- AKC Group: Sporting
- Color and Coat: Shades of mouse to silver-grey or blue. Weims have short hair and are moderately shed. Light grooming is necessary.
- Life Span: Weimaraners can live between nine and fifteen years of age.
- Litter Size: The litter size on average is around seven puppies.
- Size: Males can reach between 24 and 27 inches (61-69 cm) and weigh in between 60 to over 100 pounds . Females can reach between 22 and 25 inches (56-63 cm) and weigh from 55-100 pounds.
- Living Area: The Weimaraner is an outside hunting dog, and loves being outdoors at certain times. YET they need to be inside with their trainer/owner during the night, when it is cold or cool, or when it is time to watch television. They have a low cold tolerance and a slightly hotter tolerance. They are very affectionate to their owner and have a strong desire to stay with them at all times.
About the Weimaraner
An elegant and noble hunting dog with the look of an aristocrat, combined with kind and gentle features, the Weimaraner is very athletic with a total balance of body form that gives it the highest star quality look. The tallest of the gundog groups, a major requirment of this beautiful breed is that it works in the field--regardless of its background in show or hunting stock--with great speed and endurance. Any faults of this dog that interferes with its working ability are extremely penalized.
The Weimaraner combines the traits of speed and endurance with grace, raciness, an alert demeanor, plus pure stamina and determination. With a gait that is smooth and effortless, it should indicate that the dog has a smooth coordination. The hind feet needs to be parallel with the front feet when seen from the rear, and when viewed from the side, the topline should remain strong and level.
The head of this hunting breed is what makes it stand out in a croud, with a moderately long and artistocratic head, with a slight median line that gently extends back over its forehead--and stops moderately there. The occiput is prominent with well set back temples, beginning behind the wide set eye sockets--acceptable eye colors are shades of light amber, gray, or blue-gray. When excited, any of these colors have a tendency to appear black. The flews are straight and delicate at the nostrils with skin drawn tightly back, while the lip and gum pigment is a soft pinkish shade. Serious faults are a black-mottled mouth with a snipey muzzle.
History of the Breed
Wanting to develop more of a multi-purpose hunting dog, the Grand Duke Karl August of Weimer was responsible for the earlier stages of the Weimaraner's development. In 1880, the breed was shown at a dog show located in Berlin where the dog was referred to as a "l'mongrels." The Germans were famous for having a reputation as not only having but developing the best hunting dogs in the world, and the Weimaraner pointer or hunting dog was a result of that development. The Weimaraner had originally been bred as a houndlike fur-hunting, tracking dog that was supposedly meant to be aggressive toward the predators it was meant to hunt, and as the dog became more and more domesticated, the functions of bird-hunting and retrieving was bred into the dog for the needs of the German hunter and the Nobles of Weimar, and eventually became highly prized for their versatile hunting skills. Eventually the breed became widely known as the "Gray Ghost" as it was gray in color, with the ability to be extremely quick, using cat-like stealth when out in the field, combined with a ghost-like, silent, shadow-way of working the prey.
Over time, the nobles rigidly began to control the Weimaraner's availability to the public. This was to ensure the quality of the breed, and the German Weimaraner Club was formed at this time for that strict purpose by amateur sportsmen--with the purpose of breeding the dog for sport, not for profit. From then on, very few non-club members knew about this highly protected German dog breed--the club membership was tightly restricted and only club members could own and breed the famous Weimaraner with the breed type and temperament becoming proudly refined, with legends upon legins springing forth about the "great gray hunting dog." As the breeding continued, the 1850s showed a conversion from the "bear and deer hunter" hunting dog to the that of "fur and feathers" with those newly developed hunting instincts remaining today.
This restricted membership changed when in 1928, a Providence, RI, sportsman by the name of Howard Knight applied for membership in this restricted German hunting club which resulted in him coming back into the United States with two sterile females. But through perseverance, he finally achieved success when three female dogs and a puppy were sent to him: two were litter sisters--Adda and Dorle v. Schwarzen Kamp--and a one year female named Aura v. Gaiberg. The puppy was named Mars aus der Wulfsreide. When others began joining Howard Knight's efforts, the Weimaraner Club of America was formed in 1942 with a breed standard created, with AKC recognition in 1942, coming out in 1943 at Westminster.
A major concern of the Weimaraner is Gastric torsion, or "bloat." This is when the stomach becomes twisted and traps the stomach contents, with gas also becoming trapped inside. This is a serious condition of dogs, and is the second killer of dogs next to cancer. Many large, deep chested dogs are at risk it in addition to Weimaraners--such as German Shepherds, Great Danes, and Dobermans--with very few people knowing about it.
A condition of Bloat can kill the dog within one hour if it is left untreated. Technically it is called "Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus" ("GDV"), which is related to swallowing air even though food and fluid are present at times. Abnormal accumulations occur of air, fluid, and/or foams which are present in the stomach--this is called gastric dilatation. Even though twisting of the stomach causes a majority of the bloat diagnosis, stress also plays a large factor. When the stomach begins to swell, it can rotate 90 degrees to 360 degrees between the esophagus and the duodenum, resulting in trapped air, food, and water in the stomach area. The bloated stomach causes several things to occur in the body of the Weimaraner--low blood pressure, shock, and internal organ damage.
The Blue Weimaraner
The Weimaraner is commonly noted for its mousey or silver gray color. However, there is another variation of the Weimaraner called the Blue Weimaraner, which has a dark blue coat with a slate-gray shade. The usual gray color of the Weimaraner is a dilution of brown, but the Blue Weimaraner shows a dilution of black. Other than the color, the Blue Weimaraner is similar to the Gray Weimaraner in all aspects of the breed. This color deviation is thought to be an alteration of the breed's genetics because it has only appeared in two non-hereditary instances during the last the century.
The first instance was in Austria during the 1940s and the second time was in a Weimaraner called Caesar Von Gaiberg back in 1947. It was Captain Holt who purchased CÃ¤sar Von Gaiberg during one of his journeys through Germany and he brought the Blue Weimaraner back to America. Caesar Von Gaiberg went on to produce fine lines of Weimaraner puppies, becoming the forefather of the Blue Weimaraner breed in America. In fact, eight of the Blue Weimaraners were recognized as bench champions.
Back in the 1940s, the Blue Weimaraner was thought to be a recessive gene. However, recent study shows that it is in fact a dominant gene. A Weimaraner has only two color alleles and in order to make a Blue Weimaraner, at least one allele should be blue. If a Weimaraner has inherited a blue allele, then it will be blue. A Gray Weimaraner from a Blue Weimaraner parent means that it did not inherit any blue allele.
The Blue Weimaraner is accepted by a number of kennel clubs and associations, but it is considered a fault by the American Kennel Club or AKC. Generally, it is not recognized by most of the major dog registries around the world. However, a Blue Weimaraner can be registered with the AKC if both of its parents are also registered with the club. Thus, an AKC-registered Blue Weimaraner may compete in any event hosted by the AKC but it will not be eligible for a show or conformation event. It was in 1972 that the standards were changed to disqualify the Blue Weimaraner. However, it is permitted to join competitions such as Obedience, Tracking, Agility, and other performance events.
Although the Blue Weimaraner is not recognized as a pure-bred Weimaraner, there are a lot of breeders who prefer to breed this type of Weimaraner. One of their missions is to get the AKC to revise the standards so that the Blue Weimaraner will be recognized. Through the efforts of the breeders, perhaps one day, the Blue Weimaraner will make a return to the show ring.