The Weimardoodle combines two intelligent and active dog breeds into one package.
With its intelligent eyes and long face, the Weimardoodle’s poodle heritage is unmistakable. Yet, the Weimaraner influence shines out just as strongly. The result is a certain scruffy nobility that is entirely endearing.
However, as with all breeds and mixes, it’s important that potential Weimardoodle owners are fully aware of their traits, health issues, and care requirements before taking the plunge and bringing this scruffily noble companion into your home.
Purebreds Versus Designer Dogs
Before we delve too far, it’s important to address the controversy surrounding purebred and “designer breed dogs,” which refers to a cross between two purebred dogs. The Weimardoodle is classified as a designer breed because it is a Weimaraner poodle mix.
The controversy boils down to the relative merits of predictable inherited traits (in purebred dogs) and the benefits afforded by a more varied gene pool (in designer breeds).
Those who advocate for purebred dogs argue that there are significant advantages associated with their breed purity. It guarantees a certain predictability in a dog’s traits and physical characteristics. It also provides a greater assurance of quality to potential owners because a purebred is a “known quantity” and can readily be screened for known health issues.
The other side of the coin is that a confined gene pool can cause lifelong health and physiological problems. To gain a sense of the scale of the challenge and the breeding effort to address this issue, this research into pedigree dog preventative care is well worth a read.
Those supporting mixed breeding argue that genetic diversity safeguards the dog from inbreeding and imparts “hybrid vigor,” a natural tendency to good health and vitality that they argue gradually disappears from purebreds.
The trade-off, of course, is that there is a higher level of uncertainty within the breed. There will be larger variances, both physically and in temperament.
The dog’s health and well-being will also be affected by a greater number of genetic variables. To put it bluntly, you don’t know what you’re going to get.
There is little scientific consensus on whether purebreds or designer breeds are healthier. For now, the controversy rages on with compelling evidence supporting both positions.
To learn more about the issue, you may wish to read The Labrador Site’s guide to mixed breed dogs, which provides a detailed discussion on genetic health in purebred and hybrid dogs, and this report on dog genetics from The Institute of Canine Biology.
But for now let’s focus on the member of the designer dog world that you have come here to find out about: the Weimardoodle.
Origins of the Weimardoodle
While the exact time and place of origin of the Weimardoodle is unknown, the generally held view is that they were first developed in the United States around 20 years ago.
While the Weimardoodle is undoubtedly a new kid on the block, we know a lot about its parent breeds, the poodle and the Weimaraner.
Let’s take a closer look at those.
It’s believed that the poodle originated in Germany over 400 years ago. It was bred to be a water hunting dog. Indeed, the name “poodle” is thought to originate from the German word “pudel,” meaning “to splash in water.”
Despite its Germanic origins, much of the breed’s formative development is thought to have occurred in France, where the breed was enthusiastically adopted as the nation’s own.
A powerful swimming dog, the poodle is also gifted with a loyal, hardy and prodigiously intelligent nature.
It was bred to be the perfect water hunting companion. Along the way it became a desirable, easy to train, and easier to love pet and companion.
The Weimaraner is a younger breed. Developed over 200 years ago, the Weimaraner was intended to be a hunting dog for the German nobility.
Its name derives from the German city of Weimar, whose court nobles first set about refining the Weimaraner breed.
Originally, the German breeding clubs were extremely possessive of the Weimaraner, and much effort was invested in keeping its bloodline pure.
As few as 1,500 dogs were allowed to be registered at a time until as recently as the 1920s, when the breed finally crossed the Atlantic to the United States.
Today the Weimaraner is a popular pet as well as a respected sporting companion.
The standard poodle stands around 15 inches tall and weighs between 50 and 70 pounds. Physically, a poodle is famous for its proud bearing and well-proportioned, squarely built frame. Of course, its tightly curled fur is one of the poodle’s most distinctive features.
The Weimaraner is a larger dog, its height typically reaching around 25 inches and its weight ranging between 55 and 75 pounds.
Physically, it’s clearly an athletic dog with a strong musculature and an alert, agile bearing. In complete contrast to the poodle, the Weimaraner’s coat is sleek and smooth, further emphasizing its developed musculature.
Because Weimardoodles are bred from two very different breeds, there’s considerable variation among them. Both poodle and Weimaraner characteristics will manifest in the dog but to varying degrees.
Usually, a Weimardoodle’s coat will be shaggy, but not quite as wavy and dense as a poodle’s. However, they can also inherit a straighter, coarser coat, which is closer to that of the Weimaraner.
Colors can be black, grey, chocolate, fawn, white or speckled.
The Weimardoodle is likely to be a shaggy yet stately looking dog, with an obvious athleticism derived from its strong hunting poodle and Weimaraner pedigree.
Weimardoodle Temperament and Behavior
To estimate the Weimardoodle’s potential temperament, it’s worth first taking a quick look at poodles and Weimaraners.
The poodle is famous for its quick, adaptable intelligence. Bred to be a hunting dog, the poodle is easily trained and has an insatiable eagerness for physical activity. They love any kind of exercise, but they’re especially delighted to run, swim and retrieve.
The Weimaraner is a big, bold and exuberant dog. It’s also a running breed and needs plenty of space to roam. While it’s known for being a strong family dog, it can become frustrated if not supplied with a steady regimen of outdoor exercise and challenging play.
The Weimaraner poodle mix is intended to blend those traits into an extremely affectionate dog with an inquisitive and intelligent mind. But your Weimardoodle puppy could take more strongly after either of their parents or be a random mixture of each of their personalities.
Weimaraners develop a strong attachment with their family, and it’s quite common for them to experience mild separation anxiety when left alone for extended periods.
A Weimaraner mix may well take after their parent in this way and would therefore be better suited to families that are able to integrate their furry companion into daily family activities.
Being from two active and intelligent breeds, they’re also going to need lots of exercise.
Weimardoodle Training and Obedience
Both Weimaraners and podles are intelligent dogs that respond very well to positive reinforcement training.
They also have the potential for strong hunting instincts from both sides of the family tree, so a good, well-proofed recall is very important.
Although poodles and Weimaraners are both friendly breeds, it is still worth socializing your puppy from a young age to give them confidence in all the situations they might come across as an adult.
A Weimardoodle’s grooming needs will vary.
If it has inherited more from the poodle side, its coat will be longer, more wavy and will require extra attention. Brushing will be required at least every other day to ensure that matting, burrs and debris are taken care of.
On the other hand, if a Weimardoodle’s coat comes more from the Weimaraner side, its coat will be shorter, less wavy and considerably easier to maintain.
In either case, it’s important to regularly check a Weimardoodle’s ears every week or so as they’re particularly prone to infection and irritation. Cleaning them is a simple matter of using an ear solution available from any pet store.
Health Issues and Special Needs
Before beginning the process of looking for Weimardoodle puppies and speaking with Weimardoodle breeders, it’s important to do your own research into the breed’s health issues and special needs.
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recommends early health screening based on known inherited health conditions.
You can evaluate the health screening recommendations for both poodles and Weimaraners on the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) website.
Based on this data, known congenital health issues to screen in Weimardoodles include:
Hip evaluation: This is a test for hip dysplasia, a common hereditary skeletal condition in which the ball and socket of the hip fails to develop properly, causing a gradual deterioration in function.
Ophthalmic evaluation: This is a test for a variety of hereditary eye diseases. While these conditions typically do not develop until later in life, an early eye screening can be used to identify potential problems.
It’s important to make sure that you check with Weimardoodle breeders to see if they screen their pups for genetic problems and can provide paperwork to verify a clean bill of health.
While it won’t be possible for a Weimaraner rescue, generally it’s a great idea to meet the Weimardoodle puppy’s parents and visually check their condition.
Always ask for evidence of the health tests of the Weimardoodle puppy’s parent, and walk away if these are not forthcoming.
Is a Weimardoodle the Right Choice for You?
If you are drawn to their scruffily noble bearing, intelligence and eagerness to be part of your active family, then the Weimaraner poodle mix is a great option to consider.
Make sure that you are ready to commit yourself to a lot of training and exercise, and that you are able to have the dog with you for much of the day.
We hope the information in this article gives you a good start in deciding whether a Weimardoodle will be a fitting addition to your family.
References and Further Reading:
Beuchat, C., 2014, “The Myth of Hybrid Vigor in Dogs…Is a Myth,” Institute of Canine Biology
Farrel, L., 2015, “The Challenges of Pedigree Dog Health: Approaches to Combating Inherited Disease,” Canine Genetics and Epidemiology
OFA-CHIC Health Testing Requirements – Poodle, Orthopedic Foundation for Animals
OFA-CHIC Health Testing Requirements – Weimaraner, Orthopedic Foundation for Animals.
Otits Externa, UK Kennel Club
Pedersen, N.C., et al., 2015, “The Effect of Genetic Bottlenecks and Inbreeding on the Incidence of Two Major Autoimmune Diseases in Standard Poodles, Sebaceous Adenitis and Addison’s Disease,” Canine Genetics and Epidemiology
“Veterinarians Underuse Human Health Care Prevention Tactics,” 2005, Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association