Imagine this: You are held hostage by your Weimaraner. You cannot leave the house to do any brief errand and leave your Weimaraner alone because he will destroy the house, become completely unglued and bark and howl in misery. Does this sound familiar? I sincerely hope not! But if this is something you are struggling with, or you are interested in doing whatever you can to prevent this with your new Weimaraner, this article may help.
Weimaraners are notorious for being prone to separation anxiety, but some behaviors are normal and due to boredom. True separation anxiety is a highly anxious mental state where your Weimaraner cannot cope with your absence, and this is manifested in negative behavior. When left alone, your dog may drool, bark, or howl excessively; he may inappropriately urinate or defecate or be extremely destructive.
I asked noted Weimaraner trainer, Chris Conklin, for some tips on how to prevent and manage separation anxiety. As a Weim owner, breeder and rescuer, she has unique insight to this specifically with Weimaraners.
Q – How can you prevent or curtail future problems with a new Weimaraner puppy?
CC – By establishing a routine that involves crating the puppy not only when you are gone but at set times when you are home. Giving the puppy behavioral responsibilities like waiting when entering and exiting doors and at dinner times. Not giving your puppy, no matter how well behaved, all of the privledges of an adult dog like sleeping in your bed or being loose unattended in your home.
Q – How can you prevent or curtail future problems with a new Weimaraner Rescue?
CC – A rescue dog should be treated just like a puppy with a bigger attention span. Don’t move them in like they have lived with you forever, reserve privledges for them to earn as they learn the rules and routines of your household.
Q – What are some signs to recognize that you might have a problem in the future?
CC – A dog or pup that paces whines or cries when an owner leaves the room or the house for a short period, especially when other family memebers are still present. SA can also have genetic roots so make sure when purchasing a pup that neither parent is prone to SA.
Q – Why are Weims prone to SA?
CC – As a very intelligent breed they are often given privledges in the home that they are not emotionally capable of handling or that make their owners appear weak or submissive. As Weim owners we tend to make them integral to the functions of our households and lives without giving them enough behavioral responsibilites. They begin to think we cannot function in our own homes without their input or presence, so when we leave they are brought to a state of panic that we, as submissive pack members versus leaders, are alone in the bigger world without them. In a pack situation only the more dominant members leave for hunting; lower,weaker and submissive members are most often left to watch young and guard the den.
See the next article on Dealing with Separation Anxiety.
Does your Weimaraner suffer from Separation Anxiety? Let us know what has worked for you and your dog by posting in the comments below.
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