The Weimaraner is a medium sized gray dog, with fine aristocratic features. He should present a picture of grace, speed, stamina, alertness, and balance. The temperament should be friendly, fearless, alert, and obedient.
Why should you care that your breeder adheres to this “Weimaraner Standard?!?
Because standards were put in place for a reason, and adhering to them keeps the breed from looking like a chihuahua down the road.
Like all breeds of dogs, Weimaraners have their own distinctive presence and personality, based on the purpose for which they were originally bred. Weims were created to be strong, intelligent, hunting companions.
This is Jyn Erso. She is a third generation Barrett dog.
Even though Weim puppies may be among the world’s most beautiful, when considering a new member for your family, you must consider the adult dog which will be living with you for the next 12 to 15 years.
This is a photo of a Weimaraner that passed through local rescue awhile back. He might be purebred, but he’s not well-bred. In addition to excessive white on the chest, he had short ears, an apple head, he was extremely fearful and reactive (like a combination of poor breeding and poor socialization). The breed standard is what ethical breeders use as a guideline to preserve the Weimaraner as… a Weimaraner.
Bred to work in the fields all day, the Weim’s energy level is high and consistent. Highly driven and forceful whether playing or working, Weims are not recommended for families with either small children or elderly people. They would not deliberately hurt anyone, but the dog’s exuberance could result in injurious accidents. Older, considerate children, trained to treat a dog with respect, and supervised to make sure they do, could find the Weim a loving companion.
Because Weims were bred to hunt and kill small furry animals, large and small, they are not recommended for homes with pet birds, cats or other small, furry pets. (That said, I do have a flock of 14 chickens that I raise in a protected space in my backyard.) The Weim’s prey drive is strong and rabbits, cats, mice, rats, possums, skunks, birds, and raccoons are all fair game. The Weim on the trail of its prey is focused and driven. It is difficult, if not impossible, to stop the chase.
Small running children and people jogging or riding bicycles may trigger the chase instinct in a Weim. Secure fencing and careful watchfulness is necessary as long as a Weim is part of your family.
In a list of Weimaraner priorities, neatness and cleanliness rank near the bottom. Yes, they look neat in their shiny silver coat, but it is an illusion.
– Weimaraners shed. Their fur is less than an inch long, but they do leave it everywhere and they do have dander which bothers some allerge people.
– Weimaraners think they have found a treasure when they can roll in a three-day-old rotted carcass. Water sloshes from their mouths and drinking bowls. Their is no place too dirty, too stinky or too slimy to go in pursuit of a rabbit or bird.
– If there is one thing equally as fun to a Weim as chasing, it may be tracking and then digging to remove its prey from its hiding place. Where there are Weims, there will be holes. Holes in the lawn, holes in the flower garden, and even holes in the wood siding.
– If inside and anxious about being alone (and not properly crate trained), a Weim may dig in the carpeting or the couch.
– A Weim takes its duty to protect you and your home seriously. It will bark to alert you of dangers. It may also bark, excessively, just to enjoy its own voice.
To a Weim, a fence is an obstacle to jump over, climb on, break through, or dig under. Gates are for opening and Weims learn quickly how to work many kinds of latches.
Their skills are also useful inside the house. You may find yourself in the company of a Weim that you thought you had securely placed behind a gate, or shut into another room. Some Weims are also good at letting themselves into or out of the house.
Window and door screens may be simply an annoyance to a Weim flying through the air on its way to the outside.
Because Weims are sensitive creatures and at the same time physically strong, independent thinkers, you may find training to be a challenge. A sense of humor and the ability to accept the unexpected are essential. Training must be started early and be consistent; firm, but gentle; given in short doses; and a life-long process.
Weims are intelligent, hard working dogs who learn quickly what you want them to do. Whether or not they do it, is based on such things as the most enticing-smell-ever coming from somewhere else, the Weim’s peculiar sense of humor, or if it might be time for your humility lesson.
As with many popular breeds, less than careful breeding to meet the demand for puppies has led to an increase in the possibility of your Weim having hip dysplasia, immune system disorders, and/or an aggressive temperament. Careful choice of breeder, proper socialization, and regular medical exams can help alleviate some of these.
Weimaraners are born with a built-in “someone must lead” need. They will spend the rest of their lives making sure someone does. You must expect to spend the next 12 years establishing and maintaining your position as that leader.
You will have to remain a benevolent dictator to your dog for those years, or it will take over the position, and with it, your life and your home. You and your dog will live either by your rules, or his, and you do not want to live by his.
If taking charge firmly, quietly, and kindly does not come naturally to you, and you do not have the ability to say “NO!” and mean it, then the Weim is not a dog for you.
Exposure to people and dogs must be a constant part of your dog-care routine for the rest of your Weim’s life, to help ensure it remains an outgoing, friendly companion.
Aggression and shyness are increasing problems in the breed, and if either problem is not properly addressed, may result in dogs who bite. Professional help may be needed.
Besides socialization, activities outside the home give mental and physical stimulation to this highly active, restless, intelligent breed.
The Weim was originally created to serve, not only as a hunting dog, but as a companion. Although independent minded, it needs the company of its family, and has always been more suited to life inside with its “pack”, than isolated for long hours each day, or left alone outside.
Weims lacking the companionship of their family will suffer from loneliness and may exhibit separation anxiety when left alone: nuisance barking; chewing and digging floors, furniture, and walls; and soiling the house. This can be a frustrating, lengthy, and expensive problem to overcome.
If you think you’re a good candidate for Weimaraner ownership, we’ve love for you to consider a Barrett dog! Click here for more details.
Last updated: September 18th, 2014