Pronounced: VI -mer-ron er
The dogs originated in Weimar, Germany in the 1800s. They became known in the USA in the 1950s. The Weimaraner breed was developed originally to hunt large animals such as stags and wild boar. After the large game was somewhat depleted, the Germans began to develop them for birds. Although utilized as hunting dogs, the Germans believed that if the dogs lived directly with their people they would hunt better for them. The breed was not kenneled but lived directly with their people. That trait is still very strong in the breed today. Most Weims in rescue are there due to their inability to be left alone.
The Weimaraner is a sleek, moderately large, athletic dog with beautiful lines. It comes in a short, fine, smooth gray coat or a rarer longhaired variety. All shades of gray are accepted.
The eyes are amber, blue-gray or gray - with an intelligent expression. The eyes are always blue at birth, and then turn to light amber as the dog ages - a few will remain blue into adulthood, but this is rare. The ears are moderately long and pendant. The forelegs should be straight with dewclaws removed. The tail is docked to 1½ inches (4cm) when the dog is two days old. The limbs are long and muscular. The Weimaraner has webbed feet for swimming.
The females are usually between 23 and 25 inches at the shoulder, and will normally weigh between 50 and 70 pounds. The males are larger, between 25 and 27 inches at the shoulder, and weighing between 60 and 80 pounds, on average.
The breed is used (today) for hunting small game, pheasant, quail, grouse, and other upland game birds, and for waterfowl. They are excellent swimmers, and will retrieve to hand, in or out of the water. They are bred for intelligence and stamina, and are able to work all day in the field. They love to work and play, and have seemingly endless energy.
They want to be part of the family, and expect to be included in everything that the family does. They are a versatile dog with the brains and energy to do almost anything.
Personality: Very high energy, Intelligent, Inquisitive, Responsive, Loyal, Stubborn, Demanding, Strong willed, Good with children, Devoted, Mischievous, Sensitive, Fun loving...
Adopting these magnificent dogs is a wonderfully rewarding & challenging experience, for the right family. Weimaraner ownership is not for everyone.
Living with a Weimaraner
Weimaraners are devoted and loving members of the family. Weimaraners are very intelligent and are selective about when and how they use their intelligence. For example, they may resist being taught how to “stay” or “roll over,” but the moment you turn your back, they’ve figured out how to turn a doorknob and sneak outside.
It is not unusual for them to open refrigerators, doors, chew siding off house exteriors, climb fences etc. They have been known to learn how to work the Ice Maker on a refrigerator, open any and all cupboard doors, drawers, baskets, containers or in general get into anything they want.
Weims are very good at escaping yards - having a fenced and secure yard is highly recommended. They will bark all day and become a nuisance to the neighbors or dig holes in the yard, if left unsupervised. Many escape yards by climbing fences, digging out from under them or unlatching the gates. Do not leave a Weimaraner in the yard unsupervised - they want to be with you and will do everything in their power to do that.
These stories are told over and over by frustrated owners who are not at home all day and the dogs are left to themselves or ignored. This is one of the main reasons they end up in Rescue. Their owners did not know what they were getting themselves into.
Weimaraners have the tendency to rule the household if they are not trained properly. A strong-willed owner—with the time and ability to train, socialize and play—is almost essential. Normally, these are very gentle and kind dogs, but because of their size and energy level, Weimaraners can inadvertently knock things (and people) over.
A healthy Weimaraner can live as long as 12 years. Commonly described as a toddler stuck in the 'terrible two's' stage for all 12 years....they will retain their puppy exuberance and mischievousness well into their senior years. Unlike other large breeds, the Weimaraner does not calm down and settle as they grow older. They are perfect hiking and hunting companions - able to maintain a very active lifestyle well into their later years.
Common health problems include hip dysplasia, tumors and immune system disorders. Weims are also prone to bloat. Instead of one big meal, feed them several small meals every day.
You do NOT want a Weimaraner If.....
you want a dog that will stay outside most of the time.
you think a dog that is happiest playing by himself.
you do not have the patience to deal with a dog of high intelligence.
you don't want a dog that follows you from room to room.
you do not have the time for basic obedience.
you aren't willing to out think your dog.
you do not believe that dogs can be manipulative.
you don't have room in your life for another "family member."
Roger Caras, “The Voice of Westminster”
Roger Caras, “The Voice of Westminster” died on February 21, 2001 at the age of 72. Below is an excerpt from his book “The Roger Caras Dog Book”. The Westminster dog show won’t be quite the same without him and he will be sorely missed.
The Weimaraner is an all-purpose hunting dog developed in Germany from the Bloodhound. He is a large, assertive, intelligent animal of unmistakable quality. He is also a dog who requires special qualities in his master.
The Weimaraner makes a better watchdog than almost any other breed of sporting dog because he is aggressive and quite fearless. He is a dog of great character, and he spends much of his time telling everyone about it. If allowed to have the upper hand, there is no worse pest than this breed. He should not be a person's first dog.
This is a breed that simply must be given a full course of obedience training at the professional level. If the owner is competent, that is fine; if not, then the cost of taking your Weimaraner to a top obedience school should be considered a part of the acquisition price. An untrained Weimaraner is going to walk all over his owner, his family, and their friends. While not dangerous, he can be pushy and extremely unpleasant to have around. Conversely, a well-trained Weimaraner is one of the most splendid looking and gentlemanly of all breeds, sporting or otherwise.
The only real problem with the Weimaraner as a breed is that he is often more intelligent than the person who owns him. When this happens, it is not the happiest of man-dog relationships. The owner should always be in command. Any person smart enough and strong willed enough to properly select, train, and manage a Weimaraner is in for an unparalleled dog-owning experience. The owner who overrates him self or under-rates his Weimaraner is in for an ordeal.
Reprinted from "The Roger Caras Dog Book" 2nd edition, copyright 1992