Written By: Eliza Berman

In 1950, when LIFE published a photo essay on the breed in 1950, there were a mere 1,500 Weimaraners in the U.S., all owned by members of the Weimaraner Club of America. The club tightly controlled breeding to ensure that each generation retained the best of the breed’s characteristics: namely, a distinctly friendly and loyal personality and a solid record as a hunting companion.

In the decades since the breed’s popularity has increased greatly. In 2018 Weimaraners were the 36th most popular breed in the U.S., finishing just behind border collies, according to the American Kennel Club. Then as now, the appeal is plain, as captured in these photographs by LIFE photographer Bernard Hoffman.

Liz Ronk edited this gallery for LIFE.com. Follow her on Twitter @lizabethronk.

Photos of Weimaraner dogs from LIFE magaizne 1950

A Weimaraner mother and her 8-week-old son, 1950.

Bernard Hoffman The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Photos of Weimaraner dogs from LIFE magaizne 1950

A woman and her daughter hold Weimaraner puppies.

Bernard Hoffman The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Photos of Weimaraner dogs from LIFE magaizne 1950

The Weimaraner pup played well with this two-and-a-half year old girl.

Bernard Hoffman The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Photos of Weimaraner dogs from LIFE magaizne 1950

The Versatile Weimaraner, 1950.

Bernard Hoffman The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Photos of Weimaraner dogs from LIFE magaizne 1950

Weimaraner pups romped with their mother, 1950.

Bernard Hoffman The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Photos of Weimaraner dogs from LIFE magaizne 1950

This Weimaraner was taken on a pheasant hunting expedition.

Bernard Hoffman The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Photos of Weimaraner dogs from LIFE magaizne 1950

This Weimaraner considered a fallen duck.

Bernard Hoffman The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Photos of Weimaraner dogs from LIFE magaizne 1950

Owner Bradford Warner with his Weimaraner Grafmar’s Evening Mist.

Bernard Hoffman The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

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