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.
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.
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.
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.