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Smart Bumps, Harrasburg Horns, and Other Weimaraner Peculiarities

By Anne Taguchi | Last Updated: January 22, 2022

Pick up any of those meet the breed type books or even the AKC’s Weimaraner Page and Weims really just sound like boring ol’ gray dogs, but to me, Weims have a bit more character. Here’re some favorites!

Smart Bumps

Weimaraner puppies are known to have a more prominent occipital bone at the top of their head, affectionately known as a “smart bump.” These tend to go away as they grow older, but even some adult Weims have a little knot up there!


Cowlicks in Weims

In Weimaraners, cowlicks usually appear on the face, back of the neck or on the shoulder.

Cowlicks in Weims are not that uncommon. I sometimes get one on the nose (right down the center) but the hair is so short there you hardly notice it. I have also gotten a circular cowlick (about the size of a quarter) one on each side of the shoulders. I have also seen one down the back of the neck.

I talked to the owner about it and the dog was the son of Ch. Shadow Barthaus Dorilio (who is behind a great many Weimaraners). She told me it was called “the mark of Dorilio.” Dobes get them there too – but then, Weimaraners were used in the invention of the Dobe, so that’s not too surprising.

The cowlicks I’ve had have never stopped any of them from achieving their Championships.”

— Karen Sandvold, Kasamar Weimaraners

This Blue Weimaraner puppy has a cowlick on her nose. Several of her littermates had cowlicks in the same location. Her puppies also have cowlicks in the same place!

Harrasburg Horns

These are the small skin flaps or “horns” on the ears that some Weimaraners have.

Why Harrasburg? Old wives tales call these horns a sign of good breeding, and US Weimaraners were largely built on Harrasburg lines.

In Vizlas they are called Futaki horns, and in German Shorthaired Pointers they are called Grabenbruch horns. Both Futaki and Grabenbruch are well known kennels in each of their respective breeds.

All three breeds have also nick-named these skin-tag like protrusions, “Devil’s Horns.” No explanation needed!


Grafmar’s Cap

Named after yet another early and influential kennel, Grafmar’s cap refers to the lighter patch at the top of Weimaraners’ heads. It is on the back half of the head between the ears and usually becomes more prominent as the dog ages.



Does your Weim nook? This is nursing/kneading/sucking behavior that seems to run in some lines.

Weimaraner Color and Markings

Oh my, now we get interesting!

No, they really are not just short coated gray dogs. There are blues, longhairs, longhaired blues, tan (Doberman) markings, and white spots — all considered normal for the breed. Maybe disqualified or heavily faulted but definitely normal.

I love all these things that make our Weimaraners so much more than just a medium sized gray dog. What are some of your favorite peculiarities?

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About Anne Taguchi

Surviving life with Weims!

53 responses to “Smart Bumps, Harrasburg Horns, and Other Weimaraner Peculiarities”

  1. Chuck Clarke says:

    My old guy had the bump (we called it the knuckle, so he was a Knucklehead!), the Harrasburg horns, the Grafmar cap, and nooked. His “nooking” was more grabbing a thick bunch of blanket in his mouth and slowly and biting down on it like he was exercising jaw muscles, though. Almost like a meditation. He would go to sleep like that, guess it comforted him or something.

  2. Leigh Davis says:

    My weim has all of these traits. We sure do love her❤️

  3. Jennifer Henthorn says:

    What about butt circles? And bat symbols? My girl is 4 and still has her weimy bump (smart bump)

  4. Crystal Krueger says:

    Hoop was a nooker! For cats it’s called smergeling.

  5. Jeff Burnett says:

    My 8-1/2 Year old weim is just as sweet as she was at 6 weeks old.

  6. Dan says:

    There are only two types of dogs in the world….weimaraners and non-weimaraners.

  7. Tena Northern says:

    We have a 1 year old male we’ be had since he was 7 weeks and we love him dearly! He is such a character! He entertains us everyday, he acts so silly, rolls on his back, and he is stuck to us like Velcro, that is what we should have named him instead of Buddy, we also are entering him in the Dock Diving here in Oregon, please keep your stories coming! Thank you, weim lovers!

    • Whitney says:

      My weimaraner (mix but 50% pure) LOVES dock diving! Is always overly excited! He’s 3 now and we did 3 competition jumps last year. Best of luck to your Weim! Have fun!

  8. Tess says:

    Our Weim does a version of nooking. Ever since we’ve had her from 8 weeks old she sucks her gums or inside of her mouth (we call it sucking her chops) as she’s relaxing or going to sleep. She also has Grafmars caps, her blonde patches, that seem to become more defined in summer – until reading this article I assumed that’s what it was. She has whirls that are symmetrical either side of the bridge of her nose, just below her eyes. I once read an article about traits in Labrador puppies that indicate whether they will be good guide dogs for the blind, and the direction of the whirls in/near their ears was one indicator of a calm and purposeful demeanor. I wonder if the same is true of Weims?

  9. Mikelle says:

    I love my Weim!!! Dunkin (4 yrs)still has his smart bump, has a cowlick on both butt cheeks. As for nooking…. He grabs his blanket , plays keep away with it as he is growling at you. When that is all said and done, he chews on and nurses on it till he falls asleep . Would not trade him for the world!!

  10. Mermal says:

    What about the whitemaraners that have recently appeared? I have a white girl with gray head and spots and many speckles all over her body. She is from two pure weimaraners and is a result of a mutant gene.
    Google whitemaraner to see photos of a few.

  11. Nan Collins says:

    My 3 1/2 months old male Weim has a large occipital. How big do they get and how should they? When do they stop growing? I am worried. Thank you.

  12. jgp says:

    What about the Mark of Excellence?

    • Anne Taguchi says:

      Ah yes! I need to write something about this in the future!
      (For those that haven’t heard this term, the Mark of Excellence refers to a white spot on the chest.)

  13. Patricia Farber says:

    What is chenille on a weimer. We just adopted one but didn’t notice that her sweet head, around her collar and on her legs the hair seems thicker and whiter. Someone said it is chenille. I never heard of that.

  14. Lydia Parnell says:

    deuce is a Nooker and he does it on his crate mat, that we affectionately refer to as his girlfriend. He is extremely hard-headed and believes himself to be a 105 lb. lap dog. He loves our 3 cays and when he’s ready for a nap, he uses his nose to toss every pillow off of the sofa until it’s comfy enough for him. He’s our baby and sleeps between us, snoring very loudly. ❤️

  15. Ed says:

    I have two of these beautie male at 120 lbs fixed female 110 lbs I have a great time running them through the woods 3 times a day. Very energetic breed ages 8 and 7 male was shown 2 times took top honors Yet I feel I was duped by the breeder they are family not toys

  16. Diane Noble says:

    My Bailey is almost 9 months old. What a personality! She constantly provides us with entertainment. But I often find myself saying, “Yep…she’s a weimar! Her weimar-sleep poses are so amusing. I’ve seen photos galore, so I know their sleep habits are characteristic. It would be fun to see a gallery some of the common positions and name them. Love my girl. I’ll never be without a weimar!

  17. Jaqueline says:

    Do any of yours hate the water / the beach?

    • Anne Taguchi says:

      Disliking water is not that uncommon with Weims!

    • Thomas says:

      My Weim has never liked water. Took him to the creek when he was little and didn’t like it…at all. Bath time is very difficult too

    • Jackie Goebel says:

      Hi, my name is Jacquelyn all our weims we have had since 1969, have loved the water, beach, lakes, but you have to start young about 6 Mos !

    • kkh369 says:

      Murphy hates bath time, and isn’t huge on water in general. But since I am a fly fisher, he has been taken fishing since he was a pup, and will cross a small river like a champ!

    • Ray says:

      My dog avoids water like the plague, but my bitch makes a bee line for it. She adheres to him most of the time. They are irreplaceable, and so precious.

    • Richard says:

      My Duke loves a running hose outside, but hates a bath. He will spend as much time as you have jumping thru, over and into the stream. And if you add a high pressure nozzle, he will try to eat the hose stream and drink all the water. He also loves to nook, but only his soft bed.

      • Deb says:

        My 6 month girl loves swimming.. in the ocean with me but I think she would just follow me anywhere. Loves a bath and loves a shower.doesnt like the back yard hose. They are complex. 😁

  18. A. Perry says:

    I have 2 Weims we’ve had our female since she was 6 weeks old, and our male since he was about 12 weeks old they are now 13 and 10 years old!!. We also have 2 kids and they have been great with them! My female rolls (literally) herself in a blanket to stay warm I don’t know how many times I’ve tripped over her. My male is 100 pounds and would be a lap dog if I’d let him.

  19. Christine says:

    My Weim pup has the smart bump, cowlicks on the neck and nooks… I love his goofy personality! He makes me laugh everyday!

  20. Julie says:

    How about the Stockhaar fur pattern… My girl has a very sleek coat but has a line of waves above her tail

  21. Christine Thibeault says:

    My Weimaraner Emma is my soulmate.
    She picked me out of a room full of people. I was supposed to just foster her last year, but after a few minutes in the car, I knew that She was going to be my forever girl. She’s made my life full of so much joy.
    This is my second Weimaraner, I had another sweet girl back over 20 years ago, a gorgeous blue that I will always fondly remember and miss.
    Emma, is amazing, has a Harrisburg horn and a grafmar cap. She’s super intelligent and most definitely is my Velcro dog and thinks ” she’s a peoples”
    Emma was rescued from a kill shelter ( she was scheduled to be euthanized the very next day) and brought to Big Dog Ranch Rescue in West Palm Beach Fl. I saw her from a far running on a Leash when I drove up and thought that she was the most stunning majestic grey ghost I had ever seen.
    When they brought her to me she ran up to me and put her paws up onto my shoulders and started kissing me, the room was full of people but she didn’t see anyone but me, The staff said that she has never behaved this way before. It was like she knew me.
    On the drive home she wrapped her paw on my arm and kept it there the whole drive home. She stole my heart on that drive and I knew that this was not going to be a temporary foster for a hurricane.
    She’s extremely balanced and so social and very well trained. I can’t imagine her back story as no one knows it but there is no question that Emma was about to be served a massive injustice had Big Dog Ranch not rescued her life. I will always be grateful to them and to her for bringing such joy into my life.

  22. kkh369 says:

    Murphy has the cap, the bump, and a cowlick right in the middle of his chest. He is the sweetest dog ever, and at 8 years, still acts like a pup. He is super smart, and has a vocabulary of almost 100 words. He’s rapidly heading toward his senior years, and it breaks my heart because I can NOT imagine life without him!

    • Richard says:

      Don’t hold your breath! My last Weimer was 21 years old when he passed quietly one evening. We got him when my youngest son was in kindergarten, and he was alive when my son married, after graduating from college. Had to get him aa playmate at about 15 years, as he was slowing down. He never acted like an old dog, just a puppy with better manners, and more instinct. He eat human food, and to all of our amazement, loved Chinese food best. Hopee my new dog just lives half as long..

  23. Kharmynni Dodson says:

    We tease our Casper when he does something bad, we always ask him if he turned on his smart bump today!

  24. Lyn Evans says:

    I have the best story of all. We started minding a weim for a family on the local facebook page. We fell in love with him in 30 seconds. Over a couple of years we minded him on and off. We used to ring the owner and tell them we missed him and could he come and stay days or week at a time. Then the owner could no longer give him the attention he needed and asked us if we knew of a loving family who would take him. She also knew we did not want a dog full time. We did not hesitate and told the owner we would take him. Now the owner minds our weim for us. So roles have reversed. You see we both love him. A fantastic outcome for all. Including Maverick. ❤

  25. Teresa says:

    I love the chattering, when they are happy, excited to see you or their treats etc. It’s just the sweetest little thing that sets them apart.

  26. Teresa Bacon says:

    My favorite weim trait, is chattering when excited. I didn’t know what it was when I rescued my first weim (Chelsea) she did it quite often and fairly loud. My second (Skye) a rescue at 8 yrs old tries to do it and it is more of a mouthing soft mouth lovey thing. I also love their loyalty and protectiveness.

  27. Peter says:

    There is a behavior we have always called “electric razoring” that is distinct from nooking/nursing. This is when they nibble gently but rapidly on you, your clothing, or soft objects. The weim I grew up with used to do this all around the perimeter of my parent’s bed. Our current girl (50 year later!) now does exactly the same thing, but never nooks. Both were/are Shadowmar lineage.

    • Anne Taguchi says:

      I have one that does that as well. I call it “flea biting.” He only does it to other dogs, but does not nook.

  28. Adria Weis says:

    Mine has a strange bump on her tail, about half way through, is that normal or should we get it checked out?