Meet a blue eyed dog and prepare to be amazed.
There’s a reason why these pups are all the rage!
From gentle hazy blue to a glistening sky blue, there is much to be revered in handsome, blue eyed dogs.
Believe it or not, in many breeds, blue eyes are not the color of choice according to AKC.
However, this doesn’t make them any less dashing. You’ll still find dog lovers who prefer blue eyes, no matter the breed.
Then there are breeds like the Siberian Husky and Australian Shepherd who are literally famous for their blue eyed gaze.
Today you’re about to discover 22 dog breeds that have blue eyes. For some breeds, blue eyes are more common. For others, they are the exception. Whatever the case, you’ll find them below.
You’ll also learn the why behind what actually causes blue eyes in a dog. Then we’ll round it out with a solid FAQ targeting dogs with blue eyes.
First up, let’s look at the breeds most popular for sporting those gorgeous blue eyes.
1. Siberian Husky
Meet Siberian Huskies, practically the breed mascot of all blue-eyed canine babes. Think blue eyes and it’s likely your mind will waft toward Siberian Huskies. These dogs are smart, full of energy, and thanks to their roots in Northern Russia, are exceptionally fond of cold weather. If you enjoy cold climates, this is your dog.
Thanks to their exorbitant amounts of energy, Siberian Huskies need lots of exercise and mental stimulation to keep them out of trouble. It’s always good to begin positive training while they are still young. Always be patient and consistent. Over time and with proper training, you’ll be rewarded with a mature canine ready to take the world in stride.
Blue eyes are a common trait for Siberian Huskies although you’ll find them sometimes with brown eyes, or even one brown eye and one blue eye. When it comes to grooming, the Husky carries a luscious coat of hair and sheds heavily twice each year. You’ll want to keep a dog brush handy and comb the coat frequently to remove tangles and dead hair.
2. Australian Shepherd
The Australian Shepherd is one solid beaut! They’ll greet you with blue eyes, brown eyes, amber eyes, or a combination of these three. Their intense gaze is enough to stop you in your tracks. True to their name, they love to herd so watch this breed around small children and household pets.
An Aussie’s coat is medium length, so weekly brushing should be expected. These dogs are skilled in agility and have no problem outsmarting a novice dog owner. They exude robust energy and have a heart to please. Start positive training young, and you’ll have a canine to truly be proud of.
3. Border Collie
While blue eyes are acceptable on any Border Collie, the Collies with merle coats are most preferred for their glistening blue eyes. Although according to breed standard, really any eye color, coat variation, and markings are acceptable. Among the various patterns, Collies with merle or two-toned coats are the most likely to carry blue eyes.
Border Collies require a thorough weekly brushing to keep tangles and matted hair at bay. They exude energy and have proven themselves experts in flyball, agility, obedience, and flying disk competitions.
Perhaps best of all, Collies are smart, gentle, and a farm dog favorite. They are athletic and nimble, they are capable of staring intensely, and they have a heart to please.
4. Catahoula Leopard Dog
From hazy blue-grey to sky blue and every shade in between, the Catahoula Leopard Dog has it all. These babes come in a variety of coats and eye colors. Their short coat makes them easy to groom, meaning an occasional brushing or bath should be all you need. They shed regularly, although shedding is light and minimal.
Catahoulas fling an independent streak and can be territorial by nature. They are no match for the novice owner. Pair them with an experienced and loving dog owner, and you’ve got yourself a winning match!
Blue eyes, brown eyes, or one of each. You can take your pick when searching for your new Dalmatian. These dogs were first trained to guard horses and carriages. They carry themselves with dignity and often appear aloof towards strangers. Thanks to their short coat, you won’t need to bath these pals too often.
A Dalmatian’s spotted white coat positions him among the most recognized dogs. They are easy to spot in a crowd and even easier to identify. Favorite things for a Dalmatian include running and high action living, so plan to provide lots of exercise and mental stimulation when you bring a Dalmatian home.
6. Alaskan Klee Kai
Think a pint-size husky when imagining the Alaskan Klee Kai. They are a Spitz breed who commonly sport blue eyes. Their energy runs high meaning exercise is a must. Not to mention, Alaskan Klee Kais carry a high prey drive so you’ll want to keep an eye on the little people and other house pets when there’s an Alaskan Klee Kai in the room.
These tiny pals are agility experts and love a good time. They are playful and funny and unashamedly vocal. Not to mention they are frequent shedders so keep the hair brush handy.
7. American Pit Bull Terrier
Train them young and you’ll have yourself one good-natured pal. While blue eyes are uncommon for the American Pit Bull Terrier, they do occur from time to time. The American Pit Bulls most likely to be born with blue eyes are those with either a blue coat and nose or that of a merle pattern.
American Pit Bull Terriers carry an intelligent brain matched with a gentle heart. While they are not recognized by AKC, they are a member of the United Kennel Club (UKC).
8. Australian Cattle Dog
While most of these pals have brown eyes, you’ll find blue eyes on occasion. Australian Cattle Dogs sport a dashing ticked coat and require little maintenance. It’s true they shed regularly, so a thorough weekly brushing is a must
Thanks to their cattle dog traits, these beauties are athletic and sport a high prey drive. They are wary of strangers and happy to flaunt a strong will. Simply begin positive training early to help your Aussie Cattle dog understand who is pack leader, along with which behaviors are acceptable in public.
Meet America’s most popular hound dog: the Beagle! Blue eyes are rare in a Beagle. What isn’t rare? A cheerful disposition, a winsome face, and excellent hunting skills. These dogs are expert in tracking and love to hunt rabbits and foxes.
Beagles have an exceptionally keen sense of smell. Plus, they have a variety of forms when it comes to expressing themselves. Thinking barking, howling, or baying, you’ll likely encounter all three when you bring a Beagle home.
While dark eyes are most common for the Boxer, you’ll occasionally meet a blue-eyed Boxer, or even a Boxer with one blue and one brown eye. These dogs are excellent family dogs and love to be goofy and silly. Action is their game, so look forward to lots of play sessions and active living when doing life alongside a Boxer. Just be sure to begin training while your Boxer is still a puppy. This way your Boxer pup can learn how to behave in public and step into a truly successful puppy adulthood.
Thanks to their short coat, Boxers are low maintenance and require only an occasionally brushing or bath. One thing to note is, Boxers are sensitive to extreme weather. So keep your temps mild when a Boxer is in the home.
11. Cardigan Welsh Corgi
A cousin to the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, one thing you’ll find different in these pups is their long tails. They flaunt a thick, luscious coat and shed regularly, with heavier shedding occurring when the seasons change. When it comes to eye color, you’ll find both blue, brown, or one of each.
Cardigan Welsh Corgis are playful and affectionate with a large tank of energy. Exercise is a must, so plan for games in the backyard and afternoons at the park to keep these beauties happy and thriving. Thanks to their long, low build, stairs should be approached with extreme caution.
12. Cocker Spaniel
Believe it or not, blue eyes actually disqualify Cocker Spaniels from passing the AKC breed standard test, yet it doesn’t keep blue eyes from happening on occasion. Find yourself a blue eyed Cocker Spaniel and you’ve found a rare treasure. Cocker Spaniels are a sporting breed with a playful demeanor. They love to please and thrive on making people smile.
When it comes to being together, there’s not much a Cocker Spaniel doesn’t enjoy. From snuggling on the couch to action packed games in the backyard, Cocker Spaniels love it all. Thanks to their long hair, a Cocker Spaniel’s coat should be brushed daily, interspersed with a clipping every few weeks.
Thanks to their charming demeanor, Cocker Spaniels are an excellent match for first time dog owners.
Brown eyes or blue eyes, you can take your pick in the charming Dachshund. Blue eyes are especially common in dappled coat patterns. When talking coat textures, you’ll discover a lovely variety. Choose from smooth hair or wired hair or long hair to find your perfect match. Whichever type you choose, plan to brush a Dachshund weekly. Wire haired coats will need special stripping several times each year to remove dead hair and long-haired pals will need extra brushing around their ears and tails to remove unwanted tangles.
Dachshunds exude a charming disposition and are first confident, then playful and even clownish. They are capable of being stubborn and their short legs require only minimal exercise. Be careful around stairs with your Dachshund though, as their backs are prone to injury.
14. German Shepherd
Blue eyes are a rarity on the German Shepherd. Still, from time to time you may meet a German Shepherd with a hint of blue in their eyes. German Shepherds carry a thick double coat of hair and shed extra heavy twice each year.
Their disposition is equal parts playful and loyal. They thrive when given a challenge and require large amounts of exercise. Thanks to their off-the-charts intelligence, begin training while your pal is still a puppy to ensure good doggy behaviors.
15. Great Dane
In the Great Dane clan, only dogs with merle or harlequin coat patterns have blue eyes. Beyond eye color, favorite characteristics include their giant size paired with a big, soft heart.
Great Danes began as both guard dogs and working dogs so naturally they are today champions in weight-pulling and tracking. Their energy runs high and they don’t mind being stubborn. Start good, positive training early with these champs to train up a mature and polite Dane giant.
16. Great Pyrenees
Blue eyed Pyrenees gems are not included in the AKC breed standard, yet this doesn’t stop if from happening. Few and far between, it’s possible to meet a Great Pyrenees dog that looks at life through dashing blue eyes.
This breed is strong, courageous, and majestic in appearance. Their snowy white coat is straight up gorgeous, while their steady personality makes them a canine favorite.
The Great Pyrenees was first bred to guard flocks and keep predators at bay. They are fierce protectors and demand much exercise. Build positive training and socialization into your routine while your Pyrenees is still a pup. Then watch your pal mature into a well-mannered and deeply loved canine friend.
17. Neapolitan Mastiff
Blue eyes are against the AKC breed standard for the Neapolitan Mastiff, yet it still happens from time to time. Find yourself a blue eyed Neapolitan Mastiff and you’ve found yourself a rare treasure. A signature trait of this Mastiff is his wrinkles. From head to toe, Neapolitan Mastiffs are covered in charming wrinkles that make him hard to forget.
Plus, Neapolitan Mastiffs are strong, confident, and independent by nature. They are no match for the first time dog owner. Instead, they need consistent and loving training. Be intentional about properly curving their drive towards becoming stubborn and territorial.
Exercise is a must for these giants to curb obesity and keep stiff joints at bay. When talking grooming, baths should be frequent while brushing can be less often.
18. Old English Sheepdog
Meet the Old English Sheepdog and you are likely to encounter blue eyes, brown eyes, or a combination of both. For the blue eyed beauties, the shade is typically a lighter hue of blue than commonly found in other canines.
Thanks to their full double coat, the Old English Sheepdog requires lots of grooming. Their long coats should be brushed frequently with an occasional bath occurring every few weeks.
True to their name, the Old English Sheepdog began as a livestock breed. They are fond of herding, although surprisingly require only moderate exercise. When meeting new friends, this breed can be choosy. Simply start good socialization while your puppy is still young so he/she learns how to both make and be a friend.
19. Pit Bull
Never mind that the UKC standard finds fault with a blue eyed Pit Bull, it happens nonetheless. These champs are high energy dogs who thrive on action. Backyard games and trips to the park are not an option with the Pit Bull, they’re simply a must.
Pit Bulls exude a strong personality and are simply no match for the first time dog owner. Rather, Pit Bulls need a dominant pack leader who takes charge and teaches them right from wrong. The good news is, when a Pit Bull is properly trained from a young age, they are 100% capable of being charming companions who are actually soft at heart.
20. Shetland Sheepdog
Blue eyes are a rarity for the Shetland Sheepdog. When blue eyes do happen, it’s typically on Sheepdogs flaunting a blue merle coat.
Called Sheltie for short, the Shetland Sheepdog is fiercely intelligent and was born to herd (hence their name!). Watch this breed around young children and other household pets to keep your Sheepdog from taking over.
Shedding is regular, so keep a brush nearby. If you’re looking for a dose of action, these pals are excellent in obedience trials and agility competitions.
21. Shih Tzu
Though uncommon, Shih Tzus will on occasion sport eyes in various shades of blue. While this is considered a fault according to the AKC breed standard, it is stunning nonetheless.
Shih Tzus are a charming lap dog with big personality. They are excellent with children and bring a playful attitude to the room.
Thanks to their exuberant energy, Shih Tzus require daily exercise. In the world of grooming, Shih Tzus shed only little meaning these short haired cuties need brushed only a few times each week. A Shih Tzu with long hair, however, should still be brushed daily to keep the mats and tangles at bay.
Say yes to blue-gray eyed goodness in the dashing Weimaraner. These babes are a sporting breed with a love for action. Their energy runs high so daily exercise is a must.
Weimaraners are smart, gentle, and thrive on making friends happy. They are generally low maintenance, although you’ll want to keep a close eye on those long floppy ears to guard against possible ear infections.
Here are the factors that contribute to a dog having blue eyes:
1. Merle Gene
The merle gene is what creates dappled or mottled patches of color on a dog’s skin and coat. These patches of color can include a variety of shades including white, blue, and red, etc. The gene dilutes random areas of the coat to lighter colors while adding blue eyes as a common side effect.
When the merle gene is present, blue eyes are actually caused by a dilution of pigmentation within the iris. Meaning coats with higher amounts of color dilution are more likely to have blue eyes.
The result? Many merle coated dogs will have blue eyes, although some will have one blue and one brown eye, while others will have two-tone eyes.
2. Blue Eye Gene
A few dog breeds carry an actual dominant blue eye gene that is totally independent from their coat and nose color. Huskies and Border Collies are two breeds that can have blue eyes, regardless of coat color.
When a blue eye gene is present, the color hues range from a whitish blue to a deep sky blue.
There is also a recessive blue eye gene commonly found in breeds such as the Pembroke Welsh Corgi and Beagle. It occurs less frequently than the dominant counterpart, although you’re likely to still find it on occasion.
Albino dogs are extremely rare. Meet an albino dog and you’ll discover a dog who is white all over with shades of pink around the eyes. The eyes are always blue, thanks to the lack of pigmentation.
For an albino dog, the white coat is a result of zero pigmentation in the skin, hair, and eyes. Albinos are unable to produce melanin which is the color producing pigment in a dog. This means there simply isn’t color in an albino’s skin. Rather, the strong pink hues are a result of blood flow happening beneath the skin.
4. Lack of Pigmentation Around the Eyes
Occasionally you may meet a dog with large white patches on his face. While this isn’t albinism, the patches indicate a lack of pigmentation in those specific areas meaning blue eyes are a common side effect.
Unlike albinos, these dogs can still produce melanin. It’s just in lower quantities than what is typical for other dogs.
Many dogs with blue eyes have an increased sensitivity to light. The lower concentration of melanin in their retina permits more light to pass through, causing them discomfort and the need to squint.
The majority of actual health concerns for blue eyed dogs are with double merle dogs. A double merle dog is the result of when both parent dogs are merle.
For a double merle dog, eventual blindness and/or deafness is sometimes a result. In addition, skin cancer is also more likely to develop on the nose and and areas not protected by pigmentation in the skin.
Q. Why do dogs have blue eyes?
Blue eyes in a dog are a direct result of either the merle gene, the blue eye gene, albinism, or simply a lack of pigmentation round the eye area.
Q. Are blue eyed dogs more prone to health issues?
The majority of health concerns associated with blue eyed dogs are with double merle dogs (when both parents are merle). These dogs are highly susceptible to blindness, deafness, and skin cancer.
Q. Can a dog’s eye color change?
Yes. Occasionally blue eyes in a puppy will change to brownish hues after a few weeks. It can take up to sixteen weeks for a dog’s eye color to become permanent.
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Jamie (n.d.). 23 Common & rare dogs with blue eyes | Blue eyed breeds. Retrieved from https://www.trendingbreeds.com/dogs-with-blue-eyes/.
Snyder, K. (2020). Blue-eyed beauties: 19 breeds with blue eyes. Retrieved from https://www.k9ofmine.com/dog-breeds-with-blue-eyes/.