What to Know About Weimaraners

Medically Reviewed by Amy Flowers, DVM on April 17, 2022
7 min read

The Weimaraner was bred at the beginning of the 19th century to hunt. Royal families used the early Weimaraners to hunt bears, deer, boar, and other large game. Over time, though, hunting large game became less popular. 

Then, the royal families began using the dogs to hunt rabbits, foxes, and fowl. 

The breed gets its name from the court of a duke who loved hunting. 

Weimaraner temperament tends to be friendly and obedient. This breed loves exercising due to its high energy levels. They also love interacting with humans. 

Physical Characteristics (Weimaraner Size)

Weimaraner life expectancy ranges from 10 to 13 years. Typically, males can reach the height of 25 inches to 27 inches, while females can grow up to 23 inches or 25 inches. 

Males weigh 70 pounds to 90 pounds, while females are lighter at 55 pounds to 75 pounds. The Weimaraner has a short and smooth coat that sheds moderately. It also requires occasional grooming. 

Common coat colors may be silver-gray, blue, or gray. There are typically no markings on their coats. 

Social Characteristics

The Weimaraner is majestic to look at if appropriately maintained. Despite looking like a rather serious breed, Weimaraners are incredibly playful and are a treat to have in homes with kids. 

They're moderately open to strangers. Since their traditional use was hunting, they are quick to bark and detect strangers. They're also very vigilant and make good watchdogs. 

The Weimaraner is highly adaptable and adjusts to its owners' lifestyles easily. Since they have high energy levels, though, you'll have to take them out for walks and keep them busy. 

It's also easy to train the Weimaraner since the breed is eager to please. You can teach them to stop barking on command and follow other instructions. 


A Weimaraner's personality is very friendly and gentle. They are perfect for a family setting since they're very affectionate. Plus, they're good with young children. 

However, they're not as good with other dogs. Therefore, training them is necessary if you have other pets at home. 

Weimaraners have high mental stimulation needs. Owners must involve them in activities, tricks, and games. 

Since Weimaraners are bigger than many other house dogs, caring for them can be a bit tricky, especially giving them baths and clipping their nails. 


Weimaraner's nails grow fast. Owners should clip the nails regularly to keep the dog healthy and comfortable. An excellent way to check if the nail length is too long is to listen for the sound their nails make when your dog walks on the floor. 

If they make a "tap-tap" sound, you need to cut your dog's nails. It's hard to bring the nail length back to normal if the nails grow too long. Besides, you should also brush their coat, as doing so helps remove dead hair.

Like some other breeds, your Weimaraner might become infested with parasites. Roundworms, whipworms, and heartworms are some common worms that infest this breed. You should also check for fleas and ticks at home, along with taking your pet to regular vet visits. 


There are many FDA-approved treatment products for heartworms in dogs. You can apply them topically or administer them orally. You may also choose an injection that is given to dogs every six or 12 months for heartworm prevention. Consult your vet for more options.  

Weimaraners have a particular ear structure that hinders airflow. If the ears are not cleaned occasionally, this can lead to infections. 

Besides cleaning their ears, also brush your pet's teeth daily. 


As the Weimaraner is very agile, it needs a lot of exercise. You should play with your pet or take them out for a walk to keep them mentally and physically healthy. Weimaraners love to run, so you might find yourself sprinting along in the dog park. 


Weimaraners have high dietary needs, especially when it comes to protein. Feed your dog a meal rich in protein. 

If Weimaraners overeat rich food, it can create digestion problems for them. 

For any dietary questions or concerns, you should consult your vet. 


One great quality about Weimaraners is their intelligence. Unfortunately, while they pick up new habits and instructions quickly, they are just as quick to pick up bad behaviors. Therefore, it's essential to train your dog properly by using positive reinforcement. 

Weimaraners typically need a reward to follow your instructions. Keep an eye on what your dog likes the most and use it as positive reinforcement during training. 

It's vital to give puppy training to young Weimaraners. It helps them grow into well-mannered pets. 

Since Weimaraners are very active, they will get scrapes, pulls, sprains, and cuts during physical activity. They're also big chewers. Thus, they might get gum or mouth injuries. 

Besides these common problems, Weimaraners are also prone to cardiac conditions, hip dysplasia, gastric torsion, and thyroid disease. 

GDV (Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus)

GDV (Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus) is a serious, potentially lethal condition in Weimaraners and other deep-chested dogs. In the early stages, the dog's stomach fills with gas. While it may seem like regular bloating, the condition can worsen as the bloat progresses into a volvulus. 

In this condition, the stomach filled with gas twists upon itself. As a result, the entry and exit points of the stomach are blocked. GDV is an emergency that needs urgent surgery. 

Dental Diseases

Dental problems are more common in Weimaraners than in many other dog breeds. About 80% of the Weimaraners face some sort of dental problem by the age of two. 

The issue begins when tartar starts to build on your dog's teeth. It can further worsen and lead to infections in the roots and the gums. Therefore, preventing dental disease is essential. Otherwise, your pet may lose its teeth. 

Dental diseases can also lead to other problems afflicting the kidneys, joints, heart, and liver. 

Hip Problems 

A Weimaraner's size makes it prone to canine hip dysplasia, which is common in larger dogs. As a result of this condition, the ball and socket joint in the hip will not develop properly. 

Due to this, the joints do not slide smoothly on top of each other when your dog moves. Instead, they rub against each other. Over time, the rubbing damages the joints. If the disease is not treated, the joints may stop functioning entirely. 

Your Weimaraner may have a hip condition if they are not as active as they used to be. Dogs with hip dysplasia also have a reduced range of motion, are reluctant to jump or run, may have a lame hind end, and tend to limp. You should take your pet to the vet if you notice these symptoms, as the condition is very painful for the Weimaraner. 

Blood Diseases 

Von Willebrand is a genetic bleeding disorder that affects Weimaraners severely. The condition results from a lack of a protein in the body that is responsible for blood clotting (blood sticking together to prevent massive blood loss through the broken vessel). 

On the outside, you may not see any symptoms of this condition in your dog. A more common symptom of von Willebrand disease is excessive internal bleeding after surgery or trauma. If you have a female Weimaraner, they may bleed a lot after birth. If bleeding is not controlled, it can lead to death.  

Heart Diseases

Weimaraners may be born with heart defects or develop them in later stages of life. Most of these problems affect the vessels or the dividing wall of the heart. If you do not spot the condition early on, it can lead to bigger problems. 

Ventricular arrhythmias are also common in Weimaraners. In cases of this condition, the heart beats irregularly. It can cause sudden death without showing any symptoms beforehand. 

Special Considerations for Weimaraners

Taking care of Weimaraner health is very important since they're susceptible to so many diseases. Along with taking good care of your pet's dental hygiene, you should also take them in regularly for the following health tests: 

  • Thyroid evaluation
  • Cardiac exam
  • Hip evaluation 
  • Ophthalmologist evaluation 

If you want to rule out the possibility of any genetic condition, you can also take your dog in for DNA tests. The Hypomyelination (HYM) DNA Test checks if your dog could have hypomyelination. 

In most cases, the tremors go away in a few months. However, in some dogs, a mild tremor remains persistently in the hind legs. 

The DNA test will check if your dog has two mutant copies of the HYM gene. Dogs that have two mutant copies will have the condition. Meanwhile, dogs with one regular and one mutant copy are carriers. 

Weimaraners were bred in the 1800s by a German Duke named Karl August. Like many other royal figures, the Duke enjoyed hunting. He used to cross Bloodhounds with many French and German hunting dogs, and one of the resulting dogs was the Weimaraner. 

The breed took its name from Weimar, the town in which the Duke held his court. Initially, the dog was used to hunt wolves, mountain lions, and bears. Over time, though, the population of these animals decreased, and Europe. Then, Weimaraners were used for hunting almost any kind of game. 

For years, the German nobles jealously guarded the Weimaraner. However, in the 1920s, Weimaraners were bred in the USA, too. By the 1950s, the Weimaraner became a popular and widespread pet. 

Famous individuals, such as Grace Kelly, have owned Weimaraners, further increasing the breed's popularity. U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower also had a Weimaraner.