What Dog Breed Has Blue Eyes?
- Pieter Maas
Some dogs sport icy-colored irises as a breed trademark, while others may get blue eyes as a recessive trait. Other dogs with a particular coat color, specifically merle (mottled patches) or piebald (a white coat with spots), tend to get blue eyes passed on to them.
- Some of the most common breeds to have blue eyes include huskies, border collies, and Weimaraners.
- If your dog has the merle or piebald gene, it cannot consistently create pigment, which would explain the light eyes.
- Some dogs, like huskies, have a higher likelihood of heterochromia—two different colored eyes.
Note that the American Kennel Club (AKC) specifically disqualifies many blue-eyed purebred dogs from the show ring, as while an individual dog might have blue eyes, the eye color might be technically considered a fault for that breed. But that doesn’t mean the dog can’t make a wonderful pet.
What breed is a dog with blue eyes?
The “blue eye” variant – Many people associate blue eyes with the Siberian Husky, And that’s not a coincidence. Huskies are more likely than most pups to carry a variant in the ALX4 gene that causes blue eyes. Because this is a dominant trait, dogs with just one copy of the variant may have blue eyes. Genetic variants may cause only one eye to be blue. Why do some dogs have only one blue eye? Genetic variants don’t always affect both eyes. As a result, dogs can end up with one blue eye and one eye of a different color. This trait is called heterochromia iridis, but it goes by many other names—including “odd eyes,” “split eyes,” and “broken glass eyes.”
How rare is a blue-eyed dog?
Dog breeds that naturally have blue eyes – No doubt about it, dogs with blue eyes belong to a unique club. Scientists say only 5% of dogs have the blue-eye variant as part of their DNA. The blue-eyed trait is recessive and most often related to coat color, specifically in those with merle (mottled patches of color) or piebald (white coat with spots of color).
Siberian husky Border collie Australian shepherd Dachshund Weimaraner Cardigan Welsh corgi Great Dane Catahoula leopard dog Alaskan klee kai Pit bull
Ironically, blue eyes don’t actually have any blue pigment. In fact, blue eyes indicate a lack of pigment. Additionally, if the fur around your dog’s eyes is white, his chances of having blue eyes (along with a pink nose and skin) are increased.
What does blue eyes mean in a dog?
Treatment options for a blue eye in dogs – There is no cure for corneal endothelial disease, but treatments are available to improve or stabilize the corneal edema and make the eye more comfortable. These therapies aim to address the underlying condition causing the disease.
- The most common treatment for corneal edema in dogs is topical sodium chloride (NaCl 5%).
- In dogs, topical NaCl 5% can initially reduce corneal thickness, but the effect is not permanent.
- With or without treatment, the corneal endothelial disease usually gets worse and may eventually cause a painful corneal ulcer.
In summary, a blue eye in dogs is often a result of corneal edema. Common causes of corneal edema or a blue eye in dogs include endothelial corneal dystrophy, glaucoma, lens luxation, trauma, and inflammatory conditions. If you notice that your dog has a blue eye, it is important to see your veterinarian so that the underlying cause can be treated.
Do dogs usually have blue eyes?
Why do some dogs have blue eyes? – Dogs with blue eyes are found in many breeds, including old English sheepdogs, border collies, dachshunds, Dalmatians and corgis. For these breeds, the blue-eyed trait is a recessive trait. That means two gene variants (known before as gene mutations) need to be present for blue eyes to occur.
Previous research found that the “blue eye” genetic variants are related to coat color, specifically the merle (mottled patches of color) and piebald (a white coat with spots of color) color patterns. These genes didn’t explain blue eyes in tri-colored Australian shepherds or in Siberian huskies, however.
To find the genetics underlying dog eye color, scientists compared more than 214,000 genetic markers from 3,180 pure- and mixed-breed dogs. As a frame of reference, dogs have 39 pairs of chromosomes compared to our 23 pairs. Researchers found two significant associations with blue eyes, one on canine chromosome 10 — the gene linked to merle color pattern — and one at a position on chromosome 18 that hadn’t been described before.
- When the scientists looked closer, they found a duplicated snippet of genetic material near a gene that’s important in eye development.
- The extra DNA was carried by 78 percent of non-merle-coated blue-eyed dogs and 100 percent of blue-eyed purebred Siberian huskies.
- Analysis of DNA from another 2,890 dogs confirmed the strong association between the mutation and blue eyes.
The study included DNA from a total of 6,070 dogs, with 156 dogs having solid blue eyes or partially blue eyes. The scientists acknowledge there is more work to be done. They also recognize this discovery isn’t a major breakthrough in dog health, which is their ultimate goal.
- But it highlights the potential power of genetic data to unlock complex health conditions such as cancer and aging.
- And that will benefit the health of dogs everywhere.
- The information in this blog has been developed with our veterinarian and is designed to help educate pet parents.
- If you have questions or concerns about your pet’s health or nutrition, please talk with your veterinarian.
: The Science Behind a Dog’s Blue Eyes | Diamond Pet Foods
What’s the rarest dog eye color?
Dogs have eyes that color our world Shelly is a gorgeous four-year-old Border collie. She is very shy and really sweet. Shelly loves to walk and is learning to walk well on a leash. Her two favorite things in the world are being petted and getting treats.
If you are looking for a gentle soul to be your housemate, Shelly is your girl. Come out for a walk. Last week I featured a beautiful husky with deep blue eyes. After describing her I wondered how many different eye colors dogs have. Eye color in dogs is determined by the amount of melanin found in the iris.
Brown eyes contain a high concentration of melanin, while green or blue have less. Most dogs have brown eyes, but there are breeds with pale blue, speckled, golden, or hazel colored eyes. The rarest color of all is green. Dog eye color changes as they age.
- It often takes nine to 12 weeks for a puppy’s eye color to settle.
- Permanent eye color change can happen as late as 16 weeks.
- Some dogs are born with two different colored eyes.
- This condition is known as Heterochromia.
- If a puppy has two different colored eyes when he’s born it is a genetic condition.
- However, Heterochromia can develop later in life because of an injury, cataracts, or glaucoma.
Some breeds of dogs are susceptible to Heterochromia, so it’s always important to let your veterinarian know about any changes to your BFFs eyes. Australian Shepherds and several other dog breeds are known as Merle because of their distinguishing markings.
Merle dogs have extraordinary half-and-half eyes, meaning the eye is partially blue and partially brown. It’s truly unique. Can dogs see color? Yes, they can. Research reveals that dogs do see a limited palate of colors. We have three types of cones in our eye, which means we can identify three color combinations (red, blue, and green).
Dogs, on the other hand, only have two cones that limits them to two colors (yellow and blue) or dichromatic. The most amazing thing about dogs’ eyes is that no matter what color they are, research has shown that gazing into them floods your brain with the feel-good hormone oxycontin.
- Speaking of which, I have two very brown eyes staring at me because it’s dinner time.
- Watson has let me know that we are connected by the refrigerator.
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- Call 775-423-7500.
- We are still searching for someone with a big truck 52″ (that can be loaded from a dock) who is willing to pick up food from Chewy’s.
If you are that person, give us a call at 775-423-7500. Items for the CAPS annual garage sale. Call 775-423-7500 to have us pick up items. Folks to sign up for Chewy food delivery. During the pandemic, why not have your dog’s food delivered and help CAPS at the same time? Details are below.
- Aluminum cans.
- If you have cans to pick up, give us a call (775-423-7500), and we will come get them.
- You can also drop them off at CAPS.
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- You make us smile! COME SEE US CAPS is open, by appointment only, for adoptions, SNAPS, and food pantry.
We cannot accept volunteers until further notice. Call 775-423-7500. DON’T FORGET September Pet Holiday: Ginger Cats Appreciation Month. You can open an account with Chewy and reference CAPS in the order. CAPS will receive $20 directly into the operating account with your first $50 order.
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- CONTACT CAPS CAPS’ mailing address is P.O.
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Be sure to “Like” CAPS on Facebook because we are really likeable. CAPS is open to the public on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Kathleen Williams-Miller is a CAPS volunteer. Contact me at [email protected]
Is blue eye Husky rare?
Yasser Alghofily/Flickr At-home DNA kits have become a popular way to learn more about one’s ancestry and genetic makeup—and the handy tests aren’t just for humans, either. Dog owners who want to delve into their fluffy friends’ family history and uncover the risks of possible diseases can choose from a number of services that screen doggie DNA.
As Kitson Jazynka reports for National Geographic, one of these services, Embark Veterinary, Inc., recently analyzed user data to unlock an enduring canine mystery: How did Siberian huskies get their brilliant blue eyes? Piercing peepers are a defining trait of this beautiful doggo. According to the new study, published in PLOS Genetics, breeders report that blue eyes are a common and dominant trait among Siberian huskies, but appear to be rare and recessive in other breeds, like Pembroke Welsh corgis, old English sheepdogs and border collies.
In some breeds, like Australian shepherds, blue eyes have been linked to patchy coat patterns known as “merle” and “piebald,” which are caused by certain genetic mutations. But it was not clear why other dogs—chief among them the Siberian husky—frequently wind up with blue eyes.
- Hoping to crack this genetic conundrum, researchers at Embark studied the DNA of more than 6,000 pooches, whose owners had taken their dogs’ saliva samples and submitted them to the company for testing.
- The owners also took part in an online survey and uploaded photos of their dogs.
- According to the study authors, their research marked “the first consumer genomics study ever conducted in a non-human model and the largest canine genome-wide association study to date.” The expansive analysis revealed that blue eyes in Siberian huskies appear to be associated with a duplication on what is known as canine chromosome 18, which is located near a gene called ALX4.
This gene plays an important role in mammalian eye development, leading the researchers to suspect that the duplication “may alter expression of ALX4, which may lead to repression of genes involved in eye pigmentation,” Aaron Sams of Embark tells Inverse ‘s Sarah Sloat.
- The genetic variation was also linked to blue eyes in non-merle Australian shepherds.
- Just one copy of the mutated sequence was enough to give dogs either two blue eyes, or one blue and one brown eye, a phenomenon known as “heterochromia.” It would seem, however, that duplication on chromosome 18 is not the only factor influencing blue eye color: Some dogs that had the mutation did not have blue eyes.
More research into this topic is needed to understand the genetic mechanisms at work when it comes to blue-eyed dogs. But the study shows how at-home DNA kits can be highly valuable to scientists, providing them with a wealth of genetic samples to study.
“With 6,000 people getting DNA samples from their dogs and mailing them to a centralized location and then filling out a website form detailing all the traits of their dog—that’s a game-changer for how genetics is being done in the 21st century,” Kristopher Irizarry, a geneticist with the College of Veterinary Medicine at Western University of Health Sciences, tells National Geographic ‘s Jazynka.
The benefits of having access to such huge troves of data go further than uncovering nifty insights into our canine companions. Scientists are also teaming up with at-home DNA test companies to learn more about human genetics and behavior. DNA Dogs Genetics New Research Recommended Videos
Are all blue eyed dogs deaf?
Congenital deafness in dogs (or other animals) can be acquired or inherited. Inherited disorders most commonly can be caused by a gene defect that is either autosomal dominant, autosomal recessive, sex-linked, mitochondrial, or may involve multiple genes (more on this later).
It is usually impossible to determine the cause of congenital deafness unless a clear problem has been observed in the breed, or carefully planned breedings are performed. In this article I will discuss what is currently known about the genetics of deafness in dogs so that breeders can make the best informed decisions possible when attempting to reduce or eliminate deafness.
Congenital deafness has been reported for more than 100 dog breeds, with the list growing at a regular rate (see list ); it can potentially appear in any breed but especially in those with white pigmentation of skin and hair. Deafness may have been long-established in a breed but kept hidden from outsiders to protect reputations.
- The disorder is usually associated with pigmentation patterns, where the presence of white in the hair coat increases the likelihood of deafness.
- Two pigmentation genes in particular are often associated with deafness in dogs: the merle gene (seen in the collie, Shetland Sheepdog, Dappled Dachshund, Harlequin Great Dane, American Foxhound, Old English Sheepdog, and Norwegian Dunkerhound among others) and the piebald gene (Bull Terrier, Samoyed, Greyhound, Great Pyrenees, Sealyham Terrier, Beagle, Bulldog, Dalmatian, English Setter).
However, not all breeds with these genes have been reported to be affected. The deafness, which usually develops in the first few weeks after birth while the ear canal is still closed, usually results from the degeneration of part of the blood supply to the cochlea (the stria vascularis).
- The sensory nerve cells of the cochlea subsequently die and permanent deafness results.
- The cause of the vascular degeneration is not known, but appears to be associated with the absence of pigment producing cells known as melanocytes in the stria.
- All of the functions of these cells are not known, but one role is to maintain high potassium concentrations in the fluid (endolymph) surrounding the hair cells of the cochlea; these pigment cells are critical for survival of the stria and the stria is critical for survival of the hair cells.
A different form of congenital hereditary deafness is seen in the Doberman, which is also accompanied by vestibular (balance) disturbance; this deafness results from a different mechanism where hair cell death is not the result of degeneration of the stria but is instead the primary pathology.
Deafness may also occur later in life in dogs from other causes such as toxicities, infections, injuries, or due to aging (presbycusis); most of these forms of deafness do not have a genetic cause in animals and thus do not present a concern in breeding decisions, but a newly-identified form of adult-onset hereditary deafness is now recognized in Border Collies and Rhodesian Ridgebacks.
The prevalence of congenital deafness in different breeds is seldom known because of the limited number of studies (see table ). In the Dalmatian, where the prevalence is highest, 8% of all dogs in the US are bilaterally deaf and 22% are unilaterally deaf; rates are lower in Europe.
In the English Setter, English Cocker Spaniel, Australian Cattle Dog, and Bull Terrier, where fewer numbers of dogs have been hearing tested, the prevalence appears to be about one third to one half that of Dalmatians. Unilateral or bilateral deafness is found in 75% of all white Norwegian Dunkerhounds, but the prevalence in normal-color dogs is unknown.
Other breeds with a high prevalence are the Catahoula and Australian Shepherd. The prevalence of all types of deafness in the general dog population is low, reported to be 2.56 to 6.5 cases per 10,000 dogs seen at veterinary school teaching hospitals, but these data predate the availability of hearing testing devices and so are much lower that actual values.
Recognition of affected cases is often difficult, because unilaterally deaf dogs appear to hear normally unless a special test (the brainstem auditory evoked response, BAER) is performed; facilities to perform the BAER are usually only available at veterinary schools (see list ). It should be noted that a unilaterally deaf dog can be as great a genetic risk for transmission of deafness to its offspring as is a bilaterally deaf dog, so BAER testing of puppies from affected breeds is important.
The method of genetic transmission of deafness in dogs is usually not known. There are no recognized forms of sex-linked deafness in dogs, although this does occur in humans. The disorder has been reported to have an autosomal recessive mechanism in the Rottweiler, Bull Terrier, and Pointer, but these suggestions are not reliable because the reports were published before the availability of BAER testing and the ability to detect unilaterally deaf dogs.
Studies of the Pointer used a highly inbred research population (“anxious” Pointers), which can obscure the mode of inheritance. Some references state that deafness transmission in most other breeds is autosomal dominant, but this is false, as will be discussed below. Pigment-associated inherited deafness is not restricted to dogs.
Similar defects have been reported for mice, mink, pigs, sheep, horses, cattle, cats, ferrets, rabbits, llamas, alpacas, and humans. Deafness in blue-eyed white cats is common, first mentioned in Darwin’s Origin of Species, Blue eyes, resulting from an absence of pigment in the iris, is common with pigment-associated deafness but is not, in and of itself, an indication of deafness or the presence of a deafness gene; however, in several breeds (Dalmatian, English Setter, English Cocker Spaniel, Bull Terrier), dogs (and cats) with blue eyes are statistically more likely to be deaf.
- Waardenburg’s syndrome, a human condition, presents with deafness, a stripe of white in the hair and beard, blue or different colored eyes (even in Blacks and Asians), no pigment behind the retina, and minor structural deformities around the nose and eyes.
- This is an autosomal dominant disorder with incomplete penetrance, which means that individuals that inherit the disorder may not show all components of the syndrome – i.e., they may not be deaf.
Incomplete penetrance of a defect greatly complicates the determination of mode of inheritance. At present there is no documentation that incomplete penetrance is a factor in any canine deafness, except perhaps that deafness can affect one or both ears.
In simple Mendelian genetics, each dog carries two copies of each gene, one from each parent. The possible outcomes of breedings can be demonstrated with tables showing the genotype of both parents and the possible combinations in their offspring. If deafness is carried as a theoretical simple autosomal recessive gene (d), the breeding of two hearing carriers (Dd) ( Table 1 ) will result, on average, in 25% affected dogs (dd), 50% hearing carriers (Dd), and 25% free of the defect (DD).
It must be emphasized that these percentages reflect average breeding outcomes and not necessarily every individual litter. The breeding of a carrier to a dog free of the defect ( Table 2 ) will result in no affected dogs but 50% carriers and 50% free.
- The breeding of an affected dog to a carrier ( Table 3 ) will result in 50% affected, 50% carriers, and no free.
- Finally, the breeding of an affected dog to a dog free of the defect ( Table 4 ) will result in 100% carriers and no affected or free.
- If instead the deafness is carried as a simple autosomal dominant gene (D), the breeding of an affected dog (Dd) to a free dog (dd) ( Table 3 ) would result on average in 50% affected and 50% free.
Dogs with the genotype DD would be unlikely to occur unless two deaf dogs had been bred. All of the above assumes that incomplete penetrance is not acting. If more than one gene (recessive and/or dominant) is involved in producing the deafness, the possible combinations become much more complicated.
- In humans more than 50 different autosomal recessive or dominant deafness genes or loci have been identified.
- The children of two deaf parents with two different recessive deafness can be unaffected but carry both genes.
- If deafness in dogs results from more than one recessive gene, the possible outcomes of breedings are more numerous and determination of the mechanisms of transmission will be difficult.
As stated above, deafness can be associated with the merle (dapple) gene, which produces a mingled or patchwork combination of dark and light areas overlayed on the basic coat color. This gene ( M ) is dominant so that affected dogs ( Mm ) show the pigmentation pattern, which is desirable in many breeds.
- However, when two dogs heterozygous with merle ( Mm ) are bred, 25% will end up with the MM genotype (i.e., Table 1 ).
- These dogs usually have a solid white coat and blue irises, are often deaf and/or blind, and may be sterile.
- Breeders in these dog breeds know not to breed merle to merle.
- In this case the deafness is neither dominant nor recessive, but is linked to a dominant gene that disrupts pigmentation and as a secondary effect produces deaf dogs.
Piebald is a recessive allele of the S gene, where the dominant allele is expressed as a solid color. Three recessive alleles are recognized: Irish spotting ( s i ), piebald ( s p ), and extreme white piebald ( s w ). These gene alleles affect the amount and distribution of white areas on the body, with the three displaying increasing amounts of white in the order listed.
Genetic transmission of deafness in dogs with the recessive alleles of this pigment gene, such as the Dalmatian (which is homozygous for s w ), is less clear. Deafness in Dalmatians does not appear to be autosomal dominant, since deaf puppies result from hearing parents. It does not appear to be a simple recessive disorder, since we have bred pairs of deaf Dalmatians and obtained bilaterally hearing and unilaterally hearing puppies, when all should have been deaf if the disorder was recessive.
These findings might be explained by a multi-gene cause – the presence of two different autosomal recessive deafness genes, or a syndrome with incomplete penetrance. Further studies will be required to determine the mechanisms. Several candidate genes known to cause pigment-related deafness in humans or other species have been eliminated as the possible cause of pigment-associated deafness in Dalmatians.
Whole-genome screens will hopefully identify the cause in this and other breeds. Recent studies have shown that deafness in Dobermans, which do not carry the merle or piebald genes, results from direct loss of cochlear hair cells without any effects on the stria vascularis. Vestibular (balance) system signs, including head tilt and circling, are seen, and the deafness, which is usually bilateral, is transmitted by a simple autosomal recessive mechanism.
A similar pathology has been described for the Shropshire Terrier, a breed that may no longer be in existence. So what should breeders do when deafness crops up? The most conservative approach would be to not breed the affected animal and not repeat the breeding that produced deafness.
- It is frequently recommended (i.e.
- Dalmatian Club of America ) that bilaterally deaf puppies should be euthanatized by breeders, since they can make poor pets, are difficult to train, can be prone to startle biting, may die from misadventure (cars), and require excessive care.
- There is considerable controversy on this point, and there is no question that many people have successfully raised deaf dogs.
For every story of a problem deaf dog there seems to be a story of one that was successfully raised. Unfortunately, there is no way to predict how a deaf puppy will turn out. Unilaterally deaf dogs can make good pets but should not be bred. When deafness is uncommon in a breed, affected dogs should not be bred, but this does not mean that all related dogs are a risk and must be retired from breeding.
An understanding of simple autosomal recessive and dominant patterns, as explained above, can allow the breeder to make better informed decisions (even though we do not yet know the mechanism of inheritance) and likely avoid future deaf animals without sacrificing a breeding line that has been shaped over many years.
However, extreme caution must be used when line breeding of dogs related to deaf dogs, whether the deafness is unilateral or bilateral. To make these decisions in an informed manner for breeds with known deafness, it is important that advantage be taken of hearing testing facilities at veterinary schools.
- Unilaterally deaf dogs cannot be detected by other means, and these dogs will pass on their deafness genes.
- For more details and a more technical discussion, see: Strain G.M.
- 2015) The genetics of deafness in domestic animals.
- Fronteers in Veterinary Science 2:29.
- Https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fvets.2015.00029/full ).
This article is available on-line and is free.
Do all Husky have blue eyes?
Huskies are a medium-sized, thick-furred sled dog breed largely associated with polar regions, They’re as known for their blue eyes as they are for their triangle ears and distinctive, wolflike markings. Though it’s one of their most distinguishing and celebrated features, not all huskies have blue eyes.
They have just as much chance of being brown-eyed and a smaller chance of having bi-colored eyes (also called heterochromia) or parti-colored (blue mixed with brown) eyes. Very rarely, they can even have green irises. Huskies’ eye color boils down to genetics. More specifically, it’s a result of a mutation that reduces their eye pigmentation.
These Are 10 Dog Breeds With Blue Eyes
Learn more about the science behind huskies’ characteristic blue eye color.
What is the hardest color a dog can see?
Can Dogs See Colors?
Dogs do see colors, but the colors are neither as rich nor as many as those seen by humans. Dogs may see green, yellow, and orange as yellowish, and violet and blue as blue. The color red is more difficult for dogs to see.
Probably one of the most frequently asked questions about a dog’s vision is whether he sees colors. The simple answer, namely that dogs are colorblind, has been misinterpreted by people as meaning that dogs see no color, but only shades of gray. This is wrong. Dogs do see colors, but the colors that they see are neither as rich nor as many as those seen by humans. Source: Image from SC Psychological Enterprises Ltd The eyes of both people and dogs contain special light-catching cells called cones that respond to color. Dogs have fewer cones than humans, which suggests that their color vision won’t be as rich or intense as ours.
However, the trick to seeing color is not just having cones, but having several different types of cones, each tuned to different wavelengths of light. Human beings have three different kinds of cones and the combined activity of these gives humans their full range of color vision. The most common types of human colorblindness come about because the person is missing one of the three kinds of cones.
With only two cones, the individual can still see colors, but many fewer than someone with normal color vision. This is the situation for dogs who also have only two kinds of cones.
What is the rarest blue eye?
Most Common and Rarest Eye Colors – The conventional eye colors have generally been thought of as:
BrownBlueHazel (sometimes grouped with amber)Green
Of those four, green is the rarest. It shows up in about 9% of Americans but only 2% of the world’s population. Hazel/amber is the next rarest of these. Blue is the second most common and brown tops the list with 45% of the U.S. population and possibly almost 80% worldwide.