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Weimaraner

Friendly / Intelligent / Devoted

With almost 200 dog breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club and even more around the world, it can be difficult to narrow down the right breed for you.

That also makes research even more important.

Understanding your dog’s instincts, physical traits, health risks, and more is crucial to giving them the quality of care they deserve. That’s why we write our Spot Pet Insurance breed guides — to help you be prepared and make the best choice for your family.

Today, we’re talking about the Weimaraner dog breed.

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Health

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Personality

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Lifetime Care

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They may not have the most iconic name, but the Weimaraner is #40 in terms of popularity according to the AKC’s (American Kennel Club) ratings.

Also known as the Gray Ghost or the Silver Ghost, this impressive but high-maintenance breed is an excellent pet for active families with plenty of land for the Weim to run around on.

These pups have been beloved by everyone from President Eisenhower to artist William Wegman.

Read on to learn what it takes to be a great pet parent for one of these beautiful, intelligent, athletic creatures!

Where do Weimaraners come from?

This breed may be gorgeous, but they were originally bred in Germany for their impressive practical traits, including speed, agility, bravery, endurance, and tracking ability. Their gray coats and light amber eyes make them popular pups. 

Their ancestry can be traced to Weimar Pointers in the German Weimar region during the early 19th century. Later, these dogs were mixed with the bloodhound, the German shorthaired pointer, the great dane, and more. 

These purebred pups were exclusively available to nobles at the Weimar court and used for hunting and sports. This gundog was particularly valued for the ability to handle big game. 

Breed Profile

Height

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  • Males: 25-27 inches
  • Females: 23-25 inches

Weight

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  • Males: 70-90 pounds
  • Females: 55-75 pounds

Lifetime

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  • 10-13 years

Health Risk

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Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV)

What is it?

Also known as Gastric Torsion or Bloat, Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV) is life-threatening and needs to be treated as soon as possible.

When GDV occurs, gas inside the stomach causes it to twist, blocking blood flow. Typically, an affected dog goes into shock.

Due to their deep chest and large size, Weimaraners are one of the most commonly affected breeds.

% Dogs affected: 

7.1% of this breed

Clinical signs:

  • Unusual or excessive drooling
  • Signs of abdominal pain
  • Dry heaving
  • Swelling abdomen
  • Increased attention toward the abdomen
  • Panting
  • Restlessness or lethargy
  • Weakness
  • Collapse or shock
  • Increased heart or respiratory rates
  • Poor pulse quality

Treatment:

  • Stabilization
  • Surgery

Other risks:

The effects of the disease are rapid and have a high mortality rate if not caught and treated quickly. Don’t hesitate to seek vet help immediately if you see signs.

Average Vet Bill

$5000

Amount a Spot accident & illness plan would cover*


90% = $4,500

80% = $4,000

70% = $3,500

*Hypothetical reimbursement examples illustrate reimbursement of an eligible vet bill at the noted reimbursement rate, assuming the annual deductible had already been met.

Von Willebrand’s Disease (vWD)

What is it?

Von Willebrand Disease (vWD) is a bleeding disorder that occurs in both humans and dogs. As an inherited condition, genetics plays a role, and the Weimaraner breed is commonly affected.

The disease occurs due to a lack of a certain factor protein, called the von Willebrand factor protein (vWF).

% Dogs affected: 

Unknown

Clinical signs:

  • Excessive bleeding
  • Spontaneous bleeding
  • Nosebleeds
  • Mouth bleeding
  • Bloody urine or stools

Treatment:

  • Blood transfusion
  • Medications
  • Surgical hemorrhage
  • Bandaging

Other risks:

  • Excessive bleeding during birth may occur
  • Uncontrollable bleeding could be fatal, while mild cases need little to no treatment
  • Certain medications may need to be avoided if your dog is shown to have vWD. Ask a trusted vet for more info.

Average Vet Bill

$1500

Amount a Spot accident & illness plan would cover*


90% = $1,350

80% = $1,200

70% = $1,200

*Hypothetical reimbursement examples illustrate reimbursement of an eligible vet bill at the noted reimbursement rate, assuming the annual deductible had already been met.

Personality

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How well do Weimaraners get along with their owners?

This breed is exceptionally affectionate towards their family. From snuggling to following you around the house and seeking your attention, you can expect a strong bond with your Weim.

However, if you don’t have the time or dedication to give this active dog the attention they need, they can be quite mischievous. Sometimes these furry family members will turn to destructive behaviors even when their attention needs are met, but with proper training, you can work with your pup to avoid this.

Are Weimaraners aggressive towards strangers?

Weimaraners were bred as hunting dogs and have strong watchdog instincts as well. This often translates into their interactions with strangers, but temperaments can vary widely from dog to dog.

Some Weimaraners are immediately friendly towards strangers, while others take time to warm up or are downright suspicious towards unfamiliar people.

It’s best to socialize your Weimaraner at an early age and continue throughout their life to prepare them for proper social interactions.

How well do Weimaraners adapt to new situations?

Weimaraners are not an adaptive breed, nor are they easy for novice owners. They do poorly in urban living and apartment situations. They might also struggle with working families due to separation anxiety (which is extremely common in this breed).

This breed does best as a house dog for an active family who is home often to give them attention and care. Lots of outdoor space is ideal, although this space should be controlled. Outdoor time should be monitored as this breed is notoriously skilled in escaping.

On the plus side, these dogs do fairly well with cold and hot weather.

Do Weimaraners make good guard dogs?

While this breed is a vigilant watchdog, they don’t have the other qualities necessary to make them good protectors. 

Think of these dogs as a security camera with no alarm or security guard. They’ll notice every threat and non-threat nearby, but they are usually friendly with strangers.

This can, of course, vary between individuals based on their temperament. If necessary, they are large enough to hold their own, and some can be quite vocal.

Will a Weimaraner be a fun dog to have around?

What’s fun to one family may be a huge headache to another. Weimaraners have very high exercise, mental stimulation, and attention needs, so you’ll need to spend a lot of time with this popular breed. 

Active families will have a perfect buddy for hiking, hunting, and similar adventures, but homebodies or those constantly out of the house for work will struggle to keep up.

Are Weimaraners good with children?

Weimaraners are friendly with family members of all ages, including human children. Visiting children are also usually accepted.

However, this breed’s high energy can be too much for young children. Chasing and jumping can easily occur out of the blue. 

You should never leave a child and dog together unsupervised. Even if your children know how to properly interact with a large dog, the dog’s size could easily cause injury unintentionally. 

How are Weimaraners with other dogs?

This breed is moderately cautious of other dogs, more or less so depending on certain factors.

Small animals are a risk around Weimaraners due to the breed’s strong prey drive. Watch your dog closely while they are around, and keep them leashed or controlled during these times. Chasing is common, and they’ll often kill anything they perceive as prey.

Lifetime Care

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Coat:

This breed has a short, shiny, smooth coat.

Coat colors include:

Blue
Gray
Silver Gray

Colors:

Hypoallergenic:

No

Grooming:

Daily brushing, occasional bath, regular nail trims

Training:

Easy to train.

Life Time Care Cost:

Are Weimaraner hypoallergenic?

No, this breed is not hypoallergenic. 

How often do Weimaraners have to be groomed?

Grooming this breed is relatively easy thanks to their short coat, despite high shedding. Brushing or combing weekly keeps their coat clean and shiny while bathing needs vary depending on your dog’s activity but rarely exceed once per month.

Nail trimming and ear cleaning are a bit more important for this breed than for others. Keep the nails short and make sure the ears don’t become clogged, which could lead to infection.

What is the lifetime care cost of Weimaraner?

Lifetime care costs for the Weimaraner breed average around $22,705.

How to be the best pet parent for a Weimaraner?

Ensure this breed is a good fit for you (and vice versa) by doing careful research through guides just like this one today!

You can also find additional resources to help through all stages of pet parenthood at our Spot Pet Insurance Blogbowl.

How much does a Weimaraner dog or puppy cost?

Adoption fee (puppy): $500-1,200

Yearly care cost (first year): $3,675

Yearly care cost (following years): $1,730

Basic training and behavior etiquette for your Weimaraner

This breed’s greatest strength in training also brings their greatest training challenges. The Weimaraner is incredibly smart. They can use this intelligence for good and for mischief and often does both.

Often, the owner who does best with a Weimaraner is one who can match them for cleverness and is equally patient. They are extremely trainable when you find a method that works. Here are some tips to help:

  1. While you want to be firm and consistent, you must be gentle. This breed is highly sensitive, and anger or retaliation will leave a lasting negative impact. 
  2. Early socialization and training are imperative. The longer this waits, the more difficult it will be to establish good habits (and break bad ones).
  3. Find ways to channel your Weimaraner’s mischief into positive tasks. For example, if you find your pup has learned to open the fridge, instead of fighting against that ability, train them to retrieve a drink for you when you ask. Mischief is only appealing when it isn’t allowed.

What types of foods should Weimaraner never eat?

Certain foods are toxic to dogs in general, and the Weimaraner is no exception. Take extra care to keep such foods well out of reach in a secure place, remembering that this breed is very clever and can learn to climb, open doors, and more to get access to food they want but shouldn’t have.

Here’s a sample of some common foods to avoid:

  • Alcohol
  • Apple seeds & cores
  • Apricot
  • Avocados
  • Candy & Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Garlic
  • Grapes
  • Gum
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Onions
  • Peach
  • Raisins
  • Salt
  • Walnuts
  • Yeast Dough

Exercising tips to keep your Weimaraner staying fit and healthy

Weimaraners have some of the highest energy levels and exercise needs of any breed. These dogs will take serious time and energy to keep them happy, healthy, fit, and away from destructive behaviors.

Physical exercise is just as important to this breed as mental stimulation, so don’t expect the Weimaraner to be satisfied running mindlessly in circles for a few minutes. 

Playing games together is a great start. Your pup could also become your new running, hiking, or bike riding buddy. As an intelligent sporting dog, this breed is well suited to hunting or organized sports such as rally, obedience, agility, and more.

It’s typically recommended to exercise this breed for a few hours every day. It will take an active family to keep up with this dog, but those who can have a wonderful play partner!

Weimaraner life stages

Puppy: 0 – 2 years

Adult: 2 – 8 years

Senior: 8 years – end of life

Conclusion

Think the Weimaraner is the right fit for you? Want to look through some other breeds for different options? We’re here for you either way. Check out our breed guides and FAQs to learn more, and get a quote today to see if Spot Pet Insurance is a good fit for you too.