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The Weimaraner, which is very eye-catching and imposing because of its special, silvery-grey color, is one of the pointing and retriever dogs and is mainly kept as a hunting dog. However, its appearance also makes it more and more interesting for dog owners who do not want to use it for hunting. The FCI lists the Weimaraner breed standard under No. 99 in Group 7: Pointers, Section 1.1: Continental pointers, “Braque” type, with a working test.

Weimaraner Dog Breed Information

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Size: 57-70cm
Weight: 25-40kg
FCI group: 7: pointing dogs
Section: 1.1: Continental Pointers, Braque Type
Country of origin: Germany
Colours: silver grey, mouse grey, silver, fawn grey
Life expectancy: 10-12 years
Suitable as: guard, protection, hunting and family dog
Sports: dummy training
Character: Energetic, Stubborn, Fast, Intelligent, Copy, Friendly, Attentive, Calm
Leaving requirements: high
Drooling potential: rather high
Thickness of hair: rather high
Maintenance effort: low
Coat structure: Short hair: strong, very dense, lying flat with little undercoat, long hair: soft, long top coat with or without undercoat
Child-friendly: rather yes
Family dog: yes
Social: medium

Origin and breed history

The history of the Weimaraner can be safely traced back to 1891, when the breed was first officially recognized with a stud book in Thuringia. In 1897, the “Association for the Pure Breeding of the Silver-Gray Weimaraner Pointing Dog” was founded in Erfurt, which to this day breeds without crossing other breeds. As a result, the Weimaraner is considered the most original German pointer breed today.

It is still unclear which dogs originally entered the breed. On old paintings from the court of the French King Louis XIV from the 17th/18th In the 19th century, hunting dogs with silver-grey fur were already shown, which look very similar to today’s Weimaraner. Such hunting dogs were also kept at the court of Grand Duke Karl August of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach at the beginning of the 19th century, but at that time they were bred as pure working dogs without uniform specifications in terms of appearance and character. Only when the standard was set and the breed recognized were the uniform breeding goals set.

Is a Weimaraner a Family Dog?

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The Weimaraner is bred as a hunting dog and needs loving, consistent training. Within his family, he is considered to be particularly affectionate and loyal, but he needs a lot of physical and mental exercise.

Nature and temperament of the Weimaraner

In Germany, the homeland of the Weimaraner, the focus of breeding has always been on the use of the dogs for hunting. Their high level of intelligence and willingness to work make them easy to lead and easy to train working dogs, provided they are sufficiently challenged and kept busy. Pointing, i.e. indicating game in the dense undergrowth, is in the blood of a Weimaraner. But the dog is also very persistent and focused when it comes to tracking down the prey or searching for the game that has been shot. He retrieves the prey from undergrowth or from the water and brings it to his human.

In addition to a clearly pronounced sharpness towards the game, the Weimaraner is also characterized by a strong protective instinct and its alert and territorial defensive behavior. As the owner of such a dog, one must be aware that the four-legged friend only tolerates other animals in one’s own household after very careful getting used to them or not at all. And the willingness to defend the house and property or the individual family members must be steered in a regulated manner at an early stage through consistent education.

Within the family, a well-trained and well-trained Weimaraner is calm, sensitive and friendly with very close ties to their caregivers. The breeding club even describes the breed’s “sometimes almost obtrusive attachment” to its people, which “is appreciated by connoisseurs and lovers of the breed”, “but should definitely be known to interested parties before they intend to buy”. In order to prevent the feared problems caused by unsuitable owners, poor training and inadequate keeping, the organized breeders give their puppies primarily to hunters, but at least only to experienced dog owners.

How fast is a Weimaraner?

These long-legged, sleek and sleek dogs can get very fast when chasing game – speeds in excess of 50 km/h are briefly possible.

The appearance of the Weimaraner

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The appearance of the Weimaraner is extremely noble and elegant. Males reach a shoulder height of between 59 and 70 centimeters with a weight of 30 to 40 kilograms, bitches are slightly smaller and lighter at 57-65 centimeters and 25 to 35 kilograms. The powerful, muscular physique with the long, sinewy legs, deep chest and straight back and the long, mostly horizontally carried tail gives an athletic and powerful impression. The head with a long fang, strong lips and wide, long floppy ears, which are carried attentively turned forward, is dominated by the strikingly round, pretty eyes, which intelligently examine the person opposite. The eye color varies from light to dark amber in the adult dog, but is initially intensely sky-blue in the puppy.

There are two types of fur:

shorthair

The top coat is short, very dense and strong, lies flat against the body and shows little or no undercoat.

longhair

The top coat is about 3-5 inches long, soft and straight or wavy with little or no undercoat; on the back of the hind legs, the front legs and the tail the hair is clearly longer and thus forms “trousers, feathers and plume”. The fur on the head is usually shorter, while the ears are soft and have longer hair.

If short-haired and long-haired Weimaraners are mated, dogs with stock-haired fur can also result, in which a denser undercoat with medium-length, close-lying top coat then grows.

The special thing about the Weimaraner is of course its coat color: silver, fawn or mouse gray with all the transitions between these colors, a little lighter on the head and ears. A more or less pronounced dorsal stripe on the back is allowed, as well as small white markings on the chest and/or toes. On the other hand, yellow or brown markings on the legs and head are undesirable, and a blue coat color is also considered a disqualifying error in the breed evaluation.

Is a Weimaraner a hunting dog?

The Weimaraner breed in Germany has always been geared towards hunting the breed, which is why the dogs have a great passion for hunting and a pronounced game sharpness.

Training and husbandry of the Weimaraner – this is important to note

The intelligent Weimaraner is very inquisitive and is considered to be easy to train, but needs loving, consistent training from an experienced dog handler. Such a dog will soon respond to a too hard upbringing style with stubbornness and a refusal to work, and if it is not sufficiently challenged and utilized, it will look for something to do itself, which may not necessarily be in the interest of its owner. In any case, this breed is not recommended as a beginner dog.

His strong will, his self-confidence and his pronounced hunting skills must be taken into account from the very beginning when training the Weimaraner. Early socialization to many environmental stimuli and other animals is important in order to later develop a balanced and sociable dog. And a Weimaraner definitely needs a job that not only challenges him physically but also mentally and keeps him busy every day. This is most likely to succeed when used according to its original purpose as a pointing and retriever dog – if you cannot offer it that, comparable tasks in the form of tracking work or mantrailing must be included in the training.

Since this breed is very people-related and is characterized by a pronounced attachment to its family, a remote kennel is not suitable for a Weimaraner. Keeping him indoors with a spacious garden meets his need for exercise, but cannot and must not replace daily activity with the dog and sufficient exercise. A Weimaraner who is actively out and about with his human every day, who can let off steam and also work properly, will also feel comfortable in an apartment without a garden, while even the largest garden is boring for the dog if he is not given a task.

Diet of the Weimaraner

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As with all large dog breeds, it is also very important for the Weimaraner as a puppy and young dog to receive a balanced diet tailored to growth in order to prevent problems in skeletal development. Too high a supply of energy and minerals can lead to irreversible damage to joints and bones. The specialist trade offers special, high-quality feed for rearing large dog breeds.

For adult dogs, it is also important to ensure that the food has a balanced and high-quality composition. Both the ration size and the energy content of the food must be adjusted to a dog’s age, activity level and current health. The Weimaraner should retain its slim, streamlined physique into old age. For large, active dogs, it is advisable to divide the daily amount of food into two individual portions in the morning and afternoon/evening to prevent the risk of life-threatening gastric torsion. Immediately after eating, the dog should be given a resting period of about an hour before moving again or running and rampaging. Depending on the type of feeding chosen (wet or dry food, fresh food, BARF) and daily exercise, a dog takes in more or less drinking water. Access to fresh, clean water must therefore be possible for the dog at all times.

Health – life expectancy and common diseases

The breeding association prescribes strict rules for the breeding approval of a Weimaraner. A veterinary examination of the hip joints to exclude hip dysplasia (HD) is just as important as excluding eye deformities such as entropion (= eyelid rolled inwards) or ectropion (= eyelid rolled outwards). Other malformations, defects or increased aggressiveness or anxiety also lead to exclusion from breeding.

Bitches may be used for breeding for the first time at the age of 18 months at the earliest and may not be more than eight years old for their last litter. The use of a stud dog is limited to a maximum of five matings within two breeding periods in order to avoid a high inbreeding factor. A very high level of breed health can be achieved through this strict breeding management.

Due to its lop ears, special attention should be paid to the external auditory canals of the Weimaraner – poor ventilation, foreign bodies or parasites can quickly lead to an ear infection, which can be very uncomfortable and even painful for the dog. A well-fed and humanely cared-for Weimaraner can live to be 12 to 14 years old.

How old does a Weimaraner get?

A healthily fed and adequately exercised Weimaraner has an average life expectancy of around 12-14 years.

Care of the Weimaraner

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Depending on the dog’s fur, caring for a Weimaraner varies in complexity. While the short-haired variant only needs to be groomed from time to time, the more frequent use of the brush can prevent the long-haired representatives from matting the soft hair, especially behind the ears, on the trousers and the tail. When the fur changes in spring and autumn, regular grooming also helps to protect your home or car from too much loose hair.

The visits to the vet for the annual vaccinations should always be used for a general health check in order to identify and treat possible changes or diseases at an early stage. The dog’s ears, eyes, teeth and paws should be checked regularly by the dog owner in order to promptly identify injuries, inflammation or other changes. Preventive treatment against ectoparasites such as ticks and fleas and regular prophylactic treatment against endoparasites such as roundworms or tapeworms is recommended, as otherwise infestation in fields and forests can hardly be prevented.

Weimaraner Activities and Training

The best species-appropriate utilization for a Weimaraner is certainly the use in its original field of activity, namely hunting. An experienced trainer can use the high intelligence of these dogs to optimally develop and promote their innate abilities in search, pointing and follow-up work. A dog used in this way is sufficiently challenged and occupied, both physically and mentally, and will happily meet all the demands placed on it.

If you can’t offer your Weimaraner this type of hunting, you absolutely have to think about alternative activities. In dog sports, for example, mantrailing, track work or dummy training are good for employment. The strongly developed guard and protective instinct of this breed also makes the Weimaraner a suitable protection dog – but only in the hands of a very experienced and suitable trainer, at best in professional use by the police or customs.

How much does a Weimaraner puppy cost from the breeder?

The puppies from a reputable Weimaraner breed cost about $1000 to $1500.

Good to know: Special features of the Weimaraner

The American President Dwight D. Eisenhower made the dog breed popular in the USA in the mid-1950s with his dog “Heidi”. Numerous film and show greats also adorned themselves with the elegant silver-grey dogs, and artists such as the American photographer William Wegmann skilfully staged the Weimaraner. Since breeding in the USA was geared less to hunting performance and more to family suitability, the breeding standards differ from those of the FCI. For example, the long-haired variety of the Weimaraner is not legal in the United States.

Disadvantages of the Weimaraner

Although the Weimaraner is considered to be very intelligent, docile and easy to train, its strong self-confidence and pronounced protective and watchful instincts mean that it can easily become a problem dog if it is led too laxly and poorly trained. This breed absolutely belongs in the hands of an experienced dog owner, who emphasizes the good qualities of the dog with a loving and consistent style of upbringing and is able to steer the more difficult ones into regulated paths.

In the meantime, Weimaraners with a very special, darker coat color are increasingly being offered – these dogs, also known as “Blue Weimaraners”, are the product of crossbreeding with other breeds and are not recognized by the official breeding association. The sometimes horrendous puppy prices for these dogs are not justified, since they also do not have valid papers and often even come from dubious dog breeding establishments, which keep the animals under conditions that are absolutely relevant to animal welfare, especially in Eastern Europe.

Is the Weimaraner right for me?

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The reputable Weimaraner breeders organized in Germany attach great importance to only selling their dogs to suitable owners, if possible only to active hunters. If you are interested in this breed, you should inform yourself in detail about the housing requirements and contact a breeder of your choice at an early stage. However, if you cannot provide sufficient proof of your suitability as a Weimaraner owner, it is quite possible that he will refuse to sell a dog.

Under no circumstances should you buy a Weimaraner from an unknown source, because here you run the risk that your puppy will move in with you sick, that the papers are forged or that it is even a crossbreed. In order not to unknowingly support the dubious, often criminal trade in innocent puppies, which is only aimed at making a quick profit, with your money, inform yourself very well about the seriousness of the provider and let him show you his breeding facility and all his dogs.

Be aware that your Weimaraner will require a great deal of time and effort, a great deal of experience in dog training and education, and a great deal of patience. However, he will reward your efforts with his willingness to work, his unshakable devotion and loyalty and, last but not least, with many successful sports or work assignments.

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