I was looking in to the question of whether any dogs in fact have "blue eyes"...

A quick search gives plenty of information on and images of dogs with blue sclera and black iris.

Every "blue-eyed" canine I know of personally or could google up has black iris and blueish sclera.

It is unclear if any dogs have blue iris.

(BTW there are many popular articles on the "four typical reasons" that canines can have blue sclera).

Humans with "blue eyes" of course have blue iris / white sclera. But the only dogs I have found with "blue eyes" in fact merely have blue sclera and black iris.

I did find a couple of poorly-written lite info sites that mention blue iris, but appears to be basically a typo, the articles appeared to mean to refer to blue sclera -- I cannot find any actual scholarly articles on the issue --

(I"m sure, everyone on this site knows that regarding humans with "blue" iris, it's not "really" blue, but a Tyndall effect. Popular article on that.)

And don't mention cats - it's commonplace that cats have "blue eyes" but every image I've seen is of a feline with blue sclera, and black iris. One could ask, do any felines have blue iris?

In short my question is ... do any canines have blue iris??


closed as unclear what you're asking by AMR, AliceD, March Ho, rg255, anongoodnurse Dec 27 '15 at 21:20

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ What evidence have you that blue-eyed dogs actually only have blue sclera? Do you suppose their irises to be colorless then? That would make their irises red, as albino eyes. $\endgroup$ – anongoodnurse Dec 27 '15 at 3:26
  • $\begingroup$ Hi Anon! "blue-eyed" dogs have black iris, as I think I mention in the question. My only evidence for this is that every "blue-eyed" dog I have ever seen has blue sclera / black iris, and every photo I have been able to "google up" is blue sclera / black iris. Further, I have exhaustively googled "dog with blue iris" and there are none I could find -- hence, I am asking the experts!!! $\endgroup$ – Fattie Dec 27 '15 at 3:30
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I think you are confused. The iris is colored, the pupil is black. The sclera can be white, tan, or bluish-white. I myself have never seen a black iris in dogs or humans. $\endgroup$ – anongoodnurse Dec 27 '15 at 3:34
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I think you are confused. When dogs look straight at you, their sclera is not visible. What you are seeing is their iris and pupil. It is only when they glance off to the side that you can see the sclera of a dog's eye. Humans are pretty much the only mammals where the sclera is normally visible. In a dog, the iris entirely takes up the area which in humans would be sclera. So malamutes, huskies, etc. will have blue irises black pupils. And pupils aren't actually black, they are an aperture, so the light passing through the lens is not reflected back so it appears black. $\endgroup$ – AMR Dec 27 '15 at 5:33
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @rg255 Christiaan gave a very informative answer to that question. biology.stackexchange.com/a/40680/16651 $\endgroup$ – AMR Dec 27 '15 at 17:20

I have no idea why you cannot find reputable sites that discuss eye color in dogs. Dog breeds with blue eyes should satisfy you; I can't see that they would have any reason to dissemble. In case it doesn't, the references below should. Of course dogs, like humans, cats, and many other animals, can have blue eyes (and by that, I mean irises. Dog irises are not substantially different than human irises. Neither are dog sclerae. They do have a more interesting retina, however.)

This is one of my dogs, a Border Collie, one of several breeds in which complete heterochromia is common. Her right eye is a pale blue, her left is dark brown. Her sclerae are off-white and the conjunctiva are usually somewhat injected; her pupils are black, because they are simply an aperture through which light passes to the retina.

enter image description here

The pupil is large (dilated) because this is a night-time photograph.

Many breeds of dogs have blue-eyed varieties. As with some cat breeds, blue eyes are sometimes genetically linked with deafness.

Blue eyes were positively associated and patches were negatively associated with deafness in the Dalmatian.

(The pink stuff on her forehead and nose is beet juice.)

Deafness prevalence and pigmentation and gender associations in dog breeds at risk
Brainstem Auditory-Evoked Potential Assessment of Congenital Deafness in Dalmatians: Associations With Phenotypic Markers

  • $\begingroup$ Why answer in such an odd "dog"matic tone? You identified the issue - I was confusing the iris/sclera with the pupil/iris (since the iris in dogs is the size of the sclera in humans, and the pupil in dogs is the size of the iris in humans). Thanks for the info. "I have no idea why you cannot find reputable sites that discuss eye color in dogs." I can't see how clearer the first sentence of my question could be, "A quick search gives plenty of information on and images of dogs with blue sclera and black iris." I found plenty of sites, as stated. You explained my confusion. Facepalm! $\endgroup$ – Fattie Dec 27 '15 at 15:31
  • $\begingroup$ BTW for some reason I can't "tick" the answer, a mod will have to $\endgroup$ – Fattie Dec 27 '15 at 15:33
  • $\begingroup$ @JoeBlow - it's not an odd tone; it's an answer. If you don't like straight answers, maybe you should ask for gentle, roundabout answers. Perhaps you have a bit of a problem being incorrect? Don't blameshift onto me. Also, you can't accept because you didn't merge your accounts. Frankly, it doesn't bother me. Points are meaningless. I answer because it interests me, to learn something, to spread facts, correct falsehoods, or a number of other reasons, not for points. $\endgroup$ – anongoodnurse Dec 27 '15 at 15:40
  • $\begingroup$ heh ok .. let me put it this way. Note the first sentence of your answer "I have no idea why you cannot find reputable sites that discuss eye color in dogs." As you can see I clearly said (over and over) that I found many such sites. Your first three sentences are not a"straight answer" - they are both confusing and supercilious. $\endgroup$ – Fattie Dec 27 '15 at 16:12
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @JoeBlow - honestly, it's like arguing with a third grader. "I wasn't wrong! I was just confused!" "I didn't say that!" Excuses, excuses! $\endgroup$ – anongoodnurse Dec 27 '15 at 18:18

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.