Type: Gun dog
Weight: Male – 32 – 37kg
Female 25 – 32kg
Height: Male – 25 – 27in / 63 – 68cm
Female – 23 – 25in / 58 – 63cm
Appearance: The Weimaraner’s appearance can vary greatly in size, coat and colour. They’re generally athleticlooking dogs with long ears, short and smooth hair, coloured in the grey gamma (silver, brownish, charcoal, bluegray). Long-haired Weimaraners can be seen, but only if both parents carry the gene for long hair. The size mentioned above is standard and there are examples of taller or shorter. Its athletic nature makes this a light dog for its height. Tail docking was traditional for the breed in the past. The Weimaraner doesn’t have an undercoat, so doesn’t cope well with low temperatures.
Temperament: Hunting dog breeds are known for their energetic temperament and the Weimaraner is no exception. They are often hyperactive and quite unruly in the first year and a half, and sometimes even beyond that. Young dogs left home alone have a tendency to occupy themselves by chewing furniture. This is a common problem for intelligent, under-occupied dogs, so proper exercise and training solve potential issues.
Skills: The training of Weimaraners requires patience and is often a tough and lengthy process, this breed is considered pretty stubborn. The best energy outlet for this dog is hunting. It’s excellent for tracking, pointing, and retrieving.
Behaviour Towards Other Animals and Children: The Weimaraner is a very friendly dog. It’s good with people and other animals. As with other large breeds they can be clumsy around young children. When brought up with cats Weimaraners will accept them, but they do have a strong heritage of hunting, so when out and about you may find it difficult to prevent a Weimaraner from chasing other animals, anything from cats up to sheep or even deer..
Common Health Problems: The Weimaraner is generally a healthy dog breed but prone to bloat or gastric torsion. Symptoms are discomfort, swollen stomach, no bowel movement, and immediate action is essential. Bloat prevention includes spreading the meals to at least twice a day and avoiding exercise an hour before and after meals. The breed is also susceptible to parasitic allergies, which result in hair loss, constant scratching and rashes.
Lifespan: Average 11 to 14 years.
The purpose of this training is to teach the Weimaraner that it is the owner who issues the orders and that they have to be obeyed. For example, the dog should stop when the animal is told to do so and should keep away from other people’s possessions. Out of all dog breeds, the Weimaraner has to be disciplined the most. In addition, due to the animal’s working dog nature, one needs to come up with specific orders and activities to keep the pet occupied. If these requirements are not met, the dog will develop its own set of rules and may become aggressive and disobedient.
- When training a Weimaraner, one should issue commands in a firm and confident tone.
- Commands should be repeated until they are obeyed.
- Commands should contain as few words as possible and said words should never change.
- One has to teach the dog how to distinguish training from playing activities.
- For optimal results, one should personally train the dog, because others may use different words and tactics and thus confuse the animal.
- Initial training sessions should be limited to no longer than 10 minutes at a time as puppies have a short attention span.
- While one should allow playing activities before and after each session, they should not interfere with the training process.
- One should not focus on a particular training sequence for too long, otherwise the animal will grow weary.
The housebreaking process has to start as soon as possible. The puppy should be provided with a personal crate where the animal could feel secure and sleep in the owner’s absence. A young puppy should never be left unattended in the household. The dog will not relieve in the area where it sleeps. As a result, the puppy should not be left in its crate for longer than 4 to 8 hours, depending on the age.
- After waking up or arriving home, the owner should take the dog out of its crate and send it outdoors to eliminate.
- The puppy should be praised each time the dog relieves outdoors.
- Discipline through punishment is an inefficient method. Puppies have a short attention span and will not associate the owner’s reprimanding attitude with their previous actions.
- The puppy should be taken outdoors as soon as the animal wakes up or is done with playing, eating or drinking.
Weimaraners require early socialization – the dog needs to be exposed to different people, sights, sounds and experiences from an early age and this has to continue over the course of the animal’s lifespan. If properly socialized, the puppy will grow up to be an outgoing and friendly dog.
- Weimaraners should not be allowed to behave aggressively towards others under any circumstances. Should the puppy grab a person by the leg or hand, the animal should be pushed away and ordered to cease this behaviour at once.
- The Weimaraner’s social skills may be improved through frequent interactions with guests or by bringing the animal along to busy parks and stores where dogs are allowed.
- Biting has to be discouraged from the very outset.
- The animal may be enrolled in puppy training classes, which will significantly improve the animal’s social awareness.
Weimaraners are not recommended for families with cats, rabbits, hamsters or other small pets. These dogs possess a strong killing instinct that is difficult, if not impossible, to curb. They will chase and kill any small animals in their proximity.
The Weimaraner is a large-sized dog that was originally developed in the early 19th century in Germany. The royalty and noblemen, who enjoyed hunting activities, needed a dog that possessed a good scenting ability, speed, courage and intelligence. This breed was designed for hunting big game such as boars, bears and deer. These dogs followed the hunters closely as they searched for wild animals and served as trustful companions during evenings when said hunters rested by the fireside. However, as the big game hunting practice declined in popularity, Weimaraners were re-purposed for hunting smaller animals, for example fowl, rabbits and foxes.
These dogs are thought to be the descendants of the tracking and trailing grey hounds of King Louis of France, used to hunt big game over 500 years ago. Although called grey, only a handful them were completely grey in colour. The remainder had reddish markings in a pattern similar to that of Dobermans.
In 1897, an exclusive club was established in Germany to maintain the breed and ensure that responsible breeders would properly handle its development. No a single person was allowed to buy a Weimaraner unless they joined the club and strict guidelines were imposed on the breeding process itself.
Other breeders joined Knight in his quest to breed Weimaraners in the U.S., which in 1942 led to the establishment of the Weimaraner Club of America. The American Kennel Club granted an official recognition at the end of 1942. In 1943, the animals made their formal debut at the Westminster Kennel Club show. At the end of World War II, many American servicemen brought Weimaraners along with them. This caused a big spike in their popularity, especially when president Dwight Eisenhower brought his own Weimaraner to the White House. By the mid- to late 1950s, this breed was the 12th most popular one registered by the AKC. Registrations began to surge in the 1990s and the present-day Weimaraner is one of the most popular breeds in America. The animal ranks 30th out of a total of 155 breeds and varieties registered by the AKC.
The Weimaraner is not suited for kennel or backyard life and feels restrained in apartment dwellings. A large and fenced yard, on the other hand, would be a more appropriate place for such animal. An active family will also benefit the dog, for its members are more likely to provide the needed attention in terms of exercise and mental stimulation.
To prevent recreational barking, chewing and digging, Weimaraners need a couple of hours of daily exercise. The owner should play fetch and other running games with the animal, take the dog when jogging or hiking, teach it to run alongside one’s bicycle or enroll it in dog sports, such as agility or fly ball. Of course, one may also bring the animal along when hunting. Daily brisk walks will have a positive effect on the dog’s mind and body, while obedience training will ensure that the Weimaraner will be under control.
An adult dog requires no more than one meal per day. It is recommended to feed the animal during dinnertime. For optimal results, one should perform this task during same hours every day.
- The amount of given food depends on the animal’s activity.
- The dog’s diet needs to contain fats. If the Weimaraner’s meals are comprised of various types of dry dog food, the owner should add a certain amount of beef fat or bacon drippings.
- The lack of fat will have a negative impact on the animal’s coat and may lead to dull hair.
- It is not a cause for concern if the dog skips an occasional meal.
- If the animal has seemingly lost appetite, the owner should take the food away after 10 to 15 minutes.
- Abundance of sugar in the dog’s diet may affect its coat or the animal’s overall health, since sugar is not a food product typically consumed by carnivorous animals.
One should keep in mind that the Weimaraner’s digestive system may adapt to harsher conditions than that of human beings. The animal’s internal organs are similar to those of foxes and wolves and, under natural conditions, the dog would eat raw meat without any added vitamins or flavouring.
The recommended daily amount for puppies is 2.5 to 3.5 cups of high quality dry food per day, divided into two meals.
The Weimaraner is easily maintained when it comes to grooming to the point where one may effortlessly remove even mud stains.
- The dog should be brushed weekly with a bristle brush to keep the coat and skin healthy.
- Frequent brushing will also keep the shedding process in check.
- One may wipe the dog’s coat with a chamois leather to improve its visual appeal.
- All breeds with hanging ears tend to have issues with ear infections. Thus, the Weimaraner’s ears should be checked on a weekly basis and wiped with a cleanser-dampened cotton ball.
- Neither cotton swabs nor other materials should enter the ear canal, otherwise it may get damaged.
- The Weimaraner’s teeth should be brushed two or three times a week to remove any tartar build-up and bacteria.
- During the summer season, the dog should be carefully examined for any ticks that may have attached to the Weimaraner’s skin.
- The dog’s toenail growth may be controlled by either cutting or filing the nails with a special dog nail clipper.
- If the dog is accustomed to grooming from an early age, the animal will remain docile while being brushed.
Similar to other large-sized breeds, the Weimaraner is subject to hip dysplasia and should be purchased only from breeders who are certified by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA).
Bloat is a disease commonly found in deep-chested dogs that can involve twisting or torsion of the stomach. The condition may develop quickly and can often prove fatal without immediate veterinary intervention. Its symptoms include retching without vomiting, extreme salivation, obvious discomfort and distention of the abdomen.
If a future owner is considering buying a puppy, that person should seek out a good breeder who will be able to provide health clearances for the animal’s parents. Health clearances prove that a dog has been tested for and healed from a particular condition.