Weimaraner Temperament and Personality
Weimaraner dogs are famous for being fierce hunt dogs that can rival big animals like deer or even bears. Historically, they were preferred mostly by royal people. Due to their looks and stealthy hunting style, they acquired the nickname “Gray Ghost” or “Silver Ghost.” Weimaraners are a young breed that’s native to Germany.
They were used for big-game hunting, but since they declined throughout the years, they are now mostly used as hunting buddies with smaller animals. If you’re looking for a strong, energetic, and easy-to-groom dog breed, the Weimaraner is one of the best choices.
About the Weimaraner
Not many are familiar with the Weimaraner dog breed because they are rarely exported from Germany. And since most people nowadays prefer dogs that are adaptable to living in the city or small spaces, it’s the reason why Weimaraners are often overlooked. With their short, velvety, and sleek coats that vary in shades of gray, Weimaraners can be easily distinguished.
They stand tall and elegant. Their eyes that are in shades of gray or light amber look alert and wise. They have big and thin floppy ears, which is one of the reasons why Weims are highly sensitive to their surroundings. Making them live in a loud and lively environment is not ideal. Weimaraners are highly intelligent and energetic dogs.
They require a lot of exercises and mental stimulation, so providing big spaces and planning activities is appreciated. Even though you’ll find them running around and being playful, they don’t like being left outside. Weimaraners love being close to their human companions at all times. So they don’t take it well when they’re left alone for a long time.
One can say that they are a bit clingy despite their vicious personality when hunting. This dog breed needs to have constant and gentle training as early as possible to make use of and manage their inner skills and wits as they grow older. There is no dog out there that comes pre-programmed to be a good dog.
Despite the initial notion with Weimaraners that they are perfect and obedient, they aren’t. Weims are naturally fearless, alert, smart, assertive, and willful. When this is managed well, you will have a useful, loyal, and loving companion. Neglect them, and you may find your house turned upside down by your Weimaraner.
With them being one of the best dog breeds for outdoor purposes, Weimaraners can be a pleasant addition to your family. They are friendly and affectionate with family members but are reserved when it comes to other dogs or animals in the house. Due to their nature, they tend to consider them as prey. This is why early training is a must for this dog breed to keep them well-mannered and sociable.
History of the Weimaraner
The Weimaraner got its name based on where it originated. This dog breed was also initially called “Weimar Pointer.” Their breed started at the Weimar court in the 19th century. In Germany, hunting was a favorite hobby of noblemen, so they wanted to have a fast, courageous, intelligent, and strong dog.
They loved shadowing their human companion and keeping them safe. But, as the years passed and the big games declined, their handlers then used the breed’s skills to hunt smaller prey like rabbits, foxes, and birds. How the Weimaraner breed became a reality is still unknown, but it’s presumed that they have English Pointer, Bloodhound, Blue Great Dane, German Short-haired Pointer, and Huehnerhund genes that created these fervid beauties.
Nevertheless, they made a name on their own, and that’s why in 1897, an exclusive German club was founded to maintain and develop the breed. They only recruited responsible breeders that had to follow strict guidelines. You can’t even buy or own a Weimaraner back then if you’re not part of the club.
Coming to America
The Germans were so overprotective of the Weims that it was 32 years before they allowed an American athlete named Howard Knight to join them and appreciate the breed. Howard Knight was the one who brought the first of its kind to the US. In 1929, he was given two infertile Weimaraners because the Germans were afraid that the purity of the breed might become compromised.
In 1938, Knight was able to get some foundation dogs and breed them in the US. Others were so attracted and fascinated with the new breed that they joined in and formed the Weimaraner Club of American. It was founded in the year 1942. The AKC recognized the breed the same year and debuted in 1943 at the Westminster Kennel Club show.
The breed’s quality dropped when it became the 12th most popular breed in the country. Irresponsible breeding caused temperament problems. But, during the 1990s, Weims made their comeback. Dedicated breeders were able to improve their health, personality, and form. Now, they are ranked 30th out of the 155 breeds recognized and registered in the American Kennel Club.
Weimaraner Diet and Nutrition
Weimaraner are recommended to have two meals a day. Feed them 250g – 390g each serving. Figuring out the best amount can be hard at first, but it should depend on how big, old, and active they are. Keep in mind their natural build and observe their eating habits. When it comes to food, the quality you provide will have an immense effect on your Weimaraner’s overall health.
Since leaving out food all the time can lead to obesity, it is best to get into a consistent feeding schedule. If you get consistent appointments with your veterinarian, they’ll be able to tell whether they need less food or you need to add more to keep them in the healthy range.
Be open to changing their dietary menu from time to time as they grow older or change their preference. Providing healthy treats is recommended for training and rewarding good behavior, but avoid excessive snacks. Asking for the best dietary supplement from your vet will improve your dog’s nutrition.
The first thing to acknowledge when it comes to Weims is their cleverness. They are often referred to as “The dog with a human brain.” They are so assertive that it’s their pro and also their con. Taking care of a Weimaraner is not an easy feat, but it is rewarding.
Weimaraner males are between 25 and 27” tall at the shoulder and would usually weigh 70-85 lbs. Female Weims stand between 23 and 25” and weigh about 55-70 lbs. Their size, paired with an ample supply of stamina, results in a dog that should have access to a large, fenced yard to run and play in. Make sure their area is escape-free.
Their energy and perseverance make it possible for them to unlock doors, dig under fences, or jump over them if there’s a chance. Weims are house dogs, and they don’t like it when they’re put into a kennel or left in the backyard alone. Living in an apartment can be hard for them too.
Lots of Attention and Affection
Weimaraners need an active family member who can keep up with their exercises and provide fun recreation activities to keep them entertained. Spending time with them is very much appreciated, and they love nothing more than being close to their owners. Keeping cool may be one of the traits you will need to acquire, as Weims can be a bit too much to handle.
They tend to rearrange their yard space by digging holes and moving things around. It’s innocent and if it’s practical and fitting for their personality, complimenting him is a good idea too. If you have kids at home, you’ll find that Weims love having them around. Kids are energetic creatures that don’t get tired as much as we are when doing repetitive tasks. It’s easy for them to become best buddies but be sure that they are always supervised.
Gentle and Constant Training
Having well-trained Weims at home can be rewarding as they will serve as your shadow. If you like a companion that follows you around at all times, get yourself this breed. This is why training them as a puppy is one of the most important tasks for their owners. Weimaraner puppies can be a bit of a handful, and they require plenty of guidance.
Weims can be destructive chewers, so housetraining them can be a challenge. Crate training is recommended if you have smaller space. This creates a safe space the dog can return to if it feels anxious. When training Weimaraners, you have to be consistent and firm but also gentle. They are very intelligent that you’ll find yourself asking yourself if they continuously try to challenge your limit.
So being strict when they’ve done something wrong helps them to become more well-mannered. Be wary as they are sensitive and can get affected if they see that you’re angry. Weims absorb training well when they are short and interesting. As with other dog breeds, it’s advised to compliment them and provide them with treats for a job well done. They’ll look forward to more training if they enjoy and get something out of it each time.
Common Health Problems
While the Weimaraner is generally healthy, every pup can experience the occassinal sick day. If you and your furry friend come across more serious problems, it’s important to know which signs to watch out for. These are the most common health problems for Weimaraners.
When the thyroid hormone is deficient, hypothyroidism happens. Its symptoms include:
- Lack of energy
- Cold intolerance
- Slow heart rate
- Loss of libido
- Excessive shedding
The dog’s coat may become dry and brittle, and there’s increased dark pigmentation in the skin. It’s important to get it diagnosed early since the treatment for this health issue is a thyroid replacement pill that needs to be taken daily for the rest of their lives.
Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia
You can detect hip or elbow dysplasia early in the puppy years. It is an abnormality in the joints that can affect how the dogs walk or move. It’s believed that the cause of this ailment is their genes and diet. The usual symptoms are weakness and pain in the legs and elbows. When a dog is hesitant to stand or move and appears unstable, it’s best to consult a veterinarian immediately.
There are cases where there are no clinical symptoms, but the issue appears as the animal gets older. The best way to avoid this is to have a large-breed growth diet during your Weims’ first year of life.
Bloat is quite common with large-breed dogs such as the Weims. It happens when the stomach is overwhelmed. It gets strained due to having one very large meal in a short amount of time. Alternatively, if the dog eats fast, the digestion can’t catch up. With bloat, the stomach twists, which means that excess air can’t get out, and the blood circulation is disrupted. It may be a lethal condition if the dog goes into shock.
The symptoms of bloat are:
- Retching without throwing up
- Swollen abdomen
- Excessive drooling
- Rapid breathing
- General distress
Severe bloat requires immediate medical attention. There are surgical and non-surgical treatments available for bloat, depending on the severity of the condition.
Von Willebrand disease
Also known as VWD, it’s a deficiency in clotting factor VIII antigen usually passed on through genes. It’s a bleeding disorder where the body can’t form clots that help close broken blood vessels. So when the dog is injured, no matter how small the opening is, there will be excessive bleeding.
Another sign to look for is sudden and random hemorrhaging of their nose, vagina, or mouth. There are three types of Von Willebrand Disease, and they are categorized based on the severity of bleeding. A dog that’s affected by this illness can still lead a normal life but needs special care.
Weimaraner Where to Adopt or Buy a Weimaraner
Contrary to what you may first think of about Weimaraners, they usually end up in shelters or with rescue groups. This is why it’s best to adopt them as much as possible. Many Weimaraners are waiting to have a new home and family. If you can’t find one near you or don’t know where to start looking, then you can check out all these places below to see how you can take home your Weimaraner:
Weimaraner Club of America Rescue
Weimaraner Rescue Directory
This site offers a list of rescue groups in specific areas and states. If you want to inquire about a rescue group near you, you’ll most definitely find it here. There are guides and other informative resources available there as well.
Weimaraner Club of America Breeder Listing
If you prefer getting your Weimaraner from a breeder and need advice on finding a good and responsible breeder, Billie Thompson is the posted contact person of WCA.
American Kennel Club Breeder Listing
The AKC breeder listing provides links to contact the parent club in charge of the breed and their listed breeder on their website. Search for Weimaraner to see the referred links for them.
Weimaraners are medium-sized dogs that are sometimes considered large due to their aristocratic and graceful presence. A well-built Weimaraner exudes a picture of great speed, intelligence, and endurance. They’re not droolers, and they are a bouncing ball of energy. Physical and mental activities keep them occupied and happy.
They have a moderately long head with kind, discerning, and intelligent expression. It’s accentuated with their gray nose. Their ears are set high, long, and droopy, while their eyes look sharp with shades of gray. They are characterized by their short and solid-colored gray coat. It’s sleek and soft to the touch. Weims’ legs are straight and strong, and their tails are docked, usually measuring 6 inches during maturity.
The Weimaraner dog breed is naturally friendly, courageous, vigilant, assertive, and obedient. This is what makes it a good hunting companion and a watchdog. Of course, a dog’s personality all comes down to the training they had and the environment they grew in. They are also highly intelligent, willful, and full of energy that can become a challenge if it’s not managed well.
They learn things easily, even if you don’t teach through observation and experimentation. They’ll try things out and see the effect and your reaction. Weimaraners are known to have temperament issues. This depends on the amount of training, nurturing, and socialization they receive at an early age through adulthood.
Weimaraners are very sensitive creatures. They take it to heart when they get scolded. Also, they get easily overwhelmed with noise, varying smells, and too many people that they can sometimes act harshly. Exposing a young pooch to all types of environments and stimuli can prevent the animal from becoming easily overwhelmed in adulthood.
The Weimaraner breed is a fierce but clingy dog that can hunt for you yet greets you and grabs every chance of being close to you. They love being near their owners and easily get anxious when they’re separated or left alone. Though they are friendly and loving to their humans, it might not be that easy with other animals as most would be considered prey.
The Weimaraner breed has a short, smooth, and velvety coat. They have solid colors of varying shades of gray. This dog breed is one of the easiest to groom because of its short and sleek coat. Dirt seems to just slide off the body, so you won’t have to worry about tangles or mystery debris stuck in their coat.
Weims may need more bathing than other breeds because they easily become smelly due to their preferred activities. They need weekly brushing to keep their skin and coat healthy. This also helps with avoiding getting hairs in your clothes and furniture. One of the unique characteristics of the Weimaraner is their big and floppy ears.
The floppiness is adorable, but unfortunately, it also makes Weims susceptible to ear infections. The susceptibility to infection is due to the ears not getting much air exposure, therefore becoming moist inside. This environment makes it easy for bacteria to grow and spread. Check their ears weekly and wipe them with a cotton ball and a cleaner recommended by your veterinarian.
As with other dog breeds, it’s important to keep their teeth clean. We suggest you brush their teeth two to three times a week. If you’re able, daily brushing is just as beneficial to dogs as it is to us. Regular brushing helps avoid dental issues like bad breath, tartar buildup, and gum diseases.
Some dogs naturally trim their nails, and if you notice that they aren’t, do it once or twice a month. You’ll know it’s too long when it’s clicking on the floor when they’re walking. Having short nails helps them have healthy feet and avoids scratches when they come in for a hug or jump to greet you.
Grooming can be a time for bonding too. It’s showing affection while checking on overall health. Set aside time every week to check the eyes, ears, paws, and skin. Regular checkups will help you detect any potential health problems early.
More About Weimaraner
Here are some quick facts about the Weimaraner breed:
- There are blue or black Weimaraners that some try to market as “rare.” This drives up the cost of the dog, but the coat colors are actually disqualified from the breed standard.
- Weims have a high prey drive, and you’ll usually find trophies of a successful hunt at your feet.
- Some of the things that a Weimaraner dog can learn throughout their lives are opening doors or gates, getting ice or food from your refrigerator, and even solving puzzles.
- Weimaraners love chewing, even if what’s between their teeth is as hard as a rock (some have even been known to chew an actual rock or two). Chewing objects that weren’t meant for chewing can ruin your dog’s teeth and cause digestive issues if accidentally swallowed. Train your dog to chew properly to avoid these situations.
- Their name is often mispronounced. The correct way to say it is “y-mah-honor” in one go.
- A Weims’ life expectancy is 10-30 years.
- They are prone to separation anxiety as they are very sensitive and love nothing more than to be with their human. So leaving them alone for a long time can have a tremendous negative effect on them.