Monday, October 1, 2007

Dogs in Art

I love art...I especially love dogs in art! That is why I'm going to start featuring "Dogs in Art" on Mondays. If you know of an artist that creates wonderful dog art, please let me know and I'll do a feature post.

This week, I am featuring William Wegman and his weimaraners...

William Wegman is a photographer who has become quite famous for photographing his weimaraner dogs. He has created some wonderfully funny photos of his dogs in clothing with props. Many of you may remember seeing Wegman's dogs on Sesame Street and Saturday Night Live.

Man Ray was Wegman's first dog he photographed. Later he also photographed Fay Ray, another one of his weimaraners. In 1982, Man Ray was given the title "Man of the Year"!

Weimaraners were originally bred in Germany as hunting dogs. Royalty would use these dogs to hunt large game. Over time, large game hunting became less popular and these dogs were used in small game hunting.

This breed is named after the Grand Duke of Weimar, Charles August, who loved hunting. Several nicknames have been given to this dog breed: Weim, Silver Ghost and Grey Ghost are the most common.

Fast, powerful and high-strung, weimaranaers need to be played with and need a lot of exercise. Since these dogs are incredible hunters, it is important to know that they are not very social to strangers and should be trained early to tolerate smaller family pets. They are very territorial and loyal to their "people"!

Weimaraners have two known behavioral issues: separation anxiety and aggressiveness. It is not uncommon for these dogs to suffer severe separation anxiety and often the anxiety will be manifested in drooling and panicking to get to the owner. Of course, since they are hunters, they do have a tendency to show aggression toward smaller animals and strangers. Weimaraners are very intelligent and with careful early training, these dogs can be trained to not respond in such ways. They are eager to please and love to receive praises and treats! But really, who doesn't...right?!

Read more about Weimaramers over at the Weimaraner Club of America!

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