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Blue eye dog

Did you know that some dog breeds can have beautiful blue eyes? While these baby blues are more commonly associated with certain dog breeds like Siberian huskies and Australian shepherds, there are several other cases where blue eyes can occur in dogs. Generally in dogs, the blue-eyed trait in dogs is caused by a genetic mutation resulting in a lack of pigmentation in the iris or colored part of the eye. However, this blue-eyed gene is limited to a select few breeds.

This unique trait of blue eyes can create a striking and captivating appearance that adds to the charm of these breeds. Besides the breeds you may already know, we’ll explore some other popular blue-eyed dog breeds and what makes them special.

1. Siberian husky

Siberian huskies are famous for their icy blue eyes. Their striking blue gaze is one of the breed’s most distinguishing features. Their thick coats may come in colors like black, agouti, red, white, sable, or gray. Huskies are known to be very gentle, friendly, and energetic and can make great pets for active families. This is an independent dog that usually does well with children and other dogs.

Siberian Husky lying on the snow

Facts about the Siberian husky

2. Australian shepherd

Another common blue-eyed dog breed, Australian shepherds can often have striking blue eyes that range from pale blue to a deeper shade. These mesmerizing eyes beautifully complement their colorful medium-length coat, which may be black, blue merle, red, or red merle for a purebred Aussie. However, there are many coat color combinations possible outside of the AKC-recognized colors mentioned in the breed standard.

Blue merle Australian shepherd on a grass field

Facts about the Australian shepherd

  • Breed groupHerding Group (AKC)
  • Intelligence — High intelligence
  • Barking — Vocal
  • Life span — 12-15 years

3. Border collie

While Border collies are commonly known for their intense herding skills, they can also possess captivating blue eyes that add to their intelligent and focused expression. This dog of Scottish descent is known to bark often and is very responsive. The temperament of a Border collie is energetic, alert, and loyal, and they make great companions for those with the time and energy to provide regular exercise for these medium-sized dogs.

Border collie on grass lawn

Facts about the Border Collie

  • Breed groupHerding Group (AKC)
  • Intelligence — High intelligence
  • Barking — Often
  • Life span — 10-17 years

4. Weimaraner

Weimaraners, also known as “gray ghosts,” occasionally have blue or light-colored eyes, which contrast strikingly with their sleek silver-gray coats. This breed is known for being a true watchdog and a natural hunter. For this reason, you won’t want to have a Weimaraner around cats or other small animals unless properly trained and socialized.

Weimaraner puppy

Facts about the Weimaraner

  • Breed groupSporting Group (AKC)
  • Intelligence — High intelligence
  • Barking — When necessary
  • Life span — 10-13 years

5. Dalmatian

Although most Dalmatians have brown eyes, it is not uncommon to find individuals with one or both eyes being blue. This adds a unique touch to their iconic spotted appearance. Dalmatians are very energetic dogs and extremely loyal. These large pups make great companion animals, but are best suited in homes without small children.

Blue eyed dalmatian

Facts about the Dalmatian

  • Breed groupNon-Sporting Group (AKC)
  • Intelligence — High intelligence
  • Barking — When necessary
  • Life span — 11-13 years

6. Catahoula leopard dog

This breed is known for its unique coat patterns and can have mesmerizing blue eyes. The combination of blue eyes and their stunning coat variations creates a truly eye-catching appearance for the Catahoula leopard dog. This is considered to be a rare breed, originating in Louisiana and most often found in the Southern United States. As far as temperament, Catahoula leopard dogs are independent, loyal, and gentle.

Catahoula leopard dog

Facts about the Catahoula Leopard Dog

7. Great Dane

While Great Danes are primarily recognized for their impressive size, some individuals within the breed can also possess stunning blue eyes, which provide a striking contrast against their coat colors. These are large dogs with short and smooth coats. The temperament of a Great Dane is considered to be affectionate but protective.

Great Dane with blue eyes

Facts about the Great Dane

  • Breed groupWorking Group (AKC)
  • Intelligence — Medium intelligence
  • Barking — Moderately Vocal
  • Life span — 7-10 years

Fun facts about blue-eyed dogs

Dogs with blue eyes continue to captivate us with their unique and striking appearance, reminding us of the endless wonders and diversity found in the canine world. But, there are tons of intriguing facts about these dogs outside of their appearance.

  • Genetic variation: The blue eye color in dogs is caused by a genetic variant called the merle gene. This gene, responsible for merle coats in dogs, can affect coat color patterns as well as eye color, leading to the mesmerizing blue eyes seen in certain breeds. However, “double merle” dogs are often born blind, deaf, or both, so it’s important to ensure any reputable breeders are not crossing two merle dogs as vision loss can occur in pups. Blindness and deafness are among the easily preventable health problems in offspring when responsible breeding practices are adhered to.
  • Heterochromia: Dogs with blue eyes can sometimes exhibit a condition called heterochromia , where each eye has a different color. This can result in one blue eye and one eye of a different color, adding an extra element of uniqueness.
  • Light sensitivity: Some dogs with blue eyes, particularly those with a higher concentration of melanin, may be more sensitive to sunlight and have an increased risk of developing certain health issues like cataracts, as well sunburn on the eyelids. It’s important to provide appropriate protection and care for their eyes in sunny environments.
  • Symbolism: Blue eyes in dogs are often associated with a sense of beauty, mystique, and intelligence. Their piercing gaze has been immortalized in various works of art and media, adding to their captivating allure.
  • Development over time: Puppies of some breeds are born with blue eyes, and their eye color may change as they grow older. It can take several weeks or even months for the final blue pigment to develop fully in the eyes, so it’s exciting to watch the transformation unfold.
  • Unrelated to vision or behavior: The presence of blue eyes in dogs doesn’t impact their vision or behavior. It’s simply an aesthetic characteristic. However, if your dog’s eyes begin to turn hazy bluish as they age, it could be an indication of lenticular sclerosis , or other health concerns, so consult your veterinarian if you notice any peculiar changing of eye color.

When puppies are born, they initially lack melanin or pigment in their eyes. When puppies finally open their eyes, melanin will start to develop. How much melanin that develops will determine how dark or how light their eyes will be.

Dr. Dwight Alleyne

Remember, while certain dog breeds are more commonly associated with blue eyes, blue eyes can occur in dogs of various breeds and mixes. It’s an intriguing trait that can surprise us in unexpected breeds.