The Weimaraner earns his nickname of “grey ghost” as a result of his unique gray hue and the fact that he constantly shadows his owners. Originally developed in Germany for hunting large game, the Weimaraner is full of energy and enthusiasm. He is eager to please and is happiest when interacting with his household family members in an outdoor environment.
Physical CharacteristicsThe Weimaraner’s facial expression exudes softness and an alert presence. His stature is built for speed and endurance, and his gait is smooth and effortless. He stands 23 to 27 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs 55 to 90 pounds. His sleek look displays fine features that give him an aristocratic appearance.
A Weimaraner’s coat is short and smooth. Its solid color ranges from mouse-gray to silver-gray, and the Weimaraner’s nose is also gray. Some Weimaraners may exhibit a muted blue tint, but the coat should never appear distinctly blue, black or brown. The eyes of a Weimaraner reflect intelligence, and they may be gray, blue-gray or light amber in hue.
A Weimaraner’s ears are set high on his head, and the long earflaps hang downward with a slight fold. His tail is docked within days of birth, and the length at maturity measures roughly six inches. He has webbed paws for navigating through water when on quests for waterfowl.
TemperamentWeimaraners are extremely loyal and devoted to the bonds shared with their owners. They are highly sociable and do not thrive on their own. Separation anxiety can occur when they are left alone, resulting in destructive behavior and self-injury. Weimaraners get along well with children, but they can pose a hazard to cats and other small pets.
Weimaraners are intelligent, alert, obedient and eager to please, making them easily trained when they are puppies. Their intelligence can also make them independent and stubborn, challenging owners to see how much they can get away with. Weimaraners do best with lifelong training reinforcement, and they require plenty of mental and physical activity.
Weimaraners are active dogs with boundless reserves of energy. They are always ready to zoom around the yard or take a lengthy walk through the neighborhood. They constantly follow their owners throughout the house and yard all day and into the night. Their need to hunt, combined with a strong desire to bond with their human companions, makes them perfect hiking or hunting buddies.
Care & GroomingWeimaraners must be provided with daily opportunities to run fast and play hard to expend some of their energy and fulfill their need to spend time outdoors. Obedience trials, agility coursing and lure coursing all serve to exercise a Weimaraner’s active mind and body. Indoors, Weimaraners must be provided with plenty of mental stimulation with puzzle toys and interactive games with human family members. These dogs must be kept occupied, or they will become bored and seek out their own activities, which may be in the form of destructive behavior.
The short, smooth coats require very little grooming. Weimaraners shed regularly, so a weekly brushing with a grooming mitt will remove dead hairs and minimize hair accumulation around the house. Floppy ears are prone to infection, so inspect their ears regularly and keep them clean. Dental care is accomplished by brushing their teeth at least three times a week to maintain oral and overall health.
Some health issues to be aware of in Weimaraners include congenital heart disease, hip dysplasia, eye disorders, hypertrophic osteodystrophy, bladder stones, hypothyroidism and bloat. Weimaraners live an average lifespan of 10 to 13 years.
HistoryDuring the early nineteenth century, the German Weimar court developed a dog that would possess the traits necessary for hunting large game, including deer, wild cats, wolves and bears. The Weimaraner is a member of the pointer family, and his ancestry includes a variety of hunting breeds. The bloodhound, German shorthaired pointer, English pointer, red schweisshunde, blue Great Dane and silver-gray chicken dog all went into the development of the ideal hunting dog that was originally known as the Weim pointer. Now known as the Weimaraner, the breed adapted to also hunt game birds and waterfowl.
The German Weimaraner Club strictly monitored and controlled the development of the Weimaraner, allowing only club members to purchase the dogs. When one club member, an American named Howard Knight, imported two Weimaraners to the United States, a new Weimaraner club was formed in America in 1929. The breed was readily accepted when it excelled in obedience competitions and demonstrated its bird hunting abilities. In 1943, the American Kennel Club recognized the breed as a member of the sporting group.