Weimaraners are not really a barky breed per se, but they are usually very good watch dogs, which most of us desire and appreciate. They can also be very demanding and they get bored easily (sound familiar? :-)) — a recipe for recreational barking.
The training problem here is that we want conflicting things out of our Weims — barking to keep the house safe is desired, but recreational barking is not. The best solution to this dilemma is to teach a “quiet” command. It gives your Weim the latitude to bark, but he must be quiet (or shut the *%^&@ up, depending on the circumstances, eh?) when you command him to.
Here’s how you do it:
- Get some soft treats. Cheese is good, but you can use anything your dog likes that is somewhat chewy.
- Do something to get your Weim to bark, like ringing the doorbell.
- After he barks a couple times, be right there with the treat to divert his attention with it. Quickly give it to him while saying “quiet” or whatever your command word is.
- Your Weimaraner really cannot bark and chew at the same time. Praise him for being quiet.
- Use another prompt to get him to bark and repeat.
- Start fading the treats away.
A few thoughts, comments and tips:
Your Weimaraner wants to please you, but do not expect him to understand what “quiet” or any other command means without showing him what you want. Treats help facilitate communication. I do not recommend using a spray bottle or a bark collar on your Weimaraner for barking control, unless you have a serious problem with nuisance barking.
If you investigate the source of your Weim’s barking (look out the door or window), this usually helps with the “quiet” command. If you already have the leadership role with your Weim, which you should have (or God help you) then this does help.
I use the word “enough” for my command and taught one of mine to generalize it to mean “stop what you are doing.” This girl is a kiss-aholic. I love it, but others, eeehhhh not so much. I don’t get it either, but there are people in the world that don’t like getting tongued by your dog, so this command has helped in other ways.
Training for attention and self-control in general will help you big time with this.
Don’t forget – patience and consistency! It really is true; they are the keys to successful training.