Breed Group: Sporting
Height: 23 to 27 inches at the shoulder
Weight: 55 to 90 pounds
Life Span: 12 to 15 years
Nicknamed the Gray Ghost for his habit of shadowing his owner, the smart and highly energetic Weimaraner is a great family companion, as well as a skilled hunting dog whose ancestors were bred to hone in on deer, wolves, and even bears. Plus, his sleek, silvery coat is easy to groom.
Did You Know the Weimaraner Does Not Have an “Off” Switch?
“Blue” Weimaraners can’t compete in the American show ring, but the color is considered normal and is not associated with any health problems. “Brown” Weimaraners, on the other hand, are not purebred Weimaraners, but rather German Shorthaired Pointer/Weimaraner mixes.
You may not know his name, but you probably recognize his silvery gray snout and long ears, a face made famous by Weimaraner photographer William Wegman. His distinctive look aside, the Weimaraner isn’t an ornament — he’s an active dog, with a deep need to hunt and connect with his human family.
In fact, there are two things a prospective owner needs to know about the Weimaraner: He has no “off” switch, and he’s not happy when left alone. Bred in Germany as a hunting dog and a family companion, the Weimaraner would love nothing more than to spend the day hunting with you — all day long, every single day. Failing that, he’ll settle for obedience training, agility, hiking, or participating in canine sports, just as long as it means that he can be active with you.
If you’re getting the idea that Weimaraners tend to attach to their owners like Velcro, you’re right. Separation anxiety is a serious problem in this breed; some Weimaraners become so distraught when left to their own devices that they bark, dig, escape, and even injure themselves. They can also be stubborn, demanding, and tough to house-train. They’re frequently a hazard to cats and other small pets, and if they don’t get a lot of daily exercise, they go stir crazy.
So why even have one? The answer is simple: They’re incredibly intelligent, loyal dogs who bond deeply with their owners. For some people, the depth of that relationship, coupled with the unique appearance of the breed, makes them the only dog to consider. To see if the Weimaraner is the right breed for you, take the Weimaraner Club of America’s interactive quiz.
Other Quick Facts About the Weimaraner
Weimaraners aren’t suited to apartment life — they need a home with a yard and an owner who won’t scold them for digging up moles and mice.
The Weimaraner’s beautiful coat is a snap to maintain, but it sheds.
Weimaraners love to play in the water, and they drip copious amounts it when they drink.
They are talented escape artists who excel at breaking out of enclosures, jumping fences, and figuring out how to unlatch doors and gates.
The Weimaraner has a mind of his own, so he needs consistent training throughout his life to reinforce that you’re the one in charge.
Females weigh between 55 to 70 pounds, while males can weigh in at 85 pounds.