Description & History

The Weimaraner is a German breed and has been in existence for at least two centuries.

Named after the city of Weimar, which is the capital of the Land of Thuringen, these dogs were evolved by the Dukes of Weimar, probably from hounds and pointers so as to merge a number of qualities in one dog; tracking, scenting, pointing and retrieving - also obedience.

Originally they were used in packs for hunting large game such as wild cat and bear. With the decline of such quarry and the development of firearms a new style of hunting was developing. A dog that could hunt, point and retrieve smaller game from land and water was required.

As a result of these changes the Weimaraner suffered a decline in numbers, but enthusiasts for the breed took the opportunity to improve and re-establish it. In order to achieve this they founded the Weimaraner Club in 1897.

The rules of this newly formed club were strict: only approved dogs and bitches were to be used for breeding; no dogs were to be sold outside the club; and no dogs were to be exported from Germany.

This last rule was relaxed in 1913 when a dog was introduced to Austria and again in the late 1920's when two dogs were sent to the United States.

The Weimaraner arrived in Great Britain in the 1950's. It is one of the five hunt, point and retrieve breeds to be imported from continental Europe since the Second World War. They are an energetic breed, with many talents and therefore should be properly trained.

They are excellent guard dogs and are used by the police for this purpose.

Rosamund Walters.

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