Many people find dogs with blue eyes striking. However, very few dogs have blue eyes. This eye color is tied to several different genes. For instance, sometimes, dogs have blue eyes. Many breeds carry blue-eye genes, like huskies.
However, other canines have blue eyes due to different genetics. Merle dogs often have blue eyes due to a disruption of their pigment, which also gives them their unique coloration (and causes health problems).
Sometimes, older dogs may get eyes with a “blue-ish” color, while they had darker eyes when younger. However, these blue eyes are often caused by health issues, like cataracts.
Let’s look at breeds that have blue eyes.
1. Siberian Huskies
Siberian huskies have blue eyes in many cases. In fact, their bright blue eyes are one reason why they are so popular and striking. However, these breeds are a lot more than their wolf-like appearance. They were bred primarily for pulling sleds. Therefore, they have a high level of endurance and strength. They usually weigh under 60 pounds, but larger variants exist.
These breeds require significant amounts of exercise. They’re quite intelligent. However, they can be very independent too. Therefore, training is often a challenge. Even if a husky understands a command, it won’t necessarily follow them in real-world situations.
Many dog owners with huskies love their dogs’ personalities. However, they can be a lot to handle. It’s vital to understand how huskies typically act before purchasing a puppy.
Weimaraners typically have a sleek gray coat and bright blue eyes. Their eye coloration does vary a small amount, though, so some have amber or grayish eyes. These canines weigh around 55 to 90 pounds, with females being far smaller than males. They look fairly graceful and put together.
As you might imagine, Weimeraners are hunting dogs through and through. They’re very obedient, though, with a high level of trainability – a unique trait for a hunting dog. They’re also very friendly and tend to love everyone, including kids. As long as they’re conditioned properly, Weimaraners make wonderful family dogs.
Weimaraners do require a lot of exercise and stimulation. Their intelligence makes them bored easily, so they need some activity to keep them busy. Training, puzzle toys, and socialization all fit into this category. They work best for active families, as it can be challenging to meet their exercise needs otherwise.
This canine doesn’t have many grooming needs and is relatively healthy. You don’t need to worry about those two categories of their life.
3. Border Collie
The border collie is a newer breed, but they enjoy widespread popularity. This canine has many of the traits owners request in their dogs. Firstly, they’re quite athletic. They were originally bred to herd sheep and other livestock, working in the field all day. Therefore, they require a lot of exercise, as their endurance is very high.
These canines are also smart. They are one of the smartest breeds out there. Their devotion and smarts combined make them fun and easy to train. They often prefer to have a job, such as herding animals or obedience work. When without a job, they can become bored. Therefore, many border collie owners come up with a job for their pet to do, preventing the dog from becoming bored and destructive.
Border collies are medium-sized dogs that stand up to 22 inches at the shoulder max. They weigh around 20 pounds. They are often smaller than most people think. Therefore, they may make a good dog for smaller spaces if you can meet their exercise needs.
4. Cardigan Welsh Corgi
Cardigan Welsh corgis can sometimes have blue eyes, though this is rarer than other eye colors. Only merle corgis are accepted according to the breed standard. The corgi can get the merle gene, but the breed doesn’t carry the normal blue-eyed gene.
Thanks to Queen Elizabeth, most people know what a corgi is. However, many people don’t know that this breed was originally bred for herding. The dogs’ shorter legs prevented them from getting kicked by cattle, but their sturdy body kept them sturdy. Their long back can cause some problems, though. They are more prone to spinal issues and similar problems.
Corgis are extremely short, but they can weigh up to 34 pounds. They’re much bulkier than they are tall. Several different coat patterns and colors are possible. You’ll have to adopt a merle if you want a blue-eyed corgi.
This breed isn’t the friendliest. They can be a bit unsure of newcomers. However, they often get along swimmingly with most if properly socialized. Many may make good family dogs for those with young children. But, due to their elongated back, children shouldn’t be allowed to press on their spine.
5. Great Danes
Great Danes are a bit of a complicated case. These canines come in a harlequin coloration occasionally that allows for blue eyes. Other eye colors are far more possible, though, and the merle gene causes the harlequin pattern – so it may come with health issues.
For one reason to another, though, Great Danes often have fewer health problems due to the merle gene than other breeds.
Many people know the Great Dane due to their massive size. They may weigh up to 175 pounds and stand up to 32 inches. Males are always larger than females. Therefore, potential owners should have plenty of room for these larger dogs. While they aren’t very active and surprisingly well-behaved indoors, they do take up quite a bit of room by just existing.
Great Danes are often characterized as “gentle giants.” Originally bred as hunting dogs, they’ve been kept as companion animals for a long time. Therefore, their hunting instincts are practically non-existent, but they are extremely loyal and affectionate. While they can deter intruders, they tend to be friendly and cannot be used as guard dogs.
Socialization and training are recommended to prevent potential problems. After all, their large size can make even minor problems much more troublesome.
6. Bull Terrier
Bull terriers are unusual dogs. They possess a very large and rounded snout, separating them from most other dog breeds. This breed tends to be very playful and fun-loving – even into adulthood. They’re often muscular and can weigh up to 70 pounds, putting them firmly in the “large” category.
Often, these canines are independent and tend to listen to their instincts. They’re often considered stubborn in this regard, making training challenging. You should start socialization and training early and often for this reason, but don’t expect them to win any obedience contest.
Bull terriers are extremely people-oriented. They love to be with their humans and may act poorly when separated for a long period.
This breed has a surprising amount of energy, so regular exercise is recommended. Otherwise, they may become bored and destructive.
These dogs can make very loveable and interesting companions when all their needs are met. However, be sure you have the time and energy to care for this personality breed before adopting one. They’re a fair bit more work than many expect.
7. English Setter
Four different setters call Britain home, including the English setter. This medium-sized canine has an easygoing temperament. They’re built solidly but still have quite a bit of elegance.
This breed comes in a unique pattern called “belton” — a word unique to this breed. This pattern can appear in several different main colors, including lemon, liver, and orange.
This setter has the reputation of being a gentleman with good manners. They behave well indoors. However, as hunting dogs, they have a lot of energy. Therefore, they require a lot of exercise and do best in an active family. This breed bonds closely with its owners, which can lead to separation anxiety if the dogs aren’t taught how to be alone. Crate training is highly recommended for this reason.
Some of these canines have blue eyes, though it does depend on their base color.
Thanks to a certain movie, just about everyone knows what a Dalmation is. However, this breed isn’t all that popular in the United States. All Dalmations have spots, though certain dogs have fewer spots than others. Dogs with less pigmentation are more likely to have hearing and sight issues, as the pigment is necessary for these senses to develop properly.
For health reasons, many experts recommend choosing Dalmatians with more pigmentation.
This canine had a unique job historically. They were bred to accompany coaches due to their calming effect on horses. Stereotypically, they accompanied horse-driven fire-fighting coaches, where they would calm the horses down around the flames. Today, the Dalmatian is still strongly associated with firefighters.
Dalmatians were bred for decently long journeys, and their stamina remains high today. Therefore, they require quite a bit of exercise. They aren’t going to lay around the house like other companion breeds all day. They also have some guarding instincts, as they were utilized to guard coaches and horses. However, these are much more watered down than in other breeds.
Still, these canines may be aloof around strangers, and they can make good watchdogs. They’re very devoted to their owners, forming close bonds with their family members. Their high stamina makes them great running partners, especially if you’re looking for a guard dog.
Dachshunds enjoy a lot of popularity within the United States, where they are mostly kept as companion animals. However, in the past, these dogs were utilized as “badger hounds.” Their short legs allowed them to enter burrows searching for prey like badgers. Therefore, they technically fall into the hunting dog category.
Because of their long back, dachshunds can suffer from various back issues. These problems range from minor back pain to paralysis. For this reason, they often aren’t considered very healthy dogs.
The dachshund comes in many different colorations, sizes, and coat types. Their temperament and health remain mostly the same between all these variations. Most of the time, they have brown eyes. However, they can also inherit the merle pattern, which causes blue eyes.
Of course, the merle gene can cause several other health issues, too. Therefore, dogs with the merle gene tend to be less healthy than their brown-eyed counterparts.
Despite being smaller hounds, dachshunds require a lot of exercise and love to chase everything. They aren’t lap dogs like most small breeds, and their personality resembles other hounds more than toy breeds. They’re bold, stubborn dogs that most owners have difficulty training. However, their devoted nature has won the hearts of many.
10. Australian Shepherd
The Australian shepherd commonly has the merle gene, allowing the breed to have blue eyes. Of course, the merle gene causes health problems, such as an increased chance of deafness and lower puppy mortality rates. Therefore, Australian shepherds with blue eyes may have more health issues than other colorations.
Luckily, the Australian shepherd is usually pretty healthy overall. Ranchers bred them to help herd cattle, so health was essential in the breed’s early development. They’re energetic, agile, driven dogs.
Despite their name, Australian shepherds didn’t come from Australia. Instead, they developed largely in California, though the dogs imported to California probably came from Australia.
Australian shepherds are a working breed, despite being kept as companions by many. Due to their remarkable intelligence, they bore easily and require a lot of mental stimulation. They’re also energetic and need hours of exercise a day. While they can make great companions, they also require a lot of work.
If you’re looking for an intelligent dog to spend your days with, the Australian shepherd may be for you. However, for your average dog owner, this breed remains too much to handle.
11. Labrador Retriever
The Labrador retriever remains one of the most popular breeds in the United States. They’re known for their friendly nature and gentle attitude, making them great family dogs. Their high intelligence makes them extremely trainable, though it can also lead to boredom. They were originally bred as working dogs, so their stamina and exercise need is high.
If you have plenty of time to spend in their care, these dogs make great companions. However, many novice owners are surprised by how much work they are — given that they are often touted as the best family dog.
Labrador retrievers rarely have blue eyes, but there are several reports of it happening. There is some argument over whether Labradors can naturally have blue eyes or whether extra genetics via mixed breeding must be introduced. Either way, you will find blue-eyed Labradors for sale online, though these don’t necessarily fit the breed standard.
Labradors remain one of the friendliest dogs around. They socialize very easily and are rarely aloof toward strangers. Their energetic personality makes them great for active families, and they typically get along just fine with children, too.
12. German Shepherd
The German shepherd enjoys a lot of popularity throughout the world. Bred as guard dogs, they have strong guarding instincts and are extremely devoted to their family. Therefore, they were utilized for military and police work in the past.
Today, many breeders create German shepherds specifically for shows or as companion animals, so their guarding instincts weren’t as strong as they once were. Today, other breeds, like the Belgian Malinois, are beginning to take their spot as working dogs.
Despite technically being one breed, German shepherds can vary a lot. Breeders that bred dogs for show purposes focus on completely different traits than those breeding dogs for working purposes. Show-line German shepherds have a range of health issues today due to breeding for exaggerated characteristics. Therefore, working-like German shepherds are typically the best choice for those looking for a companion or working animal.
This breed rarely has blue eyes. However, it isn’t impossible. This breed does seem to carry a recessive blue-eye gene. Because this isn’t connected to the merle gene, blue-eyed German shepherds aren’t usually less healthy than their littermates.
All German shepherds still maintain some level of guarding instincts. Therefore, early socialization and training are required. This breed remains extremely devoted to their owners, which often translates into an easier time training. However, show-line dogs are often significantly less trainable than other German shepherds.
Ready to discover the top 10 cutest dog breeds in the entire world?
How about the fastest dogs, the largest dogs and those that are -- quite frankly -- just the kindest dogs on the planet? Each day, AZ Animals sends out lists just like this to our thousands of email subscribers. And the best part? It's FREE. Join today by entering your email below.
More from A-Z Animals
The Featured Image
Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.