I love my beautiful “Gray Ghosts”. The Weimaraner is a particularly striking breed with its silky silver-gray coats and greenish-blue eyes. However, they are not for everyone. I wouldn’t trade mine for anything in the world, but I knew what I was getting into before I got them by doing extensive research on different dog breeds. I had always had only Labs before, another excellent dog, but after losing my chocolate “Penny” my heart was too heavy to fall in love with another Lab! So if you are thinking or just want to know a little more about Weimaraners, let me tell you first hand!
Weimarans are known for their fine, short and graceful gray fur. The color ranges from mouse gray to silver gray, and there is a line of “blue” Weimaraners that are almost charcoal gray. Their distinctive colors have led to this breed being nicknamed Silver Ghost or Gray Ghost. Their coat color is definitely a rarity among dog breeds. Most have very long aristocratic lines, long noses, and large, flexible hound ears, but there is also a more robust square head line that reminds me of a square or square-headed Labrador. I happen to have one of each.
They were originally known as the Weimer Pointer (obtained from the court that sponsored the breed) and are a product of German selective breeding. Weimaraners come from the same general population as other German hunting breeds. They are believed to be descendants of the Bloodhound and were originally used to hunt wolves, deer, and bears. Over the years, due to the rarity of big game in its environment, the Weimaraner adapted to become a bird dog and personal hunting companion. They are indicators, most will instinctively alert and point without training, and they have a keen sense of smell.
Weimaraners are devoted and loving members of the family, and although they are usually quite large, between 60 and 90 pounds, they prefer to be in the house with their people. They are extremely intelligent, but Weims can be selective about when and how they use their intelligence. For example, they may yawn while being taught how to “stay” or “turn around,” or just give you the LOOK, but the moment you turn your back, they’ve figured out how to turn a doorknob and sneak outside. Mine managed to pull a 14 pound frozen solid turkey out of a sink, and was in the middle of the frozen turkey paddle when its mischief was discovered, which was only a span of about 5 minutes!
Weimaraners have a tendency to rule the household if they are not properly trained. A strong-willed owner, with time and the ability to train, socialize and play with your Weim is almost essential. As with most dogs, neglect or mistreatment of a Weim can lead to destructive behavior that could include property damage, excessive barking, and dirty carpets. If you have angered them, they will let you know, not through aggression, but with overly stubborn behavior. You may realize that everything they do is FOR A PURPOSE, completely planned, but perhaps not thought of the consequences!
Although they are very gentle and kind, Weimaraners can knock things (and people) down without realizing it. For this reason, they are probably not the best apartment dwellers, nor the best with very young children or the elderly. They love their water bowls and usually splash a good-sized puddle around their drinking area. The Weims have also been known to want to come give you a big wet doggy kiss right after drinking … at least mine! They will bark at strangers, or strange noises, being very alert to what is going on around them. If you have them as puppies and have other animals around you, they will socialize quite well, but not so much with cats or small dogs. Their natural hunting instincts are strong, and when they are older it is not easy to introduce a new member to what they consider to be THEIR pack or family. Weims are known to be very protective and particular to THEIR person or family.
Weimarans need a lot of exercise and, if possible, a large yard to play with. When it comes to yards, Weims are very good at getting away from them! They have been known to open doors and jump fences, and can also dig like marmots. Mine have actually removed some of the siding from the house because they smelled a lizard that had crawled up behind to escape the heat – and dogs! Definitely take them out and give them time to play, but experts don’t recommend leaving them alone in the yard for extended periods. They are very, very cunning and once again they are escape artists!
So who would do better with a Weimaraner? The ideal person for a Weim is someone who is active and has time to spend with their dog. Young singles or families with older children are ideal. Raising a Weimaraner requires patience and a more composed, calm person with a gentle disposition. They absolutely DO NOT respond to yelling or pounding. They are sensitive! In fact, they will go out of their way to do the opposite of what you want if you treat them aggressively. I have been told, especially by the vet, that my Weims are actually very calm and well behaved with the breed, but that is because I have a very calm and gentle nature, and I spent A LOT of time with them when they were puppies to avoid any problem. destructive behavior. Their breed is known to be a bit hyperactive or excitable.
A healthy Weimaraner can live up to 17 years, with the average being 12 to 14 years. Some common health problems for a Weim include hip dysplasia, tumors, and immune system disorders. Weims are also prone to bloat. Instead of one big meal, two smaller meals a day are sufficient.
All in all, they are wonderful and very full of personality. Their expressions, beauty and the way they interact with their person is priceless. The traits explained above are typical, but with any breed of dog, your animal will respond greatly to its environment and how it is raised and treated. Any breed of dog can be a good dog and vice versa. Better to fully understand what you are assuming by adopting a gray ghost or any race for that matter. Becoming a dog parent is a huge responsibility and 12-18 year commitment that should never be taken lightly or on a whim. However, I must say that one look at the sweet puppy face of a Weimaraner with those big blue eyes and floppy ears is a very hard thing to resist.