Why a Weimaraner
There can be few Weimaraner owners who will deny that their first attraction to the breed was the distinctive silver grey coat. Although this colour is not unique in that it appears sporadically in other breeds, selective breeding for the recessive trait has allowed the breed to develop in such a way that no pure-bred Weimaraner can be anything other than grey.
Once past this initial interest, there is a fascinating mixture of 'saint' and 'sinner' underneath. Bred originally for his tremendous scenting ability, the Weimaraner and handler led the hunting pack tracking wild boar & wild stag. The close bond thus established with humans remains to this day. He is intensely loyal wishing at all times to be in the company of humans. Separation for long hours will lead him to believe he has been abandoned and he will fret, showing his disapproval by being noisy, destructive or both. He is not a dog to spend his days in a kennel. Indoors, he accompanies his owners from room to room. Any new Weimaraner owner quickly learns that even the days of going to the bathroom alone are gone. Never happier than when he has physical contact, no matter what his age or size, the Weimaraner is convinced he is a lap-dog and sleeping partner.
As a Weimaraner proves his friendship and companionship, he expects the same and more from his owners. As a breed, they are dominant in nature. They are highly intelligent and extremely willing to please. Having been developed to 'lead the pack', if allowed, a Weimaraner will promote himself to that exalted position within the household. Even from puppyhood, the Weimaraner is a thinking creature. He will show great respect for members of the family who are willing to give him the time, energy and imagination required to keep him fit in mind and body. Inconsistent handling, inappropriate discipline and weakness of character will all be treated with contempt. He is a curious mixture of willfulness and sensitivity: too harsh an approach and he will 'blank out' seemingly unable to understand the simplest requirement: too much leeway and he will 'do his own thing'. He has an unlimited learning capacity, be it for good or bad. Best described as not just a beautiful, elegant dog - more a dog, with the brain of a human.
Given a proper education in good manners coupled with his intense devotion, a Weimaraner brought up with children will give unconditional love and friendship, a shoulder to cry on, an ear to whisper secrets and a pillow to lie on and yet he will be a trustworthy protector if required.
Everything about the Weimaraner is an element of challenge. He is such a 'get up and go' creature possessed of a quick intelligence, an abundance of energy, a drive to hunt, a streak of possessiveness and an exaggerated sense of devotion all of which must be tempered to the demands of modern living. He is not everyman's dog. He has been adapted to our requirements mainly as a rough-shooter's dog. As a companion, we must remember, understand and respect his heritage.
Living with a Weimaraner
First and foremost, if you, or someone in your family, are not at home for the most part of the day, do not have a Weimaraner. No matter how beautiful you think they are or how much you want one, leaving a Weimaraner at home alone for hours on end will only result in frustration for the dog and anger for you when you return and discover the mess. Let me paint a picture: you are living, thinking creature; like everyone else in the family, you have been asleep for 8 hours; first thing in the morning, you want to stretch your body, but instead, you get to go to the toilet, have a quick breakfast, watch the rest of the family getting ready to go away; you were alone again for another 8-9 hours; the last thing you want to do is sleep. There is no television, no radio, no books, no hobbies. You just have to lie there. And it's the same thing day in day out. Is it any wonder the chair leg has tooth marks, the pedal bin has been emptied all over the floor, you're desperate to go to the toilet and can't hold it in, you've started to howl with frustration and loneliness and the neighbours are banging on the wall. Be honest, could you do it? Well, neither can a Weimaraner.
From what you've just read, you're thinking why anyone would ever want to have one!! Is there really anything good about this breed? YES and YES AGAIN. Once you have lived in harmony with a Weimaraner, you won't have anything else…..except maybe another one!
Big Baby Blue eyes, long ears, skin that looks like Nora Batty's stockings. Who could fail to fall for that? The 8 week old above is now 27" tall and weighs in at 34 kilos and he's not yet 2 years old. He lives with a 4 year old child, a 6 month baby, 2 Burmese cats and a budgie. He has been taught to fetch toys for the child, never to enter the baby's room unless an adult is present, and always to walk calmly beside the pram. He has learned he is below the cats in the pecking order and to leave the room when the budgie is out of its cage. He understands he will get three gallops a day, time to play with the children, time to sleep, a space to himself and time to cuddle up to Mum and Dad. He is a social, well-mannered member of society and is welcome everywhere. He is greatly loved and gives 1,000% in return. Sounds idyllic, yet even now his owners still talk of the amount of work it took to get him to this state of perfection.
This would probably lead you to believe that Weimaraners are difficult to train. Quite the opposite is the case. They are extremely easy to train, teach it once, reward with food and a Weimaraner knows it. You just have to be all the more inventive and imaginative. He is so quick to learn, if you don't teach him the acceptable way to behave, he will teach himself …..and it won't be acceptable.
The 'How to' Guide
The puppy above is sitting, why? Because there's food. How? Take the treat over & above his head, his bottom has nowhere else to go but on the floor. You say the word as it happens. He has learnt to sit on command. It's not a great sit, but his feet are not jumping on you.
Someone comes to the front door, the puppy goes with you, you say 'sit', he sits, he gets food. He has learned 'front door manners'.
He's sitting, you drag the treat along the floor away from him, his front feet slide along the floor, you say 'down' as it happens, he gets food. He has learned to down on command. This is the most important lesson for a dominant breed.
He's sitting, you say 'wait', you count to 10, he gets food. He has learned to wait on command.
Bit by bit, you and the puppy build up a vocabulary based on action (what he does) and reaction (getting the reward). After all, if you were working, would you not want the reward of being paid at the end of the month?
Put the work in while he's young and you will reap the benefits. Don't do it and he will be a thug by the age of 6 months. He will have gone back to the Breeder (if the person who bred him wants to know) or he will be in Rescue (see Weimaraner Societies Section under Independent Weimaraner Rescue & Re-Homing Charity No. SCO24308 registered working title Weimaraner Rescue). The dog is as YOU made him.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are they like with children ?
If your children are well-behaved with dogs, a Weimaraner will be well-behaved with them. They are extremely loyal and protective towards small humans. If you want something furry to amuse the little ones, the kind you buy at Toys R Us don't feel pain.
If you don't have children when you get the puppy, but intend to do so during the dog's lifetime, please use your common sense and introduce him to young children on a regular basis while he is young. When you buy that puppy, remember you are looking at the next 12 years of your life (God willing).
Will he be all right in a kennel ?
No, that powerful instinct to be with people was bred into Weimaraners centuries ago and it is still there today. Putting him in a kennel alone is a form of deprivation, so perhaps you should ask yourself why you want him at all if you're just going to leave him out there.
Does he run off when I let him off the lead ?
Again NO. He also has this powerful sense to always keep an eye on where you are. However, if you only put him back on the lead when you're ready to go home, he will quickly learn to dance around just out of reach. You will be embarrassed, get red in the face, your voice will get louder and higher in pitch and the Weimaraner is standing there laughing. (Probably along with all the other people watching you.) Chop and change. Call him in, give him food, tell him to go on. Next time you call him in, give him food, put him on the lead for a short time and then let him off again.
Does he steal ?
Oh Yes. The Weimaraner is an opportunist thief. From reading this, you've probably guessed how food orientated the breed is. So if you've left your sandwich on the counter while you answer the phone, don't expect it to be there on your return. It's less stressful to put it away or take it with you.
What if he has something he shouldn't ?
The general maxim is you never chase a Weimaraner to retrieve your own belongings. NOT EVEN ONCE. Use the situation as a retrieve training for the dog. Your brand new shoes might be slightly damp, but at least they won't be under the bed in pieces. Easier said than done, but it works. Living with a Weimaraner makes you very tidy.
Does he cast his coat all over the house ?
He's a dog with fur, so he casts, but it is so easily vacuumed as not to be a problem.
You probably want a lot more information so read 'All About the Weimaraner' and 'The Essential Weimaraner' both written by Patsy Hollings.
If you are thinking of buying a puppy, you MUST see the litter with their mother and expect to be asked a lot of questions by the breeder. You should always receive a pedigree, a Kennel Club registration certificate, diet sheet, food, receipt and help & guidance on rearing the puppy. If that does not happen, walk away.
REMEMBER THE WEIMARANER IN YOUR HOME AND AT THE END OF YOUR LEAD IS A REFLECTION OF YOU.