I read your article with a great deal of interest. It confirmed what I have suspected for many years. There are differences between American bred and European bred Weimaraners.
I was lucky enough to get my first Weimaraner 13 years ago from a family near my home in Florida. It was the best day of my life. I named him Clyde and I estimated his age at approximately 1-year-old. That day began 13 years of joy and happiness and a lifelong bond between myself and Clyde.
He was large, muscular, and had long legs even at a year old. I discovered he had a strong hunting instinct. He was an excellent and fearless guard dog and once ran a drug-crazed intruder out of my (his) backyard the first year I had him. I am not a hunter but I knew the requirements of the breed: lots of exercise, attention, and love.
He practiced his hunting instincts on anything around my house (lizards, bugs, birds, and opossums) and anything that moved during our off-leash walks (rabbits, cats, and rats).
He was a robust, large, and loving dog weighing low to mid 90 pounds. As able as he was, he was also the most non-aggressive and docile dog I’ve ever owned. I did my very best to keep him happy and make his life complete. He did not have much opportunity to hone his hunting skills.
I do not regret that. He became my loving companion. I was proud to be his dad.
I live in southwest Florida and there are a large population of German people that visit, vacation, and live here. As Clyde was larger than AKC standards I suspect he may have had European lineage. Nothing more than circumstantial evidence. I was not able to get any information from his original owners.
I should also mention that I got a female Weimaraner companion for Clyde after a couple of years: an AKC Weimaraner from a “backyard breeder” that I bought sight unseen and without seeing her parents.
I love her dearly but she does not possess the physical or mental qualities that Clyde did. No hunting instinct, no guard dog instinct, not fearless, and not very athletic. She also was quite smaller than Clyde. But I still love Chloe, she was part of our pack. She is 9 years old now.
Fast forward 13 years and I have lost Clyde, the love of my life and he can never be replaced. In spite of that, I am still looking to fill the void with a new Weimaraner. I have spent countless hours searching and scouring breeders across the US. They are quick to show pictures of puppies, quick to demonstrate AKC quality standards.
Everyone loves puppies and so do I but parents, sires, and dams, and lineage are what matter when it comes to how a Weimaraner will grow. I am not a rich man but neither am I a person in need.
Flying to Europe to purchase a Weimaraner is not a practical consideration for me. But just as impossible is trying to find a Weimaraner in the US with those unique European qualities that make them so beautiful, big, and strong. This week I traveled to see an AKC breeder of “Champion” Weimaraners.
As I drove up to her house she was out front walking her dam. I didn’t know what to think when I saw them. Her Weimaraner was small and looked like a 1-year-old. It was nicely proportioned but petite by any standard; a show dog. This is not what I want.
You have expressed and validated what I have suspected for years, that there is a difference between what Weimaraners have become in America and what Weimaraners are in Europe.
I wish you luck in all your future endeavors as I hope you wish me luck in mine: to somehow find a big, beautiful, strong, fearless Weimaraner, true to the European breed.
Best Wishes Always,
Cape Coral, Florida