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Weimaraner Dog Breed Info: Pictures, Personality, & Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

weimaraner close up

Height: 23–26 inches
Weight: 55–90 pounds
Lifespan: 11–14 years
Colors: Grey or silver with a white spot
Suitable for: Active families with a lot of time, those looking for an active companion
Temperament: Loyal, loving, intelligent, sociable, energetic

The Weimaraner is one of the most distinctive-looking breeds, thanks to its silver color. Nicknamed the gray ghost, he has a ton of energy, will eat his own body weight if allowed, and will form a very close bond with his owners. He is always ready to play and is eager to please, but he does not do well when left alone, and separation anxiety can lead to excessive barking, destructive behavior, and a tendency to try and escape.

If you have a lot of time to dedicate to training and socializing, the Weimaraner will make an excellent companion. If you’re into walking or hiking, or just getting out in the open air, he will appreciate all of these activities.

The Weimaraner does have some health issues. He is prone to bloat and digestive problems, especially if he steals food that is too rich for his belly. He may also suffer joint problems, especially when he ages, but you can still expect a decent lifespan from this graceful, beautiful breed.

Weimaraners are not the best dogs for a first-time owner, because poor training and poor socialization can lead to behavioral issues, but well-trained Weims are distinguished, polite, and well-behaved members of the family.

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Weimaraner Puppies

weimaraner puppy
Image Credit: Pixabay


Weimaraners are highly prized by hunters and families. They are also popular as show dogs, and depending on your requirements, this means that you may well have to pay a premium for a good example of this breed.

Choose a reputable breeder that is known for offering high-quality examples of the Weimaraner. Join breed clubs or owner clubs, ask around, and do your own research to determine the quality of the breeder. The popularity of this type of hunting dog means that there are plenty of breeders out there, but this also means that there are a lot of disreputable breeders with low-quality breeding parents and substandard breeding conditions.

A poorly trained Weimaraner who does not receive the attention or training it requires can become boisterous and may display some behavioral problems. As such, some of this breed do end up in shelters. It can be difficult to train a hunting dog that has not already had good training, so you should only consider this route if you are confident in your dog-training capabilities.

Always ensure that the breeder lets you meet the puppy’s parents. If you can also meet siblings, this will help give you some idea of the likely temperament and physical qualities of your dog.

Also, ensure that the breeder has had the parent dogs scanned and health screened. This means that the parents will not suffer from conditions like joint dysplasia, and it greatly increases the chances that you will get a well-rounded and physically healthy dog.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Weimaraner

1. Their eyes change color with age.

There are several distinct features of the Weimaraner. As well as their beautiful and striking grey coat, their eyes are considered to be highly emotive and expressive, but did you know that they change as the dog ages? As a puppy, this breed has light blue, piercing eyes. As they get older, the color changes to either amber or a blue-gray color. This change usually occurs at around 6 months of age.

2. Weimaraners have an incredible sense of smell.

The Weimaraner is a close relative to the bloodhound, so it is perhaps little surprise that they have a staggering sense of smell. They were bred as hunting dogs, and their sense of smell came in handy in allowing them to track down their prey more easily. The breed’s use changed from hunting animals like deer and bears to tracking birds, and its sense of smell was just as important. They are still used for this purpose today, and they regularly take part in and dominate tracking competitions.

Owners joke that it isn’t a fair competition because the breed has such a powerful sense of smell. If you do own one of this breed, be prepared to find him with his nose in the air or firmly planted on the ground as he follows a trail. Typically, the trail ends with some meaty morsel, because another element of the Weimaraner that is considered highly acute is their stomach—this is one breed that loves to eat, and you will have to ensure that they do not put on too much weight.

3. Weimaraners need exercise!

This isn’t just a fact; it is the tagline of the Weimaraner Club of America. The gray ghost is known to trot for miles on end, and they are a popular breed with marathon runners and endurance athletes alike. They are built for endurance, they can leap incredible heights, and they can eat more than enough to ensure that they have the strength and energy to carry on. Despite these incredible energy levels, the Weimaraner is also known for having a highly effective off switch.

Once they have had enough exercise, and head back home for the day, they will be happy laying in front of the fire, sharing the sofa with you, or attempting to sit on your lap for some attention. Your Weimaraner will cherish every minute he can spend with you, whether it is sitting in the living room or running across fields.

weimaraner puppy
Image Credit: Pixabay

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Weimaraner 🧠

The Weimaraner is a highly effective hunting dog. He is alert and, once he is hunting, he is very single-minded and devoted to catching his prey. Despite this, he is incredibly devoted to his master, and this plays a significant part in the dog’s life, as well as yours. He can be quite sensitive, and if you aren’t paying him enough attention, he may believe he has done something wrong.

He will also suffer separation anxiety if left alone for too long. This manifests itself in the shape of chewing and destructive behavior, and if you have neighbors, it is likely that they will inform you of his barking and howling tendencies. His tendency to vocalize means that he is not considered suitable for life in an apartment, while his separation anxiety means that he is not suitable for families that work all day.

The Weimaraner is deemed one of the most intelligent dog breeds, which is great for training, but also means that he must have a positive channel for his intelligence. If you fail to teach him what is right and wrong, he will make assumptions and he will make his own decisions on what he should and should not be doing.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

The Weimaraner makes an excellent family companion in many respects. He will bond closely with all family members, although he will usually give preference to those who feed him or play with him on a regular basis. He will mix well with children, especially those who are old enough to throw a ball for him to chase, although you will want to keep them separate at mealtimes. Expect to come home and find your Weimaraner asleep on your son or daughter, and vice versa, because they are likely to develop a strong bond and be very comfortable around one another.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽

The Weimaraner may benefit from having another dog around the house. It can prevent him from feeling isolated and may stop him from displaying separation anxiety and destructive behavior. However, while most Weims will get along with other dogs, you should take any introduction slowly and calmly, and it is always easier to introduce a dog to another canine companion when they are young.

It is important to remember that the Weimaraner has a strong hunting heritage. As such, it is instinctive for him to chase small animals. This can include small dog breeds and will often include cats. Again, early introduction and socialization can help, but it is a natural instinct so it can be very difficult to overcome. Fortunately, if your Weim is accepting of cats and other animals, he will form a strong and even protective bond with the animal…until they try to eat his food.

Read more: Are Weimaraners Good With Cats? Socialization & Introduction Tips

Image Credit: DragoNika, Shutterstock

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Things to Know When Owning a Weimaraner:

The Weim can make a great family pet, but you should consider the following factors before accepting one into your family.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

The Weimaraner is renowned for several things. He has a beautiful coat and stunning eyes, a regal stance, and energy levels that are virtually unsurpassed by any other breed. He also bonds very closely with his humans, has a tendency to bark, and is trainable. One other thing he is noted for is his voracious appetite. Owners tell you that he will eat everything in his bowl before moving on to eat his bowl. His keen instincts and his silent hunting skills mean that you could easily end up with a missing roast dinner if you don’t keep a careful eye out. Unfortunately, the Weim also has a sensitive stomach. He is prone to bloat, and rich foods mean that your dog can quickly empty a room thanks to the smell.

He will eat approximately three cups of dry food a day, and this should be given in two or three meals. This purebred is prone to putting on weight, so you should carefully measure the food you give and try to avoid giving titbits and human food—no matter how much he “asks”.

Exercise 🐕

You should not own a Weimaraner unless you are prepared to offer him a ton of exercise on a regular basis. This is one breed that will quickly deteriorate, both physically and mentally, if he doesn’t get his daily exercise. Even a single missed walk can lead to destructive behavior. Expect to take him on two walks a day and try to find a way to let him off his leash safely so that he can run around and trot across long distances. With that said, remember that he has a high prey drive and he will instinctively chase and try to kill any small animal. This not only includes cats but can include frogs and other wild animals. In fact, their prey instinct is so high that they may well chase joggers and cyclists, just for the fun of the chase.

Weimaraners love agility, and they learn quickly. They also perform very well in scent-based activities, thanks partially to their constant desire for food.

Training 🦮

The Weimaraner is an intelligent breed, and because of his devotion to his humans, the breed has a constant desire to please. This can make training easy, but it also means that if you fail to give your Weim direction in his training, he will make up the rules as goes along. Without proper training, he will develop bad habits that are very difficult to break.

We always advise dog owners to socialize puppies from a young age. It gets them used to meeting new people and other dogs, and it stands them in good stead for later life. With Weimaraners, it is highly recommended that you keep up with this socialization throughout their lives. As soon as you stop, they can become wary of people they don’t know.

weimaraner puppy close up
Image Credit: Pickpik

Grooming ✂️

Weimaraners are very easy to groom. Water and mud literally run off their coat, which is fortunate because they have a tendency to try and mask their natural smell when hunting, and they do this by rolling around in smelly materials including fox poo. Use a bristle brush and brush him weekly. Although they do have short hair, the Weim will shed, and brushing helps remove any dirt and debris as well as shed hairs.

You should avoid bathing dogs unless it is absolutely necessary because it can deplete the natural oil in their fur that protects them.

The Weimaraner’s claws sit on top of their feet, and they should never be allowed to grow long enough to touch the floor. This means that your dog will need regular nail trimming. It is best to start this when they are young and get into a regular routine. This will help ensure that they are less anxious when it is time to trim again and it means that you will be well-practiced in the art of Weimaraner nail clipping.

Brush your dog’s teeth two or three times a week to help protect their teeth and gums, and check inside their ears for mites and gunk.

Health and Conditions ❤️

Although the Weimaraner is considered a hardy breed, his athleticism tends to mean that he is prone to physical accidents and injuries. His love for food means that he may well end up with a burned nose or paw from time to time, too. Other than this, you should look for signs and symptoms of the following ailments:

Minor Conditions
  • Distichiasis
  • Factor XI deficiency
Serious Conditions
  • Joint dysplasia
  • Bloat
  • Von Willebrand’s disease

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Male vs Female

The male Weimaraner will grow a little taller and stockier than the female Weimaraner. Male dogs tend to be happier and give a lot of affection. They are also more easily distracted and can be very playful. Female Weimaraners tend to be more independent.

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Final Thoughts

The Weimaraner is a very popular breed, thanks at least partially to his staggeringly beautiful looks. He has a grey coat and eyes that change color. He also has energy levels that are unequaled by most other breeds and is intelligent enough to learn just about anything, but with a streak that means he wants to know what he will get in return for following your commands. He will quickly become a welcome addition to your family, but he will suffer separation anxiety, and he is absolutely a house dog and will not do well if expected to live outdoors or sleep in a kennel.

The Weimaraner is best suited to those with a lot of love and time to give their new dog, as well as a very active lifestyle or the willingness to develop one. You will need to be consistent with your training, consistent with your exercise, and consistent with your showering of attention on your new Weim. But, if you are willing to put in the effort, you will reap many rewards from a loving, caring, and devoted dog.

See also: 

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

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