One of the newer breeds, Weimaraners date back to the early 19th century. They were bred in Germany as hunting dogs for nobility only, as their silver/grey coat and unique blue eyes were considered distinct and exclusive.
Also known as the “Gray Ghost”, they are more used as show days nowadays and their striking looks have won many Best In Show awards over the years. It’s unusual today for them to be used as hunting dogs.
|Dog Breed Group
We rate 19 characteristics for each breed, divided into three categories:
Highest Rated – Characteristics for which this breed is rated 4 or 5 stars (on a 5 star scale).
Neutral Rated – Characteristics that rated 3 stars.
Lowest Rated – Characteristics that rated only 1 or 2 stars.
- Good Family Dog
- Kid Friendly
- Low Drooling
- Likes to Play
- Protective Nature
- Handles Change Easily
- Easy to Train
- High Energy Level
- Tolerates Hot Climate
- High Intelligence
- Good With Other Dogs
- Low Shedding
- Friendly to Strangers
- Low Amount of Barking
- Tolerates Cold Climate
- Good General Health
- Suitable for Small Yards/Apartments
- Good for Novice Owners
- Tolerates Being Left Alone
If you’re looking for a good family dog, Weimaraners are not a bad choice. They are loyal and protective and make excellent watchdogs. At the same time, they need a lot of exercise and mental stimulation, so if you’re looking for a couch potato dog that doesn’t require a lot of effort, they are probably not right for you.
They can be good with children if socialized and trained to be gentle, but they are pretty high-energy dogs and may not be suitable for smaller children. They are simply too playful and rambunctious. But when well trained, they can be a great pup for your child to grow up with.
With strangers, Weimaraners tend to be aloof and cautious due to their protective nature. Socialization can help, but they will never be welcoming and friendly to people they don’t know.
Speaking of their protective nature, Weimaraners are highly protective of their family. They are loyal and fearless and will not back down from anything they view as a threat to their family.
So yes, they will always have your back. The downside to this is they can become overly protective and growl or bark at anything they perceive as a danger. This can be an issue if you live in a neighborhood with houses close together.
Weimaraners are about as good with other dogs as they are with strangers. They aren’t very welcoming and can be territorial and dominant, particularly with dogs of the same sex. This comes from being bred as hunters.
They also have a strong prey drive (that hunting instinct again). It’s not unusual for them to chase other small animals, including other dogs. This makes socialization and proper training especially important.
In the maintenance department, Weimaraners are mostly good news. Their smooth, short coat is easy to maintain and they are not heavy shedders.
They are also low droolers, so frequent clean-ups won’t be a problem. You can put that slobber towel away!
Since Weimaraners thrive on companionship and become very attached to their owners (plus they are a bit high-strung!), separation anxiety is common. If you’re away frequently for long periods, they are not the best choice.
Weimaraners are exceptionally high-energy dogs and have a boundless supply. They are best for active families that can provide plenty of opportunities to play and run, as well as mental stimulation activities.
If you’re unable to keep up with their seemingly endless supply of energy and need for exercise, they can become bored and may substitute destructive behavior for a lack of stimulation. If you want to lay around all day with your Weimaraner by your side, you’ll likely be disappointed!
Their need to channel large amounts of energy means that they are not suited to apartment living or houses with small yards. These dogs need room to regularly run and play. Unless you want to spend half your time at the dog park, they are a poor choice for those living in apartments or with small yards.
When it comes to smarts, Weimaraners are near the top. They are very quick learners and known to be excellent problem solvers, so be sure there’s nothing in your cabinets you don’t want them to get at because they will!
This intelligence makes them easy to train, and they do like to please their owners, but this is offset by their stubborn streak and their independent nature. They will not blindly follow all commands simply because you say so.
They need patient and consistent training, as well as being challenged and engaged. Otherwise, they will lose interest in the training.
Their high energy, need for exercise, and stubbornness in training makes them a poor choice for first-time dog owners.
As far as being a healthy breed goes, Weimaraners rate about average. They do enjoy a decent life span of 10 to 13 years, but they are prone to certain health challenges.
Their most common health issues include hip dysplasia, bloat, and eye problems, so it’s important to choose a reputable breeder who screens for these.