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A Brief Guide to the Weimaraner

 

The Weimaraner is one of the Continental group of the hunt, point and retrieve gundogs. Originally from the Province of Weimar in Germany - hence the name - he was bred by the nobility for their own use and for that of their keepers and foresters. He is an all-purpose gundog, capable of tracking over long distances and holding at bay wild boar and stag. He has the ability, if properly trained, to hunt out fur and feather, to go on point and then on command, flush the game. Once it is shot he will retrieve it. He was also expected to hunt and kill vermin. The Weimaraner is a fearless and powerful hunter capable of scaling most obstacles and swimming with ease.


He is not the easiest of breeds for the novice owner and is not the best 'pet' material. He is too intelligent and can be very stubborn and likes to be 'top dog'. Firm but gentle training is his requirement and he will reward you with loyalty and be eager to please. He can be very protective and this trait must be channelled in the right direction. Although they make a good family dog they are not suitable for young children to have as a pet. Not only does he need exercise in proportion to his age but he needs his mind exercised also. Weimaraners have made their mark as a rough shooter's dog, in field trials, working trials, obedience, agility and has found favour as a sniffer dog with Customs and Excise in several countries. He really is a dog for people who want a hobby. He won't let you forget about him and hates to be left alone for long periods. He is the most challenging and satisfying of Breeds. If you like the breed but would prefer a longer coat and an undocked tail, then the Long-haired Weimaraner may be what you are looking for. He comes in the same shades of grey and build and has the same aristocratic demeanour.


CHOOSING A PUPPY


If you have decided that you cannot live without a 'Grey Ghost' in your home, please bear in mind the following points:


  1. Do read the breed standard so that you have some idea of what you will be looking for (Available from the Weimaraner Club of Ireland & The Irish Kennel Club) or click on the link above.
  2. Buy from an experienced Weimaraner Breeder if at all possible. The Weimaraner Club Secretary will be pleased to furnish you with members who have litters for sale.
  3. Make sure you see all the puppies with their dam - 5/6 weeks of age is a good time for viewing. If at all possible, try to see the sire of the litter also.
  4. Buy only from breeders who have registered their dogs and bitches with the Irish Kennel Club. Your puppy may turn out to be an outstanding specimen that you might wish to show or have take part in any of the other disciplines run by the IKC and if it is not registered with them, which the breeder should do, you will not be able to participate.
  5. Most puppies are sold at about eight weeks of age. Under six weeks is too young for the puppy to leave its mother and siblings.


When you collect your puppy, do not leave without the following:


a) A receipt for the transaction.

b) A signed note to say that the puppy has been registered with the IKC if the registration certificate is not to hand.

c) The pedigree of your puppy.

d) An assurance that the puppy has been regularly wormed.

e) A diet sheet and a supply of food for the puppy. You may wish to change the diet but do it gradually so that the puppy does not get an upset stomach.

f) Most puppies are not now vaccinated by the breeder. Take the puppy to your own vet within 48 hours for its first inoculation and for a health check. Then, if there is a medical problem, which is, or could be serious, you may wish to return the puppy to the breeder and this should be made clear to the breeder at the time of purchase.


YOUR NEW PUPPY AT HOME


If you have not had a puppy for some time you will have forgotten what it is like. Do take some time to look around your home for danger points. Treat the puppy as you would a toddler beginning to crawl. Trailing flexes, hanging draperies, and ponds can be lethal. So too are most medicines and almost all kitchen cleaners etc. Puppies' teeth are very sharp and can puncture tins with disastrous results. If for example the tin contained beer the puppy could die from alcohol poisoning. Most things are common sense but it is easy to forget. Do place items of sentimental value or family heirlooms out of reach, i.e. 5ft off the floor. Puppies will consider anything lying around the floor or within their reach as toys and it is wrong to punish them for your untidiness. Many of the items we take for granted such as air fresheners, fly killers, carpet cleaners etc. can cause an allergic reaction, which is most unpleasant for the puppy.

If you do not wish to share your bedroom with your new puppy (sharing does have its advantages but can cause family friction) do designate an area for the puppy that is his safe haven. You may wish to consider one of the large dog cages. It is quite easy to train the puppy to sleep in it and it is useful for the dog to retreat to if there are young children about - it makes a good bolthole. It is also useful if you have to be out for a while - you won't come back to 'accidents' and 'mass destruction' of your home. Whether you use a cage or a bed in a safe place, be prepared for the puppy to cry, loudly and consistently. Make sure he is warm (a warm hot water bottle under his blanket or rug); give him an old, cuddly toy to nestle up to as he will miss his brothers and sisters; a radio playing gently in the background, as he is not used to total silence, and a safe night light should give him all his creature comforts. Retire to bed, after laying newspapers down, and ignore all his cries. If you go down to him you will teach him that if he makes a noise someone will come. Earplugs come in very useful!


Do try to collect your puppy early in the day so that he can explore and get used to his new surroundings. Don't excite him with lots of visitors, he will become overwhelmed and over excited. The calmer you are the calmer your puppy will be, and the sooner he will settle down to become a valued member of the family.


P. LeMon