Weimaraners are beautiful dogs. Here you can find out everything about the elegant four-legged friends and also why they are not suitable as a family dog.
When you add dog, beauty, and elegance together, only the Weimaraner can come out. The breed with the noble silvery coat color, the beautiful face, and the tall, slender body is described by many lovers and dog connoisseurs as one of the most elegant dog breeds of all. And rightly so.
In Germany, the Weimaraner is a popular hunting dog and in certain circles, unfortunately, also a status symbol, similar to a luxury car or branded clothing. But the breed is much more than just elegant. In the dogs, there is an intelligent, affectionate, and hard-working character that has a lot to offer and also demands a lot from its people.
In our breed portrait, we have summarized all the important information about the hunting dog: what it looks like, where it comes from, what its health is like, and how to train it.
What does a Weimaraner look like?
When it comes to the Weimaraner’s appearance, everything fits. This is exactly why not only dog connoisseurs and hunters fall in love with the beautiful, hard-working dogs. Particularly striking and otherwise extremely rare in the dog world is its shiny silver-grey fur, which looks very elegant. Other (permissible) colors are fawn gray or mouse gray.
The coating structure of the Weimaraner comes in two different variants:
- short, very dense, and smooth structure
- Long coat structure with medium-length, straight, or slightly wavy hair, especially on the ears and tail.
Unfortunately, in the early days of breeding, puppies with a long-hair structure in their fur were undesirable and they were often killed by the breeder. Long-haired Weimaraners are therefore rarer today and the short-haired variant predominates.
The breed’s build is lean but strong with sinewy and muscular limbs. The eyes are mostly sky blue in puppies, changing to a beautiful amber with age. The floppy ears are fairly long, usually reaching to or above the lower jaw.
How big is a Weimaraner?
The Weimaraner is a large dog breed, measuring between 59cm and 70cm at the withers for males and between 57cm and 65cm for females.
How heavy is a Weimaraner?
The weight of the Weimaraner ranges from 30 kg to 40 kg for males and from 25 kg to 35 kg for females.
How old does a Weimaraner get?
The Weimaraner oozes good health. Its life expectancy is correspondingly high: the beautiful gray can live an average of 10 to 14 years. This makes the breed one of the longest-lived among the large dog breeds.
What character or nature does the Weimaraner have?
The breed is still primarily bred as a hunting dog. The character of the Weimaraner is shaped accordingly. The dog is considered to be very reliable, versatile, persistent, and easy to lead. These are all qualities that make a good and competent hunting dog. His will to obey is strong, but usually only in relation to a single person.
Since the Weimaraners bred in Germany are preferably given to hunters, these dogs also have a so-called game sharpness. This means that they not only track down the game but also kill it if necessary. In addition, their guard and protective instinct are very pronounced. And this applies not only to hunting but also at home. The dog is suspicious and wary of strangers and animals, but not threatening or aggressive if properly trained. It takes him a while to get used to unfamiliar people and animals and to tolerate them.
His urge to move and need to be busy is very high, as is his need for socializing. The dogs are considered to be sensitive and affectionate, and they don’t like being separated from their caregiver for long periods of time. If they are alone for too long, they can develop behavioral problems.
Where does the Weimaraner come from?
As with many other dog breeds, not much can be verified today about the origins of the Weimaraner. Well-known but unproven theories are that the breed’s ancestors were crossed with other dog breeds such as the German Shorthaired Pointer, the Bloodhound, or the English Pointer.
It can be proven that from the beginning of the 19th-century dogs in the vicinity of the German city of Weimar were more and more often bred specifically as hunting dogs. That’s why they were allowed to take the name of the city. One of the most famous German breeders at the time was the Grand Duke Karl August of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenbach.
The fast, strong, and intelligent dog was increasingly valued as a reliable hunting dog in aristocratic circles. In 1897 the breed was officially recognized and defined as a standard. Since the dog has mainly been kept as a pure breed since official recognition in breeding, it is now considered the oldest pointing dog breed in Germany.
Weimaraner: Proper Keeping and Training
Most German breeders are now organized in the official Weimar Breeding Association and are subject to strict specifications and regulations. The dogs are given by them as good as only to hunters. Accordingly, the breed is not suitable for a pure family dog and for dog beginners.
The properties that are important and valued for hunting are still favored in breeding. As a result, the dogs bring with them pronounced hunting and guard instinct and need an experienced leader. A trained hunter is ideal. The dog with the strong-willed character requires a self-confident, assertive, and consistent person for its optimal attitude and training so that the Weimaraner recognizes its mistress or master as a leader.
His hunting instinct must be satisfied with appropriate activities if the Weimaraner is not allowed to hunt. As a substitute for his work as a hunting dog, this can be, for example, activities such as tracking, man trailing, demanding dummy work, and similar tasks. Games and romping around in the open air by no means replace his pronounced need for employment. This also explains why the dog is not “only” suitable as a family dog.
What care does the Weimaraner need?
In contrast to his high demands in education and leadership and the character that should not be underestimated, Weimaraners are very easy to care for. The short coat does not require much maintenance. It only needs brushing once or twice a week, slightly more often in long-haired Weimaraners. As with all dog breeds with large floppy ears, owners should check and clean them regularly. This dog hardly needs any more care.
What are the typical diseases of the Weimaraner?
The breeders who have come together in the German Weimaraner Club are subject to strict rules and standards. As a result, the puppies bred there are now very healthy.
Breed-specific diseases are very rare in these dogs, but they can still occur. These include hip dysplasia, which is typical for large dogs, certain diseases of the eyes or ears, and also the dreaded torsion of the stomach.
How much does a Weimaraner cost?
This question is the big sticking point with the Weimaraner. Puppies from the official breeders’ association, where puppies are almost only given to hunters anyway, cost between 1,300 and 1,500 euros. Often even more.
At the same time, the silver-grey dog has become more and more popular in many countries as a family dog and unfortunately also as a status symbol because of its beauty. Due to this high demand and the strict sales rules of the German breeders’ club, new breeders have “developed” at the same time. They sell their puppies as family pets, usually for lower prices. You should definitely not buy these puppies.
Unfortunately, breeding outside of the German breeders’ association often only focuses on the appearance of the dogs, much less on their health and balanced character traits. The strict rules of the official breeding association do not apply here and can hardly be controlled. As a result, there are more and more Weimaraners who fall into the wrong hands and then develop distinctive behavioral problems such as aggressiveness, nervousness, and poaching and also die more frequently from breed-specific diseases. The costs of fines, possible court proceedings, and treatment costs alone can quickly explode here.
Buying puppies only from an officially recognized breeder has another advantage in addition to the high testing standards for health and temperament: the breeders will also test you. They look at your living conditions and experiences and then determine whether one of the sweet puppies with sky-blue eyes is even suitable for you. While this is a labor-intensive process, it saves both you and the dog a lot of trouble in the long run.