If you are looking for a deeply loyal and beautiful large dog, you may well have come across the stately Weimararner during your search. But before you decide which breed to go for, let’s look in a little more detail at where the Weimararner came from, and what kind of temperament it will bring to your lifestyle.
First off, some history. Weimararners take their name from the German city of Weimer. In particular, they are named after Karl August, Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, whose breeders developed the breed.
Karl August desired a skilled gun dog to assist with his hunting activities. However, what he got was more interesting. As well as being perfectly adapted for hunting, the Weimararner developed into an ideal family dog, with an intense love of its owner and an aversion to being left alone.
These qualities were coupled with an impressive physique. When the breed was perfected, males ranged from 32 to 37 kg (71 to 82 lbs), and regularly reached a height of 68 cm. The combination of family-friendly character and powerful build helped to popularize the breed, and Weimararners spread to the USA from the early 20th century onwards.
Their popularity received a huge boost from celebrity owners like the actress Grace Kelly and president Dwight Eisenhower -
Modern Weimararners remain gray in color (hence their nickname “the gray ghost”), with huge floppy ears that sometimes give them a goofy appearance. But this almost clownish look is belied by their remarkable speed. Generally, Weimararners can reach speeds of 30 mph or more, so they can be a handful for less physically able owners.
In fact, Weimararners have a legendary amount of energy. They are among the most athletic breeds around, demanding constant play and walks – and not usually doing well in inner-city areas. They need open land to really stretch those powerful muscles, so if you live in a rural area, they could be perfect.
Another thing to think about is attachment. Weimararners are famously possessive and become deeply attached to their owners. They hate to be separated from them, even for a day. So if you need to travel regularly, and can’t take your dog with you, they may not be the breed to choose.
Athletic, child-friendly, loyal and beautiful, Weimararners are one of America’s favorite breeds, and we adore them.