- Dog Breed:
- Breed Group:
- Sporting group
- Friendly, fearless, loving, obedient, and independent
- 23-27 inches
- 55-90 pounds
- Life Span:
- 10-13 years
- Coat Colors:
- Shades of mouse-gray to silver-gray
- Area of Origin:
- Best For:
- Owners with a keen interest in training/Homes with a large fenced garden/Active Owners
About The Weimaraner
Friendly and obedient
Needs to be with their family
The Weimaraner, often nicknamed the ‘Gray Ghost,’ is loved for their friendliness and obedience making them a popular choice with both hunters and pet. It has been said though, that a Weimaraner is like a perpetual two-year-old child; they are into everything, and if not guided and helped to make the right choices, then they will get themselves into a lot of trouble!
With that friendliness and need to be with people, the Weimaraner does not do well when kenneled. Separation anxiety is often reported as a problem for this breed. This results in some dogs finding themselves in rescue because they couldn’t adapt to being separated from owners who were out working all day.
These are dogs with a need for high-intensity exercise, they need to run and stretch their legs every day; a walk around the block is not going to be enough. While not a breed for everyone, a well-trained and exercised Weimaraner is a happy dog who loves to be part of family activities and can be a joy to be around.
Weimaraner Breed History
Developed in Germany
Bred to track and hint large game
Arrived in the US in the 1920s
It was the 19th century when the Weimar Pointers, developed by the noblemen of the Court of Weimar, were first seen. They became well known for their dependable character, speed, courage, and stamina, and they combined these traits with exceptional tracking ability. At this time, they were used as hunting dogs on large game such as bears and deer.
While breeding to preserve these qualities, it’s thought that the distinctive gray coat color was an unintentional accident. Now it is the hallmark of the breed.
The Nobles tightly controlled who was able to own one of their dogs. They formed the German Weimaraner Club and restricted membership to a limited few who were then permitted to own and breed the dogs. Work continued on refining type and temperament, and finally, in the second half of the 19th century, the Weimaraner was converted from a being a hunter of large game to be a ‘fur and feathers’ dog.
Still, the Weimaraner remained a jealously guarded secret by the German aristocracy, but slowly, they began to arrive in America by the late 1920s. By the 1950s, the breed had become popular as both a pet and a hunting dog helped by celebrity owners such as movie star Grace Kelly and President Eisenhower.
Weimaraner Size & Weight
Height of up to 27 inches for males and 25 inches for females
Weighs up to 90 pounds for males and 75 pounds for females
Size tends to be very standardized within the breed
As a medium-sized dog, the Weimaraner measures 25 to 27inches at the withers for males and 23 to 25 inches for females. You can expect males to weigh between 70-90 pounds and 55-75 pounds for females.
The American Kennel Club standard is very strict over the height of the Weimaraner when shown in the breed ring; if the dog is just one inch over or under the specified height, they are penalized. Any more than this, then they are disqualified. This means breeders will focus on their dogs falling within the correct height range and that means that you will have an excellent idea of how tall your dog will grow to be.
Weimaraner Personality & Temperament
Can be assertive
The Weimaraner is typically a friendly and obedient companion. While not a guard dog, their alert and fearless nature mean they also make an excellent watchdog. They are also a breed that can be assertive, and combined with their problem-solving skills and high energy, they are not a dog for the faint-hearted.
Training is a must, and this will help to build the relationship between dog and owner. It’ll also open opportunities for more advanced training in both gundog work and the competitive dog sports such as agility.
With their family, they are an immensely loving dog. For older active children, the Weimaraner can be a fantastic companion. With younger ones, supervision will be needed to ensure that running toddlers are not seen as an outlet for their desire to take chase.
With their short, thin hair and lack of undercoat, the Weimaraner can struggle in cold weather and very quickly become soaked through in the rain. While they can keep warm in all conditions if they’re working in the field or during long walks on the trails, they can then get cold and uncomfortable when traveling home in the car. A thermal fleece jumper designed for working dogs can help to dry them out and keep them warm.
This is unlikely to be a good choice for apartment living, although older dogs may be able to adjust. Generally, they need room to move and play along with access to a securely fenced garden.
Weimaraner Health & Grooming
Generally, a healthy breed
Some heath tests needed before breeding
Minimal grooming needs other than in annual shedding season
Overall, the Weimaraner is a healthy breed, though being so active, they do tend to get their fair share of cuts and scrapes. That aside, there are a few health tests recommended by the National Breed Club, which dogs should have before being considered suitable for breeding. Responsible breeders will be able to show you the paperwork and test results for both parents for the following –
- Hip Evaluation
- Ophthalmologist Evaluation
- Thyroid Evaluation
Grooming needs are minimal for this breed. A weekly brush to remove dirt and loose hair will be enough to keep the coat in good condition for most of the year. The shedding season usually happens once a year, and when the days begin to get longer. During this time, you may need to brush your Weimaraner once a day to reduce the volume of hair around the home.
Quickly learn new behaviors
Very strong prey drive
It’s been said that both the good and bad thing about Weimaraners’ is that they are smart! So, this means that they can quickly pick up the behaviors that you want, but if you’re not careful, they can also learn those which you really don’t want!
Consistency is key and also managing the situation to reduce the chance of them getting it wrong. Not got the recall perfected yet? Then don’t let them off the leash in an unfenced area, they can hunt all day!
The prey drive is still very strong within this sporting dog, so training is essential from a pup to ensure that you can achieve focus and attention in exciting situations.
Weimaraner Exercise Requirements
Quickly learn new behaviors
Very strong prey drive
The Weimaraner is a high energy breed who needs high-intensity exercise to then be able to settle quietly in the home. Free running is needed every day, and so access to a securely fenced area will be required for young dogs.
If you’re looking for your dog to be playful, then the Weimaraner loves games! They can keep going all day, so do check that they’re not becoming too over excited, especially if children are joining in.
Weimaraner Diet & Feeding
Seek veterinary advice for individual dog requirements
Look for foods suitable for your dogs age and exercise level
Bloat can be a problem
There can be considerable variation in the needs of individual dogs, so we recommend chatting to your veterinarian or pet nutritionist for the best personalized advice.
As a general guideline, most Weimaraners will be fed on puppy food until they are around six months old. These are specially formulated to ensure that the young dog gets all the nutrients they need for healthy growth.
After six months, then most dogs move on to an adolescent or adult food. Do check that the food is suitable for your dog’s exercise level, one designed for dogs out in the field all day will cause the average pet to quickly become overweight.
Bloat can be a problem for the breed, it happens quickly even in a healthy and active dog. Although the cause is not precisely known, it does seem to develop after a dog has had a large meal or drank a lot amount of water after eating or when they’ve been exercised just before or after eating. With this in mind, it’s recommended that Weimaraners have two small meals a day rather than one large one and that they don’t run around before or after each meal.
You may also be interested in:
Weimaraner Rescue Groups
There will be times when a Weimaraner finds itself in need of a new home. Rescue organizations around the country work tirelessly to find new loving families for these dogs, and we’ve listed some of these for you below –
Northern California Weimaraner Rescue – http://www.norcalweimrescue.org/
Atlanta Weimaraner Club Rescue – http://atlantalovesweims.org
Heartland Weimaraner Rescue – http://www.heartlandweimrescue.org/
For more information on the Weimaraner, take a look at the website of the Weimaraner Club of America – https://weimaranerclubofamerica.org/.