Training My 1 Year Old Weimaraner: Obedience, Tricks and Behavior

We’ve had our weimaraner pup for more than a year now. Remy is about 15 months old. This is an update on his training and behavior progress for anyone following along and for myself to re-visit later.

In summary, Remy is still very immature, high-energy, frustrating and sweet. He definitely tests my patience. But he’s getting better!

Half the time I wonder why the heck I thought it was a good idea to get a weimaraner in an apartment (it was a bad idea). But then the next minute he’s blinking those pretty eyes and I’m kissing him on the forehead so thankful for my little buddy who’s always ready to work, learn or go on a running adventure.

I do have to say he’s shown some slight “maturity” in the last 2 months or so. He settles down easier in the evenings and in the daytime while I’m trying to work or relax. He doesn’t bother our senior dog Ace as much, and we’ve moved our baby gate further down the hall to give him more overall freedom.

Here are some additional updates:

Remy is now a running dog!

It’s good to be cautious about running with a puppy or young dog but now that Remy is over a year old I don’t hold back on our miles.

The most we’ve gone is 6 miles in a session, but I know if I wanted to I could take him on even longer runs and he’s be just fine. I don’t worry about his joints at all anymore.

Saturday mornings we run 5 miles on the local trails, and this has become a very relaxing and peaceful part of my week that I really look forward to. It’s a good reminder of why I got a weimaraner in the first place.

 As far as training, here are a few things we’re working on:

Training my 1 year old Weimaraner

Trick training.

Remy doesn’t know any tricks other than twirl. He’s very smart and eager to learn and work, so this week I’m planning to start “back up” and hopefully eventually teach him to do handstands with his back legs on a wall or obstacle. I had trouble finding a good doggy handstand tutorial video, but here is one.

I’d also like to teach him to “perch” on obstacles which will start with teaching him to put his paws on a low object like a book. Eventually we’d work up to more challenging obstacles like fire hydrants!

Pulling on the leash.

Remy pulls really hard on the leash. In the grand scheme of things, this isn’t the end of the world but I’m embarrassed when we walk with other people or when other people need to walk him. I have a dog blog focused on TRAINING, and my dog acts like a maniac!

I’m thinking of doing a 30-day challenge for myself this summer where I do not allow him to pull on the leash at all for 30 days as a way to break the habit. This would be more complicated than just “standing like a tree” because we’d be there all day if I did that. I would have to be more creative, taking slow steps backward to get him to pay attention, etc.

Would any of you be interested in following along or participating if I wrote about this for 30 days? Please let me know in the comments.

Canine Good Citizen Test

The CGC test is a test by the AKC that looks for basic manners in dogs. There are 10 elements of the test, things like:

  • sitting calmly to greet a friendly stranger
  • coming when called
  • walking normally through a crowd of strangers, etc.

The dog has to pass all 10 elements to pass the test.

I do not believe Remy is quite ready to pass but we’ve been working towards it since January and have made significant progress.

Back in January I did not believe Remy would ever be capable of passing, and I was OK with that. Some dogs just can’t handle being touched by strangers, for example.

Remy’s main challenge for the CGC test is being able to sit still while a stranger greets him, pets him and touches his ears and paws! He’s not afraid of strangers, he’s just so happy and wiggly that he can hardly contain his little body! So we’re working on that.

Teaching a “place” command and “that’s enough.”

We really need work on “place” or “go to your bed” so Remy has a place other than his kennel where he can just go to on command and relax.

The reason I haven’t worked on this is because he tends to get overly excited and tries to chew, pick up or shake the dog bed, towel or rug he’s supposed to be lying on. I’m pretty sure it’s his version of a tantrum! It’s frustrating for me. It makes me fee like I have a bad dog, so we just haven’t worked on it!

I also need to get serious about teaching him “That’s enough” as in “Stop shoving your damn toy in my lap, no one wants to play with you right now!” (See this post.)

And along with that, we need to get serious about “Off!” as in “Get your paws off me.”

We have a lot of work, still.

See my post: How to teach a dog OFF.

Puppy mouthing.

My dog still mouths and bites people’s hands like he’s puppy. A lot! I’m concerned I have done something wrong with him. Why does he still have this habit?

Thankfully he doesn’t bite hard, but he does bite when he’s excited, greeting people, frustrated or impatient. I know weims take a bit longer to mature than other breeds and I’ve heard them can be “mouthy.” But still.

Is this a serious problem? Or somewhat “normal”? Should I put bitter apple spray on my hands? Or consider an e-collar? So far I’ve just shrugged it off hoping he’ll eventually grow out of it.

See my post: How to stop a puppy’s biting and jumping.

Getting along with my senior dog Ace

Training my 1 year old weimaraner

Remy and Ace are getting along much better. Ace is more tolerant, snarling much less often. Perhaps because Remy is every so slightly less annoying. They will even snuggle up together in the afternoons when the sun is low and hits the living room rug.

See my post: My dog is aggressive to my puppy.

On a related note, Remy seems to get along beautifully with other dogs.

He’s respectful of dogs that posture or think highly of themselves. He’s gentle with dogs that seem shy. He’s fun to bring to the dog park, and I don’t worry about much other than him stealing other dogs’ toys.

Likewise, he seems to love every single person he meets. He doesn’t judge. He loves everyone. When he pulls on the leash, I remind myself of this. At least he’s friendly! Some of you have to deal with the problems with fearful or reactive dogs. Mine is just overly enthusiastic!

Rise and shine!

Remy barks at 6 a.m. or earlier every morning ready to start his day. I consider that a minor problem, but some days you just want to sleep in till, God forbid, 6:30!

I don’t know what to do about this other than use a shock collar, which I haven’t done. Instead, I just get up. Sigh …

See my post: Stop dog from whining in the mornings.

Neutering and behavior

Remy was neutered at about 11 months, and I noticed a few small changes in his behavior:

  • He almost immediately stopped trying to hump me!
  • He stopped trying to hump Ace’s dog bed
  • He doesn’t mark as much outside or obsessively sniff where other dogs have peed

Other than that, the most noticeable behavior difference is how other dogs respond to him. Unfortunately, when he was intact other dogs would often growl at him or posture around him. They still don’t appreciate his overly excited greetings but they’re generally much more tolerant of him now that he’s neutered.

See my post: What age is best to neuter a dog?

Well, that’s a lot for this post so I’ll leave it at that!

What are you working on with your dogs right now?

Do you have any suggestions for Remy’s puppy biting/mouthing behavior? I’m actually not too worried about it, but should I be?

27 thoughts on “Training My 1 Year Old Weimaraner: Obedience, Tricks and Behavior”

  1. I’m in for a 30 day loose leash walking challenge! If it makes you feel better, multiple trainers have told me this is very tough to teach. My 3yo with the BN and CGC still doesn’t have this down. I’m okay with this because she’ll heel on command if we need to let someone pass, but a default loose leash walk would be nice to have.

    It’s funny how different dogs/breeds struggle with different aspects of the CGC. For my dog, being left with a friendly stranger was toughest. She does not like to know her people are nearby but not be with them. I watched her through one-sided glass, and she sat perfectly still and stared after me for the entire three minutes. I was pretty sure she was going to burn a hole in that window with her gaze. (I was also very certain we were going to fail on that element!)

    I took mouthiness very seriously, but a mouthy GSD is too risky for a number of reasons, not the least of which is MN dog bite law. My dog was very mouthy with me when she was a puppy, and because I didn’t nip that one in the bud with a mild correction when she was little (listening to force-free trainers for a GSD was a bad choice), I ended up having to go to a pretty forceful correction to ultimately extinguish the behavior. Luckily she was only ever mouthy with me and never others, but it wasn’t a behavior I could afford to tolerate. I don’t know Weims, nor do I know California dog bite law, so I can’t speak to the level of risk with Remy.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Ace was so easy to do the CGC test with! I didn’t realize how lucky I was. It was all a breeze. I didn’t even think twice about any of it.

      I took a foster dog through it (American Eskimo dog) and I was worried he wouldn’t pass the “loose leash” portion but I just walked fast (pretty much ran) so there was no tension and we passed. Ha! Remy is questionable for that portion too. And greeting another dog is hit or miss.

      1. I have two Goldendoodle puppies -one 70 pounds and one 40 pounds. Both were outgoing confident pups but both have been going through a fear stage. The big guy is afraid of everything– new people. New places. You name it. The little guy has become aggressive and nips. I’ve hired a trainer and we are working at building their confidence levels again. Baffling

  2. Bear is graduating basic obedience next week. He picks up on everything real quick. The one thing we’ve been working on with him is his confidence. The good news is he adapts well after a short period, but when he’s initially in a new environment you can tell he’s not too sure of himself. I’m not sure if it’s possible for you to just ignore Remy’s morning barking, but that’s what I’ve done with each of my dogs. Bear took the longest and didn’t stop his early rising until he was about 5 months old.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      I probably should just ignore him until he’s quiet. After 7 mornings of that, maybe he would stop. I worry about neighbors complaining if I ignore it too long but no one’s ever said anything. How long do you wait? Quiet for 30 seconds? A minute? 10 mins?

      1. I start small. If my pup is having trouble staying quiet in the beginning then I only have him stay quiet for about 10 seconds then increase from there. By the way, Stetson does something different, but similar. He’s on Ali’s school schedule and jumps off the bed every morning at 6:30am to eat breakfast. If no one gets up he will jump up and down on the bed until someone wakes up. We are able to change his schedule when Ali starts sleeping in later during summer break by ignoring him. It usually takes about 2 weeks before he adjusts his schedule to ours.

        1. Lindsay Stordahl

          I took your advice and decided to start ignoring Remy. I started Sunday, and I’m going to try it for a few weeks. This week I’m only requiring him to be quiet for 10 seconds! I was going to do 30 seconds on Sunday but once he started barking I realized I had to start with 10 seconds!

  3. I love how real you are with your successes and challenges in training. It’s very encouraging that you’re so open. Your Saturday runs sound completely lovely. I’m glad that you’re able to remember the good things about Remy and the successes you’ve had when you’re frustrated with some of his behaviour.

    I’d be up for a 30 day challenge. I’d have to think about what we work on. Maybe not obsessing about greeting every single dog–even the ones that are tucked away on their own properties as we’re walking past.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Our Saturday runs are nice because usually I use our hands-free leash that goes around my waist and I just let him be a dog and do whatever he wants. This is relaxing for me and I think Remy as well. I don’t worry about tugging on his collar or correcting him unless we happen to pass another dog. I just run for an hour or so and he has so much fun! We usually go around 7 am so it’s pretty quiet and head to areas where there won’t be too many other people or dogs too close. Only problem is the hands-free leash totally encourages his pulling but it’s still worth it.

  4. I would be up for the 30 day challenge, my lab mix likes to pull . He is so full of energy. I took ideas from you and got the prong collar and it works for him on our walks , but I would like to not always have to change collars. We are taking an obedience class right now to learn new things. Love reading your blogs , I relate to so many of the things you are experiencing.

  5. Hey, Lambeau will be four this year, and he still has some of Remy’s behaviors! He also has a hard time sitting still when greeting people, and for the same reason- he just gets so excited to meet new friends, he can’t contain himself. We are still working on not jumping at those times, but he is better. He still can get mouthy at times, also. I have heard that’s a pit bull “thing” but still, we work on containing it. He’s usually pretty good at loose leash walking and I am starting to work on off leash. His recall is better, but not perfect. We need to work on go to your bed a lot more. He calms down much more quickly when we have people to the house- after a good round or two of rambunctious greeting! He gets up between six and seven in the morning, but if I take him out to potty, put him back in his crate with a peanut butter stuffed toy, he will settle and let me go back to sleep. Great on Sundays, which are my sleep in days. He does know a whole slew of tricks: spin (both ways), give both paws, high five, roll over. And I have a three step stool that I set up and he can go “through” (under the legs), “around” the whole thing, “up” (put front paws on the top step). We are working on a belly crawl through the legs now. We also work down and sit in there with the other tricks, just for practice. I try to work on something with him every day, as well as walks and play time (this dog will play fetch until your arm falls off!), just to help use up some of the energy he still has in spades. It’s an ongoing thing, but then, that’s how it is with dogs.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      “Laambeau will be 4 and he still has some of Remy’s behaviors!” Oh thank God, it’s not just me! Haha. Thanks so much for this comment!

  6. I’m with you on the waking early. Kal (Ridgeback, 15months) STILL starts whining in his crate way too early for me in the mornings. It doesn’t matter if I keep him up later the night before, or take him out for an extra potty break before I go to bed. I’ve raised him the same way I raised my other 3 dogs, and all 13 of my foster puppies, and they all (once they were old enough to be reasonably expected to “hold it”) learned to follow the older dogs’ example and wait quietly until I get up. He’s been on the same schedule as all of the other dogs I’ve had.

    Part of the problem is that my husband responds to every single vocalization, and has, from day one. So, Kal whines to come inside, whines to go out, whines in his crate, whines for every single thing, and no matter how much I’ve ignored this, there’s always been one other person in the house going “Aww… what’s the matter…?” (As I said, 4 dogs of our own, plus the dozen or so fosters that have passed through our home, and yet there’s one adult in this household that has not learned a single thing about dog training or puppy rearing. Where’s the post on how to train your spouse?)

    I’ve put cardboard in the window, and covered his crate to keep out any daylight. If I get up in the night, I close the bedroom door part of the way, so that no light from other parts of the house filters in, and so the cats don’t bother him as they pace up and down the hall while they’re waiting for us to get up. I figured out last year that the cats will get up even earlier if I don’t close all of the blinds overnight. We’ve ignored his excessive fussing from day 1, only taking him out to relieve himself, and then putting him back to bed. We’ve tried teaching “quiet” or shushing him. He RARELY is quiet til 7 or 7:30 when I get up. This week, he was up at 6am, 4 days in a row. I let him out to potty and then I put him back in his crate til I’m ready to get up. That’s how it’s always been. He has no consistent schedule, though. Today, ironically, he was still quiet at 6:30, but I was the one who had to get up early, so… that was frustrating. Typically, whatever time he decides to wake up and need to go out (some weeks it’s 5am, or 4:30… last week, when one of the cats puked at 3am, he threw a whining fit because he thought he should be able to get up and go check that out, and I told him “NO!” sternly, and that actually worked… for the first time… ever.), he seems to follow that pattern for 3 days, then he’ll either wake up earlier, or later. Some weeks, he wakes progressively earlier by 15 minutes each day. Or progressively later by 15 minutes each day. It makes no sense. I cannot find a rhyme or reason to it. I limit water intake prior to bedtime. Some evenings he poops before bed, others he doesn’t, but even that doesn’t seem to affect whether he gets up early or not, or what time. My husband sleeps through his fussing, so I’m the one who has to deal with it- and I put in earplugs before bed! I don’t mind quietly getting up to let him out, and ignoring him, letting him do his business and putting him back to bed- the problem is that I don’t fall back asleep afterward, so he’s costing me between 1-2 hours of sleep each night. That’s hard. And waking up angry every morning because of it isn’t fun, either. I have two other dogs, and they will not make a peep until I’m ready to get up, unless they are ill or really have to go BAD, which is not often. The other thing is, hound dogs’ instinct is to be more active at night, during the hunting hours, and sleep during the day. This one is the opposite. He’s an early riser. My two cattle dogs, bred to be early risers who put themselves to bed as soon as it gets dark outside, don’t even make me get up this early. He is nothing at all like our previous Ridgeback, who tolerated morning walks, but was content to be a couch potato and sleep all day, with a burst of energy around 5pm.

    He’s very much an energetic handful. The only thing that has made even a slight difference in coping with him on a daily basis is that, for the week or two that my husband had to be up earlier than usual, when we all got up at 6am, got our walks done early and got Kal fed an hour earlier than normal, he was more evenly well-behaved throughout the day, overall.

    I understand- he’s hungry and he needs to empty his bowels and bladder, but it’s been A YEAR, and every other puppy I’ve ever had has slept through the night with no problems, and learned not to get up too early by now. Even getting through the usual nighttime trips outside that come with raising a young puppy took longer for him to wean off of. Most of the time, now, I will hear him yawn at about 5:30am, and then he will sometimes amuse himself in his crate with his chew toys until at least 6am, but… as I said, this means I’m awake at 5:30/6am, and then I’m still awake two hours later when I’m finally ready to get up.

    The only consolation is that, with the days getting warmer, one does have to get up earlier, in order to get everyone walked safely and comfortably before the day gets too warm.

    When we travel to visit family, it’s even worse. The first time, I allowed for the “new environment, been in the car all day” factors, but after several trips to my parents’ house over the past year, nothing has changed. If anything, he gets up even earlier when we’re visiting them, PLUS he fusses to go out multiple times during the night, though he at least sleeps through the night at home.

    This one has been my most challenging dog yet.

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Oh my gosh, this sounds so much like Remy! Even the cats! We put our cats in their cat carriers at night and then put them in a closed bedroom! That way, Remy won’t hear them moving around and ready to eat at 4 am.

      Remys issue is he wants to eat. I’ve been following Colbys advice this week on truly ignoring him. I’m starting with just 10 seconds. Too soon to notice any progress yet! I’m also going to follow M.A.’s advice and give him a frozen Kong with peanut butter Sunday mornings. This is (hopefully) going to be the one morning per week I get a break.

      Also, when we have a guest over, it’s really embarrassing and frustrating to have my 15-month old dog barking at 5 am.

      1. All 4 of my cats slept in their carriers at night for the first 15 or so years. Now that we’re down to just two, they have their own space in the living room, mostly because one is relentless about pawing at the door of his crate and making all kinds of noise, and because, after years of sleeping crated with no issues, they all suddenly decided they have no qualms about relieving themselves in their crates, instead of waiting. I got tired of cleaning that up every morning. The dogs, because the house we’re currently living in is so small, all sleep in crates in a spare room together (and I close the door, plus the door to ours, when I wake up for a bathroom break of my own in the early hours), which is really weird after having them crated in the bedroom with us all of their lives. But there’s just not enough space for a bed and three crates (or even one) this time around. Especially the XL crate for the 90lb dog… At least I’ve gotten him to the point where he will go back to sleep til 7:30 or so once I do let him out for that 5:30/6am pit stop. If I could only fall back asleep after that… it would be ok.

        I know when he’s just yawning, and when he’s stress-whining, and when he’s REALLY indicating he needs to go out, and I’ll even wait a while to see if he quits, depending on what time it is, before getting up to take him out. Typically I let him fuss for a good 15 minutes or so. Sometimes he gives it up, sometimes not. On the rare occasion that my husband does wake up and deal with it, instead of me, it’s always when he hears a yawn or a stress whine, rather than the real deal. 🙁

  7. I am interested in hearing about the 30 day loose leash walking challenge! Our 2 1/2 border collie mix Colin has pulled while walking since we got him. He knows “with me” (I know this is where heal would have been the normal command) and he will get next to me an do the loose leash walking but then he starts what I call the “old man walk” and it would take us forever to finish our walk. That all being said, my first walk with Colin is at 4am (not a typo) and we pretty much have the neighborhood to ourselves so I walk him off leash a lot and he sticks to my side like glue, go figure! It is so frustrating on the leash though because I am so embarrassed!

  8. Daniel Selfridge

    Okami still has issues as well, I know at least part of it is my fault because well I put up with behaviors I probably shouldn’t.

    walking, if I just clip onto her regular collar, she seems to think her job is to drag me around like luggage. (she is a husky, or husky mix so not really surprising)
    using a gentle leader collar, she pulls less, and differently but loose leash is still not an option until we have walked at least 1/2 mile or are on the way home. and she resists having the gentle leader put on, usually by not coming and or turning her head to make it as difficult as possible, once its on not a big deal, although she tries to get it off.

    mouthing well she “grabs” hands with her mouth, she doesn’t actually bite, but sometimes those hard teeth bump hands and or fingers.

    as far as age I have had Okami for coming up on 2.5 years got her in january 2 years ago and she was ~18months old then so she is coming up on being ~4years old.

    one of the biggest complaints I still get from the neighbors is grumbles about her being convinced that everyone wants to listen to her “singing Voice” aka she still howls from time to time.

    oh and she is pretty convinced that I need to let her out around 8-9 in the morning, considering I start work at 3PM and work 4 10’s that doesn’t exactly work well for me.

  9. Our 6 month Golden Doodle (Zazu) was waking us at 530/545 every morning for a while. He would whine, and eventually bark, to be let out. He is completely silent at all other times / never makes a peep. He’s generally not a barking dog.
    On the weekends I would take him out to relieve himself then back into the crate with breakfast so he could eat and leave me alone until I was ready to have him out. This was a good way to sleep in on the weekends.
    The weekdays, however … my husband wakes up at 6am anyway for work so it wasn’t a huge game changer, but that extra half hour was too precious to ignore!
    Since then we’ve moved him out of the crate and gated him into the nook by the front door of our apartment. He has more room to stretch and doesn’t whine or bark much, if at all. In fact my husband sometimes is the one to wake him up in the morning to feed him before work!
    I know dogs are den animals and we have him pretty well crate trained (he is in it during the day while we are at work, except for when the dog walker comes in during the day to take him out), but something about him waking up and not feeling confined seems to have made the slightest difference in his sleeping behaviour.
    He doesn’t seem to think he has a reason to whine if he’s got some room to stretch his legs / play with his toys.
    We also started feeding him his dinner a little later (around 630/7pm, instead of 530pm) so that the time in between meals was shorter, so we know he’s not waking (us) up because of hunger. We did this at the same time as moving him into the gated area, so it could be this or a combination of both those things that has him sleeping a little more comfortably/longer!
    Good luck!

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      Thanks for letting me know your experience. I have thought about feeding Remy later in the evenings. Might be a good idea to try. He currently eats at about 5 p.m. and 6 a.m. He definitely barks in the morning because he wants to eat. I don’t know how hungry he actually is, but he’s pretty food obsessed!

  10. I would definitely like to read about your 30 day challenges and successes. I have a 5 month old Woodle and he is doing pretty good at his training but needs more of my time and training knowledge.

  11. I have a bit of a problem with my 8 month old Brittany nipping at my hands too. We have an e collar and worked with a trainer so for awhile he was really good and didn’t mouth at all. The problem is that he starts in when I invite him up on the chair with me or when we are playing. I never have that darn remote in my hand at those times to correct him. He totally knows what the remote is and is a perfect angel when we have it in our hands, but as soon as we leave it somewhere he jumps or bites or counter surfs. Totally owner error, we need to spend a few days focused on corrections and I’m sure he will be fine again! I also switched to the front clip harness you recommend and it is working great! He is mostly off leash but when we do need it it’s been a game changer. Thanks for all of the tips and encouragement, and best of luck with Remy.

  12. That’s so awesome that your run him 6 miles!! Want to come over here and take my pups for a run?! 😉 Maybe Remy needs to run every day to get it all out of his system.

  13. Remy has come such a long way! Remember he’s still a pup, so keep your expectations realistic. I love the pics, especially the one of him and Ace snuggling. They didn’t do that ever when I was there pet sitting. So cute. Do you think some breeds just cannot keep from pulling on the leash? Or maybe this is just what I tell myself. Ha. And this is not to say it shouldn’t be worked on. I like the 30-day challenge idea. Worth a try. Maybe 30 days is a bit long though? Fun post. Thank you.

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