Weimaraners are graceful, athletic dogs, originally bred to be hunting dogs and are known for their agility and muscular strength. Their gray coat and light eyes can often give them a spooky air, but that’s pretty much all that is spooky about this breed. Weims are intelligent, loyal dogs who love a good long run in the park and the company of a loving family. These dogs are fans of the Great Outdoors, so if you’re content to spend your time in front of the television or curled up with a book for long hours, it’s best not to choose to live with a Weim.
Their immense intelligence can make them stubborn and even funny, while they decode every trick and hiding place in no time, with a gentle know-it-all air. Weims need gentle yet firm upbringing and do not do well with harsh admonition, so prepare for a long, patient ride, when it comes to training.
Weimaraners date back to early 19th century Germany, where they were developed at the Weimar court to assist noblemen with their hunting. The noblemen needed a courageous, intelligent dog with good scenting ability and stamina, and the breed was achieved through crossing the Bloodhound, the English Pointer, the German Short-haired Pointer, and the blue Great Dane. As the forests shrank in size and big game became hard to come by, the Weim’s talents were used to hunt birds, rabbits, and foxes.
In 1897, an exclusive Weimaraner club was started in Germany to maintain breed standards and ensure responsible breeding. However, during World War II, it became difficult for German breeders to keep their dogs, so the best of the breed were sent to the US, where the breed gained popularity. As is often the case, their popularity led to irresponsible breeding, overpopulation, and an overall drop in breed standards. Weims began to develop temperamental problems and their popularity fell. By the late 1960s, their numbers had fallen drastically enough for breeders to resume a dedicated campaign for their responsible breeding. Today, the Weimaraner continues to be amongst the 30 most popular breeds in the US and not far behind, the world over.
Weims are bred to have a lot of energy, so be prepared to exercise them well. If their brains and bodies cannot be kept adequately occupied, they will turn their ample intelligence and stamina to more interesting and destructive things!
Having originally been bred to hunt, Weims have low tolerance and high curiosity for smaller animals and birds. If they aren’t socialised from a young age, Weims can quite easily – and proudly – hunt other smaller animals in the house. They can also be quite suspicious of strangers to the point of seeming aggressive, so the early socialisation helps them accept people more easily as well.
Weims love the outdoors, but are equally big fans of human companionship. If you’re looking for a dog that is content to live outdoors and with little human contact, look away from this breed. They thrive when they live close to their family and don’t do well as only outdoor dogs.
The Weimaraner gained prominence and fame through the various photographs by the famous photographer William Wegman, who dressed up and photographed his two beautiful Weims, setting them up in regular human frames, to bring out just how eerily human they can look!
Grooming your Weimaraner is a piece of cake; the smooth and short hair coat does not need much grooming. You just need to brush them with a firm bristle brush once a week to get rid of all the loose hair from your their bodies. They do not carry a distinctive odour, so a bath once every few weeks is enough. A good brushing down once a week will ensure a lustrous coat and will help to activate the hair follicles on the body as well as maintain healthy skin.
Weimaraners are generally a healthy breed but, as in the case of all breeds, they can be prone to certain generic and genetic conditions. Most notable amongst them is hip dysplasia, a condition in which the thigh bone does not fit properly into the hip joint. While this is a hereditary problem, external causes like overfeeding and not exercising the Weim regularly can worsen the problem over time. Similarly, elbow dysplasia, which occurs because of differing growth rates of the three bones that make up a dog’s elbow, is also common amongst these dogs. It can cause painful lameness, but can often be corrected with surgery.
GDV or bloat is another common Weimaraner ailment, in which the stomach fills up with excess gas and twists. This can be fatal if it isn’t detected quickly and treated immediately. If you find your dog drooling excessively or retching without vomiting, or observe an unnatural bloat around the abdomen, it’s time for a vet visit. Weims are often diagnosed with von Willebrand’s disease (vWD), which is an inherited bleeding disorder. This breed is often deficient in the von Willebrand factor, a protein that helps with the clotting of blood.
Weims can often develop a condition called Entropion, which usually occurs in a puppy before he or she is six months old. The eyelid rolls inward, which irritates the eyeball and can lead to further injuries of the eye. This can occur in only one or both eyes. They can also develop progressive retinal atrophy, a degenerative disease of the retinal visual cells that ultimately ends in blindness
The Weimaraner is easily amongst the most intelligent dog breeds around. They are friendly and smart dogs and make excellent companions for the family. However, like all intelligent dogs, their minds and bodies need to be kept occupied, failing which, they will turn all that smartness to something destructive.
The Weimaraner was developed as a hunting dog and will need socialization with different animals at an early stage to avoid any unpleasant situations later in life. They absolutely love jogs and hikes and, while they cannot be expected to spend all their time away from human company, they love the outdoors. This Weimaraner has an even temperament but there are times when these affectionate and loveable dogs can become a little too protective of their own family.
Weimaraners love to run, since they were bred to hunt for large game. Their athletic bodies need plenty of exercise and their keen minds, plenty of stimulation. They may not be the ideal breed to be kept in an apartment but if you have your heart set on keeping these energetic dogs in a smaller home, then be prepared to give them a daily dose of exercise to channelize their energies in the right direction.
They are excellent with children, but it is possible that their enthusiasm and abundant energy may topple an infant or a toddler, so be sure to monitor all interactions between Weims and little children. They make excellent pets but may not be the perfect breed for a family that has rabbits, hamsters, cats, or smaller dogs as pets. They have a strong prey drive and, without early and ample socialisation, may end up hunting a smaller family member.
Weimaraners are a very intelligent breed with a large reserve of energy, so if they are not trained well their energy can easily switch to something destructive.
In ideal circumstances the owners should set the rules of housebreaking and stick to it. One should always start with basic obedience training. You should let your puppy know when his or her behaviour is not appreciated. As puppies, Weimaraners are quick learners, but can often be stubborn. A firm yet patient training schedule with plenty of positive reinforcement is the best way to a well-rounded adult Weim.
When you bring your puppy home remember that he or she has to be socialized early with other pets and children to ensure that they grow to be well rounded adult dog. It is advisable to help them meet many new people and animals so that they get accustomed to different kinds of company early in life. They can get a little too suspicious of strangers and if not trained properly in the beginning, can even turn aggressive towards them.
Weimaraners are generally a healthy breed and their breeding does not have many complications. Average male and female Weims attain sexual maturity anywhere between six to nine months of age, although they are still too young to breed at this age.
This breed takes around 18 months to reach their full height and structure. It is advisable to breed your dog after at least two years of age. If you are first-timer at breeding, then taking a vet’s opinion is advisable. An average litter consists of 6-8 puppies.
Weim puppies are beautiful little creatures with bright blue eyes that are full of life. These puppies are a bundle of energy and love to play. Early socialisation will ensure well-rounded adult Weims who are less suspicious of strangers and less likely to hunt smaller animals in the house. Weim puppies love the company of humans as much as they love to chew, so remember to puppy proof your house and monitor all play between puppies and young children! Crate training Weim puppies in order to potty train them, is highly recommended, as long as the puppies learn to think of the crate as a positive, safe place and not a means of separation and punishment.
Weimaraners are most popular for their coat colour. They have a uniform short and sleek coat, which can be in different shades of gray that range from mouse grey to silver grey. They have a deep chest with a tucked up belly and muscular hindquarters. The thighs are well-muscled on the hind legs they have long and straight forelegs. The feet are compact with well-arched toes that are close together. The nails are short and can range from amber to gray colour.
The tail is usually carried at an angle and used to be customarily docked, although this is no longer necessary, especially for Weims who are not hunters. They have a long head with an equally long skull and muzzle along with a moderate stop. The eyes are medium sized and set wide apart. They can range from blue-grey to amber, adding to the breed’s allure. Their eyes are extremely expressive and are quite the windows to their intelligence. The ears are set high and are fairly long, with a slight fold.
Male Weims stand 25 to 27 inches tall and weigh 70 to 85 pounds, while the females are between 23 and 25 inches tall and weigh 55 to 70 pounds.