Pets play a fundamental role in the lives of many people and families. Any animal (dog, cat, snake, bird, etc.) becomes a valuable member of the family, offering the company that many people need.
As we know, dogs are the most common pets in most homes due to the loyalty, affection, and active lifestyle they offer. Many families adopt this type of animal more frequently because they are considered excellent pets and also because they are the creatures most similar to human beings in terms of personality and temperament.
Each breed of dog presents different characteristics, be it size, physical appearance, ability, habit, etc. One of the most interesting that we can find in various countries is the Weimaraner.
These dogs are very active and energetic canines that need to undergo various types of training. They are known for their hunting skills and a high level of physical activity. These canines tend to get bored easily, so they need daily exercise, whether it is running, swimming, playing, etc.
However, one of the most distinctive aspects that characterize the Weimaraner is its temperament and personality. This breed is characterized by having a friendly and affectionate personality with its owners and members of its human family. However, it can also get along well with strangers, children, and other animals if it receives socialization training from a puppy.
Importantly, one of the negative aspects of the Weimaraner is its tendency to suffer from separation anxiety. That is because they generally begin to feel anxious and sad when they are left alone for a long time, causing them to develop destructive behaviors affecting their emotional state. These dogs need the company of their loved ones (owners and members of their human family) most of the time.
It is essential that a Weimaraner is acquired by individuals or families who have enough time to spend with it. However, not everyone can dedicate the time that a dog of this type needs. For that reason, there are certain ways to train a Weimaraner to help reduce separation anxiety.
What is and What Causes Separation Anxiety?
We’ve already seen a bit of what separation anxiety is about. In summary, separation anxiety is a behavioral problem suffered by some dogs’ breeds when they are left alone at home or separated from their owners for long periods.
In fact, some canines become anxious simply by losing eye contact with their loved ones, although that will depend exclusively on the specific personality of each Weimaraner.
The unwanted behaviors caused by separation anxiety are due to responses that these canines present in a panic situation. In the case of Weimaraners and many other dog breeds, the causes could be:
- When it is left alone for the first time, no matter the place.
- When it is very used to the presence of loved ones and is left alone for a few hours.
- When the Weimaraner experiences a traumatic situation.
- When this animal loses a member of its human family.
- When it notices a change in the family routine.
Why Should We Teach Our Weimaraner to Stay Alone?
If we are people who work for long periods every day and do not have another member of our family at home, then not teaching our Weimaraner to stay alone for a few hours could be negative for its mental health.
The Weimaraner is known in many places as a Velcro dog. That means that these animals tend to get very attached to their owners. They love to follow their loved ones to every room in the house or sit with them on a sofa or bed.
We can say that this breed of dog’s main objective is to exercise and stay with its owners most of the time. Separation anxiety is something that affects these canines a lot, so we have to teach them how to deal with this situation.
If a dog of this type is left alone for a long time, it is expected that it begins to develop destructive behaviors by nature.
There are people who are willing to stay together with their canine 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. However, acquiring a Weimaraner is a great responsibility, especially for those people who spend some hours of their day away from home, either working or studying.
It is important that we teach this dog to stay at home for a few hours, letting it know that we will be back soon to be with it and hug it.
How to Handle Certain Situations Related to This Disorder to Help Your Weimaraner?
We have to gradually get used to our Weimaraner becoming more independent and making it less attached to us.
One of the best ways to do that is by ignoring it. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t pay regular attention to it.
One of the situations we could ignore our Weimaraner is when we go out or come home. However, after a few minutes, stroke it calmly as if we ignore it completely for a long time, then it will be worse.
Another thing you can do is get it used to a command that tells it that you are about to leave the house and that you will be back soon.
Now, if the situation becomes more serious, you should consider creating a safe place for your Weimaraner to feel good. You can keep your pet in a closed room with an open window, so it doesn’t feel like it is confined.
Also, you can leave it with its favorite toys so that it can entertain and feel happy. That will make it forget that it is alone. You could also leave your dirty clothes as your scent will make your canine relax.
Things You Shouldn’t Do if Your Weimaraner Suffers from Separation Anxiety
Training such a dog to reduce separation anxiety can take time. No matter how long it takes, never choose to use methods that include punishment as it could make the situation worse.
Do not completely isolate your Weimaraner as it could act in an unwanted way in its attempt to escape. As we have said in the previous point, you have to try to create a safe place where it feels comfortable.
Noise is another factor that can be counterproductive in Weimaraners that suffer from this disorder. Therefore, try not to leave the television or radio on.
Weimaraner Training Process
Following the advice given above, together with training of this type, will help reduce the separation anxiety that your dog presents.
If we want to help our dog in this aspect, we can do it through two types of training:
- Obedience training.
- Crate training.
Obedience Training to Reduce Separation Anxiety
Teaching your dog the basic commands will allow it to build good habits progressively. That means that it will be difficult to engage in unwanted behaviors outside the range of what you have taught it.
Teach it to sit, stay, or lie down somewhere in the house while you are not with it. You can do that through various commands:
Hold a treat in your hand to get your Weimaraner’s attention. Move it slowly over its head to make it sit automatically. Quickly say “yes” and reward it with the treat.
Command your dog to sit and then say “stay” so that it does not move from its place. Take a step back and say “yes” and praise it if your dog has stayed in the same place. If not, say “no” in a firm tone of voice and repeat the process until it suits.
You have to teach your dog to be respectful and polite to you, the members of its human family, and even the guests who come to your house. Never pet or praise it when it does something that may be annoying to other people. All this will allow your dog to be more independent and have confidence in itself.
Crate Training to Reduce Separation Anxiety
Place the crate in a suitable place in the house for your Weimaraner. This space has to be where family members spend time. Also, make sure that the site you choose has perfect temperatures for your Weimaraner; that is, it should not be so cold but not so hot.
The training consists of accustoming your Weimaraner to stay inside the crate for short periods and little by little increase that time. Place inside the crate things that make your canine happy such as its favorite toy, a bed or blanket, treats, etc.
Once your dog is used to entering the crate, you can start giving it its favorite foods. That is very important since, as we know, any type of dog loves to eat.
Therefore, if your Weimaraner eats inside the crate, it will associate it with a pleasant moment and always want to return there. Make sure always to keep the crate door open, so your dog doesn’t lose confidence.
If your dog has already gotten used to eating inside the crate, you can close the door. Every time it finishes eating, open the door, so your Weimaraner can come out with complete confidence. That will allow it to enter without fear the next time.
Progressively increase the time your pet stays inside the crate. That will allow your Weimaraner to be protected and confident in the moments when you are not at home.