Bred by noblemen of Germany in the 19th century, Weimaraner got its name from Karl August, the Grand Duke of Weimar.
Weimaraner breed was developed for big game hunting. Their goal was to pursuit bears, mountain lions, and deer.
When the big game grew scarce, Weimaraner became a versatile hunting dog, ready to aid hunters with small game and bird hunting.
One of Weimaraner’s curious traits is that they are born with blue eyes.
Weimaraners as Hunters
In the late 1930s, when Weimaraner was first introduced in the U.S., it quickly gained popularity as a family dog, thanks to its predisposition to please and a strong sense of companionship.
Many well-known people, like U.S. president Eisenhower and movie star Grace Kelly, owned Weimaraners as family dogs.
But, considering the Grand Duke of Weimar bred them specifically for hunting, they retained their prey drive over the years.
Their fantastic sense of smell and exceptional stamina make them perfect companions for hunters.
They are well able to run a whole day, chasing after prey, and they are deadly accurate.
Weimaraners are solid and fast dogs with excellent tracking skills. Thanks to their pointer and bloodhound ancestry, they are very versatile dogs.
When they were first established in Germany, they mainly worked with big game hunters, finding wounded animals after the shot or leading hunters to their prey.
Nowadays, they are mostly used for upland and waterfowl hunting. They have a solid point, are phenomenal swimmers, and can be very easily trained to retrieve, keeping up the excellent work ethic throughout the hunt.
Why do Weimaraners Have Blue Eyes?
Weimaraner puppies are born with closed eyes. When they open them for the first time, 1-2 weeks after birth, they are usually some shade of blue.
The blue eye color is caused by a small amount of melanin in the iris. The genes in the DNA control amount of melanin produced by melanocytes.
In the case of Weimaraners, the blue color of their eyes is not caused by the same type of genes as some other breeds, i.e., Siberian Husky.
Are All Weimaraners Born With Blue Eyes?
All Weimaraner babies are born with blue or blue-ish eyes. In fact, a large number of puppies from other hunting breeds are born with blue eyes as well, thanks to a low volume of melanin in their bodies.
Most of them will quickly change the eye color from blue to gray, green, hazel, or most often brown, which is the default color of dog eyes.
Do Weimaraners Keep Their Blue Eyes?
Unfortunately, the fantastic blue color of Weimaraner’s eyes doesn’t stay forever.
When puppies grow, melanocytes in the iris start producing more melanin, and the eye color changes.
The blue turns into gray, light amber, or blue-gray as the dogs mature.
The color is usually established before the dog is six months old, with darker colors changing earlier than brighter ones.
Are Blue-Eyed Weimaraners Rare?
All Weimaraner puppies are born with blue eyes, but the color changes with age.
There is no mention of an adult Weimaraner with blue eyes, although there is a possibility that those exist.
The blue-eyed adult Weimaraner can be a result of mixed genes or previous health issues, but unless the Weimaraner is a healthy purebred dog, the blue eyes should not occur.
Moreover, according to AKC standards, the eye color of adult Weimaraners other than the colors mentioned before is considered a very serious fault.
Do Blue Eyes Affect Hunting?
Dogs see colors a little bit differently than humans. Your hunting buddy won’t see red or green, but he does see some of the colors, like white, blue, yellow, black, and all shades of gray.
Some people may say that blue-eyed dogs have more difficulty seeing, but that’s not true.
It’s the same as for people with blue eyes. It doesn’t matter the color of the eye we were born with.
The color of your hunting dog’s eyes doesn’t affect his ability to see and won’t affect his hunting abilities.
There is, however, one thing we have to mention here, and it has to do with health issues and the color of your dog’s eyes.
If your adult dog’s eyes are not naturally blue, but you notice the change, there is a chance that your dog may be facing some health problems, like glaucoma or cataracts.
They can affect your dog’s vision, and you should seek veterinary assistance.
Weimaraner With Amber Eyes
Amber, or golden-green, is the second most common eye color in dogs, right after brown.
Weimaraners are known for their bright colored eyes, that change from blue when they are young.
The amber eye color usually happens when the eumelanin is diluted or modified by the recessive genes in the B or D series.
That means dogs with liver, blue, or isabella-colored coats (bb and dd genes) are most likely to have amber eyes.
Amber-colored eyes can vary from very light brown to almost yellow, yellow-green, or grey.
Weimaraner Eye Problems
A cataract is caused by the water or protein changes in the lens and occurs mainly in older dogs.
It is very similar to cataracts in the human eye, but because dogs have bigger lenses, the cataracts are generally more complex.
If the cataract is developed, the symptoms are usually visible, and they look like a white cloud behind the dog’s retina.
The cataract can develop overnight or very slowly, and it’s usually hereditary.
If you are worried your Weimaraner may have a cataract, your vet will be able to help you when examining the eyes with bright light and magnifying glass.
The only option to reverse any changes is surgery.
Entropion is simply eyelids that roll inward.
It can be painful and cause damage to the surface of the eye, causing impaired vision.
The eyelashes and hair around the eyelid scratch the cornea and irritate the eye.
If the entropion is not too bad, the antibiotics or eye ointments can be enough to keep the eyes in good condition.
In the worst-case scenario, your Weimaraner with really bad entropion may land on the surgical table to reshape the eyelid.
Distichiasis is quite common in dogs. It is eyelashes that grow in unusual locations.
They may cause irritation and discomfort, and severe cases can damage the surface of the eye.
There are few types of treatments, from non-surgical and non-invasive to surgical procedures.
They all have their pros and cons, depending on the seriousness of your Weimaraner’s condition.
You can usually recognize the symptoms by reddened eyes, pawing at the eye, and increased tearing.
Cherry eye is a common term for the swollen third eyelid.
It takes its name from the red bulge that appears in the corner of your Weimaraner’s eye.
It usually occurs in young dogs under 12 months old. It happens when a ligament holding the third eyelid breaks or stretches.
Some breeds, like Weimaraner, are more prone to get the cherry eye.
The cure to the cherry eye is surgery. Your young Weimaraner will have to get his third eyelid replaced.
Unfortunately, you cannot prevent the cherry eye. You can only check your puppies eyes regularly to detect the problem early.
Although blue Weimaraner is usually disqualified on the floor of AKC shows, it is nonetheless the same dog as any other Weimaraner.
If blue Weimaraner is born to purebred parents, it is still registerable in the Kennel Club.
The only difference is the color of its coat. Like with many other hunting breeds, the coat color may differ between each dog.
“Blue” is, in reality, a “charcoal gray,” and its shades vary greatly, from very deep and dark to faded. From the point of genetics, the blue coat is, in fact, diluted black.
The blue Weimaraner is not a rare occurrence, but you can only have blue-coated puppies if one of the parents is carrying the “blue gene.”
And like with other hunting breeds, the color of the Weimaraner’s coat doesn’t affect the dog’s hunting abilities.
Hunting Breeds Born With Blue Eyes
A few other hunting breeds are born with blue eyes, but just like Weimaraners, they don’t usually keep the blue eye color when they mature.
Amongst them are Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, Cocker Spaniels, Dachshunds, Basset Hounds, and Beagles.
The eye color of those breeds mainly changes with age, just like Weimaraners, and very rarely stays blue in their adult years.