While blue eyes are a beautiful trait, blue eyes aren’t very common for dogs to have.
In fact, the gene to have blue eyes is rare and only a select number of different breeds possess this gene.
The most widely known breed of dog to have blue eyes are huskies, but are they the only dogs who have blue eyes?
Are Huskies The Only Dogs With Blue Eyes?
Huskies are not the only dogs with blue eyes. Instead, there are a small variety of different breeds that can have blue eyes. Some of the dog breeds with blue eyes are German shepherds, dalmatians, border collies, and Australian shepherds. This isn’t nearly all of them, but not every dog can have blue eyes.
There are several different genetic causes for dogs having blue eyes.
For many blue-eyed dogs, such as the Australian shepherd, the blue eyes they can have is caused by the merle gene.
This gene leads to a sudden loss in pigmentation in the eyes and sometimes the face.
The lack of pigmentation in the eyes gives the appearance of blue eyes.
However, Siberian huskies are different.
The Cause of Blue Eyes in Siberian Huskies
Siberian huskies are the only breed of blue-eyed dog that doesn’t need the merle gene to have blue eyes.
Their blue eyes can be completely independent of other losses of pigmentation.
Instead, Siberian huskies have a different gene that causes the lack of pigmentation to create blue eyes.
This gene allows Siberian huskies to have a variety of different shades of blue eyes from light to dark.
This gene is called the ALX4 gene which is responsible for the specific lack of pigmentation to create vibrant blue eyes.
Dogs who have albinism tend to have very pale blue eyes.
This is because albinism is a complete lack of pigmentations in creatures which leads to pale blue eyes and pale fur.
Any dog can have albinism which leads to them having blue eyes, but blue eyes caused by this condition aren’t accepted by the AKC.
Albinism in dogs also leads to a variety of other health problems such as eye problems and light sensitivity.
Dogs who suffer from albinism typically are more aggressive from being unable to properly observe their surroundings.
The lack of pigmentation in their eyes makes them sensitive to light and also makes it harder for them to see.
Not only are their eyes sensitive to light, but their skin is too. Dogs with albinism are more prone to sunburns and even skin cancer. Keeping your dog safe from the sun is important if they lack the proper protection from the sun. Sunscreen and shady spots will be these dogs’ best friends.
What Breeds of Dogs Can Have Blue Eyes?
As mentioned earlier, huskies aren’t the only dogs that have blue eyes.
There are a variety of dogs that can have blue eyes, though that number is still low.
Different sources give different numbers of breeds that can have blue eyes.
However, there are 14 purebred dog breeds that can have blue eyes.
Here Are the Purebred Dogs That Can Have Blue Eyes:
- Siberian Husky
- Australian Shepherd
- Border Collie
- Great Dane
- Klee Kai
- Cane Corso
There are also more kinds of breeds that can have blue eyes.
Throughout the different sources, it is a general consensus that there are no more than 35 breeds of dogs that can have blue eyes.
This is a very low amount considering that the AKC recognizes a total of 197 breeds of dogs.
More breeds exist but aren’t recognized by the AKC.
Do Dogs with Bi-Colored Eyes Exist?
Dogs can have more than one color of eye. Bi-colored, or heterochromia, eyes exist in many different breeds of dogs.
Blue eyes can be one of the two different colored eyes.
The most common combination with blue eyes is one brown eye and one blue eye.
Not only are two separate eye colors possible in dogs but having different eye colors in the same eye is possible too.
Colored wedges can exist in an eye, making an eye multi-colored
A common color wedge in an eye is a blue wedge in a brown eye.
These kinds of eyes are called parti-colored and these combinations are more common than heterochromia.
Can Eye Colors Change?
As a puppy gets older, their eye color can change as well.
For some dogs, their eye color can lighten as they get older and other dogs can have their eyes darken.
Huskies are among the breeds of dogs that can have their eye color change as they age.
Many puppies are born with blue eyes, but they darken to brown as they age.
This is why you shouldn’t count on your puppy’s eyes to remain blue.
It takes about 5 weeks for your puppy’s eye color to change.
If they keep their eye color until they reach adulthood, then you can count on that eye color staying.
How Can I Guess the Color My Dog Will Have?
While there isn’t a sure way to know what eye color your dog will have in adulthood, you can make a guess based on different factors.
Breed of Dog
First, different breeds of dogs are more or less likely to keep their blue eyes into adulthood.
Siberian huskies are more likely to keep their blue eyes into adulthood than some other breeds of blue-eyed dogs.
Genetics of the Parents
Always look at the parent’s files before getting a puppy.
Not only will the parent’s files warn you about any possible genetic conditions that your puppy might have, but these files can also give you a look into what your puppy may look like.
If your puppy’s parents both have blue eyes, then there is a much larger chance for your puppy to keep their blue eyes as well.
This is also the same if they have heterochromia or another eye color anomaly.
Are Blue Eyes Connected to Other Health Problems?
Other than the blue eyes that are found in albinism, blue eyes aren’t connected to other health problems.
The only difference that your dog may face is some light sensitivity, but this wouldn’t be any more extreme than the light sensitivity that people with blue eyes face.
The lighter one’s eyes are the less protection from the sun there is.
The possible health problems that a dog can have are connected to the breed, not eye color.
What Eye Problems Do Huskies Face?
Huskies are prone to a variety of health conditions as with any other breed of dog out there.
Among these health problems is a list of eye problems that they can face.
Huskies are prone to having cataracts.
If untreated, the husky with cataracts can go blind.
Luckily, if caught early, surgery can be done to remove cataracts.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy
PRA is a genetically inherited health condition that relates to the deterioration of the husky’s retinas.
If untreated, this condition can lead to blindness.
Like cataracts, this deterioration can be stopped through surgery.
This condition is a genetically inherited disease that causes white dots to form on the cornea of a husky.
Corneal Dystrophy causes hazy and blurred vision, slightly similar to what cataracts do.
However, unlike cataracts, there isn’t a known treatment for this condition.
How To Prevent These Conditions from Getting Too Bad
Regular vet checkups for your husky are key to preventing the negative impacts that these eye conditions can have. Again, corneal dystrophy doesn’t have a known cure so even if your vet catches the problem early on, there still isn’t a lot to be done.
For PRA and cataracts, catching these conditions early is key to protecting the sight of your husky.
The earlier the condition is caught and the earlier the treatment is given, the better for your husky.
That way you can prevent your husky from suffering from deteriorating sight.
Huskies aren’t the only dog that has blue eyes, but they are the only dog that can have blue eyes independent of the merle gene.
There are a variety of different breeds of dogs that can have blue eyes, and many dogs can also have a combination of colors of eyes.
There are bi-color and parti-colored eyes that both huskies and other kinds of dogs can have.
While blue eyes aren’t connected to eye problems, huskies are still prone to a few eye problems that can negatively impact their sight.
By having regular checkups at the vet, you can make sure to catch anything wrong with your husky early on so the conditions can be treated.
Blue eyes are beautiful on dogs and are especially beautiful on the powerful features that huskies have.
Huskies are amazing dogs to own as they are incredibly loving, playful, and powerful in their own ways.
Having a blue-eyed dog is quite special, so appreciate your dog if they do have blue eyes.