A Problem Desired By Some Weim Fanciers

Note: We get an unbelievable number of requests for help from folks who didn’t get their Weimaraner from OwyheeStar. We can only offer so much advice or personal help–there are only so many hours in a given day. We try to do what we are able to do. Recently, we received this request for assistance.

I have a mixed Weimaraner pup who is now 7 months old. We have a backyard pool that she instantly took to at the age of 4 months. She swam like a champ from the start! Any time anyone goes into the backyard she instantly runs to the pool and will look back at whoever is outside with her for an approving word to jump in. The temperature where I live (Hanford, CA) has dropped making the pool not a pleasant swim ( I prefer the weather to be much warmer!) yet my pup does not seem to mind. My question to you is, is it harmful for her to swim in the winter months? Just recently the pool guy who cleans my pool, put in his net to skim the pool and my pup (Quinn) jumped right in!! She just swam back and forth the entire time he was here. Quite honestly I could not get her attention to get out!

Sincerely, Theresa


Gunner in her neoprene

Reply: (In regard to the Weimaraner) The waterfowl hunting companion retrieves in icy conditions; most wear a jacket. Gunner sports one of the popular cammo neoprene jackets. This is most important (after the swim) when they are wet. Cold temperatures, and the damp Weimaraner being required to sit–such as in the boat (or duck blind), don’t mix. The Weimaraner field companion works in zero temps, and in the summer, they hunt upland game in the extreme heat. Regardless, they need to be acclimated to the conditions. It is important to monitor their well-being. Hot or cold temperatures both require the dog need to be well hydrated. Sometimes we forget that our Weim needs water during the winter. Gulping large quantities of water during (or directly after) the extreme exertion is never advised. Later, we touch on feeding the Weimaraner during an extended hunt, or longer period of exertion.

We understand your concern about the cold weather swim. Nevertheless, non-compliance, and anything less than a solid recall are far more threatening than swimming in cold weather. Please take time to read this recent blog on what happened to another person without absolute recall–click here.)

The concrete-thinking Weimaraner that loves the water can get some of their best exercise with the water-retrieve. For the younger Weimaraner (under two-years of age) that is still growing, and has open growth plates, swimming is the ideal way to get the safe exercise completed. A tired Weim, is a good Weim. Your problem is one many Weim owners covet–some folks struggle to get their young Weimaraner into the water. Once the Weim embraces the idea, it can become a favored activity.


Salty rides on the water–no paddling for this Weim. It is a human-powered ride.

The Extended Hunt; Swimming; or the Longer Run


A Christine Anderson's Milo Right_0438

45 degrees

The extreme working condition might also call for nourishment. Supplementation should be easily digestible–such as as a high-calorie supplement (the type that comes in a tube).  Exercise and the feeding the Weimaraner adjacent (within an hour) to the exercise is not advisable. This is  due to the risk of inducing bloat–a life-threatening condition. As we mentioned early, gulping water is also best to avoid. Hydrating the working Weimaraner is important–the water should be cool, not ice water.

Temperatures tend to be subjective. Milo sports a hat and coat when temps in Texas drop to 45 degrees. People in Texas are grabbing a coat at temperatures, we Treasure Valley folks would call seasonally balmy winter weather–shirt-sleeve; no jacket required. Cool temperature swimming should not be a problem unless you were to leave your pet out in very cold temperatures. Bringing them inside (and toweling off) should take care of any issue. The fact that they are a natural swimmer is a huge plus.


B Water Ret Feb 2006_0151Cliff and Shela are proponents of getting the Weimaraner to swim. To many hunter’s chagrin, the versatile hunting Weimaraner can resist the notion of doing the water-work. A versatile hunting companion must be proficient on land (with upland game), proficient in the search, as well as  in water-retrieve. The Duck Search requires special skills.

Here is a video of Stackhouse during a VHDF (Versatile Hunting Dog Federation) Hunt Test — Special Thanks to Nick Petersen for the photography

We are pleasantly surprised at the number of our OwyheeStar Weims have taken to the water, and achieved the swim. People are finding ways to get their reluctant pups in the water. The key to success often is linked with a solid retrieve. The Weim that loves the retrieve, can be gradually worked into achieving the water retrieve. This takes some patience, and a knack for getting them to play the game. Clearly, folks are getting the idea. Keep up the great work!

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 December 9, 2014, in Information and Education, Swimming Weimaraners and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Seems that more and more Weimaraners like the water :o) I remember the wonderful video you shared once as Cliff brought the pups to her first “pool-party” , it was great to watch them:o)

    • Dear Easy

      I think a lot of what happens has to do with the human-element understanding how to make things go in the right direction. Unfortunately, once you get down the path of stubborn resistance it takes a a lot of fortitude, and a dash of miracle dust to turn things around. Believing you can do this thing; it makes a huge difference. Getting off the perfect start…….invaluable.

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