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Weimaraner HistoryRob Hopkins of Hoppy Kennels provided this Weimaraner History and and Training information for those of you considering the breed.
Weimaraners tend to hunt a bit closer than some of the other continental breeds. German Shorthair Pointers, Brittanys, Pudelpointers, Cesky Fouseks, Viszlas, German Wirehair Pointers, Large Munsterlanders, Small Munsterlanders, Italian Spinones & Wirehaired Pointing Griffons are examples of other continental breeds who came to America from Europe within the last 100 years or so.
The Weimaraner was used in Germany as "The Forrester's dog". Hunting both fur & feather as well as tracking wounded game, Weimaraners assisted the game warden with habitat regulation & bringing poachers to justice. Developed by the noblemen from the Court of Weimar, the "Weimar Pointer", as the breed was originally known, was initially used on big game. As boar, bear and other large quarry became less abundant in the 1800's, the breed was vectored towards smaller game.
In 1929, Howard Knight, a Rhode Island businessman, was the first American to gain membership into the highly regulated German breed club. The 8 dogs Mr. Knight brought to America in the years following are considered to be the foundation stock of the Weimaraner in the United States today.
Don't rush a young Weimaraner when it comes to training. Weims mature slower than other versatile breeds. The one result of a young weim who has been trained with harsh verbal or physical correction, is that the dog's range will be affected. I'm not talking about "Open All-Age" range either. I'm talking about foot handled range. Think before you shout .........it's much harder to do than it is to say! If you are concerned because a young pup is not performing up to your expectations, ask yourself the following:
- Have I completely trained this dog for this
command? (taking into account all the variables)
- Am I sure this dog has learned the correct
response to this command? (having demonstrated so previously)
Unless you answer "yes" to both questions, I recommend you put that new e-collar you just bought around your neck, then cook yourself for thinking a 2 year old Weimaraner can be trained steady to fall. Granted, there are some weims out there that are steady to fall by the time they are two. I submit however, that these dogs are few and far between (they aren't bullied into it with harsh training, their performance is natural).
Starting at 12 weeks, take the dog to a field with ample cover & plant some birds. Get the pup working in front of you. Do this 3 times a week for 20-40 minutes, stopping as soon as the pup shows signs of getting bored or tired. Encourage the pup to investigate, to use their nose, ......to be bold. In short, build confidence. Don't "hack" them verbally. Let them discover what they were bred for without you having to blow a gasket. This approach will pay off tenfold down the road when you expect the dog to work for your gun Worry about force-fetching and steadiness training once you have the dog "hunting".
I run my dogs in AKC hunt tests & field trials as well as test them with the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association. The Weimaraner Club of America holds Shooting and Retrieving ratings which we also participate in. Most of all, I hunt my dogs & welcome them into the house as amember of the family.
My Weimaraners are expected to intelligently hunt grouse, pheasant & woodcock. They are also trained to retrieve and search for downed or wounded ducks & geese. There is no substitute for consistent & repetitive gundog training. A dog trained with "shortcuts" will invariably let you down, I know - I've been there!
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