Origin and Purpose
The Weimaraner breed dates back to 13th century art and literature. The Grand Duke of Weimar, for whom the breed is named, is responsible for standardizing the breed to its modern form. The Weimaraner developed into one of the prized continental hunting breeds during the 19th century, excelling with various types of game.
They exhibited instinctive hunting abilities such as tracking, searching, pointing, retrieving, and locating downed large game. What made the Weimaraner unique was its need for human companionship and kind handling. With the decline of big game, along with the introduction of guns to bird hunting, Weimaraner breeders placed more emphasis on pointing instincts.
In 1896, Germany recognized the Weimaraner as a breed. Despite opposition from the German breed club, a few individual dogs came to North America in the first part of the 20th century. The breed was eventually recognized in the United States and Canada.
The Weimaraner is now used in Germany on all furred and feathered game. In North America, they are used almost exclusively on birds. The modern Weimaraner has maintained its stamina, hunting versatility, and need for human bonding.
Weimaraner Breed Standard: Approved December 14, 1971
A medium-sized gray dog, with fine aristocratic features. He should present a picture of grace, speed, stamina, alertness and balance. Above all, the dog’s conformation must indicate the ability to work with great speed and endurance in the field.
Weimaraner Breed Standard: Height
Height at the withers: dogs, 25 to 27 inches; bitches, 23 to 25 inches. One inch over or under the specified height of each sex is allowable but should be penalized. Dogs measuring less than 24 inches or more than 28 inches and bitches measuring less than 22 inches or more than 26 inches shall be disqualified.
Medium size with regard to height needs no explanation as it is clearly defined with a disqualification for those who deviate from this size. When compared to people and objects of known proportion, the medium size of the Weimaraner is apparent. Height is always measured from the withers to the ground.
Weimaraner Breed Standard: Head
Moderately long and aristocratic, with moderate stop and slight median line extending back over the forehead. Rather prominent occipital bone and trumpets well set back, beginning at the back of the eye sockets. Measurement from tip of nose to stop equals that from stop to occipital bone. The flews should be straight, delicate at the nostrils. Skin drawn tightly.
Neck clean-cut and moderately long. Expression kind, keen and intelligent.
Ears—Long and lobular, slightly folded and set high. The ear when drawn snugly alongside the jaw should end approximately 2 inches from the point of the nose.
Eyes—In shades of light amber, gray or blue-gray, set well enough apart to indicate good disposition and intelligence. When dilated under excitement the eyes may appear almost black.
Teeth—Well set, strong and even; well-developed and proportionate to jaw with correct scissors bite, the upper teeth protruding slightly over the lower teeth but not more than 1/16 of an inch. Complete dentition is greatly to be desired.
Lips and Gums—Pinkish flesh shades.
Weimaraner Breed Standard: Body
The back should be moderate in length, set in a straight line, strong, and should slope slightly from the withers. The chest should be well developed and deep with shoulders well laid back. Ribs well sprung and long. Abdomen firmly held; moderately tucked-up flank. The brisket should extend to the elbow.
Weimaraner Breed Standard: Coat and Color
Short, smooth and sleek, solid color, in shades of mouse-gray to silver-gray, usually blending to lighter shades on the head and ears. A small white marking on the chest is permitted, but should be penalized on any other portion of the body. White spots resulting from injury should not be penalized. A distinctly long coat is a disqualification. A distinctly blue or black coat is a disqualification.
Allowable white on the chest may be in the form of a spot or blaze, giving the appearance of being small and should not dominate the chest. Color should not give the appearance of being brown, liver or black. Coat color resembles a grayish–taupe and varies from very light shades to deep rich shades; all have the distinctive grayish–taupe tone, never a true brown or blue color. Lighter shading on the head and ears is referred to as the “Grafmar Cap,” and is more prominent with age. A distinctly long coat or a distinctly blue or black coat is a disqualification.
Weimaraners are avid sun bathers; their dilute coat color is easily sun bleached giving it a more brownish cast. In addition, a breed trait while shedding is a “bulleted/spotted” or mottled pattern, which will disappear with the new coat.
The Weimaraner coat color is a dilute; therefore, it is genetically impossible for a correctly–colored, gray Weimaraner to have a black–mottled mouth; it may have a gray mottled mouth.
Weimaraner Breed Standard: Forelegs
Straight and strong, with the measurement from the elbow to the ground approximately equaling the distance from the elbow to the top of the withers.
Weimaraner Breed Standard: Hindquarters
Well-angulated stifles and straight hocks. Musculation well developed.
Weimaraner Breed Standard: Feet
Firm and compact, webbed, toes well arched, pads closed and thick, nails short and gray or amber in color. Dewclaws—Should be removed.
Weimaraner Breed Standard: Tail
Docked. At maturity it should measure approximately 6 inches with a tendency to be light rather than heavy and should be carried in a manner expressing confidence and sound temperament. A non-docked tail shall be penalized.
Our standard is vague with regard to correct tail set, citing only that a low tail set is a major fault. The set–on of the tail correlates with the contour of the croup and pelvic angle. A low tail set indicates a steep pelvis which will result in restricted rear extension. A flat croup will result in the most rear extension but may cause excessive rear kick and wasted motion. A slightly angled croup will result in less extension but increased agility and endurance. Please do not confuse “tail set,” (an expression of structure) with “tail carriage” (an expression of temperament). Faults of docking are entirely man-made, thus incorrect length is only a minor fault.
The subtle differences illustrated here demonstrate the range of acceptable tail sets which reflect the range of pelvic angles.
A pelvic angle of 40 degrees or more would result in a steep croup and low tail set which is a major fault.
Weimaraner Breed Standard: Gait
The gait should be effortless and should indicate smooth coordination. When seen from the rear, the hind feet should be parallel to the front feet. When viewed from the side, the topline should remain strong and level.
To ensure that the Weimaraner can endure a day in the field, his gait must be smooth, coordinated and effortless. If his front angulation shaped by well laid back shoulders is correct and the rear angulation with well bent stifles is equal to the front, there should be no wasted motion. If front and rear angulation is not in balance, one end compensates for the other, resulting in inefficient movement.
A Weimaraner should easily cover ground with good reach in front and good drive in the rear. Restricted movement in any form is incorrect.
When viewed on the down and back, the Weimaraner’s legs converge toward a center line beneath his body in order to achieve balance; the greater the speed, the closer the legs come to tracking on a straight line.
Weimaraner Breed Standard: Temperament
The temperament should be friendly, fearless, alert and obedient.
Tail too short or too long. Pink nose.
Doggy bitches. Bitchy dogs. Improper muscular condition. Badly affected teeth. More than four teeth missing. Back too long or too short. Faulty coat. Neck too short, thick or throaty. Low-set tail. Elbows in or out. Feet east and west. Poor gait. Poor feet. Cowhocks. Faulty backs, either roached or sway. Badly overshot, or undershot bite. Snipy muzzle. Short ears.
Very Serious Faults
White, other than a spot on the chest. Eyes other than gray, blue-gray or light amber. Black mottled mouth. Non-docked tail. Dogs exhibiting strong fear, shyness or extreme nervousness.
Deviation in height of more than one inch from standard either way. A distinctly long coat. A distinctly blue or black coat.
The entire Illustrated Standard as well as the Breed Standard Presentation can be found on our website under Resources and Judges Education.
Understanding the Weimaraner Breed Standard – Showsight Magazine December 2020 Issue
Photos courtesy of Weimaraner Club of America, Illustrations by Linda J. Shaw and Lorna Godsill.
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