Is a Weimaraner the right dog for you?
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Is a Weimaraner the right dog for you?

Dogs
Life As A Pet Parent

The Weimaraner is a handsome grey coated dog, which was originally bred for use as a hunting dog during the 19th century. The first dogs of the breed that we now know as the Weimaraner were widely owned by European royalty, and kept for hunting large game including deer, wild boar and bears. Later, the breed was also used for pursuing smaller prey including rabbits and foxes. They are classed as an all-purpose gun dog breed, and originate in Germany.

They are classed as a medium to large breed dog, and thanks to their distinctive and attractive appearance, intelligence and kind tempers, are today very popular within the UK as pets. If you are wondering if the Weimeraner is the right choice of dog for you and want to find out a little more about the breed, in this article we will cover some of the most common queries about the Weimaraner. Read on to learn more.

How much exercise do they need?

The Weimaraner is a rangy, active dog that requires significant amounts of exercise, and loves to run around. They enjoy both walks on the lead and off the lead play, and will not thrive if they cannot work off their excess energy levels! They require at least two to three long walks per day, which should be varied and allow the opportunity for off the lead play.

They also have significant endurance, and will be more than able to keep up with you if out hiking or jogging.

Are they easy to train?

The Weimaraner is an intelligent dog that is quick to learn new skills, and can usually demonstrate a range of commands from a young age. They require varied, fun and interesting training sessions and will get bored with a lot of repetition. They can learn tricks, complex commands and lots of working skills, and are ideal for canine sport such as flyball or agility.

They benefit from positive reinforcement training, clear boundaries and lots of variety, and learn through observation.

Do they have strong hunting instincts?

The Weimaraner was initially prized as a fearless hunting dog, which is both tenacious and fast on their feet. They still display marked hunting instincts and are natural hunters, so good supervision is required outside of the home, as is training for good, reliable recall at all times. When introduced and socialised properly they can share their home with cats, but their hunting instincts may well need to be moderated through training in order to keep other animals safe when out on walks.

Do they get on well with children?

They are a lively, fun loving breed that very much likes playing and fooling around, and they will very much enjoy the company of older children that will play with them and involve them in their games.

They are kind and gentle with children, and will often take pains to ensure that they do not cause harm to smaller kids, but due to their size and boisterous nature, may knock smaller children over inadvertently when playing! They also tend to be protective of their families, and will be alert and watchful when outside with the children, although they do not tend to be aggressive to strangers.

Are they easy to care for?

The Weimaraner coat can be either long or short, although short is much more common. Short haired Weimaraners require very little coat care and maintenance, and do not tend to need brushing, grooming or any particular attention other than the occasional bath. Long haired Weimaraners need brushing a couple of times per week, but they are not considered to have high maintenance coat care needs.

The Weimaraner needs plenty of attention and time spent with their families, and they will not thrive if left on their own for long periods of time. Without enough attention, the breed can be prone to separation anxiety, so they are not a good choice of pet for families where no one is home for large parts of the day.

Are they healthy?

The average longevity of the Weimaraner is ten to twelve years, which is average for dogs of an equivalent size.

As a tall dog with a relatively deep chest, they are considered to be at potential risk for gastric torsion or bloat, something that all potential Weimaraner owners should be aware of. They can also suffer from skin allergies, which seem to affect the breed more than equivalent breeds of a similar type, and Weimaraner owners should be aware of the symptoms for this too.

Some other health issues that are flagged within the Weimaraner breed pool include:

  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Von Willebrands disease
  • Entropion of the eyelids
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Distichiasis of the eyelashes
  • Retinal dysplasia
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Male dogs of the breed also have slightly elevated risk factors for cryptorchidism, where one or both of the testicles fail to descend correctly.
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