The Weimaraner is a medium to large sporting dog with a short grey coat, short docked tail, amber eyes and a strong, aristocratic appearance. Ideally, males weigh up to 85 pounds and females to 65 pounds. The breed was developed in Germany around 1800 as a hunting dog and companion and was brought to the U.S. in the 1940’s. Unfortunately many breeding records were lost during the two World Wars in Germany.
Weimaraners are wonderful companions but are not a dog for everyone. They are known for their high activity level, loyalty to their family and great intelligence. Their temperament should be friendly, fearless and alert. They are also smart, manipulative, pushy, stubborn, mischievous, bossy, bold, demanding, strong willed and energetic. Their keen scenting ability gets them into trouble frequently particularly when food is left on the counter in the kitchen. They become very devoted to their family. To have a Weimaraner is to have a “second shadow”. They insist on being with you as much as possible and being involved in your activities. Weimaraners cannot be continually housed in a kennel, the backyard or be kept on a chain. They must be a “house” dog. Neither can they be ignored as they want to share your life. While they do not possess the personality of a guard dog, they will protect their property and family and will let you know when a stranger is approaching their territory.
Exercise Requirements & Activity Level
Weimaraners need lots of exercise. A walk on a leash once a day will not meet their demand for exercise. They were bred to be strong and to have great stamina so that they could hunt all day. A large fenced yard is a must for a Weimaraner. They also love to run off leash in a secure area. They are great companions for the active individual or family and seem to have endless energy when young. A tired Weimaraners is a good Weimaraner!
A Weimaraner needs a family who enjoys active lifestyle with time out of doors. They are excellent companions for runners, walkers and hikers. If hunting is your recreation, they can be an excellent personal hunting dog. Their versatility, intelligence and energy make them excellent competitors in show, bird work, agility, tracking and obedience events where titles may be earned from the American Kennel Club and the Weimaraner Club of America.
Training is a “must” for Weimaraner as they will take charge if no one else does. Weimaraners physically grow up very quickly and training helps control their enthusiasm, channel their energy properly and gives them satisfaction that they are doing what you want. While they are very intelligent, their attention span when young is short. Training is most successful when it is done in short sessions, firmly, consistently and with a gentle hand. Despite their size and strength, Weimaraners are sensitive. Heavy corrections have an adverse impact on the dog’s training program. All young dogs should attend an obedience class which will help to establish a bond with the owner, will give early socialization with other dogs and will establish who is in charge. Weimaraners learn quickly and consistency, praise, patience and reward work best.
Weimaraners are very devoted to their family and are wonderful playmates for older active children. They are possessive of “their children” and will protect them if they think they are threatened, therefore, roughhousing by children who are not members of the family should be supervised. Because of their size and activity level, they may accidentally knock over a small child.
Dogs are pack animals and most Weimaraners will get along with other dogs. Some dominant dogs will be a bit sharp with other dogs and need human supervision. Being hunting dogs, some may coexist with cats, birds and other types of small pets, while others will not tolerate them. Generally, if a puppy is raised with a cat, they will live together peaceably in the house. You must remember that the Weimaraner is a hunter and therefore, do not put him/her into a situation that would trigger a hunter’s reaction.
An occasional bath, brushing, trimming of nails and ear cleaning is pretty much all the grooming that is needed. We call Weimaraners “Wash & Wear” dogs.
The Importance of Spaying/Neutering and Responsible Breeding
If you wish to compete with your dog, depending on what area you choose, you may wish to leave your dog intact. However, if your dog is meant to be strictly a pet, we do recommend that you spay or neuter your dog. Breeding is not for everyone. It is a big responsibility and not every dog is a candidate for breeding. If your dog has earned titles in various events, then he has proven he is worthy of reproducing. However, in addition, you need to also evaluate the temperament and health of the dog. You also need to be responsible for the pups produced and be willing to take them back should the occasion arise.
Your Weimaraner can open up a whole new world where you can meet new friends and enjoy doing new things with your dog.