A recently developed breed, the Weimaraner is a large-sized gun dog, initially used for hunting large as well as small games. Athletic and sturdy with a graceful appearance, these dogs have a longish head and neck, high set, partially folded ears, well-set eyes with an intelligent expression, deep chest and a docked tail. Its versatile personality has always made it a top favorite among hunters as well as those seeking a perfect family companion.
|How to pronounce||vy-muh-RAH-nuhr|
|Other names||Weimaraner Vorstehhund, Weimer Pointer|
|Common nicknames||Grey Ghost, Gray Ghost, Weim|
|Coat||Short, smooth, hard|
|Color||Gray (earning it the nickname gray ghost), silver gray, blue|
|Average lifespan||10 to 14 years|
|Size (How big do they get)||Big|
|Height of a full grown Weimaraner||Male: 23 to 28 inches; Female: 22 to 26 inches|
|Weight of a full grown Weimaraner||Male: 70 to 90 pounds; Female: 55 to 75 pounds|
|Litter size||6 to 8 puppies|
|Behavioral traits||Friendly, affectionate, intelligent, cheerful, obedient, brave|
|Good with children||No (only older and matured kids)|
|Barking tendency||Moderately low|
|Climate compatibility||Not tolerant of cold weather|
|Shedding (Do they shed)||Excessive|
|Competitive Registration Qualification/ Information||AKC, FCI, CKC, ANKC, UKC, NZKC KC (UK), NAPR, DRA, APRI|
Video of Weimaraner Puppies
History and Origin
Their origin began in the first half of the 1800s, though an extinct breed named Chien-gris similar to the Weimaraner was traced to the 13th century in the French king Louis IX’s court, where the nobility mostly used them for hunting.
Karl August, Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach’ Grand Duke was instrumental in the development of this breed owing to his passion for hunting. He had his court in the German city of Weimar from which this breed has actually attained its name. In the pursuit of developing a breed adept at hunting, the Duke went on to cross the Bloodhound with hunting dogs of French and German origin, and the outcome was the Weimaraner. Initially, these big dogs were put to use for hunting bears, tigers, mountain lions and other big games.
However, as the popularity of hunting big games lessened, they were employed in hunting smaller animals such as foxes, rabbits, and fowls alongside birds. The Germans were extremely possessive regarding this unique breed and guarded them against being sent elsewhere. The dogs sent to the United States were said to be sterilized to prevent its popularity in America. Post its arrival in America during the 1920s, it became increasingly popular and by the 1950s it was famous as a pet as well as a hunting dog.
- Boweimar – Boxer x Weimaraner
- Goldmaraner – Golden Retriever x Weimaraner
- Golden Labmaraner – Weimaraner x Golden Retriever x Labrador Retriever
- Great Weimar – Weimaraner x Great Dane
- Labmaraner – Weimaraner x Labrador Retriever
- Pointeraner – Weimaraner x German Shorthaired Pointer
- Weimapeake – Weimaraner x Chesapeake Bay Retriever
- Weimardoodle – Weimaraner x Poodle
- Weimarrott – Rottweiler x Weimaraner
- Weimshepherd – Weimaraner x German Shepherd
Temperament and Personality
Energetic and enduring with a high stamina, these hunting breeds also emerge as good family dogs, bonding well with their near and dear ones. They are so deeply attached to their family or master that detachment for prolonged periods could result in separation anxiety which could get so intense causing the Weimaraner to damage property or even injure itself in a bid to flee. Some of them are even known to howl, whine or bark uncontrollably till its master gets home.
Because of their alert and assertive nature, Weimaraners are extremely reserved towards strangers, intimating their masters the moment they sense any threat.
It does not share a comfortable equation with kids and often get after little ones particularly if they are running. They are better suited for homes with older kids who are mature enough to handle dogs in a proper and sensible way.
Another quality of the Weimer Pointer is its territorial nature making it aggressive towards other dogs particularly those of the same sex. They are not at all a suitable choice for homes with cats, rabbits, gerbils, birds or hamsters as any furry animal could trigger their instinct to hunt and chase even going to the extent of killing them.
As they are active dogs with a high energy level, the Weim needs sufficient amount of exercise on a regular basis lest they would get destructive resorting to unnecessary barking, digging and chewing. A long leashed walk, teamed with sufficient playtime in a fenced yard is what it needs to remain physically and mentally energized. In fact, a tired Weimaraner is actually contented and happy. Make sure that your home and yard is escape proof as they are adept at opening gates and jumping over fences or digging below to flee.
Its short, smooth coat is easy to groom, needing a weekly brushing using a brush with soft bristles to help to remove dead hair and keeping it in good condition. In order to bring a shine to its coat, you can wipe him weekly using a chamois brush. Nail trimming, brushing its teeth as well as cleaning its eyes and ears on a routine basis would minimize the chances of infections.
The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals state that Weimaraners have a low incidence of hip dysplasia in combination to most other breeds. Because of its deep chest, it is prone to gastric torsion or bloating that might even be fatal in extreme cases. They are also at a higher risk of suffering from skin allergies alongside bacterial and viral infections that can be caused by yeast. Other possible health issues they may suffer from are hypothyroidism, entropion, hypertrophic osteodystrophy, lipomas (fatty tumors), entropion, pituitary dwarfism, as well as eye problems like renal dysplasia, and progressive retinal atrophy.
They have a high level of intelligence but can be a little difficult to train as they could get stubborn or assertive. Some could just yawn and try getting away the moment you give it a command. Moreover, they get distracted easily and hence the training session should be kept short.
Socialization: It is essential to impart socialization training to the Weimaraner puppies as they have a territorial nature. Since the time he is very young allow him to meet a host of new people with varying physical attributes and vocal textures. This would play a significant part in helping them to recognize and understand who is a friend and who could be harmful. Taking it to dog parks since its puppy days or having friends home along with their dogs could help your Weim to get friendlier. However, ensure to keep it away from dogs smaller than its size to avoid any untoward incident.
Crate: Since it is highly prone to separation anxiety make it get accustomed to living in a crate at least for some time in a day. However, do not leave it in for prolonged periods as that could make it get destructive and tempt it to leave your home and run away.
Obedience: Teaching it commands like “sit”, “stay” and “come” is essential to handle its assertive and territorial nature. Whenever your dog is at home and begins barking at the sight of any person or other dog give it a command or distract its attention by putting it on a job like fetching a ball or paper. Doing this time and again would help it mend its behavior. However, make sure your canine also understands that he needs to bark and inform on sensing a threat and not shy away then.
Feeding it dry dog food alongside nutritious homemade diet would keep your pet in good health. Since they are prone to bloating give them two equal meals and avoid exercising pre or post its feeding session. They are even prone to food allergies and could be intolerant to grains like corn, barley, wheat, and soy.
- Filmmaker and photographer William Wegman used this dog in certain segments of the popular show Sesame Street.
- American president Dwight D. Eisenhower owned Heidi, a Weimaraner, which lived with him in the White House.