Weimaraners are devoted and loving members of the family. But they are not the type of dog to follow rote commands or have predictable habits. Though smart, Weims can be selective about when and how they use their intelligence. For example, they may yawn while being taught how to “stay” or “roll over,” but the moment you turn your back, they’ve figured out how to turn a doorknob and sneak outside.
- 55 - 85 pounds
- 23 - 27 inches
Ideal Human Companions
- Active, sporty types
- Families with older children
- Hunters and hikers
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- Sleek and attractive
- Easily distracted
What They Are Like to Live With
These dogs are eager to please and will follow commands, but they also have needs and demands that must be met for the relationship to work. Given lots of love and attention, daily exercise and “tasks,” not to mention personal space, your Weimaraner will be a happy, contented and cooperative pal.
Things You Should Know
Weimaraners have the tendency to rule the household if they are not trained properly. A strong-willed owner—with the time and ability to train, socialize and play—is almost essential. As with most dogs, neglect or poor treatment of a Weim can lead to destructive behavior that could include property damage, excessive barking and soiled carpets.
Very gentle and kind, Weimaraners can inadvertently knock things (and people) over. For this reason, they are probably not the best apartment dwellers. Make sure they get plenty of exercise and (if possible) a yard to play in.
On the subject of yards, Weims are very good at escaping them. Known to unlatch gates and jump fences, they can also dig like groundhogs. In addition, due to their athleticism, leaving Weimaraners unsupervised on a lead can be dangerous as they could hang themsleves. Experts do not recommend leaving them alone in the yard for significant periods.
A healthy Weimaraner can live as long as 17 years with 12 to 14 years being average. Common health problems include hip dysplasia, tumors and immune system disorders. Weims are also prone to bloat. Instead of one big meal, two smaller meals a day is sufficient.
The Weimaraner is a relatively new breed, dating back to only the 19th century. Bred by noblemen of the Weimar court who wanted a breed that exemplified all their favorite traits—good sense of smell, intelligence, fearlessness and speed—Weimaraners were used to hunt big-ticket items like deer and wolves. At this time, the dogs were very rare—in order to protect the purity of the breed, only members of a small club could purchase one. In the early 1900s an American dog fancier named Howard Knight joined the club, purchased two “Weims” and brought them back to the U.S. The AKC registered the breed in 1943.
The Look of a Weimaraner
Weimaraners are large, sleek dogs with noble and elegant lines. Their long heads, which have often been called “artistocratic,” have strong muzzles and long, hanging ears. They have gray noses and intelligent eyes that come in light gray, bluish gray and light amber. Weimaraners normally have long necks that lead down to long, muscular legs with webbed feet, and their moderately long backs lead to docked tails that are about six inches long. Their coats are glossy, smooth and short—mainly coming in shades of gray. Overall, the Weimaraner look combines grace, balance and quickness.
Talk About Weimaraners
The best dog breed I've ever had
I have had a lot of dogs in my life but my two Weimaraners are the best of all of them. They are very smart and very loving. They need a lot of exercise and an owner who will take the time to train them properly. Have patience and you will be greatly rewarded.
~Leroy B., owner of two Weimaraners
A delicate, loyal dog
My dog is a Weimaraner and she is great. So loving, so playful and willing to please. And loyal, just like any dog. They do get hurt feelings, so we don't yell much. I would get another dog of this breed in a heartbeat. These 'Grey Ghosts' are beautiful and my own dog is just stunning. She loves the water and going on walks. She listens well, too. I would definitely recommend this breed.
~Liz, owner of a Weimaraner
What a dog!
They are friendly but really a one-person dog. While they want to love everybody, usually their owners are the only ones they will mind. They are quick to learn, if they are in the mood learning and will do a great job of pre-washing the dishes!
When our Weim was young we were never sure we would have tires on whichever car we left in the yard when we got back. He is still very destructive when we are away from home for a few days. He is, however, the best house dog we have ever had. Every morning he wants out at eight o'clock sharp, but wants ear sugar and hard pats first. He will tolerate but doesn't like brushing. He loves the water and will often swim out and rest his head on the boat while I am fishing.
I have tried to get him to help me work livestock but his heart is no in it. He likes to play and romp with my other two small dogs, a Pommie and a Pickapoo. Loves to go on a two or three mile run in the pasture. If you are thinking about getting Weimaraner, you will have a great friend and companion and everybody who sees him will ooh and aah over him but be sure you have enough room for him to enjoy being the big dog he is. Mine weighs in at about 120 lbs.
~Ilee S., owner of a Weimaraner
They need a lot of love
My Weimaraner is the perfect dog for us. He is very playful and loves to cuddle. Anytime he hears a noise outside, he definitely lets us know! We weren't sure about having him after we had our kids, but he has been so good with them. He has manners and lays down when he is told to. We have a bell on the doorknob he pushes with his nose to let us know he has to go outside. I would recommend Weimaraners to anyone who has time for them. They need a lot of attention and love.
~Amy, owner of a Weimaraner
True velcro dogs
Our Weimarner is one of the most loyal dogs I have encountered. It is said the breed picks one human and becomes "velcro" to them, and Utah is proof of this. That said, he is very loving and playful with me as well. Just make sure they have lots of attention, and you will be rewarded in spades!
~Tom M., owner of a Weimaraner
Of Weims and cats
Our Weimeraner was introduced to a house that had a cat. Though rough going at first, the two co-exist with few problems. Utah is a wonderful dog, and we are so lucky to have him in our home.
~Tom M., owner of Weimaraner
Loyal to a fault
Weimeraners are without a doubt the most loyal breed I have encountered. Ours is now almost 6 years old and never leaves my side. When I work at home, he drags his oversized bed to my office and wants to be under my desk. If I move to any other location, he is right beside me! Even if he was in a full sleep, there is no sneaking away from him.
Weims are also very intelligent and love to please. We have a very long driveway and every morning he can't wait to go get the paper for us. Our Weim is all about routine, he wakes and expects to be fed at virtually the same exact time daily. There's no need to look at a clock, he will let you know what time it is!
Everything I have read in prior posts of this breed I can attest to.They are very lovable, loyal, energetic, playful, lovely dogs that continue to bring a smile to their owners' faces!
~Chris R., owner of a Weimaraner
Doesn't know her own strength
Socializing these dogs is a must, but they truly reward you with love and devotion. We love ours to pieces. We have two cats who tolerate her, but I must say the dog is a little rough with them. She does not know her own strength.
Watch Weimaraners around elderly people and children -- they can easily knock them over. Ours does not like to be left at home, but at the age of 2 we saw her calm down dramatically - -our shoes now stay in one piece most of the time.
If you decide to get a Weimy, only do so if they have room to run and you have lots of time for them.
~Roxanne B., owner of a Weimaraner
A great outdoor dog
This is a great dog breed. They love to be outdoors and spend time with you.
Maggi, my Weim, is 4 months and such a goof. She is smart and already very well trained. Right now I am working on getting her to fetch. She is very loyal, and it's really funny to watch because I will walk around the house and she will just be right at my side.
This isn't a dog breed for everyone -- they were bred to hunt and be outdoors all day. so they need a good diet and plenty of exercise. I may train mine to hunt, because my uncles are excellent pheasant hunters and it's great to hunt with dogs.
~Meritt H, owner of a Weimaraner
An adorable monster
I am a first-time Weim owner, mother to the infamous Duke dog. He's eye-catching for certain -- people seem drawn to him and the breed in general.
Duke dog I imagine is the typical Weimaraner: playful, curious, too smart for the owner's good, STUBBORN, energetic, and a cling-on. The dogs are loyal and stick like glue to their owner. If they live in a multiple-person household, they will pick their favorite, though they are kind and tolerant to the rest.
With strangers, mine isn't all too interested in other people, but he can eye a sucker from a mile away and persuade them to play fetch. I wouldn't trust him as a guard dog for this reason. Anyone carrying a ball or willing to throw his Kong can distract him.
He doesn't seem too interested in playing with other dogs though. At a dog park, his eyes are on me and the ball. He couldn't care less about the other dogs running around.
Duke dog is going on 11, yet gets mistaken for a 3-year-old -- even by vets. He still has the same crazy energy he had as a pup. From the moment he wakes, it's playtime! And he gives you no choice: A Weim will follow you around, pushing a Kong or ball into your lap till you throw it. If you don't have the time to play or refuse, a Weim will create his own game to keep himself occupied --and that's NEVER a good idea!
These dogs like to be on the go and require tons of exercise. They don't have an off button. Even age can't keep them from slowing down. When they do settle in for the night though, expect them to be curled right up to you. They do love affection and a good amount of cuddling.
They are intelligent in the weirdest of ways. They understand cause and effect. Try to get the Duke dog out of a room by throwing his toy into the hallway -- ha! He'll never fall for it.
They are moody as well. They will follow commands when THEY feel like it. If you get angry or loud, you will either hurt their feelings or insult them and then you'll never get your way.
My dog is a monster. He sucks every minute of time out of my day, owns my bed, hardly does what i ask him to, steals food when I'm not looking, and has a grumpy side, BUT I WOULDN'T TRADE HIM FOR THE WORLD! You'll never have a truer, cuter, more loyal friend.
~J.A.M., owner of a Weimaraner