Weimaraner

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 History:  They originated in Germany around the late 1800’s.  This breed was developed for the Grand Duke, Karl August of Wiemar. These dogs were taught to hunt very large game such as boars, bears, and deer.  Both Germany and The Duke were very possessive of the new breed they had created.  It was said that the first Weimaraners to enter the United States were sterile that way no one could breed these dogs.  Unfortunately, The Dukes plan didn’t work out so well. A man from Rhode Island went to Germany and returned to the US with 3 dogs.  He bread the dogs and shared them with people across the US.

Description:  The Weimaraner is a medium sized dog.  Generally the owners will have the tails docked, but this has been banned in some countries.  Their coats are grayish-silver and can be long or short-haired.  Their eyes start out blue when they are pups, but then change to an amber or light gray color.  These dogs also have webbed toes, which helps them get around better in the water.

Size: For being a large dog, the Weimaraner doesn’t weigh that much. Females are 23-25 inches tall, weighing in around 55-70lbs.  Males are 25-27 inches tall, weighing 70-80lbs.

Temperament:  These guys have been called the dogs with a human brain.  Weimaraner’s are easy to train, but it’s best to start early when they are young.  This breed is very social and loves to be around their owners and other dog friends.  They are very active and athletic dogs.  If they don’t get enough exercise and attention, they can get into some mischief while their owners are away.  Weimaraner’s can live anywhere, but if you choose to get one & you don’t have a yard, make sure you take time to walk them and make daily visits to the dog park so they can exercise and put good use to all of that stored up energy.

Grooming:  Weimaraner’s have a short, flat coat, that sheds yearly.  It is recommended that you groom them in 4-8 week intervals. They need to have their ears cleaned and nails clipped. Weekly brushing is recommended also. Bathing can be done yearly and is only necessary when they are dirty.

Health:  While researching, I have found that Weimaraner’s have a few health issues.  Some may experience entropion, which is where their eyelids are inverted or folded inward.  This means the eyelashes scratch the eyeball and irritate it.  If this is not taken care of, the eye can have permanent damage.

A serious aliment among Weimaraner’s is tricuspid dysplasia.  This happens as the fetus is developing.  The right ventricle doesn’t form properly, causing the valve to not work as efficiently.  As a owner, you may not recognize the signs and symptoms.  Some dogs experience un-explained weight gain, their legs & tail feel cool to the touch, and some have a loss of energy.  Due to the lack of noticeable symptoms, the tricuspid dysplasia goes unnoticed until the dog experiences congestive heart failure. 

Exercise:  These dogs need more exercise than most breeds.  Some owners have reported that a two mile jog around the neighborhood might not be enough.  If you are considering this dog for a future pet, you may want to take some things into consideration.  As an owner, you need to make time to play and interact with your Weimaraner daily, and maybe ever more that twice a day.  Like a morning walk before you leave for work, and then another walk or jog when you return home in the evening.  If this isn’t enough exercise for them, an extra game of fetch might be needed.  These dogs require a lot of space to move around and stay mentally and physically engaged.  If not, they become bored and destructive.

Lifespan: 10-13 years

Trivia:  Due to the sleek silver and gray coat, the Weimaraner has been given the knick name “Gray Ghost”.

Sources:

http://www.animalplanet.com/tv-shows/dogs-101/videos/weimaraner/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weimaraner

https://www.espree.com/breedProfiler.asp?g=4&b=66

http://www.vetstreet.com/dogs/weimaraner#grooming

http://www.akcchf.org/canine-health/your-dogs-health/disease-information/tricuspid-valve-dysplasia.html

http://www.iowaweimrescue.org/weimaraner-characteristics/

http://www.animalplanet.com/breed-selector/dog-breeds/sporting/weimaraner.html

http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/weimaranerphotos4.htm (picture credit)

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Breed of the Month: Vizsla

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History:  It has been said that the Vizsla originated in Austria and Hungary, dating back to the 14th century.  The ancestors were said to be hunters, part retriever and part pointer.  Back then, only noble or wealthy individuals owned these dogs.  This is how the blood line was preserved so well. Later on the Vizsla was mixed with a Weimaraner and a German Short-Haired Pointer.

Description:  The Vizsla is a medium size dog.  Their muscular bodies are built for activity and lots of running.  They are cinnamon in color throughout their entire body. Their coats are short, smooth, and dense.  An interesting fact about Vizslas, is that the iris of their eye is all brown.  You cannot see any white when looking in their eyes.

Size: The average male is 22-25 inches weighing up to 45-66 pounds.  The female is 21-24 inches and weighs about 40-55 pounds.

Temperament:  These dogs are very loyal and affectionate.  Vizslas form a strong bond with their owner and family.  The Vizsla has been given the nickname “velcro-dog”.  This because if they aren’t outdoors playing, they are by your side or sitting on your lap.  Yes, Vizslas make a good family dog, but you need to be careful when they are around young children.  This is due to their high level of energy and wanting to play a lot.  Vizslas were born with a natural instinct to hunt, but like most hunting dogs, they require training.  It is recommended to train them slowly, because they can become overwhelmed very easily.

Grooming:  The Vizsla is a very low- maintenance dog.  They are good at self-cleaning, and don’t have the ‘dog odor’ that some people tend to smell.  Some owners recommended wiping them down with a dry rag twice a week.  That way they stay clean and you should only bathe them 3-5 times a year.

Health: Vizsla’s are known to have a few common health issues.  The Vizsla Club of America participates in a canine health database.  Before a Vizsla can be registered for a number, they need to be tested for certain ailments, and the owner must provide all test results.  Most breeders are careful and monitor the bloodlines when considering a mate for their dog.  They can use the health database Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) to gather information concerning a Vizslas health history.

Common health issues include:

  • hip dysplasia
  • Von  Willebrand’s disease
  • cancer
  • hypothyroidism
  • eye disorders

Exercise:  This dog requires about 30-60 minutes of  exercise daily.  And when I say exercise, I don’t mean just a walk around the block.  The Vizslas love to run and play.  If you live in town or in an apartment, you might want to reconsider getting a Vizsla.  They enjoy going hunting, running around outdoors, agility courses, and playing fetch.

Lifespan:  The Vizsla tends to live 10-14 years.

Keep in Mind:   Even though you have provided your Vizsla with lots of attention and exercise, they can still become bored.  Especially when they are home alone.  These dogs are known for chewing, so make sure they have toys  of their own to keep them busy and play with.

Sources:

http://www.animalplanet.com/tv-shows/dogs-101/videos/vizsla.htm

http://www.animalplanet.com/tv-shows/dogs-101/videos/vizsla.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vizsla

http://www.vetstreet.com/dogs/vizsla

http://dogtime.com/dog-breeds/vizsla