Weimaraner vs Silver Lab: Similarities and Differences

This Weimaraner vs Silver Lab blog post isn’t a material that showcases a dog breed that is more superior to the other. This is simply written to provide an outline of the two breed’s similarities and differences in key areas as these dogs are truly two of the most famous hunting-turn into-companion dogs out there.

What does each dog breed look like in the first place? Where did they come from? How big do they get? What are their coat’s color? What are their overall mood for most of the time? Are they a healthy breed of their own? How do you take care of each dog breed? What are the appropriate foods for such breeds? How much exercise do they need to maintain their overall health? What about their behavior with children? How are they with other pets?

These are some of the basic questions that you are definitely asking if you are considering getting a Weimaraner, a Silver Lab, or just any dog for that matter. Moreover, asking such questions already proves one thing: you are certainly a responsible pet owner. Obviously, you are trying to research first on the dog breeds that you have an eye on which is, indeed, the best first step to take. So good job on that part! This blog post contains all the necessary information about the similarities and differences of the Weimaraner and the Silver Lab as well as some fun trivia about these dog breeds. So make sure to stick around.

Weimaraner Standing - Free photo on Pixabay
File:Silver Labrador Retriever Cooper.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
Silver Labrador

Weimaraner vs Silver Lab: Appearance

 A Weimaraner is certainly a dog with aristocratic features. For starters, its head is moderately long with a slight median line extending back over its forehead. Also, its neck is clean-cut and its eyes of light amber, gray, or blue-gray shades are set well enough apart. Consequently, the expression you will see on its face is kind, keen, and intelligent.

Furthermore, its body is set on a straight line and do slope slightly from the withers. Its chest is also deep with the abdomen firmly held. Additionally, the dog’s forelegs are straight and strong while its hindquarters are muscular. Also, its feet are firm as well as compact with well-arched toes. Lastly, its tail is docked.

Take note that dogs which are claimed to be Weimaraners but have a really long coat that is also of blue or black color are disqualified for being recognized as a standard breed.

On the other hand, a Silver Lab or Silver Labrador is a dilute version of the standard Labrador Retriever. This implies that they look just the same as the standard, but they have a unique coat color. There was a specific gene which caused the coat’s color to deviate from the default and be a lighter variation. At the same time, the Silver Labrador also has distinct eye and nose color from the standard Labrador Retriever.

Moreover, the Labrador Retriever’s skull and foreface are on parallel planes and of approximately equal length. Also, its head is clean-cut and free from fleshy cheeks. The structure of the skull beneath the eyes is indeed chiseled with no prominence in the cheeks. The eyes are indeed medium sized, set well apart, as well as neither protruding nor deep set. Additionally, its muzzle is neither long and narrow nor short and stubby. Also, its ears are set rather far back and somewhat low on the skull. Lastly, this dog’s tail of medium length is very thick at the base, gradually tapering toward the tip, and extending no longer than to the hock.

Weimaraner vs Silver Lab: Origin

A Weimaraner’s history can be traced back to Germany as far back to the early 19th century. This breed was developed by noblemen at the Weimar court for the purpose of creating a dog which can be their companion while hunting. For this reason, they wanted a breed that exhibits courage, intelligence, impeccable sense of smell, speed, as well as stamina.

The speculations say that this breed was created by crossing a Bloodhound, English Pointer, German Shorthaired Pointer, Great Dane, as well as a Huehnerhund. Moreover, as forests in Germany shrank, so was the hunting spree for big games there. The Weimaraners were then taught to hunt birds, rabbits, and foxes instead.

In 1897, a club was established to protect the breed. Then in 1929, American sportsman Howard Knight joined. He then brought two Weimaraners in the U.S. and continued his endeavor to breed the dog there. In 1942, this breed was finally recognized by the American Kennel Club.

Then it was in the aftermath of the World War II that this breed definitely became really popular as they were transferred from Germany to the U.S. and the American servicemen later brought them home.

On the other hand, a Silver Lab’s history can be traced back to the island of Newfoundland, off the northeastern Atlantic coast of Canada as far back to the 1700s. The Labrador Retrievers, which were first called as St. John’s Dogs, were used by their owners who were fishermen to help them in their work. These dogs caught fish which escaped from hooks as well as towing in lines.

Moreover, Englishmen started importing these Labrador Retrievers to England around 1830 to help in their hunting. Then it was the third Earl of Malmesbury who called the dogs as Labradors. Meanwhile, this dog breed faced its extinction in Newfoundland due to government restrictions as well as tax laws. These implied that each family must only own one dog. At the same time, a female dog is highly taxed.

However, the breed continued to survive in England. In 1903, the dog was recognized as a distinct breed. Then it was around the 1930s when these Labrador Retrievers were brought to the U.S. for breeding. Nowadays, Labrador Retrievers are seen working in search and rescue operations, drug and explosive detection, therapy, assisting people with disabilities, and of course, as retrievers for hunters.

Weimaraner vs Silver Lab: Size

A male Weimaraner can stand as tall as 23 to 28 inches as well as weigh from around 66 to 88 pounds. Oppositely, a female Weimaraner can stand as tall as 22 to 26 inches as well as weigh from around 55 to 77 pounds.

On the other hand, a male Silver Lab can stand as tall as 22.5 to 24.5 inches as well as weigh from around 65 to 80 pounds. Oppositely, a female Silver Lab can stand as tall as 21.5 to 23.5 inches as well as weigh from around 55 to 70 pounds.

Weimaraner vs Silver Lab: Coat

 The Weimaraner’s coat is short which adds to its aristocratic appearance. It’s also smooth and sleek and of solid color. The said color ranges from mouse-gray to silver-gray and is blending into lighter shades on the head and ears. Furthermore, this dog doesn’t have an undercoat, so it isn’t suitable to live in places with extreme cold climate.

The grooming for the coat, on the other hand, isn’t rigorous since it’s easy to maintain. A once-a-week brushing using a rubber curry brush is enough to remove dead hairs as well as to prevent a mess because of the dog’s shedding. Yes, a Weimaraner sheds. So for pet owners or dog lovers with allergies who are eyeing this dog to be a pet, just move on to another breed that will be safe for you.

On the other hand, the Silver Lab’s coat is straight and dense. They have a double coat which doesn’t only help them keep warm, but is also great in water. Furthermore, their coat’s color ranges from silver, grey, and blue tones. Again, these colors are a dilution of the Labrador Retriever’s original chocolate color wherein it dilutes into a much lighter color.

What actually happened was there is an appearance of two recessive genes instead of the usual dominant-dominant or the dominant-recessive combinations. Moreover, grooming its coat is indeed much easier compared to the grooming routine of the Labrador Retriever itself. The latter and the Silver Labrador itself do shed a lot. So for pet owners or dog lovers with allergies who are eyeing a Silver Labrador to be a pet, just move on to another dog.  However, brushing will definitely help to control the mess of hair caused by the shedding.

Weimaraner vs Silver Lab: Personality/ Temperament

A Weimaraner is a very loyal dog to the point that it can suffer from separation anxiety if it will be away from its owner. Additionally, this dog is friendly and a certainly amazing family companion. Also, it’s highly energetic which is brought by the innate hunter within them. For this reason, expect that this dog won’t be satisfied by just staying inside the confines of the house. It will also likely chase other animals, especially smaller ones for the reason that it’s caused by its hunting instincts that are just plainly hard for the dog to resist.

On the other hand, a Silver Lab is lively, friendly, loving, playful, and intelligent. It’s certainly an amazing family companion because it thrives in the company of others and it doesn’t have a favorite. It will certainly be its best self if it’s with a family that really loves the outdoors. Additionally, this dog always wants something to do. So expect that it gets bored easily and will do sort of things just to alleviate that boredom. Moreover, this dog breed isn’t that much into barking.

Weimaraner vs Silver Lab: Health

Every dog breed is more prone to specific diseases or health condition than the other breeds.

For the Weimaraner which has a life expectancy of about… the health conditions that you should definitely look out for are the following: canine hip dysplasia, von Willebrand disease, hypothyroidism, gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), distichiasis, entropion, factor XI deficiency, and progressive retinal  atrophy.

  • Canine Hip Dysplasia

This is a hereditary problem characterized by the thighbone not fitting perfectly into the hip joint. Furthermore, this may lead to arthritis as time passes by. This can be dealt with using supplements, medications, as well as surgery.

  • Von Willebrand Disease

This hereditary condition is a bleeding disorder resulting from a deficiency in a protein called von Willebrand Factor (vWF) which allows the blood to clot. It has to be dealt with or treated as soon as possible because it may cause excessive bleeding and eventually death. In addition to this, there is an available drug called DDAVP that may raise the dog’s vWF as well as other medications that can aid in the treatment of this disease. Of course, controlling the spontaneous bleeding is the main agenda of treatments. Moreover, avoiding situations where your dog can bleed will be of great help too.

  • Hypothyroidism

This is a health condition where this a direct destruction of the thyroid gland. Moreover, rare cases of this condition can lead to cancer as well as congenital defects. On the other hand, this is treatable with medication like thyroxine which is a replacement hormone compound.

  • Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV)

This life-threatening condition which is also called bloat or gastric torsion is a stomach that is distended with gas or air and then twists. This is especially common with older dogs as well as for dog breeds which are deep-chested. Once a dog inhibits signs that it’s suffering from a GDV, go to the veterinarian as soon as possible. Moreover, the said symptoms are drooling excessively, retching without throwing up, as well as being lethargic, depressed, and weak.

  • Distichiasis

This is a health condition characterized by the formation of abnormal eyelashes. Moreover, these extra eyelashes usually rise from the margin of the eyelid through the duct or opening of the Meibomian gland or adjacent to it. Furthermore, this is a tolerable condition for dogs without clinical signs. On the other hand, for those with mild cases, ophthalmic lubricants can be used. For severe cases though, surgery may be recommended.

  • Entropion

This is the rolling inward of the eyelid which results to the irritation of the eyeball. Frequent rubbing on its eyes is a sign that a Weimaraner is suffering from this. Moreover, this can be treated through surgery.

  • Factor XI Deficiency

This is a minor bleeding disorder but should also be dealt with as soon as possible since it may eventually worsen.

  • Progressive Retinal  Atrophy

This is a degenerative eye disorder that is characterized by the loss of photoreceptors at the back of the eye(s). Moreover, this results to blindness.

On the other hand, for a Silver Lab which has a life expectancy of about 10 to 14 years, the health conditions that you should definitely look out for are the following: canine hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, osteochondrosis dissecans, cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, epilepsy, tricuspid valve dysplasia, myopathy, gastric dilation-volvulus, acute moist dermatitis, and cold tail.

  • Canine Hip Dysplasia

This is a hereditary problem characterized by the thighbone not fitting perfectly into the hip joint. Furthermore, this may lead to arthritis as time passes by. This can be dealt with using supplements, medications, as well as surgery.

  • Elbow Dysplasia

This is a hereditable condition that is characterized by joint laxity as a result of the varying growth rates of the three bones that make up the dog’s elbow. Furthermore, this condition can lead to painful lameness. For mild cases, the treatment for this condition is in the form of medications to be able to control the pain. On the other hand, surgery is needed for severe cases.

  • Osteochondrosis Dissecans

This is a health condition that occurs in the dog’s elbows or shoulders that is the result of the improper growth of the cartilage in the joints. The dog will definitely feel a painful stiffening of the joint up to the point where it won’t be able to bend its elbow. Moreover, this orthopedic condition can be diagnosed for as early as four to nine months. To be able to improve this condition, you can overfeed your dog with foods that are high in protein.

  • Cataracts

This is a condition that is characterized by cloudy spots on the eye lens. Moreover, mild cases of this condition doesn’t lead to an impaired vision. On the other hand, severe cases of this condition may certainly lead to loss of the dog’s vision. However, this condition has a very high probability to be treated with surgery.

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy

This is another health condition regarding the dog’s eye(s). There is a gradual deterioration of the retina. Being night-blind is the first symptom that comes up first early on. On the other hand, as the condition continues on, the dog’s daytime vision will certainly be lost as well. With training, the dog will definitely be able to survive despite the limited or total loss of vision.

  • Epilepsy

This health condition makes the dog suffer from mild or severe seizures which are manifested through unusual behavior such as odd hiding, staggering, as well as running like it’s being chased. Just take note that seizures in dogs can be caused by other things or present conditions that the dog has. Obviously, don’t immediately assume that it has epilepsy. Make sure that your dog has a proper diagnosis from a veterinarian.

  • Tricuspid Valve Dysplasia

This is a health condition which is a congenital heart defect that is the result of the malformation of the tricuspid valve on the right side of the heart. Dogs are born with this condition that can either be mild or severe. Moreover, there are dogs that are able to live normally without even showing any symptoms. On the other hand, there are dogs who eventually die. Up until this day, this condition is still being studied as well as the treatments that can be applied for it.

  • Myopathy

This is a heritable condition which affects the dog’s muscles as well as its nervous system. A puppy which is as young as six weeks up to seven months can already show signs or symptoms of this. Moreover, those symptoms are being easily tired, being stiff while walking or trotting, and collapsing after an exercise. This condition has no treatment but keeping the dog warm can certainly help to alleviate things.

  • Gastric Dilation-Volvulus

This life-threatening health condition is widely known as bloat. It’s when the stomach is distended with gas or air and then twists which is common with large as well as deep-chested dog breeds. It’s also caused by eating a really large meal for just one day, eating so fast, getting into an exercise just right after eating, or can also be due to drinking tons of water. This condition results into being unable to vomit to release the excess air which then leads to a drop in the dog’s blood pressure. Furthermore, shock may definitely follow after that. If your dog seems restless, depressed, extremely fatigued, as well as oddly drooling, it may be suffering from this condition. Go to the nearest veterinarian as soon as possible.

  • Acute Moist Dermatitis

This health condition that is also known as hot spots is a skin problem. The skin gets red with inflammation due to bacterial infection. Moreover, the treatments for this condition include clipping of the dog’s hair, bathing the dog using a medicated shampoo, as well as giving the dog some antibiotics that are prescribed by the veterinarian.

  • Cold Tail

This health condition is characterized by the limping of the dog’s tail resulting from a muscle problem in the tails’ vertebrae. You may be able to tell that your dog is suffering from this if it oddly bites its tail. However, this condition isn’t dangerous as it can easily go after a few days.

Besides all of these, Silver Labradors or the Labrador Retrievers in general are prone to ear infections because they indeed love swimming a lot! At the same time, their ears are dropped which just makes it easy for the breed to contract ear problems. Moreover, they are at high risk for some knee problems, autoimmune diseases, deafness, as well as obesity which in itself can also lead to further problematic conditions just like osteoarthritis that is indeed common in older as well as overweight dogs. For these reasons, you should certainly be in regular contact with your pet dog’s veterinarian in order to track your dog’s overall health as well as to detect any bad health condition in advance.

Weimaraner vs Silver Lab: Care/ Grooming

To take care of a Weimaraner, pay attention to its feet. Make sure that its nails are trimmed, so it won’t hurt itself. At the same time, practice regular brushing of its teeth to maintain dental hygiene.

On the other hand, taking care of a Silver Lab includes bathing it for every two months. Although, since this dog has really funny and naughty antics every now and then which makes it dirty, you can bath it as often as it needs. Moreover, observe proper dental hygiene by brushing its teeth for at least two to three times a week or even daily if that is what you prefer. Also, trim its nails for once or twice a month if the dog doesn’t actually wear them down naturally. Lastly, Silver Labradors do love to swim which makes them at high risk for ear infections. For this reason, always clean their ears.

Weimaraner vs Silver Lab: Feeding

For a Weimaraner, opt for dog foods with a high protein content. On the other hand, if you are feeding it with kibble, do add water. Just remember that with this breed, too much food isn’t good. See to it that everything you are giving is certainly in moderation.

On the other hand, a Silver Lab is known to be a big eater. At the same time, it’s a medium-sized dog. These all mean that the dog needs to be fed around one and a quarter or more cups of high-quality dry dog food. Moreover, that should be divided into two main meals a day and in moderation. Remember also that the food can be commercially-manufactured or home-prepared. Although, make sure that whatever food you are giving it is very much high in protein and without any dyes, rendered fats, corn, or wheat gluten.

Weimaraner vs Silver Lab: Exercise

A Weimaraner needs at least 40 minutes of daily exercise because it’s so energetic. Doing nothing that physically and mentally stimulates it will result to a dog with tantrums.

On the other hand, a Silver Lab is a dog with a lot of energy reserve which then equates to a really big exercise need. For this reason, they need to be able to run and walk. The running can be in a fenced backyard for its safety. Meanwhile, its walking routine can be for at least an hour a day and without a leash which can be another form of training for the dog.

Weimaraner vs Silver Lab: Behavior with Kids and Other Pets

A Weimaraner is a safe companion for older children. However, it may be inclined to chase smaller kids who are always running around. In terms of other pets, don’t expect a smooth relationship because the Weimaraner is an innate hunter and really likes chasing preys. Moreover, it’s very likely to not tolerate a cat.

On the other hand, a Silver Lab is excellent with all people, even children. They can also have a good and fun relationship with other pets or animals as long as they are socialized with them at an early age.

Other Fun Trivia About the Weimaraner

  • Its first name was Weimar Pointer.
  • The Weimaraner’s coat color is the reason behind its nickname “the Grey Ghost.”
  • Another nickname for this dog is “the Velcro Dog” because of its extreme attachment to its owner.
  • Back in the past, German nobles were extremely protective of this breed to the point that they monitor as well as limit the access to the Weimaraner puppies.
  • Their eyes change color as they age. From having light blue eyes when they were still puppies, a Weimaraner’s eyes eventually turn to amber or a gray-blue color.
  • Another transformation that this breed is destined to have is the dark grey stripes that it has when it’s born. After a few short days, those stripes vanish!
  • The American Kennel Club classified the Weimaraner as a sporting dog.
  • The United Kennel Club classified the Weimaraner as a gun dog.
  • This has a low tendency to drool, snore, bark, and dig.
  • This dog likes to often outwit you.
  • William Wegman is a photographer who is known for his works centered on dogs, most especially his own Weimaraners. His dog Man Ray was the subject of his craft all throughout the 1970s until the dog’s death in 1981. Then Wegman later adopted Fay Ray and the dog continued Man Ray’s legacy.
  • Weimaraners like one named Dingo helped during the cold War by sniffing out bits of missile after launches for the scientists to study upon later.
  • The Weimaraner is indeed one of the fastest dog breeds out there. It has a speed of about 35 meters per hour. Moreover, there are just too few dog breeds that can be more superior to them in terms of speed.
  • U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower and his family had adopted a Weimaraner named Heidi back in 1955. It’s said that after Heidi urinated on an expensive rug in the White House, she was ordered to live on the family’s farm in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

Other Fun Trivia About the Silver Lab

  • The Silver Labrador is indeed bitey when it’s still a puppy.
  • On the other hand, this dog is bouncy as is reaches its teen years.
  • The Silver Labrador is one of the most controversial dog breeds out there for a number of reasons such as they are said to threaten the purity of the Labrador Retriever breed, they are overpriced, and many more! However, despite of all of these, this dog breed is still adored by a lot of pet owners, dog lovers, and canine enthusiasts in general.
  • The Silver Labrador certainly matures fast.
  • Also, the Silver Labrador isn’t that territorial.
  • The Silver Labrador has a low tendency to drool, snore, bark, as well as dig.
  • Also, the Silver Labrador was allowed to be registered by some major kennel clubs despite the controversy of this dog breed.
  • The Silver Labrador is definitely capable of tolerating the coldest of waters for an extended periods of time.
  • The Labrador Retriever dog breed, to which the Silver Labrador identifies under, is considered to be one of the most popular dog breeds around the world.
  • The Labrador Retriever dog breed, to which the Silver Labrador identifies under, is also considered to be one of the most intelligent dog breeds around the world. It’s actually at the Number 7 spot out of the 138 dog breeds which are tested in Stanley Coren’s The Intelligence of Dogs.
  • The Labrador Retriever dog breed, to which the Silver Labrador identifies under, is considered to be the king of waterfowl retrievers too.

Final Words

The Weimaraner and Silver Lab are two dog breeds that were originally bred by people to be able to help in hunting activities. As time passed by, they still do works where they get to use their innate hunting capabilities. But at the same time, they became good companion dogs too with their outstanding and endearing loyalty as well as their nature to be affectionate with people who are closest to them. They are continuously showing that they also love the confines of a house besides the thrill that the outside can certainly bring. On the other hand, each of these dog breeds has their own unique characteristics which make them stand out on their own.

If you are an aspiring pet owner and you are looking for a dog that will truly be the greatest companion of your life, pick the breed that you fancy more or the one which you know is complementary to your personality and lifestyle in general. Well, without a doubt, it’s easy if you can just pick both. But if you are only intending to live with one, you have to choose. Indeed, that is a hard task because both dogs are extremely lovable. But regardless of your choice, happy fur parenting!

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