Weimaraner Vorstehhund (nick Weim
The Weimaraner should be elegant, noble, and athletic in appearance. All parts of the dog should be in balance with each other, creating a form that is pleasing to the eye. It must be capable of working in the field, regardless of whether it is from show stock or hunting stock, and faults that will interfere with working ability are heavily penalized.
Coat and colour
This breed's short, smooth grey coat and its usually amber/blue eyes give it a regal appearance different from any other breed. There is a long-haired variety that is not as commonly known. The color is rare in dogs and is the result of breeding for a recessive gene. It has also lent the breed the nickname 'silver ghost' or 'gray ghost'. The coat is extremely low maintenance; it is short, hard, and smooth to the touch.
Typically, the male Weimaraner stands between 25 and 27 inches (63-68 cm) at the withers. Bitches are generally between 23 and 25 inches (58-63 cm). The breed is not heavy for its height, and weighs upwards of 70 pounds (32 kg). Traditionally, the Weimaraner's tail is docked at birth to a third of its natural length.
The Weimaraner is a deep-chested dog, which makes them a breed which is high on the list of dogs affected by bloat (gastric torsion). Weimaraner owners might never see this problem in their dogs but should be familiar with the ailment.
Weimaraners are fast and powerful dogs, but are also suitable home animals given appropriate training. From adolescence, a Weimaraner requires extensive exercise in keeping with an energetic hunting dog. No walk is too far, and they will appreciate games and play in addition. An active owner is more likely to provide the vigorous exercising, games, or running that this breed needs. Weimaraners are high-strung and easily excitable, requiring appropriate training to learn how to calm them and to help them learn to control their behavior. Owners need patience, as this breed is particularly rambunctious during the first year and a half of its life. Like many breeds, untrained and unconfined young dogs often create their own diversions when left alone, such as chewing house quarters and furniture.
Professional training is beneficial, particularly for less-experienced owners. This includes behaviours towards other family pets. Depending upon training they can be quite aggressive towards other dogs, but they are a loyal, playful and affectionate pet and an alert and friendly member of the family. Visitors are likely to be licked rather than warned away, but the Weimaraner does not miss a trick and is always aware of its surroundings. Prospective owners should note that the Weimaraner is not recommended for families with young children as it is usually boisterous, sometimes hyperactive. If you train them at an early age with young children then they will get used to them. The same goes with other pets. Furthermore, the breed will continually try to push the boundaries set by its owner. If it can get away with something, it will! This is also a breed with tremendous personality.
Those familiar with the breed acknowledge two common behavioral disorders.
The first common behavior disorder is the propensity of many Weimaraners to suffer from severe separation anxiety. Manifestations of this behavior disorder include panicked efforts to rejoin the owner when separation occurs, excessive drooling, destructive behaviors, and associated injuries such as broken teeth or cut lips. Behavior modification training and medications may reduce the severity of symptoms associated with this disorder in some Weimaraners. However, the breed is generally refractory to such treatment and behavior modification training efforts. As individuals of the breed age the severity of separation anxiety symptoms decrease somewhat, but do not completely abate.
The second common behavior disorder is unacceptable aggression in some Weimaraners. Early and extensive socialization of young dogs can prevent this. However, as the original purpose of the breed was to assist in hunting large game (e.g. bears) and to provide personal as well as property protection a certain amount of aggression is innate to the breed.
Today's breed standards developed in the 1800s, although the Weimaraner has existed since at least the 1600s in a similar form. It is believed that Continental pointing breeds and mastiffs were its ancestors. The breed was created strictly for the nobility. The aim was to create a noble-looking, reliable gundog. As ownership was restricted, the breed was highly prized and lived with the family. This was unusual, as during this period, hunting dogs were kept in kennels in packs. This has resulted in a dog that needs to be near humans and that quickly deteriorates when kennelled. Interestingly enough, when the dog was still used for hunting, its instinctual hunting method is to attack the prey's genitals to bring it down.
Originally, Germany was possessive of its skilled all-purpose gundog, but released a pair in the 1950s to America where the breed quickly became popular. Although slower than many other gundogs, such as Pointers, the Weimaraner is thorough and this made it a welcome addition to the sportsman's household. Furthermore, its happy, lively temperament endeared it to families, although it is perhaps too lively for families with young children. Unfortunately, with the rise in popularity, some careless matches were made and some inferior specimens were produced. Since then, both in Britain and America (where the breed remains popular) breeders have taken care to breed for quality and purpose.
Two occurrences in the breed's history have helped its popularity. One is US President Dwight D. Eisenhower owning a Weimaraner, Heidi; the other is the photographs of William Wegman. His dogs (which include Man Ray—named after artist Man Ray—and Fay Ray—a play on Fay Wray) are the subject of his photos, dressed in human clothes. These pictures are popular both in galleries of contemporary art and as pop culture icons. These "dogs with hands" have appeared frequently on Sesame Street, and occasionally on Saturday Night Live. A weimaraner was also the subject of the music video for Blue Monday by the indie rock band New Order.
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