The Weimaraner Dogs
Description: Even if the Weimaraner dogs name comes from the times of Karl August, Grand Duke of Weimar (1757-1828), a man of state, but also a sportsman who liked to go hunting and spending nights in front of the fire camp, the dog can be recognised in some pictures of Sir Anthony Van Dyck's, as early as 1600.
Bred for pointing and retrieving big game, after that sort of game kind of dissapeared from Europe, the grey-silver dog had the same fate. But faithful breeders kept them in secret and, after several new crosses with Bloodhounds, Red Sweisshunds and German Shorthaired Pointers (Bracks), the Weimaraner became the breed we know nowadays, a good pointer and an inborn small game hunter.
Even if the dog, as we know it nowadays, could be seen back in 1800s, it did not "make career" but in its native province, Weimar.
Nowadays, the grey athletic dogs with amber or blue-gray eyes serves as police dogs, search and rescue, service dogs for disabled, tracking agility and water retrieving, and... acting, as the Weimaraner can often be seen in TV sketches, dressed in human clothes (with T shirts or more elegant costumes with ties, presenting "the news").
The silver gray coat brought the breed the surname of "Silver Ghost" or "Grey Ghost".
Group: Gun Dog (the tallest of the breed), Sporting
Height at the withers: dogs, 24 to 27 inches (61-69 cm); bitches, 22 to 25 inches (56-64 cm).
Weight: dogs 27 kg (60 lbs), bitches 22 kg (48 lbs)
Temperament: The AKC standard states that the Weims should be friendly, fearless, alert and obedient. As a hunting dog, the Weimaraner is intelligent and energetic, making a good guard dog with its vigilance.
Good pets and good loving family dogs, the Weimaraner dogs tend to be a little bossy and dominant, something that doesn't recommend them for first timers.
Even if it is loving and affectionate, his rambuctiousness make him a funny, but sometimes hard to handle dog.
As big as it is, the Weimaraner is an indoor dog. Home alone, it will chew and destroy a lot, as it does not stand "kennel life" with scarce human contact.
If not trained properly, he has an instinct to break loose, and to leave in search for prey. And, even if he is good with other pets, his instinct might make him chase small pets and birds.
He is good with children, yet he's not suitable for small kids because (don't laugh!) he can knock them down accidentally.
Health: The Weimaraner dogs can be affected by any canine problems, but two are the main ailments that bother this breed. One is ear infections, due to the dropped ears and the other, a more serious one, the spinal dysraphism, which affects the spinal cord, the gait and stance. The condition is severe, even if it is not lethal.
Hyp dysplasia can affect the Weimaraner, as it can affect any large breed.
Another problem is bloating, because of the deep chest of the Weims. Bloat can happen quickly and is often fatal without immediate veterinary attention. This is why it is indicated feeding the dog twice a day with smaller quantities of food. Many of bloating attacks happen in the evening, when the dog generally participates to the family table and eats together with the family non-adequate food.
From a psychological point of view, the dog can suffer from separation anxiety and unacceptable aggression, situation in which it is highly recommended to consult a dog behaviorist.
Maintenance/Grooming: Due to his short and sleek coat, the Weimaraner is one of the easiest breeds to groom. A brief brushing twice a week with a firm bristle keeps the dog's coat in good condition.
Check for ticks, if the dog spends time outside and in the field, and for grass seeds between the toes. Bathe only when necessary.
Training: The Weimaraner is intelligent, loving and willing to please his owner. But it is also a headstrong, dominant breed and, if the handler is not confident enough, they will tend to take "the upper paw".
Like most hunting dogs, the Weims need a lot of exercise, otherwise they become destructive. The unwatched pup should be kept in a crate to protect the furniture and any chewable objects in the household.
Training should be gentle and firm. Obedience training should start early, and the dog should be taught that he must obey any member of the family.
Left alone, they tend to bark, driving crazy all the neighbors.
Due to its rambunctious nature, the first command that a Weim should learn is "sit". This can prevent a whole lot of further problems.
The dog loves to be praised and rewarded, and this seems to be the only training method that works. With proper training, the dog will excel in obedience, agility, hunting and showing. Using harsh methods (even choke and prong) make the dog become wary and further training becomes impossible.
Walking on a short leash is recommended also, because a long leash it will only make them pull like a steamer.
Breeding, puppies: The litter sizes are between 6 to 7 puppies.
Varieties: The standard has only one variety of dog, the one with mouse-gray to silver-gray with lighter shades on the head and ears and with a short and sleek coat. A splash of white on the chest is allowed.
The short haired dog's tail should be docked at 15 cm, and the tail of the long haired is only tipped.
There were efforts to get a long-coated variety, but those efforts have failed. Anyway, in some short-haired litters can be seen sometimes the some long-haired dogs.
Heidi, president Dwight D. Eisenhower's Weimaraner, who lived at the White House.