Have you ever locked gazes with a blue-eyed dog? If you have, you know how captivating and alluring dogs with blue eyes can be. However, blue eyes are a rarity in the canine world and only a few breeds exhibit this trait.
While most people find blue-eyed dogs irresistible, this eye coloration is deemed undesirable in many breeds. Nevertheless, you’ll hardly find a person who can stay immune to the magnetic pull of piercing blue eyes.
Captivating as they are, blue eyes are only found in a few dog breeds and are very rare.
Technically caused by the lack of pigmentation in the eye, blue eyes can also be an inherited trait or the result of genetic mutation. Whatever may be the case, blue eyes give dogs a unique and enchanting appearance that’s hard to forget.
Below, you’ll find a list of dog breeds that most commonly have blue eyes, and get all the information you need to choose a blue-eyed canine companion.
What Type Of Dogs Have Blue Eyes?
While all puppies are born with blue eyes, most will experience a change in eye color and end up having brown, green, or hazel eyes in adulthood.
However, if you are thinking of getting a blue-eyed dog you’re in luck– some breeds naturally carry a gene for blue eyes.
Take a look at nine different breeds that genetically carry the blue-eyed gene and regularly produce dogs with blue eyes.
1. Siberian Husky
The Siberian husky is one of the most popular and easily-recognizable dog breeds with blue eyes.
According to the breed’s standard, huskies should have almond-shaped eyes, that may be brown or blue in color, or parti-colored, meaning part of the eye has a spec of brown in blue or vice versa.
Bred to work, the Siberian husky is a very active and energetic dog that needs regular exercise and a lot of space to run freely. Mischievous and fun, the husky is a great companion when properly exercised; otherwise, they can become bored and destructive.
Besides their gorgeous blue eyes, huskies are famous for their thick and fluffy double coat and distinctive markings. Be aware, that wonderful coat sheds a lot, so you’ll need to brush your husky regularly to keep up with loose fur.
Huskies are intelligent but stubborn dogs, so start training your blue-eyed puppy as soon as you bring him home to avoid obedience issues later on.
MY EXPERIENCE: Although we never owned a Siberian Husky many of our close friends had one or more. We’ve personally known several with blue eyes, some with brown eyes, and we helped train one bi-eyed puppy with one blue eye and one brown eye.
2. Border Collie
Bred to be ultimate herding dogs, Border collies can have any eye color, but according to the breed’s standard, blue eyes are preferred in dogs with merle coats. The merle gene creates random splotches of color in a solid or piebald pattern and gives some Border collies beautiful blue eyes.
Believed to be the most intelligent dog breed in the world, the Border collie is an extremely active and energetic dog. As a true workaholic at heart, your Border collie will need a job to do and will excel at canine sports such as agility.
Gentle and friendly, Border collies are amazing family companions, and their eagerness to please makes them easy to a train. Due to their sensitive natures Border collies can become skittish and shy if not socialized from an early age. To avoid any behavioral issues, expose your dog to different people and places early on, and consider enrolling him in puppy classes.
MY EXPERIENCE: Our family dog was a Border Collie mix, but he had the common brown eyes. While we’ve met several Border Collie’s with blue eyes we’ve never owned nor have we personally known any blue eyed Border Collies.
3. Australian Shepherd
The Australian shepherd is another popular breed that carries a gene for blue eyes. According to the breed’s standard, Aussies may have brown, amber, and blue eyes, or a combination of these colors. Australian shepherds can also sport a variety of different coat colors and patterns, and their medium-length coat is easy to groom.
Bred to be a smart working dog, the Aussie has incredible herding and guarding instincts. Energetic and agile, Australian shepherds need daily exercise and love playing games such as fetch, flyball, or tug-of-war.
Good-natured and affectionate, the Australian shepherd makes a wonderful family companion that can adapt to apartment living if properly exercised.
While loyal and devoted to its family, the Aussie, like other herding breeds, tends to be reserved towards strangers. Therefore, start socializing your puppy as soon as you bring him home and expose him to lots of people, sights, smells, and places from a young age.
MY EXPERIENCE: One of my favorite breeds. Our very own Linus was an Australian Shepherd mix. He had the more common brown eyes. We also had a blue merle Aussie puppy named Pepper who also had the brown eyes. Once again while we have experience with Aussies and blue eyed Aussies we haven’t personally ever had one.
The Weimaraner is a large and athletically-built dog that was originally bred for hunting big game. As per the breed standard, Weimaraners may have light amber, gray, or pale gray-blue, well-set eyes.
All puppies have striking blue eyes, but as they mature, their eyes can change color and blue-eyed adult Weims are still fairly rare.
Nicknamed the “Gray Ghost,” this breed has a short and sleek silvery coat that’s very easy to maintain. Energetic and agile, this sporting dog needs a lot of exercise and will be an ideal running, hiking, or jogging partner.
Weims are generally friendly, obedient, and fearless companions that need a lot of exercise and mental stimulation to be on their best behavior. However, if not properly trained and socialized from a young age, a Weimaraner will take charge and be a willful ruler of your entire household.
If you are thinking of welcoming this blue-eyed dog into your home be prepared to enroll him in puppy kindergarten classes for potty training and continue socialization throughout his life.
MY EXPERIENCE: A close friend of ours has a Weimaraner with blue eyes. We also see a blue-eyed Weim every year we participate in the annual service dog bus ride.
5. Great Dane
Originally used as a guard dog and to hunt wild boar, the Great Dane is a giant dog breed that is known to carry a blue-eyed gene. However, according to the breed standard, only harlequin and merle Great Danes are permitted to have blue or bi-colored eyes.
Despite their massive size, Great Danes are surprisingly friendly and good-natured dogs that are extremely loyal to their families. Affectionate and sweet, these gentle giants want to be included in all family activities and make great playmates for older children.
While they need a lot of space to move around, Great Danes aren’t very energetic and are the happiest being couch potatoes. However, daily walks and light exercises that won’t put a strain on their muscles and joints are a must, and will keep your dog happy and healthy.
Potential new owners should know that Great Dane puppies can develop growth problems. These issues are often linked with an inappropriate diet that is too high in calcium or protein.
MY EXPERIENCE: The owner of our local dog training center owns several Great Danes and we know at least one that has blue eyes.
Easily recognizable thanks to their beautifully spotted coats, Dalmatians are another popular breed that carries a gene for blue eyes. According to the breed’s standard, Dalmatians may have brown, blue, or bicolored eyes.
However, it’s important to note that Dalmatians are one of the breeds that are prone to hereditary deafness. The same auto-recessive gene that gives Dalmatians blue eyes is responsible for hearing loss. Nearly 30 percent of all purebred Dalmatians suffer from some form of hearing loss, but blue-eyed Dalmatians have a higher rate of deafness.
The good news is that breeding Dalmatians for blue eyes is usually discouraged and ethical breeders won’t do it. Therefore, if you’re thinking of getting a Dalmatian, do extensive research and choose a breeder carefully.
As a breed, Dalms are highly energetic and athletic dogs that love to play and make ideal running or jogging partners. Naturally friendly towards their family, they can be a bit aloof towards strangers. But early socialization can help your puppy to grow into a good-natured and outgoing dog.
MY EXPERIENCE: We haven’t met a Dalmatian with blue eyes.
7. Old English Sheepdog
According to the breed standard, the shaggy looking Old English sheepdog is permitted to have brown and blue eyes or one of each color. When Old English sheepdogs have blue eyes, they are usually whitish-blue or have an opaque tint.
This breed is an ideal choice if you are looking for a dog with big hair and blue eyes. However, grooming can be a real challenge and you will need to learn how to brush your OES.
Bred for driving cattle and sheep, the Old English sheepdog is an active dog that requires a lot of exercise. Fun-loving and playful, this breed loves to play with children and is always looking for new and fun things to do. Very intelligent dogs, the OES is easy to train and will quickly learn basic commands.
When properly trained and socialized from a young age, the Old English Sheepdog is an affectionate family companion. These gentle and affectionate dogs like to spend time with their people and may develop separation anxiety if left alone a lot.
MY EXPERIENCE: Our friends own an Old English Sheepdog named Snoopy that has blue eyes.
8. Shetland Sheepdog
Blue-eyed Shetland sheepdogs are fairly rare, but the breed’s standard permits blue eyes in blue merle dogs. Shelties are small, sturdy, and agile working dogs that were bred to herd and protect sheep flocks.
Highly intelligent and eager to please, Shelties learn quickly and will excel in obedience and agility training. However, Shelties are sensitive dogs and can react strongly to harsh corrections, so keep the training positive and offer praise and rewards.
Like all other working breeds, the Shetland sheepdog is highly energetic and needs a lot of exercise; otherwise, he can become bored and destructive. Daily walks and a few play sessions a day are a must and will keep your Sheltie mentally stimulated and in good shape.
Although they are bred to work outdoors, Shelties form deep bonds with their people and should live indoors where they will be included in all family activities. Just remember, Shelties shed regularly and go through a shedding season annually. So, be prepared to groom your dog frequently or risk finding fur all over your home and furniture.
MY EXPERIENCE: Growing up one of my best friends had a Sheltie named Toffee. As I recall I don’t think she had blue eyes. This was over 30 years ago (yep, I’m getting old) so I apologize if my memory is failing.
9. Cardigan Welsh Corgi
According to the breed’s standard, blue and odd eyes (one dark and one blue) are permitted in blue merle Cardigan Welsh corgis. However, blue eyes are undesirable combined with any other coat pattern and would get your Corgi disqualified from a show ring.
The Cardigan Welsh corgi is a small herding dog with a lot of energy and a playful spirit. Don’t let its short legs and miniature size fool you, the Cardigan is a sturdy and powerful breed that loves to work.
Affectionate and loyal, these small dogs make ideal family companions but can be reserved towards strangers. This trait makes a Cardigan corgi a great choice if you are looking for a watchdog who will alert you of any suspicious activities.
Although highly intelligent, Cardigan corgis are independent thinkers and may want to do things their own way. This can make training one a bit challenging, especially for first-time owners. However, Corgis are quick learners when properly motivated, so use positive reinforcement techniques and start obedience training from a young age.
MY EXPERIENCE: One of our good guide dog puppy raising friends decided instead of raising a Labrador Retriever she’d raise a Cardigan Welsh Corgi. Hers does not have blue eyes.
Can Dogs Have Blue Eyes?
While most dogs usually have brown eyes, it’s completely normal for some dogs to have blue eyes. In dogs, just like in people, blue eyes are caused by the lack of pigment in the eye. However, dogs can have blue eyes for several other reasons:
The merle gene is responsible for creating mottled patches of color in a dog’s coat and blue or odd-colored eyes. However, merle is an incompletely dominant gene, so not every merle dog will have blue eyes. And while merle dogs often have blue eyes, they can also have one brown and one blue eye.
Blue Eye Gene
Like people, canines can inherit a gene for blue eyes. Certain breeds, such as the Border collie and the Siberian husky often have blue eyes because they have a dominant blue-eye gene. Dogs that inherit this gene will always have blue eyes regardless of their coat color.
Albinism in dogs is a rare genetic mutation that causes a complete lack of pigmentation in the skin, hair, and eyes. Most albino dogs have blue eyes, pink skin around their eyes, and pink noses. Since albino dogs lack the pigment melanin, they are very sensitive to ultraviolet rays and must be protected from direct sunlight, especially during summer months.
FAQs About Dog Breeds With Blue Eyes
Are Blue Eyes In A Dog Bad?
Blue eyes in dogs are completely normal and aren’t linked with any health problems. Certain breeds, such as Siberian husky, carry a gene for blue eyes and don’t experience any vision defects because of it. However, eye diseases such as cataracts and glaucoma can change a dog’s eye color to blue gradually.
What Does It Mean When A Dog Has Blue Eyes?
A dog’s blue eyes result from a lack of the pigment melanin in the eye. But, this doesn’t necessarily mean that a blue-eyed dog will experience any eye problems or go blind. Some breeds have a dominant blue-eyed gene, and dogs with the merle gene generally have blue or odd eyes.
What Breed Of Dog Is White With Blue Eyes?
Blue-eyed dogs are rare, regardless of their breed, but white dogs with blue eyes are even harder to find. The White husky is a name used to describe completely white Siberian huskies. Their eyes are usually blue, but can also be brown or bi-color.
Is It Rare For A Dog To Have Blue Eyes?
Although certain dog breeds carry a blue-eyed gene, dogs with blue eyes are still fairly rare. The distinctive blue eye color is caused by the lack of pigment in one or both eyes, albinism, or genetics. Breeds with merle coat, such as Australian shepherd often have blue eyes since the merle gene affects the coat and eye color.
Do Blue-eyed Dogs Have More Health Problems?
While most people think that blue eyes in a dog are a bad thing, blue-eyed dogs are as healthy as any other pooch.
The only real health issue that blue-eyed dogs experience is an increased sensitivity to bright light.
This happens because blue eyes have lower levels of melanin which means that more light can pass through the retina and cause discomfort.
However, a great number of health problems that are associated with blue eyes are commonly seen in double-merle dogs.
These dogs are often born with eye deformities that lead to blindness and can also experience deafness in one or both ears.
Double-merle dogs are also more likely to develop skin cancer on the nose and the areas that lack pigmentation.
Although blue eyes are a rarity in the canine world, virtually any dog can have them depending on his genetic makeup.
However, certain dog breeds are more likely to have a set of gorgeous baby blue eyes. Some of the most popular dog breeds with blue eyes are:
- Siberian husky
- Australian shepherd
- Border collie
While it’s true that blue eyes give dogs a unique and mesmerizing appearance, a brown-eyed or green-eyed dog will love you just the same!
Do you have a dog with blue eyes?
If so, what breed of dog dog you have?
Tell us about your experiences in the comment section below.