Updated date:

Weimaraners: High Energy Dogs for Families With Teenagers

Author:

Yuliss is the administrator of Best Family Dogs, a site devoted to family dog health, care and raising dogs with children

Titan in 2009.  Healthy and Loving Life!

Titan in 2009. Healthy and Loving Life!

How to Handle Weimaraner Energy!

Weimaraners can be loyal and devoted family dogs with adult children of athletic families. Families who have had a variety of experiences raising other dogs in the past will be a better fit for this hyperactive, quick-to-learn breed. Families who live in single family homes create the best environment for this breed. Weimaraners can not handle the small, cramped confines of apartments. These medium-large dogs enjoy many outdoor activities when creativity is added to each walk and play time.

Turn the urban playground into an agility course, change up the walks with short sprints, longer jogs, training exercises, biking, or rollerblading. Weimaraners get bored easily with predictability. Always seek out new places around town for your dog to explore, like the thrill of the hunt! These dogs make excellent guard dogs too, in an environment with clear leadership the dog feels confident. Otherwise he may exhibit missed placed aggression.

Weimaraner Grooming: A Dog That Loves Water But Hates Baths

Weiamraners are hypoallergenic dogs. They have fair skin and a light coat. Washing once a month is great. Weimaraners are big dogs and I usually just used the hose with Titan as he stood outside. Unlike smaller dogs you won't have the luxury of bathing them in the bathtub in the privacy and comforts of your own home.

Don't wash them too much! They can be sensitive to many products, and you should give them sufficient time between bathing for their natural oils to sooth and protect their skin and coat. My favorite shampoo with Titan was Natural Oatmeal Bio Groom. Bio Groom has a smooth, silky consistency, easy to apply, leathers nicely and smells so fresh! Also Bio Groom rinses away quickly without leaving any film. You may want to wash your Weimaraner twice sometimes because they have shorter hairs closer to the skin that are a bit fuzzy for warmth in colder months.


Although Weimaraners love water, they may not enjoy baths. Titan struggled with baths until his adult years. Even as a teenage dog Weimar's are big and heavy and will wedge their front legs to the door frame and grip wall edges with their paws to prevent getting put in a bath!

Titan loved the fresh after-bath feeling though! He would drag his face through the carpet with his bottom up high in the air, to dry his coat off! Than throw himself over on his back and squiggle himself for a satisfying back scratch!


Perfect Anti-Itch Shampoo for Weimaraner's Sensitive Fair Skin

We used this Oatmeal Bio-Groom Anti-Itch Shampoo on Titan.  It smells great, lathers nicely and calms sensitive, fair skin.

We used this Oatmeal Bio-Groom Anti-Itch Shampoo on Titan. It smells great, lathers nicely and calms sensitive, fair skin.

SHHHHH! Weimaraner Secret!

Weimaraners have webbed toes - they are made to swim and love water!

After Bath Care

No need to dry your Weimaraner! Just a towel pat-down will do. Weimaraner's have short hair, and naturally dry quickly. Once dry, I would finish off the grooming routine with a relaxing few minutes of brushing. I recommend this rubberized dog brush by Kong. This brush is comfortable to hold, and not irritating to Weimaraner's sensitive skin because the bristles are thick and rubberized also. The friction of the rubber provides just enough pull to bring out all the loose hairs which are easily transparent. Keeping your floors and furniture hair-free from any possible light shedding. This brush also holds the hair it does pull out within the bristles so it is easily wiped and cleaned afterwords.

Best Weimaraner Grooming Brush

We used this brush to gently de-tangle Titan and collect the loose hairs from his coat.  He LIKED the message sensation.

We used this brush to gently de-tangle Titan and collect the loose hairs from his coat. He LIKED the message sensation.

Weimaraner Family Challenges

It's Not All Fun & Games...

I do not recommend the Weimaraner as a great family dog for a family with young children. The reasons for this are numerous. Let's start with the dog's breed. Weimaraners are classified in the Hunting or Sporting Group, depending where you look. Most often they are classified as hunting dogs which says a lot right there.

Since Weimaraners primary instinct is to hunt, some individual dogs will have a stronger inherent hunting instinct and this is not suitable if you live in the city. A Weimaraner usually thrives best in rural settings, they have a very high energy requirement and do best with large areas of land that they can roam freely and safely. Not allowing the dog to run freely anywhere from 1-2 hours minimum a day, will result in "breaking the dog's character" and result in destructive and depressive behaviours.

Many Weimaraners end up in the pound, or with horse trainers because of owners who were not well informed and could not handle them.

The dog also possesses other traits that would naturally help his hunting skills, but not make him an ideal dog for young children; such as "herding". Weimaraners have been known to bite or "place their mouth" around ankles of "prey" to re-direct the prey's actions. You can see how this would be a problem with young children waddling around and cooing in high-pitched voices.

This dog is very intelligent and learns quickly, even emulating actions of his human owners and other dogs whether these behaviors are desirable or not. He is also one step ahead of you, unless you are very clever and experienced with dogs, the teenage Weimaraner is exceptionally challenging due to their intellect, quick learning and arrogance. I highly recommend getting professional training for any Weimaraner from the moment you take him home, regardless of your experience with dogs. And I also highly recommend that a Weimaraner not be your first dog, prior dog experience is a must-have to raise a Weimaraner successfully.

SHHHHH! Weimaraner Secret!

Weimaraners are also known as "grey-ghosts", they get the nickname because their taupe colored coat paired with their blue-green eyes makes them very unique and mysterious.

Weimaraner Character Traits

Although the Weimaraner is high-strung, stubborn and can be very intelligent - they are challenging. Weimaraners can also be protective. They look slightly intimating because of their size and they only bark if necessary. They are proud of their territory. This breed is generally very quiet. But will bark if feels they need to alert you of danger, and will stop at nothing to defend you and your family.

Weimaraners love the outdoors and love. Titan had excited bursts of energy when we had off leash time. He would run around the yard at full speed doing his own laps!

This breed is very loyal to their human family pack. They get overly excited to see you after school and work everyday! They often yelp or howl with excitement and joy, and settle down against your lap while you study or read or watch TV.

This breed needs constant human contact and can not be left alone for several hours at a time. Long hours of loneliness lead to separation anxiety in this breed. They also benefit from planned time away, take him or her for a run before work or a nice long walk, so that he or she can relax while you are gone. A pent-up Weimaraner will destroy your furniture and be very anxious. Weimaraners need daily stress relief through exercise.

A family with teenagers is perfect because everyone can take turns walking and exercising the dog. Weimaraners love all sports and inviting your dog to play soccer along side you or join you for a long jog, or ride along side your bike are all the things they love! Likely a family with older children also has more staggered times for leaving in the morning and returning in the afternoon and evening, allowing only a few short hours where the Weimaraner would be alone at any given time.

Titan in a Slouched Sitting Position.  Weimar's do want to make you laugh!

Titan in a Slouched Sitting Position. Weimar's do want to make you laugh!

Is a Weimaraner Right For You?

For each question, choose the best answer for you.

  1. You have owned a medium or large breed dog before
    • Yes
    • No
  2. You have done reading and research and really want this breed
    • Yes
    • Not really
  3. You live alone
    • Yes
    • No
  4. After a long work day you like to:
    • Go for a walk
    • Watch TV
  5. You live in an apartment
    • Yes
    • No
  6. You Have Children that are older than 10 years of age
    • Yes
    • No, my children are younger than 10 years old
    • No, I don't have children
  7. You have other pets
    • Yes
    • No

Scoring

For each answer you selected, add up the indicated number of points for each of the possible results. Your final result is the possibility with the greatest number of points at the end.

  1. You have owned a medium or large breed dog before
    • Yes
      • A Weimaraner would be a good fit for you: +1
      • A Weimaraner may not be right for you: 0
    • No
      • A Weimaraner would be a good fit for you: 0
      • A Weimaraner may not be right for you: 0
  2. You have done reading and research and really want this breed
    • Yes
      • A Weimaraner would be a good fit for you: +1
      • A Weimaraner may not be right for you: 0
    • Not really
      • A Weimaraner would be a good fit for you: 0
      • A Weimaraner may not be right for you: +1
  3. You live alone
    • Yes
      • A Weimaraner would be a good fit for you: 0
      • A Weimaraner may not be right for you: 0
    • No
      • A Weimaraner would be a good fit for you: +1
      • A Weimaraner may not be right for you: 0
  4. After a long work day you like to:
    • Go for a walk
      • A Weimaraner would be a good fit for you: +1
      • A Weimaraner may not be right for you: 0
    • Watch TV
      • A Weimaraner would be a good fit for you: 0
      • A Weimaraner may not be right for you: 0
  5. You live in an apartment
    • Yes
      • A Weimaraner would be a good fit for you: 0
      • A Weimaraner may not be right for you: 0
    • No
      • A Weimaraner would be a good fit for you: +1
      • A Weimaraner may not be right for you: 0
  6. You Have Children that are older than 10 years of age
    • Yes
      • A Weimaraner would be a good fit for you: +1
      • A Weimaraner may not be right for you: 0
    • No, my children are younger than 10 years old
      • A Weimaraner would be a good fit for you: 0
      • A Weimaraner may not be right for you: 0
    • No, I don't have children
      • A Weimaraner would be a good fit for you: +1
      • A Weimaraner may not be right for you: 0
  7. You have other pets
    • Yes
      • A Weimaraner would be a good fit for you: 0
      • A Weimaraner may not be right for you: 0
    • No
      • A Weimaraner would be a good fit for you: +1
      • A Weimaraner may not be right for you: 0

This table shows the meaning of each possible result:

A Weimaraner would be a good fit for you

You have just the busy life-style a Weimaraner would enjoy! You do tones of high-energy fun things and Weimar wants to be there to explore them all with you!

A Weimaraner may not be right for you

There are plenty of other dogs out there! This one may not be the best fit for you. If you really have your heart set on Weimaraner, keep reading and researching, find someone in your area that has one, gets hands-on experience first. Make sure you know what you're in for. I always say," chose a dog breed that fits your life, don't try to fit your life around the breed."

Weimaraner Health Issues

Weimaraner puppies are usually healthy, but since the breed is so fair-skinned and is at risk for over breeding there are some immuno-suppressive risks. This breed suddenly became popular around 1995-2010. Leading to over breeding because people liked the "Weiamraner look" and the idea of their nickname "grey-ghost". Not all breeders were doing their due diligence and Weimaraners who were poorly bred had higher risks of behavior problems, medical issues and were often dropped off at the local shelters as the families that adopted them quickly realized they could not handle them.

Common Weimar health issues consist of gastric torsion, or twisted stomach. This is a common health issue in Weimaraner's because of their larger over all size and athletic build. They can eat too fast or ingest non-edible items because they love to chew, they are gluttons for food! Gasteric Torsion is a medical emergency and requires immediate veterinarian assistance.

Signs of gastric torsion are bloating, nausea and vomiting. To prevent gasteric torsion is it suggested to slow your dogs ravenous appetite down by using elevated food bowls which place your dog in a more ergonomic position while eating. You could also use textured food bowls , which have a highly textured floor causing your dog to slow their intake as they have to be more aware of how to get each mouth full.

Hemophilia is an excessive bleeding disorder, and it is common in Weimaraners. It is an immune mediated response. So it would be present from birth but may not be diagnosed until an incident occurs that would confirm the disorder is present. I once cut one of Titan's toe nails too short, and after applying pressure to his toe nail for 45 minutes still could not stop the blood flow. So I had to take him to the vet. He received Tranexamic Acid powder applied to the nail and the bleeding stopped instantly. But these are only interventions that the veterinarian can do.

Allergies reactions and skin irritation can be common in the Weimaraner because of their fair skin. You have to use gentle products and watch if they develop sensitivity to certain foods.

Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas. Weimaraners have a genetic pre-disposition. Symptoms include persistent back arching, bloating, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and fever. Pancreatitis is a medical emergency. To avoid pancreatitis, it is better to feed your Weimaraner twice a day -morning and evening. Rather than one big, fat, food bolus daily. It is also best for this athletic breed's metabolism to have two servings a day rather than one.

Renal issues or kidney issues can occur as the dog ages. Kidneys are very resilient and can function even if 80% of the tissue is destroyed! Both in humans and in dogs. So after this point, is when we would say a dog is in compensated renal failure. The first signs of compensated renal failure are larger volumes and more frequent urination, and more intense thirst. Finishing their water bowl more than once a day, when previously, a fresh fill in the morning would last the day. This is because the kidneys are still functioning to drain water but they are no longer adequately filtering the waste products. The dog may become lethargic, depressed, nauseated, vomit, or have diarrhea and bad breath or even mouth ulcers.

Hip dysplasia is a genetic condition and occurs when the ball and socket joint don't fit well and the "sliding" that should normally occur, is more of a "grinding" that wears the joints down over time. Leading to pain and weakness. More common in pet stock Weimaraners, it could ruin a show career in a Weiamraner bred for show or breeding. Weimaraners are such large, lean dogs, they can easily acquire joint issues. It is recommended to not let your Weimaraner puppy run on cement or other hard surfaces until after 12 months of age. Any surface with some give is preferable during the first year, such as, a grass lawn, or track, or a sandy beach are all good alternatives. Also a scrambled egg a day, including crushing the shell and feeding it to your Weimaraner mixed in with their regular meal helps promote strong bones and joints.

Eye problems including cataracts, glaucoma and blindness. The older your dog gets the more chance they will eventually develop eye issues. Titan developed glaucoma and blindness as he aged. Luckily, dogs don't rely on sight the way humans do.

Hypothyoridism or thyroid hormone deficiency is when the metabolism slows down because the thyroid gland is under-active . It is rare in dogs in general, but may occur in Weimaraners due to genetic predisposition, or rare disease or cancer. Symptoms may include weight gain with no increase in appetite, loss of desire to exercise, dry and dull coat, lack of hair growth and bald patches, and cold intolerance. The veterinarian can take blood samples to diagnosis the condition and your dog can take daily medication to treat the condition. You will see great improvement in your dog but you must keep your dog on the medication for life. It is a treatment, not a cure.

You Read This Because You:

How Was Titan's Health?

When Titan was 11 years old he was still healthy, no chronic issues yet! By the time he was 14 years old, he had developed mild congestive heart failure and was on a small dose of medication daily.

Unfortunately, a side affect of the medication over 3 years had started to put his kidneys into compensated renal failure. The veterinarian was upfront about this the day we started him on the medication. The vet told us over time his kidneys may start to fail from the medication, but if we didn't help his heart in that moment, we would not have had Titan around for 3 more wonderful years.

He used to drink 2 bowls of water daily by the time he was 14 years old. He would also void large amounts of urine as he aged. He developed a bilateral proprioceptive stall, with back leg weakness, he did not have pain but it was hard for him to get up from laying down and he looked weak when walking. He also developed cloudy eyes from 12-14 years old, glaucoma and eventually blindness.

But overall, he had a long life where he experienced lots and enjoyed being with us. We still think of him and I have kept some of the most important items that meant a lot to him and to us as keep sakes.

Weimaraners Bring joy

Weimaraners bring joy to all families that are willing to have them. They are a diverse dog that you can take hunting, and camping, involve them in dog sports such as agility or tracking, or make your own obstacle courses around the neighborhood. They require lots of physical active but also lots of brain games! This breed is willing to please but will also make you work for them because they are very fast learners and they get bratty! They remain loyal and protective of their territory and their family.

They have low grooming needs, and are hypoallergenic. Their shedding is light and less obvious because of their fair coat.

They have a few health issues that may affect them more commonly than other breeds, however, they may also have a good quality of life despite chronic illness.


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Yuliss