ABOUT THE BREED
The breed is several centuries old, is derived from the same selective stock as other German hunting breeds and is a descendant of the Bloodhound. The Weimaraner is a good all-around hunting dog and an excellent pointer. It was originally used as a big-game hunter for bear, deer and wolves, but is used more today as a birddog and even a water retriever. A Weimaraner appeared in a Van Dyck painting from the early 1600s. Howard Knight, who founded the first American Weimaraner breed club, imported the dogs to the United States in 1929. The popular children’s TV show Sesame Street has been known to plays skits with this breed dressed up in human clothes. The Weimaraner was first recognized by the AKC in 1943. Some of its talents include: hunting, tracking, retrieving, pointing, watchdog, guarding, police work, service for the disabled, search and rescue and agility.
A medium to large gray dog with short hair that was bred for hunting ability. Height at Shoulder: Males 25 to 27 inches, Females 23 to 25 inches. Weight: Males 70 to 85 pounds, Females 55 to 65 pounds. The tail is docked to an approximate 6″ length. The head is moderately long and aristocratic. Ears are long and lobular. The eyes range from light amber to gray or blue gray. Coloring usually is a silver gray but the Blue Weimaraner is charcoal gray. Occasionally you will see a long haired gray weim.
The Weimaraner is happy, loving, intelligent, cheerful and affectionate. It is good with children. Without the proper exercise it will be very rambunctious and difficult to control. This hunting dog has a strong prey instinct and should not be trusted with small non-canine such as hamsters, rabbits, chickens, and guinia pigs. It should be socialized well with people, places, things and other animals. Brave, protective and loyal, the Weimaraner makes a good guard and watchdog. Weimaraners absolutely crave leadership. They want to know what is expected of them and for how long. If this is not made consistently clear, they will not be stable minded, may be stressed, possibly developing separation anxiety, becoming destructive and restless. Owners should not be harsh, but calm with a natural air of authority to their demeanor. These things are instinctually essential to having a happy, behaved, balanced dog. Give your Weim plenty of extensive exercise, or he will become very restless and over-excited. Because this breed is so full of energy, the first thing it needs to learn is sit. This will help prevent jumping, as this is a strong dog and will knock over the elderly or children by accident. This breed especially should not be hit to discipline, as they become wary easily. Once they have a fear of someone/something, they look to avoid and training is difficult. They are so eager to please and motivated by reward (food or praise) that once a trick is learned, the dog will leap to repeat for praise. Although, they are often mistaken as dumb, because they have such focus, if the trick or owner’s request isn’t their focus at the time, it will not occur! Spend a lot of time with short leash walking next to you. If left to run ahead the Weimaraner will pull like a train and start to believe it is alpha, as pack leader goes first. This breed likes to bark, and needs to be corrected if it becomes excessive. Very hardy, with a good sense of smell, and a passionate worker, the Weimaraner can be used for all kinds of hunting.
They are known for high activity levels, loyalty to their family and great intelligence. The temperament is usually friendly, fearless, alert and obedient. They want to be with their people and be involved in their activities. Weimaraners cannot be continually housed in a kennel, the backyard, or the basement. They are “people dogs.” To have a Weimaraner is to have a second shadow. They insist on being with you as much as possible. This is NO exaggeration. While they do not possess the aggressive personality of a guard dog, they will protect their property and let you know when a stranger is approaching their territory.
Weimaraners need lots of exercise. A couple of long walks each day on a leash does not meet their needs for exercise. They were bred to have great stamina so that they could hunt all day. They are great companions for the active individual or family.
An occasional bath (usually no more than once a month), brushing, trimming of nails and cleaning of ears and teeth is all that’s required.
Hip dysplasia is an occasional problem especially with breeding stock that has not been x-rayed and received a passing rating from the OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals). Bloat (an accumulation of excess gases in the stomach) and gastric torsion (twisting of the stomach) is a leading cause of death. It is best to feed them 2 or 3 small meals rather than 1 large meal each day. Most other health problems are in the realm of accidents, including swallowing foreign objects.
This breed learns quickly but will get bored if the training is the same thing over and over again. Weimaraners physically grow up very quickly and training helps to control their enthusiasm, channel their energy properly and give them satisfaction that they are doing what you want. While they are very intelligent their attention span is short, especially when they are puppies. This breed needs firm, experienced training starting at puppyhood, with an owner who understands how to be a dog’s pack leader or it can become stubborn and willful. Training is most successful when it is done in short sessions; firmly, consistently, and with a gentle hand. Despite their size and strength Weimaraners are sensitive. Heavy corrections will have an adverse impact on the dog’s training program.