AKC Sporting Group
A dog that some sources believe is a Weimaraner appears as early as the 1600s in a painting of Van Dyck. The breed was cultivated by the nobles of Weimar, Germany, hence the name. The Weimaraner is a pointer and an all-around personal hunting dog. He was originally used to hunt, track, and bring down big game. As big game became scarce, he was adapted to smaller game and upland birds. He also has a reputation as a fine water retriever, though he may have to be taught to swim. Weimaraners have been used as rescue dogs, service dogs for the disabled, and police dogs in England and Germany. The breed was first imported to the United States in 1929 by Howard Knight, who founded the U.S. breed club.
The Weimaraner is a sleek, moderately large, athletic dog with beautiful lines and a short, smooth gray coat. The head and ears are a bit lighter colored than the rest of the body. The head is long and aristocratic, with a prominent occiput. The eyes are amber, blue-gray or gray, and the nose is gray. The ears are moderately long and pendant. The topline slopes gently downward from the withers. The forelegs should be straight with dewclaws removed. The tail is docked to 6 in. The Weimaraner has webbed feet for swimming.
- Height: 25 to 27 in. (male); 23 to 25 in. (female)
- Size: Large
- Weight: 70 to 85 lbs. (male); 55 to 70 lbs. (female)
- Availability: May take some effort to find
- Talents: Hunting, tracking, retrieving, pointing, watchdog, guarding, search and rescue, and agility
The Weimaraner has a very fine sense of smell. Quite a hardy breed. Hip dysplasia has been reduced to only 8% through conscientious breeding, but it is still advisable to buy only from stock with OFA, PennHIP, or another national hip dysplasia clearance. Prone to hypertropic osteodystrophy (too rapid growth), tumors, and bloat (because he is deep chested).
Happy, loving, and very rambunctious. Intelligent, but can be highly opinionated and willful, so this breed should have firm, experienced training from the start. Quick to learn, but resistant to repetitive training. Reserved with strangers and sometimes combative with other dogs— socialize well at an early age. Protective of his own territory. Very brave and loyal. Has a strong prey instinct; do not trust with small non-canine animals. This is definitely not a herding or livestock dog. The Weimaraner needs to live indoors as a member of the family. He needs attention and companionship. If relegated to kennel life or left alone too much, he can become very destructive and restless. He is a natural protector. Weimaraners are often kind to children, but are not recommended for very young ones because they are energetic enough to accidentally knock a child down.
- Children: Best with older, considerate children
- Friendliness: Reserved with strangers
- Trainability: Somewhat difficult to train
- Independence: Moderately dependent on people
- Dominance: High
- Other Pets: May be aggressive with dogs of the same sex; do not trust with non-canine pets.
- Combativeness: Tends to be fairly dog-aggressive
- Noise: Likes to bark
- Indoors: Relatively active indoors
- Owner: Not recommended for novice owners
- Grooming: Very little grooming needed
- Trimming and Stripping: No trimming or stripping needed
- Coat: Short coat
- Shedding: Average shedder
- Docking: The tail is customarily docked.
- Exercise: Moderate exercise needed
- Jogging: An excellent jogging companion
- Apartments: Not recommended for apartments
- Outdoor Space: Best with a large yard
- Climate: Does well in most climates
- Longevity: Average (10 to 12 years)