Dubbed as the “Gray Ghost” for his tendency to follow his owner around, the Weimaraner is a sleek, elegant, and swift dog originally bred for hunting big game. Today, the breed can still be seen on the hunting fields but has also infiltrated homes, serving as a great family pet. Though he can be demanding and strong-willed, he will establish deep bonds with people up to the task of meeting his needs. In return, he’ll be a loving, obedient, and extremely loyal companion.
Origins of the Weimaraner
The Weimaraner traces its roots from the early 1800s with a nobleman credited for the breed’s development. Like many other European royalties during the era, Karl August, a Grand Duke from Germany, was a devoted sportsman. He envisioned to create the perfect hunting dog and is believed to have crossed the German Shorthaired Pointer with the Bloodhound and other schweisshund breeds. The result was the Weimaraner.
The Weimaraner was then widely used for hunting big game, such as wildcats, deers, mountain lions, wolves, and bears. However, as the number of these predators plummeted with the rise of Europe’s population, Weims also became scarce. Fortunately, as a versatile hunter, they soon became small game hunters, pointing and retrieving birds. With that, the Weimaraner again rose to popularity.
The breeding of these dogs was a close secret in Germany for many years, and it was only in the late 1920s when they began arriving in the United States. In 1943, the American Kennel Club officially recognized the breeds.
Characteristics of the Weimaraner
Height: 23-27 inches
Weight: 55-90 pounds
Life Expectancy: 10-13 years
The Weimaraner is a large-sized dog with a streamlined and robust body, exhibiting that it is built for endurance, speed, and grace. He has a hound-like head and “drop ears,” while his face shows a kind and gallant impression. His coat is short, sleek, and renowned for its distinct mouse-gray to silver-gray color.
When it comes to his personality, the Weimaraner is a devoted dog that always wants to be with his owners and join in every activity that they do. While his behavior is intimidating for some, he is an ideal pet for people who want a canine comrade to bring along in their hiking, boating, running, or swimming adventures.
However, he will be a high maintenance sidekick. He needs lots of interaction and exercise to flourish. If he gets bored, he can engage in destructive behavior, such as digging or chewing. With that, he needs to be kept busy to avoid him from turning any of his mischievous plans into action.
With a hunting dog heritage, he’ll find joy in chasing anything that moves, such as bikers, runners, and small animals, such as birds and frogs. And no, the neighbor’s cat isn’t an exception. The Weimaraner will get her if she wanders near him. After all, he is bred to hunt furry creatures. Keeping him in a well-fenced yard or on a leash when going outside helps avoid mishaps.
Thankfully, the Weimaraner is an intelligent breed, making training relatively easy. Though he can be pushy, independent, and challenging at times, he will always love and want to please his owners. With early socialization and training, added with consistency, a slight touch of firmness, and sensitivity, he will be a warmhearted, amenable, and faithful dog to the family.
Caring for the Weimaraner
As a short-haired breed, the Weimaraner is one of the easiest breeds to groom. Weekly brushing using a bristle brush is usually enough to keep his coat in tip-top condition. Then, wiping him down using a chamois cloth will polish and bring out his coat’s shininess. As he has drop ears, it needs routine inspection and cleaning to prevent infection.
While he can thrive in city life, given he jogs or runs outside daily, he will do best in a spacious, safe, well-fenced area. He will relish all opportunities to run free and use his energy. Add some mentally stimulating activities, and the Weimaraner will be a happy dog.
With their vigor, the Weim is vulnerable to getting sprains, scrapes, pulls, and cuts. He also tends to chew, so make sure to remove all things that he should not ingest. The Weimaraner is prone to bloat, a life-threatening disease where the stomach gets filled with gas and twists on itself, obstructing blood flow. Other conditions they are susceptible to include hip dysplasia, hypertrophic osteodystrophy, and mast cell growth. Visit a veterinarian regularly for checkups, proper care, and immunizations to ensure the dog’s optimum health.