I was in Cornelia last week visiting a Home Dog Training client, John, and his Weimaraner, Paducah. All the regular dog training was going great; Paducah was not running to the door when people came, he knew his obedience commands, and he stopped stealing food from the table. The one thing that he still did was to jump and demand all sorts of attention from my client as he sat down after work to watch TV. It got to the point where John would go in the bedroom, close the door, and watch TV in there. This didn’t happen any other time, just after he got home in the late afternoon from work. He was at a loss of what to do.
Weimaraners are a very active dog breed. More than most other dogs, we always recommend a minimum of thirty to forty-five minutes of active play with them every day. The purpose for this is to drain their adrenaline. This adrenaline is always there, so if you don’t drain it in an outside play activity, they will find “other ways” to drain their adrenaline and “be crazy”.
What is happening is that our client has been at work all day long and Paducah is sitting quietly at home, generating adrenaline. When John arrives home, Paducah becomes excited and his adrenaline begins to peak. John correctly understands how to ignore Paducah to momentarily regain his focus and calm him down, but that only lasts a short time with Paducah. As John redirects his activities to watching a little of late afternoon TV, Paducah re-energizes. What John needs to do is to drain a portion of that adrenaline before he can successfully disengage his dog.
I suggested that after he got home, that he takes Paducah into the back yard for about ten minutes and throw the ball around. He should have turned the TV on before he goes outside and Paducah should have a leash on him when all this is taking place. (I will explain later.) He should try to stay as stationary as he can and make his dog do all the work. One great trick is to get about five or six tennis balls. Throw the first ball to the far corner of the yard and have the Weimaraner go racing after it. As soon as Paducah gets to that ball, call him to get his attention and throw the next tennis ball to the next side of the yard. Paducah will now go racing off in a new direction to the next ball.
John should repeat this process with the rest of the tennis balls as he calmly walks around and picks up the ones discarded by Paducah. After about ten minutes of so of this high adrenalized activity, he should slow the process down and toss the balls closer and closer to him. He should have one of Paducah’s favorite bones (we love the deer antlers) that he will switch out from the tennis balls. He will slowly hand his dog the goodie as he quietly sits in a patio chair. Slowly take hold of the leash so that Paducah stays at his side. If Paducah starts to walk away or get excited, correct him and have him sit back down.
Once his dog is happy with the goodie and calm, John can walk back inside with him at his side. Once inside, he can drop the leash and sit down to calmly watch TV. If Paducah starts any inappropriate behavior, John will calmly get up, step on the end of Paducah’s leash, and then calmly walk him around the room for about thirty seconds until he has mellowed out. At that point, John should ask Paducah to sit and then praise him with a “Good Puppy” as soon as he does. He can then go back to the TV.
I told John to give these suggestions a try and Paducah might even let him have a sweet tea or a beer as he watched TV.
Please call Robin or me at (770) 718-7704 if you are in need of any dog training help. We have many great training articles with wonderful tips at Best Dog Trainers Cornelia Georgia. You can get all our phone numbers, text addresses and email contacts at Dog Training Help Center Cornelia Georgia.