Is a Weimaraner a good fit for your household?
One look at these gorgeous dogs can certainly make you fall in love. However, the reality of owning a Weimaraner can be a bit much for some families to handle.
This quirky breed needs special care to reach its full potential.
Weimaraners are active, affectionate, and always at your side. They can make good family dogs. However, they usually need obedience training, excessive exercise, and a great deal of patience from their families. With a little work, a Weimaraner can be a good fit for a family that is home often and doesn’t have toddlers or small pets.
So exactly what are you signing up for when you add a Weimaraner to the family? Their breed characteristics can be used for your advantage – or leave your family frustrated.
Are Weimaraners Good Family Dogs?
Choosing the right breed for your family can be difficult, especially when you consider that each dog has its personality. Overall, the Weimaraner breed is somewhat unusual. Due to their specialized breeding and strong instincts, they can be too much to handle.
But with obedience training and a firm (but not cruel) hand, your Weimaraner can be a loyal family dog. Just make sure to give them plenty of exercise. If you don’t let your Weimaraner run, play, or take walks for at least 2 hours each day, they can become restless and destructive.
If you are willing to put more time and energy into a Weimaraner, they can become great family dogs. This usually requires a fair bit of training and a drive to meet their needs.
Are Weimaraners Aggressive?
If you’re looking for a breed that takes some time and devotion, the Weimaraner may be right for you. They are disposed to being destructive, loud, and energetic when they are not trained or taken care of properly.
These hunting dogs were nicknamed ‘The Grey Ghost’ when they were first bred, and not just because of their trademark silvery coat. When hunting, they can be stealthy and quick. Some of those traits have carried over into their home lives, whether we like it or not.
Weimaraners can be aggressive with other dogs, though they are usually not. It may take them some time to get used to humans outside of their immediate family, and they want to protect their space. They can bark and bare teeth, but they are usually gentle dogs overall.
Training your Weimaraner to be Obedient
Training is imperative if you own a Weimaraner. Many breed traits can be successfully worked around if they are trained properly.
However, training a Weimaraner takes a lot of work. Like most intelligent dogs, this breed has an issue with authority. If the trainer is not their owner, they may not listen. They may manipulate and try to do what they think is best.
However, some obedience training, crate training, and more can go a long way. The difference between a trainer Weimaraner and an untrained one is night and day.
Most breeders and long-time Weimaraner owners agree that the best way to get along with your dog involves some extensive training. Starting as a puppy is ideal.
The only real maintenance issue for the Weimaraner is their energy. They require lots of exercise each day to keep them out of trouble. In this case, an exhausted dog is an exceptionally good thing.
Their coat dries quickly, requires minimal brushing, and rarely sheds. Their nails need to be trimmed often, and their teeth should be brushed. Keep an eye on the ears and clean them as often as necessary. Compared to other dogs of similar size, it’s not that much trouble to take care of a Weimaraner’s grooming.
Do Weimaraners Have a Chewing Problem?
Weimaraners chew. They chew everything. If you manage to find a Weimaraner that doesn’t eat everything in sight, it’s a blessing.
They will chew up your walls, your wood molding, your shoes, and just about everything else. There is a way to train them out of the chewing problem, but some dogs will chew forever regardless.
Try focusing their chewing energy on things they are allowed to chew. Carole Lee Richards, a long-time Weimaraner breeder, and owner suggests using a bartering system. Whenever you catch your Weimaraner with something they shouldn’t eat, ‘buy it from them with food.
Are Wiemaraners Good with Kids?
Weimaraners can be great companions for your older children. If you have younger children in your household, it’s best to wait. That’s because the Weimaraner is an extremely rambunctious breed. Younger children can easily get knocked over or trampled by an excited Weimaraner.
For this reason, avoid getting a Weimaraner if you have children younger than six. If you plan on having children one day, it’s best to wait. A Weimaraner can be trained to avoid knocking over younger children, but it’s a long shot.
Do Weimaraners Get Along with Other Pets?
A Weimaraner is an ideal companion for your other dogs, though you may find that your Weimaraner becomes clingy. They usually do great with other dogs, though they can be aggressive towards unfamiliar, mature dogs.
However, your household mustn’t have any smaller pets. Cats, hamsters, gerbils, ferrets, rabbits, or other small animals (even birds) can trigger your Weimaraner’s hunting instinct.
Weimaraners have been known to injure or kill cats and other small pets. For this reason, avoid getting a Weimaraner if you have a small, furry animal
When it comes to smaller dogs, there is a bit of a split. Some small, furry dogs (Pomeranians come to mind) can look like prey to the Weimaraner. Make sure that you supervise the Weimaraner with your other dogs to avoid potential aggression.
5 Reasons Why Weimaraners Make Good Family Pets
Despite all their quirks, Weimaraners can make great family pets. However, they aren’t for everyone. Here are some of the best reasons you should add a Weimaraner to your family
1 Weimaraners are extremely energetic.
If your family likes to be in the backyard, the Weimaraner is a great dog for you. They are extremely energetic and love to play with older children. Your Weimaraner can be an invaluable part of your family because they love to run and play. Just make sure to keep them on their leash when you aren’t in a fenced area.
2. They’ll make a good playmate for your kids.
Children of a certain age (older than 6, in this instance) will find a constant companion in a Weimaraner. Experts from the PDSA recommend supervising your children and your Weimaraner when they interact. A Weimaraner can quickly become distressed if your children don’t know how to interact with them properly.
For this reason, some work needs to be done on both ends. Your dog and your children need to learn about each other and respect boundaries. Once the Weimaraner has formed a bond with your children, they can be a companion and protector for them.
3. Weimaraners are very affectionate.
Weimaraners can be extremely affectionate. They cling to their owners once a bond is developed. This means you can expect lots of cuddles from your Weimaraner. They’ll be your shadow when you sleep when you move from room to room, and more. Families can find this behavior exceptionally endearing.
The Weimaraner wants nothing more than to snuggle with its family. When his seemingly exhaustive energy is finally depleted, you’ll find your Weimaraner curled up to rest wherever he can be touching a family member.
4. Weimaraners are extremely intelligent.
Weimaraners have unrivaled intelligence. This is a good and a bad thing. They can be escape artists who try to get out of your yard however they can. However, the area also emotionally intelligent. They are in tune with your moods and will try to help you feel better however they can.
This means they are often good therapy dogs, especially with owners who can be with them all the time. According to Carole Lee Richards, who has been breeding Weimaraners for 55 years: “A well-trained Weimaraner is a joy to live with but an untrained one is hell on paws.” (Richards, 2015).
It’s great that they are extremely intelligent, especially if they are trained properly. However, an untrained Weimaraner can use this intelligence against you. They can be quite manipulative when it serves them.
5. Weimaraners are easy to groom.
Weimaraners require little maintenance overall. Grooming them consists of short baths, tooth care, and nail clipping. Their short coat will need to be brushed, but they don’t often shed. Their fur dries quickly and easily.
Take special care to clean out their ears, because of their characteristic droop. It’s easy for their ears to become dirty and infected.
Overall, the Weimaraner is a low-maintenance breed that doesn’t require much grooming. That’s a good thing for busy families.
Ask Yourself These Questions
Getting a Weimaraner isn’t a simple endeavor. Some dog breeds are easy-going and can easily integrate into your family. The Weimaraner is not one of those breeds.
With specific circumstances, a Weimaraner can thrive. It would be irresponsible to jump into owning such a quirky breed without considering their needs.
There is a high rate of return for Weimaraner rescues and breeders because of the way this breed needs to be handled.
So before going after a Weimaraner, consider the following questions.
- Can you devote most of your time to being a companion for this dog?
- Do you have a fenced yard that you can make ‘escape-proof?
- Can you dedicate yourself to 2 or more hours of exercise daily?
- Do you live in a large enough house?
- Can you deal with a difficult training regime?
- Are you going to be away from home for hours each day?
- Do you have small children or small, furry pets in your home?
- Are you okay with a dog who potentially chews everything?
- Can you provide the right mental stimulation and physical exercise for the dog?
- Are you committed to crate training?
- Are you okay with your dog following you all over the house?
These are all things you must consider before committing to a Weimaraner. These dogs are exceptionally rewarding dogs to own. However, they aren’t an easy dog to accommodate, especially if you live a busy or inactive lifestyle.
Do Weimaraners Bark a Lot?
Weimaraners can become very vocal, according to the Mile Higher Weimaraner Club. They can be protective of their space. They usually develop a barking habit if left alone for too long, which can be a problem for smaller spaces or the neighbors.
Can Weimaraners Be Left Alone?
Weimaraners don’t deal well with being left alone. They are prone to separation anxiety, and often bark excessively to show their displeasure. They can also become restless and destructive if left alone for long periods.
Do Weimaraners Like to Cuddle?
Weimaraners love to cuddle! They usually get affectionate when you come home. They are also well-known for appreciating some cuddles on the couch after a long day of exercise.
Are Weimaraners Good Apartment Dogs?
A Weimaraner can be a good apartment dog. Keep in mind that they need tons of exercise, attention, and room to roam. They also have separation anxiety and are prone to barking when left alone. To be an apartment dog, your Weimaraner might need extensive training.
Do Weimaraners Get Along with Other Dogs?
Weimaraners are cautious around other dogs but can bond with them easily. When it comes to approaching other dogs, Weimaraners can be cautious or aggressive. It’s best to bond a Weimaraner to a puppy rather than another mature dog. Still, your Weimaraner can be a great companion for your existing dog if they are socialized properly.
If you are willing to deal with your Weimaraner’s quirks and work on behavioral issues, Weimaraners can be good family dogs. They can become devoted and integrate well as part of the family. However, there are multiple caveats that you may not consider. Make sure to do exhaustive research before jumping into Weimaraner ownership.
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“The Good, and the Bad.” Mile High Weimaraner Club. 10 Sept. 2016, http://mhwc.org/the-good-and-the-bad/.
“Is the Weimaraner Right for You?” Mile High Weimaraner Club, 11 Sept. 2017, http://mhwc.org/is-the-weimaraner-right-for-you/
“Is a Weimaraner Right for You?” The Tarheel Weimaraner Club, 1998, http://ncweimaraner.org/foryou.html.
Richards, Carol Lee. “Life with Weimaraners: Tips from a Breeder.” American Kennel Club, 12 Nov. 2015. https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/dog-breeding/life-with-weimaraners-tips-from-a-breeder/.
Richards, Carol Lee. “Living With a Weimaraner.” Weimaraner Club of America, https://weimaranerclubofamerica.org/living_with_a_weim.php. Accessed 8 May 2021.
“Weimaraner.” American Kennel Club, https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/weimaraner/. Accessed 8 May 2021.
“Weimaraner.” The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals. https://www.pdsa.org.uk/taking-care-of-your-pet/looking-after-your-pet/puppies-dogs/large-dogs/weimaraner. Accessed 8 May 2021.