Weimaraner

A Quick Look at the Weimaraner...

The Weimaraner dog breed was originally known as the Weimar Pointer. It was developed as a sporting dog for the royalty in Germany during the 1800s. What resulted was a dog that was skilled in many different tasks and occupations, and that are now used all over the world for search and rescue, police work, tracking, and other important purposes.

Here are some fast facts about the Weimaraner:

Dog Group:
Gun Dog, AKC Sporting
Recognized By:
CKC, FCI, AKC, UKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, APRI, ACR
Size:
Large
Weight:
Dogs – 55-70 lbs. (25-32 kg)
Bitches – 50-65 lbs. (23-30 kg)
Height:
Dogs - 25-27 in. (64-69 cm)
Bitches – 23-25 in. (58-64 cm)
Average litter size:
7
Life expectancy:
9-15 years (average of 12)
Health problems:
Coat care:
Shedding:
Energy:

Exercise needs:
Trainability:
Suitable for children:

Pet compatibility:
Affection:
Barking frequency:
Aggression:
Watchdog:


Brief History

The exact point at which the breed was developed has not yet been discovered, though a Van Dyke painting from the early 1600s does show a dog which looks very much like a Weimaraner. For this reason, and that experts believe that the dog came from a crossbreeding of the German Short-Haired Pointer, Bloodhounds, and several Schweisshund breeds, the dog likely found its beginnings in Germany.

The name of the dog comes from the Grand Duke of Weimar, Charles August, whose court favored the dog for hunting big game such as deer, boar, and bears. Later, the breed developed a skill in hunting smaller game as well, such as rabbits, fox, and various types of fowl. This immensely increased the popularity of the breed for a second time.

For a long time, Germany’s breeding club kept the information regarding the breeding of this dog a carefully guarded secret. The first Weimaraner came to America in 1929 and finally gained official recognition from the American Kennel Club in 1943.

Weimaraner Breed Appearance and Characteristics

General Appearance - The Weimaraner breed is easily recognizable by its even gray coat and pale blue or amber eyes that give it a ghost-like appearance that many people find to be immensely attractive. They eyes are very bright, reflecting the keen intelligence of the dog.

Among the Gundog group of breeds, Weimaraners are the tallest. They are graceful, quick, and have a commendable endurance which, combined with their overall look, makes them formidable to look upon.

Though there is a long-haired variety of the Weimaraner, it is rarely seen and is not recognized by the American Kennel Club. It is the short-haired Weimaraner that is most known and that is officially recognized. The short-haired variety has its tail docked to about 15 centimeters.

Typical Temperament - Typically, there are two main Weimaraner temperaments, either of which has an equal chance of occurring in any given individual. The first common temperament is one that is loyal, willful, bold, and assertive. The second is one that is brave, friendly, obedient, and alert.  Either of these temperaments can provide a wonderful personality for any dog.

This dog is very prone to jumping on people, furniture, and anything else that can be jumped upon - even if it means just jumping into the air. Chewing, including destructive chewing, can also be a problem with this breed. Weimaraners are also always vying to be top member of the pack, so dominance training will be critical to developing a good personality and family member.

It is essential to give the Weimaraner both socialization and obedience training, as an untrained individual from this breed is likely to be destructive mischievous, and can develop serious behavioral issues and confidence problems.

Basic Weimaraner Care Requirements

Grooming - The short coat of the Weimaraner requires very little for proper maintenance. Typically, a weekly rubdown using a rubber grooming mitt is all that is required. If the dog has become dirty, it can generally simply be brushed or wiped off. Bathing is only required as a last resort and shouldn’t be done any more than twice per year or dry skin and rashes will result.

The ears of the Weimaraner need regular checking since they are at risk of infection due to the drop-ear shape. If the dog is scratching his or her ears often, or if the ears have an unpleasant smell, an infection may be the cause and a veterinary check is necessary. The ears should be gently cleaned using a clean cloth or gauze pad, though only on the flap and inner side, never into the ear canal.

Exercise - Weimaraners are high energy dogs with a great deal of stamina. For this reason, they need lots of exercise on a daily basis. Since this dog breed was designed for hunting, it was created with an energetic purpose in mind and therefore will require the participation of a physically active owner in order to achieve proper care.

The best exercise for Weimaraners is running, very long speed walks, and vigorous games several times per day. A simple walk every day will simply not be adequate exercise for this breed. Without burning off the excess energy, destructiveness, mischievousness and behavioral problems will result. Adolescent energy levels are typically the most challenging for owners.

Approximate Food Cost - Weimaraners are large, active dogs and will therefore require a higher amount of food than many of the other dog breeds. On average, a typical month should cost about $30-35 to feed a Weimaraner, assuming that he or she is a healthy adult with a typical activity level and that 3-4 cups of an average quality dry food are consumed.

General Health Information

Since the Weimaraner is a dog with a deep chest, it is at a high risk of bloat. For this reason, it is very important to feed the dog several smaller meals every day, instead of a single large meal.

Aside from bloat, the Weimaraner is quite a hardy, resilient dog. This being said, even with very careful breeding, the tendency toward hip dysplasia has only been reduced by eight percent so far.

Common Illnesses include: Hip dysplasia, bloat, spinal dysraphism (which forces the dog into somewhat of a crouched-down position and can be challenging for the dog, though it will not threaten his or her life), Ear infections, tumors.

Are You the Right Weimaraner Owner?

Living conditions - The best home for a Weimaraner is one that has a lot of space in which to run around, including a nice-sized yard. Though it is possible for a Weimaraner to become accustomed to an apartment environment, this is only possible when the owners take great care to ensure that there is not an excess of energy that will only lead to problems.

Training - Weimaraners learn very quickly and are very intelligent, making them easy to train as long as they are handled by the right owner. When training a Weimaraner, you must be ready to show you are a solid leader and the alpha of the pack.

Confidence must be demonstrated with the Weimaraner, which can be a challenge to control and that will test the boundaries of any person’s patience. Consistency and positive reinforcement are key to training this breed effectively and quickly.

Obedience training is absolutely required for the Weimaraner or they become virtually uncontrollable. A crate is also a necessity for individuals of this breed as it is vital in helping to protect furniture and possessions from destruction and is very important for the housetraining process. Bad habits are much easier to control with the help of a crate.

Many owners find that dominance exercises and puppy training classes can be very helpful in easing problems with aggression and to help begin the communication between the dog and human family members at an early age while the dog is easier to control.

Common Problems - The Weimaraner is an attractive, appealing, and loving dog, but should not be adopted by a family that is not experienced in handling a strong dog that will need dominance training. Individuals from this breed also require intensive exercise every day or there is a risk of destructive and other undesirable behaviors.

The bottom line...

The Weimaraner is a highly adaptable and multitalented dog breed with a high intelligence and energy level. This makes the dog extremely versatile in its purposes, everywhere from working as a hunting dog, a police dog, a great family member, and much more.

Every member of the breed is alert, friendly, and keen to please his or her family members. This graceful breed is sleek and ghost-like and makes a highly loyal and protective friend.

As wonderful as the Weimaraner is, it is not recommended as a breed for a first-time dog owner. It is a highly energetic dog that craves attention and exercise and is prone to aggression without the right leadership and dominance training.

This dog also cannot be left alone for very long periods of time, especially without having something interesting to do, because it is prone to being destructive as well as suffering from separation anxiety.

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