Ontario Weimaraner Rescue & Assistance – OWRAssist

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  • About Weimaraners

    Pronounced: wime-mah-ran-er

    The Weimaraner is in the sight hound class of hunting dog. It was bred to be an “all purpose” gun dog, meaning its job is to point, flush and retrieve game. They have a very strong prey drive and are not to be trusted around smaller furry animals. They can tolerate cats if introduced as a puppy. The Weimaraner is a fast runner and is considered in the top 20 fastest dog breeds.

    Here are a couple of good you-tube videos describing Weimaraner’s… hope you enjoy

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUxM2qEZZFU

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N967CDqmxiE

     

    Appearance

    Weimaraners are known for their smoky gray coats and regal appearance. Their nickname is “the gray ghost”. They are large dogs ranging from 50 to 80 pounds. Their grooming needs are minimal and their short hair is reasonably good for people with allergies. They are well suited to warmer climates and they need to be kept warm in the winter.

    Personality

    The Weimaraner is happy, cheerful, active, affectionate and very intelligent.

    They are one of the best breeds for children though, like any large dog, their size and weight can accidentally knock over a small child just from walking around.

    As a breed, Weimaraners were bred to be around people and as a result, they are especially prone to separation anxiety. They will pine for their family when you leave, often staring at the door until you return. They are likely to become destructive when frustrated. As such, Weimaraners must be crate trained or they may literally cause thousands of dollars of damage to your house if left unattended.

    Like any highly intelligent dog, Weimaraners can be stubborn and willful.

    Training

    Weimaraners are notoriously strong-minded and need training. Without firm leadership, they can become difficult to control and destructive. They are very intelligent. They are rated 21st of all dog breeds for intelligence based on speed of learning new commands but don’t let that fool you. Any Weimaraner owner will tell you that Weimaraners get bored learning what you want them to do but pick up with lightening speed how to accomplish what they want to do. Weimaraners have been known to learn how to open doors, turn on taps, and unhinge treat containers.

    They crave strong leadership and become unstable without it.

    This breed can try to dominate other dogs, especially if they are not given firm leadership.

    Activity

    Weimaraners are very active dogs that need lots of exercise every day (at least 1 hour). Remember that, like Greyhounds, they are sprinters. They need to run. They would prefer 15 minutes running beside you on your bike than 1 hour strolling around the neighbourhood.

    Remember, you simply cannot expect a Weimaraner to obey if you do not fulfill their activity requirements. They become “stir crazy” and can no longer control themselves.

    Health

    Weimaraners are in general a hardy breed of dog. As with each dog breed, weimaraners are prone to certain health problems that owners should be aware of.

    Bloat: Dog bloat is a serious health condition that can and should be avoided. Bloating of the stomach is often related to swallowed air (although food and fluid can also be present). Stress can also be a significant contributing factor. Bloat can occur with or without “volvulus” (twisting of the stomach), which is dangerous to dogs. To prevent bloat, we recommend that feedings be spread out the to at least twice daily and to avoid any vigorous exercise right after feedings. It is also recommended that the dog’s feeding dish not be placed on a raised platform to discourage it from gobbling its food too quickly and keep air from entering the stomach.

    Hypertrophic osteodystrophy (HOD): Hypertrophic osteodystrophy is a bone disease usually occurring in large and giant breed puppies. HOD leads to a failure of ossification (excessive rapid growth) and tumors. The syymptoms of HOD include lack of appetite, fever, depression, and swelling of the legs. If you notice these symptoms, a veterinarian can readily diagnose the problem using standard X-rays.

    Hip dysplasia: Hip dysplasia is common in many dog breeds, particularly the larger breeds. Hip dysplasia is an abnormal formation of the hip socket that, in its more severe form, can eventually cause crippling lameness and painful arthritis of the joints. The good news about weimaraners is that the breed has a low rate of dysplasia. All our weimaraners are tested using standard PennHIP or OFA methods to determine if they suffer from this disease.

    History

    Weimaraners have been around since the 17th century. Their breed was developed in Germany, and wasn’t recognized as an actual standard until the 20th century. The first development of the breed was started by the nobility of the grand duchy of Weimar (also where the breed received their name). It is believed that Weimaraners were the result of breeding bloodhounds with a variety of other types of hunting dogs. This is likely why the Weimaraner has such an excellent sense of smell.

    When hunting large game was no longer popular in Germany, the Weimaraner was then used to point, track, and help retrieve small birds. Although slower than many other gundogs, such as Pointers, the Weimaraner is thorough and this made it a welcome addition to the sportsman’s household. During this time, the breed also lost its importance among the nobility. Due to its lack of popularity, the breeding of Weimaraners was closely monitored and regulated. The result was that the breed did not surface anywhere outside of Germany until the 1930’s.

    Once Weimaraners were introduced in the U.S. and Britain, they were well received and have been used as sporting dogs, and as devoted family pets ever since. The breed’s happy, lively temperament has endeared it to families. With the rise in popularity, some changes have been made to the breed. Both in Britain and North America (where the breed remains popular) breeders have taken care to breed to a standard.

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