7 Black Dogs With Blue Eyes

Blue eyes on a black dog’s face are a startling
look ¹

There is a famous saying in the fashion world about whether dark blue and black should be “seen” together.

The conventional wisdom is that they probably shouldn’t be worn together.

And it is similar with dogs.

In the grand scheme of things, “solid” black dogs with blue eyes are a bit of a contradiction and one that you should try and stay away from.

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Dogs that have a solid black coat should have brown or black eyes.

This is for the health of the dog itself and the health of the breed- if that dog is bred from.

To explain this a bit more, I want to look at the ways in which dogs come to have blue eyes.

4 reasons that dogs have blue eyes

The overwhelming majority of adult dogs have dark brown eyes.

However, when dogs are born, they all have blue eyes.

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But for most dogs, by the time that they are four months old, their eyes would have turned brown.

But what are the exceptional circumstances that keep eyes blue?

Well, there are four possible reasons and I want to give a bit more detail on two of those:

  1. A consequence of the Merle gene.
  2. A “blue eyed” gene

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The Merle gene can cause blue eyes

Merle is a blotchy pattern that makes a dog’s coat.

It is caused by a set of genes disrupting the pigment in the coat.

In parts of the coat the colour appears to be really vibrant and in other parts the colour seems faded.

Almost like a white shirt that has been washed with a red or blue pair of trousers at the wrong temperature.  

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But it doesn’t just affect the colour of their coat.

It affects their eye colour as well- turning brown eyes blue.

And changing noses and paws from black to pink. 

And now let’s move onto the second reason why dogs might have blue eyes

Blue eyed gene

A study involving six thousands dogs, found that Siberian Huskies and Australian Shepherds might have a specific gene that gives them blue eyes.

These genes aren’t related to the merle gene that we have just discussed. 

They have identified a separate gene named ALX4 that causes the colour change.  

Now that we have looked at what causes blue eyes, I want to explain some of the dangerous health conditions that are associated with blue eyes. 

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Health conditions associated with merle coats and blue eyes

Just as the merle gene can create blue eyes, it is thought that it can also result in blindness and deafness in dogs.

These dogs are called “double merles” because they were the offspring of two merle dogs that were mated.  

Both the British and the American kennel clubs are aware of the danger and they are trying to tackle it.  

The Kennel Club (the UK based organisation responsible for protecting and promoting the health and welfare of all dogs) started to ban merle to merle mating in specific breeds as early as 2012. 

This included Chihuahuas, Bulldogs and Border Collies.

In January 2020, The Kennel Club issued a wider ban on registering all merle dogs from breeds that don’t have a significant history of the colour in the breed

And the American Kennel Association (AKC) is doing their bit too. 

For each of the one hundred and ninety six purebreds on the AKC register, each one has a “breed standard”.

Which is a huge list of qualities that an individual dog should possess in order to be fully recognised as an acceptable example of the breed. 

None of these breed standards allow for a solid black dog to have blue eyes. 

But there is a list of dogs with partly black coats that do have blue eyes.

I will discuss these in the next section.

7 dogs with (partly) black coats with blue eyes

[1] Black Siberian Husky

Those eyes are piercing aren’t they? ²

The Siberian Husky is perhaps the most famous and iconic blue eye dog breed around today.

Although it’s most common colouring is grey and white, any colour from black to pure white is allowed.   

In terms of eyes, brown or blue eyes are acceptable in Huskies.

The eyes can be different colours or they can be partially coloured. 

Siberian Huskies are classed as a medium sized dog, standing at around 22 inches or 56 cm tall and weighing around 50 lbs or 22.6 kg.

These are great family pets who need lots of exercise regularly.

Whether that is in the form of lots of walking, or as a running partner, or pulling sleds. 

They are incredibly friendly with people to the extent that they would be hopeless watch dogs.

[2] Alaskan Klee Kai

A mini Husky with very pale eyes ³

If you like the look of a Husky but you just can’t accommodate a 22” and 50 lb dog in your house, I have an alternative.

The Alaskan Klee Kai is a Husky in miniature.

Well, it actually comes in three sizes:

  • Standard: 15”- 17” (38 cm – 43 cm) 
  • Miniature: 13”- 15” (32 cm- 38 cm)
  • Toy up to 13” (32 cm)

This breed is not one that is recognised as a purebred by the AKC.

The Klee Kai comes in shades of black, grey or red. 

Their eyes can come in colour or combination of colours (which means each eye might be a different colour.)

Alaskan Klee Kais need a moderate amount of exercise around forty minutes per day. 

They are more affectionate than their bigger cousins and they are more wary of strangers. 

[3] Black dachshund

Only dappled Dachshunds are meant to
have blue eyes ⁴

If you want a black or black and tan Dachshund with blue eyes, although individual dogs like these might be available, it is best to move on and ignore them.

According to the breed standard,  only dapple Dachshunds are allowed to have blue eyes. 

And so you are looking for a black Dachshund that has lighter colour splotches on top.

It is easy to confuse a dappled Dachshund with a piebald dachshund. 

But piebald dogs have a couple of base colours on their coat with patches of white on top. 

Dachshunds come in a dizzying array of combinations.

Before I get into coat colours and eye colours, I want to discuss weight and coat “texture.” 

Dachshunds are available in two sizes or weights.

  • Miniature: 11 lbs (5 kg) or under at one year old
  • Standard: between 16 (7.2 kg)  and 32 lbs (14.5 kg)

And with three different coats: smooth, longhaired and wire haired.

[4] Australian Shepherd

Look at how bright the blue eye is ⁵

Our next black dog with blue eyes is the Australian Shepherd.

Famous for their white necks, chest and forelegs, the colour over the rest of an Australian Shepherd’s coat can be as varied as a solid “black” to “red tricolour” to a blue merle.

Australian Shepherds are quite rare in that there is lots of allowed variety in their eye colour

Brown, blue or amber (or any mixture between them) is allowed. 

An adult male can stand up to 57 cm (22.5”) tall and weigh up to 32 kg (70 lbs.)

Developed as herding dogs in the nineteenth century, Australian Shepherds love to work alongside people.

They need an incredible amount of exercise in order to keep them happy and they don’t do well being left on their own for too long. 

[5] Great Danes

Could the eye be blue because of the cold? ⁶

Are the dogs that we have mentioned up to this point all lovely, but they are just not…

Big enough.

Well if you want the biggest black dog with blue eyes that you can lay your hands, then why not choose a Great Dane.

Beautiful piercing blue eyes are available in this “model” as long as you choose a harlequin or merle pattern

The Harlequin is the Dalmation look- the coat has a white base with black “splodges”.

A merle Dane has a grey base colour with black splodges on top. 

The most striking feature of these dogs is their size. 

A full grown male can stand around 33” (85 cm) tall and weigh around 199 lbs (90 kg.) 

A large dog needs lots of space and lots of food.

Although these dogs are very happy to lounge around at home, they do need quite a bit of exercise.

And those blue eyes? Get used to them because these dogs like nothing more than “sharing” a sofa with Mum and Dad. 

[6] Dalmatian

What a beautiful pair of eyes on this dog

Too much? 

Is the thought of sharing the sofa and the size of the food bill giving you heart palpitations?

How about a scaled down model? 

An adult Dalmatian is only (only ?) about 24” (60 cm) and weigh around 68 lbs (31 kg.)

Dalmatians come in liver and white or black and white and blue eyes are acceptable in either of these colours

Dalmatians have a long history in Croatia but it was in nineteenth century England that the breed became much more widely appreciated. 

In the U.S. these dogs are best known for their role guarding the horses that pulled the “fire engines”.

And for this reason these dogs aren’t happy unless they are exercised vigorously. 

[7] Catahoula Leopard Dog

My last dog in this list is a bit of a strange one as it isn’t a registered purebred dog at the AKC.

But it is part of their foundation stock service, which is a way of developing purebred dogs in a safe way.

As it isn’t registered with the AKC, it has no breed standard.

But the United Kennel Club has created one for this breed

In terms of eye colour, it seems anything goes. Any colour or combination of colours is allowed.

It seems that anything goes with the coat colour as well- although the main combinations are merle, brindle, black and tan and blue.

Your best bet for some black is to find a merle patterned dog, where black spots sit on top of a grey and red base. 

Size- wise, these dogs could be as much as 27” (69cm) tall and weighing a hefty 75 lbs (334 kg.)

These dogs are known to be extremely protective of children and they fare very well in hot or very cold climates. 

If you are going to be able to provide the dog with the large amounts of exercise it needs, it could be your perfect black dog with blue eyes. 

Black dogs that shouldn’t have blue eyes (AKC)

If this post needs more content, add the list from this page of dogs that will be DQ if they have blue eyes.

Check the list, see if any of the colours are black and then add them!

Photo Credits

¹ Photo by Bailiwick Studios on Flickr

² Photo by Nataliia Kvitovska on Unsplash

³ Photo by Jean on Flickr

⁴ Photo by Myriam Jessier on Unsplash

⁵ Photo by Andy Køgl on Unsplash

⁶ Photo by Jon Hurd on Flickr

⁷ Photo by Vladimer Shioshvili on Flickr

James Grayston

My name is James and I love dogs. have owned four Golden Retrievers in the past 15 years. Currently I own two "Goldies"- a five year old and a seven month old. The photo shows me with our youngest when she was about 7 weeks old!