I just love dogs with beautiful blue eyes! While quite rare, there are certain breeds that seem to get blue eyes more often. These include the Siberian Husky, Australian Shepherd, Weimaraner, Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Border Collie and Great Dane to name a few.
There are varying reasons for a dog having blue eyes. Briefly, here are some of the main reasons, other than disease.
In most cases it is due to their genes and is related to the coat colour of some dogs, like merle Australian shepherds. In this case, pigment dilution on the nose, eyes, and fur is caused by the Merle gene. It prevents cells from creating pigment and often results in blue eyes.
Dogs with white fur on their face will often have blue eyes. White patches of fur indicates that they are unable to produce pigmentation around those areas, as well as the eyes and nose.
Some breeds have a specific set of genes that create blue eyes, especially Siberian huskies and Border Collies. These dogs do not have pigment loss on their hair or nose. In a recent study of 6000 dogs, researchers found that a genetic change, or mutation, near a gene known as ALX4 on canine chromosome 18 is strongly associated with blue eyes in Siberian huskies.
Albinism is another cause of blue eyes in dogs. While Albino dogs are rare, you will find some that have loss of pigment on their body and they will also usually have a pink nose.
[To find out more about blue eyes caused by disease click here]
Here are some of my favourite images of dogs with blue eyes!
To find out more about city or urban dog photography in Toronto, check out this recent blog
For more professional pet photos, take a look at the gallery
This post is part of a 52 week pet photography challenge in which I am participating along with some wonderful pet and dog photographers from around the world. This week’s theme was “Blue”. For another take on the theme, please see Pet Love Photography, serving Greater Cincinnati, the San Francisco Bay Area, and destinations nationwide.