Why A Weimaraner?
Wilful, but so willing to please. Exceedingly loyal, sometimes possessive. Immensely intelligent and incredibly stubborn. Misses his owners dreadfully if left alone. Accepts discipline readily with patience but - Rules the roost if allowed. Adjusts your lifestyle out of recognition. Needs a stable loving home environment. Energetic: exercise essential for mind and body. Regards himself as being superior in every way.
Do you really want to own a Weimaraner? Do you know just what you are letting yourself and your family in for? Hopefully, the following will encourage you to take on the very rewarding challenge of owning a Weimaraner. So, what is this "Gray Ghost"?
His handsome looks and striking color give the Weimaraner an exceptional and commanding appearance and this has been, to some extent, his downfall as the very attributes which make him so attractive, often blind people to the fact that he is a very complex, very intelligent and active hunting dog.
The Weimaraner is one of the Hunt, Point and Retrieve sub-group within the Gundog Group. An all-purpose breed whose temperment and character is quite dissimilar to that of other gundogs.
The Weimaraner originated in the province of Weimar, Germany, 130 miles Southwest of Berlin. The earliest date recorded in the history of the development of the breed is the year 1810, Grand Duke Karl August had a tremendous effect on the cultural advancement of the territory over which he reigned; and especially the city of Weimar, which became the center of German art and literature. It is believed that the Weimaraner dog was developed under the direction of the nobles of his court, but the records of the history of the breed during the following fifty years cannot be traced. Neither has any definite record been found to trace the ancestry of the breed or to prove the path of its development.
Weimaraners were used in Germany and Austria for tracking wounded wild boar and stag, as well as upland game. Their owners required a dog with courage, a keen nose and a sharp eye, which would point and retrieve, be obedient to recall under all conditions and ready to take to water when necessary.
Even today, Weimaraners retain these traits and, as a breed, respond readily to intelligent handling. They are willing and sensitive and have a great desire to please their owners to whom they become deeply attached. They make an excellent housedog and adapt to the children of the family if brought up in their company from puppyhood. To describe the unique temperment and qualities of a Weimaraner to someone who has never known one is a difficult task. Because of their total devotion to their owners, gone are the days of going to the toilet by yourself. They can be aloof, cool, almost snobbish towards strangers. Only to have spent some time with a Weimaraner can one really appreciate the breed.
Highly intelligent, at times tending to be more human in nature than canine, is an accurate description. Coupled with their intelligence is their ablility to be demanding, strong-willed and possessive. Once you have established you are the boss, they are an extremely devoted, responsive friend and companion with an uncanny ability to almost talk with their beautiful amber eyes and expressions. They feel they are and should be a part of the family and, because of this, a Weimaraner will fret badly when parted from them especially if left alone for many hours during the day, showing his disapproval by being noisy, destructive or both.
Although they possess a strong guarding instinct, the breed is not a "Guard Dog" as such, but more a companion dog, which will guard you. He does not need a large yard, only a well fenced one, i.e. 6ft high, but he requires not only free-running and disciplined excercise, but also to have his brain exercised as well. With careful, patient training, he must learn the rules of your household not the ones he makes up for himself. He is a strange mixture of wilfulness and sensitivity. Too harsh an approach and he will 'blank out', seemingly unable to understand the simplest requirement. Too much leeway and he will do his own thing in a way that will not amuse you. Under exercised, unoccupied and bored, he can wreak havoc. Jaws such as his can make light work of the happy home and he is quite capable of re-arranging your landscape, introducing a tasteful tunnel or cavern with very little apparent effort. We have adapted him to our requirements in this country primarily to work as a rough-shooter's dog. As a companion, we must remember, understand and respect his heritage.
A Weimaraner needs your time, patience and understanding. Be kind but firm from the beginning; let him know exactly where he stands in the pecking order - at the bottom! Do not have a physical confrontation with him (you will probably loose!). Take him to training classes, socialize him in as many and varied situations as possible, and be consistant. Firm handling does not mean harsh handling. Think like a dog and learning to read your dog will be the first step to a long and happy relationship.