who can learn and develop the skills to handle a
dog in the show ring and present it to its best advantage.
An obedience show dog: because the Weimaraner is intelligent and quick to learn, it makes an
excellent obedience competition dog. CKC and AKC offer four increasingly difficult and
meaningful titles: CD (Companion Dog), CDX (Companion Dog Excellent), UD (Utility Dog) and
OTCH (Obedience Trial Champion), which can be earned. Many owners take themselves and
their dogs to obedience school just so that they can live together better --a good idea.
A tracking dog: AKC also offers the titles of TD (Tracking Dog) and TDX (Tracking Dog
Excellent). Because the Weimaraner has excellent scenting ability they do well in this activity.
They have actually been used for rescue work.
A guard dog: although the well-bred Weimaraner's temperament is basically friendly, he will
usually regard his master's family and possessions as his, and with encouragement will bark on the
approach of strangers. We do not recommend guard dog training for any breed unless the owner is
skilled in that activity since a guard-trained dog in unskilled hands is just like a loaded gun in a
child's hands. Nevertheless, the mere proximity of a dog of the size and presence of the
Weimaraner has often had a great discouraging effect on unwelcome people.
A field dog: field trials, hunting tests and retrieving/shooting ratings. A field trial is a competition
to determine the best and most spectacular hunting dog. They provide a great deal of enjoyment
and challenge for many. There are three classes of competition --puppy, derby and all-age.
Puppy requires mostly instinct, derbies must show experience, and all-age dogs must be fully
trained. CKC and AKC offers the title of Field champion for those few who can earn it. Hunting
tests are designed to test your dog's ability as a hunting dog against a standard of performance
rather than in competition against other dogs and are divided into three categories: the Feld Dog
Junior/Junior Hunter for inexperienced dogs of all ages, the Field Dog/Senior Hunter for
experienced dogs not steady to wing and shoot, and Field Dog Excellent/Master Hunter for the
truly finished bird dog. Multiple passing performances (legs) are required to obtain a title.
WCA offers three ratings in two categories (Shooting and Retrieving): Novice Shooting Dog (NSD)
and Novice Retrieving Dog (NRD), Shooting Dog (SD) and Retrieving Dog (RD), and Shooting
Dog Excellent (SDX) and Retrieving Dog Excellent (RDX). Each rating is more demanding. The
novice can be earned with relatively little training, while the SDX/RDX requires a great deal of
training and ability.
A Versatile dog: WCA offers two Versatile Ratings which require demonstration of excellence in
at least three major areas, such as show, field, obedience, retrieving, etc. The ratings recognize the
versatility of this breed.
An agility dog: competition where the animal's fitness and the handler's ability to train and direct
the dog over and through certain obstacles while racing against a clock. An example of a few of
the obstacles are: "A" ramp, hurdle, dog walk, hoop, tunnel, long jump over water, weave poles
and see- saw.
That's just a starter list of what one can do. Try for an AKC Triple Champion title (Champion in Show,
Field and Obedience); or go on from obedience to team, hurdle or scent races and special events; or try
for a WCA Versatility Rating; OR you can just sit by the fire and enjoy the love of the dog at your side.
The choice is yours, there's something for everyone.
HOD By Judy Colan
Published October 1998, Weimaraner Club of America Magazine
The following is an update on the Weimaraner immune project at UC Davis. Great strides have been made but
there is still a great deal of work to do to complete this project. Again, I am asking for your financial support.
Please send donations to me payable WCA Health Fund. All donations are tax deductible. Judy Colan, 22A Paris
Olney, Hopkins Rd., Foster RI 02825
The Canine Immunogenetics Project: Weimaraner Update
Dr. John M. Angles
BVSc, MV Studies, Diplomate ACVIM
Center for Companion Animal Health
University of California (Davis)
For over 12 months, the Center for Companion Animal Health (CCAH), the Canine Health Foundation (AKC)
and the Weimaraner Club of America have been developing an informative data base to investigate immune
system disease in the Weimaraner Breed. The aims of the data base at its inception were to identify major
diseases within the breed, and to eventually use pedigree and DNA information on the data base to locate genetic
markers for use in breed selection programs. In the design of the data base, we elected to use a “closed” format
to facilitate identification fo disease affected groups. We have now worked with several pure-breed dog clubs,
and the “closed” data base has been very useful during the early investigation of the disease, providing anonymity
for the breeders submitting information, and thereby reflects more accurately the true status of the problem in the
Current status of the Weimaraner Data Base
To date, there are over 850 Weimaraners entered into the data base, with several significant disease syndromes
already recognized (Table ). One of the major disease syndromes present in the Weimaraner breed is
Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy, which causes pain and lameness associated with swelling of the growth plates in
the long bones (e.g. femur, humerus). Other disease syndromes recognized include a post-vaccinal reaction with
high fever, and variable involvement of other body organs; the “classical” Immunodeficiency syndrome that has
been recorded in the veterinary literature, with recurrent infections involving the bowel, skin, and urinary tract;
hypothyroidism and mast cell tumors. Other less common diseases are also recorded on the data base, and
information on their prevalence is available on request.
Hypertrophic osteodystrophy (HOD)
HOD is a common disease of rapidly growing, large and giant breed purebreed dogs. In a recent study looking at
breed predilection for developmental bone diseases, breeds reported at increased risk included the Great Dane
(190 x increased risk for HOD compared to mixed-breed dogs), the Boxer (18.4 x), the Irish Setter (14.3 x), and
the German Shepherd (9.5 x). The Weimaraner breed featured prominently, with a 21 fold greater risk of HOD
occurrence compared to mixed breed dogs. An increased risk for HOD in the Weimaraner has been suggested in
the veterinary literature, with a litter of four HOD-affected Weimaraner puppies (Grondalen, 1976), and a
different litter of four affected puppies (Woodard, 1982) reported. The CCAH data base currently has 30
Weimaraner puppies diagnosed with HOD. Most of these puppies have presented to veterinarians for an acute
onset of fever, with swelling present at the growth zones of the long bones. Loss of appetite and lameness were
present in all of these dogs. Males and females are equally affected, and the age of onset of the disease is typically
8 - 16 weeks of life. We have noted an association with recent vaccination. Of the 30 HOD-affected dogs, 24
had received a vaccine within 3 - 5 days of the onset of the disease. It is important to note, though, that there
were instances of HOD not associated with vaccination, so that the vaccination may be the trigger for disease
expression on a SUSCEPTIBLE genetic background.
Diagnosis of HOD relies on the typical history, clinical signs, and the presence of characteristic radiographic
findings showing changes at the growth plate of long bones. The cause of HOD remains unknown, with earlier
speculations of vitamin C deficiency (Meier, 1957; Holmes, 1962) or over-nutrition (Riser, 1965) discounted in
more recent times (Grondalen, 1975). There is mounting evidence that viral infection may be important in the
disease, with Distemper virus detected in the growth plates of dogs with HOD (Mee, 1993). To date, we have not
been able to identify a link to the Immunodeficiency disease of the Weimaraner related to low levels of blood
antibody IgA, IgM or IgA
Treatment of HOD in other breeds has traditionally relied on rest, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (such as
aspirin), and opiate analgesics (such as butorphanol or fentanyl) as necessary. In most cases, the disease is selflimiting, and most dogs recover in several weeks. The disease in the Weimaraner is different. The Weimaraner
breed is prone to a severe form of the disease, with disease progression in many dogs resulting in death without
appropriate treatment. Our current recommendation is for practitioners to rule out infectious causes for the
fever, and in the presence of radiographic changes in the growth plates consistent with HOD, to treat these dogs
with corticosteroids. Prompt recognition of the disease, and appropriate treatment are the key to a good outcome
in this disease.
Table 1. The Prevalence of disease by category in the Weimaraner breed.
Disease Category
Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy (HOD)
“Vaccine Reaction”
IgA, IgA, IgM Immunodeficiency
Chronic diarrhea/Inflammatory Bowel disease
Mast Cell Tumors
(Source: CCAH data base, 7/98)
Mode of Inheritance of HOD in the Weimaraner
The mode of inheritance of HOD in the dog has not been reported, but there is an obvious breed predisposition
suggesting that genetic factors play an important role. A useful index for the influence of genetic factors in a
disease is the heritability of a condition. Heritability varies from 0.0, in which there is no genetic , to 1.0, in which
the effect is determined solely by genetics. Diseases with strong management influences (such as exposure to an
infectious agent through communal grooming) are expected to have a low heritability, and response to selection
against the disease will be poor. The more appropriate course would be to identify the common theme, and alter
the environment to prevent exposure to the cause of the disease. A disease with a high heritability suggests that
genetic factors are involved, and implies that a selection program against the disease will have an effect on the
prevalence of the disease. Calculation of the heritability requires use of pedigrees, with accurate disease status
indicated for as many dogs on the pedigree as possible. Preliminary work in our laboratory has found a high
heritability for HOD in the Weimaraner of 0.68 (95% confidence interval of 0.65 - 0.71), suggesting that HOD in
the Weimaraner may have a significant genetic component. It is very important to note that this value cannot be
extrapolated to other breeds with HOD, as heritability is only valid in the population from which it was measured.
Other breed clubs will need to similarly calculate this value to gauge the likely success of a selection program
against HOD. We suspect that HOD in the Weimaraner is inherited as an autosomal recessive disease, although
we still need more HOD-affected dogs to prove this. Some of the characteristics of an autosomal recessive
disease that we are seeing in the Weimaraner with HOD include 1) Skipping of generations, and 2) mating of
carriers results in the expected proportions of 25% affected, 50% carriers, and 25% unaffected. Detection of
carriers relies to date on test matings, which is definitely not the desired approach to long term control of the
disease. Our data does not support an autosomal dominant mode of inheritance, nor does it support an X-linked
(or sex-linked) mode of inheritance.
Importance of Carriers in Autosomal Recessive Disease
The success of any selection program in autosomal recessive diseases relies on accurate detection of animals
carrying susceptibility genes for the disease. In the best case scenario, the mating of an unsuspected carrier animal
to an unaffected animal will still result in the production of 50% carriers in the progeny. This in effect maintains
the susceptibility gene for the disease at high levels in the population, even if disease is seen only sporadically
when the chance mating of two carriers occurs. We believe that this is one of the difficulties in the control of
HOD in the Weimaraner.
Weimaraners with HOD-susceptibility genes do not have any known phenotypic markers that permit
identification, and to date the only way to detect these carriers has been by test matings. Detection of these
carriers has also bee hampered by use of modified vaccination protocols that are designed to prevent expression
of HOD during the susceptible growth period. While it is important to look after the health of our puppies, this
factor must be borne in mind when a selection program against HOD is to be implemented in the absence of a
sensitive genetic marker. One of the aims of our groups has been to locate a genetic marker for susceptibility to
HOD, allowing for sensitive detection of these carriers, and thereby, design of a suitable breeding program.
Other Diseases of Importance
Immunodeficiency in the Weimaraner breed is well known, although the cause is poorly understood (Conto, 1989;
Hansen, 1995; Day, 1997). Low immunoglobulin levels are the consistent feature in all of these reports, and low
IgA, IgA, IgM have been associated with chronic, recurrent disease involving a variety of tissues including the
bowel, skin, and central nervous system. This disease syndrome is present in the Weimaraner breed in the USA,
and we suspect that many of the chronic diarrhea and inflammatory bowel disease animals may have low
immunoglobulin levels, but have not had these specifically measured to confirm the diagnosis.
Another disease syndrome that has not bee reported previously in the Weimaraner is a breed-specific meningitis.
We raised the possibility of this disease at the 1998 Weimaraner Nationals, and have now documented 8
Weimaraners with this disease. All of these dogs are included within the “vaccine-reaction” group (Table 1), and
were present to veterinarians for fever and neck/back pain. All eight have been male, but we are aware of two
similar cases that have involved female dogs. The age of onset is typically between 16 - 30 weeks of life. The
diagnosis can only be confirmed by cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis, and requires anesthesia for sample
collections. Many of these dogs have required long term treatment with corticosteroids to control the disease,
with recurrence seen at lower doses.
Demodectic mange (Demodecosis) is caused by an external parasite that is also present in low numbers on
healthy animals, including people. Normally there is a balance between the parasites ability to reproduce and the
host’s ability to kill the mites. Occasionally a dog does not have the proper set of T-cells to kill the mites. This
gives mites an advantage and they propagate excessively, over-running hair follicles all over the dog’s bodies. The
key for disease to occur is immune suppression or immune incompetence. Demodex is most commonly seen in
Weimaraners around 6 – 9 months. It can occur later in life in dogs that have severe immune compromise for
some reason.
Most puppies are exposed to these mites by contact with their mother when nursing, and do not normally cause
any problems. It is those puppies that have an inadequate immune system that develop this disease.
The parasite is cigar shaped and has several pairs of legs. It is only visible under a microscope.
The most common symptom of Demodex is the loss of hair in small areas, towards the front of the body initially.
If only a few small areas of hair loss are visible, the disease is classified as localized. If it has spread throughout the
body it is classified as generalized. In severe cases, pustules and itchiness with occasiona l bleeding will occur.
Demodectic mange is diagnosed by doing a skin scraping where hair loss has occurred. The mites are usually easy
to find under a microscope. Skin biopsies used to confirm mites when the skin damage has been chronic and
severe. Blood tests will also indicate if there are related problems such as low thyroid or anemia.
Most dogs with only one or two spots of localized Demodex will outgrow it as their immune system gets stronger
with age. The first sign is a thinning of hair around the eyelids, the lips, and the corners of the mouth and the
front legs. The hair loss can progress into circles of about 2 cm in diameter. Most dogs will self cure as their
immune system matures. Localized Demodex occurs in less than 5 spots If a Weimaraner diagnosed with
localized Demodex is not improving and has more than 5 patches, the disease could be progressing into the
generalized form.
Bathing with an antibacterial shampoo is the first step in therapy.
Treating localized demodex involves the use of Mitaban mixed into olive oil. This mixture is applied daily,
only on the areas of hair loss.
Localized demodex will be outgrown by many dogs as their immune system matures.
In most cases, generalized Demodex is due to a genetic defect leading to a failure in the dogs immune system to
fight off this mite. If a Weimaraner puppy does not outgrow the Demodex or if it spreads to several sites on the
body it has become generalized and is more likely to be a genetic condition that causes a deficiency of a specific
type of T-cell. Generalized Demodex can begin as local or may have sudden onset. The breakout sometimes
covers the entire body. Hair loss appears on the head, legs, and trunk. This hair loss continues to spread. The skin
forms, with crusting and draining sinus tracts. Long-term treatment is usually require for dogs experiencing
generalized Demodex.
Mitaban dips are used to treat generalized Demodex. Label instructions must be followed precisely. If
Mitaban does not work there are other medications that are used with varying success to cure the
Many believe Demodex is a genetic condition due to a weak immune system. Puppies may have the localized
form and need not necessarily be removed from a well-conceived breeding program. On the other hand, puppies
affected with the generalized form should be spayed or neutered.
If you intend to breed an animal that has a localized breakout, do not dip. Give the dog’s immune system a
chance to rid itself of the mite. If the condition is not treated and “self cures”, that is a sign that an inherited
immunodeficiency is not present. If it does not clear on its own then the animal should not be used as a breeding
stock. It is also recommended to Spay or Neuter dogs that have a tendency to whelp pups with generalized
Demodex even if they themselves have never had Demodex. The Weimaraner is known to have a genetic
tendency to develop Demodex.
In the end, the decision on breeding or not breeding is up to the breeder. Many dog breeders have an entirely
different outlook on this situation.
Older Weimaraners that develop demodex should be carefully screened for other causes of immune
dysfunction. Many having diseases such as Cancer and Cushings disease may have affected immune
systems. Dogs receiving immune suppressing therapies including corticosteroids or chemotherapies may
also be at risk.
Heat Stroke
In May 2001, while leaving a field from running a Novice Shooting Dog test, Shammy (Am/Can Ch. Champagne
Agassiz Desnebels NRD FDJ NSD CGC) collapsed. She was suffering heat stroke. It was not a “hot” day, only in
the 70’s, but we had traveled 2 days to get to the test and the weather was warmer than at home. We lost Shammy
in August 2002, due to kidney damage stemming from this event. I am providing the following information to
help others realize the dangers of and their dogs susceptibility to, heat stroke.
Heat Exhaustion versus Heat Stroke
Heat exhaustion occurs when a dog starts showing the effects of heat
such as excessive panting the skin on the inside of the ears becoming flushed and red. There body temperature
may become slightly elevated to around 103 F. Normal rectal temperature is 102 F – 103 F
Heat stroke occurs when the body loses the ability to control its own
temperature. The temperature will be elevated over 104 F. Signs of
heat stroke include gums that are muddy pink rather than the
normal red-pink color, heart rate severely elevated, panting furiously, walking slowly and disoriented/staggering.
This will progress rapidly to loss of consciousness.
Humans sweat, Dogs pant. Dogs remove heat from their body through the respiratory tract. They exhale the
heated air and inhale cooler air. When heat is not removed quickly enough through respiration, the body
temperature begins to increase. Once the temperature approaches 105F, oxygen delivery to the dogs system is not
able to keep up with the rapidly elevating demand. The body loses the ability to regulate its temperature. Cellular
damage occurs around 108F, this occurs to organ systems such as the kidneys, liver, heart, gastrointestinal tract
and the brain. The higher the temperature and the longer it is elevated will determine the severity of the damage.
This is immediately life threatening. Dogs that survive have a high probability of suffering long-term problems.
Factors that contribute to Heat Stroke are:
Heat , Humidity, Muscular activity, Acclimation, High body mass, Anxiety, Poor ventilation, Dehydration,
Obesity, Antihistamines, Phenothiazines (some medications for vomiting), Brachycephalic breeds (shortnosed
breeds), Increased age.
Heat stroke requires veterinary assistance! However, treatment
should begin immediately prior to heading to the clinic. The dogs temperature must be lowered by using water
and air, aggressively. The dogs respiratory system (panting) is not able to keep up with the heat, so you must
provide a way to remove heat for the dog through its skin and blood. Submersion into cool water will help bring
the temperature down quickly, you should circulate the water to stop the warmer water from stagnating next to
the body. A hose will also work and the entire dog should be wetted. Water should be run as much as possible in
the groin area, as there are a large concentration of blood vessels close to the surface of the skin. A good flow of
air around the dog is required. Evaporative cooling occurs when air passes over a wet surface. A wet dog + air
flow = evaporative cooling. DO NOT cover the dog with a wet towel or confine them to an enclosed crate/area.
This will restrict the air flow and therefore the evaporation.
Once cooling has begun, transport the dog to the Veterinarian, in a
vehicle with the air-conditioning running or the windows wide open. In most cases the animal will be started on
IV fluids and organ functions will be monitored for several days. The amount of lab work will depend on the
severity and length of time the temperature was elevated. I highly recommend lab work for even a “mild” event of
heat stroke. Knowing of any organ damage can help in prolonging your dogs life through medication and/or
dietary changes.
Note: If at all possible, the rectal temperature of the dog should be monitored closely throughout this time. There
is a danger of over-cooling the dog. Due to the loss of control over regulating their own temperature, if cooled
too much, the dogs temperature could continue to drop and cause hypothermia.
Preventing Heat Stroke
The best course of action is prevention. We are all aware of the dangers of leaving our Gray kids in a vehicle in
the summer, but there are less obvious contributors to heat stroke we need to be aware of as well. With no
ventilation, moderate temperatures can significantly increase your dogs risk. Up to 70 – 80% of the energy burned
to perform muscular activity is converted to heat. Therefore, heavy activity can drive the body temperature up at
an alarming speed. Dogs should be properly cooled before, during and after all
physical exertion. This includes any way to cool the air, supplying water for evaporation and hydration
(remember, the moist air in their breath assists in evaporative cooling) and increasing the air flow around the dog.
Having knowledge of the risk factors as well as the environmental considerations should help all of us avoid this
potentially devastating problem.
Bloat Update
Results Of 5 Year Bloat Study By Lawrence Glickman, VMD
Non-Dietary Risk Factors
Factors which were found to increase the risk of bloat.
1. Increased Age
2. Having a first degree relative who has bloated
(offspring 4X the risk, siblings 3X the risk & parents1.5X the risk)
3. Deep, narrow thorax/abdomen
4. Underweight
5. Feeding only once daily
6. Fearful, easily upset dogs
7. Raising food bowl
8. Rapid eaters
Factors which did NOT appear to influence risk of bloat.
1. Moistening food
2. Exercise before or after mealtime
3. Change of weather
4. Stress
5. Unrestricted access to water before or after mealtime.
The one factor that was consistently associated with a lower risk of bloat was having a personality that the owner
described as “Happy”.
Dr. Glickmans Recommendations For Lowering The Risk Of Bloat
• Don’t breed a dog if a first degree relative has suffered an episode of bloat.
• Consider a prophylactic gastroplexy for dogs that fit the high risk profile.
• Owners of anxious or fearful dogs should consider behavior modification and consult a behaviorist. In
some instances drug therapy is warranted.
• Feed smaller, multiple meals instead of one large meal per day.
• Do NOT elevate food bowl.
• Owners who have dogs that eat rapidly should do anything to slow the speed of eating. The most
common and effective way was to place a large object in the food bowl that the dog had to eat around. A
suggestion was a heavy link chain which forces the dog to eat under and around it.
Breedlines Articles
The “Sucky” Weimaraner
This story is not about the temperament of our Weims, but rather about the habitual “nursing” trait that seems to
run in the breed.
The sucky Weim will have an object of choice that they use for their enjoyment. This is often a favorite stuffy.
Drake’s stuffy is his Duck. Winona has a fluffy string toy. Even their bedding can be made squished up to form
suck toy. This happens to be Ivy’s item of choice.
As they begin to suck, their paws knead the sucky, like it was bread and they enter an almost trancelike state. It
appears to be similar to meditation. Our Weims tend to suck the most at the days end, as they are winding down.
It is a time they are quite content and all is right in the world.
I know an 11 year old Weim who’s drive to suck is so strong, she carries her “whoobie” (sucky of choice)
everywhere she goes.
There have been a lot of discussions on where this trait comes from. There was a theory that it was caused by
early weaning. This did not prove out, as many of the all time greatest “sucky” Weims were naturally weaned by
their Dam.
That it is familial is obvious. You often see puppies descended from suckers also having this trait. My first Weim
was not a sucker, she was bred to a sucker and about 50% of the puppies developed the trait. I later bred one of
the sucky puppies from this litter to a sucker and all the puppies developed the trait.
If you get a Weim, be prepared to have a supply of “sucky” toys! There is a greater than 50% chance you will
need them!
Introduction to Water
I would like to discuss getting your Weim into water and swimming with confidence. Most Weims do not have
the blind faith and drive that a Labrador or Golden has for water. The Weims’ water aptitude needs nurturing
and encouragement starting from a small puppy. Once they take to water however, there is no turning back.
I start my puppies off at 6 weeks in the bathtub. I put littermates in together with a few inches of warm water
and they play. We raise the water over the next two weeks, until the are “playing” in water at chest level. This
gives the puppies a positive water experience to remember.
When a puppy is a little older, and the water in the nearby swimming holes is warm enough, we start swimming
lessons. We carry the puppy into the water and hold them where it is a little over their head. We help support
them as they “swim”. If they appear confident, we progress to the most difficult phase… Water entry.
It is not a fear of water, or not being able to swim that prevents them from walking in and just swimming. It is
the “oh my, the ground is gone!” effect. Once they have the basic mechanics of swimming, and are confident
around the water, this becomes the biggest hurdle. Sometimes you have to make them do it. By this I do NOT
mean throwing them in. This will only take away all of their water confidence. Take the dog by the collar and
pull them into the water with you. When you get to the “drop off” point, talk encouragingly and support them a
little by the collar. Their front feet will come off the ground and they will push off with their rear legs. You may
have to repeat this process many times.
It helps if you have incentive in the water. I use my other dogs as “bait”. Throwing retrieving plugs into the
water gets the other dogs rushing in. The puppy gets very excited and wants to follow. Guide the puppy into the
water and let him try to join the gang!
All of my Weims are avid swimmers. One of them (Fresno) was so zealous, we could not get him out of the
water. He knew if he came out, we would leave. One day, we tried for half an hour , to no avail. Finally we got
in the van and slowly started to drive away. He came to the waters edge and watched the van leaving. He looked
at the van, then back, over his shoulder at the water. It was obviously a very hard decision for him. Slowly he
started to follow the van, stopping every few feet to look back at the water.
Many hours of enjoyment can be had swimming with your Weim. It is a great way to exercise, especially on hot
summer days.