You’ve probably noticed that German Shepherds, like many other dogs, have brown eyes. You might be wondering if this is a constant trait in German Shepherds or if they ever have blue eyes.
Perhaps you’ve seen a dog with blue eyes that generally looked like a German Shepherd, but you weren’t sure what breed it was because of the eye color.
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Can German Shepherds have blue eyes?
YES! Blue eyes are possible in German Shepherds, although it is scarce. Brown eyes are the most prevalent in German Shepherds. However, some exceptions exist where some German Shepherds possess grey, hazel, amber, and green eyes.
How rare is a German Shepherd with blue eyes?
Blue eyes are occasionally seen in German Shepherd dogs. It fades into dark brown eyes over time in most of these cases and is only seen in very young puppies.
Adult German Shepherds can have blue eyes due to a rare gene mutation in both parent breeds; however, it is rare.
Many mature German Shepherds have brown eyes, but blue eyes are prevalent in mixed-breed dogs.
Can Purebred German Shepherds have blue eyes?
No, because it is not in the breed standard. A healthy purebred German Shepherd will not have blue eyes.
However, because German Shepherd/Siberian Husky crossbreeding is becoming increasingly popular, it is possible to get a hybrid with blue eyes.
Can German Shepherds be odd-eyed?
A German Shepherd can possess two blue eyes or be odd-eyed (i.e., one blue and one brown eye); this condition is heterochromia.
While most breeders consider the feature a flaw, many dog owners believe it is desirable. This blue-eyed feature is found in a breed variety known as “blue German Shepherds.”
Blue German Shepherds?
These dogs are often referred to as Blue German Shepherds not only because they have blue eyes.
They have classic markings, and the recessive gene responsible for the blue eyes can also give them dark patches on the hair, which seem more blue or silver instead of the usual black.
Blue-eyed German Shepherd Dogs are classified into three groups. These can be summed up as follows:
1. Puppy Stage
It’s unusual to come across a puppy without blue eyes. The pigment “melanin” is responsible for the brown eyes of an adult German Shepherd. It’s also what determines the hue of a person’s skin and eyes.
However, puppies do not produce a large amount of melanin before or after birth. Many puppies don’t start to develop their actual eye color until they are several weeks old.
As a result of this, nearly all German Shepherd puppies will have blue eyes when they are born.
2. Mixed Breed
If you’re a pet parent or wish to have blue-eyed German Shepherd puppies, mixed breeding is a good option.
Understanding Punnett squares, genetics, and phenotypes will improve your chances of acquiring blue-eyed German Shepherds.
A genotype is a group of genes that determines how the body functions. A phenotype is an observable physical characteristic that can be classified.
The phenotype is influenced directly by the genotype. For instance, If you possess a tall height gene, it will show in your phenotype, and you will be taller than an average individual.
The ability to see the phenotypes of their animals and the progeny they produce is beneficial to dog breeders. It will help them determine genotypes within their breeding pairs using this knowledge.
And also, they can use this information to select breeding pairs based on their genetic compatibility. You can also conduct a genetic analysis for your dog.
However, this form of expert testing is better suited to individuals looking to avoid congenital disorders caused by inbreeding rather than identifying the eye color of future pups.
3. Genetic Mutation
German Shepherds result from more than a century of inbreeding, which is notorious for producing recessive genetic disorders.
As a result, offspring from breeding parents with blue eyes recessive alleles may be predominantly dark-eyed. However, their offspring may get the recessive blue-eye feature.
Suppose you cross a German Shepherd with a typical blue eye breed (Siberian Husky, Australian Shepherd, Weimaraner). In that case, there is a higher chance of getting blue-eyed puppies.
Health concerns for Blue German Shepherds
German Shepherds with blue eyes are usually equally as healthy as those with brown eyes. However, your dog could be at risk for various health issues, ranging from pigmentation loss to genetic flaws.
Let’s look at some of the health problems that come with having a blue-eyed German Shepherd.
1. Skin Disorders
German Shepherds are highly vulnerable to skin infections and allergies. However, the presence of recessive alleles for blue eyes makes their vulnerability skyrocket!
Genes function primarily to regulate skin cell production. They produce new skin cells to replace dead ones.
Recessive genes function differently. It increases the likelihood of your dog developing a skin disease.
2. Congenital disabilities
Congenital disabilities can occur if your German Shepherd’s genetic makeup contains the merle gene. The presence of the merle mutation increases the risk of auditory and ocular defects such as hearing loss and blindness.
To rule out any congenital disabilities, perform an ear and eye examination for your dog.
3. Sensitivity to Light
A lack of melanin characterizes blue eyes, which does not appear to be a problem until you realize that melanin protects the eyes from UV rays!
As a result of their light sensitivity, blue-eyed German Shepherds are frequently seen squinting or avoiding sunlight.
How to care for your blue-eyed German Shepherd?
We’ve established that blue eyes, whether they’re heterochromia or not, necessitate extra precautions due to lack of melanin. This way, you’re able to reduce the health risks associated with these conditions.
If you suspect that your German Shepherd is suffering from eye pain, here are a few preventive measures you can take:
Use of doggie shades
As previously stated, German Shepherds with blue eyes may be light sensitive. As a result, taking your dog out on bright days may cause discomfort. You can buy a pair of doggie sunglasses to protect their eyes from sun rays.
In case of an eye infection or injury, contact your vet immediately. You can apply an eye ointment as a handy treatment to tackle the problem right away rather than waiting for the vet.
When something gets stuck in your dog’s eyes, they begin rubbing and scratching them, and this increases the likelihood of eye infections. Always make use of wet sanitary wipes to keep their eyes clean and hygienic.