Is the Weimaraner Right For You?
The Weimaraner Character
One of the first things a prospective Weimaraner owner should consider is the personality of the breed. The breed standard of the Weimaraner Club of America addresses personality by saying “The temperament should be friendly, fearless, alert and obedient.” To this, the UK standard adds the word “protective”. The German standard addresses temperament more thoroughly by labeling it “Behavior and Character” and states that the Weimaraner is “a versatile, easy-going, fearless and enthusiastic gundog with a systematic and persevering search, yet not excessively fast. A remarkably good nose. Sharp on prey and game. Also man-sharp, yet not aggressive. Reliable in pointing and water work. Remarkable inclination to work after the shot.” The American Standard points out that it is a very serious fault for dogs to exhibit strong fear, shyness, and extreme nervousness. The German standard goes so far as to disqualify dogs that are timid or frightened.
All three standards stress that a Weimaraner should have the ability and drive to perform the work it was originally bred to do: to find and point game, to track, and to deliver downed game to the hunter. That instinct should be, and for the most part is, still hard-wired into the Weimaraner psyche. And whether you ever shoot over your Weimaraner or not, that instinct deeply informs the dog that he is.
Systematic and persevering…remarkable inclination to work after the shot — the words in the German Standard speak directly to the Weimaraner’s great heart and dogged determination to perform the job he was bred to do. And while these phrases address Weimaraners at work in the field, they are a good description of what we see reflected in our companion dogs in whatever pursuits we choose for them.
The Weimaraner’s versatility and work ethic set him apart from other gundog breeds, not only in the field but in other dog sports. His athleticism and intelligence make him a great gundog, but also serve him well in obedience and agility. However, don’t expect him to be a Golden or a Border Collie. And although his perseverance, systematic work, and retrieving ability can make him a personal hunting companion almost without equal, he does not run like a Pointer, nor retrieve like a Lab.
No matter what you choose to do with your Weimaraner, if you accept him and honor him for what he is; if you develop his innate abilities in whatever venue you choose, you will have a companion for life.
© 2005 Jeri Stephens
©2013 Trinity Valley Weimaraner Club