The silver-grey coat of the Weimaraner has earned the epithet of the ‘grey ghost’. The breed was created at the German court of Grand Duke Karl August of Weimar where it was developed as a pointing dog for the nobility in the early 19th century, but there is a dog of Weimaraner type in a Van Dyke portrait three centuries before this date. The nobility of Weimar wished to retain the dog as exclusive to the elite classes and a club was set up with strict enforcement of breeding and ownership. If a dog was sold to a nonmember, the dog was secretly sterilised before passing it on. It was not until the advent of the Second World War that the breed became better known outside of Germany. The breed was first seen in the UK in the 1950s and is now very popular in the show ring. The breed also has a long-haired variety, which is much less numerous.