He's known for his distinctive color, which has earned him the nickname "the Grey Ghost." But those who live with him know he's anything but invisible. The Weimaraner is in your face, at your side and always on your mind.
In the nineteenth century, noblemen in the court of Weimar crossed pointing dogs with Bloodhound-like dogs to create a gun dog that could also track deer and other big game. Called Weimar Pointers, only the aristocracy could own them, and the German breed club controlled who could own them. But they did allow some to go abroad, and these dogs caught the attention of American field trial enthusiasts and hunters.
Despite their noble roots, they proved to be excellent dogs for regular families. Playful and protective, they are a great dog for active and adventurous people. They enjoy active games and need tough toys. Weims don't do anything half way!
The Weimaraner is a large dog, although not a giant one. As such, he has a somewhat greater predisposition to hip dysplasia compared to smaller dogs. Feeding a diet formulated for large breed puppies during the first year of life will help decrease the possibility of hip dysplasia. These diets allow the puppy to grow more slowly, while still achieving the same adult size---just a little later. Joint supplements, such as glucosamine chondroitin, are also important for protecting joint health throughout life, especially in active dogs.
Don't let your Weimaraner get overweight, which can add stress to the joints. When dieting a dog, you must make sure he gets enough vitamins. We suggest supplementing with a good multi-vitamin, probiotics and, if the coat is dry, a fatty-acid supplement.
As with all large deep-chested dogs, Weims have a concern with gastric torsion, a condition in which gases accumulate in the stomach and can't escape. The stomach may then twist, totally cutting off any ability for anything to leave the stomach. The dog's stomach enlarges as gases continue to accumulate, and the dog is restless and tries unsuccessfully to vomit. Immediate veterinary attention is needed to save the dog. Nobody knows exactly how to prevent it, but many veterinarians advocate feeding an anti-gas pill with every meal.
Weimaraner coat care is easy. Brush weekly to remove dead hair, and wash as needed. A good all-purpose shampoo is fine for most Weims. If your dog is itchy, an avocado oil or oatmeal based shampoo can help alleviate the itchiness. Check your Weim's ears weekly. Apply an ear cleanser any time the ears start to accumulate dark secretions. Some ear wax is healthy; a lot is not. If you must apply ear medication, use the ear cleanser first to remove thick secretions that would block the medication from reaching the surface of the canal.
Brush the teeth daily.
Clip the nails every two weeks or so using a heavy-duty dog nail clipper.
Weims are active dogs and don't like to slow down, even for old age. But sometimes age-related arthritic changes make it tough. Besides any intervention recommended by your veterinarian, a soft cushion to lie on and glucosamine chondroitin supplements added to the diet can help soothe aching joints, and keep him as young in body as he is in attitude.