7 Things To Know Before Getting A Weimaraner Puppy
Is this breed well-suited to be a family pet, however? Indeed it is! Let’s go over why below.
Weimaraner are a special hunting breed that definitely deserves more attention than it’s getting right now. This isn’t to say that they are unpopular either – Weimaraners rank #39 in AKC’s (American Kennel Club) dog breed popularity ranking for 2019, just below Collies and above Newfoundlands.
However, given how easier they are to take care of than both those breeds, one has to wonder why the Weimaraner isn’t ranked any higher?
Coming from the town of Weimar in Germany, the breed is also often called Weimaraner Vorstehhund (Pointer), Gray Ghost, or just Weim. From this, it’s pretty clear that the Weimaraner is a hunting pointer dog – a breed that helps hunters locate their prey.
Is this breed well-suited to be a family pet, however?
Indeed it is! Let’s go over why below.
What are the key characteristics that make Weimaraners special?
Like most other pointer breeds, the Weimaraner has a very strong prey drive but is also highly intelligent, social, and energetic. All this makes it a great family pet even if the breed’s strong prey drive does pose a couple of important considerations.
What’s more, the Gray Ghost is also a straight-up gorgeous breed. These dogs have short and sleek silvery coats, muscular and athletic bodies, and are very well-built with a height of 22 to 28 inches (56 to 71 cm) and weight of 55 to 88 pounds (25 to 40 kg).
The Gray Ghosts can come in several different color variations such as silvery blue, full gray, brownish-gray, and others. There are also long-haired variants of the breed that are almost universally recognized but most Weimaraners are short-haired.
All this is fine but what are the breed’s temperament and personality? What are its quirks and specifics? Let’s go over the 7 main points one by one.
The 7 things you should know before getting a Weimaraner
1. Weimaraner dogs are very energetic and have a strong hunting drive
Naturally, as a pointer breed, the Weimaraner is very athletic and energetic. This is a breed that not only wants to but needs to run.
So, if you were thinking of getting a Weimaraner as a mostly indoors house pet or a yard guard dog, that’s not a good idea. Weimaraners need to be around people most of the time but also need to run and play in the park for at least an hour or two every day.
In short, two quick walks around the block are just not enough for this breed.
So, if you love jogging in the park or playing with your kids there, a Weimaraner can be your perfect companion.
It should be mentioned, however, that as a pointer breed, the Weimaraner has a very strong prey drive. This means a couple of things:
- If there are cats, squirrels, or other small pets in your local park, your Weimaraner will absolutely try to chase, catch, and kill them.
- As with most sighthound and pointer breeds, this prey drive means that there is a risk that your pouch will not only spontaneously decide to chase something but might also leave your sight and the dog park altogether.
What can you do about all this?
The two main things are to 1) always train your Weimaraner to follow your orders so that the dog can stop the chase and return to you and 2) that you always have a long leash that allows your Weimaraner to run but still gives you control over the dog.
Alternatively, you can just go to fully-fenced dog parks only if possible.
2. This is quite an intelligent dog breed
Yes, we say that for most breeds. But pointer dogs are indeed smarter than the average dog breed because they’ve been bred to accomplish complicated tasks and follow orders.
And that’s exactly what the Weimaraner is good at. If you train your Weimaraner well you can have lots of fun with him or her. Weimaraners love to perform tricks and tasks, and are very easy to please their owners whenever they can.
Naturally, this high intelligence also means that your dog will need ample mental stimulation to remain engaged. A bored Weimaraner can quickly grow to be anxious, stressed, or even depressed. It’s not uncommon for Weimaraner owners who’ve neglected their dog’s mental needs to find their furniture fully dismanted when returning from work.
So stock up on some dog puzzle toys and don’t ignore your dog’s need for play!
3. A highly social breed, Weimaraners are very people-friendly dogs
This may be a hunting breed but it’s also a very friendly, loving, and social breed.
Weimaraners love and need to be around their people. When they’re not playing with you, they love sleeping in your feet or in your close proximity at the very least.
This is also one of those dogs that love sleeping in people’s beds in the evening which some dog owners love and others – not so much. Fortunately, Weimaraners have short coats and don’t shed too much so most Weim owners are fine with it.
All this means one key thing for you, however – Weimaraners don’t like to be alone. If you’re away from home too much, your Weim will be unhappy. Getting a dog walker, extra toys, and giving your dog more playtime when you’re home helps but it’s better if there’s always someone at home.
4. Thanks to this breed’s eagerness to please, Weimaraner pups are very easy to train
Many intelligent dog breeds can be difficult to train because of their inherent stubbornness and focus. This is especially true for many hunting and pointer breeds who are bred to be so focused on their task that they are inherently stubborn.
That’s not the case with the Gray Ghost, however!
These dogs do have a strong prey drive but that doesn’t override their social nature and eagerness to please.
Not only are the Weimaraners loving and gentle pets, but they are also very easy to train because of their need to make us happy!
5. Short-haired Weimaraners do NOT shed – excellent for people with allergies!
As we said, there are some long-haired Weimaraners out there which will leave the occasional doggy hair strand on the couch or bed. However, even long-haired Weims don’t shed nearly as much as other breeds.
And the more common short-haired variant is even better for people with allergies or ones who just don’t like vacuuming every other day.
So, if you’re looking for a breed with low grooming needs that won’t cover your home with dog hair – consider the Gray Ghost!
6. The breed gets along very well with kids and other dogs but is not recommended with cats or other pets
The Weim’s social and gentle nature makes them the perfect breed for families with kids. Granted, some training is required to make sure that the dog knows how to behave around your child, but that’s always the case.
The same goes for Weimaraners and other dogs – this breed doesn’t have the competitiveness of some other dogs and gets along very well with other dogs. Some proper socialization is needed when your Weim’s still young but again, that’s normal for all dogs.
The big No-No here is cats, however. In fact, not just cats but all non-dog pets such as rabbits and birds.
Well, because Weimaraners are hunters, of course! Weims have such a strong prey drive that it’s very likely for them to mistake your feline for prey which can easily lead to an accident.
In theory, proper socialization and training can prevent that from happening but even then your dog can get overexcited when playing and “forget its manners” so to speak.
So, it’s best not to get a cat if you have a Weim or vice versa.
7. The Weimaraner is a moderately healthy breed but there are some issues to watch out for
Weimaraners are somewhere around the middle line when it comes to health. The breed is not overly sickly as some other dogs but it’s not the healthiest breed out there either.
The main things to watch out for include hip dysplasia, spinal dysraphism, and Von Willebrand’s disease. Regular vet check-ups are a must to make sure that you catch any problem in its infancy.
Additionally, it’s smart to make sure that you’ve taken your Weim pup from a reputable breeder or a trustworthy shelter/rescue. Always ask for a health certificate and ask to see the pup’s parents if possible. Avoid puppy mills, untrustworthy breeders, and pet stores.
Who are Weimaraners “right” for?
This breed is perfect for any physically active family with children that loves daily trips to the park. Weimaraners can also be great for solo dog owners as long as you work from home and love jogging, hiking, and other types of outdoor physical activity.
Weims are also great for people with dog allergies and those who don’t want to clean too much dog hair off the couch.
However, if you have a cat, if you’re away from home too often, or if you’re an indoorsy type of person, this isn’t the right breed for you.
How to prepare for getting a Weimaraner?
Weimaraners are very easy to train and take care of so there’s very little prep you actually need to do. As long as your lifestyle matches the Weim’s needs, the two of you should get along swimmingly.
Did we mention that Weims love to swim? They do! They don’t need to, however, so don’t worry too much about it – as long as you have the basic dog items and you’re ready to give your Weim a ton of love and attention, everything should be fine.