Weimaraners make good bird hunting dogs. In addition, despite their large size, Weinheimers serve well as duck hunting dogs and small game dogs.
The AKC (American Kennel Club) recognized the Weimaraner in the Sporting Group category, in 1943. Sporting Group dogs are well-rounded companions who are remarkable for their skills in both water and the woods. They are hunting dogs.
Bird hunting dogs do require training. While some skills are inborn and bred into the breed, others need to be taught. And the truth is that some Weimaraner dogs have personalities that are better suited to this task than others.
So what should you expect from your Weimaraner puppy? You can expect your dog to be quick to learn hunting skills like tracking, guarding and, of course, hunting.
In addition, Weimaraners are also skilled at retrieving and pointing, making them well suited to be duck hunting dogs.
These hunting traits are inbred, coming from historical German aristocratic dog breeding, that emphasized hunting skills for hunting large game, like bears, wild boars and deer.
Duck and Bird Hunting Dog Traits
Are you thinking about getting a Weimaraner? If you are considering a Weimaraner that will be used for bird or duck hunting, consider these traits that make a dog good for hunting birds and ducks:
- Seek a steady paced dog with a hardy constitution
- Protective instinct
- Bird dogs should consistently retrieve small game both in the field and in water
- Your dog should use thorough search patterns
- Keen sniffing skills
- Intelligent, determined dogs make good bird hunting dogs because they learn to solve problems and overcome obstacles
- Dominant personality. Submissive dogs do not problem solve well.
- Obedience is a must to insure the dog’s safety in open spaces.
Hunting dogs that have the above attributes, perform well in open spaces, working as your partner in the hunt–but never forgetting that you are the lead dog.
Overall, the Weimaraner dog breed does fit this description. However, remember that each dog is unique. It takes time to learn your puppy’s strongest skills and strengths–and train him for each hunting task.
Weimaraner Bird Hunting Dogs – Drawbacks?
While the Weimaraner breed is very intelligent, they can be headstrong. And they are very sensitive dogs.
That means that you will need to use tough love tactics, in the form of patient, firm, yet sensitive training when field training these bird hunting dogs.
Weimaraners are also pack animals. And they will readily follow the Leader of the Pack. You need to establish that you are the Leader!
When you develop a close relationship or partnership with your dog, it becomes easier to train your dog to be a talented bird hunting dog.
Versatile Hunting Dogs
Hunters value a Weim’s versatility. In Germany, there is actually an organization called the German Versatile Hunting Dog Association. It sets standards for measuring each pure breed German dog.
Other breeds that fit the dynamics for duck hunting, pointing, retrieving and other small game hunts include the Vizsla, Brittany, German Wirehaired Pointer and the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon.
By comparison other breeds like Gordon setters focus on pointing birds. Labradors retrieve birds, and various hounds track small game.
Over the years, breeders have bred hunting skills selectively into each breed, for the various kinds of hunting that they are used for.
Weimaraners as Bird Hunting Dogs
The Weimaraner breed works best when short range hunting. A Weinheimer will seek out a duck with tenacity, and can easily retrieve birds in the water.
This is actually quite remarkable, when you consider the size of the typical Weimaraner—and that most small game is small, weighing only five pounds.
Additionally, bird hunting dogs need to find their game in trees and small bushes, a difficult task, at best for a large dog.
Every hunter has preferences, of course. The selection of the right hunting dog is akin to having the right gun. Take your time and chose a dog that represents your hunting methods.
As bird hunting dogs, the Weimaraner hunting dog typically performs well, particularly if the dog perceives the activity as a fun shared event with his or her Pack Leader.
If you are training your puppy for small game or bird hunting, a popular book with good instructions is Game Dog: The Hunter’s Retriever for Upland Birds and Waterfowl.