A dog that some sources believe is a Weimaraner appears as early as the 1600's in a painting of Van Dyck. The breed was cultivated by the nobles of Weimar, Germany, hence the name. The Weimaraner is a pointer and an all-around personal hunting dog. He was originally used to hunt , track and bring down big game. As big game became scarce, he was adapted to smaller game and upland birds. He also has a reputation as a fine water retriever, though he may have to be taught to swim. Weimaraners have been used as rescue dogs, service dogs for the disabled and as police dogs in England and Germany.