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A Complete Breed Guide for Weimaraner Dogs

Last Updated 1 FEBRUARY 2023

This article is written by Pet Circle veterinarian, Dr Gillian Hill, BVSc (Hons)

The Weimaraner has long been a most beloved breed. Commonly known as a 'Velcro Dog' for their loyal natures, they are a beautiful companion breed which thrives on company. Originally bred for their hunting skills, they are a very intelligent breed and require thorough training and socialisation when young. The Weimaraner has enormous stamina, and are happiest when they are provided plenty of opportunity to exercise and engage their minds. Along with their incredible intelligence and energy, they are a stunning dog, with their silver coat and striking eyes.


Weimaraner Facts



Health Concerns


Related Breeds

Further reading

Facts about the Weimaraner

Photos courtesy of Karyn Young and her Weimaraners Jorja, Kayla, Kristov and Chester

Breed size:

Place of origin:

Other names:



Weimaraner Voerstehhund, Grey Ghost, Weims

Breed group:

Energy level:

Weight range:



Female 25 - 35kg, Male 30 - 40kg

Life expectancy:

Tendency to bark:

Height range:

10-14 years


Female: 57 - 65cm, Male: 59 - 70cm at shoulder

Drool factor:

Social needs:

Coat length:



Usually short, but longer in the Weimaraner Long-Haired

Shedding factor:

Overall grooming needs:



Low to moderate

Silver, roe or mouse grey

How big do Weimaraners get?

The average adult weight of a Weimaraner is from 25-40kg. Males tend to weigh 30-40kg and females tend to weigh 25-35kg. Their height ranges from 57-70cm at shoulder (again, males tend to be a little taller). The best way to estimate your dog's expected adult weight is to have a look at their mother and father.

How much does a Weimaraner cost?

Weimaraner pups in Australia vary considerably in price, depending on pedigree, but can cost up to $3000.

Do Weimaraners shed hair?

Weimaraners are generally considered a low shedding breed. A gentle brush once a week with a grooming glove or bristle brush is ideal.

Are Weimaraners good pets?

Weimaraners make absolutely beautiful pets. They are incredibly loyal and affectionate dogs. They make good watchdogs and are wonderful with children, so long as they have been well-socialised and trained. They have very high energy levels, and combined with their high intelligence, they need a family who can provide them with the physical exercise and mental enrichment they require.

How much exercise do Weimaraners need?

Weimaraners need regular, vigorous exercise. Originally bred as hunting dogs, then employed as a gundog and retriever, they have enormous stamina and need plenty of opportunities to run free and exercise.

How long do Weimaraners live?

The Weimaraner lifespan is 10-14 years on average. As with any breed, they will live much longer if you take good care of them, never let them become overweight, and keep their teeth in top condition!

How do I choose a Weimarner breeder?

When looking for a Weimaraner, your options are to: a) adopt from a rescue (this is our top recommendation!) b) buy from an or online marketplace or pet store (NOT recommended!), or c) Research a reputable breeder. Never purchase a puppy without inspecting the breeder's premises and asking the 10 Breeder Checklist Questions first. Good breeders socialise their animals, house them humanely, allow you to inspect their premises, and select for healthy traits and good temperaments. They also screen potential families to ensure that the home they can provide suits the needs of the breed. Read our Guide to Finding a Good Breeder for more tips.

Do Weimaraners bark much?

Usually, Weimaraners do not bark a lot. However, they do make excellent watchdogs and will bark when necessary. As with any dog, if not afforded plenty of physical and mental stimulation, they can be prone to problematic behaviours including excessive barking, digging and chewing.

Weimaraner History

Photo courtesy of Karyn Young

While the exact origins of the Weimaraner are unknown, we do know that the Weimaraner was kept at the court of Weimar in the early 1800s (a city now located in the state of Thuringia of modern-day Germany), from where the breed derived it's name. The noblemen of the court prized the breed for their stamina and versatile hunting skills in hunting large game - their tracking ability, speed and courage made them excellent hunting dogs. At the time, the breed contained strong links to the Liam Hound (or 'leithund', however as the 19th century progessed, the dogs were crossed with the Hühnerhund.

As times progressed and big-game hunting decreased, the breed was employed more as a gundog, and for retrieval of small game, like waterfowl. The breed has been purebred since 1900.

These hunting and retrieval instincts have stayed with the breed, making it important for Weimaraners to be securely kept with high fences, to prevent escape and protect them and wildlife from their natural drive to retrieve.

Weimaraner Personality and Characteristics

Photos courtesy of Karyn Young

Weimaraners are known for their confidence, assertiveness, intelligence and energy. Their large, athletic, muscular frames mean they're very powerful and require gentle but consistent training and socialisation when young. Their energy makes them wonderful working dogs that can endure lots of outdoor play and exercise, like fetching and swimming. They thrive on activities that engage their mind, so plenty of games, interactive toys, puzzles and training is needed.

Due to their strong prey-drive, Weimaraners may not be suitable for families with cats and other small pets, and they are likely to chase any small animal that enters the yard.

Weimaraners are incredibly social and affectionate dogs, and thrive on constant company, whether in the form of a human or another dog. If left alone, they can be prone to separation anxiety, which can manifest in destructive and troublesome behaviours like excessive barking, digging and chewing.

Weimaraner Long Hairs

The short haired Weimaraner is the most commonly known type of Weimaraner. However, Weimaraner Long Hairs are recognised, though remain a rare breed. They have a soft, long topcoat which is smooth or slightly wavy, and long flowing hair on their ears.

Best toys for Weimaraners

Weimaraners are notorious water lovers given their history of retrieving and adore playing in water and fetching floating water toys. Interactive toys and puzzles help to engage their minds and keep them at their happiest!

Yours Droolly Entertaineze Treat Ball

Fill the this bouncy ball with some of your Weim's kibble to slow their eating or to keep them occupied and out of mischief.

KONG Wet Wubba

Made with highly visible, fast drying neoprene, this special Wet Wubba is ideal for games of fetch in and out of water.

Chuck It Classic Long

An extra long ball thrower to help you launch your Weimaraner's ball further than ever before to satisfy those intense fetch cravings!

Chuckit Rugged Flyer

The Chuckit Rugged Flyer is desgined for vigorous play, with a rigid core and moulded ridges to help your Weim grip the toy but not puncture it. Perfect for play both in and out of the water!

Weimaraner Health Problems

Weimaraners are generally a hardy breed, but can be prone to bloat, hip dysplasia and skin ailments, along with eye disorders, Von Willebrands disease and Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy.

Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus (GDV)

Also known as bloat or gastric torsion, GDV is a life-threatening emergency. Thanks to their large, deep chest, the Weimaraner is particularly susceptible to GDV. In GDV, dilatation of the stomach occurs due to the accumulation of gas and/or fluid, often following large meals which expand the stomach causing obstruction of the outflow tract. The stomach can then rotate (volvulus), compressing major blood vessels and organs. Signs to watch out for include restlessness or discomfort, unproductive retching, distension of the abdomen, and signs of abdominal pain such as the 'prayer pose' - front feet down, rear end up. It is critical to seek immediate veterinary care if you notice these symptoms. In order to avoid GDV, Weimaraners should be fed their food in more frequent, smaller meals, and should never be exercised strenuously for about an hour before and after feeding. Some vets recommend preventative surgery, where the stomach is stitched to the abdominal wall (known as gastropexy), to prevent it from rotating.


Allergies to fleas, grass, or food can be common in Weimaraners. Rigorous flea prevention and specific diets may be needed after consulting with your veterinarian.

Eye problems

The Weimaraner is predisposed to a number of eye problems, including:


Entropion is an inward rolling of the eyelid margin, causing hair to rub on the surface of the eye (cornea) leading to irritation, conjunctivitis and potentially ulceration of the cornea.

Cherry Eye

Cherry Eye is an eversion of the gland of the third eyelid. Cherry eye occurs spontaneously and mostly, no cause is identified. It is thought that a laxity of the connective tissue that attaches the gland in position might contribute. Prolapse may lead to a dog being unable to close the eyelids, a failure of tear production leading to 'dry eye', eye discharge and infection.


Cataracts occur when eyes have a cloudy appearance due to changes to the lens. Cataracts can lead to vision loss however they can be removed surgically.

Hip dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a condition where the femur and hip joint do not fit together properly, causing pain and lameness. Less severe cases can be treated with anti-inflammatory medication, however surgery may be required for serious cases.

When looking for a Weimaraner puppy, be sure to choose a reputable breeder who has had their breeding dogs hips evaluated.

Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy (HOD)

HOD is a developmental disease of the bones where blood supply is reduced to a part of the bone adjacent to the joint, which interrupts bone formation. This causes a failure in the hardening of the bone. Clinical signs include lameness, swelling and pain in the legs with a reluctance to stand and walk, fever, lethargy and loss of appetite.

Weimaraner Immunodeficiency Syndrome

WIS is characterised by chronic, recurrent inflammatory and infectious disorders involving the gastrointestinal tract, joints, skin, bones, eyes, lungs, and central nervous system (CNS). While the exact cause is not known, the condition is related to a disorder of the immune system, where affected dogs are not able to mount a normal immune response to antigens. One theory is that it may be related to administration of puppy vaccinations, as the age of onset (usually 12-15 weeks) seems to correspond to the 2nd or 3rd puppy vaccination. However, this also correlates to the age where maternal antibody levels drop, so the exact cause of the disease is not yet known.

Elbow dysplasia

Elbow dysplasia is common amongst large breed dogs. This heritable condition occurs due to differing rates of bone development in the elbow. It leads to joint mobility, pain and lameness. Less severe cases can be treated with anti-inflammatory medication, however surgery may be required for serious cases.


Hypomyelination is a disorder affecting the myelin (insulating) layer around the nerves in the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). The decreased amount of myelin causes symptoms such as tremors which worsen with excitement or exercise (this condition is also referred to as 'Shaky Puppy' due to the tremors), difficulty standing and a bunny hopping gait. Symptoms can present as early as 1-3 weeks of age but may resolve by 1 year of age.

Top Product Recommendations for Weimaraners

Due to their likelihood of developing bloat/GDV, joint conditions and skin conditions, we recommend the following products for Weimaraners.

Weimaraner Diet and Nutrition

Weimaraner Puppies

Although there are no specific feeding requirements for an adult Weimaraner, it is very important that you feed a suitable diet that is age appropriate and meets all their daily nutritional and energy needs. A premium, balanced Large Breed Adult Dog Food from reputable pet food brands should provide tailored nutrition that your Weimaraner needs. Premium large breed formulas contain balanced levels of protein, fat and carbohydrate plus vitamins, minerals and antioxidants for health and wellbeing. Given that Weimaraners are prone to skin issues, a large breed specific skin support formulation can also be beneficial.

Top food recommendations for adult Weimaraners

Advance Large Breed Adult

This Australian made formula tailored for adult large breeds contains functional nutrients including green lipped mussel powder to support joint health and an adapted calorie content to aid weight control.

Hills Sensitive Skin and Stomach

Formulated with high quality protein and a gentle fibre blend to promote optimal nutrient absorption, this formula is also fortified with an exclusive blend of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, vitamin E and other nutrients to support healthy skin and a shiny coat.

Pro Plan Sensitive Skin and Stomach

With salmon and tuna as the first ingredients, this diet is high in EPA and omega 3 fatty acids to promote skin health. It also contains no wheat, soy, corn, chicken or beed to help prevent adverse food reactions.

Royal Canin Dermacomfort Maxi

This diet is formulated with reduced allergen ingredients, and nutrients to support and nourish the natural barrier function of the skin including omega 3 and 6 fatty acids such as GLA, EPA and DHA.

Top food recommendations for Weimaraner Puppies

Instinctive Bite Large Breed Puppy

Natural diet high in meat content, complete and balanced for the requirements of large breed puppies like Golden Retrievers.

Pro Plan Puppy Large Breed

Very high quality diet fortified with colostrum for enhanced immunity and protection from common intestinal upsets, as well as a combination of key nutrients to support healthy joints.

Advance Large Puppy

This diet is fortified with green lipped mussel powder to promote healthy joints and contains the correct balance of calories, calcium and phosphorus to support an optimal, controlled growth rate in Weimaraner puppies.

Ivory Coat Large Breed Puppy

A wholesome, Australian made natural food designed specifically for large breed puppies like the Weimaraner.

Related Breeds

The Weimaraner is classified in the 'Gundog' breed group (also called the Sporting Dog Group) - this group consists of dogs bred to accompany hunting parties and retrieve killed prey. More specifically, the Weimaraner is part of the pointer group of dogs, bred to accompany hunters and 'point' to birds and small animals. Pointers are a versatile field dog and wonderful family dog breed.


Vizsla's are the national dog of Hungary, hence they are also known as the Hungarian Pointer. Vizsla's are excellent swimmers and retrieve in water just as well as on land. They are lean, well muscled and graceful dogs. Vizsla's can be sensitive and need gentle handling, but they are generally well-natured and easy to train.

German Pointer

The German Pointer is an athletic, versatile dog, able to track, point and retrieve game. They are descended from Spanish and English Pointers, French hounds, bloodhounds and Scandinavian breeds, giving them their versatility. In the late 19th century, the German Pointer was bred with terriers and poodles, which produced the German wirehaired pointer. German pointers are affectionate and make beautiful family pets, but they thrive with work to do.


The Labrador and Golden Retriever are the most well known breeds of the retriever group. They make beautiful family pets, being incredibly loyal, affectionate dogs. They adapt very well to urban living but needs plenty of space and exercise.



A spaniel is a type of gun dog which were originally bred to seek and flush game out of bushes and scrubs. By the late 17th century, spaniels had been specialised into water and land breeds. Typically, Spaniels have a long silky coat and drooping ears and include breeds such as the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, the Cocker Spaniel, the English Springer Spaniel, and the Papillon.



Setter breeds include the Irish, Gordeon, English, and Irish Setters. They gained their name and popularity as hunting dogs due to their instinctive tendency to crouch, or "set," when they find their quarry. Typically, a setter will take a low stance with their body nearly touching the ground. As pets, they are excellent family dogs and mellow housemates, with a high requirement for exercise.

Further Reading

For more information have a look at these recommended articles:

What Is The Best Dog Food?

Breed Diets: Are They Worth The Hype?

Complete Beginner's Guide To Puppy Care

Best Dog Food For Skin Allergies

Which Flea and Worming Product Does YOUR Dog Need?

Many thanks to Karyn Young for the photos of her gorgeous Weimaraners Kaspar, Kristov, Aslan, Jorja, Chester and Kayla.


Shell, L., (2020), Hypomyelinogenesis (Canine), https://www.vin.com/members/cms/project/defaultadv1.aspx?pid=607&id=4953321, Veterinary Information Network, accessed 3/8/22.

Shell, L., (2022), Weimaraner Immunodeficiency Syndrome (Canine), https://www.vin.com/members/cms/project/defaultadv1.aspx?pid=607&id=4953054, Veterinary Information Network, accessed 3/8/22

Federation Cynologique Internationale, Weimaraner FCI- Standard, http://www.fci.be/nomenclature/Standards/099g07-en.pdf, accessed 9/8/22.