Baika (a.k.a. Baika vom Heidenbruch)

Baika, pronounced BIKE-ah, is my longhaired Weimaraner pup I brought home from Germany in early April, 1999. I've put this site together because of interest expressed by others on various Weimaraner mailing lists and to answer numerous questions I've received. I've included additional pages with pictures so that the initial page will not load too slowly.

Baika in Montana in October, 1999

Baika was born on 21 Jan. 1999 to the Manfred Arnold family of Allendorf /Eder, a small town about 100 km north of Frankfurt and near Marburg, a university town. The Arnolds and their daughter, Katrin, were more than gracious and helpful and I cannot thank them enough for their efforts.

Baika's mother is Diva vom Falkentann, owned by the Arnolds. Her father is Earl vom Schulzenberg, owned by Egon Gassman of Fulda. Herr Gassmann is the current chairman of the Weimaraner Klub e.V. of Germany. I also had the distinct pleasure of having coffee and visiting with Herr Gassmann and Earl during my trip.

Both of Baika's parents have achieved the distinguished VGP rating for field work.

Baika Puppy Pictures

Baika's Mother

Baika's Father

The Longhaired Weimaraner

Longhaired Weimaraners have existed since the breed was established. Until 1935, the Germans tried to stamp out the longhair trait by culling longhaired puppies from litters. Since the gene is recessive, it was virtually impossible to stamp out. Nowadays, about one-third of the 500 or so Weimaraner puppies born in Germany are longhairs.

Despite German and international acceptance of the longhair, the United States is the only country where long coats are a disqualification in the show ring. Longhaired Weimaraners are fully acceptable for registration by the AKC and may compete in all AKC events (field trials, obedience, etc.) outside the show ring.

See this article by Jackie Isabell on longhaired Weimaraners. See also this information on longhaired Weimaraners by Deborah Andrews on the Weimaraner Club of America site. You will see references to some longhaired Weimaraners born in America and donated to the Weimaraner Klub in Germany. Ms. Isabell is far too modest, since it was her donated dog, Falco Arimarlisa's Reiteralm, that won the coveted VGP rating and which, by the way, is also the the grandfather of both of Baika's parents.

Buying a German Weimaraner

In Germany, dog registration is with the breed clubs rather than with a central organization. The club controls breeding very closely in order to preserve quality.

The Weimaraner Klub provides a central referral service (Welpenvermittlung)

Herr Werner Haack
Am Teich 2
29386 Weddersehl
Telephone: (49) (0)58 32 1391

Buying a German Weimaraner is serous business. The club is very concerned that the breed is controlled by hunters and those who will train the animals for the task to which they were bred. Be prepared to talk hunting and training.

Note: German dogs come with their formal names attached. The breeder assigns names of one or two syllables starting with "A" for the first litter, "B" for the second and so forth. The breeder gets a kennel name (Zwingername) from either the Weimaraner Klub or the VDH umbrella organization. (I don't know which) Breeding is a LOT of work just for the testing and permission. It's easy to see why most German dog's names start with "A."

No, everybody doesn't speak English

Everyone in Germany with whom I spoke was extremely cordial and gracious, not to mention tolerant of my German, which I learned in school rather than the cradle.

The language differences do present a problem, however. A casual tourist in Germany might get the impression that everyone speaks English, since hotels, airlines, etc. all employ English-speaking persons (not just to talk to Americans and British, but English is the de-facto common language for the world). The German school system also requires that students study another language, but not necessarily English.

... but that doesn't mean that everybody can converse in English any more than the average American who was forced to study another language in high school or college can hold a conversation in that language. This is especially true in the smaller cities and villages.

If you can't communicate, that's a problem you have to find a way around. There's no easy answer.

Coming to America

The United States has no quarantine for dogs with proper vaccination certification. (Der Infpass). German dogs normally have yellow international forms in three languages signed by the veterinarian that did the immunization. Since rabies is rampant in North America (among forest animals, which you can't do much about), I suppose the feeling is that there's not much point in restricting well-cared-for dogs when the disease is on the loose in the woods. (Hawaii, which has no rabies, does have a quarantine restriction, however). Rabies vaccination is not required in very young puppies.

Passing through the customs and agriculture inspection is a quick formality.

Delta, my usual airline, charges $110 U.S. flat rate for the journey. A shipping crate matching airline requirements is required, but there's no limit on size. Crates may be purchased in Germany, but I found it easier, not to mention cheaper, to bring one with me as baggage. (No extra charge for the crate sans dog).

A longhair FAQ (Q&A)

Steve Graham
Portland, Oregon