This site is full of warnings about how much energy Weimaraners have. Well, I’m here today to share some shortcuts on how to deal with it, because, I admit it. I can be a lazy Weim owner sometimes!
So here are some ideas to give the calorie burn to the dog, not you. Even 10 minutes of these activities (try for 20 minutes or more if possible though!) will give him a pretty decent workout before you put him in his crate and leave for work.
You bike, he runs.
10 minutes is a pretty good run for your Weim when you are first starting. Work up your time from there. You should get a bike attachment (I prefer the Walky Dog) and put a harness on him, so he learns to pull. Do not allow your dog to ever pull against the collar around his neck. All “pulling” exercises must be done with a harness!
Once your Weim learns to pull, you won’t need to help peddle!
Nothing wrong with a good ol’ play date with other well socialized dogs!
Hide a toy and have your Weim find it!
This requires a stay command so you can go hide the toy without Mister Curiosity following you. If your Weim doesn’t have a solid stay, then use this time indoors to teach it and reward their stay (and self control) with a release to find a favorite toy. Until he masters the stay command, you can put your dog in a crate or tethered him so he doesn’t cheat!
When I first teach this, I use this particular duck “squeaker” toy which continues to make noise for a few seconds after you squeeze it. This helps the dog when you are first introducing this game to find the toy more quickly since it will still squeak for a few seconds after you hide it.
If your Weim already has a solid stay, you can hide yourself, release your dog and have them find you. They catch on to this one really quickly. The cheaters (and they ALL are, they are Weims so they use their brains) will learn that your release word will tell them where you are hiding. Oh well, it’s all about fun, it’s okay if they cheat!
You have a bird dog! Most Weims will naturally retrieve. If they are distracted, use a hallway to keep attention on the toy.
Ratchet this up a notch: o get the most out of fetch when you are short on time, have your Weim fetch up the stairs. No stairs? Get a Chuckit so that you can throw that ball far enough that he really sprints for his ball.
You can incorporate some obedience into this game as well. Have them stay (or in field terms, “whoa”) before releasing them to go retrieve. You can also teach him to present the toy to you by sitting or coming around to your side, or whatever! Weims are usually such great retrievers and naturally inclined to retrieve that the retrieve itself may be rewarding enough that most Weims get really good at this!
Don’t Forget the Brain Exercises!
Mental stimulation is very important for a thinking breed like the Weimaraner. Boredom almost always equals trouble so anything that engages their mind is going to stave off bad behavior.
Training actually works best in short intervals, even 5 minutes! Ramp up the old skills; even the top obedience dogs need repetition to keep in tip top form, so go through the paces.
If this sounds boring to you, it’s probably boring to your dog too. So try adding new elements to your exercises, make them harder, do them in a different order, mix things up!
Tricks and Games
They may not have a true practical purpose other than to amuse you (and maybe some drunk guests) but if it saves your house from being chewed to pieces from boredom, I say go for it!
I recommend Kyra Sundance’s book, 101 Dog Tricks featuring her Weimaraners. Laid out step by step, you can follow the book to teach your Weim to jump rope, wave, bow, etc. 101 is a lot of tricks and should keep you and your Weim busy for a long time!
Interactive and Treat Dispensing Toys
Puzzles for your dog, I love it! What a great way to keep the brain occupied!
I have to give a nod to Kong, one of my favorite dog toy brands. They came out with a toy called the Kong Wobbler that makes the traditional Kong more interactive by dispensing food out of a hole when it’s pushed or pawed.
(Quick hint: If your Weim masters this one too quickly you can add a small toy inside to keep the treats from dispensing too fast or you can make the hole smaller by using some tape inside.)
A Tired Weim is A Good Weim
This oft repeated mantra is very true. But it doesn’t mean you have to devote hours and hours to taking him out and keeping him occupied and engaged.
Be creative! Be fun! It’s a balancing act, and mixing things up will keep your dog on his toes.
A great way to tire out your Weimaraner is to physically exercise him, and then follow it up with a short training session. For example, 20 minutes on the bike, and then 10 minutes of obedience. Boom! Done in half an hour!
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