Alone Training Your Weimaraner (Or, How to Prevent Separation Anxiety)

By Anne Taguchi | Last Updated: July 13, 2021

Weims get a bad rap for separation anxiety. And while I don’t believe that it is a breed trait per se, I do believe that this breed has a strong tendency towards it.

Read a bit of Weim history and it really all makes sense. Weimaraners were developed as companion hunting dogs and specifically bred to work in cooperation with their master. They are people-oriented, and let’s face it, we love this trait! So, it’s really easy for us to accidentally nurture separation anxiety.

But it’s also very easy to prevent. This is a prevention article. If your Weim already have an issue with separation anxiety, try going here.

Alone Training is a Socialization Exercise for Your Weim

Being pack animals, it is abnormal for dogs to experience too much isolation. Isolation in the wild means high risk of death, so when you think of the dog’s heritage, it is understandable that isolation is so distressing!

Since our modern lives require most Weimaraners to spend time at home alone, alone training should be considered a preventative step and an integral part of your training regimen when you bring a new Weimaraner into your pack.

Just as we socialize our new puppies and dogs to all the stimulation that a modern dog needs to accept as normal, we also need to teach our dogs to cope with the lack of stimulation and bouts of alone time.

Some people just naturally interact with their dogs in a way that prevents separation anxiety. Most Weimaraner people are not naturally this way! (*Raising hand – Guilty right here!)

How to Alone Train Your Weimaraner

Consider this very typical scenario.

In anticipation of bringing home a new puppy, you take a couple weeks off of work and proceed to spend 24/7 with the new pup. (Who can help it, he’s soooooo cute!) Two weeks later, the day to go back to work arrives, and suddenly, your puppy has to cope with a big black VOID for 8+ hours.

In the wild, a puppy would be vocalizing to get back to the pack. His life would be in danger. He’ll be screaming in your house in the same way. And he may be tearing the place up while he’s at it.

You can’t expect a puppy to just accept isolation, you need to ease him into this. And rewarding your pup for being calm in your presence is a great place to start. I also like Ian Dubar’s suggestion of alternating play and calm times with your puppy.

All you need to do to prevent separation anxiety is to start your new Weimaraner on a schedule that allows for lots of coming and going on your part, so that he knows this is normal. With repetition of your short and varied absences, he will learn that you will always return. Varied absences means that you are leaving at unpredictable times.

The crate is the best tool to help you. Start by crating him for a few minutes while you go to another room. Next time, go outside while he’s crated in the house for a few minutes. Extend the time each time. When you first start this, be sure to return before he starts getting anxious. Putting him in a crate when he’s tired after playing would be a good time.

As you start leaving your Weim in his crate longer, be sure to leave good chew toys in his crate so he can stay occupied. A Kong with peanut butter frozen in it, some chewies, or a kibble dispensing toy (If you clicked through that link [aff], yes, I really do love Kong products. I still have one from 20 years ago, for reals!) are all good choices.

Before you go back to work, you should have incrementally extended his alone time to the full length of time he will be alone when you are at work.

You’ve also just crate trained your puppy!

You gotta love the efficiency, and moreover, you gotta love being able to leave the house knowing your pup is safe and relaxed. For a young puppy, remember that he cannot hold it all day and will need a mid-day break out of his crate at least.

A Word of Caution The Crate Along with Alone Training

Ever hear those stories where a well-meaning owner dutifully crate trains, and ends up with a Weim that still has separation anxiety?

I’ll bet ya dollars to donuts that these people only put their Weim in a crate when they left the house. Crate training can be sent to a backwards spin if the crate is only used during alone training! Almost all crate training problems I have heard of with Weimaraners have been caused by this association.

A properly crate trained Weimaraner that has had its exercise and potty needs met should sleep all day while you are at work (again, with appropriate breaks).

For many adult Weimaraners brought up this way, full house benefits when you are at work may be in their future as a trust worthy adult that happily relaxes knowing that you will return later.

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About Anne Taguchi

Surviving life with Weims!

73 responses to “Alone Training Your Weimaraner (Or, How to Prevent Separation Anxiety)”

  1. Marilyn says:

    We have taken on a 1yr old Weimaraner because another family member couldn’t keep it. We live on 11 acres that is not fully fenced and she has recently discovered how to venture out. Any tips on training a Weimer to stay in its territory and to be afraid of the road?

    • Anne Taguchi says:

      Traditional fencing would be best with an electric fence as another option. The problem with Weimaraners is that sometimes deterrents will not work if they are chasing critters or there is a super enticing reason to climb the fence or go through the shock. Also with a newly acquired Weimaraner, you may not want to leave her out alone until she learns to accept being confined.

      • Kelly A Koren says:

        First an foremost, dig in and learn about Wiems. This might not be the breed/dog for you. If you determine he/she is for you, then you must finish the above ground fence. NO under ground fencing. Dogs learn by sight and hearing. The risk of equipment failure is not worth the physical and emotional outcome. Wiems. are sensitive. Equally important, underground fencing does not keep predators out. One could come in and chase him/her out and your Wiem. will be vulnerable and have no way to get home to be protected. Fear of the road?? That is never going to happen.

  2. Pauline says:

    We had 2 Weims. Lucy died in July and now Ally cannot stay at home by herself. If we go out to dinner we take her and leave her in the car (Windows Open) … or we have a sitter. Lucy was 12 when she died and Ally is 6. Ally goes to the office during the day and is very well behaved. She used to go lay on the sofa when we left. But now that Lucy is gone she drools and barks at the back door. I thought of getting a puppy but I am concerned that won’t work and it will cause a bigger problem. Any ideas. I almost forgot. She does not crate.

    • Anne Taguchi says:

      Another dog should work, but you may create the same problem with the new puppy unless you actively crate and alone train the pup. Perhaps a better idea would be to adopt an older dog that has no SA instead. Good luck!

      • mf says:

        We had a similar issue with one of our elders passing a year ago. His partner, a year younger became a slouch. Wouldn’t move off the couch. We debated getting a pup; would it be too energetic for the elder, or would the elder get jealous? It was a tough decision, but after ten months, these guys are best of buds and the older girl who wouldn’t move acts like shes seven again. My two cents is, these guys are pack animals and need a pack – i say go for it.

        • TR says:

          Have a 11 silver female ( Lucy ) . Have a 10 year old male ( Norman ) . Lucy has cancer and is not going 2 be with us much longer . Will be picking up new blue male puppy in 2 weeks . I was looking for some advice about crate training and any other tips that can be given

          • Anne Taguchi says:

            Hi, you might want to look at our articles on puppies. You can do a search on the search page and a lot of stuff will come up! 🙂

  3. Zeedog Whisperer says:

    Dog training? I do believe that one of the important keys to a successful dog training is making yourself the pack leader. Establish first your role as a leader and everything will be easy.

  4. Robyn Henderson Johnston says:

    We recently rescued our second Wiem. We have had our first one for two years and is fully crate trained. The new one is about 2 years old and has to be with us everywhere we go. We want to crate train this one as well. How should we go about doing this?

    The foster family that had him before us said when placed in a crate, he would bark all day and mess in the crate and thus be in it all day.

    • Anne Taguchi says:

      Oh my, you have some bad habits to overcome if he had a history of barking and messing his crate. Your crated trained dog could maybe help the one that isn’t. Is the new one OK if crated next to the other one? You can also try the same thing as you would a baby puppy and you might have to progress even slower due to his bad experiences in the past. I would give it a try… Let us know how it works out

      • Kelly A Koren says:

        I only crate trained for the purpose of an emergency. If I needed to load them up and get out in a hurry, I did not want them to be fearful of the crate. My one dog took months as she was terribly abused. I threw treats on the floor somewhat near the crate and eventually over a long period of time they were in the crate. I NEVER CLOSED THE DOORS AT THIS POINT. These crates were also their night time sleep place. Probably another month went by and one day I closed the doors, but only for 30 seconds. Now I could begin to have brief periods with the doors closed while I was home. Time is on you side. Don’t be in a hurry with crate training. You will regret it and quite possibly your animal may never really enjoy their crate. My other Weimaraner was much faster. He too had some small issue, but I took my time and he got past it. Same process, but he had the benefit of my other dog imitate.

  5. Melanie Woolley says:

    I have a gorgeous weim who is very nice – to people but has turned into a dog attacker when off the lead. I am so saddened by this and as she needs plenty of off lean exercising I cant always keep her on the lead. HELP! (ps she was attacked by another dog a while ago and aggressive behaviour started since then slowly getting worse. )

    • Anne Taguchi says:

      What does she do exactly, go up to other dogs and then start attacking? Is it only certain dogs, or certain circumstances? Where are you located?

  6. Evan Lee says:

    Was wondering if anyone could help me out: I’ve recently become the owner of a Weim puppy, she’s now 11 weeks old. I’ve alone trained her and she’s great with her crate. I work 5-6 hour shifts and I’m concerned that keeping her in the crate while I’m at work + the 8 hours while we sleep at night is too long. Would anyone with experience with this be able to give me some advice?

    • Anne Taguchi says:

      This is a pretty typical concern but I wouldn’t worry about it if she’s getting sufficient exercise otherwise. With the work you are putting in now, it will not be long before you can leave her with some loose house privileges so she will not be “cooped up” like that forever. Normally dogs sleep about 16 hours a day so you’ll probably find that even when she’s loose and you are at work, she’s probably sleeping. You may even be surprised to find that your dog will seek out her crate anyway as her own choice.

  7. cadence says:

    i have a four year old rescue weim that i’ve taken in this week. should i focus on bonding with the dog for the near future, or do i need to immediately start alone training — and would you crate a 4 year that grew up in the country?

    • Anne Taguchi says:

      That’s a great question. I would still crate a 4 year old that grew up in the country. You don’t always have to crate her, but if you train her, then at least you have the option in case you need to.
      Also, I do think you bring up a good point about the importance of bonding with a rescue, but since alone training starts with really short spurts in the crate anyway, I think you’ll have ample time to bond.

  8. Brian says:

    I just got my new weim a week ago and I gate off a bedroom for him to stay in while I’m at work and he seems to do pretty good. My issue is that I let him stay in my bed at night for the first week. I tried putting him in the crate tonight but he got really vocal and cried and howeled. Do I need to spend more time getting him used to the crate? I had the door open during the day and he went in and laid down with no issue. He just hates it at night. Any help would be great!

    • Anne Taguchi says:

      Hi Brian, congrats on the new addition! Yes you probably need to spend more time with him getting used to the crate, and with the week he spent with you on the bed, it might be a little longer process in that he is going to try a harder than a pup who doesn’t know what the bed is like to get back on there. It’s not that he hates the crate at night he wants to be with you. So I would either out-stubborn him and you will have to be 100% strict with yourself to not let him up (or the training at night will just drag on and on) or you can choose to just let him sleep with you. I would encourage you to just crate train him at night and then allow him on the bed when he’s older. It is helpful to have a crate trained dog when you go stay over at someone else’s house for instance and not have to worry about a howling dog. Good luck!

  9. Lisa says:

    We just got a 10 week old weim puppy less than a week ago. We are working on crate training him, but we cannot take time off of work to ease into this process, and so he is in the crate for 6 hours from the start. This is making it difficult for him to see the crate as a good thing and become comfortable with it. He cries and barks as soon as we put him in, and tries to fight going in the crate. We have also put him in for short periods of time while we are home to help him get used to it, but he cries and barks for the entire period he is in it. We always give him plenty of exercise before crating him. The first couple nights we also crated him at night, and he cried for about an hour before going to sleep. We felt bad having him spend all night and all day in the crate, so last night we let him sleep with us. Is 7 hours at night and 6 hours during the day too much time for a puppy to be crated, or would you suggest continuing to crate him at night? Any further suggestions on how we can get him to be more comfortable and calm in his crate? Since we don’t work weekends, we will try alone training in the crate for short periods of time then.

  10. Rylea says:


    I have an 9 month old weim that I had previously crate trained (unfortunately I made the mistake of only putting her in it while we were out). Whenever she was alone she would bark, she never got use to being alone. Recently we started watching a second dog for a family member during this time her barking stopped. However, she started destroying things. I am not sure how to proceed with her, would you suggest starting over with the crate training? She is very smart and catches onto things quickly but she has some bad habits that need to be addressed. Me and my partner both work 9-5 type jobs so she spends a good chunk of her day alone. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you!

    • Anne Taguchi says:

      Hard to say with this… It depends on how bad her anxiety is, but if she was previously crate trained, it might be worth trying again. Does the second dog crate up? You might be able to crate them side by side in the beginning. I would definitely try different things to see what works. What you want is to get any kind of relaxed behavior in there in the beginning. Get it whatever way you can in the beginning – use food, another dog, a bigger area, whatever. Then systematically make small changes, so fade out the food or other dog or start making the space smaller (if you want to). Good luck!

  11. Ash says:

    This is a very encouraging blog I must say! Thank you 🙂 We have just got a new female Weimaraner who is 10 weeks old. I have wanted a Weim since I was a kid. We have no children and we have a family sized house and a small/medium sized garden. I work 9-5 weekly (but can work at home from time to time) my partner works part time. So there will be at least 3 days where she (Gwen) will be by herself for 8 hours. We have only had her three days and already she is (thanks to this blog) happily spending time in her crate quietly (after crying for 10 mins). I have another two weeks off work to give her the best T&O aiming start I can before she spends a few days in the crate alone. This blog gives me hope that we can raise a happy healthy Weim that wind be too anxious or destructive as an adult. Most Weim enthusiasts would shoot us for having her I’m sure, but we want to make it work! 🙂 sorry for the lengthy post… It feels good to share with likeminded fellow! Ash.

    • Anne Taguchi says:

      Thank you so much for sharing Ash! I hope your comments will help others see that crate training can be of great benefit! Give Gwen some belly rubs from me! 🙂

  12. Phil says:

    I have a 9 week old bella and she cries as soon as placed in her crate she then chews the metal and has cut her mouth …..she has messed in her bed in the crate and often uses the bed as a toilet,she really doesn’t like the crate . We have tryed to train he in small doses just conserved about her ..

  13. Pedro E. says:

    Hi Anne,

    I think your articles are marvelous.i just bought a Weim puppy and Im trying to train him. Ive read the fundamentals article however I really dont know where to start. He is very obedient but i think this is because he fears me. He sometimes wont come when I call. He also seems sad at some times, im not sure if it is separation anxiety. Please help me start the right way,

    Best Regards,


    • Anne Taguchi says:

      Hi Pedro, thank you for nice comments! Is your boy about 8 weeks old? I would start with socialization and get him used to experiencing new things to bring his confidence levels up. I don’t know if your puppy has separation anxiety, but in general I do believe that there is a temperament component to it, so I think the best thing to do is to focus on his confidence rather than “obedience” per se.

  14. Kaitlyn says:

    I have a 8 month old weim and he is great when we leave him in his crate. He is not so good when he’s out though. He’s VERY hyper and it seems like nothing can get him to calm down. He is also very attatched to my husband and only listens to him. We are expecting a little boy in September and I am worried our weim is going to be very jealous of our new edition. Any advice on how to get him to calm down and do you think he will be ok around a baby?

    • Anne Taguchi says:

      I would be sure to spend time with your dog when he is out of his crate and exercise him both physically and mentally so that you don’t have to rely on the crate to calm him down. Make sure you are the one interacting with him, and feed him as well. All that will help establish your place as the boss in his mind. Most Weims do great with new additions but only if they are kept a part of the family. If you put him in a crate all the time due to his hyperactivity, a new addition that may require more crate time could potentially cause problems, so my suggestion is to work with his behavior out of the crate before the baby arrives.

  15. Alexa says:

    Thank you for your wonderful tips! I am wondering , do you have tips on better establishing myself as the alpha female in the house? My Weimaraner is 8mo old and I am still having trouble getting across to her who’s in charge. My kids seem to get it, but Bailey is probably the most hard headed alpha dog I have ever, EVER, owned!

    • Anne Taguchi says:

      One of the best ways to establish your dominance is to make her work for her meals and treats. They call this “nothing in life is free” training, you can do a Google search, but basically the idea is to have her work for all good things in her life. Sit before you give her her meals. Sit before you take her out for a walk, etc. You have control of all her resources, just remember that, and make sure she works for all her privileges!

  16. Mark says:

    Hi good afternoon
    We have a 10 month Weimaraner and when we go out and he’s in his crate he’ll cry, bark and urinate in is crate. Is there any type of training we can do to stop him from doing this

    • Anne Taguchi says:

      Be sure to crate him when you are home as well and be sure to do a lot of training to head off separation anxiety 🙂

  17. Florian says:


    I have a 2.5 year old Weim, Lyra, and I’m having immense issues with leaving her home alone. If she didn’t bark, she would be the perfect dog. I’ve taught her on-leash, off-leash, heeling, sit/stay, leave it, find your ball, off, come, hey (wait), kennel, down, etc. I am getting in trouble with the neighbors, with work, etc, though because of her barking.

    I run her 5-10 miles a day (all trails for her joints), AND I’ll sometimes take her mountain biking or hiking as well. In addition, I stimulate her with ball exercises and games, and hunts around the house.

    She is well fed, well cared for, and super loved.

    But, I don’t know what to do. I just cannot live with her barking when I leave her. I’ve had the police called on me. It is literally her ONLY flaw… I need help. I’ve gone to trainers. I’ve gone to dog whisperers. I am out of options.

    When I leave, during the day, usually she will just lie down in her kennel, but then after an unknown amount of time she starts howling, barking, and crying. She will stand at the front of her kennel and bark, bark, bark, such high, non-stop, piercing cries. I’ve tried automatic bark collars (citronella and stimulation), and I have stimulation training collars with a 1/2 mile range. I will wait ’til she barks and then nick her. Nothing seems to work. Maybe I’m doing it wrong?

    I NEED to be able to leave at night or for work and have her be quiet. She’s never in the kennel for more than 4 hours. NEVER. It’s usually right around 2.5-3.5 hours.

    Help, please.

    • Anne Taguchi says:

      Honestly this sounds like separation anxiety. You might need to find a specialized trainer, or consider something like day care so she’s not alone.

  18. Kristian says:


    I have a 13 month Weim that was given to me by someone who could not provide it with the necessary conditions. Here is the only issue we have, he hates crates! I have no issues leaving him in the house, no barking and nothing destroyed. The problem occurs when I want to leave for an extent period of time and leave him at a kennel. He has chewed through 2 chain link fences to date and has been banned.

    When we received him, we were told he was crate trained, therefore we put him in the crate when we left. He always escaped until the day he broke the cage. I guess this goes back to what you said in this article, most problems are related to using the crate only when leaving. What do I do now?


    • Anne Taguchi says:

      Honestly if he’s OK and safe in the house, you just have to decide whether it’s even worth it for you to bother training him and find alternate ways to deal with the extended absences like using a sitter or having a neighbor let your dog out. If you decide to try to train him, you will have to do all the steps but it will require a lot of patience….

  19. KD says:

    This is a wonderful blog. I own 3 beautiful weimaraners. Esme, 4. Olivia 3. And Stanley 12 weeks old. I am a true advocate of the crate. This has always been a positive ‘safe place’ for us in our house. I trained all 3 with the word bed and 2 tiny treat biscuits each when they go inside. I use it when I pop out, when we eat dinner and when we have visitors that are not keen on dogs. They are happy in the crates/beds. I am pleased to say that both my girls decided on and chose the crate to have their puppies which was further confirmation to me that they see it as their place, their 100% safe place. It has never been used as punishment. I began slowly with all of them … At first just placing them in there when they had fallen asleep and letting them out as soon as they woke up, always after exercise, play time, toilet break and water and food times. It took days to get them trained. All very happy dogs. And one very proud owner.

  20. Angela ford says:

    Hi , need help with Ben my 10 yr old wiem , he recently was unwell and is attending vet for liver problems , he also has just started pooing and peeing in the house not having did this since he was a puppy he’s walked regularly up to 7 miles per day and has constant access to back garden except during the night.

    • Anne Taguchi says:

      I’m so sorry you are going through this. It is probably related to his illness and old age. I know it can be hard living with the old ones, but they are so worth it!

  21. Nicola says:


    Myself and my husband have a 6 month old Weim called Brechin who is crate trained. He is in his crate throughout the day when we’re at work and has 2 visits, one for a 30 minute walk in the morning and one just for a play in the afternoon. We have worked extremely hard to crate train him well and keep this up all the time by placing him in his crate at random points throughout the day when we’re in the house, or when we’re having dinner etc so he is quite good at being alone now. Recently however we have found he is escaping his crate while we’re at work and I don’t know if this is because he is anxious or just wants out to play? How can we stop him escaping?


    • Anne Taguchi says:

      Hi Nicola, great job with the training! I suspect with all your training, he is probably just getting “creative” with his time. You might want to switch the walk and play time or do play time instead of the walk, something a little more tiring. You can also get a more secure crate or bungee it or something to make it more secure. If I had to guess with the information you gave, this is probably age-related as well.

      • Nicola says:

        Hi Anne,

        Yes I don’t feel like he has separation anxiety as we come home and 90% of the time he is quiet and not barking and he happily sleeps in his crate or sits in it while we potter about the house or have dinner so I feel like he is just bored and being a bit of an opportunist, especially since he knows how to do it now. We are introducing a 30 minute walk in the morning from next week in place of his morning puppy visit so hopefully that will tire him out a bit more. Do they tart getting a bit more adventurous and naughty around 6 months?


        • Anne Taguchi says:

          Yes, they definitely start getting naughty around that age. I’d say the hardest time to have a Weim is from 6-12 months. He is testing his boundaries and limits. Making him more tired will help. Also don’t forget that training (mental games) will tire him also. A lot of the “bratty” behavior will go away with age. I don’t typically like saying a dog will “grow out of” bad behaviors, but your case you have laid a proper foundation, so I don’t think you will have any big problems in the long run. It’s puppy stuff 😉

  22. Kelly says:

    Hi. We have a 4 year old wiem. Until last week, he went in his crate a night and slept through most of the night. Now he barks as soon as we put him in the crate, nothing in our house has changed. No one is sleeping. Your advise is most appreciated.

    • Anne Taguchi says:

      What did he used to do before? (You mentioned he used to sleep through most of the night before. Did he used to wake you up?) What happens now when he barks? Do you let him out?

  23. Nicola says:

    Hi Anne,

    I’m looking for a little more advice is possible. Our 7 month old weim pup is fairly good at being alone now in his crate…provided we are downstairs. If I am in the kitchen etc he will be absolutely silent and quite settled, however as soon as I go upstairs he will bark. I have been trying to teach him ‘quiet’ but I can’t get the timing right as once I start going downstairs he is quiet…so I don’t know how to get him to stop barking while upstairs.

    Additionally, he is waking up at around 5am every weekend…I’ve tried ignoring him and he just keeps barking and barking, I’ve also tried putting him out for a pee but then he won’t go back into his crate without barking the house down when I go back up to bed. It’s not that he wants to play as if I go downstairs and potter around (leaving him in his crate and not interacting with him at all) he will be silent.

    Any advice would be great.


    • Anne Taguchi says:

      Based on what you said before about his crate training history, this could be partially age related. They get pretty bratty at this age, like a human teenager, testing boundaries and seeing what he can get away with. I advise those that trained their puppies prior to this period that they can get more firm with their dog if they know what is expected (through prior training) and are being defiant.
      He could be testing to see if barking is a way to get let out of his crate. I would let him bark his fool head off and show him that this is not a strategy that will work. You must outstubborn him in this case!

  24. Kamiya says:

    My boyfriend got me a weim puppy for Christmas. She is about 7 weeks old now. I have never had a Weimaraner and was wondering what is a good amount of daily exercise, food intake, and training regimen for her at this age and into the following weeks.

    I have the rest of this week of from work but will be returning this Saturday. I am a restaurateur/chef so a lot of my time is spent at the restaurant. Luckily my boyfriend has a 9-5 that also allows him to come home at lunch. I want to make sure that she does not suffer from sever sep. anxiety when we both return to work. I have only had her for two days and she has already grown very attached.(which I am very thankful for)

    Thanks for your help, Anne!

    • Anne Taguchi says:

      In a nutshell, you can exercise her with play, and just let her play as needed. Food should be given starting with bag recommendations or what the breeder was feeding and you can adjust. Not all pups will eat the same amount of food so just keep an eye on her and don’t let her get fat. For training, you can start some basic stuff, her mind is actually quite well developed, she just doesn’t have the attention span of an older dog, so keep it short and lots of positive reinforcement!

  25. Lindsay says:

    we have a 1.5 year old Weim rescue, he’s really sweet and good with the kids. he is left to roam the house when we are gone and for the most part is really good and just sleeps on my bed. My trouble that I am having is the excitability anytime some one comes through the door. he kind of goes ballistic in excitement. is there anything I can do to help with this?

    • Anne Taguchi says:

      You might want to redirect his excitement towards a toy if he likes to carry things. What is he doing exactly when you say he goes ballistic?

  26. J.D. Mininger says:

    Hi. My wife and I have an 8 year old male Weimaraner. We’re on the fence about what to do with him and desperately need advice. Whenever we leave him alone it seems he breaks or destroys something inside the house. We regularly walk and run and exercise him. And we’ve been training him. But we haven’t crate trained him. Is it too late to do so?!? We will both go back to fulltime work shortly (school year starting) and I fear it will go badly and we’ll need to get rid of him. We have a large fenced yard, but I fear letting him be outside alone all day for how much he’d bark and howl and disturb the neighbors. Should we consider barking training of some sort (one of those high-pitch sound collars)?
    Also — he seems prone every once in a while to snapping, growling, protecting things he’s found , or growling/snapping at us when (for instance) we try to pull him off the bed. This seems a very difficult character trait to accept. We do not abuse him, and though he is so amazingly sweet most of the time we do get these strange angry or ‘bitey’ moments (clearly different from the kind of play-biting that happens). This is, frankly, disturbing, and I don’t know what to make of it and I don’t really know what to do.
    I feel rather desperate at this point for a strategy that might see us be able to keep our beautiful dog. But if he’s chewing up everything, barking like crazy when we’re gone, and occasionally showing that growling/snapping character, then I know that giving him away will be the only option. PLEASE — any help / advice / counsel would be enormously appreciated!!

    • Anne Taguchi says:

      Hi JD, It’s not too late to crate train, but to be honest, crate training an adult is much harder and takes a lot longer than training a puppy. I agree that leaving him the yard while you are gone will not solve the problem. I would still work on crate training even though you are working, but since you’ll have to start really slow, don’t do it while you are work because you are gone too long. The only thing I can really think of is to take him to a doggy daycare while you are working and start the crate training after you get him home.
      For the protection issue, you should take away his bed privileges. This is where your progress with crate training can help as you can crate him at night. Or you can tether him to the ground and have him sleep on a bed next to yours. For the other things he protects, try trading him for something else, like a treat. ALso when you feed him see if you can take his food away. If not, try to have a high value treat to add to his bowl and give it to him while he’s eating and take his bowl away and then start taking the treat away as well.
      He sounds like a very good candidate for “Nothing in Life is Free” training where he has to do something to earn privileges. Here is a good article on it:

  27. Louise says:

    We sadly had to put one of our dogs down so now our second is having anxiety issues. He is getting the snip next week (he is 6 yr old) but he has managed to get out an open window (destroying the mesh) and has now managed to open our bedroom doors. We have left blankets, taking him for more walks, leaving different things. So far he hasn’t seemed to chew anything yet, just seems to look for a way out of the house – sometimes he needs a poop so had a couple accidents in the house (he never did before when we had his brother). also the dog across the street is going into heat for the first time. Just looking for any tips or any ideas to see if you have something we haven’t thought of. He seems to get into our room and just sleep on the bed.

    • Anne Taguchi says:

      Hopefully his anxiety issues will lessen as he grieves for his brother. If he just wants to get into your room maybe you should leave him there if it’s safe. Otherwise if he’s crate trained, you may want to crate him for his own safety.

  28. Sarah says:

    We have a lovely 10 week old Weim dog, he hates being on his own, we crate him at night but it has to be in our bedroom else he howls all night. We’ve tried to overcome this but no luck and it’s not a big deal for us as he’s quiet all night! The problem comes in the day, he settles in his crate perfectly fine but neighbours have reported that once I’ve left the house he will on and off howl and bark for the duration of me being out! He also doesn’t like it if he loses sight of you in the house or if you shut him in a different room!!

    • Anne Taguchi says:

      He sounds like a great candidate for alone training! If he can tolerate 30 sec of you being in a different room when he’s in a crate, start there and work your way up in time. And make sure that he has a very special treat when he’s in his crate only. Best of luck

  29. Chiyah says:

    Wondering if anyone has any advice? When I brought home my Weim pup I made it a priority to get her used to some alone time. I did not crate her but would leave her in the kitchen with her bed, toys, water for a little while when I washed, did the cleaning, ate dinner and she would also sleep in there. She was perfectly fine but now she’s 6 month old and hates being alone. I have not changed anything In her routine. Any time I leave her she will cry, bark, whine, scratch at the door ect. Even if I leave the room to go upstairs and she can see me she acts the same, (I have a baby gate on the stairs). I’m not sure if it’s aniexty as she doesn’t always do it right after I leave and she’s not always destructive. If anything she’s more destructive in front of me! There is never any slobber and there isn’t always pee or poop when I return so I’m a little confused.

    • Anne Taguchi says:

      It seems like she’s being a brat 6 month old and testing her limits with you rather than anxiety. I would ignore her behavior. The lack of attention may be enough to get her to stop especially if you did work with her as a baby pup.

  30. Abby says:

    Hi Anne!

    I have a 9 month old Weim that I just adore. Recently my work schedule changed and he has to be alone for about 9-10 hours at least 1 day a week. He has a room to himself, with toys, food and water. But I do worry that this will be too much for him, thought or advice ?

    • Anne Taguchi says:

      It depends on the type of dog he is and if he has had experience with schedule changes in the past, as well as if he’s already used to being alone and crate trained. If yes to all, then the change in schedule should go fairly smoothly. If he hasn’t started spending some time alone, I would start that immediately before your new schedule starts. If your new schedule has already started, I would find a babysitter for the day you are at work, and then work on his alone training the other 6 days of the week.

      • Abby says:

        Thank you! He is definitely a “owner loving” Weim so he is super attached. But I started by leaving him 2 hours, the 4, and now 5. Slowly getting up to a whole day at least that once a week. I just wanted to make sure it was possible. I have read a lot about the separation anxiety and alone time for them and I was worried for my little guy. Thank you!

  31. Ben says:

    Hi Anne,

    Great website for Weims. I have a 5-year-old Weim, Henri. I am little worried because I recently parted away with my partner and got a new place. I used to crate him as a puppy and half way thru his life, but we got to point where I could leave him out of crate and alone in one of the room during the day. Over the years, I had limited damage to the room (floor and door mostly, oh yeah, he took the carpet out once). I talked to other owners and once I was told to keep him train to the crate, meaning to keep him in when I am away even thru his adult life because it always makes a Weim feel safe and reduce anxiety down. Any views on if you would recommend on keeping a Weim trained to crate most of his life? it is a bit of an odd question, but I always wonder how long I should or should have kept Henri trained to crate…

    Thank you!

    • Anne Taguchi says:

      Hi Ben, It’s a personal choice once your dog is trained and is reliable in the house, but the people you talked to have a point. My first Weim LOVED his crate and I almost felt sorry for him when I removed some of the “ugly” crates that didn’t go with the decor, as I did feel I was taking away one of his favorite spots. If I were you, I would probably periodically crate him, just in case you need to put him in one again in the future. As my dogs got older (and unfortunately sick), it was nice for them to like their crates, especially if there were a pesky puppy around, then I could crate either dog. If Henri had a good experience with his crate when he was younger, I doubt there would be any trouble if you periodically continued to crate him.

  32. Patrick says:

    I used a wireless collar that kept him semi close worked great. I got it at petco kinda pricey but worth it

  33. Jason says:

    I have a 9week old female silver Weim. I literally can’t go from my couch to my kitchen (7-8 steps) with out my Weim going OFF. Howling squealing and being frantic. Once I left her out of her crate to run to my car only to return to poop and pee and a lot of it (on puppy pads)it’s REALLY BAD. I feel sorry for her and I feel defeated but I refuse to give up. I’m home 24/7 so I’m willing to do what ever it takes. I crate 85% of the day now. I moved the crate about a foot and a half away from me and she lost it! Am I doomed to the intensity of her separation anxiety or so you this will diminish a little ? I have a 30 ft lead I’m ready to use and let her run for a couple hours. When she thinks I’m leaving if she’s not in her crate she runs to one spot to pee randomly and she paces my house while walking past me or with me insight. I literally can’t make a move without her checking on me. I feel like a hostage lol. PLEASE HELP

    • Anne Taguchi says:

      Hi Jason, wow, sorry to hear you are going through this. It’s really hard to answer your question about whether this will get better or not. I’ve come to realize that there is a genetic component to separation anxiety that can be very hard to change. Is she ever relaxed? From what you describe it sounds like she’s anxious even when you are home? Can the breeder give you some insight? What were the parents like? Did you notice anything when you picked her up? THese questions may not matter since you are committed to her either way, but it does make me wonder. Honestly if I were you, I would get a professional involved. Exercise and getting her tired may help, and if she’s really bad, she may need medication as well. Not a first choice, but sometimes the training won’t work if they are too worked up and anxious to even pay attention to training, so her mind set has to be right first. Best of luck!

  34. Nina Martin says:

    Hello thank you for all of this insight . I feel completely lost right now . We just rescued a Weim and he seems to be really drawn to my husband . He follows him around event waits for him at the bathroom while he’s using it . How do we get him to understand that we all ( me and the 3 kids) are here for him? Also at night when it’s time for sleeping he’s been barking and crying when we crate him . He only stops if my husband goes down to be closer to the crate , maybe same or next room .
    When my husband left for the store he was not very nice to the rest of the family . It was kind of scary .

    • Anne Taguchi says:

      Hi Nina, I’m sorry it took me a while to respond. Since you say he was not very nice, I would suggest having a talk with the rescue that you adopted him from. It may be something that together you can work on, or it may be a fit that isn’t right for your home. Sometimes you don’t know the background of rescues, and with kids around, your home may not be the right one to help him through the issues.

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