German Shepherds are among the most well-known dog breeds across the world. But can a purebred German Shepherd have blue eyes at all?
Yes, Purebred German Shepherd puppies can have blue eyes, but they may stay the same or change the color as they become an adult.
Is It Possible for German Shepherds to Have Blue Eyes?
Yes, it is possible for a German Shepherd to have blue eyes, it is uncommon and almost rare.
A German Shepherd can have both eyes blue due to a mutation. Sometimes they have one blue and one brown eye, a condition known as heterochromia.
It requires two recessive genes to permanently have blue eyes throughout its life. This permanent eye color is taken as a fault by many dog breed standards. Because of this, your dog is likely to be disqualified from dog shows.
German Shepherd puppies can also temporarily have blue eyes. But, after 10 weeks the blue eyes will turn to another color. This color-changing character is known to occur in many dogs and even cats.
German Shepherds commonly have brown, olive, or hazel eyes. Even the AKC states in their breed standards for this dog that it should have only brown eyes or anything as dark.
Read on to discover if their blue eyes have any connection to diseases or temperament issues.
Is Your German Shepherd with blue eyes a Purebred Dog?
The typical German Shepherd wears a black and tan coat with brown eyes. So, anything deviating from these standards invites many questions.
Many dog owners think that a blue-eyed GS dog is not purebred.
Well, he may be a purebred dog but it is likely that he could be a German Shepherd Mix breed. When you mix a GS with another dog like a husky that commonly has blue eyes, the chances of blue eyes increases.
Regardless of the truth, the AKC will penalize a German Shepherd dog with blue eyes from a dog show or competition.
Will Your German Shepherd Change Eye Color?
A German Shepherd puppy with blue eyes might experience eye color change as he grows up.
This will happen 9 to 12 weeks after birth. Blue eyes will become brown after the change is complete. It usually does not occur immediately because eye color change requires melanin for changes.
The melanin takes a while to form and is not immediately available. This is why eye color change takes a minimum of 9 to 12 weeks to occur.
The amount of melanin present can dictate eye color. This is how a German Shepherd can have lighter or darker eye colors. So, brown, green, hazel, and grey eyes are all normal possibilities.
Hence, it is very likely your German Shepherd puppy will change his eye color as he grows up. But, it is not compulsory that the eyes will change color. Sometimes a puppy is born with eyes that do not change color at all.
How is a Blue-Eyed German Shepherd Different From a Normal one?
People who have never owned a German Shepherd probably wonder what the difference is between these two appealing dogs.
The truth is, besides the difference in eye color, there are not many differences!
Even if a German Shepherd has blue eyes, his general appearance and temperament remain the exact same. They are still energetic, loyal, protective, courageous, and intelligent animals that will keep you company for several memorable years.
Blue eyes in German Shepherds do not have any health issues and these dogs can live as long as their brown-eyed counterparts. So, eye color should not be a reason to not buy a German Shepherd with different color eyes.
Blue German Shepherds and Blue Eyes
Blue German Shepherds are well-known for their appealing and unique color. But, this dog’s coat and eye color are a fault according to several canine organizations, especially the AKC.
Blue German Shepherds and blue eyes are two traits that usually appear at the same time. So, what makes these traits appear simultaneously?
Blue GS dogs have to have a double blue recessive gene to display their blue coat. This gene can also affect eye color. Thus, a blue German Shepherd has increased chances of sporting blue eyes.
But, be aware that just because the puppy has blue eyes, does not mean that they are there to stay. His eyes could easily change to a darker shade as he grows. These blue-coated dogs have just as many chances to be born with darker colored eyes.
Does a Blue-Eyed German Shepherd Have Health Issues?
A blue German Shepherd or regular German Shepherd with blue eyes does not suffer from any health issues related to the eye color.
But, there is an exception to the rule in some cases.
Merle German Shepherds that contain two merle genes can be born deaf, blind, or with physical defects. This genetic issue is not normally seen in the German Shepherd since the ‘merle’ gene is not in this breed.
However, if you have a German Shepherd mix that is merle, this is proof he is not a purebred dog. Automatically this could come with some genetic health issues. It may not occur now but may come to light in the next generation of dogs.
Dog breeds known to carry the ‘merle’ gene are:
- Border Collie
- Australian Shepherd
- Great Dane
- Shetland Sheepdog
- French Bulldog
- Cardigan Welsh Corgi
Can Full Blooded German Shepherds Have Blue Eyes?
The majority of purebred (full blood) German Shepherds do have brown eyes. But it is perfectly normal for them to have blue eyes as well.
German Shepherds with blue eyes arise due to a genetic mutation not cross-breeding. This means they are just as full-blooded as a normal German Shepherd dog.
Many people perceive blue eyes as a sign of ill health or a mixed genetic combination. This is false and there is no reason to degenerate the reputation of a blue-eyed German Shepherd dog.
If you are still not sure, you can carry out a genetic test to discover the dog’s parentage.
How Much Does a Blue-Eyes German Shepherd Cost?
Most often than not, dogs that stray from the normal physical characteristics are deemed as unique or rare! In turn, this drives up prices and the availability of such dogs. Making it harder to get your hand on one.
Regular German Shepherds with brown eyes sell for anywhere between $500 and $1500. But, a German Shepherd with blue eyes will obviously be priced higher than this. Expect to pay $1500 or higher for this dog.
A heterochromia German Shepherd (odd-colored eyes) would definitely bear a higher cost. Expect to pay more than $1500 for a pedigree German Shepherd dog with different colored eyes.
Additionally, availability may be an issue due to the spontaneous way in which these dogs develop. It is impossible to judge when and how many puppies will bear blue eyes if any.
The only way to know and guarantee supply is by purposely breeding two dogs with the recessive blue gene. This is an incorrect breeding habit and people should avoid buying dogs from such breeders.
Always check the reputability of the breeder to make sure your dog does not suffer down the line due to poor genetic combinations.
Can Brown Eyes Turn Blue in German Shepherds?
German Shepherds, like many other dog breeds, are known to be born with eyes that change color later on. Most German Shepherds will change their eye color after six months or less. This is due to the fact that melanin is not readily available.
Production of this compound will eventually lead to a change of eye color. This happens during puppyhood. But what about adulthood?
A German Shepherd could develop a change in color later on. But, this is not really a change of color and only appears so.
Development of cataracts and other barriers over the eyes may characteristically have a blue appearance to them. A cataract can be identified by the presence of a slight murky whitish tinge in addition to the blue color.
If your dog has eyes that look like this, consult a vet immediately. Cataracts can affect a dog’s eyesight and might lead to complete loss of sight.
A German Shepherd with blue eyes is rare but not impossible to find. Blue-eyed German Shepherds are not purposely bred and this is what makes them rare.
Although many would love to own such a dog as a companion dog, competition dog owners would not adopt such a dog. Any dog that does not match breed standards is not a great fit for dog shows and competitions.
The AKC states that the eyes of a German Shepherd should be as dark as possible. This includes brown, hazel, or dark green colors in the eyes. This is predominantly why blue-eyed German Shepherds are not accepted among dog enthusiasts.
Blue eyes in puppies are not a sign of blindness and the eyes are most probably going to change the color later. Dogs that are born with blue eyes that stay blue are not a sign of sickness or blindness.
But in adult dogs, brown eyes that have turned blue are not a good sign. This should be checked out immediately as it could be a sign of cataracts or other eye diseases.