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The Wonderful Weimaraner

The Weimaraner is in the American Kennel Club's sporting dog group. Weimaraners are tireless, versatile hunting dogs with the skills needed to find, point, track, and retrieve birds and other small game. Weimaraners are also wonderful pets. They're loving, fiercely devoted companions - quick to learn and eager to please.

History of the Weimaraner
Originally known as Weimar Pointers, the breed was developed and perfected for German royalty in the Weimar Republic of Germany in the early 19th century. They were bred to be courageous hunters with exceptional speed and tracking ability. The nobles of Weimer used them to hunt wild boar, bear, deer and other big game. Ownership of the alluring gray dogs was carefully guarded and breeding was strictly controlled by the nobles and later by The Weimaraner Club of Germany.

The first breeding Weimaraners were imported to the US in 1938 by Howard Knight, a dog fancier from Rhode Island. In 1942, The Weimaraner Club of America was formed and the breed standard was created. Later that year the breed was recognized by the AKC. Weimaraners were shown at Westminster for the first time in 1943.

A few years later, at the end of World War II, American service men returning from Europe brought more Weimaraners with them. Weims quickly became very popular American dogs. Even the President of the United States had one! President Dwight D. Eisenhower owned a Weimaraner named Heidi. By the mid to late 1950s Weimaraners were number 12 of 98 breeds registered by AKC. All the hype eventually led to over-breeding, inferior breeding and their popularity fell.

By the late 1960s, the number of new registrations fell to nearly half, compared to new registrations at the peak of Weim popularity in 1957. The downward trend continued through the 1970s and 1980s. During that time, efforts by breeders who were committed to improving the Weimaraner led to better health, temperament, and conformation. Registations climbed in the 1990s with renewed interest in the versatile gray dogs. Today the Weimaraner is the AKCís 29th most popular breed.


My love of this magnificent breed began many years ago when we adopted Flint, a 5 month old Weimaraner, from the Humane Society. Our children grew up with Flint. He loved kids and they adored him. He was a wonderful dog... smart and very sociable. Everyone who met Flint, liked Flint. Even as a pup, he was exceptionally calm and easy-going, unlike the average young Weimaraner. Today we have 2 very precious gray children - my beautiful boy Fritz (above), and Schatzie (in the picture with me). Between Flint and Fritz, we've known and loved other Weimaraners, but Schatzie was the first one to show us just what "high energy dog" really means. As a pup, she was super-charged! She still has relentless, boundless energy and she's always super happy. (Her tail spins in circles as it wags.) Together, she and Fritz are silly clowns. They're also loyal, and intensely devoted ... always by my side... my constant companions.


The Beautiful Weimaraner
According to the official breed standard, the Weimaraner is "a medium-sized gray dog, with fine aristocratic features. He should present a picture of grace, speed, stamina, alertness and balance. Above all, the dog's conformation must indicate the ability to work with great speed and endurance in the field. The temperament should be friendly, fearless, alert and obedient."

The color of a Weimaraner may range from silver gray to a medium mouse gray. Some Weims have a white spot on their chest.

About a third of the Weimaraners born in Germany today have long hair. The Longhair Weimaraner has a soft, silky coat that can be straight or slightly wavy. It has wavy hair on it's ears and soft feathering, much like the Irish Setter has, on the back of it's legs. It has a long, un-docked, plume-like tail.

The long coat is actually a double coat... a coarse topcoat that repels water, with a soft undercoat that provides insulation from the cold. Like all long coats, the Longhair Weim coat becomes heavier in cold weather. German sportsman consider the long coat an asset since it provides waterproof protection from the cold and improves ability to perform in the field.

The Longhair is recognized and accepted as a variety of the Weimaraner breed by kennel clubs around the world, but a long coat is a disqualifying fault in the AKC. According to standards set by The Weimaraner Club of America, "A distinctly long coat" and "A distinctly blue or black coat" are disqualifications. The Longhair Weimaraner, like the Blue Weimaraner may not compete in breed conformation events, but they are recognized as a pure-bred by AKC. If the parents are both AKC registered, a puppy may be registered regardless of the length of it's coat or it's blue color.

Breeding to achieve a blue color is discouraged by the AKC, but it's being done intentionally by breeders who like the blue-gray coloring. They believe it is, or it should be, a legitimate gray variation.

Although they may not complete in the show ring, Longhairs and Blues may participate in field trials, agility and other performance events.


Is a Weimaraner the right dog for you?
In his book "A Celebration of Dogs" the late Roger Caras, once known as "The Voice of Westminster", wrote - "The Weimaraner is a perfect example of a highly refined breeding experiment that paid off, but it did produce a breed that is exactly right for some kinds of people and perfectly dreadful for others. The snobs of Weimar weren't entirely wrong in the degree to which they protected their creation."

He goes on to say - "The solid mouse-to-silver gray Weimaraner with its short, dense coat is a breed that simply must have early obedience training or it is capable of being a first class pest. It is headstrong, willful, adoring, incredibly intelligent, and responsive to praise. When a Weimaraner doesnít know what it is supposed to do, it can be counted on to do all of the wrong things." .... and .... "A well-trained Weimaraner is a regal accomplishment of canine genetic art, and as intolerably ill-behaved as a mismanaged specimen can be, that is how extremely good, solid, and reliable a properly raised example will be."

The AKC website describes the Weimaraner as "a big, bold dog." "They are smart and their busy minds thrive on activity. They are strong and determined, needing time, space, and attention. If you want the challenges of keeping ahead of this fearless gray ghost of the field and family room, and your daily activities can include your dog, you may be suited to the Weimaraner. He loves kids and is used to being a member of a family."

What does all this double talk mean?
Like most other breeds, the Weimaraner is not the perfect pet for everyone.

Here's some of the pro's and con's...


PROS
CONS
Weimaraners are highly intelligent, fast learners. This is part of what makes them so appealing. They're so expressive. Sometimes they seem to be trying to communicate on a human level, with their exaggerated expressions, yawns, and vocalizations.
Most Weims learn basic commands, housebreaking, and simple tricks like shaking paws quite easily.
Sometimes they're too smart.
They quickly learn how to open doors... some are escape artists.
They need abundant attention and lots of interesting Weimaraner-proof toys, chews, bones. etc. A bored Weimaraner WILL find fun things to do. Young Weims with nothing to play with or chew, will try whatever is within reach.
Weimaraners are highly skilled hunters. They are superb tracking dogs.Their enhanced sense of smell finds anything.
A Weim will empty a trash can for the jelly bean on the bottom. Some type of fence is needed to keep a Weim from traveling to whatever smells good a block away.
Weimaraners are loyal and devoted to the people they love.Weimaraners must be close to those they love...very close... like on your lap, or in your bed... sharing your pillow. Separation anxiety might result in destructive behavior. Crate training is essential.
Weimaraners are fun loving and very playful.Young Weimaraners can be mischievous, stubborn and demanding. Firm, consistent training is a must.
Weimaraners are canine athletes.
They're great pets for sportsmen, hikers, and outdoor types.
Most Weimaraners are high energy dogs.They need lots of exercise. If you don't have a large outdoor area where they can run, be prepared to take them for lots of long walks. Any large, high energy breed is not a good choice for the elderly or for families with small children.
Weimaraners are natural watch dogs. They are protective of those they love.Some Weimaraners bark because barking is fun. Some Weimaraners will bark incessantly when left alone. Neighbors tend to frown on that.
The sleek, classic Weimaraner coat needs only light maintenance, just an occasional brushing, to stay great looking. The short length and neutral color means little, if any, visible dog hair on your clothes and furniture.Long haired Weims are the only exception here.


Are You Ready For a Weimaraner????

Take the test!

This multi- page interactive Quiz features adorable pictures of Weims doing some of the things they do best.
Click on the "I Think So" bone if think you could handle it.
If you could not possibly live with a dog doing that, click the "No Way!" bone.

When you're ready for a Weimaraner or any other dog, do not buy a puppy from a pet shop. Don't buy from anyone who advertises multiple breeds for sale. Avoid any breeder with a constant supply of available puppies. Young puppies need lots of human contact and socialization. Indiscriminate breeding and over breeding too often produces dogs of inferior quality with genetic diseases and problem behaviors. Don't be tempted to buy a dog from anyone who breeds dogs for a living. Beware if you find a $300 "bargain price" for a breed that usually costs $700 or more.

Check with your local kennel club or contact a regional Weimaraner Club through their website to find a reputable breeder. Consider adopting a dog from a Weimaraner rescue group. Chances are you'll find a very wonderful Weimaraner waiting for a forever home, after being fostered and rehabilitated and by someone who understands the breed.

For more information, see Choosing a Breeder and Puppy Love.
Also - Getting A Weimaraner Puppy - Questions To Ask, Things To Look For

Certainly no one has done more to promote the popularity of the Weimaraner than photographer William Wegman. His photographs appear everywhere from the world's finest museums to calendars and commercials. His adorable subjects teach the ABC's and nursery rhymes on home video and on Sesame Street, while his own "gray" versions of fairy tales like Cindarella and Little Red Riding Hood adorn childrens' bookshelves. Meet his dogs from Man Ray to Chip and everyone in between, online, at Wegman's World

You can find many of William Wegman's Weimaraner Books online, including these, at Amazon.com....


William Wegman Polaroids

William Wegman: Funney/Strange

William Wegman's ABC

William Wegman's Mother Goose

See more Weimaraner photography by another nationally recognized photographer, Harry Giglio, in his Virtual Gallery.

Online Sources of Information about the Weimaraner


Weimaraner Club of America
An organziation that protects and preserves the qualities of the breed. It sets the standards and furthers interest in the breed through activities such as field trials, hunt tests, water tests, rating trials, and futurities, and encourages members to enter their dogs in conformation classes in bench, obedience, agility, and tracking events. There WCA website holds a wealth of information for Weimaraner owners... getting a puppy, health and behavior issues, rescue, show and field events, news, history and more.

Dear Aunt Weimie
Get answers to questions covering a wide range of breed specific questions and behavioral topics from this popular feature on the WCA website.

Weimaraner Health Information
From the San Francisco Bay Weimaraner Club, this is the best source I've found for information associated with Weimaraner health issues. It deals with first aid, imunizations, smptoms, viral diseases, bacterial diseases, parasites, bloat/gastric torsion and much more.

The Mission
If you're the lucky owner of a new Weimaraner puppy, you have a mission - "Turn it into a well behaved, delightful member of the family." Here's helpful ideas and tips from someone with almost 20 years experience with the Weimaraner breed.

The Weimaraner Club of the Washington DC Area
This large, well-organized breed club website is a great source of information about the Weimaraner.



More about Weimaraners
  • The AKC Weimaraner Breed Standard
  • The Gray Ghost Weaves Its Spell
  • Weimaraners.com
  • Is a Weimaraner Right For You?
  • Roger Caras on Weimaraners
  • The Weimaraner -Gray Ghost of Field and Family Room
  • The Blue Weimaraner
  • The Longhair Weimaraner

    International Weimaraners

  • Weimaraners in Canada
  • Weimaraners in Ireland
  • Weimaraners in France
  • Weimaraners in Great Britain
  • Weimaraners in Australia
  • Weimaraners in Scotland
  • Weimaraners in Germany

    Forums & WebRings

  • Weimaraner Rescue Quilt
  • Weimaraner Lovers
  • The Weimaraner WebRing
  • Wonderful Weimaraners
  • World Wide Weimaraner WebRing
  • The Ring of Weimaraner Owners and Lovers
  • The Gray Ghost WebRing
  • Weimaraners - Our Grey Pride
  • European Weimaraner WebRing
  • Australasian Weimaraner WebRing
  • Fred's World of Dogs
  • Weimaraner Rescue
  • The Weimaraner Rescue Page
  • The Weimaraner Rescue Railroad
  • Tarheel Weimaraner Club's Rescue Program
  • Weimaraner Rescue of North Texas
  • San Francisco Bay Area Weimaraner Rescue
  • Wolf Creek Weimaraner Rescue
  • Heartland Weimaraner Rescue
  • Delaware Valley Weimaraner Rescue
  • Sporting Dog Rescue

    Hunting and Field Trials

  • Bird Dog and Retriever News
  • Versatile Dogs (Sporting Breeds
  • Gun Dogs Online
  • Field Trail News
  • National Bird Hunters Association
  • The Field Dog Stud Book

    Notable Weim Webpages

  • White House Pets - Heidi
  • Human Weims
  • Frederick W. VonAmberg
  • Farley World
  • The Life of Riley
  • Smokey City Weimaraners
  • Siverado Weimaraners
  • Colorado Weims
  • Zen's Pics
  • The Weim Page Photo Album
  • With good breeding Weimaraners can excel in the show ring. With a combination or good breeding and the right training they can excel in obedience, agility, hunting, field trials or search and rescue. Weimaraners often make great therapy dogs. But ...the one thing they do best, is loving the people they live for. Weimaraners are loving, affectionate people dogs. They are wonderful companions who love unconditonally. Weimaraners have an intense need to be with the people they love, and that's exactly where they deserve to be.

    Order an adorable stuffed Weimaraner puppy and other gifts for Weimaraner lovers
    from Animal Den - the Dog Lovers Gift Shop.
    Select from a variety of Weimaraner Dog Breed Products
    at Personal Creations.com

    Click Here for Weimaraner poster and art prints.

    Books for Weimaraner owners and future Weimaraner owners...


    The Essential Weimaraner

    A New Owner's Guide to Weimaraners

    The Weimaraner:
    An Owner's Guide to a Happy Healthy Pet

    Schatzie and Fritz on their favorite spot in the computer room while Mom's online.

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