Breed Organization Weimaraner Club of America Website:
http://www.weimaranerclubofamerica.org Native Country Germany Other Names Weimaraner Voerstehhund, Weimaraner, Silver Ghost, Weim, Grey Ghost Life Expectancy Approximately 11-13 Years Litter Size Average 5-7 Puppies Breed Group AKC Sporting
Breed Appearance The Weimaraner is a silver-grey breed of dog
developed originally in early 19th century for hunting. Early
Weimaraners were used by royalty for hunting large game, such as
boar, bears, and deer. As the popularity of large game hunting began
to decline, Weimaraners were used for hunting smaller animals, like
fowl, rabbits, and foxes. Rather than having a specific purpose such
as pointing or flushing, the Weimaraner is an all purpose gun dog.
The Weimaraner is loyal and loving to his family, an incredible
hunter, and a fearless guardian of his family and territory. The
name comes from the Grand Duke of Weimar, Karl August, whose court
The Weimaraner is elegant, noble, and
athletic in appearance. All parts of the dog should be in balance
with each other, creating a form that is pleasing to the eye. It
must be capable of working in the field, regardless of whether it is
from show stock or hunting stock, and faults that will interfere
with working ability are heavily penalized.
which may be amber or gray, are kept short. In some cases, tails are
docked and dewclaws are removed, the tail usually docked at birth to
a third of its natural length.
Breed Description Head: Chiseled, in proportion to body
size. Very slight stop. Straight nosebridge, often slightly curved.
Long, powerful muzzle. Large, flesh-colored nose, darkly pigmented.
Powerful jaws. Well-muscled cheeks. Ears: Set on high, fairly long, slightly rounded at the tip.
Turned slightly forward and folded when the dog is alert. Eyes: Round, very slightly slanted. Light to dark amber.
Puppies have light blue eyes. Body: Slightly elongated. Nobly carried, muscular, well-knit
neck. Well pronounced withers. Powerful, well let-down, long chest.
Well-curved ribs. Firm, muscular, somewhat long back. Long,
moderately sloping croup. Tail: Set on fairly low, powerful, covered with abundant hair.
Hanging down at rest. Carried level to the ground in action. Docked
by between one-half and two-thirds its length. Hair: - Shorthaired variety: short, dense, very thick, lying
flat. No or very little undercoat. - Longhaired variety (rare):
supple, with or without undercoat. Smooth and slightly wavy. Culotte
and feathering. Handsome plume on the tail. Coat: Silvery grey, brownish-grey, mouse grey, or any
intermediate shade. Head and ears generally lighter in color.
Minimal white spotting is allowed on the chest and toes. Sometimes
there is a more or less pronounced dark stripe down the middle of
the back known as an "eel stripe". Size: Dog: 59 to 70 cm. (23-27.5 in).Bitch: 57 to 65 cm. Weight: Dog: 30 to 40 kg. (66-88 lb).Bitch: 25 to 35 kg. (55-77
History Today's breed standards developed in the 1800s,
although the Weimaraner has existed since at least the 1600s in a
similar form. It is believed that Continental pointing breeds and
mastiffs were its ancestors. The breed was created exclusively for
the nobility and alike. The aim was to create a noble-looking,
reliable gundog. As ownership was restricted, the breed was highly
prized and lived with the family. This was unusual, as during this
period, hunting dogs were kept in kennels in packs. This has
resulted in a dog that needs to be near humans and that quickly
deteriorates when kennelled. The Weimaraner was an all purpose
family dog, capable of guarding the home, hunting with the family,
and of course, being loving and loyal towards children.
Interestingly enough, when the dog was still used for hunting, its
instinctual hunting method is to attack the prey's genitals to bring
Originally, Germany was possessive of its
skilled all-purpose gundog, but released a pair in the 1950s to
America where the breed quickly became popular. Although slower than
many other gundogs, such as Pointers, the Weimaraner is thorough and
this made it a welcome addition to the sportsman's household.
Furthermore, its happy, lively temperament endeared it to families,
although it is perhaps too lively for families with young children.
Unfortunately, with the rise in popularity, some careless matches
were made and some inferior specimens were produced. Since then,
both in Britain and America (where the breed remains popular)
breeders have taken care to breed for quality and purpose.
Behavior This enthusiastic dog with a remarkable nose
was originally a hound but became a pointer in the nineteenth
century. He is a diligent, systematic tracker, though a bit slow,
and a confident pointer and water dog. He can track wounded game and
retrieve all sorts of quarry. He has a strong predisposition toward
guarding and defending. He is a very pleasant companion and needs
Health The Weimaraner is a deep-chested dog, which
makes them a breed which is high on the list of dogs affected by
bloat (gastric torsion). This a very serious condition that causes
death when left untreated. It occurs when the stomach twists itself,
thereby pinching off the routes of food traveling in or out.
Symptoms include a dog showing signs of distress, discomfort, and a
swollen stomach. Immediate medical attention is imperitive when
bloat occurs and surgery is usually the only option. One way to help
prevent bloat is to spread out the Weimaraner's feedings to at least
twice daily and to avoid any rigorous exercise right after feedings.
Weimaraner owners might never see this problem in their dogs but
should be familiar with the ailment and keep emergency vet numbers
handy. Hip dysplasia is a major concern among Weimaraners, as with
most large breeds of dog. It is generally recommended to acquire
Weims only from breeders who have their dog's hips tested using OFA
or PennHIP methods.
Other health issues include:
Von Willebrands Disease
Progressive retinal atrophy
Advice Weimaraners are fast and powerful dogs, but are
also suitable home animals given appropriate training & exercise.
These dogs are not as sociable towards strangers as other hunting
dogs such as Labradors and Golden Retrievers. Weimaraners are very
protective of their family and can be very territorial. They can be
aloof to strangers, and must be thoroughly socialized when young to
prevent aggression. They are also highly intelligent, sensitive and
problem-solving animals, which earned them an epithet "dog with a
human brain". From adolescence, a Weimaraner requires extensive
exercise in keeping with an energetic hunting dog breed and prized
for their physical endurance and stamina. No walk is too far, and
they will appreciate games and play in addition. An active owner is
more likely to provide the vigorous exercising, games, or running
that this breed absolutely requires. Weimaraners are high-strung,
requiring appropriate training to learn how to calm them and to help
them learn to control their behavior. Owners need patience and
consistent, firm (yet kind) training, as this breed is particularly
rambunctious during the first year and a half of its life. Like many
breeds, untrained and unconfined young dogs often create their own
fun when left alone, such as chewing house quarters and furniture.
Thus, many that are abandoned have behavioural issues as a result of
isolation and inferior exercise. It should never be forgotten that
the Weimaraner is a hunting dog and therefore has a strong,
instinctive prey drive. Weimaraners will sometimes tolerate cats, as
long as they are introduced to the cats as puppies, but many will
chase and frequently kill almost any small animal that enters their
garden or backyard. In rural areas, most Weimaraners will not
hesitate to chase deer or sheep. However, with good training, these
instincts can be curtailed to some degree. A properly trained
Weimaraner is a wonderful companion that will never leave its
Function Hunting Dog, Watchdog and Defense Dog,