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!
Photos courtesy and © Mystical Shadows Gun Dogs, Trax Weimaraners, Great Lakes Weimaraner Rescue, and Mara Wildfleur.
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Living with Bitches
Are female Weimaraners different from the males? And what about those heat cycles? Is it messy? This article will answer ALL those questions!
The Piebald Weimaraner
What are what are piebald Weimaraners? Take a look at the photos! They look like German Shorthaired Pointers that are gray. The question of course is, are they purebred?
I never gave it a thought when I picked up a blue Weim that some would have an issue with his color. His sibling is the lighter grey and from the same litter.
I have two other older weims I have adopted and and nobody seems to have an issue with them. Oh well. Thanks for your article, and website. I attempted to track the http://weimaranerpedigrees.com/, but found myself really confused in trying to track the blue weims.
Cheers, these are Great dogs.
am surprised that you have found people having an issue with your Blue….I LOVE the Blue the best, and in fact my search was for the Blue, and she was very hard to come by, since the Blues are seldom seen on the east coast of the U.S, at least that is what I was told…In fact, everywhere I take her I get a lot of compliments on her color. Enjoy your Blue.
My dad gave us a blue Weimaraner short haired puppy when I was around nine years old. His growth was stunted, and I can’t remember what explanation my dad gave us for that…..not sure if he was a pure bred either. He grew to be just slightly larger than a Beagle. He was so loving to me, and my brother. He actually let us pose him on a tricycle once, and took a picture of him in my grandfathers backyard in Duluth. We would sometimes let him roam around the neighborhood, because he would always come home. One night he didn’t, and we were worried. The second night my dad, and I went out to look for him. The third night there was scratching at the back door. It was Blue. You could tell he was in pain, and may have been hit by a car. My parents tried to get Blue in to see a vet , but at 10 pm in a smaller town they wouldn’t see him until the next morning. I laid down next to him, by his bed on the kitchen floor, trying to comfort him, and eventually fell asleep. My mom got up at 6 am like she always did, and Blue had already passed away. It was one of the saddest days for our family. I believe there is a valid reason for leash laws.
There is something unique, about this breed. I’ve had dogs my whole life, but never have i had one to grab my heart the way my Wiem did. I dont know if its because of their smartness, that makes them appear almost human like, they seem to express human like emotions i think. I got my Bama when he was just 5 wks old, and he was a blue. I was amazed that he was house broken by 6 wks. So smart. He traveled with me, but our bond wasn’t made till I moved to South Ga. This was Bama’s first time in the country. It was where he was truly meant to be. He would get us up , nudging his nose, against my face, at 6:30/ 7:00 a.m. i remember him tapping his feet back and forth with excitement, couldn’t wait for that door to open, and once it did , he was gone, like a bolt of lightning. Chasing squirrels from one end of the yard to the other . eventually he beging chasing deer and possums, coons..just what ever. He never would hurt them, it was the chase that he loved. He loved running, fastest dog i ever say, got in the habit of racing cars. But was smart enough he knew to stay in the ditch or beside the road. He was very tender hearted. When i disciplined him , he would always put his head down and raise his paw for a shake. He thought paw paw made everything better. One time i was getting on to him for chasing my cat, and he runs to my neighbors house, scratches on his door, and when my neighbor comes out , he hides behind him, as if my neighbor was going to protect him..haha.. apparently my neighbor had secretly developed a bond with him as well , feeding him ice cream every day. He was such a loving dog, almost like a sibling to my youngest daughter, they would play all day, He learned to do dances with her, and cheers, played soccer with her, weims tend to use their front paws like hands, so he would grab the ball from her and run. They would run and play in the rain, he loved water, Camp out in the yard together, it made my heart over flow, when i looked out the window, and those two would be out there in their tent with the flash light shining everywhere. No telling what kind of conversations, those two were having..haha , she would talk to him as if he was human, and i truly believe he understood her. Come bed time he was on guard at the foot of her bed. When she left for the weekend, and came back. He would get so excited, and get all hipper, jumping and playing , and wimpier , and just love all over her, because he missed her so much. We had him probably 7, 8 yrs. But we too, would let him out in the yard alone, and our just moved in neighbors didnt like him chasing their chickens. So one morning i let him out to go to the restroom, and a few minutes later i heard something on the porch and it was him. He looked so scared. I will never forget the look in his eyes, he was shaking as if he was freezing to death, he couldnt walk and was stumbling and falling over , his stomach sounded like bombs were exploding inside. It happened so fast, i didnt even have time to call a vet. He crawled in my lap , just wanting me to hold him, its the only way he would stop shaking for a minute, but it would come back , i remember listening to his breathing, as it slowly disappeared, i laid my head on his chest and cried so hard. Begging him not to leave me. I lay there with him till his heart beat no more. I have never felt such pain in my life, i called him Bubba , because he was so close to my daughter, she was there to also in tears. All i remember, is saying Bubba no, please don’t go. My dad , 80 yrs old, also super attached to him, was crying like a baby. It hurt the whole family. We lost a family member that day. Later we found out someone had poisoned him. I pray when they meet their maker , that God allows them to feel the pain we felt in our hearts that day – plus side to the story.. my Bama had an affair, and left us with 7 little Bama’s . They arnt pure bread, but I see him in each if them , and it makes my heart smile to know apart of him lives on in his puppies. Some have since found homes and moved away, i got a couple of them. And the ones i have do not leave the house without a leash. I hate it, because Bama loved his freedom. These puppies dont get to experience that, but im scared of having to relive that moment over again. I just cant.