For this month’s breed post we have the affectionate and beautiful Weimaraner. Often nicknamed Silver Ghosts, or Gray Ghosts, due to their silvery coats and striking blue and grey eyes, this handsome breed will definitely make you do a double take.
Originating from Germany, the Weimaraner was bred to serve as a hunting dog to target big game such as bear and wolves. As Germany’s forests shrank and these animals became more more far and few between, the Weimaraner’s handlers directed the breed’s talents to hunt smaller wildlife, such as foxes, rabbits and birds.
Weimaraners are very affectionate dogs and absolutely adore their owners, and so do quite like to try and live in your pocket. Although they were originally bred to be hunting dogs, they are not suited for living outdoors as they crave human interaction and attention. They like to be as close to you as possible, more often than not within touching distance, so if the idea of one of these big dogs sitting on your feet or squashing themselves up against you on the couch doesn’t appeal, this might not be the right breed for you.
It’s important to be aware of slowly building up the dog’s confidence when left alone as early on in their lives as possible to avoid future problems.
You may have seen photographer William Wegman’s now very popular calendars and books, which photograph Weimaraner’s wearing various wigs and costumes to emulate human situations. It’s very telling of the comical nature of the breed, who have a reputation for making you laugh, even in situations where they have been badly behaved.
Weimaraners are very intelligent dogs and do learn new tricks quite quickly. However if not provided with enough physical and mental stimulation, they will be quick to use that smart brain of theirs to teach themselves a few undesirable traits, like opening doors or digging under fences. If restless and confined in the house they have a reputation to become like Houdini, and are very good at figuring out the best escape routes. This is also something to be aware of when Weimaraner-proofing your back garden, to ensure that there are no obvious places to break out.
This breed does require a good 2-3 hours exercise per day to make sure that they get exactly what they need. They will happily be your jogging, hiking or cycling buddy, and also really enjoy a high energy game of fetch or agility like flyball.
It’s worth noting that Weimaraners have loose lips, and will splash water and food all over the place when they eat or drink. It’s always good to keep a hand towel nearby for those messy chops, especially as they will most likely be headed your way for a cuddle afterwards.
A quirky and affectionate breed, life will certainly be full of smiles with a Weimaraner around.