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What You Need to Know About Weimaraners
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What You Need to Know About Weimaraners

Theo, Critter Culture Staff
Updated Sep 4, 2020

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Sleek-coated, highly energetic, and instinctively brave, the Weimaraner is the definition of humankind’s best friend. Although their intelligence can sometimes get them into trouble, the Weimaraner is an excellent family dog and companion. German breeders crossed Bloodhounds with a variety of hunting dogs to create the breed. These early Weimaraners primarily pursued large game like bears, wolves, and mountain lions and later became gun dogs and retrievers. The modern Weimaraners are a favorite dog for hunters, athletes, families, and outdoor enthusiasts.

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1

Weimaraners need some space

intelligent chewing barking independent weimaraner Bigandt_Photography / Getty Images

Some larger dogs settle into apartment life easily, but don’t expect Weimaraners to. When they’re bored, they may ease the monotony through chewing, barking incessantly, or rambunctious behavior. The Weimaraner loves being close to their owners, but they’re also independent thinkers and need the freedom to run around and safely explore their environment on their own. A fenced yard is crucial for this breed.

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2

They’re great companions for people with active lifestyles

active lifestyle owners leashed companion filmstudio / Getty Images

If you love staying active — taking long walks, running, hiking, or swimming — the Weimaraner will enthusiastically join you. Not only do they have the stamina to keep up with you, but they’ll also have a blast doing so. Always keep your Weimaraner leashed. These dogs tend to pursue anything that passes by, whether it’s a passing cyclist, a squirrel, or a car.

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3

Weimaraners are good eaters

appetites dry food allergies weimaraner sdominick / Getty Images

If Weimaraners turn down their noses at food, they probably aren’t feeling well. These dogs have great appetites. They function best on a diet with moderate amounts of protein. Breed experts recommend a quality dry dog food with 12% fat and 22% protein. Adding wet food to the dry kibble is fine, but too much will give them a tummy ache. Food allergies are common in this breed. Many Weimaraners do not tolerate corn, wheat, or barley, so read the label before you purchase the food.

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4

This breed comes in three different coat colors

Weimaraner Dog Puppy hempuli / Getty Images

If there were aristocrats in the canine world, the Weimaraner would be one of them. Strongly built yet graceful in its movement, the breed is as elegant as it is athletic. As adults, males can weigh up to 90 pounds, while females can be around 75 pounds. The three coat colors are blue, silver-gray, or gray which complement its overall regal appearance. The Weimaraner face is full of expression and personality. Eye colors are light amber, gray, or blue-gray. If the dog gets excited, however, the pupils enlarge to the point that the eyes appear black.

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5

Grooming is simple

glossy goat weekly brushing shine alberto clemares expósito / Getty Images

The beautiful, glossy Weimaraner coat may look like it takes a lot of work to keep it healthy. Weekly brushings are all it needs to maintain its natural shine. The Weimaraner’s ear structure prevents good airflow, making them an ideal environment for ear mites, so check them frequently. This breed’s nails can grow quickly and require clipping to keep them from getting too long.

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6

Human interaction is essential

human companionship bond training Mariana Mikhailova / Getty Images

Most dog breeds need human companionship, but the Weimaraner craves it. Once they’ve claimed their owner, they bond deeply. They’re happiest when they are close to them. Weimaraners are excellent watchdogs. Most perform well in canine sports such as tracking, obedience, and agility and are easy to train. Housebreaking can be a challenge, however. Although they are large, brave animals, many Weimaraners tend to suffer from separation anxiety if left alone. Quality time with their human friend and daily exercise keeps them healthy and engages their brains.

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7

Weimaraners are good with dogs, not usually cats

household pets hunting weimaraner susanna cesareo / Getty Images

While multi-pet households often work out well, families with cats or other types of pets probably shouldn’t bring a Weimaraner home, or vice-versa. With proper socializing, they’ll happily become friends with other dogs in the home, but cats, guinea pigs, birds, or reptiles are not safe with this breed as a rule.

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8

There are some health issues to be aware of

gastric torsion tremors health puppy jmalov / Getty Images

Weimaraners are chewers and they eat things they shouldn’t. Gastric torsion, a life-threatening condition, is prevalent in deep-chested dogs like the Weimaraner, especially if they eat too fast, exercise right after eating, or drink large volumes of water after they eat. They are also at risk of developing Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy (HOD), an autoinflammatory disease that affects their ability to walk. Hypomyelination causes tremors in Weimaraner puppies, but most cases resolve by the age of three to four months. All Weimaraners should have both eye and thyroid evaluations.

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9

Tail docking and removing dewclaws are common in the U.S.

dock tails remove dewclaws weimaraner Carol Hamilton / Getty Images

Weimaraners are born with long tails, but in the U.S., breeders usually dock the tails and also remove the dewclaws. It is a highly debated topic. The American Kennel Club includes docked tails in its breed standards. The Weimaraner Club of America supports the practice of both docking tails and removing dewclaws due to the breed’s participation in sporting events such as hunting. They say when a skilled practitioner performs the removal, it benefits the dog’s health. The practice is illegal in the U.K., Australia, and some European countries. Canada has no federal law against the practice. However, the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association is opposed to the practice.

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10

Weimaraners are ‘perfect fashion models’

Hunting dog lying on a grass and looking at camera LightFieldStudios / Getty Images

Most people have seen the famous Weimaraner portraits created by photographer William Wegman. As a Weimaraner fan and owner, he says the breed’s slinky gray coats and elegant appearance made them ‘perfect fashion models.’ His work featuring his beloved pets has appeared in galleries, ads, movies, books, and TV programs since the 1970s.

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