Nicknamed ‘Silver Ghosts’ because of their elegant appearance and grey coat, Weimaraners would suit an owner who loves the outdoors and has lots of time to dedicate to their training. Although they are not recommended for first-time dog owners, in the right hands they are fiercely loyal, intelligent dogs who would make an excellent companion for all your adventures! Some highlights:
With their graceful physique and glossy silvery coat, these dogs are truly one of the most beautiful breeds out there.
Weimaraners are highly intelligent, which means that they learn quickly when consistent training is applied.
They become very attached to their owners, so make excellent companions.
As mentioned, they love being outdoors, so will happily accompany an outdoorsy owner on long hikes!
Although there are many positives to this lovely breed, who are treasured in their native Germany, they come with their own set of challenges and are not a good choice for first-time dog owners. Some downsides to the Weimaraner:
The Weimaraner’s temperament matches its aristocratic appearance, and they can be willful and stubborn at times.
Their high intelligence means they can quickly pick up on whether their owner has established enough superiority, and they may become dominant if not properly disciplined.
Because these dogs become so attached to their owners, this can manifest in possessive and demanding behaviour.
These energetic dogs need large amounts of mental stimulation and exercise, or they may develop behavioural problems.
Weimaraners are a relatively new breed, dating back only as far as the 19th century. They were bred originally in the area of Europe which is now Germany, in a region then called Weimar (their namesake). Noblemen in the Weimar court bred them to act as hunting companions, wanting dogs that were physically capable of keeping up with them on their hunts, as well as possessing intelligence, speed and the desire to remain close to their owners. The breed was kept exclusively in Germany as a close-guarded secured until 1937, when the first Weimaraner was taken over to America. They were introduced to the UK in 1952 by Major Petty, who had fallen in love with the breed when serving in the army in Germany. Nowadays, they are popular as assistance dogs for disabled people and used widely across Europe as police dogs.
As mentioned, Weimaraners are extremely attractive dogs, known for their sleek coat and lithe appearance. They have a strong yet elegant build, allowing them to move quickly and gracefully. Their eyes are a striking feature, being either amber or blue in colour.
An average male Weimaraner will measure between 63-68cm tall at the withers and a female between 58-63cm.
A male Weimaraner should weigh between 32 and 37 kg, a female between 25 and 32 kg.
Weimaraners have a short, glossy coat which ranges from mouse-grey to silvery-grey, with lighter shades around the head and ears.
Weimaraners will always let their owners know when there are strangers around, but should not be trained to be guard dogs as it will encourage their dominant nature and may result in aggressive behaviour.
Weimaraners are not a particularly vocal breed, although they do suffer from separation anxiety and are likely to bark left alone for long periods of time.
Weimaraners are intelligent and therefore relatively easy to train, although as mentioned earlier they are far more suited to experienced owners who will establish clear boundaries and dominance in the household.
This breed can be sensitive when not shown enough attention, however when properly trained and cared for they will relax and show their fun-loving and playful side. They require large amounts of mental stimulation, so would love playing interactive games with their owners.
Weimaraners are known for being excellent with children, and their need for attention and stimulation will be satisfied by playing interactive games with kids. As they are a very large breed, however, proper care should be taken to ensure that the children know how to behave around big dogs. They should also be supervised around younger children, as they may accidentally knock a small child over.
When they have been properly socialised, Weimaraners are usually good around other dogs. They should be supervised around smaller animals if they haven’t been raised with them, as they will very happily chase your neighbour’s cat if you take your eye off them for too long!
Weimaraners are an extremely devoted breed, designed to remain close to their owners at all times during the hunt and afterwards. This means that they will develop separation anxiety if left alone for long periods of time, and would be more suited to households which are near-constantly occupied.
Weimaraners are known for being healthy dogs, who suffer from very few hereditary issues. As with all breeds, however, there are some potential health complications which should be taken into consideration.
An average Weimaraner, when properly cared for, can be expected to live for between 11 and 14 years.
Weimaraners are highly energetic hunting dogs, so need large amounts of daily exercise! In fact, it would be difficult to over-exercise a Weimaraner, as they have tremendous stamina. When properly exercised for a minimum of 2 hours a day (with lots of “off the lead time”) Weimaraners are far more likely to be well-behaved and docile companions in the household. If they are not exercised enough, they will become bored and potentially destructive.
Weimaraners do not suffer from many hereditary conditions, but may be prone to conditions such as Dilated Cardiomyopathy, Districhiasis (excessive inward eyelash growth), Ectropion and Entropion (eyelids folding inwards or outwards), Epilepsy, Bloat/Gastric Dilation, Hip Dysplasia and Pancreatic insufficiency. Owners should take their dog to the vet at the first sign of illness to gain a proper diagnosis.
As mentioned, Weimaraners are a highly energetic, outdoorsy breed who do not do well when cooped up in small spaces. They would not be suited to apartment living and would need a house with a large garden to run around in.
An adult Weimaraner should be fed between 275g and 482g of high-quality dog food, depending on the dog’s build and daily activity. Because Weimaraners are known to suffer from bloat, their food should be divided into two meals a day to avoid this life-threatening condition.
Weimaraners have a very short coat, and tend to be extremely low-maintenance on the grooming front — dirt just slides right off them! That said, they do shed and should be brushed semi-regularly to avoid hair on your furniture.
As a rough guide in pricing: Cost to buy: roughly between £400-£900 for a well-bred Weimaraner puppy Other costs (Vet, Food etc): roughly £100 per month
You can read our general buying guide here (/advice-on-buying-a-puppy/), with the most important thing being going to view your Weimaraner Puppy, seeing it with its mother, and checking the quality of the breeder. More specifically, here is some Weimaraner puppy buying advice:
In the past, Weimaraners traditionally had their tails docked to prevent them from being damaged when hunting. In recent years, however, laws have been passed to prevent this practise unless it has been done for medical reasons, or the dog in question is classified as a ‘working’ dog. Prospective owners should question the breeder and obtain relevant paperwork if they are considering buying a puppy with a docked tail.
A big thank you to the following sources who helped to shape this article: https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/services/public/breed/display.aspx?id=2058 https://www.weimaranerclubofgreatbritain.org.uk/ https://www.pdsa.org.uk/taking-care-of-your-pet/looking-after-your-pet/puppies-dogs/large-dogs/weimaraner https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/lifestyle/ways-weimaraners-are-like-no-other-dogs/