While most dogs have brown eyes, some breeds have a variety of eye colors. One of the most unique and striking eye colors you’ll find is blue. Certain breeds, such as Siberian huskies, are much more likely to have blue eyes than other breeds, but huskies aren’t the only pooches around with pale-blue peepers.
In addition to blue-eyed dog breeds, some puppers have a fascinating genetic mutation called heterochromia, which most often means they have one blue eye and one brown eye. It’s also possible to have particolored eyes, with multiple hues appearing in the same eye.
Here’s a look at various dog breeds with blue eyes to help you find the perfect dog for your lifestyle.
Let’s start off with arguably the most famous blue-eyed dog breed, the Siberian husky. In addition to their famously icy blue eyes, this stunning Nordic breed is permitted to have brown eyes, particolored eyes, and eyes of two different colors, say American Kennel Club (AKC) breed standards.
Huskies are clever, playful, and full of boundless energy, making them ideal companions if you live an active lifestyle and give your pup plenty of room to roam. If you work 12-hour shifts and live in a tiny apartment, a husky is probably not your best bet.
While AKC standards require dark eyes for professional show dogs, blue-eyed dachshunds have been known to crop up now and again. It’s more common in dappled coats, but any of these little pups, affectionately called “wiener dogs” or “doxies,” can have blue eyes.
Ideal for apartments and small homes without much yard space, dachshunds are personable and strong-willed. These little guys can be obstinate, so they require patience and consistency during obedience training. They won’t need much space for exercise, but you may want to consider blocking off access to any stairs in your home. Thanks to their little legs, they have difficulty climbing and can injure their backs.
Australian cattle dog
As with dachshunds, AKC standards for the Australian cattle dog call for dark eyes, but that doesn’t mean this working breed is any less adorable with baby blues.
Australian cattle dogs are best suited to sprawling suburban yards — or, better yet, country life. Bred for herding cattle, Aussies require freedom to roam or at least a few hours of daily activity. Despite their high intelligence, Australian cattle dogs are incredibly stubborn, making them difficult to train unless you start early. They also have a strong prey drive, so they’re not necessarily the best fit for households with cats or small dogs unless they’ve been properly trained.
Sadly, aspiring show dogs with blue eyes don’t meet AKC breed standards, but they aren’t unheard of in cocker spaniels. One of the most popular breeds in the United States, cockers are the smallest sporting dogs, but they’re equally at home on your lap.
Cockers have bright, cheerful dispositions, and their instinctive need to please makes them excellent members of any household. These good-natured pups are easy to train and get along well with older children, but they may turn rambunctious around babies and toddlers unless they’ve been properly socialized from a young age.
AKC breed standards accept any eye color when it comes to border collies. In fact, blue eyes are even the color of choice for merles. Border collies come in various color patterns, and eye colors range from sky blue to rich, chocolate brown to particolored.
If you’re looking for a kid-friendly pooch, border collies make wonderful family pets. Intelligent, playful, and gentle, a border collie will have a blast romping in the yard with your kids. Border collies are also fairly easy to train, and with plenty of exercise and mental stimulation, they’ll do just fine in an apartment.
Just like in humans, blue eyes in dogs stem from a lack of melanin in the iris. Fun fact: Blue eyes actually aren’t blue. The color we see is the result of scattered light reflected back out. So, what causes blue eyes in dogs? As it turns out, there are a couple of possibilities.
- Albinism: Albinism is a complete absence of melanin in the fur, skin, and eyes, so albino puppers always have blue eyes. Their skin tends to have a pink tint, especially around the eyes.
- Genetics: Did you inherit your mom’s red hair or your dad’s nose? Dogs inherit physical traits from their bloodline, too, which is why so many huskies tend to have blue or particolored eyes. The merle gene impacts your dog’s fur as well as her eyes, resulting in adorable, multicolored patterns. Dogs with the merle gene are frequently blue or parti-eyed.
For the most part, blue-eyed breeds owe their stunning irises to a quirk of genetics. However, if your formerly brown-eyed dog’s eyes turn blue, head to the vet. It could be a sign of glaucoma or cataracts.
While most puppies are born with blue eyes, they usually darken to amber or deep brown as puppies grow. Nonetheless, some breeds are more likely to retain their bright blue eyes. Whether you’re looking for a kid-friendly family pet, a hardworking herding dog, or a tiny lapdog, you’ll find a loyal companion in one of these (potentially) blue-eyed breeds.
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