Shedding and the Weimaraner

581915_10201077028348895_449730690_nThe honest truth…

All dogs shed. Many people are drawn to the Weimaraner because of their sleek coat. The smooth coats have eyelash-length hair. A lot of people who have been living with the Labrador (which is ranked as the most popular breed in America) arrive at the notion of getting a Weim in order to escape the barrage of hair. The Labrador leaves hair on your clothing, furniture, and everywhere they go. All dogs do, but the Lab leaves copious amounts of hair according to owner reports. Brushing and a good diet will go a long way to limiting the amount, but you cannot escape it. Plus, they have an oily residue that they leave on fabric, carpet, and the wall (they lean against).

The Photoperiod Factor

Photoperiod–the duration that a plant or animal is exposed to light during a twenty-four hour period.

We learned about light in our science classes. We know it affects plant growth. Light also has a dramatic effect on animals; it is the main contributing factor in the shedding process. How often have we heard someone remark on the kind of winter we are going to have, basing their comment on the fact that animal coats are heavier than usual this year? We talk as if weather patterns are the cause of coat density, but in truth, coat density and shedding is directly related to light exposure (or more specifically the photoperiod). Season changes bring longer days in the summer; short days happen during the winter. As winter comes, and the daily dose of light begins to wane; the summer coat is expelled. It is then when your pet grows a thicker winter coat. There is a direct correlation between light and shedding.

I don’t need a bath!

The Weimaraner needs very little grooming

It is true this coat-change-cycle is hardly noticeable in the Weimaraner, but the cycle does occur. You will never get away from hair loss if you have hair-producing living creatures (humans or pets) in your household. That being said, the Weimaraner is easy to groom, and you do not find hair on your clothing, furniture, and such. When the Weimaraner gets wet, they are dry fairly quickly. Depending upon your personal neatness factor, even a muddy Weimaraner will dry and brush clean. If hair is a problem, then you might want to opt for fish or birds. Then again, they have their set of issues too! Pets inconvenience us. The trouble they cause is small when you consider what they add to our lives.  The reward of their unconditional love outweighs all we do for them.

Frequency of grooming will depend upon several factors….

  1. Your neatness factor is the primary consideration affecting the grooming schedule.
  2. Your lifestyle. If you live where there is mud, and certain dry weeds that can get caught in a short coat, you will need to brush them more often.
  3. If you hunt where there are ticks, they need a good brushing and check after each trip out to the field.
  4. Rolling in muck calls for a bath.
Hope you are not posting our secrets...

I am not getting in the muck, promise….

Brushing the Weimaraner

We suggest brushing once a month (at least), a quick weekly brushing would remove almost all the loose hair. The Furminator is an amazing tool. Click here to read more about it, and to purchase one! The Longhair Weimaraner should be groomed twice a month (minimum), and in truth, the shedding is insignificant in light of other breeds. The longer hair exceeds the eyelash-length hair that covers their body.

Cliff and Stackhouse First NAVHDA © 2011-2012

Cliff and Stackhouse First NAVHDA © 2011-2012

Yes, there is more grooming with the longhair; however, it is easily kept in check with a little grooming. (Unless your little gem rolls in muck, and is attacked to every stink-pile in the county.) Again, if you are an excessive neat-freak, a dog of any kind is probably a stretch.

Bathing the Weimaraner

Excessive bathing is not conducive to skin health. Bath no more often than necessary. Use a gentle shampoo. A light conditioner on their skin, coat, and pads is a plus. You do not want a heavy conditioner, but a light one can help prevent problems. We light to apply this directly after the bath while they are still damp, and work over their body. Swimming counts as a kind of bath. It is important to remember that the Weimaraner doesn’t have the oil secretions you find on the Labrador (and many other breeds). Over bathing can dry their skin, and deplete the coat of nutrients it needs to shine.

Using a Dog Groomer

If you rely on someone else to bath, brush, and trim your Weim’s nails, be sure to request gentle products. Many Weimaraners do not tolerate natural ingredients, such as Tree Tea Oil, Eucalyptus, and Jojoba oil. Natural doesn’t mean it won’t irritate, or deplete important natural-occurring moisture. The Weimaraner is prone to allergies, and these natural additives are potential problems.

Our suggestion

Keep the grooming to a minimum. Try using waterless bath spray, but check the ingredients. If you cannot manage to do these things yourself, enlist a groomer’s help. Grooming battles are best avoided. Yes, it is smart to have a relationship with your Weimaraner in which they respect your wishes. Nevertheless, not every Weimlover is equal in their ability to handle these tasks. Focus on the fun stuff, and master the lead. Respect in these is more important than being able to handle the bath, nail trim, and brushing. Even if you cannot handle the bath and nail trim, you might be able to manage the brushing. This can go a long way toward keeping them cleaner. Brushing usually will eliminate all visible hair in and around the house. This is what attracts a lot of folks to the Weimaraner; however, once hooked on the breed, it not what keeps the Weimlover loyal.

About OwyheeStar

We are Professional Weimaraner breeders--with forty years experience at raising puppies. For many years, we have focused exclusively on the Weimaraner! If you are considering the Weimaraner, or live with one, we welcome you to sign up to our blog. We sincerely hope you will find the information, the stories, and varied posts insightful (as well as entertaining). To those who live with an OwyheeStar Weimaraner, we send special thanks. We appreciate the photos, the news, and your friendship. Thank you for being a part of the extended OwyheeStar family.

Posted on July 1, 2013, in Grooming, Information and Education, The Weimaraner and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. My Weimy’s hair is so thin that you can see her scalp. The scruff of her neck is really thick but that’s it. She cleans herself so much that I wonder if she is pulling her own hair out. She’s just like a cat. Do you have hair issues with any of your dogs? I’m trying to get ideas. Thanks.

  2. We have heard that some Weims have very sparse hair. Ours do not. They have a nice coat. I would suggest you get a blood work up, and have them check her thyroid. That runs in the breed, and often shows up first as thinning hair. Other than that, I am guessing it is the luck of the draw. Good luck!

  3. In the future, I ask that you email rather than use a public forum. I honestly do not have enough time to get a discussion going. I field everything of significance via email. Thank you for understanding. :O)

  4. Thanks for this post – now I have an expert opinion: I don’t need a bath! The vernacular says that when you lose an eyelash, you should blow it away while making a wish. All my hairs are like eyelashes, so I think I can make a lot of wishes now :o) We always use a grooming mitten, after some smooth strokes I’m shiny like a new coin :o)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: