Despite the comparative rarity of the Breed in Great Britain, the Weimaraner has been maintained as a pure breed for well over a century in Germany and its ancestry can be seen clearly in paintings dated as long ago as 1630.
The dogs were originally bred in the independent state of Weimar, for their qualities of intelligence, companionship and beauty, and especially for their all round ability to hunt, point, track & retrieve in all sorts of cover whatever the terrain.
Once developed, the Nobles of Weimar, who jealously kept their dogs from other ownership, preserved the excellent characteristics of these dogs, and when in the course of time, the independent state of Weimar became part of a United Germany the German Weimaraner Club followed in this tradition.
It was only in 1937 that the first Weimaraners were exported to the U.S.A. and not until World War II that any numbers reached owners outside Germany. The Weimaraner was introduced to Britain by Major R.H. Petty in 1952. He had hunted with them whilst serving in Germany.
The Weimaraner is one of the sub-group known as the Hunt Point & Retrieve breeds, within the Gundog group. He is an all purpose gundog but his character and temperament is quite dissimilar to that of other gundogs.
He was originally bred to be the tool for the foresters who worked him. He had to be capable of tracking and holding at bay such game as boar and deer. He had to have the ability to find, flush and retrieve fur & feathered game for the pot. He had to catch and kill predators that deprived his master of sport and also defend him and his property. He was intended to be a powerful hunting dog with a strong protective instinct.
What he is not
He is not the wisest choice for a completely novice dog owner. Of course there are the exceptions. People do buy him as a first dog and succeed admirably in his care and training. These are the people who have energy to match the Weimaraner’s own, who are possessed of patience, perseverance, and a certain amount of gritty determination. He must know from an early age exactly what position he holds in the family pecking order and if you are wise that will be at the bottom of the heap.
He does not take kindly to being left alone all day and every day and can show his disapproval by being noisy (very), destructive, or both. He needs free running exercise as well as disciplined walking and also to have his mind occupied. With correct training the Weimaraner will make a good family dog but he will never make an easy pet.
What makes him tick?
He is full of charm, a loving beast with a quick intelligence and a stubborn streak a mile wide. He will given the chance take over the household and all its adjuncts. He can become too possessive , too demanding , too intolerant of strangers. Under exercised, unoccupied and bored he can wreak havoc. Jaws such as his can make light work of the happy home. He is also quite capable of rearranging your landscape and can introduce a cavern or tasteful tunnel with apparently very little effort.
Everything about this beautiful animal has 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 a modern world. He is not everyone's dog and should not be looked upon as a commercial proposition although, alas, he sometimes is. If you take him on you must remember his heritage and be sure you can apply the challenge and its immense rewards.
Taken from an article by Margaret Holmes
General Appearance: Medium-sized, grey with light eyes. Presents a picture of power, stamina and balance.
Characteristics: Hunting ability of paramount concern.
Temperament: 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.
Eyes: 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.
Ears: Long, lobular, slightly folded, set high. When drawn alongside jaw, should end approximately 2.5 cms (1 in) from point of nose.
Mouth: 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.
Neck: Clean-cut and moderately long.
Forequarters: Forelegs straight and strong. Measurement from elbow to ground equal to distance from elbow to top of withers.
Body: Length of body from highest point of withers to root of tail should equal the measurement from the highest point of withers to ground. Topline level, with slightly sloping croup. Chest well developed, deep. Shoulders well laid. Ribs well sprung, ribcage extending well back. Abdomen firmly held, moderately tucked-up flank. Brisket should drop to elbow.
Hindquarters: Moderately angulated, with well turned stifle. Hocks well let down, turned neither in nor out. Musculation well developed.
Feet: Firm, compact. Toes well arched, pads close, thick. Nails short, grey or amber in colour.
Tail: 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.
Gait/Movement: Effortless, ground covering, indicating smooth co-ordination. Seen from rear, hind feet parallel to front feet. Seen from side, topline remains strong and level.
Coat: 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.
Colour: The only correct colour is grey.Preferably silver grey, shades of mouse or roe grey permissible; 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 INCLUDING BLUE HIGHLY UNDESIRABLE
Size: Height at withers: dogs: 61-69 cms (24-27 ins); bitches: 56-64 cms (22-25 ins).
Faults: 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.
Note: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
Although the short haired Weimaraner had been known in the UK since 1952, it was not until 1973 that the longhaired Weimaraner made its debut in two diverse ways. In January 1973 a litter bred in Scotland by Mr. J Seymour contained one healthy longhaired pup with the possibility of a second that died. The pup was of a short haired mating Ortega Opal Mint x Grey Moonshadow of Duenna. He was registered as Mafia Man of Monroes and was owned by Joan Matuszewska (Monroes). He had hereditary defects and was used at stud only once on his sister shorthaired sister Uhlan Fantasia who produced a litter of nine pups, five of which were longhaired.
Her litter sister Uhlan Champelle of Hawsvale was mated to Dino von der Hagardburg (LH) but there were no longhaired pups in the litter.
At the same time Roy and Ann Janson (Aruni) were negotiating with several Austrian breeders to buy a pup. Herr Seidl contacted them with the news of the availability of a bitch puppy. Together with Joan Matuzewska they travelled to Austria and met Herr Seidl and were introduced to Asta von Gut Blaustauden. The bitch had been bred by Rev. Foster Rudolf Trost and came from the Hungarian Czech border. Asta was imported by the Jansons and became their foundation bitch. A year later they imported Dino von der Hagardburg who was a gift from Herr Seidl.
These three dogs formed the foundation of the longhairs in the UK
A mating between Asta & Dino produced Aruni Dinwiddi from Seicer who was the first longhair to gain 2 CC’s in the show ring. .
In 1979 Gill Smith (Woolborough/Pondridge) imported Hasso von der Hagardburgh. Two years later he was mated to Aruni Danya from Seicer and one of the offspring Pondridge Practical Joker became the first longhair Show Champion in the UK. He was owned & handled by Shirley Anderton (Thrihyrne) Fifteen years later Pondridge Pioneer of Denmo owned & handled by Denise Mosey became the second longhair Show Champion
In 1992 Gill Smith & Ruth Williams (Coppettwood) imported from the USA. After Nani’s Tip and Run Topsider.’
A decision was made by the Weimaraner club of Great Britain in 1977 , on the recommendation of Dr. Malcolm Willis to allow the breeding of longhair to short hair. Information had been given to Roy Janson, that one of the offspring from the original mating of the Austrian dogs had been put down due to a possibility of hereditary epilepsy. Further studies were made of siblings and offspring of a repeat mating and some showed a tendency to epilepsy. As a result of these mixed mating the chances of a longhair pup appearing in a short hair litter is more likely.
A litter was born in Ireland and three of the offspring were longhair pups, in what should have been a short hair litter. One of these pups Missy Clown owned by Miriam Doyle was later mated to Gill Smith’s Phantom Piper of Pondridge and produced Tomirsin Aileen, the top winning longhair bitch in the early 1990’s and Sue Gallagher’s (Galrhia) foundation bitch. It is interesting to note that the stud dog’s sire Ch Reeman’s Aruac C. Dex U.Dex W.Dex T.Dex bred by Mrs DL Reid and owned by Mr. R Lynch, was a short hair but carried the longhair recessive gene. He was a result of a mating between Sh Ch Arimar’s Rolf v d Reiteraim x Hawsvale Merganser. The dam was bred by Cdr Val Hawes (Hawsvale) who owned Ulhan Champelle of Hawsvale short haired litter sister to Mafia Man of Monroes.
In the last decade two more longhairs have been imported into the UK. Firstly Hellen von Mecklenburg owned by Nikki van Djik. The bitch five generation pedigree bears German lines. She has whelped two litters first to Pele zum Laubwald a German bred dog and secondly to Vosbroek’s Fjord bred in Holland but carrying German lines. Thus bringing in new blood lines
The second bitch to be imported Waldwiese Carpe Diem at Astraios by Nina Fotara from Australia whose immediate blood lines are Australian but go back to lines already imported from the USA . These dogs include Arimar’s Rolf v d Reiteraim
The longhair competes with the short hair in the show ring and as has been noted with success. The most recent has been Mrs Andrea Wright’s homebred bitch Lassemista Calypso who became the first longhair bitch to gain her title under FCI rules in Ireland thus becoming the first longhair Irish Show Champion.
The number competing in Field Trials has been small. Monroes Fieldfare owned by Joan Matuszewska and handled by Mr T Griggs was the first to gain a Certificate of Merit at the Weimaraner Club of Great Britain Novice field trial in 1980. Ruth William’s Hawsvale Whitebeam also gained a Certificate of Merit in a Novice trial and Wyndlee Silver Candy owned and handled by Dorothy Shall (Langhaar) to date the highest placed longhair at Novice trials gaining a second place, two thirds and several Certificate of Merits. Winndue Aeneas owned and handled by the late Bernice McGee was the latest to gain a Certificate of Merit and fourth place at a Novice trial
In 1987 the Bruno Trophy for Working Trials was won by Ruth Williams with her homebred bitch Damaris Twilight CD ex UD ex WD ex TD ex and this was the first time a longhaired dog had gained a Working Trial qualification. Three years later Ruth Williams won the Bruno trophy with Coppettwood Domino Marcasite C.Dex U.Dex W.D ex,. Fursdon Fairytale owned & bred by Mrs Teresa Clinck gained C.D ex U.Dex & W.Dex. In turn her daughter Fursdon Twylyte Tramontano K9MS2 AD BH FH1 FH2 C.Dex U.Dex W.Dex T.Dex owned by Mrs Allyson Tohme is to date the most highly qualified longhair bitch having gained numerous ‘firsts’ in the breed. She is the first Weimaraner in the UK to achieve the ‘Begleithund’, ‘Auderprufung’ and ‘Auderprufung’ in Schutzhund. Twiggy has also won the Bruno trophy for two years running and the Weimaraner of the Year in 2006. Teresa Clinick kept her litter brother Fursdon Winter Whirlwind C.Dex U.Dex W.Dex TDex and the two dogs became the first longhair siblings to gain T.Dex
Another bitch from the same litter Fursdon Midnight Monsoon owned and handled by Lisa Coull qualified C.Dex and U.Dex and in turn her daughter, Callisae Scarcity gained C.Dex U.Dex W.Dex. Callie also won the Bruno Trophy.
In the intervening years since 1973 the longhaired Weimaraner has made its mark both in showing and working.
Written by Gil Simpson BVMS MRCVS
The Kennel Club has asked all breed clubs to appoint a single Breed Health Coordinator to help monitor and advise them of any health problems in the breed. The remit of the Health Coordinator is that of a conduit for health information to and from the Kennel Club and the Breed. It is important to monitor health trends within the breed so that if a health problem emerges, breeders can recognise the problem and with or without the help of the Kennel Club's geneticists, find a way to control and hopefully eradicate it.
I have been asked to be the Health Coordinator and I would like to invite anyone who has had a health problem with their Weimaraner to let me have any information. The information will be treated in complete confidence and the individual dog need not be identified, though in practice this information could ultimately prove useful. Being a Vet I am no stranger to client confidentiality and you can be assured that any information given would be made available only to the Kennel Club.
My remit is not to give advice on any health problem, but purely to report it to the Kennel Club. If I can give advice I will, but please don't ask me to give a diagnosis or comment on the treatment your vet may have suggested. As owners of such a superb breed as the Weimaraner we owe it to the future of the breed to do our utmost to protect the breeds' health today and in the future. To assist you in providing any information, a downloadable form can be obtained from all the breed clubs websites. Please send the completed form to myself either by email or to the address on the form.
Gil Simpson BVMS, MRCVS
The information on this page is not meant to frighten you - all breeds have some incidence of defects and diseases, just as humans do. If you know which have been noted to sometimes occur in this breed, you will be better prepared to deal with the problem. The Weimaraner Club of Great Britain actively encourages its members to hip score their dogs through the BVA/KC scheme. The Club has in recent years carried out a Health Survey and had an 18% response from members
A condition affecting the heart muscle. Not common but a low incidence reported. Supportive treatment only.
Extra eyelashes growing inwards. Should be removed. Low incidence noted.
Lower eyelid turns outwards. Not common but cases noted. Corrective surgery necessary.
Eyelids turn inwards. Not common but cases noted. Corrective surgery necessary.
Convulsions or fits are not common in this breed and can be controlled with medication.
A consortium of researchers from the Universities of Missouri, Minnesota, the Ohio State University and the Animal Health Trust in Great Britain are working together to discover the mutations responsible for hereditary epilespy in many breeds:
GASTRIC DILATATION AND VOLVULUS (GDV, Commonly known as ‘BLOAT')
This is a life-threatening condition, which requires emergency treatment and there is an incidence of it in this breed. Ask your vet to tell you how to recognise it. The WCGB recommend that you feed your dog, when adult, twice a day in order not to overload the stomach. Pre-soak dry food before feeding. Don't feed immediately before or after exercising. Don't allow your dog to drink large quantities of water just before, during or just after exercising (small quantities are OK). http://www.vethelpdirect.com/vetblog/2011/03/16/gastric-torsion-in-dogs/
NB: An article on bloat from the Autumn 2007 edition of the WCGB newsletter is available for download in PDF format with kind permission from Sally Morgan: Click here
Ill fitting hip joints, not life threatening but causes extreme discomfort in affected dogs. The WCGB encourages members to X-ray breeding stock and submit plates to BVA/KC scheme to obtain a hip score.
This is where both sets of sexual organs are present in the same animal. The condition is rare in this breed but cases have been noted. Requires corrective operation.
Pustular skin condition with associated lymphadentis seen in puppies and young adults. Not common in the Weimaraner but cases noted. Requires treatment with medication.
This is caused by the lack of enzymes normally produced by the pancreas. Not common in the Weimaraner but a low incidence has been reported. Can be treated with medication.
MCT (Mast Cell Tumours / Cancer)
Mast cell tumours are common among all dogs, both pedigree and mixed breeds, however the Animal Health Trust is investigating what they believe to be a genetic predisposition in the weimaraner based on evidence that there would seem to be a particularly high incidence of this form of cancer in the breed.
STEROID RESPONSIVE MENINGITIS
Incidences of this disease are becoming increasingly common in dogs, usually occurring in young male dogs aged up to 2 years old, however, the Animal Health Trust have noticed that there seems to be a particularly high incidence of the disease among some breeds, including the weimaraner.
This is a chronic progressive disease affecting the spinal cord. Rare in this breed but cases have been noted. No known treatment available to date.
Other links to useful information:
ANIMAL HEALTH TRUST: www.aht.org.uk
CANINE DISEASES: www.alternativevet.org/dogs.htm
COLITIS: www.gooddogmagazine.com/colitis.htm (registration required to view article)
HOLISTIC WEIMARANER FORUM: Click here tosubscribe to mailing list