Not Just a Short-Coated Gray Dog

By Anne Taguchi | Last Updated: August 1, 2021

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.

three-weimaraner-coat-types
The three Weimaraner Coat types. The Longhaired Weimaraner on the left is the father of the Stockaar Weimaraner in the middle and the Shorthaired Weimaraner on the right.

Longhaired Weimaraners

longhaired-weimaraner
Another view of the Longhaired Weimaraner, showing his plumed tail.

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.

Stockhaar Weimaraners

stockhaar-weimaaner-with-white-spot
Shorthaired (left) and Stockhaar (right) Weimaraners. Both also have white spotd on their chests, discussed below.

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.

Weimaraner Colors

Variation Among Grays

The traditional Weimaraner gray 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-pigmentation
Difference in color and pigmentation in Weimaraners: Momma is gray. The two puppies in the front are silver-gray, the middle one (yellow collar) is gray, and the two puppies in the rear are both Blues.

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

blue-weimaraners
Blue Weimaraner puppy and adult.

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

longhaired-blue-weimaraner
Longhaired Blue Weimaraner

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 compete in field events, agility and NAVHDA, but aren’t shown.

Doberman Markings

dobe-marked-weimaraner
Doberman-marked Weimaraner, also called tan points.

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?

weimaraners-and-dobermans
Left to right: Fawn Doberman with natural ears, red Doberman with natural ears, Weimaraner, red Doberman with cropped ears, Weimaraner.

Piebald Weimaraners

piebald-weimaraner
Piebald Weimaraner

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

weimanaer-puppy-with-white-spot
Weimaraner puppy with white mark on his chest. This is perfectly acceptable and within the standard.

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.

White is not allowed anywhere else; however, white behind the pasterns (below the wrist and above the foot) is so common, it is accepted.

The Gray Ghost

Surely the gray color was deliberately cultivated and desired when creating the Weimaraner, and kennel clubs certainly have every right to restrict certain characteristics from being allowed in the standard.

Despite the fact that most of these 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.

Hey you made it to the end of the article!

If you want more tips like this, just enter your email address below to get 'em for free!

MAKE LIFE EASIER, HAPPIER (AND MORE FUN!) FOR YOU AND YOUR WEIM!

By entering your email address you agree to receive emails from JustWeimaraners. I'll respect your privacy and you can unsubscribe at any time.

About Anne Taguchi

Surviving life with Weims!

4 responses to “Not Just a Short-Coated Gray Dog”

  1. Chris Dominck says:

    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.

    • Anne Taguchi says:

      The weimaranerpedigrees.com site doesn’t make a notation on color because they cannot get reliable information on it, which would make tracking that information difficult.
      I love the blues too and have a couple myself!

    • Patti says:

      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.

  2. Dale says:

    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.

Your comments and questions are welcomed

Your email address will not be published. All comments will be moderated.