When Do Puppies’ Eyes Change Color? How Can You Know The Permanent Eye Shade?

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You have looked for the newest possible member of your family, and in all those pictures, you have seen a fluffy ball of fur with blue eyes.

Many people get distracted by dogs’ clear eye color, hoping this beautiful shade will last forever. Well, it is not always the case. And this is why you might be reading this article.

If you do quick research, you will be surprised to find that most dogs have blue eyes when they are puppies. However, their body will start developing different eye shades as they start growing older.

The change will appear mostly when the puppies are between 9 and 12 weeks old. During this time, their hue will begin to get darker and darker and change gradually to a permanent color.

Learn more about this natural transition and the biological process, and how to determine the permanent color.

Blue Eyes – The Cute Feature Of New Born Puppies

Credit: Instagram

When they are born, puppies live with their eyes closed during the first eight to fourteen days. This is how cute they are.

After this period, their eyes will slowly open more and more, revealing the beautiful blue eyes right underneath their eyelids.

As the puppies’ eyes began to open day by day, their vision started to develop, and their sight became sharper and sharper.

In the same way, their eyes’ color emerges, and the cute little puppies can see things more clearly. Their vision is better, and they start exploring the surroundings.

As a dog owner, it will be easy to notice how your puppy’s eyes are slowly changing once they open their lids, as well as all those tinges of blue in the first color shade.

This tone of crystal blue is not permanent but will only remain until the transition to the endless color is happening. Typically, this period will last until the puppies will be eight weeks old.

Why Are Puppies’ Eyes So Blue?

Why Are Puppies’ Eyes So Blue
Credit: Instagram

All puppies have blue eyes, and this is kind of a rule. They are all born with light shade eyes because they have no melanin in their iris when they are born. In other words, newborn dogs have blue eyes because their iris is not entirely developed yet.

The lack of melanin makes their eyes crystal clear, so blue is not the mandatory shade, but we can talk about transparent colors. However, we perceive these shades as blue due to different types of light.

Combined with the lack of melanin, all these will make the puppies’ eyes seem like the sky itself. However, the shade of blue will depend on each dog breed, so there will be some distinctions from pet to pet.

It will take several weeks for the melanin to start developing until the final color, and then the dog owners will be able to notice how their pets’ eyes will be forever. So, naturally, if the melanin quantity is less than usual, the natural eyes will remain in a lighter shade.

Certain breeds, such as Siberian Husky, Alaskan Klee Kai, even Mongrels, have blue eyes permanently. These pets are unique, and some dogs passionately are willing to have one of them only for the crystal visions.

From Clearest Blues To Mature Eye Shades

As previously mentioned, a puppy’s eye color will start to be noticeable in three or four weeks after birth. The whole process of melanin development takes a bit of time until the permanent color will eventually settle eye color.

Experts have measured this period, and they claim to last about nine to twelve weeks.

So, from the very beginning, when you see your future puppy, it is kind of hard to tell what your adult dog’s eyes will be.

While deep brown is the most common shade for dogs’ eyes, particular breeds develop dark tones within these animals’ specific species. We can talk about some breeds, such as Australian Shepherds that have blue eyes naturally or other light shades.

The Time When Puppies Eye Color Begins To Change

Most of the dog owners hope their dogs look as cute as they did once being puppies. Well, things might change, especially after six weeks from the time of birth.

When your dog’s eyes start to change their colors, you will notice that the pet may start rubbing its face against its owners’ hands or other furniture objects, such as the couch or even their crate.

In case you notice your dog is making odd noises, or they are permanently sniffing something on the ground, even licking their paws desperately, then these can be some signs of possible health issues. So, if you observe some of these behaviors, it is better to call a vet doctor.

Vet doctors will take an eye examination for your puppy and find the possible problem when it is necessary. Corrections are possible at any age, which is such good news for your lovely pet. Moreover, your dog’s age is not that critical, so there are lots of eye treatments. It is mandatory to follow the pet’s behavior and go with them for an eye specialist evaluation.

Signs Of Eye Health Issues in Dogs

The age when puppy eyes change is the main indication of good health or eye sickness. So, what is good to know is that the eyes are made of three layers of tissue, meaning:

  • The Cornea
  • The Iris
  • The Choroid

As the puppy starts growing, the cornea and the iris will change and develop; this is the moment when the choroid begins to fall away.

The age of dogs can be the primary indicator of possible health difficulties. How old dogs are can indicate if their eyes are inflamed, infected, damaged, or somehow undeveloped properly.

Once going to the eye veterinary specialists, they can tell if there is an issue and also diagnose the eye problems using the latest technology, such as x-rays, the dog’s medical history, and pictures.  [1]

The Most Popular Eye Color in Dogs

Most of the usual dogs will have brown eyes. However, animals are all unique, so the brown shade can vary a lot. The type of breed will mostly influence and lead to different eye shades. [2]

If your dog has intense brown eyes, they can sometimes even seem like black. It all depends on the lighting differences.

What is certain is that dark brown is the most popular eye color. But specialists have been discussing other typical eye hues, such as:

  • Hazel eyes
  • Goldeyes
  • Amber eye color
  • Pale blue shades
  • Speckled dog eyes

Coat Color and Eye Color – The Strong Connection

The connection between the dog’s coat color and the eyeshade during the mature time is fascinating and somehow intriguing. It is pretty easy to figure out what eyeshade your dog will have in the future.

So, if the color coat is all-live, the pets will likely have an amber eye color. It depends; they can develop a light brown shade, while others gain more amber yellowish to light gray color.

But when it comes to a merle-colored coat, things change a bit, and the probability of blue eyes is a lot higher.

The Merle Gene

The Merle Gene
Credit: Instagram

Let’s move further into the genes of dogs and talk more about the importance of genetic legacy. So, if your dog has dominant light patches or comes with entirely white fur, then the chances of blue eyes color are higher.

This thing appears due to the inability of their body to develop pigmentation. These dogs, with completely white fur or light pigmentation, are carrying the merle gene.

Veterinarians do not recommend two dogs who carry these genes to mate. People should not be allowed to let these animals multiply as serious health issues can sometimes appear. Some of them can be deafness, blindness, even both of these diseases.

However, the color of the coat is not the main factor that differentiates the dog’s eye color. For instance, we can think about the Siberian Huskies. Not all dogs have fully white fur, right?

These dogs have blue eyes due to a genetic mutation. So the relationship between hair and eyes is almost nonexistent. Do not rely on a dog’s fur color to predict their eyes, as this is not an exact factor.


Credit: Instagram

Another eye disease that appears on both dogs and human beings is heterochromia. This scientific term describes when someone has a pair of eyes of different colors. This is a kind of cute eye issue and affects dogs, horses, cats, and humans.

As you might guess, the biological reason for this eye difference is the lack of melanin pigment. As such, the stain has not been distributed to part of one eye.

When it comes to dogs, the eye in question will be bluish-white or entirely blue. This is the same reason why little puppies have such blue eyes at the same time. So, the leading cause is underdeveloped melanin.

Talking about dogs, this eye affection is mainly hereditary, so that parents will pass heterochromia to their children. This is how genetic makeup is working. However, there have been some situations when heterochromia appeared very late in dogs’ life, due to a possible eye injury and other health conditions.

If you notice that your dogs have different eye colors, don’t worry about it, as this anomaly won’t affect their vision.

Still, let’s say you noticed that your pet’s eyeshade had changed dramatically in a short period, during their mature days. This is the sign you should go to a veterinarian to find the reason for this change.

Heterochromia Classification

There are different forms of this illness. Here is what you need to know about each of them:

  • Sectoral heterochromia: this is the partial form of this eye issue, and it happens when the iris is only partially blue
  • Heterochromia iridis: now, we can talk about complete heterochromia, and it appears when two eyes are completely different shades than the other
  • Central heterochromia: when this issue appears, the blue color will radiate all throughout the pupil. Once the shade mixes with another color, you will notice a spiked pattern.

Health Issues Due To Heterochromia

Possible Blindness?

Some people start wondering and have dark thoughts when they find out that their cats, horses, and dogs have heterochromia issues. They start wondering about their health or eyesight. Can dogs get blind?

Luckily, you should worry no more. Heterochromia cannot cause blindness or other health difficulties. Most dogs that have heterochromia are exposed to a genetic predisposition, and that’s all.

Hearing Issues – No Way!

Another strong belief that is associated with heterochromia is hearing issues. People who know little about this eye condition think that their pets won’t have the same good hearing qualities as healthy dogs. In most cases, this statement is untrue.

However, there have been some dalmatians with heterochromia that were likely deaf.

Genetic Heterochromia Vs. Acquired Heterochromia

Let’s distinguish between genetic heterochromia and the eye issue that appears due to a possible accident. This time, we can talk about the acquired heterochromia, when the pet, whether a dog, a cat, or a horse, is not born with two different eye colors.

This unfortunate condition appears due to an eye injury. Heterochromia might seem quite similar to cataracts or glaucoma. If you notice this color change, make sure you go to a veterinarian and find the reason for this health issue.

However, the lucky part is that most dogs with heterochromia do not develop any related health issues. The only uncommon thing will be their lovely, unique set of eyes.

Dog Breeds That Develop More Heterochromia

Heterochromia is not a common issue for all dog breeds. Particular breeds have this eye condition. Here are some of the most popular ones:

  • Chihuahuas
  • Siberian Huskies
  • Australian Shepherds
  • Dachshunds
  • Shih Tzus
  • Dalmatians
  • Australian Cattle Dogs
  • Great Danes
  • Shetland Sheepdogs

Although we have mentioned multiple dog breeds that deal with heterochromia, the most common ones remain Cattle dogs, Dalmatians, and Huskies.

Glaucoma At Dogs

Glaucoma At Dogs
Credit: Instagram

Now that we have talked about the heterochromia issue and established some health rules let’s move on to another eye problem, called glaucoma.

While this eye condition would probably develop over time, some puppies might have it in adult dogs. Glaucoma appears when a dog’s corneas start being bloodshot and cloudy.

If you notice one of these particular shades, it is vital to go to the veterinarian and check your dog’s health.

Surgery is often one of the leading solutions, and it is also genuinely successful, so there is nothing to worry about. Glaucoma is perfectly treatable, especially in younger dogs.


Credit: Instagram

Another eye condition that might appear to your dog is cataracts, which are even more severe than glaucoma.

This medical condition requires urgent surgery so that it can be correct. Cataracts will usually develop slowly, only over time, as the dogs are getting older and older.

In A Nutshell

  • Dogs will slowly open their eyes after their first or second week of life
  • All puppies are born with blue eyes, but this is not permanent, but only a matter of time
  • Blue eyes appear because of the lack of melanin
  • It will take somewhere around three months to notice the future permanent eye color of your dog; during this time, the final shade will continue to change
  • Certain breeds are more likely to have blue eyes even when the dogs get old; one of them is the Siberian Husky
  • If the dog’s fur coat is all white or bright, this can be the indicator for blue eyes; however, this is not a rule
  • Some dogs can have heterochromia, as they are born with this issue, so their eyes have two different shades; however, the difference is quite subtle
  • Make sure you look at your puppy’s eyes since they are born; this way, you can catch any possible eye problems, such as cataracts or glaucoma.

Although puppies with blue eyes are exceptional to have, well, the eye color will change gradually, depending on each dog. However, it can also be fascinating to find out the permanent eye color your lovely pet will have.

Also Read: When Do Puppies Calm Down?

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