by Doris Donnerman
(last updated April 3, 2009)
If you do not like to hear the virtues of another's dog extolled hour after hour, do not engage the owner of a Weimaraner in conservation. The enthusiasm of all the Weimaraner owners is contagious. No breed ever brought to this country has been accorded such an ardent welcome, nor has the possession of any breed been so carefully guarded. The promoters of the Weimaraner in this country are following the precedent of the Weimaraner Club of Germany, which was extremely careful concerning ownership of surplus stock, breeding practices, and prohibition of the infusion of new blood.
The Weimaraner originated at the German court of Weimar a little more than 125 years ago. The nobles of Weimar wanted an all-around hunting dog which would do everything. They wanted a dog that would point, retrieve, trail, work in all sorts of cover and all kinds of weather as well as be a loyal, loving companion and house dog. Probably the heaviest contributor to the Weimaraner's hunting ability was the old red Schweisshunde, a sort of super-bloodhound which provided the background for most of Germany's hunting breeds. Just how long it took and what crosses were needed to establish the Weimaraner as a distinct breed is not a matter of exact record. But once established, the breed was carefully guarded and no exploitation was allowed. It is said that there have never been more than 1500 of these dogs in all of Germany at one time and none were allowed outside. It was the desire of the club that the Weimaraner remain Germany's own dog exclusively, and club members were subjected to rigid breeding regulations. This same careful supervision prevails today and is practiced, to a large extent, by members of the Weimaraner Club of America.
Howard Knight of Providence, R. 1, succeeded in obtaining and bringing to this country a pair of these dogs in 1929. Several others were imported shortly afterwards, and so a foundation stock for the breed in this country was obtained.
The Weimaraner is now considered to be among the newest addition to America's sporting-dog group. He was formally imported into this country in 1929. Naturally, the breed is not numerically strong and, under the careful supervision of the Weimaraner Club of America, it is possible that it will never be. This is as the Club would have it, as the members are determined to keep the quality high, regardless of the excellent opportunity for commercial exploitation. For the "Gray Ghost," as the dog has been dubbed in this country, has had fine publicity. The club's avowed intention to confine ownership to those who meet certain qualifications has whetted the desire of many to own these dogs. "Make it hard to get" is always good promotion, but backers of the Weimaraner are quick to deny any such purpose.
So far the Weimaraner has not attracted much attention by his prowess in the hunting field, but the high intelligence and tractability of the breed has definitely been demonstrated in many obedience trials. The Weimaraner learns his lessons early and well. He is exceedingly tractable and willing to obey whenever he understands. He is a striking dog in appearance and never fails to attract attention. His color is gray or a dark gray with either ash or blue that often blends to a lighter shade on the head and ears.
The temperament of this breed is lively, fearless, kind and obedient. They are extremely sensitive and are exceptionally smart while anxious to please. The Weimaraner is a large dog. The males weigh between 65 to 85 pounds and stands from twenty-five to twenty-six inches. While the females weigh between 55 to 75 pounds with a height from twenty-two to twenty-five inches. The movements of this dog are remarkably smooth and with their solid coat they have obtained the nickname of "gray ghost."
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