Graceful ‘Gray Ghost’ — the Weimaraner Dog Breed

closeup of a weimaraner

When you look into the eyes of a Weimaraner, it’s as if he’s looking right back at you, right into your soul. It’s more than those ice-blue-gray, almost human-like eyes, though; the Weimaraner dog breed is among the most attentive and intuitive dogs, thanks to its lineage as a hunting companion.  The Weimaraner dog breed hails from 19th century Germany and falls into the classifications of sporting dogs (AKC) and gun dogs (UKC). Its sleek, solid gray coat gives this dog breed the nickname “gray ghost.” Hunters bred them to help hunt big game and birds. The Weimaraner dog breed might have a touch of bloodhound in their lineage, which explains why military and police use them as bomb-sniffing dogs.

Do Weimaraners Bark a Lot?

Dogs bark for reasons — whether it’s out of boredom, loneliness, hunger, fear or some other reason — it’s how they communicate. And the Weimaraner is no exception. When this highly intelligent dog barks, it has something to say.  If you leave your Weim alone for long periods, you might anticipate complaints from neighbors about its excessive barking. Likewise, you can expect to come home to a mess, especially if you don’t crate your Weim. Weimaraners do OK in crates (make sure they have enough room to stand up and turn around), but leave them alone for too long, and you’ll come home to a mess. You might look into a walking service or pet sitter to check on your Weimaraner if you leave them for more than a couple of hours.  Also, remember that his dog has a high prey drive, so prepare for barked warnings when your Weim sees other dogs, cats, squirrels, and other animals.

Facts About Weimaraners

The Weimaraner dog breed has a solid gray coat. Their intelligent eyes range from gray to blue to shades of amber.  Fun fact: Weimaraners are presidential dogs. President Eisenhower (1945-1953) had a Weimaraner named Heidi when he was in the White House.

  • Size: Weimaraners weigh 55 to 85 pounds and stand 23 to 27 inches tall.
  • Life expectancy: They live 10 to 13 years on average.
  • Coat: Weimaraners’ coats are short, sleek and solid gray.
  • AKC group: Sporting Group

Is the Weimaraner Dog Breed Easy to Train? Are Weimaraners Good Dogs?

Weimaraner dogs are energetic, so they need regular daily exercise. We wouldn’t recommend them for tiny spaces or apartments. They do best in environments with fenced-in yards to run and exercise their legs while burning off pent-up energy.

This dog breed tends to have a higher prey drive, so they do better on leashes for walks and in fenced-in yards while off-leash. They do well with other dogs, but introduce them to other pets slowly and with caution. Again, dogs with high prey drive come by their instincts honestly; so, don’t leave Weimaraners (or any dog, really) alone with other pets — prey drive means their instinct is to kill. Hunting and sporting dogs tend to be eager to please their owners, so the Weimaraner tends to be on the easier side of the dog-training spectrum.  That said, Weimaraners are good dogs, especially for people who are active and home a lot. The Weimaraner dog breed does not do well alone — they can suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for too long — and will chew, destroy and try to escape.

Are Weimaraners good family dogs?

Yes, the Weimaraner dog breed does well with families, but with older children and active people. Some experts recommend against Weimaraners for households with babies, small children and cats.

How trainable are Weimaraners?

The AKC quotes a trainer who said, “The good news is Weimaraners are smart; the bad news is that Weimaraners are smart.” Dog intelligence can be a plus and a minus when it comes to training. Although they learn quickly, they also learn bad behaviors too. This dog breed does well with positive reinforcement training and treats. Be careful not to overfeed them. Choose a dog treat that is low in calories and high in quality.

Do Weimaraners Need Grooming?

One source we consulted describes the Weimaraner’s coat as a “wash and wear,” meaning it is a low-maintenance dog breed. Their coats are short and sleek and need only occasional brushing and bathing every few months (or as needed, if they get into mischief). What you will need to do regularly for your Weimaraner is trim its nails regularly. Check them weekly and use a dog-safe nail grinder to smooth longer and rough nails. Overgrown nails on this active breed can lead to other injuries.

Do Weimaraners shed?

Weimaraners are moderate and seasonal shedders. Plan to brush them once a week, twice during high-shedding seasons.

Are Weimaraners hypoallergenic?

No. Despite their short, sleek hair, the Weimaraner dog breed is not considered to be allergenic. What If My Breed Is a Weimaraners Mix? The Weimaraner dog breed is believed to come from a mix of pointers with a touch of the bloodhound. Hunters in Germany bred them for chasing big game and, later, to help bird hunters. Although the breed itself is a great dog for families with older children, some might seek to breed the Weimaraner with other dogs that might have lower prey drives or to offset their less desirable traits. Here are some popular breed mixes with Weims:

Resource Links for More Weimaraner Info

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