Caring for a Weimaraner often demands a lot of patience, and sometimes it can be overwhelming. To lend you a helping hand, we will point out the specific needs of this medium-to-large breed and how to address them.
Here you will learn how to deal with the exercise and grooming requirements of your Weimaraner. You will also know how to manage undesirable behaviours in the breed, from extreme clinginess to indiscriminate eating.
Caring for a Weimaraner: Grooming and Health
Weimaraner Grooming Needs
When caring for a Weimaraner, grooming is the least of your worries. Both short-haired and long-haired variations of the breed do not require a lot of grooming.
- Brushing Your Weimaraner
Weimaraners need brushing at least twice a month. However, it is good to brush their coat 2 times a week to prevent the excessive accumulation of dirt. If you own a short-coated Weimaraner, use a bristle brush to comb his fur. If he has a long coat, brush your Weimaraner’s hair with a wide-tooth comb before following it through with a bristle brush.
Pay close attention to the feathering on the long-haired Weimaraner’s ears, legs, and tail as they are prone to mats and tangles. Make sure to comb in the same direction as your dog’s hair growth.
- Bathing Your Weimaraner
Weimaraners are low-grooming dogs, so they only need to bathe once or twice a month. Be mindful of the dog shampoo that your use. It should be mild to avoid irritating his skin.
Note that lots of Weimaraners do not do well with shampoos that contain natural ingredients such as jojoba, eucalyptus, and tea tree oils.
- Other Grooming Needs
Your Weimaraner’s paw pads are prone to becoming cracked, dry, or tender since he usually spends a long time exploring outside. Consider applying paw pad moisturiser every week to keep them healthy and soft.
Caring for a Weimaraner’s paw pads also involves checking them for wounds every time you come back from outdoor activities. Clean his ears weekly and brush his teeth daily.
Weimaraner Health Concerns
Caring for a Weimaraner means knowing the possible health problems that he may face. Although this is scary to think about, it will help you to be prepared to tackle these problems in case they do happen.
The Weimaraner is a healthy breed, but he is also prone to several health issues, including:
Major Health Problems
Minor Health Problems
- Haemophilia A
- Hip Dysplasia
- Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy
- Von Willebrand’s Disease
The vet can identify some of these issues by performing eye, hip, and blood exams on your Weimaraner.
Note that reputable breeders should be able to provide a medical history of your Weimaraner puppy’s bloodline. They also have guarantees if ever any serious genetic disease develops in their purebred dogs.
Beware of illicit breeders as they run puppy mills and follow unethical and poor breeding practices. Puppies and dogs coming from them are often riddled with health and behavioural problems.
Thus, never take the risk of buying a Weimaraner puppy or even an adult Weimaraner from them.
Is Weimaraners High-Maintenance?
Weimaraners are high-maintenance when it comes to exercise. As hunting dogs, they were originally bred to have limitless energy to pursue large and small animal prey in harsh and rocky landscapes.
Weimaraners are better suited for active families. As family pets, they thrive when their owners provide them with activities wherein they can channel their high energy.
Since Weimaraners are athletic canines with a lot of energy, they should have an active, outdoor lifestyle. This dog breed needs a minimum of 1–2 hours of daily exercise.
Thus, caring for a Weimaraner entails spending large amounts of time taking him out for long walks, runs, or hikes.
Unlike low-energy dog breeds, the Weimaraner will not be satisfied with these activities alone. Thus, you should also integrate other exhaustive exercises in his day-to-day exercise routine.
Hunting dogs like Weimaraners will enjoy taking part in dog sports such as fieldwork, canine freestyle, dock diving, and fly ball. Don’t forget to have playtime with him at home.
Classic dog games like fetch, hide-and-seek and tug of war are great activities for your Weimaraner as they bring out his hunting skills.
Can a Weimaraner Be Left Alone?
Weimaraner dogs should never be left alone for long hours. They are inherently clingy and want nothing more than to be constantly with their families. This is why they are very prone to separation anxiety.
Lower your Weimaraner puppy’s chances of developing separation anxiety with the help of these tips:
- Ignore him before leaving and after arriving home.
Keep your departures and arrivals low-key. Cuddling your Weimaraner puppy as soon as you reach home or about to leave will trigger his separation anxiety.
It is important to make him understand that your absence and arrival are not a big deal. So do not give your Weimaraner puppy attention for around 10–30 minutes before you go out or after you come home.
Always be calm during these moments as well. Avoid appearing overexcited since your Weimaraner puppy can pick up this emotion and exhibit it. It will then trigger excessive greetings such as loud barking and jumping.
- Acclimate him to your movements.
Weimaraners are sharp and intelligent dogs. They can quickly understand which of your body movements signal that you are about to leave. For instance, tying your shoes before heading out.
Desensitise your Weimaraner puppy by repeating your departure cues without going somewhere. Do this until he gets tired and stops reacting. Repetition will slowly remove his association of the movement to you leaving him.
- Tire him out.
Your Weimaraner puppy will have time worrying about you leaving if he is exhausted. Thus, give him a lot of exercises before you leave. Once his energy is depleted, he will spend most of his time sleeping.
Get creative by providing your Weimaraner puppy with interactive dog toys. These will keep him physically and mentally busy whilst you are gone. Puzzle toys and stuffed Kong with treats will keep him preoccupied for hours.
- Give him a safe space to relax.
Crate-training, your Weimaraner puppy, is useful in preventing separation anxiety. Whenever you are away, he will find comfort in his crate whilst he waits for you to come home.
Let your Weimaraner puppy associate a positive experience in his crate by placing his favourite toys inside. Giving him dog food and providing him with treats whilst he is inside will make him enjoy spending time there.
- Try on-lead tethering.
This is a good technique to use on a new puppy. It is the first step to slowly getting him acclimated to being away from you. Use a 6-foot lead to tether your Weimaraner puppy to stable furniture. Then provide him with a comfortable dog mat to rest in and a dog-safe chew toy. Settle down a few steps away from your Weimaraner puppy.
However, be sure that you are out of his reach. Do not give him any attention, and let him freely do what he wants for 5 minutes. If your Weimaraner puppy barks, ignore him. He will stop barking once he gets tired of trying to get your attention.
Gradually increase the length of time by a minute once your Weimaraner puppy gets used to being tethered. 30 minutes is the advised maximum tether time for your dog.
- Final note
In general, dogs should not be left alone for more than 4–6 hours. If you aren’t around for most of the day, consider hiring a pet sitter to keep your Weimaraner puppy company.
How Can You Stop Your Weimaraner from Indiscriminately Eating?
One thing that dog owners should know about Weimaraners is they tend to eat anything they see. Some are particularly fond of chewing on rocks or munching on their human companion’s socks.
Whilst this may seem like harmless and funny behaviours, indiscriminate eating is extremely dangerous. Swallowing inedible objects often warrants surgery, or else it can lead to life-threatening stomach blockage.
Here are a few preventative methods that you can follow to keep your Weimaraner puppy from scarfing down random objects:
- Let him chew on appropriate items.
Weimaraners love to chew, and many Weimaraner owners can attest to that. Thus, make sure to provide your dog with durable chew toys such as rubber Kongs. Encourage your Weimaraner to gnaw on these items through positive reinforcement. Praise him if he chews on the toy instead of your slippers or clothes.
If you catch your Weimaraner chewing on something inappropriate, take it away and replace it with a chew toy. Don’t forget to reward him when he starts chomping on his chew toy.
- Watch out for body language hints.
Your Weimaraner will display certain behaviours when he sniffs out something interesting. He may walk in circles whilst persistently smelling a particular area before ingesting something he isn’t supposed to.
Keep a close eye on these cues. So that when your Weimaraner exhibits them, you can stop him from eating inedible objects ahead of time.
- Take him on walks after meals.
Some Weimaraners cannot resist the urge to scavenge during walks. It is recommended that you take your Weimaraner for a stroll after he has eaten. Dogs that have a full stomach have a lesser inclination to forage on walks.
Be warned that the Weimaraner breed is prone to dog bloat. Moreover, exercising after ingesting a large meal can trigger this condition. Thus, feed your Weimaraner 2 small portions of one whole meal. Then wait for 30 minutes after meals before you walk him.
- Play the exchange game.
This method will teach your Weimaraner puppy to trade whatever is in his mouth for a tasty treat. Start by giving him a toy that he likes. Then offer him a few high-quality treats. This will entice him to drop his toy.
Whilst your Weimaraner eats, pick up the toy. Give it back to him when he is done eating. Repeat this until your dog gives you his toy when you come near him because he knows that he gets a treat.