Dog Breeds

Blue Eyed Dogs

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The blue eye coloring in canines is thought to be the result of a recessive gene in a particular breed.  Purebred and mixed breed dogs that are crossed with a dog breed that usually has blue eye coloring may produce offspring that do in fact have blue eyes themselves.  So strictly speaking, there could be a large number of dog types that exhibit blue colored eyes.  Keep in mind that most puppies are born with blue eyes and need a couple of months growth until the likely adult eye coloring can be accurately established.

If a dog breed has the merle gene, sometimes known as the merle dilution gene, the color combinations and patterning in its coat will often be affected by mottling and patchiness in tone.  This gene also can affect the eye color of the dog and in many cases the result will be a blue tint to the eye's color. 

Another factor that may produce blue eye color in dogs is due to health issues.  If the dog has Diabetes, Glaucoma, Cataracts or is starting to go blind then the eyes may in fact be a blueish color.  This can occur in almost any breed and can also occur if the canine's eyes are producing an excess of tears of if there is a building up of old cells.

There are some types of dogs that will typically display a blue eye color in greater proportion to other breeds and these include:

~  Alaskan Husky:  More a 'type' of dog rather than a breed strictly speaking.  Moderate sized sled dogs who have a non-specific ancestry line.  Their eyes are often light blue in color.

~  Alaskan Malamutes:  A large sized breed of domestic dog that often have almond-shaped, blue colored eyes.  Although other eye colorings may be in evidence in these breeds, anything from dark to light shades, honey or hazel brown.

~  American Indian Dogs:  A mixed breed of canine that can be a combination of husky, malamute, German shepherd, Chinooks and dogs from Indian reservations; perhaps even containing a dash of wolf in the make-up. Possibly the evidence of Northern breed dogs in this types make-up lead to the occurrence of blue eye coloring.

~  Siberian Huskies:  These are medium-sized working dogs that originated in eastern Siberia.  With a wild wolf-like appearance, the eyes can be a startling ice blue color however the existence of this trait can be comparatively rare and any litter that contains the blue eyed gene is often very highly prized when it does occur.

~  Australian Shepherds:  Herding dogs that actually originated in the United States ironically enough.  Not only can they have blue eye coloring, they also sometimes have bi-colored eyes, half brown and half blue which can produce quite a strange visual effect in the animal.

~  Border Collies:  These extremely intelligent and likeable dogs, descending from gathering and droving breeds from the Scottish-English and Welsh-English borders (hence the name) have eye colors that can be of a deep brown hue, amber and in some cases blue.

~  Catahoula Leopards:  Sometimes known as Louisiana Catahoula Leopards or Catahoula Curs, these dogs often have strange looking blue or blueish white colored eyes.  A cracked glass or marbled effect in the eyes with an ice blue coloring can give this dog a piercing, almost other-wordly look to its gaze. 

~  Collies:  The time-honored 'Lassie' was a Collie; they come in rough or smooth varieties and can have a blue coloring to the eye.

As well as the above list some other breeds can have blue eye color.  These include Dalmations, Great Danes (harlequins), Koolies, German Coolies, Shetland Sheepdogs, Welsh Corgis (Cardigans), Dachshunds and the pint-sized Chihuahuas.  Even Shih tzus can have blue eyes although it's not the most common occurrence.

More about this author: David Braybrooke

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