Weimaraners are powerful, fast and alert. They are considered a large dog weighing up to 90 pounds and standing up to 27 inches. Therefore, its important to know what they are like in temperament and if they are aggressive in nature. You can’t take your chances with this traits. I decided to spend some time researching the tendencies of this breed. I will be sharing my findings here today.
So, are Weimaraners aggressive? Weimaraners are generally aggressive. They are territorial in temperament, and they can become aggressive when they sense danger. Naturally, they are very wary of strangers. However, with sufficient socialization in early life and continuing into their adult years, you can train this dog to be much more welcoming and less likely to become aggressive around people and other dogs.
Weimaraners are high-energy and high-stamina dogs that require plenty of exercise to prevent them from becoming destructive and high-strung.
You must keep up with your Weimaraner. This dog breed was bred initially to hunt all day, so, they need activities that match their naturally high energy needs.
Good exercise options for them include running, hiking, biking, fieldwork, and jogging. A couple of hours of exercise per day is advised.
Beyond this they have a high natural intelligence so they must be kept mentally stimulated throughout the day.
Weimaraners, make excellent guard dogs due to their protective natures. They are a territorial breed that have a genetic propensity to become aggressive, more so than other breeds.
As you can see, owning a Weimaraner does come with many challenges. But they can make excellent companions as long as they are trained and socialized from puppy-hood.
Otherwise, the aggressive streak of theirs can get out of control.
Let us now take a closer look and deep dive into the average Weimaraner temperament, before turning to potential causes of aggression and the best approach to preventing this behavior.
To reiterate, Weimaraners are territorial by nature – this can lead to them becoming aggressive.
These dogs are hyperactive and need lots of exercise to help them burn off all the energy they possess.
If kept indoors for too long, hyperactivity can lead to the destruction of the owner’s home. It not a desirable trait in a dog; but it does need to be effectively managed.
These dogs are suspicous of strangers and tend to exert their dominance over other breeds.
This breed is headstrong, but they are very intelligent and capable of learning to behave how they are taught; as long as the right person teaches them.
Weimaraners are predatorial towards smaller creatures like rabbits and cats, and as the owner, you must do all you can to separate your dog from these encounters.
With a stubborn streak in them also, there is no denying that you will have your work cut out to show them who is boss.
They need the right owner, and they need one who is willing to commit to spending time and supporting their dog through behavioral challenges.
However, with the right environment and upbringing, you can turn a feisty Weimaraner into an amazing and loving companion.
Are Weimaraners Vicous?
Weimaraners certainly look vicious to some people. These dogs are intimidating to behold; they have powerful, muscular physiques as they are an athletic breed; they are a large-sized dog.
The Weimaraner has a sleek coat and has eery-looking light eyes that is always on the lookout for strangers.
Looks aside, the Weimaraner has the potential to be vicious.
However, temperament and conduct can be shaped by correct raising and training.
You can avoid getting a vicious dog by adopting an adult dog from an animal shelter; that way, you can see the dog’s character first hand before deciding to take them home.
Many adult Weimaraners do not possess the negative characteristics of their younger counterparts.
If you decide to get a puppy, ensure that you get a puppy from a reputable breeder.
Unfortunately, there is no way of telling what personality your puppy is likely to inherit – it is a matter of genetics, and what the puppies parents and ancestors were like.
Along these lines its important to open up the conversation with your breeder. Try to find out what dogs in the lineage were like. If you can, visit the breeder on multiple occasions to observe the behaviors of the parents.
Ultimately, you want to ensure you are taking on a dog that does not have a natural tendency or be more prone to an aggressive and viscous nature.
Nonetheless, even a puppy that may be more inclined to this behavior will respond positively to how you raise them. You can foster a more sociable dog with a loving temperament.
What Can Make A Weimaraner Aggressive?
Several things can cause your Weimaraner to act out aggressively; unfortunately, it doesn’t take much.
These dogs are already inherently aggressive, it something that is passed down from one generation to another.
Before you attempt to stop the hostile behavior, you must get to the root of your dog’s aggression.
Canine aggression is about intent to attack or intimidate another animal or person.
Aggressive behavior includes barking, growling, snarling, snapping, biting, and stiffening of the body.
If you do see any of these bad behaviors, you must do all you can to act and to stop it; in the appropriate way.
You can also take a proactive stance; and being aware of this breed likely triggers can help you plan ahead and stop them from arising to begin with.
Let’s look at what can make a Weimaraner Aggressive:
Your Weimaraner is likely to act out aggressively if they perceive a threat from another animal or human being.
They may think the danger is directed at either them or their family. They might panic first and bark, and if the situation continues to escalate, they may act out on the fear. In their eyes, defensively.
Lack Of Socialization
It’s crucial to socialize your Weimaraner from the day you bring them home.
These dogs need to get used to seeing other people and dogs, being out in new places, and becoming familiar with different sounds.
It can be dispiriting at first to see small displays of aggression, but it will help your dog so much in becoming a happy, healthy, non-confrontational dog.
Weimaraners have lots of energy that they need to burn, or that power can turn into something negative.
While boredom can make your dog turn your house upside down, it can also make your dog hostile. They may bark and growl if they get overstimulated.
They may even result to biting you and those in your home out of sheer boredom. Or as an act to get some attention.
Sickness And Injury
Being sick or injured can make any dog breed aggressive.
If your Weimaraner is not feeling the best, they are likely to become defensive and lash out at those around him.
A dog with an injury is very likely to growl and even snap. This is their way of hiding and protecting themselves from any further harm. While it may seem over the top, its their response to supporting themselves during this time.
If you suspect that your Weimaraner is either sick or injured, you must contact your vet immediately.
How To Prevent Aggression In Weimaraners
To rule out any possibility of your Weimaraner being aggressive from sickness or injury, you must speak to your vet to determine what could be wrong.
If your dog is healthy, look into what might be causing your dog to lash out. This is perhaps the best way to come up with a solution.
You should seek advice from an expert such as a reputable trainer or dog behaviorist who can advise you on behavior modification and guide you.
As you work on helping your puppy or dog modify their behavior, you must do all you can to ensure that your Weimaraner is not able to hurt anyone.
Supervise your dog regularly and limit their exposure to people or situations that trigger their aggressive responses.
Avoid playing aggressive games like tug of war or wrestling, as these elicit aggressive behavior.
Socialization from the time your Weimaraner is a puppy is critical to curbing aggression. Socialization can work for adult dogs, too; it may just take an adult longer to learn:
Socializating A Puppy
Socialization exposes puppies to new situations and helps them to feel comfortable and safe with different situations, sights, sounds, dogs, people, and everything else.
You can socialize a puppy quite gradually and remove them if they get frightened.
Puppies don’t need treats when learning to get used to new surroundings; they simply need to go out and experience the world.
If your Weimaraner pup is a little more fearful than other dogs, they are likely to need more coaxing and treats to make the process successful.
Socializing An Adult Dog
Adult dogs need what is termed Desensitization and Counterconditioning.
Desensitization is a protocol that is used to systematically expose an adult dog to something that scares them until they are no longer scared. It is done in a safe, constructive setting and environment.
Counterconditioning takes the trigger of what scares your dog and rewards the dog with something positive like a treat. This way, they connect the trigger to something positive rather than negative.
When socializing an aggressive adult dog, its important not to try to expose them to the world as you would with a puppy. They are much larger, and potentially more dangerous.
This is why it is advised that you socialize your Weimaraner with techniques like desensitization and counterconditioning.
Identify And Prevent Triggers
You must also try to find out the specific triggers that cause your dog to get riled up and possibly lash out.
Potential triggers can include:
- People Jogging Toward You
- People Paying Sport
- People With New Clothing, such as: beards, hats and sunglasses.
However, triggers can vary between dogs and what they have been formally subjected to.
Whatever the triggers may be for your Weimaraner, you must keep track of your training to show to your dog that these things are okay.
You must not rush into exposing your dog to the things that make them angry, just try to remember the last time your dog reacted severely towards one of his triggers.
Set Up Safety Precautions
Make sure that you put safety precautions in place. These are provisional measures to keep everyone safe. You might need the following:
- Baby gates to separate your dog from the rest of the house.
- Blinds to cover the windows as things outside might set them off.
- A muzzle if your dog has snapped or bitten someone before.
- Spray shield (like this excellent product on Amazon), this is ideal on walks, it deters dogs from going near your dog.
- A harness will help you control your dog if he gets out of hand.
Consider Your Own Behavior
You might need to consider your own behavior around your dog and change anything that is causing your dog stress.
Just be sure not to pet or approach your dog if you feel that triggers them. You must exercise judgment when it comes to your dog.
Alter The Routine
You might want to walk your dog during quiet times, leave them alone when they eat, take them out for exercise more or even give them more attention.
Take Good Care
You must take care of your Weimaraner’s essential needs, making sure they are sleeping well, getting the right diet and are sufficiently mentally stimulated with toys and games.
Your dog must be proficient in obedience training before you socialize them. Therefore, its a good idea to teach them a range of commands so that you can call communicate with them and control their movement patterns better.
Review Socialization Is Working
Once you begin socializing your Weimaraner, check if the desensitization and counter-conditioning methods are working.
It is crucial that they are no longer scared or triggered by certain sights and/or events. When they do not act negatively to those things, be sure to reward them with a treat.
Get Professional Help
If you are really struggling with your dog and with behavioral issues, its probably best to seek out a professional.
They will have a number of advanced techniques and strategies that they can use with your dog. They will have likely seen it all before, across a number of breeds.
Weimaraners are, by nature, an aggressive breed. But that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It does depend on your context, and what you are looking for in a dog.
Aggression can make your dog want to protect you more, and it can make them an excellent guard dog.
Nevertheless, you do not want your Weimaraner’s aggression to get out of hand.
Socializing a Weimaraner from puppyhood can work successfully, so long as you are consistent and firm.
If you got your Weimaraner as an adult, it’s good to know that they are not a lost cause, and he can also be socialized, just in a different way to that of a puppy.
Ultimately, Weimaraners are not the breed for everyone. They do require a lot of work, energy and attention; along with plenty of exercise and training.
Otherwise, this dog is unlikely to behave in the way you would have hoped; being nervous and somewhat high-strung.
Truth be said, a Weimaraners can be quite a handful.
But they can also make a great companion; is raised and taken care of appropriately. In this way, aggression is far less likely.
I am an experienced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets, from traditional pets like dogs and cats, to the more exotic like reptiles and rodents. I currently own a Cockapoo (pictured) called Bailey. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site dedicated to sharing evidence-based insights and guidance, based on my vast pet ownership knowledge, experience, and extensive research.