The Weimaraner's coat color led to its nickname of
the Silver Ghost.
|Country of origin
|Classification and breed standards
||Group 7 Section 1 #099
||Group 3 (Gun dogs)
||Group 1 - Sporting
|Not recognized by any major kennel club
|This breed of dog is
The Weimaraner is a silver-grey
originally both for tracking large game, such as bears, and as a
gun dog. The
name comes from the Grand Duke of
August, whose court enjoyed hunting.
A sketch of a Weimaraner
This breed's short, smooth grey coat and its usually grey eyes give it a
regal appearance different from any other breed. There is a long-haired variety
that is not as commonly known. The colour is rare in dogs and is the result of
breeding for a recessive gene. It has also lent the breed the nickname 'silver
ghost' or 'gray ghost'. The coat is extremely low maintenance; it is short and
smooth to the touch.
Typically, the male Weimaraner stands between 25 and 27 inches (63-68 cm) at
Females are generally between 23 and 25 inches (58-63 cm). The breed is not
heavy for its height, and weighs upwards of 70 pounds (32 kg). Traditionally,
the Weimaraner's tail is
birth to a third of its natural length.
Weimaraners are fast and powerful dogs, but are also suitable home animals
given appropriate training. From adolescence, a Weimaraner requires extensive
exercise in keeping with an energetic hunting dog. No walk is too far, and they
will appreciate games and play in addition. An active owner is more likely to
provide the vigorous exercising, games, or running that this breed needs.
Weimaraners are high-strung and easily excitable, requiring appropriate training
to learn how to calm them and to help them learn to control their behavior.
Owners need patience, as this breed is particularly rambunctious during the
first year and a half of its life. Like many breeds, untrained and unconfined
young dogs often create their own diversions when left alone, such as chewing
house quarters and furniture.
Professional training is beneficial, particularly for less-experienced
owners. This includes behaviours towards other family pets. Depending upon
training they can be quite aggressive towards other dogs, but they are a loyal,
playful and affectionate pet and an alert and friendly member of the family.
Visitors are likely to be licked rather than warned away, but the Weimaraner
does not miss a trick and is always aware of its surroundings. Prospective
owners should note that the Weimaraner is not recommended for families with
young children as it is usually boisterous, sometimes hyperactive. Furthermore,
the breed will continually try to push the boundaries set by its owner. If it
can get away with something, it will! This is also a breed with tremendous
William Wegman's Dressup Batty
Today's breed standards developed in the
the Weimaraner has existed since at least the
1600s in a
similar form. It is believed that Continental pointing breeds and mastiffs were
its ancestors. The breed was created strictly for the nobility. The aim was to
create a noble-looking, reliable gundog. As ownership was restricted, the breed
was highly prized and lived with the family. This was unusual, as during this
period, hunting dogs were kept in kennels in packs. This has resulted in a dog
that needs to be near humans and that quickly deteriorates when kennelled.
Originally, Germany was possessive of its skilled all-purpose gundog, but
released a pair in the 1950s to America where the breed quickly became popular.
Although slower than many other gundogs, such as
Pointers, the Weimaraner is thorough and this made it a welcome addition to
the sportsman's household. Furthermore, its happy, lively temperament endeared
it to families, although it is perhaps too lively for families with young
children. Unfortunately, with the rise in popularity, some careless matches were
made and some inferior specimens were produced. Since then, both in Britain and
America (where the breed remains popular) breeders have taken care to breed for
quality and purpose.
Two occurrences in the breed's history have helped its popularity. One is US
Dwight D. Eisenhower owning a Weimaraner, Heidi; the other is the
William Wegman. His dogs (which include Man Ray—named after artist
play on Fay
Wray) are the subject of his photos, dressed in human clothes. These
pictures are popular both in galleries of contemporary art and as
culture icons. These "dogs with hands" have appeared frequently on
Sesame Street, and occasionally on
Saturday Night Live.
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