Blue-eyed dogs are rare in the canine world and an exquisite sight to behold. The Golden Retriever’s soulful, deep brown eyes are among its most unique traits. But at times, you might see a Golden looking like a Golden Retriever, except for their bright blue eyes.
Golden Retriever dogs can have blue eyes, but not in the same way Australian Shepherds with blue eyes. Golden Retriever pups can be born with blue eyes, but aged Goldens may have blue eyes due to glaucoma, cataracts, or other eye disorders. Golden Retriever mixes like the Goberian, Golden Aussie, or Golden Pitbull may also have blue eyes. However, purebred adult Goldens won’t have blue eyes. The AKC’s Official Standard for the Golden Retriever dog defines the breed’s eyes as “friendly and intelligent in expression; color preferably dark brown, medium brown acceptable.” Unfortunately, this indicates you can’t register a Golden Retriever as a purebred if they don’t exhibit the attributes outlined by the AKC. Thus, you can see the Golden Retriever with blue eyes is an extensive puzzle than it seems.
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Golden Retriever Pros and Cons
|Sweet, lovable, and incredibly good-natured
|Sheds regularly and needs daily brushing
|Intelligent and easy to train
|Food-obsessed and can quickly gain weight
|Loves being around their family and is good with children
|Needs a significant amount of exercise and training
Golden Retriever Basic Information
- Name: Golden Retriever
- Origin: Scotland
- Size: Large
- Height: Males: 23 to 24 inches & Females: 21.5 to 22.5 inches
- Weight: Males: 65 to 75 pounds & Females: 55 to 65 pounds
- Coat: Medium
- Lifespan: 10 to 12 years
- Color: Golden-colored coat ranging from dark to light golden, but is always a shade of gold.
- Energy: Medium
- Hypoallergenic: No
- Activities: Conformation, Field Trials, Hunting Tests, Tracking, Narcotics Detection, Agility, Therapy, Service Dog
- Barking Level: Moderate
- Shedding Level: Heavily one or two times a year and moderately on a continuous basis
- Litter Size: 5 to 10 puppies
- Group: Sporting Group
- Other Names: Goldens
- Breed’s Original Pastime: Hunting
Do Golden Retrievers Have Blue Eyes?
Yes, Goldens can have blue eyes, but only if they are puppies, mixed breed dogs, or with eye diseases like Glaucoma, Cataracts, etc. Unfortunately, you cannot find a healthy, purebred, adult, blue-eyed Golden Retriever.
Causes of Blue Eyes in Goldens
Let’s check out the reasons for blue eyes in Golden Retrievers:
The genes responsible for creating brown eyes in canines are dominant, which is why many dog breeds with brown eyes exist. According to the Golden’s breed standard, they must have brown eyes and be consciously bred for many generations to exhibit this feature. Hence, recessive genes that cause blue eyes have become less in number. Consequently, there is a minimal chance that two Goldens that carry recessive genes for blue eyes can be bred together. However, if this happens by any chance, some of their offspring may inherit blue eyes, such as in Goldendoodle, Coltriever, Golden boxer, and Goberian.
A cataract is an eye ailment that causes clouding of the eye lens, making them seem cloudy or blue. This condition can develop almost overnight or slowly and can be caused by infection, genetic disorders, injury, or old age. The more significant and cloudier cataracts become, the more likely dogs will lead to complete blindness. If you notice the color changing from brown to blue in your Golden, take them to the veterinarian immediately.
Nuclear Sclerosis, also known as lenticular Sclerosis, is a painless disorder creating a bluish or transparent haze in the eye’s lens. This disease is often seen in middle-aged and senior dogs. Since both cataracts and nuclear Sclerosis make cloudiness or bluish coloration in the eye lens, it’s easy for pet owners to complicate one for the other. Remember, Nuclear Sclerosis isn’t the exact as Cataracts, as it doesn’t affect the sight of diagnosed canines.
Glaucoma is an eye disorder characterized by increased intraocular pressure within the dog’s eye. This disease results from inadequate drainage of aqueous fluids caused by intraocular bleeding, uveitis, tumors, injury, or lens damage. Like Cataracts and Nuclear Sclerosis, Glaucoma may cause your Golden eyes to be cloudy or bluish. Acute Glaucoma is an emergency, so don’t hesitate to take your dog to the veterinarian instantly if they exhibit discomfort or watery discharge from the eye.
Albinism is a genetic condition where dogs lack the genes required to produce melanin, a pigment that gives color to the hair and skin. Due to the lack of melanin, affected dogs will have pink skin, pink noses, and white hair. While rare in canines, this disorder can still occur and cause an affected Golden to have blue instead of brown eyes. In extreme cases, Albinism can cause cancer.
Golden Retriever Puppies with Blue Eyes
All Golden Retriever puppies have bluish eyes since the eye pigment melanin hasn’t fully developed. However, this doesn’t mean your pup’s eyes will stay blue forever. Commonly, the color of Golden puppies’ eyes starts to change from blue to brown when they are around four to five weeks old.
If you want to buy a purebred Golden Retriever and the breeder tries to give you a Golden Retriever with blue eyes, turn around and walk away! While this isn’t common, some breeders may try to scam you by marketing “rare” and “unique” versions of Goldens, claiming their “specialty” blue-eyed puppies. Remember, reliable breeders, focus on the health and temperament of their pups, and they never try to scam you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Blue, Green, or Yellow eyes bad for Golden Retrievers?
Blue, green, or yellow eyes aren’t always signs of a health disorder. Instead, a mixed genealogy or a harmless genetic abnormality can explain them.
Can a Golden Retriever have Heterochromia?
Heterochromia, also known as odd eyes, is a harmless pigment disorder in which a dog’s eye has a different color than the other eye. However, it can also result in uncomfortable conditions for pets, like inflammation or injury.
Commonly, Golden Retrievers have brown eyes. It is a breed feature dating back to its initial outings as a hunting companion in 19th-century Scotland. However, this does not signify that Golden Retrievers cannot have blue, yellow, green, or amber eyes. These traits are common in hybrids, can result from a random genetic abnormality, or could be symptomatic of a developing medical disorder.
Golden Retrievers with blue eyes are not “true” Goldens as they don’t meet the Golden Retriever Club of America (GRCA) standards and the AKC. Two purebred Goldens can have a blue-eyed puppy among their offspring, but this is exceptionally rare. Instead, crossbreeding somewhere in the parent line is a more reasonable explanation; the breed would be referred to as a “Golden Retriever mix.” If your Golden Retriever had brown eyes that turned blue over time, it would be wise to take them to your dog’s veterinarian for an eye check-up. But if you have a naturally blue-eyed Golden Retriever, you’ll be relieved to know they shouldn’t usually be associated with an increased health risk.