Weimaraners are currently the 44th most popular dog breed in the United States on the American Kennel Club’s breed popularity ranking, and it isn’t hard to see why these dogs are so loved. In addition to being strikingly beautiful, well-socialized Weimaraners make fantastic family dogs that get along well with both children and adults. Let’s explore this more.
The Weimaraner Temperament
Before we get stuck in, it’s important to note that not every Weimaraner is the same. We can ascribe certain traits to different dog breeds based on generalizations, but every dog’s personality is different. You can only find out a dog’s personality traits by getting to know them. Socialization, environment, and the dog’s background also play a role in shaping personality.
In general, Weimaraners are known for being very friendly, loyal, energetic, intelligent, tireless, and loving toward family members. These dogs typically need up to 2 hours of exercise per day (again, this may vary by dog) due to their seemingly never-ending supply of energy but, also, many aren’t too proud to hop up on the couch for a big cuddle when you get home.
Are Weimaraners Good Family Dogs?
If you’re willing to commit to properly socializing and training your Weimaraner, they’re very likely to grow up to be an excellent family dog that loves to play with kids. By socializing your Weimaraner with children, other people, and any other pets you have at home from a young age, you’ll give them the confidence to feel secure and happy in a variety of situations.
Failing to socialize or train your Weimaraner—or, indeed, any dog of any breed—makes them less likely to become an ideal family dog. Even if they’re really sweet by nature, an untrained dog could cause some serious mayhem around your home and when out and about.
If you’re thinking of adopting a Weimaraner that’s an adult, don’t let the fact that they aren’t a puppy put you off. Discuss things with the rescue organization to see if the Weimaraner could be a good fit for your family with children based on the dog’s history and personality. Some may have had positive experiences with children in the past and would make a wonderful companion for them in a new, loving home.
How to Socialize a Weimaraner with Kids
When it comes to socialization, the earlier the better. You can start training and socializing your Weimaraner as soon as you bring them home. Here are some top tips:
If you have kids at home, supervise interactions to ensure that your Weimaraner is treated respectfully. It’s crucial that the Weimaraner builds a bond of trust with the children of the family, and little kids may not understand boundaries yet and be rough with the dog, which is why it’s important to be on hand to make sure everyone is getting along nicely.
Encourage Positive Interactions
Encourage children to respect the Weimaraner by always being gentle, whether that’s playing with or touching the dog, and praise and reward the puppy when they behave nicely with the children. This helps build positive associations around spending time with children.
If your Weimaraner is nervous around children, ensure that they interact only from a distance at first, like from across the room with their harness on. Gradually build your dog’s confidence by offering treats when the children are around and move closer to them bit by bit to prevent overwhelming the dog.
Involve the Children
A good way to build that all-important bond is to involve your children in the Weimaraner’s training and socialization if they’re old enough to do so. Teach basic commands like “sit” and “come” together and show your kids how to reward the dog for good behavior. Involving kids in the dog’s socialization also gives them a sense of responsibility.
Get the Basics Down
The key to keeping your dog and others safe in any situation is not only socialization, but also ensuring your dog can follow some basic commands like “sit”, “stay”, “come”, “heel”, and “leave it”. These give you more control in a variety of situations, both at home and outside.
Get Your Weimaraner Out & About
Getting your dog socialized with other people and dogs is fundamental to building their confidence in a variety of situations. It’s not enough for them to simply be good with family members—they need to be exposed to strangers, too, so they don’t become fearful or overly suspicious of new people and dogs.
You can do this by introducing your Weimaraner to a variety of people (both adults and sensible children), for example, other dogs and dog parents out on walks, family, or friends that have or like dogs.
Keep interactions positive and maintain a calm demeanor at all times to show your dog there’s nothing to fear. Encourage new friends to reward and praise your Weimaraner when they interact with them to build up more positive associations.
Are Weimaraners Good for First-Time Dog Parents?
Weimaraners are not the easiest dogs for beginners due to their high energy levels and, though they learn very quickly, their high intelligence can make them a bit of a handful for inexperienced owners. However, if you’re a first-timer that’s strongly committed to training and socializing your Weimaraner well, it could be a good fit.
Do Weimaraners Like to Cuddle?
Some do, and some don’t. Being very affectionate is a well-known Weimaraner breed trait, but every dog is an individual, so it really depends on their personality.
Are Weimaraners Aggressive?
No, not if you socialize them properly and treat them kindly. Any dog, regardless of breed, can become aggressive if provoked, fearful, or protecting territory and resources. For example, some dogs may become aggressive because another animal is hovering too close to their food bowl.
If you’re sensible and keep an eye out for potential risks in addition to socializing your Weimaraner and teaching any kids at home to treat the dog with respect, there shouldn’t be a problem with aggression.
In short, if a Weimaraner has positive experiences with children and is properly trained and socialized with both the family children and a variety of other people, there’s no reason why they wouldn’t be great with kids. The most important thing is to build a relationship between the Weimaraner and the children based on mutual respect.
Featured Image Credit: Dmitry Veryovkin, Shutterstock