WHY A WEIMARANER?
His handsome looks and striking colour give the Weimaraner an exceptional and commanding appearance and this has been, to some extent, his downfall as the very attributes which make him so attractive, often blind people to the fact that he is a very complex, very intelligent and active hunting dog.
The Weimaraner is a thinking creature, being of a proud and dominant nature himself, he can quickly discover who in the family has a similar character and he, or quite often she, will receive the utmost in respect and devotion. Likewise, he is intolerant of weaklings and will probably treat them with contempt.
WHERE DID HE COME FROM?
Before going any further, let us consider a little about the history of this magnificent breed. The Weimaraner is one of the Hunt, Point and Retrieve sub-group within the Gundog Group. An all-purpose breed whose temperament and character is quite dissimilar to that of other gundogs.
The Weimaraner originated in the province of Weimar, Germany, 130 miles Southwest of Berlin. The earliest date recorded in the history of the development of the breed is the year 1810, Grand Duke Karl August had a tremendous effect on the cultural advancement of the territory over which he reigned; and especially the city of Weimar, which became the centre of German art and literature. It is believed that the Weimaraner dog was developed under the direction of the nobles of his court, but the records of the history of the breed during the following fifty years cannot be traced. Neither has any definite record been found to trace the ancestry of the breed or to prove the path of its development.
Weimaraners were used in Germany and in Austria for tracking wounded wild boar and stag, as well as upland game. Their owners required a dog with courage, a keen nose and sharp eye, which would point and retrieve, be obedient to recall under all conditions and ready to take to water when necessary.
WHAT IS HE?
Even today, Weimaraners retain these traits and, as a breed, respond readily to intelligent handling. They are willing and sensitive and have a great desire to please their owners to whom they become deeply attached. They make an excellent housedog and adapt to the children of the family if brought up in their company from puppyhood. To describe the unique temperament and qualities of a Weimaraner to someone who has never known one is a difficult task. Because of their total devotion to their owners, gone are the days of going to the toilet by yourself. They can be aloof, cool, almost snobbish towards strangers. Only to have spent some time with a Weimaraner can one really appreciate the breed.
Highly intelligent, at times tending to be more human in nature than canine, is an accurate description. Coupled with their intelligence is their ability to be demanding, strong-willed and possessive. Once you have established you are boss, they are an extremely devoted, responsive friend and companion with an uncanny ability to almost talk with their beautiful amber eyes and expressions. They feel they are and should be a part of the family and, because of this, a Weimaraner will fret badly when parted from them especially if left alone for many hours during the day, showing his disapproval by being noisy, destructive or both.
Although they possess a strong guarding instinct, the breed is not a Guard Dog as such, but more a companion dog, which will guard you. He does not need a large garden, only a well fenced one, i.e. 6ft high, but he requires not only free-running and disciplined exercise, but also to have his brain exercised as well. With careful, patient training, he must learn the rules of your household not the ones he makes up for himself. He is a strange mixture of wilfulness and sensitivity. Too harsh an approach and he will 'blank out', seemingly unable to understand the simplest requirement. Too much leeway and he will do his own thing in a way that will not amuse you. Under exercised, unoccupied and bored, he can wreak havoc. Jaws such as his can make light work of the happy home and he is quite capable of re-arranging your landscape, introducing a tasteful tunnel or a cavern with very little apparent effort. We have adapted him to our requirements in this country primarily to work as a rough-shooter's dog. As a companion, we must remember, understand and respect his heritage.
WHAT DOES HE NEED FROM YOU?
A Weimaraner needs your time, patience and understanding. Be kind but firm from the beginning; let him know exactly where he stands in the pecking order at the bottom! Do not have a physical confrontation with him (you will probably loose!). Take him to training classes, socialise him in as many and varied situations as possible, and be consistent. Firm handling does not mean harsh handling. THINK DOG and learning to read your dog will be the first step to a long and happy relationship.
Everything about this beautiful animal, the Weimaraner, is an element of challenge. He is such a 'get up and go' creature possessed of a quick intelligence, an abundance of energy, a drive to hunt, a streak of possessiveness and an exaggerated devotion which has to be tempered to the demands of modern living. He is not every man's dog, nor a commercial proposition, but the rewards of taking on such a challenge are immense.
A Breed Standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament and appearance of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function. Absolute soundness is essential. Breeders and judges should at all times be careful to avoid obvious conditions or exaggerations which would be detrimental in any way to the health, welfare or soundness of this breed. From time to time certain conditions or exaggerations may be considered to have the potential to affect dogs in some breeds adversely, and judges and breeders are requested to refer to the Kennel Club website for details of any such current issues. If a feature or quality is desirable it should only be present in the right measure.
Medium-sized, grey with light eyes. Presents a picture of power, stamina and balance.
Hunting ability of paramount concern.
Fearless, friendly, protective, obedient and alert.
Head and Skull
Moderately long, aristocratic; moderate stop, slight median line extending back over forehead. Rather prominent occipital bone. Measurement from top of nose to stop equal to measurement from stop to occipital prominence. Flews moderately deep, enclosing powerful jaw. Foreface straight, and delicate at the nostrils. Skin tightly drawn. Nose grey.
Medium-sized, round. Shades of amber or blue-grey. Placed far enough apart to indicate good disposition, not too protruding or deeply set. Expression keen, kind and intelligent.
Long, lobular, slightly folded, set high. When drawn alongside jaw, should end approximately 2.5 cms (1 in) from point of nose.
Jaws strong with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws. Lips and gums of pinkish, flesh colour. Complete dentition highly desirable.
Clean-cut and moderately long.
Forelegs straight and strong. Measurement from elbow to ground equal to distance from elbow to top of withers.
Length from point of shoulder to point of buttock should be greater than the height at withers, in the approximate proportion of 12:10. Topline level, with slightly sloping croup. Chest well developed and deep. Ribs well sprung, ribcage extending well back to short, firm loin. Abdomen firmly held, moderately tucked-up flank. Brisket should drop to elbow.
Moderately angulated, with well-turned stifle. Hocks well let down, turned neither in nor out. Musculation well developed.
Firm, compact. Toes well arched, pads close, thick. Nails short, grey or amber in colour.
Previously customarily docked.
Docked: Customarily docked so that remaining tail covers scrotum in dogs and vulva in bitches. Thickness of tail in proportion to body. Should be carried in a manner expressing confidence and sound temperament. In long-haired, tip of tail may be removed.
Undocked: Moderately set, thickness in proportion to body. Reaching down to hocks and tapering towards the tip. Carried below level of back when relaxed; may be raised when animated. Not curled over back. Good hair cover.
Effortless, ground covering, indicating smooth co-ordination. Seen from rear, hind feet parallel to front feet. Seen from side, topline remains strong and level.
Short, smooth and sleek. In long-haired variety, coat from 2.5-5 cms (1-2 ins) long on body, somewhat longer on neck, chest and belly. Tail and back of limbs, feathered.
Preferably silver grey, shades of mouse or roe grey acceptable; blending to lighter shade on head and ears. Dark eel stripe frequently occurs along back. Whole coat gives an appearance of metallic sheen. Small white mark permissible on chest. White spots resulting from injuries not penalised. Any other colour highly undesirable.
Height at withers: dogs: 61-69 cms (24-27 ins); bitches: 56-64 cms (22-25 ins).
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog, and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.
Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.