Known as the Gray Ghost for its silvery coat and rather spooky yellow-amber eyes, the Longhaired Weimaraner is one very good hunting dog. Specifically bred to be hunting dogs at the court of Weimar in Germany, this gun dog is versatile in its quest for upland gamebirds, waterfowl, predators and big game. Originally bred in the early 19th century, this hunting dog was used by royalty for hunting large game such as bear, boar and deer. However, their popularity for hunting such animals decline. Since they were no longer used for hunting big game, their use shifted to smaller animals such as fowl, foxes and rabbits. The Longhaired Weimaraner is a variety of the Weimaraner breed, but it is not recognized by the American Kennel Club (although other kennel clubs in the world do recognize it).
Weimaraners are all-purpose hunting dogs, and they were especially created for royalty. The long-haired variety was known to exist before 1935 (the year they were officially accepted), but they have always been less common than their short-haired counterparts. This kind of hunting dog is known for its well-rounded hunting style. They have an excessive amount of energy that requires a good outlet. The breed is known to be good at hunting, tracking, pointing and retrieving – on land and in water. They are people-oriented and have a strong desire to work and as such, this makes them ideal for novice hunters. Hunters who are interested in getting a Longhaired Weimaraner should look for gun dog breeders who can show proof of the abilities of the puppy’s parents. This is the only way you can guarantee the abilities of the hunting dogs you are buying. Even better, ask to see the parents at work because how they perform in the field can tell you a lot about the abilities of their offspring.
The Longhaired Weimaraner is a strong and powerful hunting breed and is known to be quite stubborn. This is a good reason for carrying out training once you bring the puppy home (if bought from a gun dog breeder). Up to that point, all they ever learned was from their littermates and mother. When they misbehaved, their mothers most likely would cuff them gently. Owners should communicate the same so they know what’s right and wrong from an early age. One of the best ways to train a Weimaraner puppy is to reward good behavior. This method is best known as positive reinforcement where puppies will repeat behavior that is rewarded.
Although most Weimaraners have short coats, the long-haired variety have a long, soft topcoat and may or may not have an undercoat. The hair of a Longhaired Weimaraner lies flat and is about three to five centimeters in length. The hair in the ears and the backs of the legs tend to be longer while the hair in the head is shorter. Most Weimaraners come with cropped tails but the long-haired variety usually doesn’t have their tails cropped. Male Longhaired Weimaraner will usually weigh between 70lbs and 85lbs, while females can weigh from 55lbs to 70lbs.
Longhaired Weimaraners are very energetic which is why they require frequent exercise to maintain physical endurance and stamina, particularly when used in hunting. They are very good with children but not so with smaller kids because of their rambunctious nature, especially in the early years of their life. They can be tolerant towards cats but will always have the urge to hunt.
The long-haired variety needs regular grooming to keep them looking clean. They have fast-growing nails which need to be trimmed on a regular basis using a nail clipper or grinder; doing this prevents overgrowth, splitting and cracking. Given their great stamina, these hunting dogs need to be exercised on a daily basis. City life may not be the best option for this breed because they need open spaces so they can run free.
The lifespan of a Longhaired Weimaraner is about 11 to 14 years. Minor health concerns for the breed include entropion, hypertophic osteodystrophy, spinal dysraphism, hemophilia A, distichiasis, canine hip dysplasia and von Willebrand’s disease. Gastric torsion is one of the major health issues for Weimaraners.