It is always an interesting and fascinating idea to learn about the different dog breeds that exist. Future dog owners should always take into account the different qualities and responsibilities that come along with the different types of breeds that are out there. Some dogs require a lot of field space and significant amounts of exercise; as opposed to those that do not need that much space and can live in small homes. Some dogs require an immense amounts of grooming, and some only an occaisional soft brush. In order to differentiate these breeds by their skills and abilities, history, needs and appearances, they are separated into groups. One of the recognized breed groups in the AKC and CKC (American Kennel Club; Canadian Kennel Club) is called the Sporting Group. Along with that, I would also like to share with my readers which one out of the 36 sporting breeds is my personal favorite.
“Sport” comes from the oldest meaning in history for “hunting” as an entertainment for the nobility and elite classes. To assist in the hunting of birds and small furry game, various “sporting” breeds have been developed such as today’s setters, pointers, retrievers, and spaniels. Because these breeds are developed as bird breeds with energetic hunting abilities in water and field settings, regular and invigorative exercise is very important. Their naturally active and alert character makes them likeable and outstanding companions. Many sporting breeds are able to locate their prey by smell, and are able to carry their prey gently in their mouths. The setters and pointers locate the game by setting and direct the hunter to where it is. The retrievers simply retrieve their prey after it has been shot, and the spaniels “flush” the prey from their hiding place by rushing up to them. Despite of all these different skills and techniques, my ultimate favorite sporting dog is the Weimaraner
As a HPR (Hunter, Pointer, Retriever) breed, the Weimaraner was originated in Germany in the 1800’s. Originated from the Bloodhound, Red Schweisshund and other early pointing breeds, he was produced in an effort to create the ideal gundog that can hunt game of all sizes, including those such as the deer and bear. This effort was supported by the court of Weimer, where the name originates. He was originally bred as a large game dog, but when big game hunting lessened in Germany, the breed was used for various game birds and as water retrievers. As an outstanding breed, his progress was strictly overseen by the German Weimaraner Club (GMC). Dogs couldn’t be sold to nonmembers, and membership was hard to obtain. But, dogs from unapproved breedings could not be registered, and poor specimens had to be euthanized. In 1929, the Weimaraner left his native land for the first time by the help of an American who gained entry to the GMC. He was allowed to take back two dogs to America. Early American Weimaraners performed extraordinarily in obedience competitions where enthusiasts became more attracted to the breed. They discovered its great worth as a hunting companion. In 1943, the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized the breed for its beauty and versatility as a personal gundog, pet and competition dog.
Having a highly unusual coat color for a dog, the Weimaraner is nicknamed the “Grey Ghost”, though the grey can be slightly mouse grey rather than the silver-grey that experts crave. There are two varieties of coat, the most popular being short, smooth and sleek, and the other sports a longer coat which is not recognized by the AKC. In the more unusual coat, he is no problem to groom. Instead, it is a more a matter of polishing. His most outstanding feature is his eyes, which can either be amber or blue in color. With excitement, his eyes may turn black. Being one of the tallest sporting dogs, he is a medium/large size dog standing between 22-27 inches and weighing between 55-90 lbs. He is built to hunt with great speed and endurance and combines grace, stamina, raciness, and an alert demeanor. He has aristocratic features with a kind expression. He has high-set ears that are slightly folded. With a long muzzle and skull, he also has neat lips with delicate flews, and a grey nose. His forelegs are straight and strong with webbed feet and a deep chest with well-sprung ribs and powerful shoulders. Their tails are docked at 6 inches if they are working dogs, but left natural if they are long-haired or companion dogs.
The Weimaraner is fearless, friendly, protective, obedient, and alert. With a very active mind, he does need a lot of exercise. He functions best with an active owner who enjoys outdoor activities and wants a fun-loving companion. He offers a friendly attitude to people, but will act as an impressive guard if his home or his family is threatened. Even though he comes from a breed group that appears generally placid, he can have a behavior which is not easy-going. He is bold and rambunctious, and may sometimes be too much for small children. As a hunter and companion, he can also be a reliable worker. Raising a Weineraner with small pets is encouraged in order to prevent his hunting instincts from getting out of hand.
The Weimaraner has a life expectancy of 10-13 years. Although, every dog owner has the full responsibility of making sure that their pet is in good health, every pure breed dog has the risk in developing a genetic disability or illness. The suggested tests that owners should take into account for the Weimaraner are for his hips, eyes, and blood. They can also suffer from autoimmune effects. It is ideal to avoid combining vaccines at once. One major health concern for this breed is gastric torsion, also known as bloat. Other concerns are the following:
Sporting dogs are right for you if you enjoy taking walks in the park, hiking, taking a swim or hunt. They are also perfect for you if you are always active and have the time, space, and make the effort in meeting their requirements and needs. What is your favorite sporting dog breed?