General info, Health

How Can I Tell If My Weimaraner Is Purebred?


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Unless you know your pup’s breeder and the dog’s ancestral history, there is no other way to tell if your Weimaraner is purebred. You can’t identify a purebred dog just by looking at them.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word “purebred” as “bred from members of a recognized breed, strain, or kind without admixture of other blood over many generations”. The first recorded use of the word “purebred” was in 1839.

Purebred vs Pedigree

These terms are often used interchangably but have a slightly different meaning. Purebred dogs means that their parents were of the same breed as the puppy.

On the other hand, pedigree means that the dog has a recorded history of their lineage – all parents, grandparents and great-grandparents were registered with a recognized Kennel Club. Dogs with a pedigree are (or should be) purebred.

Registration with AKC or the UK Kennel Club doesn’t mean that the dog is better than one without a pedigree. It just simply means that you can trace back your dog’s ancestors.

Is My Weimaraner Purebred?

There’s no way to tell if your Weimaraner is purebred just by looking at them. You can’t also judge a dog based on the way they conform to the AKC (or FCI) standards. Some dogs, which are 100% purebred, might have certain faults that might have developed before birth. As such, they might have disqualifying traits.

At the same time, a dog may not be purebred and look like the breed standard. Even if you think your dog is part Weimaraner, that might not be the case. Some traits can be inherited from other breeds and create a similar looking dog. Genetics is amazing!

You will need to either know their complete history dating several generations back or conduct a DNA test, but there are caveats to the latter.

How Can I Tell Is My Weimaraner Is Purebred?

DNA Testing

Thanks to the technology boom, DNA tests for pets are now widely more accessible than in the past. However, DNA tests don’t validate whether your dog is a purebred Weimaraner. Their genetic profile is compared to the genetics of documented purebred Weimaraners and how closely the two match.

As such, DNA tests can’t be used as a proof that your Weimaraner is purebred. Even if your dog turns out to be a 100% Weimaraner 3 generations back, the results are not a basis for accepting a registration into a kennel club (both UK and USA).

DNA tests are great if you’re not sure what breeds make up your dog (if you rescued one, for example). It can tell you a lot about their characteristic traits and why your dog behaves the way they do.

There are several pet DNA testing kits at home:

Most DNA tests cost between $60 – $200, depending on the type of test you want. You can choose only a breed identification testing kit or a full genetic workup including health. No home DNA test kit is 100% accurate, some are more accurate than others but always take the results with a grain of salt.

DNA tests done by a vet (if you’re a breeder) should be used as a way to avoid any inherited diseases or carriers of certain faulty genes.

Ancestral History

If you rescued a Weimaraner, it will be very hard (or near impossible) to find their relatives, especially if you don’t know the previous owner or the breeder. It’s also possible that the rescued Weim is from a puppy mill.

Puppy mills only exist for profit and the “breeders” that run a puppy mill don’t care about health of the parents and most of the time the dogs live in awful conditions. In most cases puppy mill dogs won’t have any recorded history and no registration in a kennel club.

If you are purchasing a puppy from a breeder, you should 100% ask for parent and litter health records and proof of pedigree (proper AKC registration for the US). However, as I mentioned above, having a dog registered in the AKC doesn’t mean it’s healthy or better “quality”.

Visit the breeder, see where the puppies will grow up, see the parents and their overall health. Ask questions. If a breeder denies you access to these things, do NOT buy a puppy from them.

Also never buy a dog from a pet store, those pups are usually from the above mentioned puppy mills.

blue weimaraner
Blue Weimaraner

Can a Purebred Weimaraner Be Without Papers/Pedigree?

Yes, it’s not compulsory to register in a Kennel Club. However, there are some benefits in getting your dog(s) registered with the AKC. Your dog will be able to participate in AKC events, such as field trials, obedience, dog shows and more.

Registering your Weimaraner puppy as a new owner costs $33 at the date of posting. The registration fees are used to fund medical research, kennel inspections, public education and much more.

Can Blue Weimaraners Be Purebred?

Blue Weimaraners are not considered as purebred by the AKC and in other countries. You can read more about blue Weimaraners in this post.

Are Long Haired Weimaraners Purebred?

The AKC doesn’t recognize the long haired variant of the Weimaraner and so any long hair is considered a disqualifying fault. The FCI and the UK Kennel Club recognize the long haired Weimaraner as a standard.

FCI considers purebred Weimaraners as dogs with three purebred generations (parents, grandparents, great-grandparents).

The long-haired gene is recessive and even short-haired Weims can have both long and short-haired puppies if they are a carrier of the gene.

I could not find any official stance by the AKC but I think long-haired Weimaraners are considered purebred, although the long coat itself is a disqualifying fault.

I wrote a bit more about long-haired Weimaraners here.

long-haired weimaraner
Long-haired Weimaraner

Why Should I Get A Purebred Weimaraner?

First of all, I can’t tell you what to do, that decision is yours and yours only. If you chose to adopt a Weimaraner from a local rescue regardless of their purebred status, that’s amazing!

But what do you do if you plan on buying a puppy? As I mentioned above, getting a Weim from a reputable breeder is a paramount decision.

  1. Responsible breeders make sure that their puppies’ parents are healthy and don’t have illnesses or genes they could pass on. Having a purebred Weim is to make sure they will look a certain way and have a predictable temperament.

    Visiting the breeder and seeing how the parents behave, what their temperament is and how they look is a good indication that this is what your puppy will be like.

  2. Knowing your dog’s ancestral health issues is also a bonus – if a parent had bloat and gastric torsion (GDV), there’s more chance your pup could suffer from it as well. You can also find certain drug allegies that run in the lineage.

  3. A responsible and reputable breeder will take your dog back if you find yourself in a difficult life situation. Make sure this clause is in the contract when you get your puppy.

  4. Another advantage of purebred Weimaraners from reputable breeders is that they grew up with their mom and their littermates with caring owners. They were not abandoned or abused in a puppy mill.

  5. At last, but certainly not at least, a purebred lineage of your dog will have traits that characterize the breed. In case of Weimaraners, it’s their love for work, whether it’s hunting, agility, obedience, search and rescue and more!

To sum it up, here are the advantages of getting a purebred Weimaraner puppy:

  • predictable temperament and behavior
  • predictable appearance
  • predictable health
  • can be returned to the breeder at any point
  • puppies grew up in a loving, caring family, not a puppy mill
  • they are great at what they were originally bred for
Nelly weimaraner puppy
Nelly as a puppy

Are There Any Disadvantages Of Purebred Weimaraners?

Weimaraners are generally a pretty healthy breed but there are conditions which should not be present when breeding (hereditary epilepsy, eye disorders – entropion, ectropion)

Some breeders resort to inbreeding, which could cause birth defects and decline in health over time but if you are buying a puppy from a reputable and responsible breeder, this shouldn’t be an issue.

The price of purebred Weimaraners is one of the major disadvantages. A purebred Weimaraner puppy can go anywhere from between $800 to $2,500, depending on your location and their lineage. If it’s a puppy of world champions, it’s likely that the price will reflect that.

Conclusion

Without knowing your dog’s family’s history and the breeder they came from, it’s hard to tell whether your Weimaraner is purebred. You can’t determine this simply by looking at them.

If you’re getting a new puppy, it’s always best to get a purebred puppy from a responsible and reputable breeder.

References:

  • Dog DNA Testing Market Grows As Vendors Target Consumers, Breeders, Vets (2017). GenomeWeb (link)
  • Breeding regulations – Fédération Cynologique Internationale (link)
  • Why Register Your Purebred Dog with the AKC (link)


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