Sometimes referred to as the “grey ghost” because of the distinctive color of its coat, the Weimaraner is an intelligent, courageous, and graceful dog breed. Bred in Germany in the early 1800s as a hunting companion, the Weimaraner still remains an avid outdoors type and makes for a great family pet.
Always on the alert, the Weimaraner has great physical stamina and an effortless, smooth, and swift gait, which comes in handy when it is used to hunt large game. Its coat, which is gray in color, is smooth, sleek, and short in length. The Weimaraner also has a soft facial expression.
The Weimaraner is usually friendly and obedient, but the dog does need daily physical activities (i.e., running, hunting, outdoor playing) or it may become restless and frustrated. Although homes with smaller pets may not be suitable for this breed -- unless the pets were introduced to the dog as a puppy -- the Weimaraner gets along well with children and loves human companionship.
The Weimaraner is social in nature and should be kept indoors; however, it should be taken out for daily outdoor activities. While outside, the dog should be kept in an enclosed field, so as not to wander off. City life is not recommended for this breed. As for coat care, the Weimaraner requires an occasional combing to remove any excess or dead hair.
The Weimaraner, with a lifespan of about 10 to 13 years, is susceptible to minor health problems such as entropion, hypertophic osteodystrophy, spinal dysraphism, hemophilia A, distichiasis, canine hip dysplasia (CHD), and von Willebrand's disease (vWD), and major health issues like gastric torsion. Avoiding the use of combination vaccines in Weimaraners has been shown to prevent hypertrophic osteodystrophy in the breed. Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), ununited anconeal process, tricuspid valve dysplasia, eversion of nictitating membrane, hypothyroidism, persistent right aortic arch, and dwarfism are other conditions occasionally seen in the breed. To identify some of these issues, a veterinarian may run hip, blood, and eye exams on the dog.
Compared to other breeds' longstanding histories, the Weimaraner is rather young. Dating back to the early 19th century, the Weimaraner was bred to function as a gundog, able to hunt animals of all sizes, including large animals such as bears, wolves, and deers. They also were speedy dogs which displayed courage, intelligence, and good scenting ability. Thought to have originally descended from the Bloodhound, the modern Weimaraner is the product of selective German breeding, mixing Red Schewisshunds and various pointer breeds, including the German Shorthair Pointer. In fact, early on the Weimaraner was known simply as the Weimer Pointer, a name derived from the court by whom the breed was sponsored.
The German Weimaraner Club strictly supervised the growth and development of the Weimaraner. So much so that prior to 1929, no Weimaraners were allowed to be sold to non-members. However, rules were relaxed soon thereafter and two Weimaraners were imported into to the United States by Howard Knight, an American club member. The breed would eventually receive wide recognition in the U.S. after performing well in various obedience competitions.
The American Kennel Club granted recognition to the breed in 1943. Today, the Weim is seen in more competitions in America than it ever saw in Germany.