There are many reasons to adopt, not shop. Rescued dogs are often healthier than their purebred counterparts, whose fancy pedigrees can bring various health issues. Shelter pets are often trained, vaccinated, and much cheaper than store-bought dogs. Most importantly, dog adoption saves an animal’s life!
But despite the many benefits of animal rescue, adopting the wrong type of dog can also cause problems. Although many pups love to lounge and cuddle, some dog breeds — including the Weimaraner — need attention and exercise to thrive. Here’s everything you need to know about Weimaraners to help you decide if this active and intelligent dog would be a good fit in your home.
What Is A Weimaraner?
The Weimaraner hails from early 19th century Germany, where Bavarian nobles first bred this elite hunting dog. These muscular dogs were endowed with the strength carry bears, deer, and other big game, the stamina to withstand long days of hunting, and an extremely sensitive nose for tracking (even by dog standards). This makes a Weimaraner a great choice for athletes and active families, because the sporting dog easily keeps pace with hikers, bikers, and marathon runners. But anyone who owns Weimaraner knows this athletic dog must also be exercised rain or shine. The Weimaraner is a smart, loving, and loyal dog, but under-exercised Weimaraners quickly become bored, anxious, and destructive.
These hunting dogs were named for their original owner, Grand Duke Karl August, who held court in the German city of Weimer. But unless you took German in high school (or already own a Weimaraner) you are probably wondering how to pronounce the name of this beautiful breed.
How Do You Pronounce Weimaraner?
In addition to their hunting prowess, the original Weimeraners were also bred to hang out with their humans in the hunting lodge. Centuries later, Weimaraners still love being with their their people, so much so that these dogs are prone to separation anxiety.
But while Weimaraners make loving and loyal companions, Weim owners are the first to admit these spirited dogs can also be very stubborn. This makes obedience training and setting boundaries a must, otherwise Weimeraners (who can often open doors and unlatch, scale, or dig under fences) will be more than happy to take charge. The dogs’ strong-willed nature (and high prey drive) also makes Weimaraners unsuitable for novice dog owners and families with young kids, cats, or other small animals.
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How To Train A Weimaraner
Weimaraners are intelligent and friendly people-pleasers, which makes them relatively easy to train. A Weimaraner puppy or dog can quickly learn how to “come,” “sit,” and “stay” in exchange for food, but they’ll also do it just because they want to make you happy. Daily training sessions are also an excellent way to bond with your Weimaraner because these clever dogs – in addition to needing daily exercise – require mental stimulation to thrive. But make sure to use positive reinforcement training methods (ie food or praise) during training, because Weimaraners also become anxious or wary when people treat them harshly. Exercising your Weimaraner puppy prior to training will help him burn off excess energy and better focus on the task on at hand.
One thing to remember during training is that Weimaraners are prone to separation anxiety, which often leaves them frantically barking and chewing the furniture whenever they’re home alone. It’s important to counter these destructive behaviors early on with positive reinforcement training, which can help your Weimaraner be calm and quiet (or even stay in a crate) when you’re not home. Weimaraner rescues may also benefit from some positive reinforcement training (and extra patience on your part) while this smart but sensitive dog breed adjusts to his or her new home.
The Weimaraner is often known as the “The Grey Ghost,” but this regal dog breed actually wears a range of colorful coats. Weimaraners are classified as gray, silver gray, or blue, but variations in shade can leave dogs anywhere from beige to light black and charcoal gray. Some Weimaraners have white markings on their chest or tan highlights on their face, chest, and/or paws.
The rarer long-haired Weimaraner is just as energetic and loyal as its short-haired counterpart – just with an extra 1-2 inches of fur. This will require some extra brushing and grooming on your part, but be gentle. For all their strength and agility, Weimaraners also have surprisingly sensitive skin. We recommend washing your long-haired Weimaraner with John Paul Pet™ Oatmeal Grooming Products from The Animal Rescue Site Store, which include gentle shampoos and conditioners made with oatmeal and almond oil.
Like Dalmatian puppies who grow into their spots, Weimaraner puppies don’t wear their adult colors right when they’re born. Weimaraner puppies are actually born with striped fur, although these subtle patterns will disappear within days. But baby stripes aren’t the only feature that make your Weimaraner puppy unique. Weimaraners are also born with bright blue eyes, a Sinatra-esque feature they’ll keep for the first 2-6 months of their lives. As Weimeraner puppies grow, their eye color gradually transitions into amber, brown, or a deeper blue gray as their bodies produce more melatonin.
How Much Does A Weimaraner Cost?
A Weimaraner generally costs $700 to $800, but a Weimaraner puppy from a top breeder can set you back $1,500 to $8,000. Just one more reason to adopt, not shop! Fortunately, there are plenty of Weimeraner rescues where Americans can foster or adopt a rescued Weimaraner. Visit www.theweimaraner.com to find Weimaraner rescue groups in your state.
Weimaraners can be excellent additions to active families seeking a loyal, loving, and energetic companion. But a Weimaraner should never be placed in a home that can’t meet these daily exercise requirements, because under-exercised Weimaraners quickly become bored, anxious, and destructive — resulting in a one-way trip to the nearest shelter. Many Weimaraner rescues have emerged in recent years to help these active dogs find more suitable forever homes.
“It is often said that “a bored Weimaraner is a bad Weimaraner,” one such rescue group explained on its website. “They will bark all day and become a nuisance to the neighbors or dig holes if left alone in the yard. Many can be escape artists by climbing fences, digging out from under them or unlatching gates,” Weimaraner Rescue of the South (WRS) wrote. “These stories are told over and over by frustrated owners who do not provide enough physical and mental stimulation for their dogs.”
A Weimaraner can make excellent additions to active households. But don’t adopt a Weimaraner unless you’re prepared to provide these athletic dogs with the daily exercise they need to thrive.
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