Weimaraners love to work!
A recent article from The Australian Medical Journal strongly encourages dog training classes and eduation for our children. We owe it to our children and our dogs to participate in structured training classes; kids and dogs love it. Training is not a chore for dogs - it is fun! Participating in these types of structured classes teaches children fine motor skills, timing, body awareness and co ordination. Older children are often 'natural' dog handlers; classes increases the bond with their dog and confidence in themselves.
Weimaraners have many career opportunities open to them such as:
showing, hunting, searching, rescuing, detecting, protecting, guiding, assisting, tracking, but above all, most Weimaraners are loving and loved companions. The most important thing to remember is that any of these activities demands an obedient dog.
What do we do about it?
All of the above activities need a dog which has basic obedience to a certain extent and a set of commands which go with the actions, commands which it understands and which it will need to carry out its work.
Once a puppy has had its first permanent vaccination at around 12 weeks, it can join a puppy class, which many of our affiliated obedience clubs run. These classes teach good manners and the basic obedience every dog needs to fit in with the world. They are the first step towards more formal classes which some owners wish to go on with and maybe eventually end up entering their dog in obedience trials.
Many unsuspecting owners have joined up with puppy in tow, only to find out obedience is actually fun, that trialling is a great team sport, and that many friendships will be made along the way! Trialling may just possibly become an addiction involving whole families who then go on to explore other avenues with their dogs.
Training dogs has changed a lot in recent years, with a huge emphasis on positive methods through which the dog learns by being placed in a situation where it will succeed and receives a reward of some sort – play, toys, food, pats - for its efforts. The end product of positive teaching is a much happier, more willing dog who keeps asking for more, more, more.
Trials are held in Perth and other large WA cities during most of the year. To compete you need a trained dog that is registered with a controlling body – in WA it is Dogs West - and you must be a member too. Any dog can trial regardless of its parents, purebred or not. Dogs without registration papers trial as associates and everyone competes together.
All the exercises are based on useful things dogs can do for us and which make for a better companion.
There are five levels of obedience in Australia, they become progressively more challenging, the dog has to attain one title at a time working up a ladder. A title is completed when the dog has three passes at that level. Most levels require a pass of 175 points or more out of 200, and the dog must pass every exercise within the test. The exception is the entry class of Community Companion Dog which requires 75 points out of 100 on offer.
Contact Dogs West for a club near you who can offer Obedience classes, or check out the list at the bottom of the Agility page; as many large clubs will offer both disciplines!