Have you ever taken a good look at a Husky or an Australian Shepherd? If so, you probably recall those striking light blue eyes. In fact, some appear to be dogs with white eyes because their irises are so light.
In this guide, we’ll talk about a few reasons dogs can have white eyes if they’re not naturally occurring. Then, we’ll take a look at dogs with white eyes that have been bred to display the color. If you’re looking for a breed with beautiful light eyes, or just have questions about why your own dog’s eyes appear the way they do, read on.
Dogs With White Eyes – A Medical Concern?
Not all dogs with white eyes are born that way, nor should they display this characteristic. While there are dog breeds like the Border Collie or the Weimaraner that have naturally blue or light eyes, some white eyes are cause for concern.
If you’ve noticed your dog’s eyes are beginning to look glossy and white, it’s best to take her to the vet. There are a number of reasons her eye color could be changing. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
Do you remember your last visit to the optometrist and that unnerving moment when the doctor released a puff of air toward your eye? That was a glaucoma test. Glaucoma doesn’t just occur in humans, but can also affect dogs. The condition is caused by an inability of the eye to drain fluid appropriately, causing a great increase in pressure.
Glaucoma can be very painful for your dog and lead to blindness. Treatment can be simple — eye drops and chewable medicines are available — and can save your dog’s eyesight.
If you suspect your pup may be losing vision due to a change in eye color, please see a vet immediately. Early detection is key to preserving your dog’s precious vision.
Like glaucoma, cataracts affect dogs and humans alike. Cataracts will cause your dog’s vision to be cloudy at first but can lead to eventual partial or complete blindness. As cataracts develop, they’ll become increasingly serious. Older cataracts are harder to remove than newly discovered cataracts.
For this reason, cataracts are another condition that should be addressed as soon as it’s diagnosed. In most cases, your dog’s eyes will require surgery. However, the good news is that this surgery can restore your pup’s vision.
A vet can tell you whether your dog has cataracts when you visit for regular checkups. Of course, you’ll want to aim for early detection.
Lenticular or nuclear sclerosis is a condition that may cause your dog’s eyes to look blue or white. Unlike other conditions on this list, though, it doesn’t usually lead to blindness until later in life. However, nuclear sclerosis can lead to cataracts, so have your pup checked by a vet.
There’s no treatment that’s usually necessary for nuclear sclerosis. There are very few and minimal side effects, so in most cases, your vet will just monitor the condition closely.
If your dog’s veterinarian has reason to suspect that nuclear sclerosis has impacted your dog’s eyes, he’ll refer you to an ophthalmologist. Your pup’s eyes will be dilated to better diagnose the disorder and to determine a course of treatment, if any.
Dogs with White Eyes
Now that you’re familiar with a few conditions that may cause a white appearance in your dog’s eyes, it’s time to look at the breeds that naturally have light coloration. Remember that some puppies are born with very light eyes that darken over time, so speak with your breeder before you invest in your dog.
1. Siberian Husky
When you think of dogs with white eyes, the Siberian Husky likely comes to mind first. These gorgeous dogs have trademarked light eyes, beautiful and piercing. Siberian Huskies may also have a condition called heterochromia, which results in each eye displaying a different color.
The blue in your Husky’s eyes isn’t caused by blue pigment but by the absence of any pigment at all. Your puppy will get her coloration from her parents, but two blue-eyed dogs can produce a puppy with heterochromia and vice versa. Some dogs will even exhibit two different colors in one eye.
Your Husky will be born with blue eyes, no matter what color irises they’re destined to have. In most cases, your pup’s final eye color will be displayed at around six months of age.
The Weimaraner is next on our list of dogs with white eyes. These dogs have crystal clear, light eyes that can display hints of amber, gray, or blue. The juxtaposition of these light eyes against the ghost-gray of your pup is truly beautiful.
Like the Husky, your Weimaraner’s eyes will reach their true color at around six months old. Until that time, this “dog with white eyes” will exhibit blue irises.
Your Weimaraner’s light eyes are not necessarily the result of any eye condition. However, there are several problems you and your vet should look out for. Entropion and ectropion are conditions that impact your dog’s eyelids, and they can cause irritation.
Distichiasis impacts your dog’s eyelashes and can cause pain and discharge. Retinal atrophy is a genetic condition that can cause blindness in your pup.
As you can see, while your Weimaraner has gorgeous blue eyes, there are some instances that will require the care of a vet. Regular checkups will mitigate long-term concerns.
3. Australian Shepherd
The Australian Shepherd, or Aussie, is third on our list of dog breeds with white eyes. Like others in this guide, your Aussie’s gorgeous globes are lighter blue than white, but regardless they have quite a striking appearance.
Your Aussie has beautiful eyes, but those eyes can be afflicted by a number of disorders. If you see changes in the appearance of your adult dog’s eyes, have your vet check for genetic conditions like ocular colobomas, cataracts, or detached retinas.
Australian Shepherds were ranked the 12th most popular dog breed by the AKC in 2022 and for good reason. The Aussie is a smart, friendly, and gentle breed that gets along with children and with other dogs. If you add an Australian Shepherd to your home, you’ll be adopting a lifetime companion.
4. Border Collie
The Border Collie’s eyes can be blue or brown. Brown shades may range from dark chocolate to light amber, while a Border Collie’s blue eyes are often so light they appear white. For this reason, the Border Collie is next on our list of dog breeds with white eyes.
The Border Collie originated in Scotland and is a herding dog. Your family will be your pup’s flock, but your dog will have no problem accepting you as his master. Border Collies are very loyal, smart dogs and will quickly learn their place within your household.
On the subject of your Border Collie’s eyes, don’t enter a staring contest with your dog. The breed is known for its piercing stare, which can intimidate a flock of sheep into submission. While your trained Border Collie will likely be well-behaved, don’t be surprised if he tries to bend your will with his impressive stare.
5. Great Dane
Great Danes are born with blue eyes which can darken over time. In rare instances, however, you may come across a Great Dane that has light blue, almost white, eyes. This trait is most common in dogs with Harlequin coloration but can appear in dogs with other markings as well.
Entropion is a hereditary condition that your pup may have gotten from her parents. This disorder causes your pup’s eyelids to roll under and irritate the eye. As a result, scar tissue can form and your dog can, ultimately, experience blindness.
Regular checkups can help with early detection. Antibiotics may be prescribed, and surgery may be necessary if the condition becomes severe.
The Great Dane is a large dog, but they’re gentle with kids and with other animals. If you have the energy to provide your pup with plenty of exercise, this may be a great option for your family.
6. Catahoula Leopard Dog
The Catahoula Leopard Dog is next on our list of dogs with white eyes. This Louisiana native is named after the Choctaw word for the sacred lake — maybe they were named that way because of their eyes. Some dogs will have brown eyes but a majority of Catahoulas you’ll see will have clear, glass-blue peepers you can get lost in.
Please note that Catahoula Leopard Dogs are prone to cataracts. Because of their light eye coloration, it may be more difficult to “catch” this problem without the assistance of a vet. For that reason, regular checkups are strongly recommended. Your vet can differentiate between a normal eye and one that requires treatment.
Catahoula Leopard Dogs can be integrated into a family setting, but the pups are a bit nervous around strangers. Proper training is necessary to ensure that your dog behaves around other animals and around visitors to your home.
The Pitbull is next on our list of dogs with white eyes. In fact, your Pit may grow to have eyes that are light blue, green, brown, or hazel. Interestingly, the gene that will determine your pup’s eye color can also whether she loses her hearing. Of course, this means veterinary checkups are essential to your dog’s health.
Pitbulls are a frequently misunderstood breed. Unfortunately, these dogs are sometimes trained to be aggressive. They’ve gained a reputation for being unsuitable as family pets but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Pitbulls can be gentle giants when brought up in a loving home with firm training. Speak to a breeder or professional trainer if you lack experience with the breed.
Before you adopt a Pitbull, make sure there are no breed restrictions in your neighborhood. Homeowners associations, cities, landlords, and other entities sometimes put regulations in place disallowing breeds like the Pitbull due to their reputation as an aggressive breed.
8. French Bulldog
Last on our list of dog breeds with white eyes is the French Bulldog. The Frenchie has remained in the top three most popular dog breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club for years and is quite a beautiful breed. Your “dog with white eyes” may actually have light blue eyes, and this is usually indicative of your pup carrying the merle gene.
The French Bulldog is an award-winning breed, taking home the best-in-show award hundreds of times. They’re quiet little dogs that thrive in apartments and other small spaces, and they make wonderful little companions for seniors, too. In fact, they’re the most popular dog breed in New York City because they adapt so well to close living quarters.
As is true for any dog, you’ll need to bring your pup to the vet for regular checkups. Cherry eye, corneal ulcers, and dry eye can affect your dog and it’s best to catch these disorders early.
Frenchies are also prone to breathing problems, skin problems, and mobility issues. Your vet can help you diagnose these disorders and treat them so that your dog can live a long, healthy life. The typical lifespan of a Frenchie is between 10 and 14 years.
Frequently Asked Questions
Some dogs are particularly prone to cataracts including Cocker Spaniels, Boston Terriers, and Golden Retrievers. Breeds like the Husky, Weimaraner, and Border Collie can have healthy light-colored eyes.
The most common eye color for dogs is brown, while the rarest is green.
With dichromatic vision, dogs can see different shades of blue, yellow, and gray.
Conclusion for “Dogs with White Eyes – Top 8 Breeds”
If your dog has white eyes, it could be a sign of a serious health condition. Bring your pup to the vet as soon as you notice any change in the appearance of his eyes or the color of his irises; together you can take steps to prevent further harm or even blindness in your dog.
While white eyes aren’t healthy for all dog breeds, there are a number of dogs with white eyes, or light blue eyes, that you may be interested in adopting. The unique appearance of your dog will make him an absolute show-stopper.
Choose from the breeds in our guide and find a healthy dog that’s a fit for your lifestyle
Check out these other lists of dog breeds:
- Brown Dog Breeds With Blue Eyes – Top 7 Breeds! (2023)
- 15 Grey Dogs With Blue Eyes – Top Breeds! (2023)
- White Dog Breeds With Blue Eyes – Top 8 Breeds! (2023)
Learn more by watching “THIS Is What Eye Color Tells You About Your Dog!” down below:
Garrett loves animals and is a huge advocate for all Doodle dog breeds. He owns his own Goldendoodle named Kona. In addition, he volunteers at the Humane Society of Silicon Valley, where he fosters dogs and helps animals. Garrett enjoys writing about Doodles and believes that dogs can teach humans more about how to live than humans can teach a dog.
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