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Weimaraner

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Is the Weimaraner right for you?

Species group:

Other name(s): Weimaraner Vorstehhund; Weim; Grey Ghost; Silver Ghost

The basics:
The Weimaraner was developed as a big game hunting dog for the German court of Weimar in the late 1870s-- a job that demanded an athletic dog with exceptional tracking skills. As a result, this specialized breed may demand a special owner. You will need to provide plenty of time, space, and action for the aristocratic-looking Grey Ghost. The ideal owner doesn't necessarily have to hunt, but you should be an active person who plans to spend lots of time running, biking, or jogging with your pet. A bored, lonely Weimaraner can become a destructive chewer, a problem barker, or an escape artist.

Appearance / health:
The Weimaraner is a sleek, well muscled, moderately large dog that comes in many shades of grey. The head is somewhat long, wide, and noble, with a moderate stop; there is a slight line that extends back over the forehead; the muzzle is strong; the length from the tip of the nose to the stop should equal the length from the stop to the occipital bone; and, the bite is scissored. The eyes convey intelligence and a good disposition and should be one of three colors: light amber, grey, or blue-grey, and are set somewhat apart; the nose is grey; the ears are somewhat long and pendant, folded slightly and set high on the head. The skin is tight to the body. The tail is customarily docked and, at maturity, should be about 6” long.

A very easy coat to maintain in top condition. Brush your Weimaraner with a firm bristled brush and occasionally use a dry shampoo. Do not bathe unnecessarily and, when you must bathe, use only a mild soap. A rub down with a chamois cloth will make the coat glisten. Inspect the mouth and feet for injuries after a work or exercise session. Keep the nails trimmed. Weimaraners are prone to sunburn on their nose in summer. Ears should be cleaned weekly. The Weimaraner is considered to be an average shedder.

The Weimaraner has a need for exercise in order to prevent him from succumbing to compulsive barking and excessive destruction as a result of boredom and frustration. As a rule, he requires some form of demanding exercise and a lot of mental stimulation. Involving him in all family activities will go far toward providing him with the attention he craves and, indeed, needs from his people. A long walk each day, a jog with you, or a bout of free running in a safely enclosed area will help make him a happy dog.

Through conscientious breeding programs, hip dysplasia has been reduced in the Weimaraner to only 8% of the Weimaraner population; however, it remains a strong suggestion that you purchase your Weimaraner only from a reputable breeder who knows the history of their breeding stock and whose breeding stock is OFA certified.

The primary health concern with the Weimaraner is gastric torsion (also called “bloat”). Gastric torsion can kill a dog within an hour and is the second major killer of dogs, right after cancer. Refer to “Food Habits,” above, for additional information.

Other possible health concerns for the Weimaraner are: hypertrophic osteodystrophy (a too rapid growth rate), dermoid cysts, von Willebrand’s disease, cancer, eye problems, bleeding disorders, and dwarfism.

Behavior / temperament:
The Weimaraner is a very happy and rambunctious dog; he is happy, affectionate and loving toward his family. He is extraordinarily intelligent but, with this intelligence, he can also be willful and have opinions of his own. They are naturally protective of their family and protective of their territory. The Weimaraner is not recommended for the novice dog owner.

The Weimaraner is strong-willed, good-natured, responsive and alert. He makes a superior hunting dog and canine companion. He is very intelligent and loves to have fun. A well and properly socialized Weimaraner will get along well with children. Properly socialized to other pets from puppyhood, he should also get along well with other family pets, but should never be trusted around cats or small animals. The Weimaraner is naturally protective and is an excellent watch dog and an equally excellent guard dog. The Weimaraner has boundless energy and consistent training that begins early is absolutely essential to creating a Weimaraner that you and the family will enjoy.

Weimaraners are rated high in learning rate; medium in obedience; and, high in problem solving. What does that add up to? A dog that will eagerly try to get what he wants. This character trait calls for a strong, “alpha” trainer who has a lot of patience. Early training (“Puppy Kindergarten”) is extremely beneficial to the Weimaraner. Though training should begin in early puppyhood, it is also vital that nothing negative is associated with training. Weimaraners don’t forget and if the trainer looses his cool and does something intimidating to the Weimaraner, it is highly unlikely you will ever get him to learn whatever lesson that was. Standard obedience should begin very soon after your Weimaraner turns five years of age.

The Weimaraner does enjoy barking and should be taught from an early age about when it is and is not appropriate to bark.

wonderful

gorgeous dogs, big clowns, natural hunting dog, Goofy, Family companion, intelligence., Playful Weims

challenging

higher prey drive., oral chewing fixation, big counter surfers, Hyper Weimaraner

interesting

high energy weim, big 95 lbs, swimmer, agility training, chasing squirrels

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