Blue eyes in German Shepherds are considered to be a defect. It could even be a sign of low melanin, which may lead to health issues in the future.
Blue eyes look stunning on not just human beings but on German Shepherds too. Although a black german shepherd’s blue eyes are pretty rare, it is worth the search. Many people specifically look for a blue-eyed German Shepherd when looking to adopt.
However, not many know that blue eyes are considered a defect for this breed. As a result of a genetic disorder, these dogs had blue eyes instead of their natural eye color. Did you know dogs with blue eyes cannot participate in competitions?
This automatically proves that their value is considered less than the standard dogs, contrary to the common belief. Since blue eyes are a genetic fault in dogs, they have become scarce in today’s time. If breeders end up with dogs with blue eyes, they neuter them and provide them as pet dogs to people.
They even try not to breed them with any dog to keep their genetic variant at bay. Breeders sometimes keep these dogs for extreme conditions. Such as, when a dog with blue eyes has some fantastic features which make up for the eye color, they make them mate.
Eye color for German Shepherds
Brown is the natural eye color for German Shepherds. They are known for their breathless brown eyes and are adopted by people for their brown eyes only. The brown color is a dominant trait in German Shepherds, and they just need one gene to attain this color.
However, the pup would need two blue eye genes for blue eyes. Although, when it comes to brown eye color, the shade of brown may vary from pup to pup. You may notice some with dark brown eyes while others have light brown. You may also see others having more tan color in their eyes.
When speaking of eye color, the darkness of the shade would depend on the amount of melanin the dog has. The more the melanin, the darker would be the shade of brown.
It should also be noted that predicting a dog’s eye color is not easy. Since several factors are involved other than just the genes, predictability reduces significantly. It becomes easy to predict the color when brown and blue choices. However, when it comes to predicting the shade of brown, things get a little tricky.
Can german shepherds change their eye color?
The true eye color for any mammal would take time to develop fully. You will not be able to precisely predict the color of their eye until they have attained a certain age. As the shade of the eye color depends on melanin, the color would vary.
When a dog is young, it cannot produce the total melanin that its body is designed for. Therefore, its eye color would be light. However, as it grew, the melanin would increase, and the shade of the eye would get dark.
This is why pups have lighter eye colors that get darker after they grow. The final color of the eye can be attained when the pup is around ten weeks old. However, it should be understood that some dogs may take more or even less time than other dogs.
There is some german shepherd with blue eyes that are born with it. The blue color retains till puppyhood but starts changing into brown when they grow.
Is blue eye color associated with health issues?
Since white german shepherds with blue eyes are very rare, it isn’t easy to study them and bring some conclusions. Moreover, most of the blue-eyed pups are mixed breeds which will not serve the purpose of the study. A mixed-breed pup cannot give an account of the blue-eyed purebred alone.
However, specific health problems have come up in other breeds. These health issues are directly related to low levels of melanin. Since less melanin is the reason dogs have blue eyes, it may answer some questions. Moreover, low melanin level causes several health problems in dogs.
Some studies of German Dalamtions with blue eyes suggested that they were more likely to suffer from sensorineural deafness. Although several other factors were associated with the issue, blue eyes can still be considered essential.
However, its direct connection to German Shepherd is not yet known. It is also noteworthy that German Shepherds lack entirely a gene that causes deafness and, therefore, may not be affected by this issue.
When speaking about health problems and German Shepherds, merle also comes to mind as they go through several issues throughout their lifespan. Although German Shepherds do not have a natural gene for merle, some mixed breeds may still have a merle gene.
This causes several health issues in merle which should be addressed as soon as possible. For instance, having a merle gene can make a German Shepherd susceptible to deafness.
German Shepherds with blue eyes are a delight to eyes. However, since it is seen as a defect, you should avoid adopting them as it may cause health issues in them. Blue eyes also suggest a lack of melanin which may or may not improve once they grow.