The Weimaraner is a large-sized hunting dog breed with an elegant bearing and strong and muscular appearance. This handsome short-haired hunting dog is strongly built with a deep chest. The body is longer than shoulder height with a straight back and low set tail that is docked to about 6 inches where permitted. Weims have a long head with natural high-set long hanging ears and gentle and intelligent looking round eyes.
The Weim’s coat is short, dense and sleek and the only allowable coat colors are various shades of gray ranging from silver grizzle to mouse gray. There is a Longhaired Weimaraner that is seen in Europe but is not recognized by the American Kennel Club.
Very small white markings on the chest and feet are permitted. Weimaraners stand from 23 to 27 inches tall at shoulder height and can weigh from 55 to 83 pounds.
Weimaraners are members of the American Kennel Club (AKC) Sporting Dog Group.
History of The Weimaraner
The Weimaraner or “The Gray Ghost” was developed in the German Republic of Weimar. The original Weimar Pointers appeared in the 19th century and were owned and bred by the aristocracy for hunting large game. The nobles limited ownership to members of the German Weimaraner Club. As the bears and the deer declined this great hunting dog was converted from hunting big game to game birds.
The breed was finally imported into the US after much difficulty around 1938. The Weimaraner Club of America was formed in 1942 and AKC recognition soon followed. Today the Weim continues to be an outstanding and popular hunting dog as well as a companion dog to athletic families. The Weimaraner was ranked 30th out of 154 dog breeds registered by the AKC in 2005.
The Weimaraner is a handsome, elegant, very intelligent, self-confident, friendly, charming and high-energy dog. The Weim is also stubborn and headstrong and will frequently test its place in the family pack. Crate train the new Weim puppy as soon as you get him home as the puppies will chew everything as soon as they are left alone.
This dog breed requires an athletic owner that is prepared to provide leadership, early socialization and on-going obedience training well beyond the puppy and adolescent level. A professional trainer would be of great help with this breed. This high-energy Weimaraner needs an athletic family that can satisfy his demanding exercise requirements.
This dog doesn’t do very well with children unless it is raised with them. However if it grows up with children it makes a great playmate as it is patient and will chase balls endlessly with them. Weims need to live indoors and spend a lot of time with their families. They do not like to be left alone. Well trained Weimaraners are a delight and are capable of enriching the family life of their owners.
However poorly trained dogs can be destructive, rambunctious, have a high prey drive and will try to dominate other dogs. Weimaraners make good watchdogs and are very protective and make good guard dogs. Weimaraners are not suitable for novice or inexperienced owners.
Weimaraners don’t have to be used as hunting dogs but they should be part of an active family that will take them for long walks, biking and/or runs. This high-energy breed needs two good runs per day or one very long outing to ensure the Weim remains calm and content indoors.
Weims need a fenced yard so they don’t wander off in search of prey. Weimaraners can be trained to compete in conformation, field and obedience competitions.
Grooming requirements for this breed are minimal. The Weimaraner is a medium shedding dog breed and should be brushed twice weekly to remove any dead hair. The ears should also be inspected regularly.
Weimaraners can be expected to live for 10 to 12 years and can be sensitive to chemicals, anesthetics and vaccines.
There are some common genetic problems in the blood lines which include: bloat; Von Willebrands Disease (Factor VIII deficiency or Hemophilia A); tricuspid valve dysplasia heart disease; hip and elbow dysplasia; sebaceous adenitis (inflamed skin glands); immunodeficiency disease; hypothyroidism; and eye problems such as progressive retinal atrophy and entropion.
Information on most of these genetic diseases can be found in our article Hereditary Diseases in Dogs. Prospective buyers should ask for the breeding parents Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) test results and also the Canine Eye Registry (CERF) recent ophthalmologists report for eye disorders.