Let’s Talk Breed Education!
BY GALE YOUNG
I n judging the Weimaraner, we must remember to seek type , as type is what distinguishes this breed from all others. The outline of the dog, sound movement, and head are of great importance. Our opening statement in the breed standard, “Above all, the dog’s conformation must indicate the ability to work with great speed and endurance in the field’” should be foremost in your mind once you determine that the dog has the correct outline. First, consider the side view from a distance. Is the outline of the dog rectangular? Why rectangular and not square or off-square? Because the back is moderate in length and you also have a well- developed and deep chest in front of those well laid back shoulders. The rather prominent prosternum protrudes beyond the point of shoulder, and there is a wonderful return of upper arm, so the dog stands well over himself with balance, front-to-rear and withers-to- elbow-to-leg (equal lengths). These features give the dog a lovely half-circle from the withers to the prosternum and around to the elbow, which is directly under the withers. This, along with the moderate tuck-up in the flank, in addition to the well sprung and long rib cage , gives the dog its rectangular outline and are the hall- marks of the breed.
As you approach the dog from the front, do so with purpose. Look at the feet (firm, well-arched, thick pads), the chest (good fill to the elbow), oval in shape. Does the dog stand well over him- self (with elbows against the body)? After checking the teeth (FS), move to the side of the dog and, using a gentle but firm hand, examine the remainder of the dog, considering the need for a slightly sloping topline , strong loin (not long), well-angulated stifles, straight hocks with musculature well-developed . Once you place your hand(s) on the dog, let your hand(s) move continuously over the back, chest, loin, tail set, and rear, and only remove your hand(s) when done with the entire exam, including checking the testicles. I find the top-view (coming down the line from behind) to be very helpful in sorting out a line-up of very good dogs. If you
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JUDGING THE WEIMARANER
wish to check something on the dog, turn and approach him from the front rather than laying your hand from behind when he is not aware that you are approaching. This view is frequently over- looked, but it tells all! As you walk down the line from the rear to the front, you can see if the neck is of sufficient length to balance with the body, if the shoulders lay back and lie down so that there is a smooth transition from the neck to the body, and if there is sufficient length and spring of ribcage (not slab-sided, not barrel- chested). Is there a waist at the loin (but not so much as to be wasp- waisted)? Are there well-developed first and second thighs? And is there a good butt, with tail as an extension of the spine—preferably carried at one o’clock? Finally, turn and look at the line-up from the front to have a final look at the heads, moderately long and aristocratic . The planes should be parallel, equal length of muzzle and skull, good chisel- ing, and although the muzzle tapers on the sides, it should have a squared-off finish to accommodate the large nostrils and well- developed teeth. The eyes are lighter than with most breeds. Occa- sionally they remain blue, but most of the time, adults have amber or blue-gray eyes. Eye shape is not defined in the standard, but con- sider two points: 1.) A round eye, and little to no brow expression along with a light eye, will give you a very stark look. 2.) A light but oval eye with a soft brow presents with a softer expression and still has the intensity of a pointing breed rather than a spaniel. Con- sider the desire for aristocratic features . This comes from the smooth body with no bumps and dips as well as from the regal expression. Of course, the dog then needs to move as it stands, indicating the ability to work with great speed and endurance. As the dog moves around the ring, remember that most of the Major Faults listed in the Weimaraner breed standard bring you to the conclu- sion that a sound dog is of great importance, both coming and going as well as in side-gait. Considering the Very Serious Faults: A gray dog is a dilute color and cannot have a black mottled mouth. It could have a gray mottled mouth and this is ok. If the dog has a black nose, you would be excusing it for a color not allowed, and if the coat was black or blue, the dog would be disqualified. I surmise they left this in to remind you that a purebred Weima- raner cannot have black. The Weimaraner is a single-coated dog. Their un-docked tail is very long, like a whip. This long tail has no protection from the brush and trees that it hits while hunting.
It can become very damaged. Docking the tail is a preventative measure. The United States is the only country that does not accept the longhaired variety. I have judged longhairs in other countries. Personally, I feel they do not retain the same aristocratic features that we look for in the United States. To my knowledge, our Wei- maraner Standard is the only one that asks for aristocratic features. Within every breed there will be differences in style from ken- nel to kennel. We do not pursue style , but if used within the con- fines of the breed standard to produce better dogs, it allows for latitude in the expression of qualities that make-up type . In the Weimaraner, these qualities are: 1. Rectangular Outline; 2. Prominent and Deep Forechest (Balanced with the Rest of the Body), Including a Well Laid Back Shoulder and Match- ing Return of Upper Arm; 3. Neck, Clean-Cut and Moderately Long; 4. Ability to Work with Great Speed and Endurance in the Field. Weimaraners were developed from the St. Hubert Hound. Remember that hound characteristics are the “drag of the breed” —level underline, ears too long, bone too heavy, excessive skirting in the loin area, thick tail, tan markings as in a black and tan dog, and pendulous flews.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Gale Young, Starhaven (formerly Starwood Kennel Reg’d.), has been breeding and showing Futurity/ Maturity-winning and nationally-ranked Weimaraners for over 48 years. She has been judging for over 24 years in the US and internationally. A former member of the PHA and CPH, Gale currently judges the Sporting Group, Terrier Group, half the Toy Group, and Best in Show. She is a member of the WCA Judges’ Education Committee. Gale has a Master’s Degree in Music and is a voice teacher. Gale is a member of the Weimaraner Club of America and has been Chairman and Secretary for the WCA Eastern Field Classic. She was Secretary as well as President of the Yankee Weimaraner Club. For 15 years, she cared for and placed the Rescue Dogs for the Yankee Club. She was Chairperson for the YWC Specialty for many years. Gale is also a member of several other breed clubs, including Yankee Toy Dog Club, Ladies’ Dog Club, Manatee KC, New England Sporting Group Association, Norfolk Terrier Club, and the Venice DC. Gale’s first dog, a Weimaraner, achieved a Breed Championship, a CDX Title, and two Field Ratings, giving her the title of Versatility Excellent by the National Club. With only two litters to her credit, she also
became a BROM Dam. In 2015, her Top Ten male, GCHP CH Starwood’s Reinhard V Dietz CGC TKN, was BOS at the Weimaraner National Specialty under a breeder-judge. This multiple BIS winning dog was Select Dog at the 2016 National Specialty, BOB at the 2017 Westminster KC Dog Show and at the 2017 AKC National Championship Show, as well as Top Twenty Winner at the 2018 Weimaraner Club of America National Specialty, and Number One Breed and All-Breed Weimaraner in 2018. Satisfied that this would be the culmination of her breeding program, Gale was most pleased that this year, three individual dogs that she bred went Select Dog, Select Bitch, and Owner-Handler BOB at the 2021 Weimaraner Club of America National Specialty. After all, what good is a great breeding program if you do not pass it on to others who will run with it?
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SIMPATICO Est. 1989
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WEIMARANERS Elegance | Strength | Balance
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BY CAROLE LEE RICHARDS PHOTOS BY WCA
E ver walk into an ice cream shop only to be amazed (and a little overwhelmed) by all the available flavors? There are just so many choices. Where are you going to start? Well, owning the versatile Weimaraner is similar. There are so many things you can do with this dog; the possibilities seem endless: Hunting, Agility, Tracking, Scent Work, Obedience, Dock Diving… the list goes on and on. The limita- tions are not so much his, but rather, what you chose to pursue. The Weimaraner comes by its inherent versatility honestly. From the very start, the Weima- raner was designed to be a versatile breed. Developed by the German aristocracy in the early nineteenth century, the goal was to have the ultimate, multi-talented hunting partner. Were there “designer dogs” in the early 1800s? The answer is “yes” if you’re talking about the Weimaraner. While there are many theories on the various European breeds that were used to develop the Weimaraner, there’s no denying that an all-purpose sporting dog was the desired end result. Most theories of the Weimaraner’s origins lean toward the crossing of pointing-type dogs to the existing German hunting dogs. The result combined strong hunting instincts with the abil- ity to point, retrieve, and track. The Court of Weimar was very successful in developing such versatility. They kept ownership of these prized dogs strictly to themselves and made sure that only a relatively small number were bred. This was their blueprint for versatility, and they were not inclined to share.
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THE VERSATILE WEIMARANER
It was not until the post-World War II years that any substan- tial number of Weimaraners entered the US. In the 1950s and ‘60s, Weimaraners racked up impressive wins in bench, field, and obedi- encecompetitions.TheWeimaranerwas embracedby its enthusiasts, and its abilities were developed, honed, and celebrated. The Weimaraner Club of America (WCA), in recognition of the multi-faceted abilities of the breed, established the new par- ent club titles of Versatile and Versatile Excellent in 1972. To earn these designations of “V” and “VX”, a dog had to have a combi- nation of accomplishments in field, bench, and obedience. Rec- ognition was given for American Kennel Club (AKC) titles and WCA field ratings by assigning point values. The more difficult the accomplishment, the higher number of points were assigned. For example, an AKC bench championship was awarded more points than those for a dog that had won some championship points but had not attained the title of Champion. The Versatile Excellent title (VX) required more points than the Versatile (V) title. As the number of dog sports continued to expand, the WCA’s Versatility titles were revised to include Tracking and Agility. Wei- maraners more than rose to the occasion and demonstrated abilities that were only limited by the training ability, degree of interest, and available resources and time of their owners. There are so many pos- sible activities, and owning the versatile Weimaraner puts no limits on which competitive activities can be pursued. Earning Versatility titles takes a great deal of training and effort on the part of the owners. It requires not only versatility on the part of the dog, but also by the owners. You would think that there are few people willing and able to undertake the pursuit of versatility titles. Looking at the WCA’s awarded Versatility titles over the past ten years, on average, 56 are bestowed each year. Considering the multiple talents that are required for a Versatility title, only a breed with a wide variety of inherent aptitudes could accomplish this.
As the nineteenth century progressed, hunting with firearms took a firm hold with the German aristocracy. As large game became less prevalent in their territories, there was a need for a dif- ferent type of hunting companion. The hunting of birds and small game required skills very different from the old days of boar, bear, and deer hunting. Versatility enabled the Weimaraner to make a transition as hunting changed. For the balance of the nineteen century and into the early twen- tieth, the existence of the Weimaraner was kept “close to the vest” by its German developers. They prized their newly designed breed, bred it to strict standards, and restricted who could own one. Wei- maraners were a rare commodity and its developers endeavored to keep it that way. It was not until the late 1920s that two specimens were brought to the US. This importation took Herculean efforts by the American sporting enthusiast HowardKnight. Unbeknownst to Mr. Knight, this first pair of importedWeimaraners had been steril- ized in Germany before they were released to his ownership. It took almost ten years of persistence before he was finally able to obtain initial breeding stock and bring them to the US. The Weimaraner made its debut in the late 1930s amid pub- lic relations hype that would have made P. T. Barnum blush. The versatility of the breed was pumped up from the time a few were first brought to the US. The breed pushed celebrities off the cov- ers of magazines and was credited with super hunting prowess, uncanny intelligence, and trainability. The Weimaraner arrived as a novelty, was ballyhooed as the new wonder dog, and became the “dog-de-jour.” As with many over-blown exaggerations, reality sets in with the passage of time. Tall tales fade away and what is left, in this case, is the reality of a marvelous, multi-talented Sporting breed. The Weimaraner received AKC recognition in December of 1942 and the public first got to see them make a splash at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in Madison Square Garden in 1943.
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THE VERSATILE WEIMARANER
Just how much is Versatility valued by the Weimaraner Club of America and its members? It is so important that it is featured as a spe- cial event at the National Specialty where a “Most Versatile Weimara- ner” award is given. Entrants get to compete at the National in up to eight possible venues; Agility, Conformation, Obedience, Rally, Track- ing, Shooting Ratings, Retrieving Ratings, and Hunting Tests. To be eligible for the Versatility Award, a dog must successfully compete in at least three of the activities. (Think of it as the Weimaraner tri- athlon.) A schedule of points is applied to each dog’s performance and the dog with the highest score is awarded the coveted “Most Versatile Weimaraner” award. While Weimaraners excel in competitive activities, their innate ver- satility goes even deeper into our lives. Above all, Weimaraners are our companions. They can take on many roles, like being the guardian of
your property, visiting hospitals as Therapy Dogs, being trained for search and rescue, and constantly amusing you with their antics. Need an over-the-top greeting every time you come home? Yes, that’s in their repertoire too. Their personality and intelligence guarantee that Weimaraners are happiest when you include them in your daily activities and they can be your constant partner. Without a doubt, the Weimaraner is a versatile breed. Owners have given so many roles to Weimaraners, and they constantly rise to the occasion. They are loyal hunting part- ners, athletic Agility competitors, dazzling show dogs, gen- tle Therapy Dogs, and loyal companions. The versatility of the Weimaraner and their need for activity to expend their physical and mental energy is a hallmark of the breed.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Carole Lee Richards got her first Weimaraner in 1978. Although she “…just wanted a pet,” her interest in the breed has mushroomed, handling dogs in the show, field, agility, and obedience arenas. For years, she handled in conformation, pointing or finishing the championships on over 100 dogs and campaigning several dogs to Top Ten for their breed in the United States. Carole co-authored the award winning book, Raising A Champion, A Beginner’s Guide to Showing Dogs. She has also contributed to a book that was published in England titled, The Weimaraner Today, and she’s contributed articles in a number of national dog magazines. Carole’s dogs appear in numerous books and TV commercials. She is also the AKC Gazette breed columnist for the Weimaraner Club of America, an AKC Delegate, and an AKC Judge.
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PHOTOS COURTESY OF WEIMARANER CLUB OF AMERICA, ILLUSTRATIONS BY LINDA J. SHAW AND LORNA GODSILL Weimaraner
ORIGIN AND PURPOSE Th e Weimaraner breed dates back to 13th century art and literature. Th e Grand Duke of Weimar, for whom the breed is named, is responsible for standardizing the breed to its modern form. Th e Weimaraner developed into one of the prized continental hunting breeds during the 19th century, excelling with various types of game. Th ey exhibited instinctive hunting abilities such as tracking, searching, pointing, retrieving, and locating downed large game. What made the Weima- raner unique was its need for human compan- ionship and kind handling. With the decline of big game, along with the introduction of guns to bird hunting, Weimaraner breeders placed more emphasis on pointing instincts. In 1896, Germany recognized the Wei- maraner as a breed. Despite opposition from the German breed club, a few individual dogs came to North America in the fi rst part of the 20th century. Th e breed was eventually recog- nized in the United States and Canada. Th e Weimaraner is now used in Germany on all furred and feathered game. In North America, they are used almost exclusively on birds. Th e modern Weimaraner has main- tained its stamina, hunting versatility, and need for human bonding.
HEIGHT Height at the withers: dogs, 25 to 27 inches; bitches, 23 to 25 inches. One inch over or under the speci fi ed height of each sex is allowable but should be penalized. Dogs measuring less than 24 inches or more than 28 inches and bitches measuring less than 22 inches or more than 26 inches shall be disquali fi ed. Medium size with regard to height needs no explanation as it is clearly de fi ned with a disquali fi cation for those who deviate from this size. When compared to people and objects of known proportion, the medium size of the Weimaraner is apparent. Height is always measured from the withers to the ground. HEAD Moderately long and aristocratic, with moderate stop and slight median line extending back over the forehead. Rather prominent occipital bone and trumpets well set back, beginning at the back of the eye sockets. Measurement from tip of nose to stop equals that from stop to occipital bone. Th e fl ews should be straight, delicate at the nostrils. Skin drawn tightly. Neck clean-cut and moderately long. Expression kind, keen and intelligent. Ears—Long and lobular, slightly folded and set high. Th e ear when drawn snugly alongside the jaw should end approximately 2 inches from the point of the nose. Eyes—In shades of light amber, gray or blue-gray, set well enough apart to indicate good disposition and intelligence. When dilated under excitement the eyes may appear almost black. Teeth—Well set, strong and even; well-developed and proportionate to jaw with correct scissors bite, the upper teeth protruding slightly over the lower teeth but not more than 1/16 of an inch. Complete dentition is greatly to be desired. Nose—Gray. Lips and Gums—Pinkish fl esh shades.
STANDARD: APPROVED DECEMBER 14, 1971 GENERAL APPEARANCE
A medium-sized gray dog, with fi ne aristo- cratic features. He should present a picture of grace, speed, stamina, alertness and balance. Above all, the dog’s conformation must indi- cate the ability to work with great speed and endurance in the fi eld.
A medium-sized gray dog, with fine aristocratic features, he should present a picture of grace, speed, stamina, alertness and balance.
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BODY Th e back should be moderate in length, set in a straight line, strong, and should slope slightly from the withers. Th e chest should be well developed and deep with shoulders well laid back. Ribs well sprung and long. Abdomen fi rmly held; moderately tucked-up fl ank. Th e brisket should extend to the elbow. COAT AND COLOR Short, smooth and sleek, solid color, in shades of mouse- gray to silver-gray, usually blending to lighter shades on the head and ears. A small white marking on the chest is permit- ted, but should be penalized on any other portion of the body. White spots resulting from injury should not be penalized. A distinctly long coat is a disquali fi cation. A distinctly blue or black coat is a disquali fi cation. Allowable white on the chest may be in the form of a spot or blaze, giving the appearance of being small and should not domi- nate the chest. Color should not give the appearance of being brown, liver or black. Coat color resembles a grayish–taupe and varies from very light shades to deep rich shades; all have the dis- tinctive grayish–taupe tone, never a true brown or blue color. Lighter shading on the head and ears is referred to as the “Grafmar Cap,” and is more prominent with age. A distinctly long coat or a distinctly blue or black coat is a disquali fi cation. Weimaraners are avid sun bathers; their dilute coat color is easily sun bleached giving it a more brownish cast. In addition, a breed trait while shedding is a “bulleted/spotted” or mottled pat- tern, which will disappear with the new coat. Th e Weimaraner coat color is a dilute; therefore, it is geneti- cally impossible for a correctly–colored, gray Weimaraner to have a black–mottled mouth; it may have a gray mottled mouth. FORELEGS Straight and strong, with the measurement from the elbow to the ground approximately equaling the distance from the elbow to the top of the withers. HINDQUARTERS Well-angulated sti fl es and straight hocks. Musculation well developed. FEET Firm and compact, webbed, toes well arched, pads closed and thick, nails short and gray or amber in color. Dewclaws— Should be removed. TAIL Docked. At maturity it should measure approximately 6 inches with a tendency to be light rather than heavy and should be carried in a manner expressing con fi dence and sound tem- perament. A non-docked tail shall be penalized. Our standard is vague with regard to correct tail set, citing only that a low tail set is a major fault. Th e set–on of the tail correlates with the contour of the croup and pelvic angle. A low tail set indi- cates a steep pelvis which will result in restricted rear extension. A fl at croup will result in the most rear extension but may cause excessive rear kick and wasted motion. A slightly angled croup will result in less extension but increased agility and endurance. Please do not confuse “tail set,” (an expression of structure) with “tail carriage” (an expression of temperament). Faults of docking are entirely man-made, thus incorrect length is only a minor fault. Th e subtle di ff erences illustrated here demonstrate the range of acceptable tail sets which re fl ect the range of pelvic angles. A pelvic angle of 40 degrees or more would result in a steep croup and low tail set which is a major fault.
Height at the withers: dogs, 25 to 27 inches; bitches, 23 to 25 inches.
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Pelvic angle: 10 degrees
Pelvic angle: 20 degrees
Pelvic angle: 30 degrees
The subtle differences illustrated here demonstrate the range of acceptable tail sets which reflect the range of pelvic angles. A pelvic angle of 40 degrees or more would result in a steep croup and low tail set which is a major fault.
The gait should be effortless and should indicate smooth coordination. When viewed from the side, the topline should remain strong and level.
TEMPERAMENT Th e temperament should be friendly, fearless, alert and obedient. MINOR FAULTS Tail too short or too long. Pink nose. MAJOR FAULTS Doggy bitches. Bitchy dogs. Improper muscular condition. Badly a ff ect- ed teeth. More than four teeth missing. Back too long or too short. Faulty coat. Neck too short, thick or throaty. Low-set tail. Elbows in or out. Feet east and west. Poor gait. Poor feet. Cowhocks. Faulty backs, either roached or sway. Badly overshot, or undershot bite. Snipy muzzle. Short ears. VERY SERIOUS FAULTS White, other than a spot on the chest. Eyes other than gray, blue-gray or light amber. Black mottled mouth. Non-docked tail. Dogs exhibiting strong fear, shyness or extreme nervousness. DISQUALIFICATIONS Deviation in height of more than one inch from standard either way. A distinctly long coat. A distinctly blue or black coat. Th e entire Illustrated Standard as well as the Breed Standard Presenta- tion can be found on our website www.weimaranerclubofamerica.org under Resources and Judges Education.
GAIT Th e gait should be e ff ortless and should indi- cate smooth coordination. When seen from the rear, the hind feet should be parallel to the front feet. When viewed from the side, the topline should remain strong and level. To ensure that the Weimaraner can endure a day in the fi eld, his gait must be smooth, coordinated and e ff ortless. If his front angulation shaped by well laid back shoulders is correct and the rear angula- tion with well bent sti fl es is equal to the front, there should be no wasted motion. If front and rear angu- lation is not in balance, one end compensates for the other, resulting in ine ffi cient movement. A Weimaraner should easily cover ground with good reach in front and good drive in the rear. Restricted movement in any form is incorrect. When viewed on the down and back, the Weimaraner’s legs converge toward a center line beneath his body in order to achieve balance; the greater the speed, the closer the legs come to tracking on a straight line.
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THE WEIMARANER by THE WEIMARANER CLUB OF AMERICA, EST. 1943
GENERAL APPEARANCE “T he Weimaraner is a medium-sized gray dog, with fine aris- tocratic features. He should present a picture of grace, speed, stamina, alertness and balance. Above all, the dog’s conformation must indicate the ability to work with great speed and endurance in the field.” The opening description of the Wei- maraner’s general appearance with its emphasis on functional qualities is the key to understanding the standard. The Germans emphasized functional ability rather than physical uniformity, there is considerable diversity within the breed. The Weimaraner is a medium-sized, sil- ver-gray aristocratic dog. He should be well muscled and present a picture of grace and balance, dogs should be mas- culine and bitches feminine. All body parts should flow together without any part being out of proportion to the whole. (Weimaraner Ways) Of utmost importance in discussing the Weimaraner anatomy is the princi- ple of never losing sight of the whole
convey the impression of pleasing bal- ance that is confirmed by smooth coor- dination of the front and rear strides.” (Weimaraner Ways) He is slightly longer than tall, with a moderately long neck going into well laid-back shoulder, straight, slightly sloping backline, confident tail carriage and angulated rear. His chest should be well developed and deep giving him plenty of lung room. His depth of chest carries well back, with a firmly held abdomen and moderately tucked-up flank. The topline should be firm both while standing or moving. While the Standard doesn’t specifi- cally address neck structure, an arched neck is desirable as it is anatomically stronger. Strength is necessary to handle the pull of the shoulder blade muscles and support of the head while retriev- ing. A “ewe” neck is a neck in which the topline is concave rather than convex and is an anatomical weakness. HEIGHT “Height at the withers: dogs, 25 to 27"; bitches, 23 to 25". One inch over
dog and the idea that no one part is ever more important than the sum of a dog’s parts. BODY “The back should be moderate in length, set in a straight line, strong, and should slope slightly from the withers. The chest should be well developed and deep with shoulders well laid back. Ribs well sprung and long. Abdomen firmly held; moderately tucked-up flank. The brisket should extend to the elbow.” The Weimaraner standard clearly addresses depth of body: “the brisket should extend to the elbow, “and pro- portion of leg length: “forelegs.from the elbow to the ground approximately equaling the distance from the elbows to the top of the withers.” The Standard however, is vague with regard to body length, stating only that the “back is moderate in length.” Again, referring to the German’s emphasis on functional- ity, rather than physical uniformity, the height-length proportions of the breed have always varied widely. In general, the height-length proportions should
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Application of the Weimaraner Standard
Medium size, Aristocratic, Indicates speed & endurance, Graceful, Alert, Balanced, Solid gray dog
A medium-sized gray dog, with fine aristocratic features. He should present a picture of grace, speed, stamina, alertness and balance. Above all, the dog’s conformation must indicate the ability to work with great speed and endurance in the field.
Slow or lethargic demeanor, Out of balance, Lacks the appearance of endurance
Doggy bitches, Bitchy dogs, Improper muscu- lar condition
Dog- 25'' to 27'', Bitches- 23'' to 25''
At the withers: dogs, 25'' - 27''; bitches, 23'' - 25''
Within 1 inch over or under
More than 1 inch over or under
Moderately long and aristocratic, with moderate stop and slight median line extending back over the forehead. Rather prominent occipital bone and trumpets well set back, beginning at the back of the eye sockets. Measure- ment from the tip of nose to stop equals that from stop to occipital bone. The flews should be straight, delicate at the nostrils. Skin drawn tightly. Expression - kind, keen and intelligent. Long and lobular, slightly folded and set high. The ear when drawn snugly alongside the jaw should end approximately 2 inches from the point of the nose. In shades of light amber, gray or blue-gray, set well enough apart to indicate good disposition and intel- ligence. When dilated under excitement the eyes may appear almost black.
Aristocratic, Moderate stop, Nose to stop equals stop to occipital bone, Tightly drawn skin, Kind, keen, intelligent expression
Excess skin, Lack of stop
High ear set, Long & lobular ears
Correctly spaced eyes, Amber, gray or blue-gray eyes
Eyes not gray, blue-gray or amber
Gray nose, Pinkish-flesh lips & gums
Nose-Gray. Lips and Gums – Pinkish flesh shades.
Strong even teeth, Scissors bite, Complete dentition
Well set, strong and even; well-developed and propor- tionate to jaw with correct scissors bite, the upper teeth protruding slightly over the lower teeth but not more than 1/16 of an inch. Complete dentition is greatly to be desired.
Badly affected teeth, Badly overshot or undershot bite
More than four teeth missing, Black mottled mouth
Strong moderate topline, Shoulder lay back, Brisket to the elbow, Moderate tuck up
Back should be moderate in length, set in a straight line, strong, and should slope slightly from the withers. The chest should be well developed and deep with shoul- ders well laid back. Ribs well sprung and long. Abdomen firmly held; moderately tucked-up flank. The brisket should extend to the elbow.
Back too long or too short, Faulty back (roached or sway)
Lack of top-line slope (high rear), Lack of depth of chest, Too much chest depth, Lack of rib spring, Lack of tuck-up
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Sleek, solid gray coat
Short, smooth and sleek, solid color, in shades of mouse- gray to silver-gray, usually blending to lighter shades on the head and ears. A small white marking on the chest is permitted, but should be penalized on any other portion of the body. White spots resulting from injury should not be penalized.
Dominant white spot on chest
White (other than spot on chest)
Distinctly long coat, blue or black coat
Straight, strong, in correct proportion
Straight and strong, with the measurement from the elbow to the ground approximately equaling the dis- tance from the elbow to the top of the withers.
High on leg, Low on leg
Elbows in or out, Feet east and west
Proper, balanced rear angulation
Well-angulated stifles and straight hocks. Musculation well developed.
Lack of rear angle, Sickle hocks
Firm , compact, well-arched feet, Short nails X
Firm and compact, webbed, toes well arched, pads closed and thick, nails short and gray or amber in color. Dewclaws-should be removed. Docked. At maturity it should measure approximately 6 inches with a tendency to be light rather than heavy and should be carried in a manner expressing confidence and sound temperament. A non-docked tail shall be penalized. The gait should be effortless and should indicate sooth coordination. When seen from the rear, the hind feet should be parallel to the front feet. When viewed from the side, the topline should remain strong and level.
Flat feet, Shallow pads, Splayed
Confident tail carriage
Tail too short or too long
Coordinated, effortless movement
Crabbing, Bouncing topline
Friendly and fearless, Alert and obedient
The temperment should be friendly, fearless, alert and obedient.
Exhibiting fear or shyness, nervousness
or under the specified height of each sex is allowable but should be penal- ized. Dogs measuring less than 24" or more than 28" and bitches measuring less than 22" or more than 26" shall
result in longer rear reach and provide flexibility associated with speed. Rear angulation should balance with the cor- rectly angled front assembly, balance being the key. The musculature should be well defined, not soft or flabby. A well-angulated rear provides the long, ground covering stride desired in the hunting dog. GAIT “The gait should be effortless and should indicate smooth coordination. When the gait is seen from the rear, the hind feet should be parallel to the dog’s front feet. When viewed from the side, the topline should remain strong and level.” To ensure that the Weimaraner can endure a day in the field, his gait must be smooth, coordinated and effortless.
If his front angulation is correct and the rear angulation is equal to the front, there should be no wasted motion. A Weimaraner should easily cover ground with reach in front and strong drive in the rear. Restricted movement in any form is incorrect. TEMPERAMENT “The temperament should be friend- ly, fearless, alert and obedient” Although temperament is not con- sidered part of the physical anatomy, it is a critical feature of the breed. The Weimaraner should never show fear, shyness or extreme nervousness, as these are very serious faults. Tempera- ment must be considered when evaluat- ing the Weimaraner with some leeway given to inexperienced puppies and novice handlers.
be disqualified.” FORELEGS
“Straight and strong with the measurement from the elbow to the ground approximately equaling the distance from the elbow to the top of the withers.” HINDQUARTERS “Well-angulated stifles and straight hocks. Musculation well developed.” “Well angulated stifles” refers to the stifle joint which is a hinge made by the upper thigh (femur) and lower thigh (tibia). Well bent stifles normally
330 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , N OVEMBER 2017
OfficialStandard for the WEIMARANER COURTESY THE AMERICAN KENNEL CLUB
GeneralAppearance: A medium-sized gray dog, with fine aristocratic features. He should present a picture of grace, speed, stamina, alertness and balance. Above all, the dog's conformation must indicate the ability to work with great speed and endurance in the field. Height: Height at the withers: dogs, 2 5 to 2 7 inches; bitch- es, 2 3 to 2 5 inches. One inch over or under the specified height of each sex is allowable but should be penalized. Dogs measuring less than 2 4 inches or more than 2 8 inches and bitches measuring less than 2 2 inches or more than 2 6 inches shall be disqualified. Head: Moderately long and aristocratic, with moderate stop and slight median line extending back over the fore-
disqualification. A distinctly blue or black coat is a disqual- ification. Forelegs: Straight and strong, with the measurement from the elbow to the ground approximately equaling the dis- tance from the elbow to the top of the withers. Hindquarters: Well-angulated stifles and straight hocks. Musculation well developed. Feet: Firm and compact, webbed, toes well arched, pads closed and thick, nails short and gray or amber in color. Dewclaws-Should be removed. Tail: Docked. At maturity it should measure approximately 6 inches with a tendency to be light rather than heavy and should be carried in a man- ner expressing confidence and sound tem- perament. A non-docked tail shall be penal- ized.
head. Rather prominent occipital bone and trumpets well set back, beginning at the back of the eye sockets. Measurement from tip of nose to stop equals that from stop to occipital bone. The flews should be straight, delicate at the nostrils. Skin drawn tightly. Neck clean-cut and moder- ately long. Expression kind, keen and intelligent. Ears-Long and lobular, slightly folded and set high. The ear when drawn snugly alongside the jaw should end approximately 2 inches from the point of the nose. Eyes-In shades of light amber,
Gait: The gait should be effortless and should indicate smooth coordination. When seen from the rear, the hind feet should be parallel to the front feet. When viewed from the side, the topline should remain strong and level.
Temperament: The temperament should be friendly, fear- less, alert and obedient. Faults: Minor Faults - Tail too short or too long. Pink nose. Major Faults - Doggy bitches. Bitchy dogs. Improper mus- cular condition. Badly affected teeth. More than four teeth missing. Back too long or too short. Faulty coat. Neck too short, thick or throaty. Low-set tail. Elbows in or out. Feet east and west. Poor gait. Poor feet. Cowhocks. Faulty backs, either roached or sway. Badly overshot, or under- shot bite. Snipy muzzle. Short ears. Very Serious Faults - White, other than a spot on the chest. Eyes other than gray, blue-gray or light amber. Black mottled mouth. Non-docked tail. Dogs exhibiting strong fear, shyness or extreme nervousness. Disqualifications: Deviation in height of more than one inch from standard either way. A distinctly long coat. A dis- tinctly blue or black coat.
gray or blue-gray, set well enough apart to indicate good disposition and intelligence. When dilated under excite- ment the eyes may appear almost black. Teeth-Well set, strong and even; well-developed and proportionate to jaw with correct scissors bite, the upper teeth protruding slight- ly over the lower teeth but not more than one sixteenth of an inch. Complete dentition is greatly to be desired. Nose- Gray. Lips and Gums-Pinkish flesh shades. Body: The back should be moderate in length, set in a straight line, strong, and should slope slightly from the withers. The chest should be well developed and deep with shoulders well laid back. Ribs well sprung and long. Abdomen firmly held; moderately tucked-up flank. The brisket should extend to the elbow. Coat and Color: Short, smooth and sleek, solid color, in shades of mouse-gray to silver-gray, usually blending to lighter shades on the head and ears. A small white marking on the chest is permitted, but should be penalized on any other portion of the body. White spots resulting from injury should not be penalized. A distinctly long coat is a
Approved December 1 4 , 1 9 7 1
332 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , N OVEMBER 2017
REFLECTIONS ON THE WEIMARANER THE GREY GHOST:
VICKI ABBOTT My husband Larry and I live in Fair- view, Texas, a suburb north of Dallas. Larry is the cluster chair for the Lone Star State Classic in Dallas and I am the cluster secretary and hospitality chair. When we are not wearing our hats working, putting on Dog Shows or judging, we enjoy traveling to new places and spending time with our kids and grandkids! I come from a background of Education. I was a teacher and then a profes- sional handler prior to judging. My oldest daughter Tara and I share a love for the sport and continue to breed Maltese together as we have for many years. My youngest daughter Aubrey and I are members of Kappa Kappa Gamma, where we have served in many capacities and are very involved in our local alumnae organization, which sponsors philanthro- py events in the Dallas area. I became involved in purebred dogs as a child and have owned and bred several different breeds over the years—Maltese, Pekingese and Shiba Inu. I have bred numerous champions under the “Scylla” prefix for almost 40 years, including many Best in Show and Specialty winning Maltese. At Westminster 1992, I won the Toy Group with “Henry”, Ch. Sand Island Small Kraft Lite, making him only the fourth Maltese to ever win the group at the Garden. I currently continue to breed our Maltese with my daughter Tara Martin Rowell. I have been judging for over 15 years and I am approved to judge the Toy, Non-Sporting, Sporting and Terrier Groups and Best in Show.
I live in Monson, Massachusetts. I enjoy gardening and am the commu- nity liaison with the Springfield Police K-9 Unit for our SKC. I purchased my first Great Dane in 1969 and started showing her as a pup- py. I showed Morgan horses and a Her- eford calf many years ago and enjoyed the competition of quality animals.
Once I became hooked on the dog show world that became my focus. I later was licensed by the AKC as an all breed pro- fessional handler and was a PHA member. I started judging in 2000 after marrying Lester Mapes. We thoroughly enjoyed judging together and I miss the great dog conversations on the flights home. DOUG JOHNSON
I live in Bloomington, Indiana. Out- side of dogs I run and co-own a large skilled care medical agency and a non-medical home care business. We employee 500 people and provide care to about 700 senior clients. I started in dogs in 1984 and started judging in 2000.
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WITH VICKI ABBOTT, JUDY HARRINGTON, DOUG JOHNSON, WENDY MAISEY,
SHAROL CANDACE WAY, DR. MICHAEL WOODS & GALE YOUNG
WENDY MAISEY I live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Outside of dogs I enjoy repurposing old furniture, gardening and spending time with my delightful five-year-old granddaughter. I have been in dogs since 1972 and judging since 1998. SHAROL CANDACE WAY We travel extensively (140+ coun- tries), do Meals on Wheels and just enjoy the good life. I have had dogs beginning with Saints in 1969. I have shown Wheatens, Pyrs, Smooth Fox and Gordon Setters. I have been judg- ing since about 1996 beginning with one breed (Wheatens) and now do four Groups, Best and some Herding and Non-Sporting breeds. DR. MICHAEL WOODS Roger and I live in Cochranville, Pennsylvania with our Dachshund and our feral cat community.
I live in Hardwick, Massachusetts on a large piece of property that allows my dogs to have a lot of exercise. I have the good fortune of working just two miles from home at Eagle Hill School a college preparatory school where I am the Associate Director of Admis- sion. I also am an Artist in Residence at the Wachusett Regional High School where I am a vocal instructor. I have been showing dogs for 43 years and judging for 20 years.
1. Describe the breed in three words. VA: Gray, graceful aristocrat. JH: Balance, sound and attentive. DJ: Graceful, athletic and powerful. WM: Beautiful, smooth and powerful. CW: Beautiful grey, well-muscled and dignified. MW: Movement, aristocratic and medium-sized. GY: Aristocratic with speed and endurance.
2. What are your “must have” traits in this breed? VA: A Weimaraner should always have proper balance, which means longer than tall with a 12:11 ratio (not square) and not short-legged. It should have proper aris- tocratic head type, grace and great driving power. I want to look at this breed and have an overall impression of aristocratic style. JH: Correct size and substance, proper temperament, sound- ness and breed type. DJ: This breed must have a delicate balance between grace and substance for me. They must have curves and a hard- back line. The very best of this breed have an incredible push from behind where you can see the footpad push of the ground the stretch back with a long side gate. There is nothing like that in other breeds in the group. WM: The shape standing must be maintained moving. Length must come from the body (well-ribbed back) not long in loin. Good bone. They must be beautiful; I love an arched neck flowing smoothly into a level, hard topline with a smooth, open side gait on a loose lead. “I WANT TO LOOK AT THIS BREED AND HAVE AN OVERALL IMPRESSION OF ARISTOCRATIC STYLE.” 4 )08 4 *()5 . "(";*/& 4 &15&.#&3 t
Within the past year, I’ve moved from St. John’s, Newfoundland to Dart- mouth, Nova Scotia, primarily to be nearer grandkids. I also have a sum- mer cottage in Rhode Island where we spend three or four months per year. I’m a retired University Professor of English Literature, so I do a great deal of reading and some writing. I was a fairly avid hunter, but am now what
Ken McDermott calls a ‘rabid’ birdwatcher. I’m generally involved in anything that gets me outdoors, even if it’s only mowing the lawn. I’ve coached basketball up to and includ- ing the university level and am a fan of the Celtics, Red Sox and, yes, the Patriots! My wife, Lynn and I travel extensive- ly and enjoy good food and wine, particularly local ethnic foods. I showed my first dog, a Labrador, in England in 1973. I’ve been involved in the dog world ever since as a breeder, exhibitor and judge. I first judged in 1986 and became an all-breed judge in 2000. I’ve been very fortunate in that I’ve had the opportunity to judge throughout Canada, the United States, South America, Asia, Australia and Europe. I have been granted unlimited status by AKC, so I have the opportunity to see quite a few American dogs.
WITH VICKI ABBOTT, JUDY HARRINGTON, DOUG JOHNSON, WENDY MAISEY,
SHAROL CANDACE WAY, DR. MICHAEL WOODS & GALE YOUNG
“IN MY OPINION I BELIEVE THAT THERE CAN BE AN EXAGGERATION IN REAR ANGULATION.”
CW: Good layback and resulting prosternum, level backline, proper tail carriage and well muscled. MW: When I first started judging Weimaraners, a friend in Weimaraners brought me to talk with the iconic Judy Colan. What really stuck with me from that occasion was the emphasis this great breeder put on efficient, effort- less movement and the correct silhouette which indicates the balance and structure needed to fulfill the breed’s function. For me, movement and silhouette are two of the most essential characteristics of the breed. If the movement is correct, the structure is correct. If the sil- houette is correct, the exhibit has the proper head shape in profile; the long, deep rib cage; the strong, slightly sloping topline and short loin; the proper angles front and rear; the lovely graceful underline which helps add aristocracy to the breed. I haven’t mentioned color, since that is an obvious given with this breed, as is the need for the breed to be shown in good condition. GY: The dog must stand well over himself, meaning that since the “shoulders are well laid back” and the “chest is well developed” there should be a good length of neck, an equal return of upper arm to match the well laid back shoulder and a prosternum that extends past the point of shoulder. Hold correct outline on the go around (rect- angular shape, level top line, no low tail set or high tail carriage). There should be a lovely head with good width of back-skull (room to have eyes “set well enough apart”), level planes and strong under jaw. 3. Are there any traits in this breed you fear are becoming exaggerated? VA: Most of what I see are not really exaggerations. One of the consistent problems that is becoming evident are fronts that are set too far forward so that there is no keel evident on the front of the dog. This breed requires a prosternum for function and a correct outline. Correct silhouette goes to type (not a Vizsla or a German Short- haired Pointer in outline) and some dogs are trending towards the incorrect balance for the breed. Heads can sometimes appear coarse with glaring eyes, or have short
and snipy muzzles, which does not lend towards the desired aristocratic head with a kind and keen expression that is so pretty on a Weimaraner. JH: In my opinion I believe that there can be an exaggeration in rear angulation. That seems to be the most prevalent. DJ: Topline, tails and over angulations. Well-angulated doesn’t mean over angulated. Also, unlike a lot of breeds, many in this breed are not enough dog—in both sub- stance and bone—to satisfy me for the correct type. WM: I see loins that are just far too long. Although this is not a square breed, this spoils the look as it is often with too much tuck up. As a working dog, this would be an unac- ceptable area of weakness. CW: Even though the standard reads “well-angulated stifles” some are just too angulated resulting in poor balance between front and rear. MW: The Weimaraner is a breed that can lend itself to exag- geration: the horrible ‘pigeon’ fronts that are a caricature of the breed; over angulated rears that do not balance the front and destroy movement; toplines that resemble ski slopes and are far from ‘slight’. Weak, weedy bitches and gross overdone dogs are also seen, neither creates ‘a picture of grace’ that captures the essence of the breed. GY: I am seeing a plethora of dogs that look good standing, but because of their lack of both balance and correct front assembly, when in motion, they have four legs going in four different directions and they are high in the rear instead of having level toplines. 4. Do you think the dogs you see in this breed are better now than they were when you first started judging? VA: Overall, I believe the breed has been maintained by ded- icated breeders that are keeping the correct aristocratic type and ground covering movement needed. I am seeing a lot of new people entering the conformation ring based on their desire to have a true working dog in the field, so they decided to also give them a try in conformation. Yet, in speaking with them, they have no experience in why
“THERE SHOULD BE A LOVELY HEAD WITH GOOD WIDTH OF BACK-SKULL...”
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