What's Good About 'Em,
What's Bad About 'Em
Weimaraner Temperament, Personality, Behavior, Traits, and Characteristics, by Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2014
The high-energy Weimaraner, bred to hunt all day, needs an athletic owner who can meet his demanding exercise needs: running, biking, hiking, jogging, field work.
Too much confinement leads to hyperactivity and destructiveness, as does being left alone too much. A bored Weimaraner will bark up a storm, demolish your home and yard, even attempt to escape in search of adventure.
Reserved with strangers, dominant with other dogs, predatory toward small animals such as cats and rabbits, most Weimaraners need an owner who can provide leadership, socialization, and training beyond the beginner level. Though this breed is headstrong, in the right hands he is capable of learning and doing virtually anything.
Indeed, a well-matched owner will find the Weimaraner a loyal, aristocratic gentleman of great presence and character.
A novice with little time and space will find him a rambunctious bully, difficult to control.
If you want a dog who...
- Is large, powerful, and tautly-muscled, a true athlete bred to hunt all day
- Has a sleek, carefree coat
- Is unusual-looking, with a ghostly gray/silver coat and eerie light eyes
- Is packed with energy and thrives on vigorous exercise and athletic activities
- In the right hands, is a loyal, aristocratic gentleman of great presence and character
- Is watchful with strangers, so makes a keen watchdog (with a booming bark)
A Weimaraner may be right for you.
If you don't want to deal with...
- Vigorous exercise requirements
- Rowdiness and exuberant jumping, especially when young or not exercised enough
- "Separation anxiety" (massive destructiveness and barking) when left alone too much
- Suspiciousness or skittishness toward strangers when not socialized enough
- Aggression toward other animals
- A strong-willed mind of his own, requiring a confident owner who can take charge
- Excessive barking when bored
A Weimaraner may not be right for you.
- choosing the RIGHT breeder and the RIGHT puppy
- or choosing an ADULT dog from your animal shelter or rescue group – a dog who has already proven that he doesn't have negative traits
- training your dog to respect you
- avoiding health problems by following my daily care program in 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy
More traits and characteristics of the Weimaraner
If I was considering a Weimaraner, I would be most concerned about...
- Providing enough exercise and mental stimulation. Weimaraners MUST have regular opportunities to vent their energy and do interesting things. Otherwise they will become rambunctious and bored -- which they usually express by barking and massive destructive chewing. Bored Weimaraners are famous for chewing through drywall, ripping the stuffing out of sofas, and turning your yard into a moonscape of giant craters.
If you simply want a pet for your family, and don't have the time or inclination to take your dog running or hiking or biking, or to get involved in hunting, or advanced obedience, or tracking, or agility (obstacle course), or a similar canine activity, I do not recommend this breed. Trying to suppress their "hardwired" desire to run and work, without providing alternate outlets for their high energy level, can be difficult.
- Bounciness. Young Weimaraners (up to about two years old) romp and jump with great vigor, and things can go flying, including people.
If you have small children, or if you or anyone who lives with you is elderly or infirm, I do not recommend Weimaraner puppies. The temptation to bounce and play roughly is just too strong in many young Weimaraners.
- Separation anxiety. More than most other breeds, Weimaraners need a great deal of companionship and do not like being left alone for more than a few hours. They tend to express their unhappiness through destructive chewing and barking. If you work all day, this is not the breed for you.
- Animal aggression. Many Weimaraners are dominant or aggressive toward other dogs of the same sex. Many have strong instincts to chase and seize cats and other fleeing creatures, including livestock and wildlife such as deer. If anything goes wrong in the breeding, socializing, training, handling, or management of this breed, it is capable of seriously injuring or killing other animals.
- The strong temperament. The best Weimaraners are versatile working dogs, capable of learning a great deal, but they have an independent mind of their own and are not pushovers to raise and train. They are easily distracted by exciting sights, sounds, and scents. They can be manipulative, and some are willful, obstinate, and dominant (they want to be the boss) and will make you prove that you can make them do things. You must show them, through absolute consistency, that you mean what you say.
To teach your Weimaraner to listen to you, "Respect Training" is mandatory. My Weimaraner Training Page discusses the program you need.
- Barking. Weimaraners are often too quick to sound the alarm at every new sight and sound. You have to be equally quick to stop them. If you work all day and have close neighbors, Weimaraners are not a good choice for you. For the same reason, Weimaraners should NEVER be left outside in your yard, unsupervised.
- Housebreaking. The pointing breeds can be a bit slow to pick this up. Expect several months of consistent crate training.
- Health problems. Weimaraners are extremely prone to a life-threatening digestive syndrome called bloat. Joint and bone problems, eye diseases, bleeding disorders, and cancer also make this breed risky in the health department.
To keep this breed healthy, I strongly recommend following all of the advice on my Weimaraner Health Page.
To learn more about training Weimaraners to be calm and well-behaved, consider my dog training book,
Teach Your Dog 100 English Words.
It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will make your Weimaraner the smartest, most well-behaved companion you've ever had.
Teaches your dog to listen to you, to pay attention to you, and to do whatever you ask him to do.
My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a healthy Weimaraner puppy. Health problems have become so widespread in dogs today that this book is required reading for ANYONE who is thinking of getting a purebred, crossbred, or mixed breed dog.
If you'd like to consult with me personally about whether the Weimaraner might be a good dog breed for your family, I offer a Dog Breed Consulting Service.
Once you have your Weimaraner home, you need to KEEP him healthy -- or if he's having any current health problems, you need to get him back on the road to good health.
My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy is the book you need.
Raise your dog the right way and you will be helping him live a longer, healthier life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.
Please consider adopting an ADULT Weimaraner...
When you're acquiring a Weimaraner PUPPY, you're acquiring potential -- what he one day will be. So "typical breed characteristics" are very important.
But when you acquire an adult dog, you're acquiring what he already IS and you can decide whether he is the right dog for you based on that reality. There are plenty of adult Weimaraners who have already proven themselves NOT to have negative characteristics that are "typical" for their breed. If you find such an adult dog, don't let "typical breed negatives" worry you. Just be happy that you found an atypical individual -- and enjoy!
Save a life. Adopt a dog.
MORE OF MY ARTICLES YOU MIGHT ENJOY.....
What Works, and What Doesn't
|Puppy Training Schedule: What To Teach, and When|
Is The Best Food
For Your Dog
|Teach Your Dog Words|
|The Second Best Food For Your Dog||When Buying a Dog, Are AKC Papers Really Necessary?|
Copyright © 2000-2014 by Michele Welton. All rights reserved.
No part of this website may be copied, displayed on another website,
or distributed in any way without the express permission of the author.