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Do Red Weimaraners Exist? History & Facts

Written by: Melissa Gunter

Last Updated on April 5, 2024 by Dogster Team

Long-Haired Weimaraner

Do Red Weimaraners Exist? History & Facts

There are dog breeds in the world that are known for certain characteristics. Dalmatians have spots, Pugs have wrinkles, and Poodles are hypoallergenic. Weimaraners are another breed that is known for something special. This breed is called the gray ghost due to this breed of dog always being gray. Still, there are people out there who claim to see Weims of other colors. One of the most popular colors people claim is red. This leaves us facing the question, do red Weimaraners exist?

No matter what you’ve been told, according to the AKC (American Kennel Club), red Weimaraners are a myth and do not exist. If this is the case, what is everyone seeing and claiming to be red Weimaraners? With no red Weims out in the world, tales of these dogs must come from mixed breeds that are related to Weims or dogs that are similar in appearance, such as Vizslas.

Let’s take a look at the history of Weimaraners, why Red Weims are a myth and more facts about these amazing dogs.


The History of Weimaraners

Throughout history, tales of a great gray dog breed that accompanied hunters in the field were told. At one point, there was even a portrait of one of the gray dogs posing with King Louis XI painted. These dogs were known as the Great Saint Louis Hound or Chien-gris. In hopes of producing the perfect hunting dog, Grand Duke Karl August began breeding these gray hounds. This breeding began in the 1800s and was soon followed by other noblemen in Weim. Before long, the Weimaraner we now know and adore was developed.

Over many years, the gray ghosts were kept secret. That didn’t stop tales of these dogs traveling to the United States, however. In 1928, a Rhode Island hunter and breeder, Howard Knight, reached out to German clubs in hopes of gaining breeding stock of these great hunting dogs. His requests were answered with two sterilized dogs. This didn’t stop him, however. Finally, he was sent breeding stock to begin establishing these dogs in the US. Unfortunately, World War II began making many Weim owners send their pets to the States. Once here, they were welcomed with open arms and quickly became established.

a weimaraner dog being trained at the park
Image Credit: Frank J. Triguero, Shutterstock

Temperament of Weimaraners

The Weimaraner excels at hunting. This makes them one of the most obedient, alert, intelligent, and trainable dogs out there. You’ll also find that these dogs do well with people, even children. They are quite loving, loyal, and protective yet need lots of exercise to avoid boredom. These dogs are great for active families or couples that can keep up with their exercise needs and see to their health properly. You’ll also need plenty of room for these dogs as they aren’t a small breed.

Formal Recognition of Weimaraners

While the Weimaraner dates back a bit further, this breed was first recognized by the German breed club in 1896. Due to the opposition shown for sending breeding stock to the United States, it took longer for this breed to be recognized by the American Kennel Club. It wasn’t until December 14, 1971, that the AKC formally recognized the Weimaraner as a breed and established a standard.

divider-dog paw

Do Red Weimaraners Exist?

When going by the established breed standard set forth for Weimaraners, the only accepted coat colors are gray, blue, or silver-gray. You may see minimal white markings around the chest, but other colors, such as red, are explicitly forbidden by the American Kennel Club. What does this mean for people who believe they’ve seen a red Weimaraner? It simply means what they’ve seen is most likely the offspring of a purebred Weim and another dog breed. While these dogs will have Weimaraner in them, they cannot be called full-blooded Weim.

You’ll also find other dog breeds that are very similar to Weimaraners. Many of these dog breeds can produce animals with red coats. This can cause misidentification and confusion which leaves people claiming they’ve seen a red Weimaraner. These similar breeds can include the Vizsla and the Chesapeake Bay Retriever.

weimaraner dog being clingy to his owner
Image Credit: Tatjana Baibakova, Shutterstock

Is a Red Weimaraner Right for Me?

If you have your hopes up for a red Weimaraner, we’re sorry to be the bearer of bad news. However, if you simply want one of these amazing dogs to be part of your family, the color shouldn’t stop you from making this addition. Unfortunately, there will be breeders out there who claim they can provide you with a red Weim. This is especially true if they claim they are AKC-registered dogs. As we said, the AKC does not recognize red Weimaraners as they are clearly cross-bred. You’ll find, however, that there is nothing wrong with a cross-bred animal. Simply stay away from supposed breeders asking outlandish prices for something they can’t truly produce.


Final Thoughts

The Weimaraner is an amazing dog. The gray ghost has long been a bit mythical and sought-after. Although they are beautiful, obedient, and easy to train, there are still people out there who want these great companions in other colors, especially red. If you’ve witnessed or been told about a red Weimaraner, we hate to break it to you, but they aren’t purebred Weims. Still, this doesn’t mean that these mixed-breed dogs can’t make wonderful pets and great members of your family.

Featured Image Credit: Ksenia Raykova, Shutterstock

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