A beautiful hunting dog with a soft, glossy coat and eyes of startling hues, the Weimaraners are easy to fall in love with. They are graceful and possess aristocratic features; no wonder they were used by royalty for hunting large game back in the nineteenth century. Today, they are also used for hunting small animals, such as foxes, fowls and rabbits. They are popular as family pets, too. They make an obedient companion who love children and enjoy being a part of the family. But here’s the thing, a Weimaraner is sometimes best admired from afar. In other words, it is not for everyone: it demands more time, attention and exercise.
The Weimaraner belongs to the Sporting Group of hunting dogs. This means that it is not developed or trained to chase and kill game. It is mainly used to help hunters locate, point and retrieve game birds. It has a soft mouth that allows it to bring the dead or injured game to the hunter without damaging the animal. Also known as a “gentleman’s shooting dog”, this hunting dog breed searches the ground or field at a pace that is comfortable to a hunter, always making sure that it is within the hunter’s sight. Although unfairly labeled as a second-rate hunting dog, the Weimaraner follows a hunting style marked by exceptional thoroughness of search rather than speed. It also responds well to gentle commands. It is not the hunting dog that is ok with the hard approach that many hunting dog owners are used to.
Weimaraners need basic obedience training that must be delivered with patience to make sure puppies grow into secure, well-behaved hunting dogs. This is because these bird dogs, while intelligent, are slow to mature; they can be wild and woolly during their puppy stage. But when trained properly, they can grow into great adults. Owners must be resilient in providing a disciplined training framework early on and throughout the hunting dog’s life because the Weimaraner can take advantage of owners who are not firm enough to give commands that ensure compliance. Of course, as mentioned earlier, they should also be treated gently as they are generally soft and sensitive. Severe training methods can ruin their trust. So the key here would be gentleness and firmness.
These hunting dogs are moderately large and athletic. They have a medium-sized head with a medial line going down their forehead. Their nose is grey and their eyes are wide set, coming in the beautiful shades of gray, blue gray or light amber. They have long and pendant-shaped, high-set ears that frame their face, hanging along the side of the head. And their smooth, glossy coat is tight against their whole body (though some rare variety are longhaired), coming in the shades of silver gray or mouse gray. Males can stand 24 to 27 inches at the shoulder and weigh 70 to 85 pounds. Females can stand 23 to 25 inches at the shoulder and weigh 55 to 70 pounds.
Hearing tales from this hunting dog breed’s owners, you would come to believe that Weimaraners naturally came fully trained and perfect in all aspects. Of course, those are just tales because no hunting dog comes out naturally with good behavior. Those hunting dogs are probably a product of good training, which when done properly will result to an obedient and excellent companion. These hunting dogs are generally smart, restless, willful and assertive. They can take over the household if you allow them so: steal cupcakes off the counter, bark at anyone, chase cats like crazy, chew everything they can get their teeth on, and all other disasters you can imagine. That is why this hunting dog breed is not recommended for first-time owners. But if you insist this is for you, make sure to choose a pup with nice temperament—not the one hiding in the corner or the one beating up his litter mates.