Weimaraner

Other Names :
Weimaraner Voerstehhund, Grey Ghost, Weims
Country of Origin :
Germany
Dog Group :
Gundog

Origin

The exact origins of this breed are unknown although a dog of the Weimaraner type appeared in a Van Dyke painting of the early 1600's. It is believed that the breed comes from stock similar to the German Short-Haired Pointer, with Bloodhound being added early through crosses with one or more of the various schweisshund breeds. The breed takes its name from the nobles of the court of Charles August, Grand Duke of Weimar and was once used to hunt big game, wolves, wildcats, deer, mountain lion and bears etc. When the big game disappeared from Europe by the late 1800's, Weims became a rarity. However, with selective breeding, they became small game hunters and bird dogs, once again, increasing their popularity. Their breeding was kept a close secret in Germany for many years by a very strict breed club and it was not until 1929 that the Weimaraner was introduced to America by Howard Knight, a member of the breed society club of Germany. In 1943, the American Kennel Club granted official recognition to these dogs.

Description

With their shimmering steel, sleek, short coat and amber or blue eyes, Weimaraners are one of the most outstanding breeds. Weims are the tallest of the gundog group. They are graceful with speed, stamina and endurance giving them 'star quality' and a tremendous presence, emulating the thoroughbred stayer in the horse world. There are two different varieties, the short-haired and the long-haired, the latter being less common, and, indeed, not accepted 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.

Size
Large
Colour
The Weimaraner's predominant colouration is silver grey with shades of mouse or roe-grey being seen. It is quite common for them to have a dark dorsal stripe.
Coat Length
Short Smooth
Weight/Height Range
Dogs stand between 61 to 69cms and weigh around 27kgs while bitches are between 56 to 64cms, weighing around 22.5kgs.
Ailments
Weimaraners are affected by the usual canine problems but with no great frequency. They are, however, prone to two more unusual problems: spinal dysraphism which is a severe though non-lethal condition, affecting the gait and giving an unusual stance which resembles a crouched position. Ear infections are easily acquired due to the drop-earred conformation.
Breed Classification
Weimaraners belong to the Gundog group and whilst still popular as a working dog, their unique appearance is now making them more appealing as companion dogs. Because of his learning ability they are also used in obedience and field trials. Weims are also seen in growing numbers in the show ring.

Feeding & Ownership

Weims are not big eaters but do need more on a cold winter's day.

Food Cost
$15 to $20

Personality

This breed makes an excellent companion as they are all-round dogs who love family life. They are friendly, intelligent and energetic but, with their vigilance, make excellent guard dogs if their home or family are threatened. If they are properly trained when young, they will mix with other animals in the household although they do not like strange dogs. Because of their dominance, they are not recommended for first time dog owners.

Intelligence
Weimaraners are quick-witted, eager to please and have the intelligence to understand what is required of them. Their handler must be very confident when dealing with them as they are a very dominant breed. Training should begin very early to discourage chewing, house-soiling and other bad habits.
Energy
High
Suitability for Children
High
Tendency to Bark
Medium
Overall Exercise Requirement
Weimaraners MUST have regular long walks to keep them calm in the house. If they do not get enough exercise, they can become very destructive and unhappy. They love to swim and retrieve and both these activities keep their active minds occupied.
Suitability as a Guard Dog
High
Ease of Transportation
High
Level of Aggression
High
Other Animal Compatibility
High

Grooming

The short-haired Weimaraner is one of the easiest breeds to keep clean with very little grooming required. Even when he has been through the muddiest of fields the dirt seems to fall off him very easily, leaving you with nothing to do but 'polish' up his coat! The more unusual longer-haired variety, with a coat of about 5cms, does, however require more attention. They should be brushed and combed regularly. A check should be made on their ears routinely to ensure they are free from infections.

Grooming Requirements
Up to once a week
Amount of hair shed
Little