Type: Gun Dog
Height: Females: 22 - 25 inches, Males: 24 - 28 inches.
Weight: 60 - 86 lbs.
Life Span: 10 - 12 years.
Litter Size: 5 - 7 puppies.
Country of Origin: Germany
Activity: Very High
Watch-dog: Very High. They are very alert.
Guard-dog: High. More suspicious than the Vizsla, these dogs can actually be good guards.
Description: The Weimaraner or "Silver Ghost" is a picture of grace, speed, stamina, alertness and balance. One-family dogs that are reserved with strangers, they will make good watchdogs as well as good guard dogs. They require owners with a firm, no-nonsense approach who will take time to train and socialize them. Boundlessness of energy, tirelessness, self-driven and a remarkable sense of smell make Weimaraners great hunting dogs. Weimaraners have been known to hunt for as long as six hours at a stretch. When well trained, the Weimaraner is a confident and assertive dog who makes a wonderful companion. One thing most owners do not realize is that there are two varieties of Weimaraner coat, shorthaired and wirehaired. The wirehaired has fur 1 - 2 inches long and it is fringed like a setter's hair. The wirehair's tail is usually not docked, unlike the shorthaired. This larger breed is lean and muscular and fit for the hunt. They have long, wide, drop ears and a long broad head.
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Other Names: Weimaraner Vorstehhund, Weim, Silver Ghost, Grey Ghost
Colors: Preferably silver gray; shades of mouse or roe gray. There may be small white markings on the chest.
Coat: There are two variaties: Wirehaired and Shorthaired. The Shorthaired is short, smooth, fine, and sleek. The Wirehaired is 1 - 2 inches and fringed as a setter.
Temperament: Weimaraners are responsive, alert, and strong-willed. They make excellent hunting dogs and companions. They are intelligent, energetic and love to have fun. They get along well with children if they are socialized, and get along with other pets as well. They are hard workers but need training, and they will constantly try to get their own way. They are a resilient breed, good natured and agile in movement. Reserved with strangers, the Weimaraner makes an excellent watch dog and guard. They have a lot of energy.
With Children: Yes, usually very friendly with children if properly socialized at a young age.
With Pets: Yes, they get along well with other pets.
Special Skills: Field sports dog and family pet.
Care and Training: Brush or dry shampoo the Weimaraner coat as necessary. A rub over with a chamois will make their coat gleam. Prone to sunburn on their nose in the summer. Weimaraners need plenty of opportunity to run free and a lot of regular exercise. The Weimaraner requires obedience training which should begin at 5 - 8 months of age.
Learning Rate: High. Obedience - Medium. Problem Solving - High. This breed will avidly try to get what it wants.
Special Needs: Exercise, job or activity, socialization and training.
Living Environment: Weimaraners will adapt to urban living but do need plenty of space. They do not kennel well. To be an owner of a Weimaraner you should be active and confident. They are not a breed for the sedentary, lazy trainers who will leave them alone for long periods of time. The best owner for this breed would be an active, dog-experienced owner living in a rural or suburban environment.
Health Issues: Hip dysplasia, dermoid cysts, dwarfism, eye problems, von Willebrand's disease, cancer, bleeding disorders and gastric torsion, also known as bloat. Bloat is a health concern to most dogs and it is likely fatal. It is caused by the dog eating too fast and should be avoided.
History: The Weimaraner made their first official appearance over 125 years ago in the German court of Weimar. There is a painting of a dog very similar to a Weimaraner, painted in 1631 by Van Dyke. The breed is supposedly thought to have purposely been bred in the 1800s, however, by Sir Duke Karl August of Weimar in Germany. The Saint Hubert, French hounds, Shorthaired Pointers, Spanish Pointers, Bloodhounds and German Schweisshunds are all thought to be a part of the Weimaraner's ancestry. Originally they were bred to be used to stalk deer and to hunt bear and wild boar in the Thuringian forest of Germany. But soon, the breed's use turned to bird hunting. Thus, the Weim was crossed with "huenerhunden" in order to affirm their bird dog characteristics. Weimaraners are believed to be a partial progenitor to the Vizsla breed. Although a few came out to the U.S. before the War, they made an impact in the U.S. and Canada after the Second World War. When the breed was first introduced to America there was a lot of widespread rumor that this breed was naturally an exquisite hunter and naturally that good at obedience. Unfortunately, the Weim requires great training, such as any animal, to ensure the best abilities, and the public soon found this out. Many owners of the "Silver Ghost" suddenly became aware that they did not come pre-trained. The breed did not gain popularity in the UK until the 1950s, but today he is an actively popular breed in both areas.
First Registered by the AKC: 1943
AKC Group: Sporting Group
Registries: AKC, ANKC (Group 3), CKC (Group 1), FCI (Group 7), KC (GB), UKC (Gun Dogs), NZKC (Gundogs)