At a glance
Formerly called Weimar Pointers, Weimaraners are a breed of dog that was developed for the sporting German royalty during the early 19th century. They are multi-purpose and multi-talented pointers and retrievers. The Weimaraner is currently utilized in various occupations all over the world like police work, search and rescue, and tracking.
- Names – Weimaraner Vorstehhund, Weim, Gray Ghost
- Group – AKC: Sporting; KC: Gundogs
- Size – large
- Life expectancy – average of 12 and range of 9 to 15 years
- Cost of ownership – low
- Ease of ownership – medium
- Aggressive tendency – high
- Amount of Exercise – high
- Amount of Grooming – low
- Ease of Training – high
- Obedience level – high
- Suitable for Children – medium
- Amount of Care Required – medium
- Susceptibility to Health Problems – low
While their shimmering steel-gray coat and amber or blue eyes win over fans, many more become Weimaraner owners due to the dog’s intelligence. Weims are the tallest of the gundog group. It is easy to believe that the Weim is a product of careful and strict breeding in Germany to achieve an ideal hunting dog. They possess grace, speed, stamina and endurance, giving them an elite reputation and a tremendous presence. Two different varieties exist, the short-haired and the long-haired, the latter being more seldom seen and not recognized in the United States. It is normal for the short-haired to be docked to approximately 15cms and the tail of the long-haired only tipped.
- bitch: 50-65 lbs (23 – 30 kilos)
- dog: 55-70 lbs (25 – 32 kilos)
- bitch: 23-25 inches (58 – 64 centimeters)
- dog: 25-27 inches (64 – 69 centimeters)
- Color – Mouse-gray to silver-gray
- Coat – fine, short, sleek gray coat
- Shedding – low
- Suffers from Allergies – low
- Causes Allergies – low
The Weimaraner is a versatile breed that packs both intellect and energy for accomplishing almost any task it is assigned to do, or which occupies its distracted curiosity. They are friendly, alert, and willing to please. The Weimaraner is sinewy, yet fluid when moving. They are generally gentle and protective companions.
- Separation Anxiety – high
- Barking tendency – medium
- Aggressive tendency – high
- Compatibility with other animals – medium
- Suitable for Children – medium
- Watchdog suitability – high
The ideal Weimaraner Standard temperament is like two sides of a coin; on one hand it is friendly, fearless, alert, and obedient. The next second, it can be quite assertive, bold, loyal, and headstrong, but both intertwine to give the dog an attractive attitude. But this is one dog that can have plenty of well-laid schemes, one moment plotting to take the upper paw in the family if the opportunity presents itself, the next scheming how to steal food which is only one big jump away. Housebreaking can be a problem, as can destructive chewing.
Like other breeds, untrained and unconfined young Weims can be creative in making up often-destructive fun when left alone, and chewing furniture can be on top of their list of training is not attended to. Many abandoned Weims in fact have a plethora of behavioural issues as a result of isolation and inferior exercise.
Weimaraners possess the intelligence to grasp what is required of them. A good Weim handler must have confidence in himself when dealing with the dogs since the wily latter will attempt to find chinks in the training which will give it the upper paw.
This is a breed that cannot dispense with obedience training, as it needs to get a grip of its critically active nature. Owners should definitely have a crate for the new puppy for help in housetraining and to protect furniture and woodwork from sneaky puppy teeth, house-soiling and other bad habits. Puppy classes or control exercises at home can help alleviate most of the aggression, but most importantly, it will help the dog understand that all members of the family are to be obeyed. Training methods must be gentle and firm, for harsh treatment will sour his attitude.
- Obedience – high
From adolescence, a Weimaraner needs a lot of exercise which is appropriate for an energetic hunting dog breed. Weims can never seem to get enough of walking, and they are ready for games and play. A physically active owner is in the best circumstance to provide the absolutely essential vigorous exercise, games, or running. Untrained Weimaraners seem to be always on a rush and often sap the energy of their owners, requiring balanced training on calming down and controlling their behavior. Owners need to be very patient and consistent, have firm yet non-confrontational training, as this breed is coming to terms with its adolescent energy during the first year and a half of its life.
- Energy – high
- Amount required – 2 hours a day or more
Bloat is a disease which usually affects deep-chested dogs that can involve twisting of the stomach, and with a resulting blockage at one point in the digestive tract. Some of its symptoms are retching with no vomiting and extreme salivation. Gulping food can bring on an attack of bloat, so Weimaraners’ eating should be distributed all throughout the day, or the dog could be fed twice daily to avoid the hunger pangs that induce hasty eating. Many cases of bloat occur in the evening, after the dog has perhaps shared the family snack of pizza or some other highly-spiced food and then had some exercise. Treatment is expensive and not always successful, so prevention is the best recourse.
The Weimaraner’s short coat needs to be brushed once or twice a week. If the dog spends some time in the fields, he must be examined for ticks during the spring, summer, and fall, and for grass awns between the toes in late summer and fall. In any case, this is an easy-care, wash and wear dog.
Exercise is a must for the Weimaraner. He loves hiking and playing ball, while daily brisk walks will keep his mind and body in good condition, and obedience training will keep him under control.
The Weimaraner enjoys foods that are high in animal fats, such as those found in lamb and poultry. Potatoes and grains are also essentials of their diet.
In fact, the following are the essential ingredients of their food in order of significance: poultry, lamb, potato, and then grains like wheat and barley. Food stuff that may not be helpful for them are ocean fish, beet pulp, white rice, or soy.
Vitamins and minerals are also an important consideration and you should feed the correct nutrients depending on the age of your dog (puppy or adult), specific breed or other important feature of your own Weimaraner.
- Cost – USD $ 6 to 11 per month
The low-maintenance short coat needs only a rub down with a rubber grooming mitt once a week. Sometimes some of the dirt can be wiped off or brushed off, so bathing will only be really necessary in case of very stubborn dirt. Ears should be checked, as the drop ears can lead to infection; look out for an infection in case there is excessive itching of the ears, or an unpleasant smell. The inner side of the ear can be cleaned gently with a gauze pad, but there is no need to go deep into the ear canal. Nails will usually wear out on their own if the dog is walked sufficiently on hard surfaces, if not, trimming will be needed when they get too long. Teeth should be examined regularly and brushed with a special doggy toothbrush.
- Ease of grooming – high
- Amount of grooming – high
Examples of most recommended sire and dam genetic screenings / health checks for breeders(listed from most common to least common): both parents with CERF normal certification; von Willdebrand’s disease negative certifications; Orthopedic Foundation of America Thyroid normal certifications; Orthopedic Foundation of America Elbow normal certifications; breeders who can (and will) give you the health history on one or both sides with regard to; bloat / Gastric Torsion; immuno Defficiency; Distochyasis (Extra Eyelashes); von Willdebrand’s Disease; and hip dysplasia.
Excellent breeders also guarantee against: von Willdebrand’s Disease; disachyasis (which can be diagnosed before the pup goes home); other diseases of proven genetic cause; immuno Deficiency (no proven genetic cause).
- Litter size – average of 7 and range of 6 to 10
- Puppy cost – average of $ USD 500 and range of $USD 500 to 1,000
Other expenses – Puppy shots are usually between $ USD 50-$ USD 75 per year. Spay or Neuter fees vary, but probably around $ USD 200. Rawhide chewables run around $ USD 20-$ USD 30 a month for puppies, but lesser for adults since these toys become treats. Heartworm medicine is $ USD 20 a month, and flea preventative is about the same. Overall, a Weim owner can expect a budget of about $ USD 1000 the first year, and then about $ USD 800 or so for the succeeding years.
As they are prone to bloat, it is better to avoid one large meal and to feed them instead two or three small meals a day. They are in general a resilient breed of dog. Hip dysplasia has been reduced to only 8% through conscientious breeding.
- Life expectancy – average of 12 and range of 9 to 15 years
- Susceptibility to illness – low
- Common health problems – spinal dysraphism (which can affect the dog but not threaten its life, making the dog get around in a slightly crouching position), ear infections, tumors
The weimaraner is not a beginner’s dog, and very much less a beginner’s pet. Looking after a breed such as the lab and retriever is a breeze compared with the weimaraner. If there is a breed that is insatiable of attention, outdoor exercise and training to harness potential, then this is the dog.
Other things to keep in mind before getting a Weim is that they suffer a lot from separation anxiety if left alone by a busy career-family. On the other hand, a family with young children will not also do for a Weim, as it is a dog that will be an extra burden aside from that of keeping an eye on the children. The dog also needs sufficient space for play and running.
Weimaraners will sometimes tolerate cats, as long as they are introduced to the cats as puppies, but many will go after and kill almost any small animal that enters their garden or backyard.
Weimaraners will adjust in an apartment but they need to be sufficiently exercised. They are not very inactive indoors and will thrive if the home has at least a large yard.
- Good with Children – Weimaraners are often kind to children, but they may not be appropriate for smaller children due to their love for rough play.
There is no information about the precise origins of this dog, but a Weim-look alike can be spotted in a Van Dyke painting of the early 1600’s. Experts think the Weim came from stock similar to the German Short-Haired Pointer, with Bloodhound blood mixing in through crosses with one or more of the various schweisshund breeds. The breed owes its name to the nobles of the court of Charles August, Grand Duke of Weimar and was once used to go after big game such as boar, bears, deer, and foxes. When the big game disappeared from Europe by the late 1800’s, Weims became a rarity. However, with selective breeding, they became hunters of fowl, rabbits, and foxes, and once again, sent up the breed’s popularity. For many years, their breeding information was tightly guarded by the lone German breeding club. It was not until 1929 that the first Weimaraner was brought to America. In 1943, the American Kennel Club granted official recognition to these dogs.
- County or origin – Germany
- Group – Gun Dog, Sporting (AKC), Gundogs (KC)
- Recognition – CKC, FCI, AKC, UKC, KCGB, CKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, APRI, ACR
- Famous dogs
- The piano-playing dog in the Smirnoff vodka ad
- The dog in the video of “Blue Monday” by British band New Order
- Famous owners
- Golfer and commentator Peter Alliss
- 34th US President Dwight D Eisenhower
- actress Grace Kelly
- ‘King of the Cowboys’ Roy Rogers
- former French President Giscard d’Estaing
- actor Brad Pitt
- Nine Inch Nails front man Trent Reznor
- the first president of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk
- photographer William Wegman, (Man Ray and Fay Ray)
Did you know – one line interesting fact(s)
- The first thing Weimaraners need to learn is sit, then praise only when sitting. This will prevent jumping in the future, as they are strong dogs and may knock over elderly or children by accident.