Weimaraner

Renowned for its versatility, the Weimaraner makes an exceptional gundog. Learn everything you need to know about this breed below.

weimaraner beside a tree

Height: Male 25-27 inches, female 23-25 inches
Weight: Male 32-41 kilos, female 25-34 kilos
Lifespan: 10-13 years
Pedigree? (registered with the KC?): Yes, this breed is registered with the Kennel Club.

Positives and Negatives

Check out the basic traits of the Weimaraner breed at a glance:

Pros:

  • Excellent search and rescue (SAR) dog
  • Minimal grooming needs
  • Intelligent and easy to train
  • Affectionate and loyal towards their family

Cons:

  • Not suitable for apartment living
  • Prone to separation anxiety
  • Not ideal for first-time owners
  • Requires lots of exercise and mental stimulation

weimaraner sitting on brown grass

Overview

Weimaraners are a unique-looking breed with just over a century of history as a royal hunting companion. Native to Germany, this pooch has quickly gained popularity across Europe and the rest of the world.

In the UK, KC-registered Weimaraner puppies can set you back anywhere between £2,000-£3,500!

Weimaraner puppies are born with remarkable tiger stripes. These will eventually disappear, revealing their signature grey coat.

Their fur and hunting technique has earned them the nickname ‘Grey Ghost’! Blue eyes are also promised at birth, however, the colour will change as they grow.

By tradition, the Weimaraner’s tail was docked. Ear and tail docking is banned in Germany since 1998 except for working gundogs.

Today this practice is relatively uncommon. In America, where tail docking is unrestricted the AKC states the tail must be no shorter than 6 inches, as per breed standards.

First-time owners should steer clear of this breed. Their energetic nature, demanding personality, and gundog heritage mean they require an experienced owner.

Weimaraners are high-strung and don’t cope well on their own. They will display bad behaviours and could develop separation anxiety. This breed also needs an incredible amount of exercise.

weimaraner with a branch of tree in mouth

History

The Weimaraner is a multi-purpose gun-dog originating from Germany in the 19th century. Their name is derived from the Nobles of Weimar.

Karl August, Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar Eisenach was instrumental in the development of the breed.

Bloodhounds, Weimar and Thuringia hunting dogs, setters, and pointers are believed to have created the Weimaraner.

In the past, only members of the German Weimaraner Club could obtain a Weimaraner puppy.

Howard Knight, a member of the Club decided to introduce the breed to America. He brought two dogs into the United States in 1929.

The breed was recognized by the AKC in 1943 and is a member of the sporting group.

Weimaraners are versatile hunters, adapting quickly to different techniques.

Historically, this breed would hunt large game such as boar, deer, and bear alongside their royal companions. As the years progressed their hunting style changed.

Small game like rabbits and foxes became more popular to pursue. These excellent trackers also hunt birds.

The first pure Weimaraner litter was born in 1881. In 1900 a long-haired version of the Weimaraner began to appear.

The breed was introduced into the UK in 1952, and in 1953 The Weimaraner Club of Great Britain was formed. Famous owners include Grace Kelly, President Eisenhower, Brad Pitt, and William Wegman.

Today, this breed is more popular in the show ring. Their need as a gundog has reduced but they are still actively used for hunting.

The Weimaraners’ excellent scent and tracking abilities make them ideal candidates for search and rescue missions.

Personality

Energetic, intelligent, alert, loyal, affectionate, and stubborn are all ideal terms to describe the Weimaraner!

An outdoorsy family or single owner would be perfect for this breed. They need lots of attention and on occasion may be nervous and sensitive to their surroundings.

Training and socialization is key to preventing a Weimaraner from biting out of fear.

weimaraner standing on rock

Like many other gundogs, this canine will also mature slowly. A patient and consistent owner will be able to efficiently guide the Weimaraner into adulthood.

Due to their hunting background, this breed will have a strong prey drive. Owners should take caution when allowing this dog off-leash.

Recommended: The Fila Brasileiro, also known as the Brazilian Mastiff is linked to aggressive behaviour but has never been used as a fighting dog.

Are Weimaraners Good with Strangers?

Weimaraners are protective over their family and will be aloof and reserved towards strangers.

As a natural watchdog, the Weim will instantly alert its owner to anybody knocking at the door. Without the correct socialization, this breed could show aggression.

Are Weimaraners Good with Children?

Older children are better suited to a Weim. The Weimaraner size and boisterous nature make younger children more susceptible to injuries, albeit accidental.

Filled with energy, the Weim will make an excellent playmate and revels in the attention.

Are Weimaraners Ok with Other Dogs?

Some Weimaraners are instinctively cautious of dogs they don’t know. With the right socialization, they can be friendly, but may not take to every single dog in the park.

The breed is independent and prefers its own company as opposed to being with other canines. Smaller dogs and cats will be viewed as prey so always take care.

Whilst the breed isn’t known to be good with cats. If raised together from puppyhood, they can learn to tolerate each other.

Exercise

Weimaraners will need more than 2 hours of daily activity to keep them satisfied. If these needs aren’t met, excessive barking, digging, and chewing will occur.

This canine loves long hikes and exploring the great outdoors. An active owner is a must for this breed! Whilst they can live in both towns and the countryside, they will need access to a large garden.

Swimming is one of the Weimaraner’s favourite activities.

It’s a great form of vigorous exercise and thanks to their webbed paws they make fantastic swimmers. Dog sports is one way to channel this breed’s energy.

Agility, field trials, and tracking are all categories the Weimaraner excels in.

weimaraner running on lawn

Recommended next: The Alaskan Klee Kai is essentially what many describe as a mini Alaskan Husky.

Health

Check out the breed-related health issues for the Weimaraner below:

  • Hip Dysplasia- The ball and socket of the hip joint don’t fit together. This will cause them to rub against each other. Eventually, arthritis will occur.
  • Gastric Dilatation Volvulus- A potentially fatal condition requiring immediate veterinary attention. Food and gasses become trapped in the stomach bloats and twists.
  • Distichiasis- The eyelashes grow towards the eye causing them to rub against the surface of the eye.
  • Mast Cell Tumors- Typically seen in middle-aged dogs, this skin cancer ranges from low to severe causing red, itchy lumps on the skin.
  • Steroid Responsive Meningitis- An autoimmune condition causing inflammation within the blood vessels. Lack of neck movement, yelping, and a high fever are all symptoms that will appear between 6-12 months of age.

Intelligence & Training

The Weimaraner is strong-willed yet also sensitive. As frustrating as training may get, positive reinforcement is the only way forward.

This breed will not take well to harsh training techniques, or yelling from their owner. As the breed is slower to mature, training must be consistently maintained to produce a perfect multi-purpose gundog.

Housebreaking can be tough, especially since the Weimaraner puppy seems to be distracted by almost everything! With perseverance, they will pull through!

Crate training is an ideal way to potty train a dog. This safe space, partnered with a potty and feeding routing, will help lead the Weimaraner to toilet victory!

weimaraner with a toy in mouth

As a highly-strung breed, socialization is deeply important.

Snarling, barking, growling, snapping, and even biting could all become the norm if they haven’t been introduced to a variety of people, places, and dogs.

Owners looking for professional help should only source trainers experienced with gundogs.

This smart pooch needs to be mentally challenged. Otherwise, boredom will set in, fast!

By teaching them new tricks, involving them in dog sports, and issuing chores the Weimaraner will feel fulfilled. All they want to do is work whilst living life by their owner’s side.

Recommended: The Norwich Terrier is a vulnerable native breed from England. Learn all about this cute canine in our guide.

Grooming

Thankfully, the Weimaraner has minimal grooming needs, so you won’t need to dedicate hours keeping its coat in shape.

Their short grey fur sheds all year round, making them a bad breed choice for allergy sufferers. Heavier shedding takes place during the Spring and Autumn months.

Brush their coat every 3 days to redistribute their natural oils. It helps reduce the need for baths, and the chance of doggy odour.

This can be increased during the heavy shedding seasons.  Grooming rakes and bristle brushes are the most ideal tools to use.

weimaraner on outdoors

Baths should be given every 4-6 weeks. Debris doesn’t stick to the fur very well, so if they are still fresh a month later, then there is no need for a bath.

Their short fur dries quickly on its own. Frequent washing can be damaging to the Weimaraner’s skin.

Ears will need to be cleaned weekly to remove any debris from the canal.

Their long floppy ears can build up moisture, a breeding ground for bacteria, so keep better watch during the warmer months.

Nails will need a trim every fortnight, although their active lifestyles typically keep nails short. Vets recommend teeth are brushed daily to prevent gum disease.

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