German Shepherds are one of the most beautiful dog species in the world. They’re reliable, loving, and protective of their owner. We often see GSDs with brown eyes, but a handful of them have one or two blue eyes. This unique trait makes them even more stunning and can occur in a purebred or mixed German Shepherd.
Blue-eyed German Shepherds are extremely rare dogs with unique genetic defects. They typically cost no less than $1,500 and are often referred to as Blue German Shepherds. These dogs are loyal and develop a bond with their owner. They can be protective, confident, and curious, too.
Throughout this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about blue-eyed German Shepherds, including what causes this genetic defect, what to expect if you get one, and where you can find them.
- Can a German Shepherd Have Blue Eyes?
- How Rare is a German Shepherd With Blue Eyes?
- Are German Shepherds With Blue Eyes Purebred?
- The Blue German Shepherd Dog
- Are Blue Eyes in GSDs a Health Concern?
- How Much Does a German Shepherd With Blue Eyes Cost?
- FAQ About Blue Eyes German Shepherds
- Final Thoughts
Can a German Shepherd Have Blue Eyes?
A German Shepherd can have blue eyes due to a genetic defect that causes one or both eyes to be a different color. Their piercingly blue eyes have little to no effect on their temperament, so you can expect the same characteristics as a typical German Shepherd.
Let’s take a quick look at coat color genetics in dogs to understand how German Shepherds predominantly get blue eyes. Don’t worry, nothing too heavy!
The genetic site that causes the blue color is the D (dilute) locus. The diluted pigment lightens coats from black to blue. It causes, in effect, a watered-down version of black. The two alleles connected with dilution are D (dominant full color) and d (recessive dilute). It takes two recessive alleles (dd) to lighten black pigment to blue.
In simple terms, both parents must carry and pass on the recessive D gene for a German Shepherd to have blue eyes. It is therefore impossible for a blue-colored dog to have any black on its coat.
While these dogs are beautiful, the American Kennel Club classifies their eyes as an issue, docking points or refusing to let them rank in conformation. So although blue-eyed German Shepherds can enter events, they are seldom seen. This causes controversy among owners of blue GSDs, who often feel discriminated against.
Learn More on How The Dilute Locus Lightens Coats From Black to Blue…
How Rare is a German Shepherd With Blue Eyes?
A German Shepherd with blue eyes is extremely rare because both parents must carry the recessive D locus gene, home to the dilution gene. When a dog is homozygous for dilute, a black dog will become blue. So it is highly uncommon to get two mutated copies of the gene that causes blue eyes.
While many dog breeds can also lose pigmentation in their eyes to make them look blue, a German Shepherd can have truly blue eyes, albeit unique.
There’s no exact percentage or number of how many GSDs have blue eyes, but the trait is exceedingly uncommon. Nonetheless, this genetic rarity doesn’t come with health side effects outside of the norm.
Are German Shepherds With Blue Eyes Purebred?
German Shepherds with blue eyes can be purebred or mixed. This trait is much more common if mixed with a husky since these dogs can naturally have blue eyes. However, a purebred German Shepherd can have light brown, dark brown, golden, hazel, or blue eyes without another breed in the mix.
If you’re worried about whether or not your GSD is purebred, the Embark Dog DNA Test Kit from Amazon is the best way to find out. Send a quick sample and find out if your pup is mixed or if his blue eyes are a purebred genetic rarity.
The Blue German Shepherd Dog
Blue-eyed German Shepherd dogs, also known as Blue German Shepherds, are stunning in appearance. All GSDs have striking features, but adding blue eyes makes them even more beautiful.
Below, you’ll learn all about their characteristics and potential health issues.
Temperament and Personality
Blue German Shepherds are loyal to a fault, much like their brown-eyed relatives. Many German Shepherds can develop anxiety if their owner isn’t around enough. They need lots of attention, so it’s best to get a Blue GSD if you have several hours at home with them.
Blue-eyed German Shepherds can also be quite confident and brave. When raised in the right household, these dogs will feel proud of themselves and their territory. They can be guard dogs but won’t shy away from cuddling on the couch or playing fetch in the backyard.
Common Health Problems
German Shepherds with blue eyes are prone to hip dysplasia, osteoarthritis, and digestive issues as they age. All of these health concerns can be minimized or managements with the three following tips:
- Healthy food is crucial from birth through their senior years.
- German Shepherds need up to two hours of exercise daily.
- Attention and affection prevent the anxiety that can cause stress, seizures, and blood pressure problems.
Another quick tip is to assist your blue-eyed German Shepherd if he’s jumping up or down from a high surface, such as a truck bed, swimming pool, or deck, as this helps to protect his joints.
I also recommend you invest in a good orthopedic bed suitable for large breeds as they help prevent mobility issues and ease pain and discomfort caused by arthritis. Check out this article to learn my favorites, The 5 Best Orthopedic Dog Beds for German Shepherds.
Are Blue Eyes in GSDs a Health Concern?
Some owners might be concerned that blue eyes in a German Shepherd cause additional health concerns. But are blue eyes in the German Shepherd breed a health concern?
Blue eyes in German Shepherds aren’t a health concern because they don’t cause any detrimental effects on the dog. These lovely dogs are just as healthy as the standard brown-eyed German Shepherds. Their health predictability is based on their genetics, diet, activity, and affection.
There’s no need to worry about your German Shepherd’s blue eyes having a long-term effect on their health. It won’t impact their sight, hearing, energy levels, or anything else.
So what causes the confusion?
Some dogs such as the Australian Shepherd, Border Collie, and Great Dane carry the M-locus Merle gene that causes mottled white patches of fur, solid or piebald, on the face and body.
The Merle gene can also cause blue eyes in these breeds, and when two Merle carriers breed, the resulting litter (known as “double merle”) is at a substantially higher risk of being deaf, blind, or both. Breeding two Merle gene carriers are therefore expressly forbidden and deemed inhumane.
How Much Does a German Shepherd With Blue Eyes Cost?
A German Shepherd with blue eyes costs $1,500 and up, depending on the breeder, their ancestors, the location, and many other factors. Blue eyes typically don’t increase the price since they’re not always prized by the breeders, sadly. However, this presents an opportunity to bring a gorgeous pup into your home.
You may be able to find rescue dogs (including Blue German Shepherds) for as little as $100. It’s up to you to decide if you want a puppy from a breeder or a dog who’s in desperate need of a home.
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Where to Buy This Blue Eyed Beauty
To buy a blue-eyed German Shepherd, you’ll have to talk to local breeders. It’s impossible for a breeder to intentionally have blue eyes GSDs, though they could breed two of them to attempt to make more with the same condition.
Again, blue eyes are a genetic defect, which means they’re unpredictable and difficult to produce. They should be seen as rare gems rather than defective dogs, though!
You can also keep an eye on local animal shelters, pounds, and online marketplaces to find these blue-eyed beauties.
FAQ About Blue Eyes German Shepherds
Do German Shepherd Puppies Eyes Change Color?
German Shepherds puppies’ eyes will change color at around three to four weeks old. All puppies first open their eyes between days 8-14, when they will be blue-gray in color due to a lack of melanin. Over the next 2 weeks, their eyes will gradually change color, usually brown.
What Color Should a German Shepherd’s Eyes Be?
A German Shepherd’s eye color should be as dark as possible according to the American Kennel Club breed standard. Most German Shepherds’ eyes are therefore brown. The exact shade of brown depends on the amount of melanin that gives the eyes pigmentation.
Now that you know everything about blue-eyed German Shepherds, you can decide if they’re the perfect fit for your family. These gorgeous pups will undoubtedly enjoy a home full of exercise, interaction, love, and affection.
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