The Weimaraner is an elegant companion with a lust for life, love and exercise.
By: Jilea Carney
I like to have a strong bond with my companion.
The Weimaraner was originally bred for hunting in Germany in the early 19th century. They were large game hunters favoured by royalty and their prey was bear, boar and deer. Later, they were used to hunt fowl, rabbits and foxes as the popularity of large game hunting declined.
They were named for a Grand Duke Karl August, who enjoyed hunting and whose court was in the city of Weimar.
Today, they are a family dog, living inside as a member of the family. This resulted in a dog which does not do well living outside and suffers badly from separation anxiety if left alone for long periods. The modern Weimaraner is an excellent dog for agility.
Weimaraners are happy, active dogs that are athletic, graceful, intelligent and highly trainable.
They have high energy level and their endurance means they often need training to learn patience and self-control. However, their willingness to please their owners makes training a pleasure.
A well-trained Weimaraner will be a strongly-bonded, extremely close companion but needs early, consistent and kind training to become a controllable pet. Because they bond so strongly with their human companions, Weimaraners are excellent watchdogs.
Some Weimaraners may not tolerate living with cats or smaller dogs. Their strong prey instinct means they need strict supervision around cattle, sheep or goats. If feeling threatened they can be initially wary of other dogs and need good socialisation at an early age.
Neglect of this breed’s mental and physical stimulation will create boredom, which can lead to excessive barking, hyperactivity and destructive behaviour.
The Weimaraner has a low-maintenance, care-free coat with no undercoat. While this means minimal brushing, it also means the dog can suffer from cold quite easily and should not be kennelled outside.
From early adolescence, a Weimaraner needs a lot of exercise as it was bred for the physical stamina needed to chase and hunt. They will not be satisfied with a walk on a leash once a day – a good run in a secure, off leash area will help to tire them out.
Like all dogs, Weimaraners require regular tick, flea, intestinal worms and heartworm treatments. Consult your veterinarian on treatment options. Desexing and vaccination against diseases, such as the deadly parvo virus and highly infectious canine cough, are also important to discuss with your vet.
Weimaraners are wonderful playmates for older children, but need supervision with younger kids as they can get knocked over due to the dogs’ size and energy level.
The Weimaraner needs a confident owner who can persevere with training and socialisation. It is not a dog for an apartment due to their high exercise needs. A large, escape-proof fenced yard is a must!
Breed classification Gundog. Size Medium to large. Origin Germany. Lifespan 12-15 years. Colours Silver grey and mouse grey. Cost $1000-$1500. Common hereditary problem Gastric torsion and entropion.
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