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handsonguy

weimaraner reviews

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So I'm looking at getting a hunting dog. I've always been a lab guy but thought it would be kind of fun to try something new and have a different type of dog in the hunting group. What do you all think of Weimaraners? I primarily hunt pheasants, but would also hunt some grouse with the dog. Do Weimaraners like water? Wife likes the looks of the Weimaraner and the short hair aspect. I like the idea of hunting behind a pointer. Am I better off just getting a pointing lab? Any suggested breeders in the area for either? Thanks for the help

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Finding a reputable breeder of hunting stock might be an issue. The ill fate of Weimaraners, as well as many other hunting breeds, can be traced to the AKC and show rings. Dogs once bred solely for their hunting prowess were degraded to their degrees of conformity and aesthetics. Same can be said for Griffons, Irish Setters, Gordon Setters, etc.

Check out NAVHDA for a complete list of versatile breeds. Versatiles are dogs that are bred to do exactly what you're looking for: point and retrieve on land or water. Some breeds are more apt to leap into water than others, but all will eventually if properly introduced.

Personally, you'll have a much easier time, and acquire a much broader array of breeders, by looking at a more popular hunting breed such as a shorthair. In fact, some very reputable breeders are right in Minnesota.

If you have any inkling about hunting later in the year, I'd suggest going for a dog with a bit heartier coat. Wirehairs or pudelpointers would fit the bill, the latter of which is a bit tough to come by.

I'm a bit fond of wirehairs myself: I have two. They may get a bit warm in the early season, but if you plan on hunting late-season duck or December roosters, there is no better breed IMHO.

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If you want a Weim there are breeders out there just not as many, it might take a little more patience but its not like you can't find them. I like having a different type of dog than everyone on the block so I think its worth the wait.

I looked at Weims when I was picking out my dog but I ended up going with a vizsla (a Weim's hungarian cousin) because of their size. They are fairly similar to the weims but are a little smaller with a red coat.

As far as water goes you should be able to get a Weim into the water, I've seen others in the water so its not unheard of. The issue is with the cold as they have such a short coat. I wouldn't expect to do any late season duck hunts with this type of dog, the dog will be sitting there shivering like crazy the entire day.

The other thing you will want to consider is the energy level of this type of dog. The energy level can be several notches higher on these dogs compared to labs. You'll need to be aware of that going into it and be committed to A LOT of exercise and by that I mean running the dog. Walks just seem to loosen them up, they really need time to run.

I can't help you with a weim breeder but if you decide to consider a vizsla send me a PM and I can get you in touch with a very good and well connected vizsla breeder.

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I'm no expert on the W-dogs, and the guys who are will knock me down in a minute, but some observations from a life long Lab guy. I believe you will find a totally different personality in the W's you run across. To my mind they do not have the warmth and willingness to please of a Lab. They are stand-offish and sometimes very "all business" in the field. And that's fine to a degree.

We used to fly down from AK to hunt birds in OR and WA and many times the outfitters had some W's in their mix and they were always "cool", even to their handlers. All I am offering is that if you are familiar with the personalitys and characteristics of Labs you may find it a real adjustment to take a W into your home.

Plus....all of what was said above about the difficulty of finding a good one. When I was a kid a couple of guys I knew had them and at that time they were highly rated "wonder" dogs" and they always found birds for us I can tell ya that.

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I've also noticed that some weims can be a little more business and a little less fun and easy going. I haven't been around enough to say that its a true breed trait but I've seen it in enough of them to at least see some sort of trend. Thats another reason I opted for a vizsla, they have the hunting drive and instinct but they are also very loyal and affectionate. Only downside to a vizsla is that they have a habit of stealing your spot on the couch when you get up for a snack run.

Before you make a decision I would strongly encourage you to find and meet with some breeders and meet their dogs. Spend some time with them and get a good feel for the breed. They can be a lot diffrent from labs, not good nor bad just different so you'll want to get a good sense of what you are getting into. I know from my experience when looking for a vizsla we met with our breeder for the first time thinking we were going to sort of interview her and check her out, when in reality she was interviewing us to see if she thought we'd be a good fit for this kind of dog.

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I'm no expert on the W-dogs, and the guys who are will knock me down in a minute, but some observations from a life long Lab guy. I believe you will find a totally different personality in the W's you run across. To my mind they do not have the warmth and willingness to please of a Lab. They are stand-offish and sometimes very "all business" in the field. And that's fine to a degree.

We used to fly down from AK to hunt birds in OR and WA and many times the outfitters had some W's in their mix and they were always "cool", even to their handlers. All I am offering is that if you are familiar with the personalitys and characteristics of Labs you may find it a real adjustment to take a W into your home.

Plus....all of what was said above about the difficulty of finding a good one. When I was a kid a couple of guys I knew had them and at that time they were highly rated "wonder" dogs" and they always found birds for us I can tell ya that.

I believe your statement on "aloofness" is accurate for most German Versatile breeds. Seen more so in the males, just by nature. The GWPs I've owned have always had the "down to business" attitude, which I adore! I wouldn't be so concerned by an aloof dog, as its the handlers job to control any breeds natural instincts.

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Thats another reason I opted for a vizsla, they have the hunting drive and instinct but they are also very loyal and affectionate. Only downside to a vizsla is that they have a habit of stealing your spot on the couch when you get up for a snack run.

HAHA so true. Being a proud owner of 2, very loyal and affectionate is an understatement for a Vizsla. Although, mine have complete opposite levels of hunting instincts. My younger one Ruby is 4.5, and she really wants nothing to do but lay on the couch, or lay in the sun outside. Although she does play with her big sister a lot, balistic run with the tail between the legs, etc. If a bird flys by...pfft, she isnt going to have much interest in it. Our older one Jersey, 8.5 is an absolute dynamite bird dog and has more energy than I can handle at times.

I have a friend with 2 W's, and they are the best pheasant dogs I have seen. His older one has since retired (i think) at the age of 13. He has hunted hard all his life. I think its more less how you train these dogs, but then again the natural instinct in some of the pedigrees is fantastic. My younger Vizsla is an Iowa dog, that must be why shes a little "slow" in the hunting aspect. smile

Like someone else said, be ready for the energy of a Weimy.

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one of my buddies is getting a Vizla puppy this spring so I'll be able to check that dog out a bit too!

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The weimies I've seen have been slow, methodical and quite close working and not much in the style department (but that's always personal preference). Don't have much experience with them to say any more than that.

Do some google searching on Diane Vater and Chuck Cooper and weimaraner. Diane is a big time weimie trainer and field trialer - one of, if not the best. I think her site is alpha dog central or something along those lines. I know nothing about her other than all she does is win weimie national field championships. For me, if I were to get a weimie that's right where I'd start.

Also look up Grau Geist weimaraners and see what you can find. One of the better known field lines.

Northstar Weimaraner Club of MN may also be another place to look but they may be more show oriented. Don't know that for sure either. You will want field bred/trialed/tested stuff.

You may have to search far and wide to find a really good breeding.

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I have 2 weims that both hunt. Our first one we got as a puppy and the second came to us a "rescue". They each have much different personalities. The one we've had since a pup is very affectionate and has a switch. Inside she's pretty easy going but when she gets outside she wants to go for a while.

The second one we got at 2 yrs old from someone who no longer wanted it. She has a much higher energy level in all aspects and flat out goes outside. They are both fairly aloof of others but the second more so and would much rather worry about finding birds/varmits than worry about greeting other people.

As others have said it's tough to find a good breeder and when our weims pass on we'll have that same problem. I pheasant hunt mine from opening day to the last day of the season...through deep snow and cold and never have they worn a vest and they don't have a problem because they're always on the move. Both of mine also swim regularly.

Just remember they're much different than a lab and they're a dog for someone with an active lifestyle.

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I own a Weim, and it is true they are very energetic. Know what you are getting into, they need a lot of exercise. As far as a hunting dog, Tess has been something short of amazing. Some of the points and retrieves I seen out of her have been out of this world. They love the water in July and August, but will loyally go in the water no matter what the season as long as it has to do with hunting. As has been posted above, do your homework on finding the right breeder, sadly a lot of the hunting with weims have been breed out of them to become show dogs. Good luck.

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Awesome...thanks for all the info. I live a pretty active lifestyle and like to run as does my wife. In fact part of my lobbying for a dog has to do with me feeling safer about her running on metro paths with a dog at her side. I figured this is a good argument. This safety lobbying goes along way when trying to justify to her a new floating ice fishing suit as well as a new handgun for bear protection on our western states camping trip!

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