The Weimaraner brings together a lot of great hunting dog traits.
Known for their striking eyes and sleek, gray coats, Weimaraners are an iconic breed known for their excellence as bird dogs.
Over the years, they have earned many names: Weims, Silver Ghosts, or even Gray Ghosts. Whatever you call them, one thing stays constant. This is an excellent working dog!
View the slideshow to learn more about the Weimaraner.
The early origin of the Weimaraner can be traced back to the 'grey hounds' of King Louis of France. These dogs, known for their exceptional tracking and trailing skills, are believed to have been descended from the bloodhound, and were originally bred to track big game like bear, deer, and wolves.
The 18th century and the advent of accessible guns led to an abrupt shift in the breeding of the Weimaraner. The sudden demand for bird dogs led to Weimaraners being crossed with Pointers and other bird dogs, resulting in a lighter frame, better pointing, increased speed, and the brilliant yellow and blue eyes the Weimaraners are known for.
The breed really hit its stride in the late 19th century in Germany, where an exclusive club was founded to ensure the responsibility of the Weimaraner's breeding. The club was so exclusive, in fact, that Germans had to join the club in order to purchase a Weimaraner.
Weimaraners didn't reach America until the 20th century, when a breeder named Howard Knight joined the German club, intent on introducing the breed to America. However, the club was so protective of the breed that they sent him two desexed dogs. It was nearly 10 years before he was finally able to successfully acquire three females and one male. Shortly thereafter, servicemen returned with them from WWII and brought still more with them from overseas. From there, the Weimaraner swiftly gained popularity.
As a hunting dog
The Gray Ghost is a versatile hunting dog, capable of hunting game birds, waterfowl, big game, and even predators. Known for their ability to effectively hunt, track, retrieve, and point, they're an ideal hunting companion regardless of what you hunt.
However, Weimaraners are demanding dogs. Because they were bred to work, they require daily exercise, and letting them out to run around the backyard won't be enough. What Weimaraners love more than anything is to be close to their owners, preferable close enough to touch. Known for following their owners around the house, they prefer the company of humans to other dogs and are best kept indoors.
Their hunting instinct also means they're likely to chase down anything that remains prey if they are not firmly taught to do otherwise. They're also fiercely intelligent which makes them easy to train, but it also means that without that training and regular stimulation, they will likely find ways to make trouble.
Other Jobs of the Weimaraner
The Weimaraner is no stranger to fame. Most famously, they appeared in a series of commercials for A1 Computer Services as a dog head on a human body. They have also been featured multiple times on Sesame Street as dogs wearing human clothing.
Of course, they aren't just hunting dogs and television stars. Weimaraners are also known to be excellent dogs for police work, service for the disabled, guarding, and even search and rescue operations.