The Weimaraner’s “gray ghost” image brings to mind a solid, sleek, gray coat — a hallmark of the breed. Given that the Weim look is so distinctive, it’s actually quite remarkable just how many coat variations there are!
Most of the coat variations are accepted, others are not; but all are considered “normal” for the breed.
Weimaraner Coat Types
Weimaraners actually come in three different coat types: Shorthaired, Longhaired and Stockhaar.
Longhaired (LH) Weimaraners are accepted everywhere except in the US where this trait is a disqualifying fault, more or less meaning that they are not showable.
The ideal LH coat should lay flat and smooth, and it usually has an undercoat. The tail is plumed and undocked or only 1-2 vertebrae are removed. There is feathering on the legs and belly, but they should not be too hairy or have a coat that is too soft.
Genetically, the longhair gene is recessive to the shorthair gene. Basically this means that LHs can “pop up” from two shorthaired Weims. This would occur if both shorthaired Weims were carrying the recessive LH gene.
Okay, so what would happen if you bred a shorthaired Weim to a Longhaired Weim? The answer isn’t in-between coats, you’ll usually get shorthairs (because SH is dominant to LH).
Of course there are always exceptions to the rule, and it turns out in rare instances you do get in-between coats, and they are called Stockhaars. Go to the full article on the Stockhaar coat type in Weims.
Variation Among Grays
The traditional Weimaraner color is gray. In Weims, this is actually a brown or chocolate coat that is diluted, so taupe may be a better way to describe the color. Some Weimaraners have a more silvery coat and some are darker, others seem more brownish.
The gray coat does seem to be affected by the sun, and often gets more brown looking as they age. It’s mostly noticeable when you look at photos of Weimaraner moms with their litters. The pups almost always look more silver than light brown.
Weimaraner Ways, the definitive book on the breed, says “Weimaraner colors range from very light to very dark gray. The Germans identify these shades: deer-gray (very light gray), silver-gray (medium gray), and mouse-gray (very dark gray).”
Blue Weimaraners are just like the Grays except the coat is a diluted black instead of a diluted chocolate. The coat appears charcoal gray in color, and like the gray Weims, they can vary from a lighter to darker blue.
The difference between gray and blue in Weims is a difference in tone, not in the darkness of the color. Like the Grays, Blues can be darker or lighter blue.
Blues are basically the black sheep of the Weim world. They are half-accepted in the US where they are AKC registerable but are not showable. This means you’d be excused from the show ring if you tried to show your Blue, but they can (and do) compete in field events, agility, NAVHDA, etc.
Because Blues were once fully accepted in the US, they are generally considered an American variety. And since they were accepted and bred fairly early in the breed’s development, one of the dirty little secrets in our breed is that 99% of Weims today have a blue Weimaraner behind them — verifiable at WeimaranerPedigrees.com.
There is far less acceptance for Blues in other countries, where they are completely unrecognized and rarely seen. However, with the recent ease of importing dogs, Blues have been making their way over the pond and are being bred outside the kennel clubs.
Longhaired Blue Weimaraners
Well of course if there are Blues and there are Longhairs, breeders came up with Longhaired Blues. I have never heard of them anywhere outside of North America, and like Blues and Longhairs they may compete in field events, agility and NAVHDA, but aren’t shown.
These are also called tan points and basically look just like the markings that Doberman’s have. Dobe markings can be very faint so they can be difficult to identify in Weimaraners if the markings are light.
Blue Weimaraners can also have tan points.
By the way, Doberman’s come in a gray color as well, except they call the gray color isabella or fawn. Dobes and Weims share history, with Weims having been used in the Doberman’s development. Aaaaand, blue Weimaraners are suspected to have come from black or blue Dobermans!
Confused yet? Can you tell what breeds are pictured below?
Weird things happen when it comes to genetics. If you’ve been in Weimaraners long enough at some point you will hear about Weims that look like German Shorthaired Pointers. These are called piebalds and are discussed here.
White markings have been around since the beginning of the breed, and in fact mentioned in the first German standard as common. This is different from piebalding, although sometimes the white is “speckled” rather than solid white.
A small white mark on the chest is allowed by the standard, and personally I think is pretty cute, but it’s not unusual to see larger blazes in certain lines.
Some field people tend to call the white blaze, “the mark of excellence,” possibly because quite a few of the winningest Weims in the field have had white spots on their chest.
White is not allowed anywhere else on the body; however, white behind the pasterns (below the wrist and above the foot) is so common, it is accepted.
The Gray Ghost
Surely the distinctive Weimaraner color was deliberately cultivated and desired when creating the breed, and kennel clubs certainly have every right to restrict certain characteristics from being allowed in the standard.
The fact that most of these coat anomalies are recognized as normal doesn’t mean that they are necessarily accepted. And just because they aren’t accepted in the standard doesn’t mean they are wrong, nor does it mean that Weims that have any of these anomalies aren’t Weims — Weims come in different colors and coat types!
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The Blue Weimaraner
Blue Weimaraners are a distinct American variety of Weimaraner. They are AKC registerable but the color is a disqualifying fault in the standard.