Some dogs get all the name recognition, like beagles, retrievers, shepherds and pugs. But if you’ve ever seen a sleek, silver-coated dog and wondered, “What kind of dog is that?!”—this piece is for you. Or, if you’ve long been a Weimaraner-adoring fan, we’ve got some fun facts to pull out the next time you see one of these gorgeous pets.
1. Weimaraners Are Known for Their Silvery Coats
You might hear the Weimaraner called the “gray ghost.” According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), they get this spooky nickname because of their silver-gray fur and sleek appearance. Purebred Weimaraners often have a splotch of white on their chest, velvety ears, and a lean and muscular build.
2. Weimaraners Are Born Striped
When puppies are born, the AKC notes, they have a distinctive tiger-stripe pattern and light blue eyes. After a few days, those stripes fade away. As the puppies mature, their eyes change color from light blue to a striking shade of gray or amber.
3. They Were Born to Hunt
The Weimaraner began as a sporting dog for German nobility. The AKC says they were first bred by the Grand Duke Karl August and the noblemen of the Court of Weimar, who were looking for the perfect hunting dog to track big game like wolves, deer, and boar. They are closely related to bloodhounds and have a similarly powerful sense of smell.
4. They Need More Than Just Walks
Weimaraners are intelligent and energetic. While most dogs need and love exercise, these dogs really need to tire themselves out to stay healthy and prevent them from getting into mischief. Weimaraners are great companions for active humans and enjoy running, swimming, and hiking. According to PetMD, a Weimaraner who doesn’t get enough exercise and mental stimulation might become restless or destructive.
5. They’re Focused on Their Humans
In addition to their high energy, Weimaraners are highly social. The Weimaraner Club of America notes that these dogs form strong attachments to their humans, and will follow their people around—sometimes even into the shower! They are also prone to separation anxiety when left alone.
6. They Can Open Doors
Weimaraners are known for being smart…sometimes a little too smart. According to the Iowa Weimaraner Rescue, many of these dogs can open doors and will frequently help themselves to food on the counter or even in the cabinets.
7. They Can Track Missiles
The Weimaraner’s sense of smell is no joke. Their owners often say it’s “cheating” to enter them in scent tracking events because they win so easily. During the Cold War, Dingo, a Weimaraner with a particularly keen sense of smell, helped locate missile parts so that scientists could study the success or failure of launches.
8. They’re Used to the Spotlight
Though they’re a relatively new breed (the first Weimaraners were bred in the early 19th century, and the AKC officially recognized them in 1943), these dogs have had a star turn as celebrity companions. Movie star Grace Kelly was a fan, and President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s rambunctious Weimaraner, Heidi, was the only presidential dog ever banned from the White House (for an untimely accident on a very expensive rug, according to the Presidential Pet Museum website). And fine art photographer William Wegman has been photographing his Weimaraners in elaborate costumes and sets for over 40 years.
Featured image: Kyra Giesel/Flickr