Choosing a Weimaraner

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Often referred to as the "Gray Ghost," the Weimaraner is one of the best all around gun dogs. Originally used in the hunting of big game, the Weimaraner is now used primarily to hunt birds.

History and Origin

The early history of the Weimaraner is uncertain; however, it is thought that this sporting dog's ancestors date back to early 19th century Germany. It is thought by many that the first Weimaraner was seen in the German court of Weimar, the capital of Thuringia. Through the decades, sportsmen have enjoyed the Weimaraner's keen hunting abilities. The breed was originally used to stalk deer, hunt wolves and to trail and hunt bear, mountain lions and wild boar.

As interest in big game hunting diminished, the Weimaraner was developed into the perfect "gun dog." The breed has shown a tremendous natural ability to hunt birds, particularly waterfowl.

In 1929, Weimaraners were first introduced in America. Since then, the dog has become a well-loved family pet for many people. The breed was first registered by the American Kennel Club in 1943.

Appearance

The Weimaraner is a medium-sized, deep-chested dog with either a long or short coat. Coat color varies from mouse- to silver-gray with possible small white spots on the chest. The breed's head and ears are moderately long. Eye color ranges from shades of gray to amber and the lips and gums are pinkish. The Weimaraner has a proud and noble demeanor and in show competition have docked tails approximately six inches long.

Size

Adult Weimaraners average 25 to 27 inches in height at the shoulder and weigh 70 to 85 pounds.

Personality

The Weimaraner is a graceful, athletic dog and as such requires daily exercise. This breed is usually not content when confined to the house or a kennel for long periods. He's intelligent, energetic and enjoys activities that allow for interaction with the family. The breed is not known for excessive barking; however, owners appreciate the Weimaraner's announcement of strangers. These pets are generally gentle and protective companions without being extremely aggressive.

Home and Family Relations

The Weimaraner can be a good family pet and friendly with children if trained from a young age to interact appropriately with people. Similarly, this breed generally relates well with other household pets.

Training

As intelligent pets, Weimaraners are highly trainable. They do well in field sports, obedience training and as family pets. Whereas any type of training is most effective if instituted while your pet is still a puppy, Weimaraners are generally known to be trainable as adults as well.

Special Concerns

Because this breed has been bred to hunt, they are healthiest and happiest when they are able to run and exercise every day. You may find that two or three walks daily are not sufficient for your pet. The Weimaraner does not enjoy being left alone for extended periods of time and may develop destructive and behavior problems.

Health Concerns

  • Entropion is a problem with the eyelid that causes inward rolling. Lashes on the edge of the eyelid irritate the surface of the eyeball and may lead to more serious problems.
  • Mast Cell Tumors are malignant tumor than can occur in the skin or within the body.
  • Interdigital dermatitis, also known as pododermatitis, is an inflammation of the paws involving the feet and nails.
  • Demodectic mange is a parasitic skin disease caused by a mite. Hair loss and itchiness are common symptoms of this disease.
  • Lipomas are benign fatty tumors of the subcutaneous tissue.
  • Distichiasis is a condition in which there is growth of extra eyelashes from the glands of the upper or lower eyelid.
  • Corneal dystrophy is a primary, inherited, bilateral (both sides), symmetrical condition of the cornea that is not accompanied by corneal inflammation or systemic disease.
  • Cryptorchidism is a condition in which one or both testicles do not descend into the scrotum.
  • Gastric torsion, also known as bloat, is a life-threatening sudden illness associated with the stomach filling with air and twisting.
  • Hip dysplasia is a malformation of the hip joint that results in pain, lameness and arthritis.
  • Vaginal hyperplasia an exaggerated response of the vaginal tissue to estrogen during certain phases of the heat cycle. The vaginal tissue becomes swollen and may protrude through the vulva.
  • Degenerative myelopathy is a progressive degenerative disease of the spinal cord that slowly results in weakness and eventually inability to use the rear legs.

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