Can Golden Retrievers Have Blue Eyes? Myths, Truths, and Scams!


Dogs come in all shapes and sizes. Some are big, some are small. Some have golden fur, some have very little hair. Some have lovely brown eyes that pierce right into your soul, and some have eyes as blue as the ocean. 

Hold on, do golden retrievers have blue eyes? Can they? 

Well, there are is quite a lot of discussion about this topic, so I went ahead and did my own research, and here is the short version. 

Can Golden Retrievers have blue eyes? Yes, Golden Retrievers can have blue eyes due to a genetic mutation. Golden retriever’s natural eyes are either dark or medium brown. Blue eyes are not in the breed standard, which means goldens with blue eyes aren’t recognized or accepted by the AKC.

Blue eyes can also point out eye issues, like blindness, and other health problems that depend on the genetic factor causing the color.

But how can they have blue eyes? and can golden retrievers have other eye colors besides brown and blue? Let’s dig deeper to find out.

How Can Golden Retrievers Have Blue eyes? 

Golden retrievers can have blue eyes for a few reasons

  1. Genetic mutation
  2.  Eye problems 
  3. A cross with another breed.

Genetic mutation

An image of a golden retriever husky mix with blue eyes to illustrate how can golden retrievers have blue eyes

Most of the time golden retrievers have blue eyes because of a genetic mutation, there was one that has been discovered, it’s a duplication of DNA sequence near ALX4, it’s a gene on dog chromosome 18 involved in hair, skin, and eyes. That’s usually the reason behind the golden’s blue eyes.

Eye problems

Your dog could be suffering from cloudy eyes which will make their eyes look like blue a little bit, cloudy eyes could be either a sign of different issues and you’ll have to take your dog to the vet to examine them and find the reason behind it and prescribe a treatment, or it could be a sign of blindness.

It’s a common cause of blindness in elderly goldens. But it’s uncommon in goldens when they’re young.

A cross with another breed

Most of the time people who sell dogs (breeders) like to mate two different breeds to have a puppy with unique looks like a golden retriever with blue eyes. But like I’ve said before a blue-eyed golden retriever is not different in any other aspect from other golden retrievers.

Are Golden Retrievers With Blue Eyes Special? 

No, they are not special. It’s a genetic mutation and breeders like to use it for their own benefit. They are trying to convince people that a golden retriever with blue eyes is a “special” puppy with “special” traits and “special” superpowers too far? sorry, but the others are true.

They scam people out of some extra money (even thousands of dollars) with this “special” golden retriever. Do not fall for that scam, every golden retriever is special; they are playful, adorable, and hella friendly. You can check out why all golden retrievers are friendly here, I have included 20 reasons that all golden retrievers should know about.

What color eyes do golden retrievers have?

Golden retrievers’ normal eyes are dark brown or medium brown and in some rare conditions, they can have blue eyes. But there are no golden retrievers with green eyes yet.

A picture of the standard Golden Retriever Eye Color is dark brown or medium brown.
The standard Golden Retriever Eye Color is dark brown or medium brown.

The picture above shows the standard color for golden retriever eyes.

What dogs can have blue eyes?

Here are 19 dog breeds with blue eyes

  1. Siberian husky
  2. Border collie
  3. Australian shepherd
  4. Dachshund
  5. Weimaraner
  6. Cardigan Welsh corgi
  7. Shetland sheepdog
  8. German shepherd
  9. Dalmatian
  10. Australian cattle dog
  11. Great Dane
  12. Catahoula leopard dog
  13. Cocker spaniel
  14. Alaskan Klee kai
  15. Old English sheepdog
  16. Neapolitan mastiff
  17. Shih Tzu
  18. Boxer
  19. Pitbull

Siberian husky

Huskies are carrying a gene that can give them rise to magnificent blue eyes. 

They can also have brown eyes of any shade. Or they can have one brown eye and the other one is blue according to the AKC breed standard. The most common golden retrievers with blue eyes you see will actually be golden/husky mixes as they are far more common than purebred goldens with genetic mutations.

Border collie

Besides being the smartest breed in the world. Border collies occasionally have blue eyes too. But any eye color is normal and acceptable for the border collie breed standard.

Australian shepherd

Australian shepherd’s eyes can also be blue, brown, amber, or a combination of either color. All of these colors are allowed by the breed standard in the AKC.

Dachshund

Besides being tough and determined dachshunds also have blue eyes.

Their eyes show with the dappled coat patterns specifically. But the AKC standard is dark eyes.

Weimaraner 

Some of the “gray ghost” matches their elegant silver-gray coat with grayish-blue eyes. But most of them have amber eyes that everyone is used to seeing.

Cardigan Welsh corgi

Corgis have blue eyes and sometimes one dark and one blue. That’s acceptable in merles according to AKC. 

Shetland sheepdog

Blue eyes are allowed by the AKC but they are rare in shetland sheepdog.

German shepherd

His breed standard calls for their eyes to be as dark as possible but every once in awhile, you can find a german shepherd with blue eyes. They can also have one brown eye and one blue.

Dalmatian

Dalmatian’s eyes can be blue, brown, or a combination of both Just like Australian shepherds and it’s allowed by the breed standard too.

Australian cattle dog

The breed standard prefers if their eyes were dark brown, but having blue eyes is acceptable too.

Great Dane

Great Danes are allowed to have blue eyes by the breed standard. Actually, merles and harlequins are the only coat patterns allowed to have blue eyes in this breed by the AKC.

Catahoula leopard dog

Catahoula leopard dogs have multiple eye colors including blue, brown, green, or amber. 

Cocker spaniel

Even though cocker spaniel may have blue eyes every now and then but it’s not allowed by the breed standard.

Alaskan Klee kai

Alaskan Klee kai commonly has blue eyes and it’s allowed by the breed standard.

Old English sheepdog

They can have blue, brown, amber, or one of each. According to AKC. Their eyes are special because it’s often lighter than the blue eyes of other breeds.

Neapolitan mastiff

Neapolitans have blue eyes when they are born but later they darken to amber. So when they are older it’s rare for them to have blue eyes and it’s not accebtable by the AKC.

Shih Tzu

They have light blue eyes which weren’t acceptable by the breed standard. They usually have black eyes or light brown; it depends on their coat.

Boxer

Blue eyes appear rarely in boxers. The most common color is brown or dark.

Pitbull

Pit bulls also have blue eyes every once in a while which means that it’s not acceptable by the breed standard.

Conclusion: They Do Exist, But they ain’t Special

Warning
Some breeders may try to charge you outrageously more money for their “special” puppies, sometimes because they have a different eye color. These are not trusted breeders, don’t get scammed!

Blue-Eyed Golden Retrievers exist but they are not special. They may look the part, but they are still just as wonderful as all other dogs, there is nothing about them that makes them worth more or less than other dogs.

So if you adopted a golden retriever with blue eyes you should take an appointment with the vet to make sure that your puppy’s eyes are fine.

Blue-eyed goldens are actually at a disadvantage as they are prone to more health problems than your other goldens.

Why am I saying this? Because I know that there are breeders out there who are trying to charge people outrageously more than they should for a “special blue-eyed golden retriever”.

I always try to encourage people to adopt not shop, but if you must buy your dog, please don’t let someone overcharge you for something as superficial as their eye color. I promise you they had nothing to do with it, and their puppies will not have the same color.

Related Questions 

What is the rarest eye color in dogs?

Green eyes in dogs are considered the rarest eye color, it only can appear in merles, they are known to have half- and- half eyes. It means that one eye is partially blue and partially brown. It’s not exactly green, but it’s the closest color to green in a dog’s eyes.

Are blue eyes in dogs bad?

No, not necessarily, for many breeds like a husky, border collie, Australian shepherd, dachshund, Weimaraner, and cardigan welsh corgi blue eyes do not indicate any signs of health issues. But sometimes tinges of blue in the eye is a sign of eye condition or illness and your dog will need to go to the vet.

Do blue-eyed dogs go blind?

No, blue-eyed dogs don’t necessarily go blind. If it’s normal for the dog breed to have blue eyes, then they won’t go blind or face any eye problems. If it’s caused by an illness or a genetic mutation, they may have to deal with some eye problems but they won’t necessarily go blind.

Sources

Dogs with Blue Eyes – The Causes and Dangers

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