We love Weimaraners, but as a responsible rescue it's important for potential adopters to really understand their characteristics.
Because Weims were bred to hunt and kill small furry animals, large and small, they are not recommended for homes with pet birds, cats, or other small, furry pets. The Weim's prey drive is strong and rabbits, cats, mice, and birds are all fair game. The Weim on the trail of its prey is focused and driven. It is difficult, if not impossible, to stop the chase. We do occasionally get Weims who have lived with small animals or children previously.
Small running children and people jogging or riding bicycles may trigger the chase instinct in a Weim.
Weims are MESSY! They are CARELESS! Puddles are a part of life with then. Water is for fun. Their lips are loose and hold lots of water. In a list of Weimaraner priorities, neatness and cleanliness rank near the bottom.
Yes, they look neat in their shiny silver coat, but it is an illusion. Weimaraners shed. Their fur is short, but they leave it everywhere. They think they have found a treasure when they can roll in a 3-day-old rotted carcass. Water sloshes from their mouths and drinking bowls. There is no place too dirty, stinky, or slimy to go in pursuit of a rabbit or bird.
They are PROTECTORS! A Weim takes its duty to protect you and your home seriously. It will bark to alert you of dangers. It may also bark, excessively, just to enjoy its own voice.
They will rid your garden and lawn of pests. You WILL see the holes they leave behind as evidence of a job well done, won't you? If there is one thing equally as fun to a Weim as chasing, it may be tracking and then digging to remove its prey from a hiding place. Where there are Weims, there will be holes. Holes in the lawn, holes in the flower garden, and even holes in the wood siding. If inside and anxious about being alone, a Weim may dig in the carpeting or the couch. In general, Weims are not suited for apartment living.
They are ESCAPE ARTISTS! They will JUMP your fences, DIG under your gates, and OPEN your doors!
To a Weim, a fence is an obstacle to jump, climb, break through, or dig under. Gates are for opening and Weims learn quickly how to work many kinds of latches. Their skills are also useful inside the house. You may find yourself in the company of a Weim that you thought you had securely placed behind a gate or shut into another room. Some Weims are also good at letting themselves into or out of a room or even the house. Window and door screens may be simply an annoyance to a Weim flying through the air on its way to the outside.
They are INDEPENDENT! They have a mind of their own! They will obey, if they choose. Because Weimaraners are sensitive creatures and at the same time physically strong, independent thinkers, you may find training to be a challenge. A sense of humor and the ability to accept the unexpected are essential.
They are STRONG MINDED! They need a leader! They can be PUSHY and a CHALLENGE to lead.
Weimaraners are born with a built-in “Someone must lead” need. They will spend the rest of their lives making sure someone does. You must expect to spend the next 12+ years establishing and maintaining your position as that leader. You will have to remain a benevolent dictator to your dog for those years, or it will take over the position, and with it, your life and your home. You and your dog will live either by your rules, or his, and you do not want to live by his.
The Weim was originally created to serve, not only as a hunting dog, but as a companion. Although independent minded, it needs the company of its family, and has always been more suited to life inside with its “pack”, than isolated for long hours each day, or left alone outside.
Weims lacking the companionship of their family will suffer from loneliness and may exhibit separation anxiety when left alone; nuisance barking; chewing and digging floors, furniture, and walls; and soiling the house. This can be a frustrating, lengthy, and expensive problem to overcome.