Every time a dog is to stay with us, I like to do a little bit of research on that particular breed, but since Josie’s mom told me that Josie was a lab and I knew about the breed, I decided to let it go. Anyway, Josie has come to stay with us a couple of times, but her behavior was not that of a lab. I looked at her very carefully and noticed her quirks and behavior and started my research. Josie, I found out, happens to be a Weimaraner. Aha! Now her behavior makes sense. As per www.terrificpets.com, a Weimaraner is, “Known to be bold and excessively rambunctious, this breed loves to hunt and run. If not allowed to do what their heart truly desires and is pent up, they will develop a destructive manner with sheer frustration. With a tendency to be headstrong and stubborn, lack of exercise or running will force these traits into a negative and unhappy dog. They need a yard that is large enough to run and explore in, and a home that allows them to sleep indoors on cool and cold nights, due to their very short hair.”
The description fitted Josie perfectly. Josie’s beautiful, big body wiggles like crazy every time she sees Alex, while Alex maintains that alpha demeanor so Josie can calm down. It usually takes about 2 minutes. Josie is extremely loving, but getting her to do things such as: sit, down, come, etc., is a struggle. Her mom said that she knew all this commands, but I think she has selective hearing like Alex. Anyway, I kept thinking of a way to get her to follow commands without having to repeat myself like a broken record, and I finally had an epiphany: Food. Josie is very food oriented, so I decided to use food to get her to do what I want. These are the things Josie does with food as an incentive, and surprisingly with repetition even without food as a reward:
- Sits patiently while I get her food ready
- Sits without whining or moving by the door as we get ready to go for our walk
- Goes to bed on command
This may seem insignificant to some pet parents, but to me this is pure joy and success. Josie stays with us about once a month, therefore I am going to continue training her because, yes, Waimaraners are stubborn, but it just means that training with her will take a little longer than with other dogs, but the results are more than worth it.