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Working Wednesday: The Weimaraner

These "Grey Ghosts" belong the the HPR category of the Gundog breed group and when trained correctly can certainly live up to their name - hunting up game, pointing and flushing then retrieving in such a graceful manor.

Weimaraner Fun Facts:

  • From around 2 weeks - 6 months old their eyes are bright blue and gradually change to a sandy yellow colour.

  • Some of them are long-haired, however this is very uncommon.

  • Due to being close relatives to the bloodhound they have excellent sense of smell,

  • When they are born they have dark grey tiger-stripes. However these fade away after a few days.

  • Their nickname "The Grey Ghost" comes from their colour and more importantly, their hunting style which is stealthy and sneaky.

Weimaraner History:

Despite the comparative rarity of the Breed in Great Britain, the Weimaraner has been maintained as a pure breed for well over a century in Germany and its ancestry can be seen clearly in paintings dated as long ago as 1630.

The dogs were originally bred in the independent state of Weimar, for their qualities of intelligence, companionship and beauty, and especially for their all round ability to hunt, point, track & retrieve in all sorts of cover whatever the terrain. Weimaraners have been particularly used to hunt Wild Boar across Europe and excel in this field due to their tough temperament they make great hunting companions and can work in all different conditions.

Once developed, the Nobles of Weimar, who jealously kept their dogs from other ownership, preserved the excellent characteristics of these dogs, and when in the course of time, the independent state of Weimar became part of a United Germany the German Weimaraner Club followed in this tradition.

It was only in 1937 that the first Weimaraners were exported to the U.S.A. and not until World War II that any numbers reached owners outside Germany. The Weimaraner was introduced to Britain by Major R.H. Petty in 1952. He had hunted with them whilst serving in Germany.

Working Weimaraners:

Training a Weimaraner to work to the gun takes time, dedication, & patience, a sense of humour & lots of praise. He is a sensitive creature and will not respond to harsh handling. He needs to be taken to training classes both indoor and if possible outdoor classes run by the various HPR breeds, where he will learn to mix socially with other dogs. This is very important especially as he grows into an adult dog. The shooting field is not the place for a badly mannered dog.

As they are a HPR breed, Weimaraners hunt up their quarry, flush them when told and retrieve once it has been shot. This is done with an element of style and stealth with a Weimaraner as they float across the moors - which is the terrain they excel in due to their large build they can easily cover vast amount of land within minutes...keeping their handlers on their toes!

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