Weimaraner Dog Breed at a Glance
The Weimaraner dog breed is an obedient and friendly dog who is also fearless. It is also known as Weimaraner Vorstehhund, Weim, Silver Ghost, and Gray Ghost (Grey Ghost). Smart and courageous, it is most recognizable from its gray coat, hence the name ‘gray ghost.’ It can be good with kids when raised among them and has had pleasant experiences with them. Although easy to train, and eager to please owners, it is not recommended for those without previous dog ownership experience.
Breed Group: Sporting
HISTORY of the WeimaranerDog Breed
Bred for hunting in the 1900’s, this agile dog breed was one of the top breeds used by aristocrats for hunting deer, bear, boar, and other large game. Later, they were used for hunting smaller animals. Similarities between the Chien-gris dogs that date back to the 13th century, the hunting dogs of choice of French aristocrats, and the Weimaraner dog breed are notable but it is also believed that the breed was developed by using the English Pointer, the blue Great Dane, the Bloodhound, the German Shorthaired Pointer, and the Huehnerhund.
The Weim is an energetic and social dog with a high hunting drive and impulse to wander, so keep it on a leash when out and about. This sometimes cat-friendly dog is alert and responsive, but also very sensitive, so it does not respond well to reprimanding or punishment and fares better when positive training methods are used. It barks frequently and will alert its owners of any strangers approaching their territory and will act fearlessly to protect its family, as it is very protective. It has a tendency to nip, a behavior that can be corrected through encouraging it to bite only chew toys.
Provide proper training to ensure its behavior is controlled and for it to remain calm. Like many breeds, the Weimaraner is a people dog and thrives in a home where it can be close with its family. These dogs do not like to be alone as this can lead to severe separation anxiety. This in turn can cause this breed to be submissive, bored, stressed and display numerous behavior disorders.
Biting statistics collected since 1982 associate the Weimaraner with 2 human attacks — both victims being child victims. Also, 1 death has been attributed to this dog breed. Having said all that, it is very unlikely for this breed to cause human casualties.
Physical Characteristics of the Weimaraner
With its athletic appearance, and docked tail measuring 6 inches where allowable or with the entire tail reaching to the hocks, the Gray Ghost is an elegant, regal dog that often has unusual gray, blue-gray, or light amber eyes.
The short-haired Weimaraner coat is hard and smooth, without an undercoat, meaning it does NOT tolerate cold temperatures.
There is also a long-haired Weimaraner as well, although NOT recognized by the AKC, has a silky coat with a feathered tail.
The common colors are gray, blue, or silver.
The Weim weighs between 55 and 90 pounds and stands between 23 and 27 inches tall, however, height and weight depend on the gender.
Shedding is to be expected, so prepare to vacuum. It is not a hypoallergenic dog breed and it has a high tendency to drool.
HEALTH and CARE of the Weimaraner Dog Breed
The life expectancy of the Grey Ghost is between 12 and 14 years, which is shorter than the average for this size.
Common Health Concerns
Each dog breed is susceptible to certain health issues. The Weim is typically a healthy dog but it may develop the following:
- Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (Bloat)
- Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy
- Hip Dysplasia
The Weimaraner handles the heat without difficulty but does not do well in cold temperatures. Dress this breed in winter with a dog coat and dog booties. This dog thrives in a home with a yard and is not recommended for apartment living.
This high-energy breed requires vigorous daily exercise and plenty of mental stimulation, so it is a good breed for active owners. Failure to meet its exercise requirements can result in behavioral problems which could lead it to get into all sorts of trouble.
Feed your dog a high-quality dog food to ensure health and longevity. Weims should be fed between 3 and 4 cups of kibble each day.
Grooming needs of the the Weimaraner dog breed are minimal, so stripping and trimming are not required. However, regular brushing with a soft brush and a rubber curry mitt will reduce shedding, and along with the occasional bath, its coat will be clean and shiny. Also, check ears regularly for debris or wax buildup to avoid an infection from developing.
The AKC officially recognized the Weimaraner dog breed in 1943.