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??

  • $\begingroup$ 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. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 27, 2015 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
    Commented Dec 27, 2015 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. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 27, 2015 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
    Commented Dec 27, 2015 at 5:33
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @rg255 Christiaan gave a very informative answer to that question. biology.stackexchange.com/a/40680/16651 $\endgroup$
    – AMR
    Commented Dec 27, 2015 at 17:20

1 Answer 1


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


Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .