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Weimaraner in grass

Weimaraner breed overview

  • Average Weight (Male)* — 65.3 pounds
  • Average Weight (Female)* — 57.5 pounds
  • Breed Size — Large
  • Height — 23-27 inches
  • Life span — 10 to 13 years
  • Breed Temperament — Smart, energetic, loving
  • Coat length & texture — Short, smooth hair except in long-haired Weims
  • Coat color — Weimaraner puppies are often born brindled. However,  the breed standard indicates that all adults have a solid coat in one of three colors: blue, gray, or silver gray.
  • Hypoallergenic — No
  • Exercise needs — Active
  • Barking — Vigilant guard dog barks when necessary
  • Intelligence — High
  • Origin — Germany
  • Breed group — Sporting group (Americal Kennel Club)

*Methodology: Average male weight,  female weight and breed size are based on calculations from our database of more than 1,000,000 pets. 

Weimaraner temperament and characteristics

Originally bred as a hunting dog, the Weimaraner is still recognized as a sporting breed today. They’re fit to roam open fields within earshot of their owners, with whom they tend to form strong bonds. Weims think independently, but hate being alone.

They make great family dogs for active households with time to spend with their pets. It takes rigorous effort to keep up with the physical and mental needs of a Weim, who can become destructive or develop separation anxiety without the proper training and attention.

👉 Given their high prey drive, the Weim isn’t appropriate for homes with cats or other small animals.


The Weimaraner is a regal-looking, medium-large-sized dog with a sleek coat. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC) breed standards, the Weimaraner’s coat comes in shades of mouse-gray to silver-gray, usually blending to lighter shades on the head and ears. The coat should be solid in color without any variations or markings. We teamed up with FidoTabby Alert, and according to their database, the common coat color for the Weimaraner is (92%) gray.

History of the Weimaraner

If you peek through Renaissance-era art, you might catch a glimpse of the “Gray Ghost.” It’s commonly believed that the gray dog, the now extinct Chien-gris breed, much beloved by St. Louis of France was the predecessor for the distinctly German Weimaraner we love today.

However, those speculations are mostly legends with little scientific proof. The first thing we know about the Weimaraner is that the modern breed was developed in the noble Weimer courts, in the area that’s now Germany.

Known as “The hunter among the kings and the king among the hunters,”Grand Duke Karl August chose the undeveloped Weimaraner for selective breeding. He sought to create a breed that would support deer and boar hunting. As the Weimaraner emerged over the next century, their job eventually transitioned to retrieving waterfowl.

Modern history of the Weimaraner

Germany mostly kept this new special breed within its borders, which is one reason why the Weim is often called “the gray ghost.” Only 150 members were allowed into the breeding group, and the outside world was only allowed furtive glimpses of the breed until the 1900s.

The first American who asked for breeding stock was shipped two sterilized dogs instead.

As the massive destruction of World War II wrecked Europe, Weimaraners eventually flooded America as refugee dogs. After their induction into the American Kennel Club in 1943, the Weimaraner quickly joined the show rings and found their place in homes as pets. Weims now rank in the top 40 most popular breeds in the US.

Two Weimaraners in a forest

Training your Weimaraner

It takes a lot to outwit a Weim. Early training is essential to curb unwanted behaviors and establish a healthy relationship with your dog. Although we don’t recommend crating your Weim for long periods of time, you should familiarize your Weim with the crate at a young age to avoid intense separation anxiety.

Blue eyed Weimaraner posing in grass.

Breeds similar to the Weimaraner

Not quite sure that a Weimaraner is right for you? Even if you are, it’s worth taking the time to research and consider other similar breeds. Here are a few to get you started:

  • Pointer. Like the Weim, the Pointer is a member of the sporting group and loves to chase small animals. They’d be a great fit for a house with a yard and a family who has time to play.
  • Labrador retriever. Voted America’s most popular dog for 30 consecutive years, the Labrador retriever shares a similar breeding history as the Weim. They also belong to the sporting group.
  • Whippet. Small and sleek, the Whippet is the Weimaraner’s brindled cousin. Like the Weimaraner, they’re one of the fastest dogs in the world. However, they’ll take up less space on your sofa. They also come in a variety of colors instead of just silver-blue.

Common Weimaraner health problems

In general, Weimaraners are relatively healthy without many genetic predispositions to illness. This is partially due to the rigorous genetics testing recommended by the Weimaraner’s Club of America before breeding. As far as acquired illness, bloat is probably the most serious concern, but it is largely preventable by controlling your dog’s diet.

  • von Willebrand’s Disease. Genetic testing now allows breeders to screen for von Willebrand’s Disease, a blood-clotting disorder that can be life-threatening without treatment. Doberman Pinschers are most at risk, but the disorder has also been found in Weims.
  • Bloat. Also known as gastric torsion or dilation, this condition is more serious than  overeating. When a dog develops bloat, their stomach swells and may twist painfully. It can lead to a fatal blockage if not dealt with immediately.
  • Immune-mediated disease. Although it’s rare, some Weimaraners seem genetically predisposed to severe reactions from common vaccines. We recommend talking to your vet about vaccines and your choices.

Autoimmune disorders such as immune-mediated hemolyticanemia, or IMHA, are extremely rare. For most puppies, there may be more harm splitting up vaccines because each vaccine visit is a new chance to have a reaction.

Dr. Erica Irish

Cost of caring for Weimaraners

Expect to pay between $600 and $1,200 if you find a Weimaraner puppy for sale from a respectable breeder. Some puppies may cost more, especially if they come from a line of show dogs. If possible, consider adopting from a Weimaraner rescue. You can often save hundreds, not to mention save a life.

Of course, as any pet parent knows, the upfront cost of acquiring a pet is only a down payment on a lifetime commitment. Thankfully, the Weimaraner is fairly healthy and shouldn’t require frequent trips to the hospital.

Even so, you might want to consider securing a pet health insurance policy to help you cover emergencies and long-term care for any chronic diseases that may arise. Pet health insurance reduces out-of-pocket expenses by allowing owners to pay a monthly fee and annual deductible. It’s worth mentioning though that most still require you to pay the total bill upfront and then file a claim for reimbursement.

In some circumstances, developing a budget and pet savings account may be a better alternative, especially if you have poor credit.

Weimaraner fun facts

👉 Coming up with a pet name can be fun but tricky. Search no further! According to PetScreening’s 2024 database, the majority of our users name their male Weimaraners Blue; Duke is the 2nd most popular male name. Meanwhile, most of our users with female Weimaraners love Luna, then Bella.

  • “Weim” is a breed nickname endearingly used by Weimaraner enthusiasts
  • Weimaraner is pronounced “Wai·mr·aa·nr.”
  • Weimaraners sport webbed feet, which equip them for swimming and hunting waterfowl.
  • Although we credit Germany with the origin of the modern breed, there’s limited evidence that the Weimaraner descended from the now-extinct Gray Dog in France.
Weimaraner puppy

Caring for your Weimaraner

After adopting your Weimaraner, you’ll need to promptly schedule their first trip to the vet and make sure your dog receives their vaccinations. If you’ve adopted from a rescue or shelter, ask for a copy of their medical records to see which vaccines they’ve already received.

Outside of the vet clinic, we can even help you puppy-proof your home and prepare for teething. No one likes to think about losing their new dog, but FidoAlert provides a free Fido ID and tag, so you’re prepared just in case. Here are some other things you’ll need to know as you welcome your Weimaraner into your life:


A Weim with nothing to do creates a recipe for disaster. This breed was born to hunt and will not tolerate languishing on the sofa for long. Their intense desire to be active and acute intelligence necessitates around 2 hours of daily exercise. Boredom runs hand in hand with mischief, so it’s important to make sure your Weimaraner always has something to do even when they’re indoors, such as treat puzzles.

Since they’re companion dogs, your Weim will probably feel most fulfilled if you exercise with them. They’re the perfect running partner who will help you stay accountable for your fitness goals. Alternatively, they may be content running around in a large backyard if you’re nearby. In fact, Weimaraners are one of the fastest dog breeds in the world. They’re capable of reaching 35 mph at full speed.

Weimaraner side profile


Although they aren’t hypoallergenic, Weimaraners don’t shed as much as some breeds. They’re cloaked in a sleek single coat that sheds only moderately year-round, instead of a double coat that sheds profusely during certain seasons. You might want to invest in a lint roller since their short, gray hairs may be more noticeable on dark surfaces.

You should brush your Weimaraner with a soft bristle brush at least once a week to control the shedding and spread naturally occurring oils over their coat. Brushing their teeth daily helps keep their pearly whites healthy for life. In addition to regular nail trims, your Weim will need an occasional bath. However, limit spa days to no more than once a month to avoid stripping their coat.

Diet and nutrition

As a large breed, Weimaraners eat more food than the average dog. If possible, feed them at least twice a day in smaller portions rather than giving them a daily feast. Eating slowly helps prevent bloat, which can be fatal. Talk to your vet about how much you should feed your dog and what dog food works best for their health requirements.

How much food they receive will depend on their age, individual health concerns, and the type of food. For example, a higher quality food usually lasts longer than a cheaper food that’s made with ingredients that aren’t as nutritious, thus requiring more per day. In general, you can assume your adult Weimaraner will chow down on anywhere from 2-4 cups of dry food daily.

Frequently asked questions

Is the Weimaraner a good family dog?

The Weim pays rapt attention to their people and is usually friendly towards other dogs. They’re typically good with older children, but they may not be the best choice for a family with toddlers due to their large size and boisterous nature. Cats and Weims don’t mix well due to their high prey drive. A family with a large backyard and only dogs as pets make the best environment for the athletic Weim.

How much does a Weimaraner cost?

You’ll usually pay between $600 and $1,200 for a Weim puppy from a respectable breeder. The prices may be more or less depending on various factors, including your location. Alternatively, you can check a breed-specific Weim rescue or visit your local animal shelter to try to adopt.

Is the Weimaraner a healthy breed?

Overall, the Weim is a reasonably healthy breed with a long average lifespan of 10 to 13 years. Responsible breeders test eligible stock for genetic concerns such as certain eye, knee, and hip abnormalities to maintain a clean health bill. Throughout their life, responsible owners will need to watch for dangerous conditions such as bloat. Like humans, Weimaraners who receive a well-balanced diet and proper exercise run lower risks of preventable diseases.