Weimaraner is a purebred dog, initially bred as a gundog. They are highly energetic hounds and are known for their sportsmanship. They are an athletic, versatile, stylish, tireless, large-size sporting breed from Germany with a unique silver-gray coat. These courageous dogs are also known as “Weir” or the “Silver ghost,” who are happy on the hunt but love to be a big part of your home and family life. Also, a large playground is an absolute must for Weimaraners.
Table of Contents
Weimaraners are happy, elegant dogs characterized as hyperactive but are perfect family companions. They are bright, comfortable at home, tireless outside, and are people’s favorite. They require a lot of exercises and are always full of energy excelling in games like agility, flyball, dock diving, obedience, and other competitions. In addition, they are enthusiastic and peerless hunters. Weimaraners are an all-rounder for those who want a partner, a hunter, a sports teammate, and a companion to live.
Due to their hunting heritage, they have excess energy and high prey drive. Apartment dwellers and novice owners should beware, as this dog needs consistent training and plenty of activity.
Weimaraner Pros and Cons
|Adapt to hunting and canine sports||Prone to mischief|
|Excellent family dog||May suffer from separation anxiety|
|Low-maintenance coat||They can be destructive chewers|
Weimaraner Basic Information
- Name: Weimaraner
- Origin: Germany
- Group: Sporting group, Gun dog
- Size: Large
- Height at Withers: Male:25 – 27 inches; Female: 23-25 inches
- Weight: Male: 70 – 90 pounds; Female: 55-75 pounds
- Coat: Short and stiff
- Color: Mouse-gray, silver-gray
- Energy: High
- Activities: Agility, conformation, field trials, hunting tests, obedience, rally
- Barking Level: Low to medium
- Shedding Level: Medium
- Hypoallergenic: No
- Litter Size: 6 puppies
- Other Names: Weir, Silver ghost, Gray ghost, Weim
- Breed’s Original Pastimes: Retrieving and land games
- Life Span: 10 -14 years
History of Weimaraner
The Weimaraner originated in the 19th century to create the ideal all-around hound that could hunt games of all sizes, including wolves, bears, and deer. The court of Weimer sponsored this step, and they were initially known as the Weimar Pointer. Weimaraner’s early relatives were the Red Schweisshund, Bloodhound, and pointing breeds.
The German Weimaraner Club strictly oversaw this breed. Non-members needed help to acquire dogs, and membership was hard to obtain. Only when an American gained entry to the club, they were allowed to take two puppies back to America in 1929. That was when the Weimaraner left their native land.
- Weimaraners were bred to have excess stamina and energy. So, be prepared to give them lots of exercises and mental stimulation.
- They are high-strung hounds and can undergo severe separation anxiety. If left alone for extended times, they may bark, become detrimental, or even injure themselves.
- Although Weims have hunting instincts, they don’t like living outdoors.
- They are suspicious of outsiders and can be unacceptably aggressive.
- Weimaraners can be challenging to housetrain. Crate training is recommended.
- Unethical breeders may promote blue or black Weimaraners as “rare” to attract customers. They will charge more for puppies of these colors, but the fact is that blue and black Weims are disqualified in the breed standard.
- Weimaraners were created from the bloodhound, German Shorthaired Pointer, English Pointer, the Great Dane, and the silver-gray Huehnerhund.
Weimaraners can be an alpha with a solid personality and requires a firm and consistent owner with experience who can put themselves as pack leader. Their character is difficult to pin down as they are intelligent, gentle, and playful but also very loyal, friendly, and protective. However, they can quickly get along well with your family, and as an excellent companion dog, their compatibility with children and other pets is high.
Weims are quick-witted, eager to please, and have the brains to understand their needs. Owners must be very confident when dealing with them as they are dominant. Training should begin early to discourage chewing, house-soiling, and other bad habits.
|Kid-friendly||Medium to high|
|Good for apartment living|
|Good to new owners||Medium|
|Tolerates being alone||Low|
|Heat-tolerance||Medium to high|
Weimaraner Physical Features
Head: Moderately long and aristocratic head, with a prominent occipital bone, long lobular ears, gray nose, and well-set trumpets. Ribs are long and well-sprung.
Neck: The neck is clean-cut and moderately long.
Topline: The topline inclines gently downward from the shoulders to the rump.
Body: The back is set in a straight line and should slope slightly from the withers. The chest is well-developed and deep, with well-laid shoulders.
Tail: Docked tail.
Forequarters: Straight and robust with the measurement from elbow to the ground, equating the distance from the elbow to the wither’s top.
Hindquarters: Angulated stifles and straight hocks with well-developed musculation.
Coat: Short, smooth, and sleek.
Color: In shades of mouse-gray to silver-gray, blending to lighter shades on the ears and head. A slight white marking on the chest is allowed but should be penalized on any other body portion.
Gait: The gait is effortless and indicates smooth coordination.
Disqualification (AKC Standards)
- Deviation from the suggested height. (Dogs below 24 inches and above 28 inches; Bitches below 22 inches and above 26 inches)
- White markings on the body other than the chest
- White markings due to injury
- Long coat
- Distinctly blue and black coat color
- A non-docked tail
- More than four teeth are missing.
- Too short or long neck, back, and tail
- Overshot or undershot bite
- Eyes other than gray, blue-gray, and light amber
- Snippy muzzle
- Pink nose
- Short ears
Weimaraners are bold, happy, energetic dogs that are also perceived as hyperactive and friendly. They are sportive and excel in any game, mainly in field trials and conformation shows. Due to their high energy, they require plenty of exercises. Lack of exercise leads them to be detrimental and bark excessively. Weims are ideal for a family who wants a large, active dog for hiking, hunting, and other outdoor activities. In addition, they can make exceptional watch dogs.
Weims need a considerable amount of interaction with people. However, they tolerate other dogs well if adequately socialized. Other pets, such as rodents, birds, cats, or reptiles, should be kept away from them because of their hunting lineage.
Always watching over their home and family, Weims can be suspicious of outsiders strolling by and might bark excessively. Socializing your puppy and consistent training will help them grow into well-mannered pets who are comfortable around new people and animals.
Weimaraners are brilliant dogs and learn and respond quickly, thus making training more convenient. They can be strong-willed at times, so starting positive, reward-based exercise is essential. It requires patience and consistency throughout the period.
Weims are susceptible to any adverse reactions and need positive reinforcement while training. They will pick up bad habits just as fast as good, which is why they are best suited to skilled owners. Here are some of the training activities that you need to do with your Weims:
- Leash training
- Crate training
- Potty training
- Obedience training
- Establish a daily routine
- Teach them commands
Here are a few dog interactive toys and products that you can use while training:
|Easy to train||Medium to high|
|Barking and howling tendencies||Low to medium|
Weimaraner Exercise Needs
Weimaraners are highly energetic dogs that need a secured high fence due to their exceptional hunting instincts. As they are athlete dogs, you can fulfill a Weimaraner’s exercise needs with daily walks and activities such as playing fetch and frisbee. In addition, Weims can be your jogging and hiking companion.
An idle Weimaraner can end up showing undesirable or harmful behavior. Therefore, engaging them physically and mentally is necessary to keep them happy. Remember, Weims would need a home with a large area and a strongly fenced yard to play. If you live in an apartment, take them outdoors to exert their energy.
Exercising Weimaraner is crucial mainly for three reasons:
- To keep them mentally and physically stimulated.
- To avoid any other destructive behavior.
- To keep them away from obesity.
You can meet your Weims’s daily exercise requirements by:
Here are a few puzzles and dog toys to keep Weimaraners engaged:
Exercise Needs Overview
Weimaraners are low-maintenance, non-hypoallergenic dogs with short and thick coats. Their grooming regime includes brushing their coats daily. In addition, trim their nails, clean their ears and eyes, and maintain dental hygiene in regular grooming.
It is mandatory to wash your Weims every two months with a mild bath shampoo for canines. They are outdoorsy, and you can expect him to be dirty and muddy. Remember, excessive bathing can remove the natural oils from your dog’s skin.
|Easy to groom||High|
|Amount of shedding||Medium to high|
Weimaraners are relatively healthy breeds. However, like other dogs, they are prone to health disorders stemming from their lineage. Thus, to keep them healthy, it is essential to take your dog to the veterinarian for regular health check-ups and ensure that they are updated with vaccinations.
|Weight gain tendencies||Low to medium|
Hip dysplasia: When the thigh bones do not fit into the pelvic socket of the hip joint of your pet, it results in hip dysplasia, which is a heritable condition.
Elbow dysplasia: Elbow dysplasia occurs due to the malalignment of the elbow joint, which leads to chronic rubbing. This causes abnormal pressure at the joint, resulting in severe osteoarthritis.
- Mild to moderate pain
- Lameness in the forelimbs
Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus: A life-threatening disorder affecting deep-chested dogs, mainly if they have an overfed meal, drink excessive amounts of water, eat rapidly, or exercise vigorously after eating. GDV leads to bloating in the stomach. Canines cannot vomit to get rid of excess air in their belly, and blood flow to the heart is prevented. As a result, blood pressure lowers, and the puppy suffers from a shock. Suspect bloat if your puppy is drooling excessively and is not throwing up.
Hypothyroidism is a condition in which a dog’s metabolism is slowed due to the lack of thyroid hormone production. Symptoms are:
- Gaining weight
- Reluctance to work out
- Hair Loss
Von Willebrand’s Disease: The most prevalent hereditary bleeding problem in canines is Von Willebrand’s disease (VWD). It’s caused by a lack of a specific protein that helps platelets (blood cells that aid with clotting) adhere together and form clots to close damaged blood arteries. Von Willebrand factor is the name of the missing protein (VWF).
Progressive Retinal Atrophy: A degenerative eye disorder that causes blindness from the loss of photoreceptors at the back of the eyes. It can be detected earlier. A very later stage is blindness. Canines with this disorder can survive for several years since they have other senses to compensate.
Entropion: The lower lid folds inward towards the eye resulting in chronic eye irritation.
Distichiasis: Distichiasis is prevalent in canines. It results from the abnormal growth of eyelashes. It occurs when eyelashes emerge from the eyelid margin instead of the skin. Most dogs don’t undergo any adverse symptoms due to soft hairs. However, in severe cases, this condition can lead to corneal ulcers.
Factor XI Deficiency: Another bleeding condition that usually is minor but may become severe after trauma or surgery.
Skin Problems: The continual scratching and licking of paws can be worrying, but don’t blame your dog for his bad behavior; it’s because of skin allergies and diseases. Parasites, allergies, and underlying sickness can be the reasons. Symptoms of skin problems include:
- Skin Sores
- Dry Skin
- Hair Loss
Demodicosis: It is caused by the presence of Demodex mite in the hair follicles. Demodicosis is passed on to the pups from their mother, and the dogs with compromised or weak immune systems are prone to the disease. The symptoms include scaly patches of red, skin with hair loss on the head, neck, forelegs, or extreme conditions all over the body.
Panosteitis: A bone inflammation common in puppies with long legs due to rapid bone growth.
Cancer: Cancer can be cured by surgical removal of tumors and chemotherapy. However, it is essential not to ignore the symptoms and diagnose them earlier. Various cancer types affecting your pet are:
- Lymphoma: A severe illness that affects lymphocyte cells.
- Hemangiosarcoma: This is a hazardous form of cancer that originates in the lining of blood vessels and the spleen. It most commonly happens in middle-aged and elderly dogs.
- Osteosarcoma: Osteosarcoma is a malignant bone cancer common in large and giant breeds.
Recommended Tests for Weimaraner
- Hip Evaluation
- Ophthalmologist Evaluation
- Thyroid Evaluation
- Hyperuricosuria (HUU)
- Hypomyelination (HYM) DNA Test
- Spinal Dysraphism (SD) DNA Test
- Cardiac Exam
Weimaraner Diet and Nutrition
Weimaraners are high-energy dogs and require 2.5 to 3 cups of high-quality food. Several commercial kibbles are rich in proteins, but consider supplementing them with high-quality lean meat and canned puppy food. According to the veterinarian’s recommendations, you can split their meal time into two or three. Each dog is distinctive, and the correct amount and quality of food depend on weight, age, activity level, health, and more. Here are a few nutritious suggestions for your Weimaraner:
Weimaraner Living Condition
Weimaraners need the following living conditions to lead a happy and healthy life:
- A fenced backyard and ample space to run around.
- A regular exercise regime.
- If you live in an apartment, ensure that you provide time for their physical exertion.
- Weims exhibit chewing and digging attributes. So, invest in chewing toys to keep them occupied.
Did You Know?
- Weims are powerful swimmers and have webbed feet.
- Weims were initially bred in Germany and kept secret until the 1930s.
- As Weims ages, their eye color changes from light blue to gray-blue or amber.
- They earned the nickname “Silver ghosts” because they could disappear from their owner’s view on foggy days.
- President Eisenhower and movie star Grace Kelly owned Weimaraners.
- The breed gained popularity with William Wegman’s Weimaraner portraits.
- Weimaraner takes his name from a place in Germany where he was bred- the Court of Weimar. The noblemen developed the breed to have a dog of courage, intelligence, scent, speed, and strength rolled into one.
Weimaraner Club Recognition
Adding a Weimaraner to Your Family
Getting a Weimaraner from a reputable breeder is best to prevent inevitable circumstances like health diseases and provide you with vaccination certificates. In addition, it is best to check with the puppy’s parents to ensure their health and happiness.
On average, a Weimaraner puppy may cost around $900 to $2000, not including miscellaneous expenses.
- Atlanta Weimaraner Club Rescue
- Great Lakes Weimaraner Rescue
- Heartland Weimaraner Rescue
- Mile High Weimaraner Club
- Tri State Weimaraner Rescue
- Weimaraner Rescue of the South
- Weimaraner Rescue of Texas