The Weimaraner (originally from Germany) was a hunting dog. A large, strong and athletic dog who needs a good two hours exercise every day. Ideally he should live in a house with a garden, with easy access to the open countryside. His short, sleek coat is easy to keep clean, and needs grooming about once a week. His owner needs to be firm and experienced due to the strong hunting drive of this dog. There can be temperament and aggression issues with this breed. Separation anxiety can be a problem too. He does not make an ideal family dog.
Inbreeding Coefficient - COI
(Should be as low as possible)
The UK Kennel Club breed average COI is 8.3% - see 'A Beginners Guide to COI'
Effective Population Size - EPS75.40
EPS is a measure of how many individuals are contributing genetically to a breed population. It is a measure of the size of the gene pool in a breed. Lower than 100 is considered critical by conservationists and below 50 brings a breed close to extinction. For more information see the Kennel Club article.
Health and Welfare Problems due to Conformation
(Body shape and physical characteristics)
- Gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV) (Bloat/Torsion) (stomach fills with air and may twist – requires urgent vet treatment) Associated with deep chested breeds.
- Metaphyseal Osteopathy (also known as Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy) inflammation and swelling of the growth plates in the legs in puppies (affects rapidly growing, large breeds)
- Hip dysplasia (abnormality of the hip joints causing pain and disability): breed mean score 10.8 (parents should be lower).
Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) are now available for Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia:
DNA Tests Available
- Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) (type specific to Weimaraners)
- Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)
- Hyperuricosuria (HUU)
Unofficial (Breed Club) Schemes
- Bitches under 2 years not to produce a litter
- Bitches not to produce more than one litter in a 12 month period
Ask the breeder to show you the certificates for the above tests/screening for both parents. If any of the above tests have not been considered necessary by the breeder (and there may be good reasons), ask her to explain why.
Other Diseases Reported
(For which there are currently no genetic or screening tests for sire or dam)
- Panosteitis (bone inflammation)
- Cancer: mast cell tumours
- Demodicosis (skin disease caused by the demodex mite)
- Urolithiasis (formation of stones in urine, causing difficulty and pain when urinating)
- Muzzle foliculitis (acne)
- Distichiasis (double row of eyelashes – causing irritation and discomfort)
- Entropion (turning in of the eyelid)
- Haemophilia (blood clotting disorder)
- Neutrophil defect (deficiency of white blood cells impairing their ability to tackle bacterial infections)
- Panosteitis (bone inflammation)
- Polyarthritis/meningitis syndrome (autoimmune disease)
- Myopathy/Muscular dystrophy (generalised and progressive weakness and muscle wasting)
- Cutaneous asthenia (Ehlers Danlos syndrome) (skin is hyperelastic and has pendulous folds – dog prone to wounding and to hip or other dislocations)
- Congenital heart disease: Tricuspid dysplasia (malformed tricuspid valve – males)
Ask the breeder about the medical history of the parents, grandparents and great grandparents. Consider carefully whether to purchase a puppy if some of these or other diseases are in the family line.
Ask about the breeder’s policy in cases of serious genetic diseases occurring to your puppy in later life. Good breeders will request to be informed of such events in order to improve future breeding decisions. Some breeders will also agree to contribute towards medical costs or refund purchase price.
You are strongly advised to buy from a breeder who uses (or is prepared to use) the RSPCA / BVA AWF Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack (PIP): www.puppycontract.org.uk
You are also advised to buy from a breeder who follows the Dog Breeding Reform Group’s (DBRG) Standard for Dog Breeding: