The Weimaraner, one of Germany's top sporting dogs, dates back less than two hundred years. It was meticulously developed by noble sporting patrons at the court of Weimar. It was a snob sporting dog developed and jealously guarded by one of the biggest collection of snobs the dog world has ever seen. You were right or you couldn't get your hands on one. Bloodhound stock clearly played a large role at the beginning, as did a German breed not known in this country, the red schweisshund. The Weimaraner is a first cousin to the German shorthaired pointer.
The Weimaraner is a perfect example of a highly refined breeding experiment that paid off, but it did produce a breed that is exactly right for some kinds of people and perfectly dreadful for others. The snobs of Weimar weren't entirely wrong in the degree to which they protected their creation.
The solid mouse to silver-grey Weimaraner with its short, dense coat is a dog that simply must have early obedience training or it is capable of being a first-class pest. It is headstrong, wilful, adoring, incredibly intelligent, and responsive to praise. When a Weimaraner doesn't know what it is supposed to do it can be counted on to do all the wrong things. I have known Weimaraners whose owners had not bothered to train them or teach them manners to go through a plate-glass picture window because they had been left home alone too long and were bored, bless them. I knew of one that dragged a charred log from a fireplace and pulled it from room to room chewing charcoal off as it went. It took a professional cleaning firm to repair the damage. It could have burned the house down.
That kind of flaky behaviour must be seen in contrast to the well-managed dog, however, or it gives a distorted picture. A well-trained Weimaraner is a regal accomplishment of canine genetic art, and as intolerably ill behaved as a mis-managed specimen can be, that is how extremely good, solid, and reliable a properly raised example will be. It is one of those dogs, and this is so often true of the sporting dogs, that it is what you want it to be. Few dogs can be more of a nuisance than an Irish setter, a Vizsla, or a Weimaraner that has had its vital energy levels, its need to perform, and its exuberant love affair with life ignored. They need exercise, they need training, and they need opportunities to participate in vigorous, ongoing events. You ignore those facts at considerable risk to your property. I have known very few sporting dogs that had anything at all wrong with them except their owners.
- ROGER CARAS -
A Celebration of Dogs.
Weimaraners are a deep or barrel-chested breed, susceptible to bloat - a condition common in larger breeds such as Great Danes and Irish Setters. Common symptoms include stomach or gastrointestinal swelling caused by fluid and/or gas. This often causes the stomach to unnaturally twist. This twist or volvulus is a life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention. Other symptoms include excessive drooling or salivation, abdominal distension, noticeable discomfort and retching.
This a life-threatening condition and it is vitally important that any abnormal signs that your dog may be exhibiting is treated seriously. DO NOT hesitate to get veterinary attention.
The cause of this condition is unknown but it is important to feed your Weimaraner several small meals throughout the day, rather than a single large meal in the morning or night. Weimaraners should also be allowed to rest at least 1 hour before and 2 hours after each meal.
Another common ailment is hip dysplasia - an affliction common among larger breeds such as the Weimaraner - wherein the head of the thigh bone works itself free of the cup (or acetabulum) of the hip. This looseness in the joint can leads to excessive surface wear and eventually arthritis and pain.
While environmental factors may contribute to this disorder, it is commonly believe to be almost completely hereditary. Reputable breeders hip score all the dogs they breed with.
Statistics released by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals readily show that breeding of only non-dysplastic dogs can substantially decrease the risk and incidence of the disorder.
Weimaraner Breed total hip score average in Australia is 9.85.
HYPERTROPHIC OSTEODYSTROPHY (HOD)
Generally, HOD is an affliction that affects puppies. It causes swelling and tenderness in the ends of their bones which can impair growth and lead to lameness. Symptoms can be on and off, and include lack of appetite, fever, depression, and swelling of the legs. Although veterinary medicine does not fully understand the cause, it is believed to be related to nutritional and dietary needs. Feeding age appropriate food is important. It is advisable to use a food designed for large breed puppies. The problem is readily diagnosed via standard X-rays.
Von Willebrands Disease
Entropion is the inward rolling of the eyelid, most commonly the lower lid. This irritates the surface of the eye (the cornea) and may ultimately cause visual impairment.
Entropion is a common hereditary disorder in dogs. Selection for a particular conformation, of exaggerated facial features with prominent eyes and/or heavy facial folds, has created or worsened this problem in many breeds. Entropion can also result from injury or after inflammation or infection (conjunctivitis)
How is entropion treated?
Entropion is corrected surgically. If possible it is best to delay surgery until the dog is an adult since the involved facial structures are still growing and changing.
More than 1 operation may be required. It is better to correct the entropion conservatively and repeat the operation later if necessary, than to overcorrect causing ectropion.
DISTICHIASIS (DOUBLE LASHES)
Extra row of eyelashes, usually on the lower lid but can be on the upper lid causing irritation to the cornea characterized by tearing. If the lashes are soft, they will generally not cause any problems to the dog. If the lashes are hard, they can cause irritation and damage to the cornea and removal of the lashes is necessary. This can be done fairly quickly by most vets.
Inadequate output of the thyroid hormone causing the coat to thin, becoming coarse, brittle and falling out easily. Other signs that develop gradually are lethargy, obesity, drooping of the eyelids, mental dullness, and irregular heat cycles. Mild thyroid deficiency frequently goes undetected. Diagnosis involves a blood test. Treatment: requires lifetime treatment with thyroid hormone.
Bulging of the abdominal contents in sac at umbilicus; common; usually harmless unless it is very large. Repair surgery is usually done in extreme cases and usually done at the time of neutering.
Ununited Anconeal Process or elbow dysplasia:
Growth plate in elbow does not fuse; secondary degenerative joint disease: pain and limp; surgical correction required.
(F.C.I. Standard No 99D dated 27/2/90)
Adopted in Australia 1/1/94
Translation by: C Seidler
Country of Origin: Germany
BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY: There are numerous theories regarding the origin of the Weimaraner. One fact remains certain, that the Weimaraner at that time contained a great deal of Leithund blood. These dogs were kept during the first third of the 19th century at the Court of Weimar. In the middle of the century, before pure breeding started, breeding was mainly in the hands of professional hunters and gamekeepers in central Germany, mostly in the regions round Weimar and Thuringa. As the days of the Liam Hounds passed, the dogs were crossed with the Huhnerhund and breeding continued with this cross. From about 1890 on, the breed was produced according to a plan and regarded as suitable for registration in a studbook. Apart from the short-haired Weimaraner, a long-haired variety occurred now and then. Since being admitted to the studbook, the Weimaraner has been pure bred, remaining mostly free from crosses with any other breeds, in particular Pointers. Therefore the Weimaraner is likely to be the oldest German pointing breed, which has been produced for about a hundred years.
GENERAL APPEARANCE: A medium to large size hunting dog. Functional working type, pleasing in shape, sinewy and very muscular. Difference in type between dogs and bitches easily distinguished. Important proportions:
- Length of body to height at withers approximately 12:11
- Proportions of the head: From tip of nose to stop slightly longer than from stop to occiput.
- Forequarters: Distance from elbow to mid pastern and distance from elbow to point of withers about equal. [Distance from elbow to ground is slightly longer than distance from elbow to withers]
TEMPERAMENT: Versatile, easily trained steady and passionate hunting dog. Persevering in systematic search, yet no too lively. Remarkable ability to pick up scent. Ready to seize game and other prey; he is a good watchdog, without aggressiveness however. Reliable pointing dog and worker in water. Remarkable inclination to work after the shot.
HEAD AND SKULL:
Skull: In balance with the size of body and facial region. Broader in dogs than bitches, yet in both, the relationship between width and cranial region to total length of head must be in good proportion. Median groove on forehead. Slightly to moderately protruding occipital bone. Zygomatic arches easily traceable behind the eyes.
Stop: Extremely slight.
Nose: Nose leather large, protruding over the underjaw. Dark flesh colour, merging gradually into gray towards the rear.
Muzzle: Long and, especially in the male, powerful, appearing almost angular. Region of canines and carnassial teeth equally strong. Bridge of the nose straight, often slightly arched, never with a concave curve.
Flews: Moderately deep, flesh coloured, as are the gums. Slight labial corner. Jaws: Powerful.
Cheeks: Muscular, clearly defined. Definitely clean head.
EYES: Amber colour, dark to pale, with intelligent expression. Sky-blue in puppies. Round, set barely slanting. Lids well fitting.
EARS: Lobular, broad and fairly long, just reaching to corner of mouth. Set on high and narrow, forming a rounded off point at tip. In alertness, turned slightly forward and folded.
MOUTH: Bite: Complete, regular and strong dentition. Incisors should touch with a correct scissor bight.
NECK: Noble in appearance and carriage. Upper line arched in profile. Muscular, nearly round, not too short, clean. Becoming stronger towards the shoulders and merging harmoniously into the topline and chest.
Front legs General: High on leg, sinewy, straight and parallel, but not standing wide.
Shoulders: Long and sloping. Well fitting, strongly muscled. Well-angulated shoulder joint.
Upper Arm: Sloping, sufficiently long and strong.
Elbows: Free and lying parallel to median plane of body. Turned neither in nor out.
Forearm: Long, straight and vertical.
Pastern joint: Strong and taut.
Pastern: Sinewy, slightly sloping.
Topline: From the arched neckline, over the well defined withers the topline merges gradually into the relatively long, firm back.
Withers: Well defined.
Back: Firm and muscular, without a dip. Not running up towards the rear. A slightly longer back, a breed characteristic, is not a fault.
Croup: Pelvis long and moderately sloped.
Chest: Strong but not unduly broad, with sufficient depth to reach almost to the elbows and of sufficient length. Well sprung ribs without being barrel-shaped and with long ribs. Forechest well developed.
Underline and Belly: Rising slightly, but belly not tucked up.
General: High on leg, sinewy and well muscled. Standing parallel, turning neither in nor out.
Upper Thigh: Sufficiently long, strong and well muscled.
Stifle: Strong and taut.
Lower Thigh: Long with clearly visible tendons.
Hock Joint: Strong and taut.
Hock [Rear pastern]: Sinewy, almost vertical in position.
Front: Firm and strong. Standing straight in relation to median plane of body. Toes arched. Longer middle toes are a breed characteristic and therefore not a fault. Nails light to dark gray. Pads well pigmented and coarse.
Hind: Tight and firm, without dewclaws, otherwise like the front feet
TAIL: Set on slightly lower than with other similar breeds. Tail strong and well coated. Carried hanging down in repose When alert or working, carried level or higher.
GAIT/MOVEMENT: Movement in all gaits is ground covering and smooth. Hind and front legs set parallel to each other. Gallop long and flat. Back remains level when trotting. Pacing is undesirable.
Skin: Strong. Well fitting but not too tight.
Short-haired: Short (but longer and thicker than with most comparable breeds), strong, very dense, smooth lying topcoat. Without or only with very sparse undercoat.
Long-haired: Soft, long topcoat with or without undercoat. Smooth or slightly wavy. Hair at base of ear long and flowing. Velvety hair is permissible on tips of leathers. Length of coat on flanks 3-5 centimetres. On lower side of neck, forechest and belly, generally somewhat longer. Good feathering and breeching, yet less long towards the ground. Tail with a good flag. Hair between the toes. Hair on head less long. A type of coat similar to a double-coat (Stockhaar) with medium length, dense, close fitting topcoat, thick undercoat and moderately developed feathering and breeching sometimes occurs in dogs of mixed ancestry.
COLOUR: Silver, roe or mouse grey, as well as shades of these colours. Head and leathers generally slightly paler. Only small white markings on chest or toes permitted. Sometimes a more or less defined trace occurs along the back. Dogs with definite reddish yellow markings may only be given the classification good. Brown marking is a serious fault.
SIZE AND WEIGHT:
Height at withers:
Dogs: 59-70 cm (ideal measurement 62-67 cm)
Bitches: 57-65 cm (ideal measurement 59-63 cm)
Dogs: about 30-40kg
Bitches: about 25-35 kg
FAULTS: Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in the exact proportion to its degree.
- Serious deficiencies ie. skin very fine or very coarse.
- Mixture of coat varieties defined in the standard.
- Clear deviation from type. Untypical sexual characteristics.
- Gross deviations of size and proportions
- Facial region: gross deviations eg. too strong flews, short or pointed muzzle.
- Jaws and teeth: lack of more than two PM1 or M3
- Eyes: Slight faults, above all slight and unilateral faults in eyelids. [Any fault with the eyes and/or the eyelids is considered a serious fault.]
- Ears: Definitely short or long, not folded.
- Throatiness (dewlap), great deviation in neck shape and muscle.
- Back: Definite sway or roach back. Rump higher than withers.
- Chest, belly: Barrel shaped chest. Insufficient depth or length of chest. Tucked up belly.
- Gross anomalies in stance ie. lack of angulation, out at elbows, splay feet.
- Pronounced bow legs or cow hocks.
- Bad movement in different gaits, also lack of free forward movement or drive, pacing.
- Lack of feathering on belly or leathers ( leather ears). Widely spread woolly coat in the shorthaired Weimaraner or curly or sparse feathering in the longhaired variety.
- Departure from shades of gray, such as yellow or brownish, Tan markings.
- Strong departure from correct height or weight (eg. more than 2 cm from measurements given in the standard).
- Slight deficiency in temperament.
- Other serious faults.
- Completely untypical, above all too heavy or too light in build.
- Completely unbalanced.
- Absolutely untypical, eg bulldog type head.
- Facial region: Absolutely untypical ie distinctly concave nasal bridge.
- Jaws and teeth: Overshot, undershot, missing further teeth other than quoted.
- Eyes: Entropion, ectropion.
- Ears: Absolutely untypical ie standoff.
- Particularly pronounced dewlap.
- Back: Severe say or roach back. Definitely overbuilt at croup/
- Chest and belly: Markedly barrel shaped or malformed chest.
- Legs rickety or malformed.
- Chronic lameness
- Totally restricted movement
- Skin defects and malformations.
- Partial or total loss of hair.
- White markings other than on chest and feet.
- Colour other than gray. Widespread brown marking.
- Definitely over or under sized.
- Other malformation. Illness which must be considered hereditary, ie epilepsy.
- Faulty temperament ie shy or nervous.
NB: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
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