The Weimaraner...

History and Current Perspective

The original Weimar pointers appeared in the 19th century Germany. They were prized for their versatile hunting skills and outstanding character. In the early part of the century, the Nobles of Weimar were avid sportsman and hunted a variety a big game. They required of the Weimaraner an exceptional tracking ability, speed, courage, and durability. Their breeding programs developed these specific traits and qualities. More by accident, than design, they produced the distinctive gray coat that is the hallmark of the breed.

During the 19th century, the Nobles rigidly controlled the availability of the dogs. To insure the future of the breed, the German Weimaraner Club was formed. Membership was restricted and members were only allowed to own and breed the dogs. Few outsiders knew much about the breed. Legends developed about the great gray hunting dog. Type and temperament were refined, and eventually, during the latter half of the 19th century, the Weimaraner was converted from a bear and deer hunter to a ‘Fur and Feathers’ dog.

However, much of the original hunting instincts remain, and must be considered when purchasing a Weimaraner today.

Is a Weimaraner Right For You?

The breed standard describes the breed temperament as friendly, alert, fearless, obedient, but this is but half of the story. Assertive, bold, loyal and headstrong also fit, giving the dog a loving attitude with a willingness to take an upper paw in the family if given the chance. Housebreaking and destructive chewing can also be an issue if patience and consistency in training is not provided. A weimaraner is like having a 2 year old that never grows up!

Like most hunting breeds, the Weimaraner needs lots of exercise and must be kept in a fenced yard to keep him from searching for game. Because he was developed as a bird and small game dog, he may be dangerous to household birds and furred animals, such as cats, rabbits, ferrets. Unlike many hunting breeds, however the Weimaraner is a house dog and does not do well when confined to a kennel.

This is a breed that needs obedience training to control his rambunctious behavior. Owners should have a crate for the puppy to help in housebreaking and to protect furniture and woodwork from puppy teeth when the little rascal cannot be watched. Puppy socialization and basic obedience classes are a must for the Weimaraner. At home control exercises are also essential as soon as the puppy enters the family. He must be taught to respect and obey all family members. Training methods must be consistent, gentle but firm, for harsh methods can quickly sour a Weimaraner’s temperament.