Basic care, General info, Training

Best Exercise For Weimaraners


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Did you just bring home a Weimaraner? I certainly hope you love to go hiking and running because your dog is one of those breeds that need plenty of exercise. You’d be surprised at how much energy your Weimaraner has when you take it out for a walk the very first time. There’s a very good chance you’ll tire yourself and your dog keeps going on and on and on.

I hope you are an athlete yourself, or at least love sports, because your Weimaraner is going to keep you on your toes.

How Much Exercise is Adequate?

A Weimaraner typically needs at least a couple of hours of vigorous exercise every day. Growing dogs and young adult dogs, of course, need the maximum amount of workout they can get.

What’s going to happen if you laze around on the couch all day and your dog doesn’t get its daily dose of physical movement? Well, it’s bound to get irritable and unfriendly over time, resulting in bad behavior.

Keep in mind that your dog needs both physical as well as mental exercise to stay healthy and well-behaved.

Weimaraner Puppies and Exercise

Before I delve into the individual ways exercise a Weimaraner, I wanted to warn you.

If your Weim is still a puppy, make sure not to overdo any physical exercise. Their joints are still developing and since Weims are a large breed, they are prone to joint and bone issues later in life. Definitely try avoiding jumping.

Since there are no official guidelines we can follow, the most common “formula” is 5 minutes of exercise per month of age twice a day. So if your puppy is 3 months old, make sure not to exercise her for longer than 15 minutes twice a day if they are healthy.

Bear in mind that playtime counts as exercise as well!

Physical Exercise Ideas

All that energy that your Weimaraner has must be channeled through high intensity workouts.

Walking or Running

Daily walks are every dog’s due, but when we’re talking of Weimaraner exercise needs, there’s no way walks are going to be enough. So, it’s better you start running with your dog. Don’t worry about your dog’s running speed. They’ll not only match up with your speed but in all probability, they’ll overtake you.

If you are a biking enthusiast, even better. Have your dog run alongside you while you ride the bike. Your Weimaraner will excitedly keep up with you even if you choose to veer off the road and get into difficult terrains.

Swimming

Going for a dip in the ocean or a swim in the lake? Take your Weimaraner with you. Are they going to love the water? Most likely, yes, but of course, you’d have to introduce your dog to swimming at an early age. And when they learn to love water, they will simply love swimming for hours.

It’s a great way to exercise your dog’s joints and all the muscles and makes your Weimaraner happy. If you love water too, there’s nothing better than your dog’s company within the vastness of the blue ocean.

I’ve written an article how to teach your Weim to swim, you can read it here.

weimaraner with a ball

Fetch Games

I know what you’re thinking, fetch games are for any dog. So, what’s so special about a Weimaraner playing fetch? Well, for one, a Weimaraner is an extremely intelligent and high-energy dog and deserves to show their abilities through more complicated games of fetch.

When playing with a ball, try throwing it as far as you can so that your dog has to run more to get it back. We use Chuckit! with regular tennis balls as we’ve found that those are durable and our fetch maniac doesn’t destroy them like “dog toy balls”. You can find Chuckit! launchers on Amazon.

With a Weimaraner, there’s no need to stop at throwing a ball. You could try playing fetch with a frisbee, which is complicated, but your dog will love it.

Is your dog fetch obsessed? Check out my tips how to handle a ball-crazy dog.

Strength Training

Because your Weimaraner is always going to run a lot, there’s always a high chance of injury. You’ve got to prevent that, of course. The solution is not to make them run less, but help them build their muscle strength. That’s why strength training exercises are a must for your dog.

A brilliant way to engage your dog in strength training is to play tug-of-war with them. The game kind of builds your muscles too, doesn’t it? Of course, you want to be sure the dog plays it right and doesn’t knock everything over in the process.

Nelly loves to direct her teeth where we hold the tug toy and it can get annoying and sometimes painful if she accidentally catches our skin in her excitement. If that happens, end the game and ignore the dog. That will teach the pup that once teeth come in contact with skin, the game ends.

Of course the best way is to train gentle mouth and bite inhibiton from puppyhood but that’s not always possible or your dog might just get really excited. Make sure not to escalate it further and take a break.

Adventure Trips

Take out your planner now and book two slots to the next adventure trip, one for yourself, and the other for your Weimaraner. Just so you know, your dog knows all about trekking and hiking in hard-to-reach places. This is because of their hunting genes that were imbibed in them centuries ago.

So, if you’ve got a knack for adventure, you’ve got yourself the best companion in the world. Your dog is sure to enjoy the trip as much as you do, amid nature and wild open spaces to run around in.

Mental Exercise Ideas

Do you like mind games? Guess what, your Weimaraner likes them too. They like them so much that if you don’t often give it something to think about, they will go crazy and unnecessarily become destructive. Mental exercise is great for Weims with separation anxiety – do some of these to tire them out!

If you’d like to read more about it, I wrote a guide to separation anxiety.

Here’s how you can keep your brilliant pet mentally engaged.

weimaraner with cups

Nose Games

That’s right! Your Weimaraner loves locating smaller animals through their scent. It all comes back to their hunting genes. But wait! Are you wondering, that’s fine if they have a knack for smelling small prey, but isn’t it a difficult game to play? I mean, where on earth are you going to find smaller animals for your dog to chase?

Don’t worry. You don’t have to get hold of an actual rabbit to play scent and nose games with your energetic dog. All you need is a dummy that smells like a smaller animal. Let your Weimaraner then work out which animal it is and get the dummy back from wherever you wish to hide it.

Or simply use treats and hide them around the garden or the house and tell your dog to go search.

Puzzles

The dog that you have by your side is an inherent troubleshooter. It wants to encounter challenges and find a solution. Give them a puzzle toy to play with. But make sure you get some challenging ones because unlike many other dogs, your Weimaraner will work out a standard puzzle way sooner. Puzzles are also a great way to keep your dog occupied if you are busy with something important.

Environmental Variations

Meal times and other times in your dog’s living space don’t have to be dull, either. Let your dog work for food. They truly want to be part of such games, given their hunting instinct. Use your imagination to make up some mind games, sort of like treasure hunt that make your dog find their food, instead of just handing them the bowl.

There are plenty of options for enriching their living space, too, such as self-playing toys, chew toys, and much more.

Learning Tricks

Training is going to be fun with a Weimaraner because they not only learn quickly but also want to keep on learning. Imagine that your dog’s brain is like a blank notebook. Whatever you put in it, will remain.

Apart from teaching your dog the basic commands, teach them new tricks. Let your Weim understand the names of other animals, people, and other possessions of yours. Not just yours, but teach the dog about their things as well, such as the names of their different puzzle games and stuffed toys.

If you want some guidance with training obedience or simply just play some mental games with your dog, check out this cool course written by a professional dog trainer!

Active Dog for an Active Lifestyle

It’s great that you have a Weimaraner in your life now. Now you have no excuses not to visit the outdoors or not to exercise. Your dog will make sure you’re both in it together.

Your dog’s readiness for long runs, swims, and puzzle solving sessions will prove to be a boost for not just the dog’s well-being but yours as well.

Just keep them occupied, keep them strong, and keep them happy and you’ll have a loving companion and an active lifestyle for a long time.

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4 comments

  1. Paris C.
    Paris C.
    April 24, 2022 at 12:19 am

    Hey there! I have a female Weimaraner named Bailey. She just turned 6 months old and has really bad separation anxiety. Anytime my boyfriend and I leave the house, we come home to see her paws all torn up from scratching at the kennel. I have been reading your blog for advice but was wondering if you had any link to more puzzling toys that weimaraners enjoy. I’m struggling to find toys that aren’t too expensive along with them being challenging enough that she doesn’t immediately figure it out. Thank you for creating this blog! I am enjoying reading about you and Nelly (:

    Reply
    • Dana - WeimaranerPlanet.com author
      Dana
      Author
      April 25, 2022 at 10:41 am

      Hi Paris, sorry to hear your pup is experiencing separation anxiety! Have you read my post about separation anxiety? There are a few tips that you could try on top of any puzzle toys.

      What I would try is stuffing a Kong toy (we use the black one for super chewers) with super tasty fillings (unsweetened almond butter – avoid xylitol, banana, their fav treats, kibble) and freeze it. It will take them longer to eat everything and you could slink away.

      Do you crate Bailey when you’re at home? How is she doing if so? Do you feed her in her crate? I’d create a strong positive association with the crate if you’re not doing that already. How long is she alone per day on average? I’d definitely exercise her (appropriate for her age) before you go out, including some obedience and tricks if she knows any. Make that brain work!

      I’m glad you’re enjoying this blog! 🙂 Let me know how it goes!

      Reply
      • Christina W.
        Christina W.
        April 26, 2022 at 3:03 pm

        No banana in kongs? I hadn’t heard that banana was bad.

        Reply
        • Dana - WeimaranerPlanet.com author
          Dana
          Author
          April 26, 2022 at 10:09 pm

          Sorry, my bad, I worded that wrong! Banana, fav treats, kibble and such are all great. If you’re using almond butter, make sure it’s unsweetened. Xylitol is a sweetener that is toxic for both dogs and cats, it’s also called birch sugar.

          Reply

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