Weimaraners make phenomenal hunting companions. Originally bred for the purpose of assisting their human owners in hunting both large and small game, this breed excels on the field and in the woods. The Weimaraner has an impeccable sense of smell and a natural urge to track and hunt, thus making an ideal hunting dog for any hunting enthusiast. Weimaraners are used around the world as champion hunting companions, as they are an intelligent and skilled breed capable of learning and diligently executing the most subtle of commands.
Most hunting dogs excel in one particular area of hunting. Hounds are used for tracking, whether it is by scent or sight or both. Smaller dogs (sometimes known as “ratters”) are used to flush game out of burrows and brush. Larger breeds are used as pointers and retrievers. One of the most amazing aspects of the Weimaraner as a hunter is that it can and will perform all of these tasks – and exceptionally well, at that! Despite the fact that Weimaraners make excellent tracking and flushing dogs as well, they were originally bred to point and retrieve, but this has not stopped them from excelling in other areas of hunting as well.
Weimaraners are a very intelligent breed. Not only are they eager to please their owners on the hunt, they also enjoy it all on their own. The Weimaraner is a very natural hunter and, much like its human counterparts, goes on the hunt for the exhilaration of it! Your Weimaraner will be happy to follow your every command in the field, helping you track, discover, kill, and retrieve whichever game you choose to hunt. This intelligent breed makes a good first-time hunting companion for hunter/owners who are not experienced with canine assistance because the Weimaraner’s natural instincts combined with careful training are an instant asset in the field.
The American Kennel Club and most Weimaraner clubs will offer training seminars for hunters and their dogs who are new to the activity. The AKC also offers hunting, retrieving, and obedience trials, the training for which is invaluable once you are actually working in the field with your pup. Many of these trials are non-competitive, instead measuring the efficiency with which your dog performs various tasks instead of pitting him or her against other dog-and-owner teams for a place. The detailed judging in these trials will help you discern what areas you and your dog will need to work on in order to advance training and become more efficient working together on the hunt. Plus, it is a wonderful way to spend time with your dog and solidify both of your skills, commands, and communication.
The most important aspect in training a Weimaraner as a hunting dog is to start as early in life as possible. Going over basic tracking and retrieving exercises when your Weimaraner is still a puppy is a good start. The younger you are able to being working with your dog in the field, the better. Training an adult Weimaraner (or any adult dog, for that matter) to assist on the hunt can be difficult. Old habits are hard to break, and many dogs who do not develop around the hunting environment can become too easily distracted on the field. Many will be gunshy, as well. The early training process can be slow, as puppies have a far shorter attention span in youth as they will in adult life, but beginning at an early age will make your job a lot easier and your hunts a lot more enjoyable in the future.