(aka: Weimaraner Vorstehhund)
[Nicknames: Weim, the Grey Ghost]
The Weimaraner is a large dog with an athletic build and good muscle tone. Known as the 'Silver Ghost', the coloring of the Weimaraner ranges from mousy gray to silvery gray. His coat is sleek, smooth, and close fitting, and he sports an alert and eager expression. The weight of the Weimaraner is around 55-70 pounds for females, and 75-90 pounds for males. The height of these dogs is around 23-25 inches for females, and around 25-27 inches for males.
The Weimaraner is a very strong minder, independent, and energetic dog, with bags so stamina. These large dogs have boundless energy, and need to be in a household that is active, as well as with people that have plenty of time and devotion to dedicate to a pet. Thee dogs do not like to be confined or neglected, and this can lead to boredom, frustration, and destructive behavior. These dogs need early socialization, consistent training, and a confident, assertive owner with some experience of dog ownership and training. The Weimaraner will delight in taking part in a range of outdoors activities with his owner, and is the ideal companion for those that enjoy outdoor recreation. Although the Weimaraner can be very strong willed, which can make training a challenge, he is also highly intelligent and responsive with the right trainer. Some Weimaraners can be difficult to housebreak.
The Weimaraner tends to get along okay with children, but his large size may mean that he inadvertently knocks down a small child. He can be bossy with other dogs, and smaller animals may be viewed as prey, including cats. When it comes to strangers the Weimaraner is cautious and wary. He does make an effective watchdog and will raise the alarm if something appears to be amiss. Although the Weimaraner can seem like a handful, these large dogs make excellent companions and pets for owners with the time, energy, and training ability to handle them effectively.
Although the Weimaraner requires a pretty much no-fuss approach to grooming, he will need to be brushed on a regular basis in order to keep his coat sleek and in good condition. With regular brushing shedding is kept to a minimum with the Weimaraner, which means that he may prove suitable for some allergy sufferers.
Wanting to develop more of a multi-purpose hunting dog, the Grand Duke Karl August of Weimer was responsible for the earlier stages of the Weimaraner's development. In 1880, the breed was shown at a dog show located in Berlin where the dog was referred to as a "l'mongrels." The Germans were famous for having a reputation as not only having but developing the best hunting dogs in the world, and the Weimaraner pointer or hunting dog was a result of that development. The Weimaraner had originally been bred as a houndlike fur-hunting, tracking dog that was supposedly meant to be aggressive toward the predators it was meant to hunt, and as the dog became more and more domesticated, the functions of bird-hunting and retrieving was bred into the dog for the needs of the German hunter and the Nobles of Weimar, and eventually became highly prized for their versatile hunting skills. Eventually the breed became widely known as the "Gray Ghost" as it was gray in color, with the ability to be extremely quick, using cat-like stealth when out in the field, combined with a ghost-like, silent, shadow-way of working the prey.
Over time, the nobles rigidly began to control the Weimaraner's availability to the public. This was to ensure the quality of the breed, and the German Weimaraner Club was formed at this time for that strict purpose by amateur sportsmen--with the purpose of breeding the dog for sport, not for profit. From then on, very few non-club members knew about this highly protected German dog breed--the club membership was tightly restricted and only club members could own and breed the famous Weimaraner with the breed type and temperament becoming proudly refined, with legends upon legins springing forth about the "great gray hunting dog." As the breeding continued, the 1850s showed a conversion from the "bear and deer hunter" hunting dog to the that of "fur and feathers" with those newly developed hunting instincts remaining today.
This restricted membership changed when in 1928, a Providence, RI, sportsman by the name of Howard Knight applied for membership in this restricted German hunting club which resulted in him coming back into the United States with two sterile females. But through perseverance, he finally achieved success when three female dogs and a puppy were sent to him: two were litter sisters--Adda and Dorle v. Schwarzen Kamp--and a one year female named Aura v. Gaiberg. The puppy was named Mars aus der Wulfsreide. When others began joining Howard Knight's efforts, the Weimaraner Club of America was formed in 1942 with a breed standard created, with AKC recognition in 1942, coming out in 1943 at Westminster.
Respect training is considered mandatory by trainers for the Weimaraner, due to its high energy and "take charge" attitude. Lots of exercise is part of this training, which should begin at a very young age. The training of the puppy begins with the mother Weimaraner. The general health, which refers to a good clean coat and clean kennel, has a lot to do with the trainability of the puppy itself.
Most Weimaraners are strong and powerful, having a "slightly" stubborn streak, so becoming the alpha or top dog over the breed is essential. Early, early training is necessary, with Puppy Kindergarten the top of the list. When this little pup left home, its mom and siblings were its teachers about life. From a canine point of view, those same lessons need to be taught in a similar manner, communicating appropriate dog behavior so his puppy mind will understand.
The first four to five months are the most important times in a puppy's life, and when everything will be digested fully for future lessons. Positive and negative experiences, proper socialization, and valuable reinforcement all make the puppy into a true companion of value or a negative dog who will make everything around it miserable until the dog is removed from your home to either be put down in a shelter, placed in a rescue home, or go from foster home to foster home--until someone actually takes the time to train the Weimaraner correctly.
Any positive behavior should be rewarded, and then that same behavior will repeat itself by the dog. Negative behavior has the same attributes--digging in trash cans, barking, digging, chewing Sunday's best shoes up, etc. Rule number one is let the dog or puppy know who is boss. Rule number two is teach the dog or puppy in a way that can be best understand--not by the trainer but by the dog itself.
There are a number of health problems to look out for with this breed, and this includes entropion, heart problems, spinal problems, digestive issues, bleeding disorders, PRA, HD, elbow dysplasia, HOD, PRA, torsion, bloat, cancer, skin problems, and thyroid problems. The parents of the Weimaraner puppy should have OFA and CERF certificates.