As with most of the dogs in the sporting group, the modern Weimaraner may not be used as a hunting dog in most situations, rather they have become a cherished pet and companion. However, like the other breeds in the group they still maintain their hunting instincts and abilities, as well as their original strong bodies and very energetic temperament.
Overall the show bred Weimaraner will exhibit all the traits of the field lines. They are to have the appearance of a very energetic and fast moving breed that can travel endlessly in search of game, plus they are able to track and retrieve. This combination is considered to be a versatile hunting dog, and the lively Weimaraner is really up to the task. They are used for both animal and bird hunting and are strong swimmers, making them very capable of water retrieval.
This breed, which was originally create to hunt large game up to and including wolves, bears and deer, later transitioned into a game bird hunting dog. This occurred largely due to a shortage of wild game in Germany, however the transition to a bird dog did not change the characteristics, physical description or temperament of this outstanding breed.
The following is a brief description of the American Kennel Club breed standards for the Weimaraner. Most other Kennel or breed clubs use very similar standards, allowing American bred Weimaraners to compete very effectively in international show events. Weimaraners used in field trials do not have to conform to these same breed standards, but many Weimaraners are shown in both show and field events, a true tribute to the breed.
The head of the Weimaraner is longer and narrow, yet also elegant and refined in appearance. The stop is moderate and noticeable and there is line or crease that extends from the stop to the back of the forehead, down the center of the head. The occipital bone is prominent, as are the eye sockets, forming a very definite profile to the head. The eyes themselves are moderate in size, round in shape and set slightly wide apart. They can come in a variety of colors from amber to gray or even a blue-gray.
The ears of the Weimaraner are lobular in shape and long, extending to about two inches from the end of the muzzle if extended. They are positioned high on the skull and to the side, extending out from the head at the lower edge rather then staying completely flat to the sides. The leather on the ears is thin. And is often the same slightly lighter color as the head when compared to the rest of the body.
The muzzle is rectangular in shape when viewed from the side and the upper and lower jaws meet in a scissors bite. All teeth should be present for show quality Weimaraners and missing teeth are faulted. The nose is gray in color and the inside of the mouth, lips, gums and the tongue are pink.
The neck of the Weimaraner is long and graceful, often carried with a slight arch but straight up from the shoulders. The throat blends into the chest without any bulkiness and the chest itself is moderately deep and wide, in balance with the rest of the dog. The ribs are well sprung and the dog should have a somewhat tucked up abdomen, adding to the appearance of speed, strength and endurance.
The topline or back of the Weimaraner slopes from the withers or shoulders to the croup slightly, providing a very flowing line. The hind quarters are strong and muscular, with angulated stifles and straight hocks. This gives the dog the ability to jump, run and leap large distances, driving forward on powerful hind legs. The front legs, like the hindquarters, are placed well to the outside of the body. The elbows are close to the ribs, not extended outwards, giving the dog a lengthy forward stride.
The front and back feet are smaller, compact and rounded, with thick pads and significant webbing. The nails on the feet are gray colored to an amber color and should be kept very short. Dewclaws are removed for most show or field Weimaraners are they can be prominent and result in injury if not removed. For show dogs in the United States the tail has to be docked, no longer than 6 inches from the base. The tail is moderately thin and should not be thick or heavy. The tail is carried high, not down, and it should be covered with the same short, sleek hair as the rest of the body.
The coat of the Weimaraner is very short and close to the body, not fluffy or wiry in appearance. The only acceptable color is gray, however different shades are allowed provided the coat is not distinctly blue or black. There is a variation that has a slight tan on the legs and face, similar to the markings seen on the Rottweiler or Doberman breeds. This is considered a disqualification in the show ring, however these dogs, as well as the blue colored Weimaraners, are still used in hunting events. Some Weimaraners may have a very slight amount of white on the chest, however other areas of white on the dog will result in a fault and penalty. In the American Kennel Club any long coats are disqualifications, however other clubs do accept the long haired variety of the breed, which is considered to be a recessive genetic trait. In areas where the long haired Weimaraner is registered, the tail is not docked but left natural and the long coat is silky and slightly wavy.
The height of the show Weimaraner is also important, with males to be between 25 and 27 inches and females between 23 and 25 inches at the highest point of the shoulder. Males are to look decidedly masculine and females should be feminine in appearance. In temperament they should be welcoming and outgoing, with timid, shy or nervous dogs considered to have very serious faults. In addition any dogs that have any deviation from the accepted breed standards with regards to physical appearance, coat type or color will all be heavily faulted if not disqualified.