I’ve trained a ton of German Shepherds my whole life, caring for a few myself and studying what they’re all about! If there’s one thing I learned about them, it’s that they have similar coats, but they can have different eyes. One of the rarest and most interesting are blue eyes in German Shepherds!
So if you’re wondering, “Can German Shepherds have blue eyes?” That’s a YES! But how do they come to be and can you also breed a German Shepherd to have the blue beautiful eyes you see online? I did the research, so read on as I answer that question and more.
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Can German Shepherds Have Blue Eyes?
You’ve probably seen a German Shepherd with blue eyes before, or with a mixed set of colors! It can also be matched with a white coat coloring, though usually, they have the typical red or tan and black coats with blue eyes.
The short answer is YES, they can have blue eyes! While this is a very rare occurrence, their blue eyes come from a specific genetic variation.
This is opposed to the usual brown eyes most German Shepherds are born with. However, mixed breeds can also be born with blue eyes, depending on the dog bred with the German Shepherd.
Regardless, this variation of the breed is called a blue or white German Shepherd. Both these variations of German Shepherds have blue eyes but different coats due to their unique genes!
About White German Shepherds
German Shepherds with blue eyes come from this recessive gene which causes their blue eyes and white coat. But where did that begin? The first recording of a white German Shepherd carrying that recessive gene came from a show in Germany back in 1882.
But as the Nazis became more dominant, they started controlling the German Shepherd’s breeding. They discouraged all efforts to begin breeding the white German Shepherd, as they believed it would have hereditary defects.
Because of this, such genes from the all-white German Shepherd with blue eyes became rare. BUT, the unique color became more popular as the years passed, to the point that it’s now becoming fought for to maintain and protect the breed across the United States.
While it’s still rare, the White Shepherd Club of Canada hopes for the white German Shepherd with blue eyes to be accepted as a separate breed or to be recognized in shows. But for now, they fall under German Shepherds with the same looks and personality, just having different coat and eye colors!
About Blue German Shepherds
Now that you’re familiar with the white German Shepherd, how did the blue German Shepherd come in?
These are German Shepherd with blue eyes but with the traditional marks and coats. There are different variations to their coat coloring, though it’s usually either blue and sable, blue and tan, or even blue and black.
The gene responsible for such eye and coat colors come from the double blue or liver recessive gene. It causes hair pigmentation to look diluted, hence the blue or gray hues. This is also the same gene which would cause the blue German Shepherd to have blue eyes. It can even look yellow or pale brown!
Like the white German Shepherd, these types of genetics are extremely rare and not actively bred. I’ll get into the reasons why later on.
If you’ve never seen a blue-eyed German Shepherd before, check out this cool video:
Does The Rare Gene Mean Danger?
The color variations on both the German Shepherd’s hair and eyes are caused by recessive genes. This is the same type of genes which occurs in us humans, which cause us to have different eye and hair colors.
Because of this recessive gene, some dog breeds like the German Shepherd and Doberman MAY suffer from certain skin conditions. But as far as breeders and owners know, there aren’t major health problems or defects associated with this particular recessive gene in German Shepherds.
However, breeders would avoid trying to mate animals with the recessive gene whenever possible. This goes especially if they plan to sell show dogs, as that American Kennel Club would disqualify blue German Shepherds from their shows.
Wrapping It Up
Blue German Shepherds are such an interesting type, you’ll love to stare at them all day long for their coat and eyes! While beautiful and unique, I would suggest that you do NOT try to breed or mate animals with such a gene, as they may have defects in their genetics and the like. But as long as you care for them well, you won’t have major issues in terms of any sicknesses and health.
Hopefully, this article answered your question, “Can German Shepherds have blue eyes?” Now that you know the answer, learn more about the different breeds and their rarities now!