- Best for Experienced dog owners
- Best with older children
- Usually fine with other household pets
- Medium size
- High exercise need
- Low to medium shedding
- High watchdog abilities
- Low-medium ease of training
The Weimaraner (pronounced VYE-ma-rah-ner), also called the Grey Ghost, was bred in Germany in the early 1800s to be a hunting dog. This brave gun dog was used by royals to hunt deer, bear, and other large game. Unlike other dogs of the time, the Weimaraner lived with the family instead of in the kennels with the other hunting dogs. This evolved into a tendency to develop separation anxiety when apart from his owners. Early on, dogs of this breed were sterilized before they left Germany, so as to keep the bloodlines pure - but by the late 1800s, more and more Weimaraners appeared in America and Europe. The breed gets its name from Grand Duke Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, who enjoyed hunting.
Weimaraners are bold, stubborn, assertive dogs who are extremely smart and need an experienced owner. They need early and regular socialization with people, animals, and situations, and lots of exercise, at least two to three hours a day. Bored, under-exercised Weimaraners tend to be hyper, destructive, and noisy and they risk becoming bullies. Most enjoy hunting trials, scent hurdles, tracking exercises, swimming, jogging, and other activities to keep them occupied and exercised. Tasks that engage their minds as well as their bodies are particularly useful in keeping them from becoming bored.
With the proper owner, Weimaraners are intelligent, affectionate, cheerful companions. They are stand-offish with strangers and so make good guard dogs. Owners need to make sure they learn their place in the pack so they donâ€™t become territorial or dominant.
This breed does well with children. However, Weimaraners can be very excitable and may knock over and hurt small children accidentally. They are also dominant dogs and may refuse directions from family members who have not established leadership over them. Children should participate in the upbringing of theses dogs so they are recognized as pack leaders.
Weimaraners are serious hunting dogs and have a lot of predatory instincts. They will often see small animals as prey. Care should be taken when he is off his leash, as he will chase any small animal he sees. Some are able to adjust to living with cats when raised with them, others do not. Most Weimaraners get along with other household dogs, especially when they grew up with them. However, many are aggressive with strange dogs.
Weimaraners are very loyal dogs that bond closely with their family. They do not enjoy being left alone and can suffer from severe separation anxiety from it. They are also not dogs that will enjoy being relegated to the backyard. When left on their own too often, Weimaraners are prone to constant barking and destructive behaviour. Weimaraners can be hard to housebreak.
Appearance and Grooming:
Weimaraners are muscular and graceful looking dogs. They measure 23-27 inches at their withers and weigh between 55-90 pounds. Their smooth, sleek grey coat is short and ranges in shades from silver-grey to charcoal-blue. Their eyes are blue-grey, amber, or grey. Where legal, their tail is usually docked to one-third its natural length. Weimaraners also come in a long-haired variety. This happens when both parents carry the recessive gene; their offspring will have long silky coats and feathered tails. Weimaraners only require a quick brushing once a week, unless they are the long-haired variety and than they will need grooming 2-3 times weekly.
Weimaraners usually live to be about 12 years old. This breed is prone to bloat, hip dysplasia, cysts, tumors, bleeding disorders, and allergies. Perspective owners should buy from a breeder who offers puppies from OFA registered parents. To help protect your dog from bloat, feed several small meals daily instead of one large and do not exercise or give water an hour before or after meals.