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Weimaraner Dog Breed Info: What You Have To Know

Weimaraner Dog Breed Info: What You Have To Know
Weimaraner

Weimaraner, or “Weims,” as they are affectionately known, have a highly recognized and distinctive look because to their silvery-gray coat, which is both attractive and easy to groom. They grow to be between 23 and 27 inches tall and are a tough breed.

The Weimaraner is a dog who enjoys getting up close and personal. They adore being close to you—always within stroking distance—and have a strong desire to be with you whether you’re at home or out hunting.

The high-energy Weimaraner, bred to hunt all day, requires an athletic owner who can provide him with the necessary exercise: running, biking, trekking, jogging, and field work.

Excessive confinement, as well as being left alone too much, leads to hyperactivity and destructive behavior. A bored Weimaraner will bark hysterically, destroy your house and yard, and even try to flee in search of adventure.

Most Weimaraners require an owner who can provide leadership, socialization, and training beyond the beginner level. They are reserved with strangers, dominant with other dogs, and predatory toward small animals such as cats and rabbits. Though this breed has a strong personality, in the proper hands, he can learn and do almost anything.

A well-matched owner will discover a loyal, aristocratic gentleman with considerable presence and character in the Weimaraner.

Weimaraner overview and traits

Weimaraners are commonly referred to as Weims, Silver Ghosts, or Gray Ghosts today. Their sleek mouse-gray to silver-gray coat and pale amber, blue-gray, or gray eyes are part of their charm. But the Weimaraner is much more than his striking appearance. The aristocratic dogs are affectionate and loyal.

The first desire of a Weimaraner is to be with his family members, preferably within touching distance. Many Weimaraners are given the name Shadow for a reason. They’ll either lie at your feet or trail you around the house.

However, Weimaraners are not for everyone. There is no need to apply if you are a first-time dog owner. These canines are high-energy and stamina dogs who require a lot of exercise and mental stimulation. They’ll grow nervous and tense if they don’t have it. They can be quite a handful, since they have a lot of energy and the intelligence to figure out how to get themselves into trouble on their own!

Because they’re hunting dogs, Weimaraners have a strong prey drive. They’ll chase and kill anything that looks like prey, including cats and small dogs, mice, frogs, birds, and more if they’re not trained or kept under control. They’ll then gladly hand over their trophies to you. Joggers and bicyclists will be pursued as well.

Weimaraners are house dogs, despite their hunting inclinations (like most dogs). They’re not temperamentally suited to being kept in a kennel or in the backyard with little human interaction.

Weims are independent thinkers who will push you to your limits on a regular basis. If you’ve never owned a Weimaraner before, puppy kindergarten and obedience classes are a good idea. However, because severe treatment will make him resentful, training should be compassionate and firm.

Breed history

The Weimaraner was created in the early 19th century at the Weimar palace in what is now Germany. The noblemen sought a dog with courage, intelligence, good scenting abilities, speed, and stamina since they enjoyed hunting. This active dog would travel alongside them in quest of game and would be a close buddy by the fire in the evening.

It’s unclear how they created the Weimaraner, which was previously known as the Weimar Pointer, but it’s said that the Bloodhound, English Pointer, German Shorthaired Pointer, blue Great Dane, and silver-gray Huehnerhund, or chicken dog, were among the breeds utilized to produce the Weimaraner. Germany’s woods decreased throughout the decades, and big wildlife became scarce. Handlers of the Weimaraner used the breed’s abilities to hunt birds, rabbits, and foxes.

In Germany, an exclusive organization was founded in 1897 to preserve the breed and ensure that it was developed by responsible breeders. No one could buy a Weimaraner unless they were a member of the club. Breeding Weimaraners was subjected to stringent regulations.

Weimaraner in the United States

In 1929, an American sportsman named Howard Knight was allowed to join the German club and import two Weimaraner dogs to the United States. The Germans were so possessive of their “Gray Ghosts” that the club gave Knight two desexed pups despite Knight promising to maintain the breed’s purity.

Knight, on the other hand, was undeterred. He persisted in his efforts to obtain some foundation dogs that he might breed in the United States. In 1938, he finally got three ladies and a male youngster. Adda and Dorle v. Schwarzen Kamp, two littermates, and Aura v. Gailberg, a year-old female, were among the females. Mars from the Wulfsreide was the name given to the male puppy.

Knight was joined by other breeders in his quest to breed Weimaraners in the United States, and their National Breed Club, the Weimaraner Club of America was founded in 1942. The breed was approved by the American Kennel Club towards the end of 1942. In 1943, the Westminster Kennel Club held its first official show for the breed.

Because it was difficult for German breeders to keep their dogs during WWII, many excellent Weimaraners were moved to the United States. Many American servicemen returned home with Weimaraners at the end of WWII, and they soon gained popularity, especially after President Dwight D. Eisenhower brought his Weimaraner, Heidi, to the White House.

Weimaraners were the 12th most popular breed registered by the American Kennel Club AKC by the mid-to-late 1950s. Unfortunately, as is often the case, this resulted in a lot of careless breeding. The Weimaraner is to this day one of America’s most popular breeds. He is ranked 30th out of 155 AKC-registered breeds and variations.

Appearance 

Male Weimaraners stand 25 to 27 inches tall and weigh 70 to 85 pounds at the shoulder. Females range in height from 23 to 25 inches and weigh between 55 and 70 pounds.

The Weimaraner is an appealing dog with a reasonably large size and an athletic frame. They have pale amber, grey, and blue-grey eyes that are relatively wide-set. The dog’s slim head is framed by large, folded ears, and the short coat clings the body; while the coat is often lighter grey, darker mixing of greys can emerge on the body as subtle shadowing. A white mark on the breast may appear on occasion.

The dewclaws are routinely removed and the tail is docked when the dog is roughly 2 days old. Surprisingly, there is a longhaired Weimaraner variation, but it is extremely rare. While the Weimaraner may not be the most visually appealing of dogs, their gorgeous silver coat and clever gaze are guaranteed to captivate anyone’s heart.

The coat of the Weimaraner is short, smooth, and solid-colored, ranging from mouse gray to silver gray, with lighter hues on the head and ears. According to the American Kennel Club breed standard a long coat is a disqualification, however a longhaired variant is recognized in European countries. Longhaired Weimaraners have a silky coat and tails and legs that are feathered, but they are rarely seen in the US.

Blue Weimaraner

Weimaraner dogs have beautiful, shiny grey coats. That’s why some people also call them “Grey Ghost”. But, did you know there is also a blue Weimaraner?

I’m sorry to disappoint you, but these dogs aren’t really blue. The blue color is actually a diluted black. It’s basically a grey color but with a blue hue to it. As we’ve already mentioned, you probably won’t ever see a blue Weimaraner outside the USA. But they are slowly making their way to other countries too.

Now, there are two shades of blue in this breed: light blue and dark blue.

But where does that blue color come from?

Now, even though there are so many coat colors in dogs, all of those colors come from only two pigments:

  • eumelanin, which is black
  • paheomelanin, which is red

Both of these pigments have “set” colors that can be modified by different genes. Simply put these genes dilute the pigment into other colors.

This dilution gene is the D locus. It lightens the coat from black or brown to gray or blue or pale brown. And, as already mentioned the blue is a diluted black color.

Personality and temperament of the Weimaraner 

Weimaraners are loving dogs who crave constant contact with their pet owners, which can be unsettling. However, if you prefer having a dog by your side all of the time and have plenty of time to go hiking, jogging, or hunting, the Weimaraner can be an excellent canine companion.

His demeanor can swing from commanding to laid-back. Males are often pleasant, whilst females are more feisty. Puppies with a strong prey drive and independence fare well in the field, while those that are laid-back and cheerful are better suited to companion homes.

Friendly, fearless, vigilant, and obedient are all characteristics that make the Weimaraner puppy a wonderful companion and watchdog. On the other hand, he’s forceful, intelligent, restless, and determined. If you give this dog a chance, he’ll take over the house. If you don’t provide him the socialization and experienced trainer he needs to avoid serious behavior problems like biting, he’ll chew, bark, chase cats, and steal the roast off the counter.

A variety of factors influence temperament, including heredity, training, and socialization. Puppies with a good temperament are interested and lively, and they enjoy approaching people and being held.

A Weimaraner cares about you and wants to please you, but he’s also a free thinker who prefers to do things his own way. He’ll be aggressive and demanding throughout his life, not just throughout his adolescent.

The “teen” years in the Weimaraner can begin as early as six months and last until the dog is roughly two years old. Sensitivity, firmness with a light touch, and a great sense of humor are all required while training a Weimaraner. It takes a certain kind of intelligence to keep one step ahead of a Weimaraner, and even then, there’s still opportunity for one of these dogs to outwit you.

Are they good family dogs?

A Weimaraner can be a fantastic companion for an energetic older child who is used to dogs. However, they’re considerably too rambunctious for toddlers and may chase little children who run.

Always teach youngsters how to approach and touch dogs, and supervise any interactions between dogs and small children to avoid biting or ear or tail pulling on either party’s side. Teach your youngster to never approach a dog who is eating or sleeping, or to try to steal the dog’s food. No dog should ever be left alone with a child, no matter how friendly it is.

Families with cats, small dogs, rabbits, hamsters, gerbils, or birds should avoid Weimaraners. Weimaraners have a strong prey drive, which can be difficult, if not impossible, to control. They will pursue and kill any tiny or large furry creatures they come across.

Caring for a Weimaraner 

The Weimaraner is a housedog first and foremost. He doesn’t belong in a kennel or in the backyard, yet he also doesn’t belong in an apartment. This energetic dog need a wide, securely fenced yard to run in, as well as an active family to offer him with the exercise and mental stimulation he requires.

It also helps to have a sense of humor, especially when you see how your Weim has re-landscaped your yard in his quest to free it of mice, moles, and bugs. He’ll be proud of his efforts, so don’t forget to compliment him while you calculate how much time, money, and labor it will take to restore the yard to its original state. You might want to keep an eye on him more closely and give him extra exercise.

Exercise

These are strong worker canines who have a lot of stamina. They must be taken for a lengthy walk or jog on a daily basis. They also require a lot of opportunity to run around freely. Do not exercise them right after a meal. After a lengthy walk, feed your dog as soon as it has cooled off.

Weimaraners adore running, hunting, walking, boating, swimming, and pretty much everything else that involves being with you. Agility, tracking, and hunt tests are their favorite dog sports. In fact, be prepared to receive presents of the dead: frogs, birds, and the friendly cat who’s been loitering about the yard. Your Weimaraner isn’t aware that she’s your neighbor’s cat; he’s been programmed to pursue hairy creatures, and that’s exactly what he does.

If you wish to avoid recreational barking, chewing, or digging, give your Weimaraner a couple of hours of daily activity. Play fetch and other running games with him, go jogging or hiking with him, teach him to run alongside your bike, or enroll him in a dog sport like agility or flyball. And, of course, you may always go hunting with him.

Make sure your yard is impenetrable to intruders. When it comes to confinement, Weims are Houdinis, and they’re great at learning how to open doors and gates, as well as jump over or dig under fences. Another reason why having them as housedogs is preferable.

Training

Weimaraners are extremely bright, yet they also think independently. When it comes to training, this combination can be difficult. Maintain a constant and forceful tone while remaining gentle. You must be able to say “No” and mean it because the Weimaraner is sensitive and does not respond well to rage. Keep training sessions brief and interesting, and always finish them when he’s done something well so you can commend him. Last but not least, keep your sense of humor intact. You will need a lot of patience, but you will train your dog eventually.

Weimaraners are sensitive, intelligent, and eager to please, which offers you an advantage in training, especially if you start early. A young Weimaraner will put you to the test to see how much he can get away with, so enroll him in puppy kindergarten by the time he is 10 to 12 weeks old and socialize, socialize, socialize him. However, many puppy training classes require specific immunizations (such as kennel cough), and many veterinarians advise limiting exposure to other dogs and public locations until puppy vaccines are finished. Until puppy immunizations are done, you can begin teaching your puppy at home and socializing him among family and friends.

Weimaraners should not be kenneled and left alone for longer periods of time since they are prone to separation anxiety if they are not given frequent opportunities to socialize with their owners. They won’t dig up your carpet or furniture if you show them love and care on a regular basis. And, despite their exquisite appearance, they are escape artists that can figure out how to open doors, unlock fences, and break out of containers thanks to their quick wit.

Nutrition

It’s best for your dog to eat 2.5 to 3.5 cups of high-quality dry food each day. But make sure to split it up into two meals instead one large meal. 

The amount of food your adult dog eats is based on his size, age, build, metabolism, and activity level. Dogs, like people, are unique and need different amounts of food. It’s almost a given that a dog who is very active will need more food and water than a dog who isn’t very active. It also makes a difference what kind of dog food you buy. The better the food, the more your dog will be fed and the less you’ll have to shake into his bowl.

Instead of leaving food out all the time, measure his food and feed him twice a day to keep your dog slim.

Grooming

Weimaraner’s are a short, flat-coated breed that sheds all year long, even in the winter. Grooming should be done every 4 to 8 weeks to clean ears, clip nails, check anal glands, and make sure the coat and skin are healthy.

They are surprisingly low mama. Even though he has been running through mud, the dirt just falls off of him. He should be brushed with a bristle brush every week to keep his coat and skin healthy. When you brush a Weimaraner, it will help keep their hair from getting on your clothes and furniture. The best way to make his silvery coat shine is to wipe him down with a chamois. Bathe when you need to. He has a lot of fun rolling around in anything smelly, so this may happen more often than it should.

There are a lot of breeds that have pendant, or hanging, ears. They tend to get ear infections more often. You should check your Weimaraner’s ears every week and clean them with a cotton ball soaked in a cleanser recommended by your veterinarian. Your Weimaraner may have an ear infection if the inside of the ear smells bad, looks red, or hurts.

Brush your Weimaraner’s teeth at least two or three times a week to get rid of tartar and the bacteria that live inside it, which can cause bad breath.

Trim your dog’s nails once or twice a month if they don’t wear off on their own. Short, well-trimmed nails keep the feet in good shape and keep your wooden floor from getting scratched when your Weimaraner is excited to meet you.

Health

Weimaraner are typically healthy dogs, however they are susceptible to specific health problems like any other breed. Although not all dogs will contract any or all of these illnesses, it’s crucial to be aware of them if you’re thinking about getting one.

Find a good breeder who will show you health clearances for both your dog’s parents if you’re buying a puppy. Health clearances demonstrate that a dog has been checked for and cleared of a certain disease.

It’s critical that your pup lives as healthy a life as possible. After all, they only live for 12 to 15 years, so those years had better be fun! A Weimaraner from a reputable breeder will be a healthy dog with the necessary certifications.

Aside from that, the breeder will be able to inform you of any potential problems that your dog may face. Weimaraners, like any dogs, can develop health problems at any time. Understanding these issues can help you communicate with your veterinarian about the situation.

We’ve compiled a list of some of the health issues that your pup could face. Although these problems do not affect all dogs of this breed, they are ones to be aware of. Keep an eye out for any changes in your dog that could indicate illness– they’re not always evident!

Most common health issues

Hip Dysplasia

Canine hip dysplasia occurs when the hip joint becomes unstable as a result of both developmental and environmental factors. Vizslas are prone to this bone and joint disorder. The femur does not meet the pelvic bone appropriately, causing the bones to wear out prematurely.

Later in life, your dog may develop arthritis, which can be excruciatingly painful. This ailment shows itself as a peculiar walk, shaky posture, or limping, all of which are plainly seen in your beautiful pup. To preserve your dog’s quality of life, discuss care with your veterinarian as soon as feasible.

Allergies

Allergies to pollen, mold, and dust cause people to sneeze. Instead of sneezing, allergies in dogs produce itching. Atopy is a name used to describe a common skin allergy in these puppies. The feet, tummy, skin wrinkles, and ears are the most commonly affected locations. Symptoms normally emerge between the ages of one and three, and they can get worse as time goes on. Licking the paws, stroking the face, and recurring ear infections are the most prevalent allergy symptoms. The good news is that these diseases can be treated in a number of different ways.

Cataracts

In older canines, cataracts are a common cause of blindness. The lenses of his eyes become more opaque—in other word, hazy rather than clear. Many dogs adapt well to losing their vision and live happily ever after. Surgical removal of cataracts and restoration of vision may also be a possibility.

Bloat

Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus (GDV or Bloat) is a condition that affects dogs with deep, narrow chests. This indicates that your dog is more vulnerable than other breeds. The stomach twists on itself and fills with gas when a dog bloats. The twisting cuts off the stomach’s and sometimes the spleen’s blood flow. If left untreated, the sickness can kill your dog in as little as 30 minutes. Your dog may retch or heave (but nothing comes out), be agitated, have an enlarged abdomen, or lie in a prayer position (front feet down, rear end up). Preventive surgery, which involves tacking or suturing the stomach in place so that it does not twist, is a possibility.

Von Willebrand’s Disease

This is one of the most prevalent blood clotting problems in humans, and you might be surprised to learn that it can also affect your dog. Von Willebrand’s disease is caused by a lack of the von Willebrand Factor, a protein that aids in blood clotting.

In the event of even a minor cut, this can result in significant bleeding. This disease is difficult to detect because your dog may appear to be in perfect health for their whole life, unless they have an injury. Other signs and symptoms may appear in some dogs. Nosebleeds, blood in the feces or urine, and easily damaged skin are examples.

If you and your dog are both careful, this ailment will not have a significant impact on your dog’s quality of life. Inquire with your veterinarian about treatment options for the condition. It’s critical to have your puppy checked for this problem as soon as possible, as certain medications, such as aspirin, might make it worse.

Epilepsy

This is a seizure-inducing condition. Epilepsy can be controlled with medicine, but it is not curable. With correct management of this condition, a dog can live a long and healthy life.

Lymphosarcoma

Lymposarcoma is the third most frequent cancer in dogs, and it can affect the spleen, gastrointestinal system, lymph nodes, liver, and bone marrow, among other organs. Chemotherapy is used to treat the cancer, and about 80% of dogs treated will go into remission.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy

Progressive retinal atrophy is an eye ailment that might have a negative impact on the quality of life of your dog. This usually happens later in life as a result of retinal degeneration. Retinal dysplasia is the name for the early-onset type, which is observed in puppies. This is when the retinal cells do not mature properly.

The dog becomes partially or completely blind in both cases. While the disease isn’t unpleasant, it can have a significant influence on your dog’s quality of life. Consult your veterinarian about your dog’s alternatives, as well as what to do if he becomes blind.

Hypothyroidism

I’m this condition the hormone generated by the thyroid gland is at an unusually low level. Infertility is a common symptom of this condition. Obesity, mental dullness, drooping eyes, low energy levels, and erratic heat cycles are some of the more visible symptoms. The dog’s fur becomes harsh and brittle, falling out, and the skin becomes tough and black. Hypothyroidism is treated with daily medicine that must be given to the dog for the rest of his life. Thankfully, a dog who receives thyroid therapy on a daily basis can enjoy a full and happy life.

Downsides of owning a Weimaraner

They need plenty of exercise

Weimaraners are athletic dogs who require one hour of exercise to run and expel their pent-up energy. Otherwise, they’ll grow bored, which they’ll show by barking and chewing destructively. Bored pups are notorious for chewing through walls, pulling the stuffing out of sofas, and turning your yard into a lunar landscape with massive craters.

I do not recommend this breed if you simply want a pet for your family and do not have the time or willingness to take your dog running, hiking, bicycling, or swimming, or to participate in hunting, agility classes, or advanced obedience.

Bounciness

Young dogs (up to roughly two years old) romp and jump wildly, causing items to fly. This could be a problem especially with children and the elderly.

Separation anxiety

They require more companionship than most other breeds and dislike being left alone for more than a few hours. These dogs are called the Velcro dog because they get so attached to their owners. Weimaraners don’t do to well on their own. They usually show their dissatisfaction by chewing and barking in a destructive manner.

They need a lot of socialization

Weimaraners require a lot of social interaction as well as exposure to uncommon sights and sounds. Otherwise, their natural trepidation can turn into shyness, which can be difficult to deal with.

Training difficulties

Weimaraners are intelligent dogs who can learn a lot. Because of their high prey drive most of them are readily distracted by stimulating sights, sounds, and scents. So they are not the simplest breed to teach. To keep a dog’s attention during a training session, you’ll need some training experience.

Health problems

In Weimaraners, epileptic seizures are a common genetic disease. Hip and eye ailments, blood disorders, skin illnesses, and cancer are also common.

Final thoughts

Originally bred as a gundog to handle big game like deer and bear, the Weimaraner, or “Silver Ghost,” was a highly sought-after dog breed in their native Germany. On the hunting grounds today, these gorgeous yet demanding hounds can still be encountered. If they receive enough exercise, they can also develop good family friends.

Weimaraners, despite being purebred dogs, can be found in shelters or in the care of rescue organizations. If you think this is the breed for you, consider adopting!

Weimaraners make terrific companions, but they have a lot of energy and a strong prey drive due to their hunting ancestry. Be wary of inexperienced owners and apartment dwellers, as this dog need continuous training and enough of exercise. If you’re willing to meet the breed’s requirements, you’ll be rewarded with a loyal and affectionate member of your family.

They are house dogs, despite their hunting inclinations (like most dogs). They’re not temperamentally suited to being kept in a kennel or in the backyard with little human interaction.

Weims are independent thinkers who will push you to your limits on a regular basis. If you’ve never owned a Weimaraner before, puppy kindergarten and obedience classes are a good idea. However, because severe treatment will make him resentful, training should be compassionate and firm.

The Weimaraner is a versatile dog that can be an up-close-and-personal hunting companion, participate in agility, and be a great family friend after he’s been trained.