Other Names : Weimaraner Voerstehhund, Grey Ghost, Weims
Country of Origin : Germany
Dog Group : Gundog
The exact origins of this breed are unknown although a dog of the Weimaraner type appeared in a Van Dyke painting of the early 1600's. It is believed that the breed comes from stock similar to the German Short-Haired Pointer, with Bloodhound being added early through crosses with one or more of the various schweisshund breeds. The breed takes its name from the nobles of the court of Charles 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 1800's, Weims became a rarity. However, with selective breeding, they became small game hunters and bird dogs, once again, increasing their popularity. Their breeding was kept a close secret in Germany for many years by a very strict breed club and it was not until 1929 that the Weimaraner was introduced to America by Howard Knight, a member of the breed society club of Germany. In 1943, the American Kennel Club granted official recognition to these dogs.
With their shimmering steel, sleek, short coat and amber or blue eyes, Weimaraners are one of the most outstanding breeds. Weims are the tallest of the gundog group. They are graceful with speed, stamina and endurance giving them 'star quality' and a tremendous presence, emulating the thoroughbred stayer in the horse world. There are two different varieties, the short-haired and the long-haired, the latter being less common, and, indeed, not accepted in the United States. It is normal for the short-haired to be docked to approximately 15cms and the tail of the long-haired only tipped.
Feeding & Ownership
Weims are not big eaters but do need more on a cold winter's day.
This breed makes an excellent companion as they are all-round dogs who love family life. They are friendly, intelligent and energetic but, with their vigilance, make excellent guard dogs if their home or family are threatened. If they are properly trained when young, they will mix with other animals in the household although they do not like strange dogs. Because of their dominance, they are not recommended for first time dog owners.
The short-haired Weimaraner 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 about 5cms, 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.