Weimaraner is a hound distinguished by aristocratic beauty and athletic physique. The dog has universal hunting qualities and a good disposition, which has earned her the fame of an excellent companion.
- Breed name: Weimaraner
- Country of Origin: Germany
- Weight: males 25-32 kg, females 23-29 kg
- Height (height at the withers): males 59-70 cm, females 57-65 cm
- Life expectancy: 10-13 years
- Weimaraners are hardy, adventurous, have great flair. Dogs are able to take an active part in all types of hunting.
- The most solid-sized representatives of the breed are among the largest among European cops.
- Among other European hounds, they stand out for their original silver-gray color and peculiar eye color.
- Friendly, optimistic, loyal, weimaraners are excellent companions.
- Are quite temperamental, but they demonstrate a balanced, stable character.
- They are gentle and affectionate with all family members, including children, but they choose one owner for themselves, to whom they are very attached.
- Other pets are treated selectively: they make friends with dogs, and they tolerate cats with discontent. Unfamiliar small animals are considered by Weimaraners as potential victims.
- They are wary of strangers, but they do not show aggression.
- They demand attention to themselves and absolutely can't stand being alone. It is unacceptable to keep them in an aviary without contact with people.
- Weimaraners need intense physical activity, so only people who lead an active lifestyle can start them.
- Are easily trained, but in the process of learning they are able to show stubbornness and waywardness.
- The best conditions for a dog to live in is a country house with a spacious fenced plot. A pet living in a city apartment should be able to walk for at least two hours daily.
- The Weimaraner is very clean, taking care of its fur will not take much time.
Weimaraner has a great appearance. This elegant dog with refined forms seemed to jump off the canvases of Renaissance painters. Her swift appearance eloquently demonstrates that she is ready to rush off over the horizon at any moment and return, holding prey in her mouth. However, within the walls of his home, the weimaraner easily forgets about his hunting purpose, reincarnating into an affectionate, gentle friend who loves his family and constantly strives to take a place at the feet of the beloved owner.
History of the Weimaraner breed
The Weimaraner, or Weimar cop, is a very rare representative in the cohort of hunting dogs. This aristocratic dog supposedly traces its pedigree back to the Middle Ages, although today's breed standards developed only at the turn of the XVIII-XIX centuries.
Weimaraner belongs to the group of heirs of European (or continental) marriages – short-haired cop dogs that have long been common on the European continent and have similar characteristics of both exterior and working qualities. Among its close relatives, this dog stands out sharply with its original gray color with spectacular tints, which makes popular the version about its long-standing relationship with the so-called dogs of St. Louis (Chiens gris de St-Loi), a description of which can be found in ancient handwritten sources of the legendary era of the Crusades. In chronicles dating back to the XIII century, it is narrated that at the court of the French king Louis IX, known as Saint Louis, gray silver dogs appeared in 1254, after his return to his homeland from another campaign to the East.
In medieval literary sources there are mentions that these dogs were originally from Tartary – so in Latin-speaking countries they called the territory that stretched from the borders of Central Asia to its northern limits. Perhaps the animals were presented to Louis by one of the Asian rulers, with whom the French monarch decided to establish ties while in Palestine. The most detailed description of the cops is contained in the "Book about Hunting" – one of the best medieval treatises about this entertainment of kings and aristocrats. Its author is Count Gaston de Foix, one of the military leaders of the Hundred Years' War and a passionate hunter.
By the end of the XIV century, gray hounds became very popular among the French nobility, as they demonstrated excellent qualities in hunting large animals – deer, wild boar, bear. Later, the dogs also showed remarkable abilities in hunting foxes, rabbits, and aporting birds. Following the French aristocracy, crowned heads from other countries of feudal Europe became interested in this wonderful breed, and their vassals followed them. On the preserved medieval tapestries and paintings depicting hunting scenes, you can see packs of gray cops – as noble as their titled owners. These animals are also depicted on the canvases of the masters of the XVII century, for example, in the paintings of the Flemish painter Antonis van Dyck.
Among the possible progenitors of the Weimaraner are also called St. Hubert's hounds, bred during the early Middle Ages in the Abbey of Saint Hubert (Belgium). Animals of this breed, now defunct, are considered the progenitors of many modern hounds. They had different colors, among which there was also gray.
As a separate breed, the Weimaraner began to form at the beginning of the XIX century. According to unconfirmed reports, the initiator of its creation was the Duke of Weimar, Karl August. According to legend, in his possessions, Saxe-Weimar, in the east of modern Germany, the duke was engaged in breeding a universal breed of hounds – hardy, impetuous, possessing the qualities of a companion dog. By the way, in these places the dog is usually called "Silver Ghost". She got this name due to her silver-tinged color, the ability to sneak quickly and silently in the fields, remaining invisible to prey.
Many modern dog handlers, recognizing that the breed was bred in the vicinity of Weimar, believe that the Great Duke of Weimar had nothing to do with its origin, and the legend of the relationship of the Weimaraner with the gray dogs of St. Louis began to be popularized by fans of the breed at the end of the XIX century for its recognition as a separate and independent. The fact is that for a long time the Weimaraner was considered a gray variety of the German shorthair cop or a cross between large German hounds and English pointers. Apparently, these statements were justified, because at the exhibition in Berlin in 1880, these dogs were classified as mestizos, not finding any distinctive breed traits in them. According to some reports, the Burgos cop, the Hugenhund, and the Schweishund were involved in further breeding activities. Systematic work, as well as numerous publications of fascinating narratives about the ancient noble origin of the breed and its relationship with the royal French dogs did their job, and in 1896 a commission of delegates from various German hunting societies finally named the Weimaraner an independent breed. To date, it is recognized by all eminent cynological organizations.
In 1897, the German Weimaraner Hunting Club was founded, and for a long time this breed was a kind of protected privilege among the German aristocracy. Initially, only Club members were allowed to purchase a dog. And if it was extremely difficult to buy a Weimaraner even in his homeland, then outside of Germany it was impossible at all.
In the 20s of the last century, interest in gray hounds from the Old World arose in the USA, but the first individuals sent overseas were previously sterilized, making it impossible to breed them in America. In 1929, the Club accepted the first foreigner into its ranks – an American Howard Knight, who managed to convince his German colleagues to sell several breeding dogs for breeding in the New World. In 1941, he created the Weimaraner club in the USA and became its president. In the 50s, Weimaraners gained incredible popularity overseas, becoming pets of such famous people as President Eisenhower and movie star Grace Kelly. Later, additional public interest in them was fueled by photographer and artist William Wegman, who himself, by the way, became world famous thanks to his successful images of these dogs.
The massive, literally hyped, fascination with elegant weimaraners – both in the USA and in Europe – has led to the fact that today they are increasingly considered as companion dogs, pets, participants in exhibitions and prestigious championships. At the same time, the hunting qualities of many of them are very ordinary. However, a good working dog can be found. They mainly represent German and American lines, since in Germany and the USA breeders still prioritize the working qualities of the animal, although sometimes to the detriment of the exterior.
Not so long ago, some European breeders and their colleagues from the USA started breeding blue Weimaraners. These dogs are distinguished by their original bluish-gray coat color. Today they are bred mainly as companion dogs, although the working qualities of blue cops are identical to the outstanding abilities of their gray counterparts. In 2009, enthusiasts created a specialized club in the USA, and since then they have been purposefully, but so far unsuccessfully, seeking recognition of blue Weimaraners and granting them the status of an independent breed.
Appearance of the weimaraner
Weimaraner is a fairly large dog of athletic build, wiry, frankly muscular. In males, the height at the withers can be from 59 to 70 cm, weight – from 30 to 40 kg. Bitches, as a rule, are smaller: their height is from 57 to 65 cm, weight is from 25 to 35 kg. According to the standard, extreme limits are undesirable.
The Weimaraner is proportionally built, its back is wide, solid, strong, without deflection. The withers are well developed and clearly marked. The chest is deep, strong, almost reaching the elbows. It is obviously massive, but it cannot be called wide. The pelvis is elongated, slightly inclined. The ribs are long, convex, without barrel shape. The stomach is tightened, but not excessively.
The head, when viewed from above, has a wedge-shaped outline, is proportional to the trunk. The skull is slightly convex, narrow, the occipital protuberance is weakly manifested. The forehead is divided by a furrow; when the dog is tense, the frontal area is covered with folds. The transition line from the forehead to the muzzle is smooth, barely marked. The nose is straight, with a miniature hump at the lobe. The lobe itself, protruding above the lower jaw, is large. It is painted in a dark flesh color, smoothly turning to gray closer to the bridge of the nose. The lips are tightened, the upper one covers the lower one and hangs slightly, forming small folds at the corners of the mouth. The edges of the lips, palate, gums are a solid pinkish-flesh color.
Jaws and teeth
Jaws with a full set of teeth look impressive, vividly demonstrating the ability of a weimaraner to hold a decent-sized game when aporting. The upper and lower canines are securely closed in a scissor bite. Muscular, well-defined cheekbones are clearly pronounced.
Rounded, medium-sized, set slightly obliquely. Their outer corners are slightly raised closer to the ears. The color of the eyes of puppies is azure-blue, in grown–up hounds - amber, of varying degrees of intensity and tone: from light to dark. The expression of the eyes betrays intelligence and attentiveness. The eyelids fit snugly to the eyeball, their color can be solid or match the tone of the coat.
Large, wide, rounded at the tips and hanging exactly to the corners of the mouth. Planted high. In a cop who is alerted by something, the ears are raised at the base and turn forward.
The silhouette of a strong, muscular, regal-looking neck harmoniously merges with the topline and chest.
Tall, lean, wiry, with expressive musculature. The forelimbs are straight, parallel to each other, set narrowly. The shoulders are muscular, as if sculpted, the elbows are not turned either in or out. The wrists are strong; graceful, sinewy pasterns are set slightly obliquely.
The posterior, erect limbs demonstrate a solid backbone. The hips are elongated, very muscular, the knees are strong, the hocks are pronounced. The metatarsals are sinewy, set almost vertically.
Oval-shaped paws are strong, stable. The fingers are clenched into a ball. The middle fingers on the front paws are noticeably longer than the others, which is a characteristic breed feature. Long-haired cops have tufts of fur sticking out between their fingers. The pads are hard, the claws are powerful, painted in a gray tone – from light to dark. The dewclaws on the hind limbs are removed from Weimaraners in puppyhood.
All the dog's gaits are sweeping, measured, smooth. Galloping, she makes long jumps. Moving at a trot, he keeps his back straight. The hind and forelimbs in motion are placed parallel to each other.
The strong, thickened tail at the base is set low enough, which is not typical of most breeds related to the Weimaraner. It is densely covered with hair and tapers to the tip. When the dog is relaxed and peaceful, he keeps it lowered down, and being alert, raises it to a horizontal position or higher.
The length of the coat determines two breed varieties: short-haired and long-haired. The first is characterized by a short, but not as much as most of the identical breeds, wool, very thick, stiff, smooth. The undercoat is very rare or it does not exist at all.
Long-haired weimaraners are covered with silky, rather long hair, with or without undercoat. The coat can be straight or slightly curl. On the sides, its length is from 3 to 5 cm, slightly longer hair on the lower part of the neck, front of the chest, stomach. The limbs are decorated with feathering and "pants", the tail is "fringed". Long flowing hair is present at the base of the ears, light silky fur borders their tips.
The standard allows three variations of the color of the weimaraner: silver-gray, light gray, dark gray (mouse). They may have light shades, for example, copper, show a barely noticeable brownish. The hair on the head and ears is usually slightly lighter than on the rest of the body. Miniature white markings on the chest and fingers are acceptable. The presence of other spots, scorch marks is considered a disadvantage. Some individuals may have a dark stripe, a "belt", along the spine. In color, it contrasts with the dominant color of the animal. Such dogs are used in breeding only if they have outstanding hunting qualities.
- Too rough or lightweight constitution.
- Sunken or hunched back, high-back.
- Barrel-shaped or underdeveloped breasts.
- Overly toned stomach.
- Twisted elbows, flat paws.
- Stiffness of movements.
- Bulldog-type head, short or narrow pointed muzzle.
- Concave back of the nose.
- Overbite, underbite.
- Excessively fluffy hair in short-haired dogs and lack of feathering in long-haired.
- Too intense shades of color, displacing gray. Scorch marks.
- Cowardice, nervousness, lack of temperament.
Character of the weimaraner
Weimaraners are energetic, funny and friendly dogs. They are selflessly devoted to the family in which they live, and need constant contact with a person. It is not necessary to keep these animals in an aviary, like other hunting dogs, because it makes them suffer. Loneliness in the home walls of weimaraners is also hard to bear, and the company of another pet does not relieve them from longing for the owner. It is worth considering that a dog left to itself for a long time can panic, "smash" the furniture in the apartment and even harm itself in an attempt to escape from the house. Worried, the Weimaraner starts barking, whining, howling and even digging. The dog will calm down only when the household appears on the threshold. These pets like to follow their beloved owners, they love to sit at their feet and conduct "conversations" with them, to which they are very prone.
Weimaraner is a fairly balanced dog. He treats strangers with caution, but does not demonstrate aggression if he is sure that his owners are not in danger. Due to its distrust of strangers, attentiveness, ingenuity, the ability to bark at all suspicious sounds and rustles behind doors, a dog can become a good watchman, but the guard service is clearly not its vocation.
With children, especially older ones, these dogs establish friendly, partnership relations. They are tolerant of kids, but, having started a game with them, they can accidentally injure them.
Weimaraners are friendly to their relatives, especially if they grew up next to them, but they rarely have good relations with cats. If this dog is still able to tolerate the owner's pet living with her in the same house, then a representative of the cat tribe who has recklessly wandered into her territory will definitely not be well. Actually, all small animals, as well as birds, awaken an indomitable hunting instinct in the Weimaraner, becoming its potential victims.
During the hunt, Weimar cops manifest themselves according to their innate temperament and personal qualities. There are extremely obedient friendly dogs, but quite often there are completely "crazy" individuals who instantly get out of control during work.
Education and training
Weimaraner is an extremely intelligent, attentive and understanding dog. He lends himself to training perfectly, but, being in a bad mood, he can show waywardness and stubbornness. Given these traits of his character, as well as the dog's tendency to dominate, the owner should demonstrate firmness and patience in raising the animal. It is necessary to teach a pet obedience from an early age, but if authoritarianism in education is permissible, then methods that include rude shouts and the use of physical force as punishment should be excluded. The brutality of the owner will lead to the fact that the dog will become distrustful, he will execute commands uncertainly, with caution. It will be very difficult to regain the dog's trust. But goodies and praise will encourage the weimaraner to show his best qualities.
When raising a dog that was acquired for hunting, the owner needs to find a middle ground, since her unquestioning obedience and desire to please can deprive the hound of the initiative she needs during work.
Care and maintenance
The ideal condition for keeping a weimaraner is a spacious house with an extensive fenced backyard, its own pond or a nearby pond. In this case, the dog will be able to regularly fulfill its need for active activity. In a city apartment, the dog will feel no less comfortable if the owners can provide him with intense physical activity – these can be frequent walks, during which the dog will have the opportunity to run without a leash, classes on playgrounds equipped with an obstacle course. In total, the weimaraner must move fully and actively for at least two hours a day.
A dog walking on a leash must clearly execute the command "Nearby!". Otherwise, she will drag you wherever she pleases. A strict collar, however, is unacceptable to use. When releasing the weimaraner from the leash, make sure that there are no small dogs and cats nearby, otherwise they can become his trophies.
Caring for the dog's fur is not difficult. It is enough to comb it out with a massage brush a couple of times a week, and during the molting period it is desirable to do it daily.
The pet should be bathed if necessary, but not more than once a month. After a walk in bad weather, the dog's paws need to be thoroughly washed. In the frosty winter, pads and claws must be treated especially carefully so that anti-icing reagents do not get into the dog's body when it starts licking its paws. In the cold season, even though the weimaraner's short coat dries very quickly, bathing is better replaced by treating the coat with a special dry shampoo.
It is advisable to wipe the corners of the animal's eyes and the area around them with a damp cloth cloth once a week. With the same frequency, you should take care of your pet's hanging ears – this will allow you to detect possible inflammation in time. It is convenient to treat the auricles with a napkin moistened with chlorhexidine.
The frequency of trimming the claws of a dog depends on the conditions of its maintenance. In some dogs, the claws are worn off naturally, and those who do not have the opportunity to run around enough need to trim them. Usually it is carried out once a month, using a special claw cutter for dogs of large breeds.
Weimaraners are excellent eaters. After eating a portion from their dishes, they will certainly ask if there is anything delicious in other people's plates. They can be quite persistent in their claims for additional feeding, but their aspirations should be stopped and try to feed the animal twice a day. Portions should be approximately the same.
When choosing meat products for a pet, you should choose beef, lamb, rabbit, poultry. Fish is also useful for dogs, it should be low-fat and low-boned. Rice and buckwheat are preferred from cereals, they should be boiled in water. Oat flakes will also be useful in the diet of the weimaraner. Boiled or raw vegetables and fruits should be present in the daily menu, but exotic, brightly colored fruits should be discarded. From fermented dairy products, low-fat cottage cheese and kefir will be the best option.
Owners who prefer to feed their pet with ready-made food should buy premium, super-premium, holistic products.
Health and diseases of weimaraners
Strong and hardy weimaraners are distinguished by excellent health, but a hereditary predisposition to certain diseases can pose a potential danger for them. In the risk zone of these animals is the gastrointestinal tract, and such a disease as the inversion of the intestines, characteristic of dogs with deep breasts, can end fatally for them. If you notice the first signs of stomach upset in your pet, you should immediately contact a veterinarian who will prescribe special dietary nutrition for him. Usually in these cases, it is recommended to feed the dog several times a day in small portions. To prevent the inversion of the intestines, experts advise putting dishes with food for the dog on an elevated surface. This will prevent the rapid ingestion of food and the ingestion of air into the stomach.
Weimaraners are prone to dermatoses, and von Willebrand's disease, a hereditary blood clotting disorder, can also pose a threat to them. These dogs may also have ophthalmological problems: corneal atrophy, eyelid inversion, distichiasis – the appearance of an additional row of eyelashes. In 24% of cases of premature death of a dog, oncological diseases become the cause, mainly fibrosarcoma, mastocytoma, melanoma. Weimaraners also have a predisposition to hip and elbow dysplasia.
Some pets suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder – experiencing anxiety, animals from time to time begin to suck bedding, blankets.
How to choose a puppy
Weimaraner is not a very well-known breed in Russia. They began to breed them in our region only in the 80s of the last century. Today there are nurseries in several Russian cities, among them – Moscow, St. Petersburg, Volgograd, Novosibirsk, Tambov. It is in kennels that Weimar cop puppies should be purchased. Otherwise, the health and purity of your pet will be in question.
After familiarizing yourself with the breed standard, visit the kennel and make sure that the puppies live in a neat room, their mother is well-groomed, well-fed, not exhausted by childbirth and feeding. Talk to the breeder, a conscientious professional will always willingly answer any of your questions. Check out the pedigree of the baby, make sure that he has been given all the necessary vaccinations at his age. It is advisable that you are provided with the results of a hip and elbow dysplasia test.
Check if all the puppies from the same litter are cheerful, playful, active. Then carefully inspect the weimaraner that you liked the most. Factors such as thinness, swollen tummy, sour eyes, skin rashes, flea bite marks, receding hairline should alert you. It is unacceptable if the dog behaves apathetically, does not react to your advances.
Remember that Weimaraner puppies have blue eyes, their color changes with age. The color should be totally gray, small white markings can only be on the chest and paws. If you choose a dog for hunting, feel free to choose the most active kid, but if you are just looking for a four-legged friend, a super-fast kid can create a lot of problems for you in the future, because the weimaraner is already not active.
Photos of weimaraner puppies
How much does a weimaraner cost
The price of a purebred Weimaraner puppy ranges from $350 - $650, and the heirs of outstanding manufacturers can cost even more. Sometimes the cost increases if exclusive animals from other countries are specially brought for mating. By the way, in Europe, a Weimar cop puppy costs from 1000 to 1500 euros.
If you are offered a baby for less than $300, be on your guard and read with special care his pedigree and documents concerning the health of the future pet.
Budget option for $70 - $100 implies the purchase of a puppy without documents and almost completely guarantees problems with the pet in the future. Sometimes, if you are lucky, for such an amount you can buy a well-born dog from a good breeder, if the latter has any extraordinary situation. Cheap purebred Weimaraner puppies are periodically sold by professional hunters. You can contact them on the recommendation of good friends.