The Weimaraner (nicknamed the grey ghost) originated in Germany, specifically from the court of Weimar.
It was first known as the Weimar Pointer and was employed as a hunting dog.
They went against prey like wolves, bears, and deer, a testament to its strength and speed.
Today, they hunt less and are found more in households.
Just like other active dogs turned companions, there might be some concern in the minds of potential pet parents.
Are Weimaraners good family dogs? Are they fit for everyone? What are Weimaraners’ pros and cons?
For those who would want to own a Weimaraner, this article would get into details about the facts, characteristics, temperament, health, and other information you need.
In the end, you should be able to decide if this breed is a good fit for your home.
Weimaraner Dog Breed Information
|Height||23 to 27 inches|
|Weight||55 to 85 pounds|
|Lifespan||11 to 13 years|
|Coat||Short, Sleek, Smooth|
|Colors||Silver, Mouse gray, Silver-gray|
|Temperament||Smart, Active, Friendly, Alert|
|Ideal For||Active and experienced owners|
|Breed Recognition||American Kennel Club, Canadian Kennel Club, Federation Cynologique International, Kennel Club of Great Britain, Australian National Kennel Council, Continental Kennel Club, New Zealand Kennel Club|
|Puppy Price||$1,500 to $2,000|
The Typical Weimaraner Temperament
The Weimaraner is often seen as fully trained from puppyhood because of its good behaviors in older times.
However, training is the only way one can make a dog well-behaved.
The typical member breed presents a paradox of personalities. On one hand, it is obedient, friendly, and always on alert.
On the other hand, it is highly energetic and can be stubborn.
In the hands of a timid and inexperienced owner, this breed may turn out to be dominant and even aggressive.
The Weimaraner should never be left without exercise for long or you would pay the price.
Excessive barking, ripping cushions, chewing objects, frantically trying to escape… those are ways the Weimaraner reacts to boredom.
The Weimaraner also tends to be suspicious of strangers and might even resort to biting if not socialized enough.
Proper socialization is vital to manage this wariness, and it must begin from a young age.
With family, its behavior is the opposite. Though it is a hunting dog, this breed doesn’t appreciate being alone or staying confined outdoors.
It loves being around family members, and would often lie close to you quietly, as long as it is exercised.
It isn’t suitable for apartment living, though, because of its energy and barking tendencies.
Are Weimaraners Good Family Dogs?
Although the Weimaraner is a hunting dog at heart, it has many qualities that can make it integrate safely into homes.
Far from being a wild dog (though it did spend a lot of time in the wild), the Weimaraner can be trained to be a good family dog and provide the joys and challenges of handling a pet dog.
On the list of AKC‘s popular dog breeds for the year 2020, the Weimaraner falls in 39th position, surpassing Akitas and even Dalmatians.
That shows how increasingly people opt for this breed as a household companion.
That said, this breed is not suitable for every family. Unlike natural companion dogs like the French Bulldog, the Weimaraner has a lot of requirements that disqualify many potential pet parents.
The ideal family should be an active family with more outdoor activities on their schedule not limited to watching movies or playing monopoly.
Furthermore, Weimaraners can also cope with kids but is better kept around older children as it is highly energetic and may accidentally knock down a toddler.
Are Weimaraners Good with Other Dogs and Pets?
The Weimaraner tends to be dominant with other dogs and might get aggressive with canines it doesn’t know.
It is more advisable to have one in a single dog home where it is the sole pet.
If you do decide to have many dogs, introduce the Weimaraner to dogs slowly and at a young age. This would enable it to recognize those dogs as family.
It may not be peaceful with outside dogs, though. Keep that in mind when you go visiting a dog park.
Small dogs and other pets should not be kept anywhere around the Weimaraner.
This breed has a strong hunting instinct, and even socialization may not reduce it. It will regard any small pet as prey, even toy dog breeds, and cats.
Are Weimaraners Friendly?
The Weimaraner can be friendly, but it reserves that only for family. With those, it loves it is fun, playful, and even a bit mischievous.
It can run around with kids in the yard or go on a jog with you. There’s no limit to how friendly the Weimaraner can be when its family is involved.
However, it is not like the Siberian Husky that loves everyone around.
At best, this breed remains aloof towards unfamiliar faces. At worst, it would turn aggressive and may become a biter.
Do not encourage visitors to touch your dog, even if it is well socialized. It takes time for it to warm up to visitors.
On the plus side, this wariness makes the Weimaraner a good candidate for guard duty.
Its alertness and high barking tendency make it a good watchdog, and the suspicion towards strangers means it won’t hesitate to defend its family when needed.
Are Weimaraners Easy to Train?
The Weimaraner is a trainable breed, but it should be noted that it is not an easy breed to train.
First-time dog owners are not advised to own this breed as they risk getting overwhelmed and may turn out with a rebellious breed.
This unfortunate circumstance often ends up with the dog at the shelter.
The Weimaraner is stubborn and highly energetic, making it even less of a good choice for new pet parents.
Before getting one, you should be experienced and firm with handling breeds like this.
This breed will be obedient if it sees you as a leader, but would sometimes try to challenge you. That is where firmness and patience come in.
Here are tips to ensure training gets successful:
- Start at a young age: The Weimaraner should be trained from when it is a puppy to reduce the dominant and stubborn tendencies. If you adopted a grown dog with some possible behavioral issues, hire the services of a professional trainer.
- Have the basics in place: Obedience training for this breed must not be overlooked. Teach it simple commands like Sit, Heel, and Come. Repetition and consistency help a lot.
- Socialize your pet: All dogs need socialization, but this breed requires it even more because of its wariness towards strangers. Take it to meet new places, people and animals. You might also enroll in a puppy class if it doesn’t show strong anxiety.
- Set your place as a leader: The Weimaraner, like other stubborn breeds, needs to know you are in charge of it would try to take over. Such a situation would lead to more rebellion and even aggressiveness. One way to go about this is feeding it after you and your family members have eaten.
- Use positive reinforcements: Like other breeds, the Weimaraner responds better to positive reinforcements rather than harsh treatments. The latter would only make this breed get more aggressive.
Weimaraner Grooming Requirements
The Weimaraner has a short, sleek coat that’s smooth to the touch. Fortunately for owners, this breed has a low grooming need.
It doesn’t take much to keep it clean, and dirt hardly sticks on its coat irrespective of how much it gets into puddles (which it likes to do).
It does shed, but that can be handled with enough brushing. The best brush to use for the Weimaraner’s coat is a bristle one.
With weekly brushing, you shouldn’t have any problems.
Besides brushing, this breed needs occasional bathing. Its love for rolling in mud can make it smelly. Find a good shampoo and give it a clean bath.
You should also take care of its teeth with regular brushing, using a good toothbrush and pet-approved toothpaste.
Clip its nails as well, and clean its ears with a good ear cleaner and cotton wool.
Common Health Problems
The Weimaraner has a fairly long life span that gets up to 13 years and can stay healthy when well taken care of.
However, it is susceptible to some illnesses. Some of the common conditions you should watch out for are:
Hip Dysplasia is often inherited, but can also be influenced by other factors like diet. It happens when the hip joint isn’t well fit, leading to a deterioration of the joint.
Common symptoms of Hip Dysplasia include lethargy, stiffness, pain, awkward and difficult movements, refusal to exercise, and even lameness.
Bloating is also known as Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV) and is a critical condition that should be treated as an emergency.
It occurs when the stomach gets filled up with food and other fluids, causing it to swell. It is painful and can make a dog drop dead if not treated immediately.
Seek urgent medical attention once you notice your dog’s stomach swelling.
von Willebrand’s Disease (vWD)
The vWD is a blood-related issue that’s inherited. It is caused by a lack of the VIII antigen clotting factor in the dog.
Symptoms include excessive bleeding when the dog gets injured or goes through surgery. This disorder would also cause nosebleeds and bleeding from the gum.
Distichiasis is an eye condition caused by an abnormality in the eyelashes.
Also known as ‘extra eyelashes’, they add up to the normal eyelashes and grow close to the lower lid. Once it rubs on the cornea, it leads to irritation.
The common symptoms of distichiasis include redness of the eyes, tears, squinting, and excessive blinking.
Hypothyroidism occurs when the dog’s body produces less of the thyroid hormone than is needed.
Symptoms of this illness include obesity, excessive tiredness, cold, loss of hair, and lack of energy.
Entropion is another eye issue like distichiasis but manifests differently. This illness is caused when the eyelid rolls in and rubs against the cornea, leading to an injury or irritation.
The symptoms of entropion are similar to that of distichiasis in that it makes the eyes red, causes itching and blinking.
Factor XI Deficiency
Similar to von Willebrand’s Disease, Factor XI Deficiency is a blood issue that’s caused by a lack of a protein known as Factor XI.
The major symptom of this illness is excessive bleeding, especially from the nose.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is an eye issue that is caused by a slow deterioration of the retina.
It is an incurable disease that eventually leads to blindness, but the dogs can be taught to live a normal life even with the deficiency.
This happens when the dog’s immune system attacks and begins to destroy the body’s platelets and even red blood cells. The main cause isn’t easily known, but it can be treated.
Diet & Exercise Requirements
Some other care needs that should be taken into account are feeding and exercise.
The Weimaraner needs high-quality food filled with enough protein and some other necessary nutrients like vitamins and minerals.
It is recommended that you feed this breed twice a day, and each meal should be given in 2½ or 3½ cups. Don’t overfeed it, though, as it may get obese.
You should also encourage it not to eat fast to avoid indigestion and even bloating.
Exercise is compulsory for every dog and even more for this breed. The highly energetic hunter should have an outlet to release its high energy, or it would become restless.
It should go for at least an hour, maybe even more. Do not limit it to physical activities, though. Add some mentally stimulating ones too.
Is the Weimaraner Right For You?
Like we said earlier, this breed is not meant for everyone. The challenges of this breed require a certain kind of owner to overcome them.
Before you decide if you should own one, outlined below are the Weimaraner pros and cons:
- Coat is easy to maintain
- Makes a good watchdog and guard
- Good exercise buddy
- Loyal to family, fun, and loving
- Stubborn and independent.
- High prey drive can be dangerous for smaller pets
- High energy can get overwhelming
- Aggressive towards other dogs and even strangers.
Commonly Asked Questions
What is the average price for a Weimaraner puppy?
Getting a Weimaraner puppy from a breeder isn’t a cheap venture, so you need to plan for it. Though there’s usually no fixed price for this breed, it can fall between $1,500 to $2,000.
Are Weimaraners aggressive?
Weimaraners are known to be loving towards family members but are suspicious of strangers.
That suspicion may cause them to become aggressive towards strangers if not well socialized. They are also known to be aggressive towards other dogs.
Is a Weimaraner good for first-time owners?
The Weimaraner isn’t advisable for first-time owners as it can be stubborn and needs a confident owner with enough experience. It might also be too energetic for novices.
Do Weimaraners bark a lot?
Weimaraners are known to be frequent barkers, a trait that makes them good watchdogs but can get noisy without control.
Do Weimaraners drool?
Weimaraners drool on occasion. Usually, they drool when they become excited or see a tasty meal.
Are Weimaraners cuddly?
While Weimaraners are active dogs and prefer having something to do, they are also affectionate and love being around their owners. Owners of this breed know it loves to hug and even cuddle.
Are Weimaraners smelly dogs?
Weimaraners are usually clean with coats that don’t let mud stick, but they have the habit of rolling in mud. This can make them smelly.
The Weimaraner is a loving, loyal, and affectionate dog breed that can be a good family dog for the right owners.
Its challenges notwithstanding, this breed is a favorite of many because of its many qualities.
The challenges do matter, though, so you should be sure you can handle this breed before buying or adopting one.
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