By Heather Venkat, DVM, MPH, DACVPM
Looking for an all-around companion?
Need a dog that will adore your kids and protect them in a heartbeat?
Want a low-maintenance but handsome pup?
Look no further!
Allow me to introduce the Weimaraner!
This German breed is known for his distinctive blue-gray coat.
The words ‘obedient’ and ‘loyal’ always follow his name.
The Weimaraner loves children and is excellent with the elderly.
Active and energetic, this pup will be a fantastic companion for your adventures.
Used for a variety of jobs from hunting to therapy, the Weimaraner loves to be challenged.
What do you need to know about the breed?
What are the defining features of the Weimaraner?
How does his personality work with other dogs and people?
Does this breed have any personality quirks you should know about?
This article will cover the Weimaraner’s appearance and personality as well as several other topics:
What to expect when training a Weimaraner and how much exercise he will need.
Approximate time you will need to set aside for grooming and general care.
And any potential hereditary health problems you should be aware of.
Are you ready?
Let’s meet the happy-go-lucky Weimaraner!
The Weimaraner is a large dog, standing between 23 and 27 inches tall.
He can weigh up to 90 pounds.
Most notably, he has a gorgeous gray coat.
This is where his nickname, “The Gray Ghost”, comes from!
This coat can come in a variety of shades, including blue and silver gray.
The only variation in color on a purebred Weimaraner is the possibility of a small white star on his chest.
Anything more than that is considered a flaw by the American Kennel Club.
The most common Weimaraner has a short coat.
There is a longhaired Weimaraner line, but they are rarely seen outside of Europe.
This pup often has striking eyes.
Puppies are born with blue eyes that will mature into light amber, gray, or blue gray as they get older.
The Weimaraner has beautiful, clean lines and a classic hunting-dog profile.
His adoring eyes and perky ears will follow your every move.
This dog exemplifies the phrase “Man’s best friend”.
Whether you plan to hunt with this pooch or keep him as a family pet, he will follow you with love and loyalty in his heart.
This expressive dog will ensure your life is never dull!
Unquestionably a people-dog, the Weimaraner will follow you from room to room just to be with you.
He fully embodies the idea of a Gray Ghost!
The breed is known for separation anxiety.
This isn’t surprising considering his social nature.
This dog does not know the definition of personal space.
He expects you to always be with him, showering him with love and affection.
Sociable and playful, the Weimaraner is perfect for households with children and seniors.
Your pup will adore playing with your kids.
He can also take the time to give gentle love and affection to the elderly in the household.
For this reason, the Weimaraner is sometimes trained as a therapy dog.
As a hunting dog, the Weimaraner is incredibly dedicated.
Originally bred to hunt larger quarry such as bear, this pup is in his element when stalking and pointing.
This breed is extremely intelligent and needs daily mental stimulation.
The Weimaraner is known for being an independent thinker.
This can lead to problematic behavior if you don’t provide your pup with enough activity.
Always make sure your Weimaraner is getting plenty of exercise.
A bored Weimaraner is a naughty and destructive Weimaraner.
As stated above, this breed needs a lot of daily exercise.
With practically endless amounts of energy, the Weimaraner is ideally suited to an incredibly active lifestyle.
These dogs do not do well in an apartment setting.
He needs the space of a house with a yard to run around in.
If you have a fenced-in yard, that will go a long way in keeping your Weimaraner happy.
In addition, this pup is incredibly emotionally attached to his humans.
Your Weimaraner will want and expect to do everything with you.
And I mean everything!
This breed is known for having severe separation anxiety.
If you are unable to include your pup in most (if not all) of your daily life, this might not be the breed for you.
The Weimaraner is also incredibly intelligent.
Experts like to say that this dog has the brain of a human.
Problem-solving comes naturally to the Gray Ghost.
It is incredibly important that you include mental stimulation in your pup’s day-to-day routine.
Your pup’s training should continue throughout his life.
Finding additional outlets for his mental energy will help your Weimaraner to live a happier and more fulfilled life.
The requirements for grooming a Weimaraner are relatively few.
Because the most common branch of this breed is short-haired, he doesn’t require much grooming.
You really only need to bathe your dog when he gets dirty.
It has been remarked that dirt doesn’t even really stick to the Weimaraner’s coat.
And when you give him a bath, your pup won’t have the typical ‘wet-dog’ smell that many people loathe.
This breed mostly only sheds during regular shedding season.
Brush your Weimaraner thoroughly every day during shedding season.
Other than that, a quick brush once a week will do perfectly for this breed.
One very important aspect of grooming this breed is keeping their nails a healthy length.
You need to check and trim their nails weekly in order to keep them a short length.
Double check his paws to make sure he doesn’t have any cuts on his pads.
The Weimaraner is very active and can sustain injuries to his feet quite easily.
Another part of grooming to remember is cleaning your pup’s ears.
Keep an eye out for infection or a buildup of dirt in his ears.
Any irritation can be very painful for your dog, so take the time to clean his ears at least once a week.
The most important thing to remember when training. This is an incredibly intelligent breed.
Your dog will notice if you are not consistent with training and rewards.
It’s also imperative to begin training as early as possible.
Bad habits learned early on are very difficult to break.
Socialization training is especially important for this breed.
The Weimaraner has a proclivity towards separation anxiety.
You must help your puppy be comfortable around other people and dogs.
Start early with the good habits and continue to train them throughout your dog’s life.
That is another important point to remember:
Training should be a life-long endeavor, not just a weekend or six weeks of class.
Continue your pup’s training and supplement with new concepts and challenges.
This will keep your Weimaraner engaged and happy.
This breed is a hunting dog.
You can incorporate that concept into training, even if you aren’t planning to take your pooch hunting.
Train your dog to find objects based on scent.
Play hide and seek with people, objects, and treats.
The most important thing is to give your Weimaraner enough mental and physical activity every day.
A tired Weimaraner is a happy Weimaraner.
This breed is generally healthy but can be predisposed to certain health issues.
Like many other breeds, the Weimaraner can have issues with hip dysplasia.
This condition occurs when the hip joint is not formed correctly.
Later in life, as the bone gets worn down, the thigh bone can slip out of the hip joint.
Talk to your vet about signs to watch for and possible prevention.
Another condition that the Weimaraner can be susceptible to is bloat, or torsion.
This condition is often found in large, deep-chested dogs.
What happens is that the stomach twists and is unable to release gas that has built-up.
Talk with your vet about warning signs for this condition.
If you notice any indication that your dog might be experiencing these symptoms, get them to the vet as soon as possible.
There are more minor injuries that a Weimaraner can get, generally speaking.
Because this is a very active breed, scrapes and irritation from running around outside can occur daily.
Pay attention to your pup’s physical cues.
He will let you know if something is causing him pain.
Common sense and regular trips to the veterinarian will go a long way in helping keep your Weimaraner happy and healthy!
The Weimaraner began his illustrious history in 19th century Germany.
The Grand Duke Karl August, from the town of Weimar, set out to breed the perfect game-dog.
The duke bred bloodhounds with a variety of French and German hunting dogs.
He eventually achieved what we now know as the Weimaraner.
The breed was originally used to hunt large game such as wolves, bears, and mountain lions.
When that quarry became too few to hunt regularly, the Weimaraner transitioned to a more traditional bird-dog.
Now you will most likely see the Weimaraner used for pointing and retrieving during small-game hunting.
This breed was a closely guarded secret of the German aristocracy for many years.
The Weimaraner finally became available to the general public in the 1920’s.
The breed’s popularity took off in the United States in the 1950’s.
Since then, the Weimaraner has only gotten more popular around the world.
In the U.S, the breed has become much less of a status symbol, owned and loved by families all over.
However, the German Weimaraner Club still only permits its dogs to be given to hunters.
The Gray Ghost, as the breed has been nicknamed, will continue to be a well-loved companion and sporting dog well into the future.
Where Can I Find Weimaraner Puppies?
The first thing to do when looking at Weimaraner puppies is to find a reliable breeder.
Because Weimaraner breeding was so exclusive for so long, websites such as the Weimaraner Club of America provide breeder referrals.
The important thing when finding a breeder is someone who will answer your questions.
A reputable breeder will be willing to answer as many questions as you can ask about any topic related to your puppy.
If you ask for documents regarding your puppy’s heritage and medical history, a breeder should be more than happy to provide them for you.
The flip side of finding a reputable breeder is that you don’t want to fall prey to an internet scam or a puppy mill.
Ensure that your puppy has been raised in an ethical and loving home.
A legitimate breeder will be able to provide proof of their business and the ethics with which they conduct their breeding.
Another important thing to remember is that each puppy has a different personality.
Many breeders will have a personality questionnaire so that they can match you with the puppy most suited to your needs.
Don’t hesitate to ask questions.
You are choosing a companion; make sure you are confident in your choice!
Q: Is the Weimaraner a good apartment dog?
A: No, the Weimaraner needs the space of a house to roam and a large, fenced-in yard to run around in.
Q: Is this breed good with children?
A: Yes! The Weimaraner is exceptionally good with children and will love playing and spending time with them!
Q: Is this breed easy to train?
A: Yes, but training must be an ongoing endeavor. This breed is extremely intelligent which means he will get bored if you don’t switch it up!
Q: Does the Weimaraner make a lot of noise?
A: He makes a moderate amount of noise. The Weimaraner doesn’t bark at every little disturbance but isn’t a quiet dog either.
Has the Weimaraner, with his expressive eyes and beautiful coat won you over?
If you are looking for an all-around family dog you can include in all outdoor activities, the Weimaraner is the one for you!
Thank you for learning about this beautiful breed with me!
Until next time!
American Kennel Club. (2022, 1 11). Weimaraner. Retrieved from American Kennel Club: https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/weimaraner/
Daily Paws. (2022, 1 11). Weimaraner. Retrieved from Daily Paws: https://www.dailypaws.com/dogs-puppies/dog-breeds/weimaraner
Dogtime. (2022, 1 11). Weimaraner. Retrieved from Dogtime: https://dogtime.com/dog-breeds/weimaraner#/slide/1
Vet Street. (2022, 1 11). Weimaraner. Retrieved from Vet Street: http://www.vetstreet.com/dogs/weimaraner
Weimaraner Club of America. (2022, 1 11). Homepage. Retrieved from Weimaraner Club of America: https://www.weimaranerclubofamerica.org/index.php
Weimaraner Planet. (2022, 1 11). Homepage. Retrieved from Weimaraner Planet: https://weimaranerplanet.com/
Dr. Heather Venkat has been a veterinarian since 2013, working in companion animal medicine with dogs and cats, as well as veterinary public health. Her passion is in prevention, One Health, and strengthening the human-animal bond. A bonafide animal-lover, she competes in dog sports and currently shares her home with a border collie mix named Luna, three cats, and two leopard geckos.