With their silver-grey, sleek, short coat, the Weimaraner dog is one of the most outstanding breeds. The tallest of the gundog group, they are graceful with speed, stamina and endurance. There are two varieties: the short-haired and the long-haired, the latter being less common. The Weimaraner dog breed's predominant colouration is silver grey with shades of mouse or roe-grey being seen. Adult males stand at 61-69cm and weigh around 27kg while females are 56-64cm, weighing around 22.5kg.
The Weimaraner dog breed appeared in a Van Dyke painting of the early 1600s. It is believed that the breed comes from stock similar to the German Shorthaired Pointer, with Bloodhound being added early through crosses with one or more of the various schweisshund breeds. The breed takes its name from the court of Karl August, Grand Duke of Weimar, and was once used to hunt big game, wolves, wildcats, deer, mountain lion and bears etc. When the big game disappeared from Europe by the late 1800s, Weimaraner dogs became a rarity. However, with selective breeding, they became small game hunters and bird dogs.
Weimaraners are all-round dogs who love family life. They are friendly and energetic but, with their vigilance, make excellent guard dogs. They are very strong characters so are not the ideal first dog for a novice owner, but if you have experience and can socialise, train and exercise them, they make a very rewarding companion.
As with many breeds, the Weimeraner dog breed can suffer from hip dysplasia (a condition that can lead to mobility problems) and hip scoring of dogs prior to breeding is therefore important. As with many large breeds they are also more prone to some bone conditions, heart disease and a specific stomach condition (gastric dilation volvulus).
Weimaraners must have regular long walks to keep them calm in the house. If they do not get enough exercise, they can become very destructive and unhappy. They love to swim and retrieve and both these activities keep their active minds occupied. An adult Weimaraner needs two-plus hours of regular daily exercise along with ongoing training.
Large breed dogs, as well as having large appetites, benefit from a different balance of nutrients including minerals and vitamins compared to smaller-breed dogs. Weimaraners are prone to bloating and stomach problems; smaller, more frequent meals can help minimise this risk.
The short-haired Weimaraner dog is one of the easiest breeds to keep clean with very little grooming required. Even when he has been through the muddiest of fields, the dirt seems to fall off him very easily, leaving you with nothing to do but 'polish' up his coat! The more unusual longer-haired variety, with a coat of 2.5-5cm in length and feathering, does, however require more attention. They should be brushed and combed regularly. A check should be made on their ears routinely to ensure they are free from infections.