The Weimaraner, also known as the Weimaraner Vorstehund originated in Germany during the early 1800s. This breed was bred by German aristocrats and was used for hunting large game. It was later used to hunt birds.
The Weimaraner was bred to be the perfect gundog that was sponsored by the Court of Weimar and was initially named the Weimer Pointer. This dog breed is part of the Gundog, Pointer, Versatile Hunting dog family.
It is believed that the Bloodhound was bred with several German and French hunting dogs resulting in the Weimar Pointer or Weimaraner. This breed’s forebears are also the Red Schweisshund, and early pointing breeds. By the 1950s, the Weimaraner was extremely popular as a companion dog, and as a hunting dog.
The Weimaraner was first used to hunt bears, wolf, and mountain lions. As the wildlife population decreased, this breed then was used as an all-purpose-hunter. As for the wonderfully smooth and soft distinctive gray color of this breed’s coat, the origin is unknown.
The German Weimaraner Club oversaw this breed’s progress throughout the years, and only members could purchase a Weimaraner, with membership being difficult to obtain. In 1929, an American purchased two dogs and brought them back to the U.S with this breed performing well in obedience classes. Later on, Weimaraner enthusiasts realized the Weimaraner’ potential as a hunting companion. The Weimaraner was recognized by the AKC in 1943.
The Weimaraner is a medium-sized dog with a large, lean, and muscular body. The body is built to hunt with great speed and is agile and athletic. The Weimaraner has grace, endurance, and stamina. The head is long, broad, and almost aristocratic; light amber; gray, or blue-gray eyes and carries drop ears with a slight fold, which are set high.
This breed also has a grey nose. The tail is docked, and the Weimaraner’s coat is short and sleek. The gray coat may have a slight tiny white marking on the chest area and maybe mouse-gray to silver-grey in coloring. This breed is elegant, athletically built, and has aristocratic features. This breed has webbed feet.
- Dogs: 25-27 inches
- Females:23-25 inches
- 55-90 pounds
- 10-13 years
The Weimaraner is intelligent, friendly, and athletic. This fun-loving dog breed needs a job and plenty of regular exercise. The Weimaraner is sensitive and enjoys being around people, family, other dogs, and animals. Because this breed is so active, they are prone to scrapes and accidents. This breed loves to chew things, and pet parents need to watch out for gastric torsion.
The Weimaraner does well with positive puppy training classes and plenty of socialization. This breed also gets on well with children and enjoys family outings, trips to the beach, and playing Frisbee. The Weimaraner wants to be with his pet parent and will be your shadow. This dog breed does best with an active pet parent and does well with daily exercise otherwise you’ll end up with a needy and demanding dog. To find out more about the breed, visit the Weimaraner Club.
The Weimaraner needs socialization and plenty of exercises. This is a high maintenance dog breed that has to have consistent runs, walks, and benefits in partaking in a few canine sports activities. The elegant and sporty Weimaraner does well with plenty of off-leash exercises. This is best done through agility, fieldwork, or enjoying an active outdoor lifestyle.
Early socialization with other dogs, people, and animals is highly recommended. Puppy training classes for the Weimaraner is a definite must since this breed can only benefit from dog training classes. That said, the Weimaraner is an intelligent and shy dog breed and needs plenty of mental stimulation. This breed has lots of stamina and can enjoy activities for long periods of time.
Possible Health Concerns
The Weimaraner is an active dog breed that may be susceptible to the following:
- Gastric Torsion:Also known as bloat, gastric torsion is a life-threatening emergency. The stomach distends with gas and fluid, and then twists, trapping the gas and fluid in the dog’s stomach. Early symptoms are pacing, gagging, excess saliva, and attempts at vomiting. The stomach will appear distended, and the dog will not be able to vomit. You will need to take the dog immediately to the emergency veterinarian. This cannot wait for a few hours since your dog may not survive.
- Hip Dysplasia:Thisis an abnormal development of the hip joint in large dog breeds like the Weimaraner. It is generally characterized by a loose joint, and then degenerative joint disease. Dogs should be fed a high-quality diet that is geared towards their life stage. Puppies should only be fed high-quality puppy dog food. Excessive growth, types of exercise, nutritional factors, and hereditary factors all come in to play with hip dysplasia. Consult with your veterinarian for expert advice.
- Cataractsoccur when the lens becomes cloudy, then blocks the light from reaching the retina. This causes mild or partial blindness. These are often inherited in certain dog breeds like the Weimaraner. Dogs with vision loss appear to use more caution when moving and also tend to stay closer to their pet parents.
- Dermoid Cystsare birth defects that may occur in certain dog breeds like the Weimaraner. These are skin pockets into which pollen, dander, oil, hair, and other bits of debris accumulate. These are found on a dog’s backbone. They can be surgically removed.
- Autoimmune Reaction:Avoid having combination vaccines due to immune-mediated problems. Consult with your vet prior to all vaccines.
According to the Weimaraner Club, “A small percentage of Weimaraner puppies manifest an autoimmune reaction following vaccination. When the immune system of susceptible individuals is challenged by the multiple antigens found in combination vaccines, it becomes hyper-reactive and responds, in the same way, it would respond to fight off an infection: fever elevated whiteblood cells and inflammatory reaction of tissues and joints.” They go on to add the following: “Although many puppies can be vaccinated with no adverse reactions, there is no way at the present time to determine which puppies may react.
Although controversial, some research has suggested that the distemper component of the combination vaccines may present the highest risk for immune-mediated problems. Past research has documented that most vaccine reactions occur between 12 and 16 weeks of age. In an effort to reduce the incidence of a serious vaccine reaction, an alternative to the traditional vaccination protocol may be considered, where the maximum level of protection is accomplished with the minimum number of vaccines.”
- In view of this, the Weimaraner Club of America Health Committee recommends the following vaccine schedule:
- 8 weeks: Canine Distemper, Adenovirus Type 2, Parainfluenza– Parvovirus
- 12 weeks: Canine Distemper, Adenovirus Type 2, Parainfluenza– Parvovirus
- 15–16 weeks: An antibody titer is recommended to confirm immunity since a small proportion of puppies may still not be covered.
- Puppies showing no evidence of antibody production in the titer should be re–inoculated.
The Weimaraner is an active breed that benefits from regular exercise and long runs. This is a working dog breed that needs to have a job. This breed should participate in canine sports like agility.
With so many American Kennel Club Sporting activities available, it’s necessary to allow for this breed to try out many activities. Active pet parents are a must for this wonderfully athletic dog breed.
Good high-quality nutrition is key to a healthy Weimaraner. Always opt for the very best high-quality dog food that you can afford, and add in supplements, steamed veggies, and safe fruits. Ask your veterinarian about the veggies and fruits that are safe to feed.
Feed the appropriate food for the life stage of your Weimaraner. During the hot summer months, a lower protein (20%), based dog food is recommended, whilst in the winter a higher protein (32%) is recommended. Every Weimaraner is different, and a diet that works for one may not work for another. Consult with your veterinarian about the best dog food options for your dog’s life stage.
Feeding the correct diet from puppyhood will save you a small fortune in veterinary bills later on. That said, rich food can upset your Weimaraner’s digestion. Only feed dog foods from reputable dog food companies. Puppies should only be fed puppy food, and adult dogs should only eat adult dog food.
Every Weimaraner is different, some will suffer from serious allergies, others will have digestive issues. Some brands are better suited for certain dogs. When it comes to dog foods, understanding your pet’s current health and nutritional needs is paramount. And always remember to ask your veterinarian for advice before changing your dog’s diet.
The Weimaraner almost self-cleans, and looks immaculate most of the time. Although this breed has a short coat, daily grooming is always recommended to remove dead hair, along with regular bathing, brushing teeth, ear cleaning, and nail trimming. Visits to the veterinarian are recommended for teeth cleaning twice yearly. Because this breed has drop ears it’s very important to keep the ears clean to prevent ear infections caused by trapped moisture.
Adopting a Weimaraner
If you’re active and have lots of time to spend with this sensitive and intelligent dog breed, the Weimaraner is the perfect dog to adopt, though he may become rather clingy at times. That said, this breed needs tons of attention and lots of constant positive reinforcement.
The Weimaraner is easy to groom, keeps clean, and is friendly with everyone, children included though at times he may not be good with smaller pets, unless well socialized throughout puppyhood. Because the Weimaraner is fun-loving and energetic, prospective pet parents need to understand that this breed does best with plenty of outdoor activities.
The Weimaraner needs to be indoors close to his pet parents and family. This is not a breed to be neglected. It is an active dog breed that must have puppy training, and consistent socialization because it is such a people’s dog. It does not do well alone all day.
This is a sensitive, yet spirited dog breed that does best in a rural or suburban home. It is also a stubborn dog breed and will try to get his way. As with any dog adoption, make sure that you have the time and resources to take good care of your Weimaraner!
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Meet The Author
Claudia Bensimoun is a freelance journalist and author, and specializes in veterinary content, and eBooks. She’s a long-time feature writer for Animal Wellness magazine, Fido Friendly magazine, and the United States Dog Agility Association. In addition, Bensimoun has written for numerous pet websites, magazines, newspapers and online publications. Her interests include wildlife conservation, animal welfare, disaster/humanitarian relief, veterinary research, and veganism.