Weimaraners are large dogs and are best known for their striking coats, which are short in length and grayish-silver in color (hence the reason why they are often referred to as the “Gray Ghost”). These dogs hail from Germany and were bred to hunt large game, such as bears and deer. These highly obedient and fearless dogs make excellent hunting companions; in fact, many sportsmen in the United States, particularly in areas where large game are hunted, such as Virginia and the Dakotas, use these dogs to assist them.
Weimaraners have extremely friendly personalities, which is why they also make great family pets. They are good with people of all ages and are very easy to train. They like to run and they really enjoy spending time with their human “pack.”
If you’re thinking about adding a Weimaraner to your family, read on to learn more about caring for this wonderful breed.
Weimaraner Food and Health
Weimaraners are considered medium- to large-breed dogs. They have a lot of energy and they are very muscular and athletic. In order to ensure that they are getting the nutrition that they need to maintain their energy levels and health, it’s very important that you make sure you are feeding your pup a proper diet.
To keep up with their energy levels, it’s recommended that puppy Weimaraners eat about 1,200 calories a day. Adult dogs, particularly those that are highly active, should consume more calories; about 3,000 or more per day. Of course, take the activity level and lifestyle of your dog into consideration, as overfeeding can lead to health complications; however, these dogs are not prone to obesity.
Like all dogs, you should feed your Weimaraner high-quality dog foods. The majority of people opt for dry kibble, simply because of the fact that these dogs tend to eat a lot and the cost of canned food can be exorbitant. Whether you opt for dry or canned food, make sure that pure animal proteins are listed as the first ingredient and steer clear of animal by-products, as they can cause health issues. Other ingredients to look for include carbohydrates, fiber, and vitamins and minerals that will help to strengthen the bones and internal organs. Try to steer clear of wheat and cornmeal, as many Weimaraners have grain allergies. This breed is not particular about the type of protein it eats and will enjoy a variety of options, including beef, chicken, turkey, and fish.
When feeding, do not leave excess food out, as these pups have hearty appetites and will continue eating even when they aren’t hungry. Generally, puppies should be fed three smaller meals a day, while adults should be fed two larger meals a day. Also, you might want to consider feeding your dog in a puzzle bowl, such as the dogit go slow dog bowl. The reason? – This breed eats quickly and puzzle bowls can help to slow them down.
In regard to health, Weimaraners are generally healthy dogs; however, they can have issues with hip dysplasia and autoimmune diseases. If you are using your dog for hunting or if your dog will be walking on rough terrain on a regular basis, there’s a greater chance that he could sustain an injury. To offset the cost of medical care, you might want to consider purchasing pet insurance, which works much like health insurance for humans. There are several affordable options available from reputable companies, including Nationwide and Geico. The cost of insurance can be well worth your while.
Leashes and Collars for your Weim
Weimaraners, as mentioned, have tons of energy. Not only do they need to be exercised on a regular basis, but they crave it. In fact, if you aren’t exercising your dog regularly, there’s a good chance that he will up and run on his own!
To ensure the safety of your four-legged companion, invest in a collar that is built of durable materials. These dogs are incredibly powerful; therefore, you want to have a collar that can withstand his strength. Leather and nylon are excellent materials for a Weimeraner. When selecting a collar, make sure you measure your pup’s neck and choose one that will fit him properly. Typically, large, adjustable collars are ideal. Also, avoid snap button closures and instead, as your dog would easily pull it off. Excellent collars for Weimeraners include blueberry pet multi-colored stripe and ruffwear chain collar. Also, harnesses are not recommended for this breed, as they can be difficult to get on because they are on the larger size and are so eager to move.
You’re also going to need a leash for your Weimeraner. As mentioned, they require regular exercise and a leash will ensure that your dog is safe and secure. This is particularly true if you are living in rural areas, such as New York City or San Diego and your pup can easily find his way into traffic. The last thing you want is to have your dog break away from you and get hit by a car! Like a dog collar, a dog leash should be made of sturdy material, such as leather like soft touch leather leash or nylon like leashboss long nylon leash. It should also be comfortable for you to hold and easy to control.
Best Crates, Beds, and Doghouses for Weimaraners
Weimarners are extremely intelligent, but because of their high energy levels, training is vital. A crate serves as an excellent training tool. It can also serve as a “den”. When selecting a dog crate, keep the size of your pup in mind. Measure the length of your dog (from tail to nose) and add about 4 inches. Also measure him from his head to the ground and add 4 inches. These measurements will allow you to select a crate that will accommodate your dog. There should be enough room for him to stand and turn around comfortably, but you don’t want it to offer too much space.
Dog houses generally aren’t recommended for Weimaraners, as this breed doesn’t like being left alone. However, if you have several dogs, a dog house may work. If you are going to use a dog house, make sure you consider the size of the pup, and if it will be used to house multiple dogs, factors in the size of each one and make sure that there is enough space for all to be comfortable. Also, consider the features. For example, if you live in a hot climate, such as Florida, air conditioning will ensure the comfort and safety of your dog.
A bed adds comfort to a crate and a dog house. For this breed, a large cushioned mat is a perfect bedding solution, as it offers plenty of space to spread out (which Wiemareners love to do!) But, keep the material in mind, especially if you have a puppy, who likes to chew. Durable materials that your dog can’t chew through will help to prevent damage.
Toys for Weimaraners
As mentioned, Weimeraners are extremely active and intelligent. Playing is important, as it provides them with the activity they need.
For those times when you aren’t going to be home or when you just don’t have time to play with your pup, toys that are designed to electronically “toss” a ball so your pup can fetch is, such as idog ball launcher, could be a wise investment. Your pup will have a way to get his energy out, even when you can’t take him for a walk or play.
Grooming Insights for Weim owners
Weimaraners have short, flat coats that shed all year long. While they don’t require the extensive grooming that a long-haired breed needs, they do still need to be groomed on a regular basis.
Generally, grooming once a month is recommended; however, you may need to bathe your dog more often, depending on his lifestyle and where you live. For instance, if you live on the Great Plains and he hunts with you, you’ll want to groom him every week or so.
While grooming, make sure that you clean your dog’s ears, clip his nails, and, of course, wash him. Use a cotton ball and gently clean out the outer edges of the inside of his ear to minimize the risk of infection. With bathing, you’ll want to wash him twice; Once with a hypoallergenic dog shampoo like pro pet hypoallergenic shampoo and again with a medicated shampoo like synergylabs medicated shampoo. The first washing will remove dirt and debris, while the second one can alleviate any skin irritation. You could also use a flea and tick shampoo to reduce the risk of your dog being affected by these pests.
Don’t forget to pay attention to your dog’s paws! Since these pups enjoy spending time outside, you’ll want to apply a dog paw balm to keep his pads pliable and to reduce the risk of injury.
There are plenty of accessories available that could help to increase the comfort and security of your Weimaraner. Base the accessories that you use on your dog’s lifestyle and where he lives.
For example, if your dog is used for hunting in cold climates, an insulated hunting vest, like rabbitgoo harness vest for dogs will keep him warm and offer added protection. If he will be walking on rough or icy terrain, you might want to consider investing in a pair of padded boots lined with slip-resistant material to protect his feet.