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Can Border Collies Have Blue Eyes? | The Surprising Truth

Owning a border collie is a complete joy. They have playful personalities, are fantastic family pets, and are the perfect size for any living space. But one question that many people have is whether or not border collies can be born with blue eyes.

Blue eyes are possible in border collies. While all dogs are born with blue eyes, only rarely are they kept after about 5 months. However, when a blue-eyed border collie has been bred to a recessive gene carrier, 50% of the puppies will end up with blue eyes staying with them for life.

The focus of this article is really about whether or not border collies can have blue eyes but also includes information on whether this trait can be passed on through breeding to produce offspring with blue eyes.

Border Collies and Blue Eyes

Blue-eyed border collies look slightly different and more striking than their brown-eyed counterparts. The blue eye color itself is a very dark blue, much darker than the eye color of other dogs with blue eyes.

Blue eyes typically occur when a dog is homozygous for the recessive gene that causes blue eyes or when it carries two copies of the dominant genes that cause brown eyes. In the case where a dog is homozygous for the recessive blue-eyed gene, it only results in blue eyes in 50% of the puppies.

While this doesn’t mean that blue eyes are impossible for a border collie, it does mean that it is more likely to happen if two dogs are bred together with both parents having blue eyes.

If a dog carries two copies of the dominant gene that causes brown eyes, it will result in 75% of its offspring having brown eyes. If both dogs carry one copy of this gene, then 100% of their offspring will have brown eyes. Further complicating matters is that depending on the breed and how dominant or recessive different genes can be.

So while it may be possible for a border collie to be born with blue eyes, it doesn’t seem likely or easy to come by. They are famous for their unique eye coloration, and there are a few different colors that breeders have successfully bred with the border collie gene pool.

A Woman Holding a Young Blue-Eyed Border Collie

How Often Are Blue Eye Found in Border Collies?

As previously stated, very few dogs actually get to keep their blue eyes. Border Collies are no different. If your puppy is a chocolate-brown-eyed border collie, then you may end up with a blue-eyed litter. But this isn’t expected to happen often.

If you want a blue eye border collie, then just go ahead and keep your eye out for one when you are looking for one. Just make sure it’s over 5 or 6 months old. This will ensure that the dog will keep the blue eyes for a lifetime.

There are many stories of blue-eyed border collies throughout history as well, so this trait is not new to those who want to add a little variety to their lives or that of their pet caretaker friends.

How Can I Get a Blue-Eyed Border Collie?

There are two different ways to get your hands on a blue-eyed Border Collie.

  • The first one is to breed two collies who both carry the recessive gene for blue eyes. This ensures that your pup has one copy of the gene.
  • The second way to get a blue-eyed Border Collie is to have one parent who carries the recessive gene and one parent who does not. One parent will be considered “homozygous” for the blue eye trait and have a 50% chance of passing it down to their offspring.

What About DNA Tests for Blue Eyes?

It is possible to test for specific genes in pups before they are born to avoid breeding from two carriers of recessive genes like blue eyes. However, this is not common practice amongst professional breeders and would only be recommended if you are very concerned about the outcome of the puppies.

How Do I Get a Confirmation Number for My Blue-Eyed Border Collie?

To find out if your dog’s blue eyes are a recessive trait (one copy of the gene gets passed down), you’ll need to get a DNA test for the blue eye gene.

This mutation is recessive, but it doesn’t take two copies of the gene to be born with one copy. You can have one or two copies and still have a blue-eyed dog. Once you know your dog’s genotype, then you can use it as a tool to breed him or her to other dogs with one copy of the gene. The breeder will be able to predict whether or not a puppy will be born with blue eyes.

Will My Blue-Eyed Border Collie Have Blue-Eyed Puppies?

If you get a blue-eyed border collie, he or she will probably have blue-eyed puppies. The eye color of the pups will depend on if the gene for blue eyes is present in both parents or if it is just with one of them.

If it was just in one parent, then you might see a mixture of blue and brown-eyed puppies. As long as the dog has the correct eye color to pick from and is homozygous for it, then it’s pretty much ensured that you’ll have pure blue or blue/brown-eyed puppies come times if breeding again.

If your puppy has one blue eye and one brown eye, then it is known as a tortie. You can have a blue-eyed or red-eyed child if both parents are heterozygous for the recessive gene.

Do Border Collie Puppies Keep Their Blue Eyes?

Blue eyes in border collies are a recessive trait, so they are likely to stay blue for at least part of their life. They may change color as your puppy ages, but this is pretty unlikely. Even so, the eye color will almost certainly match that of the puppy’s father and mother.

Caring for a Blue-Eyed Border Collie

Border-Collie-With-One-Blue-Eye

Blue-eyed border collies need the same level of care as any other dog in your house, but you might want to keep an eye on their coat color, so you don’t lose track of which end is which when brushing them.

Don’t Forget to Feed Them Well

You should also be aware that eye color can be influenced by nutrition as well. If you are feeding your dog a diet lacking in nutrients, it’s possible for his eye color to change over time. Some dog nutrition experts recommend a diet with LOW-FAT and a supplement of essential fatty acids such as Flaxseed Oil. This will help his eye color brighten and maintain his beautiful blue eyes!

When Are Border Collie Eyes Fully Developed?

Border collie eyes will be fully developed when they are between the ages of 6 and 18 weeks of age. However, they will look like the eyes of a baby puppy and not develop their trademark eye shape until around three to six months of age.

Why Does My Border Collie Have One Blue Eye?

Two different eye colors, called heterochromia is a recessive trait that can be passed down to pups. It typically occurs in one out of every 10,000 dogs.

Blue eyes can also occur in both parents when there are two copies of the gene for blue eyes and one copy of the gene for brown eyes. This is called “heterozygous.”

Do Blue Eyes Affect My Border Collies Vision?

There are no known effects on the sight of border collies with blue eyes. So this isn’t something that you should be concerned about. However, if you have concerns about this, then you can always take your puppy to the vet for a complete check-up and eye exam.

Are There Any Diseases That Are Passed Down in Blue-Eyed Dogs?

There are no known diseases that are passed down in dogs with blue eyes. You can expect your border collie to be in good health no matter their eye color.

Do Border Collies With Blue Eyes Need Fewer Vaccinations?

All dogs, regardless of their eye color, need the same amount of vaccinations. It is vitally important that all dogs are vaccinated regularly and get deworming treatments to keep them as healthy as possible.

Do Blue Eyes Affect the Behavior of Border Collies?

Blue-eyed border collies are still border collies in spirit and in personality, and they look more like other border collies with their striking facial features. There is no reason to think that they would act any differently or be any less trainable.

In fact, breeders of the American Border Collie Association have even taken steps to preserve this gene into the next generation because it makes for a striking dog with a lot of character.

Are Blue-Eyed Dogs Deaf?

Blue-eyed border collies, like other dogs, are statistically more likely to be deaf. However, other types of genetic deafness can be passed down along with the gene for blue eyes. These types of deafness would be inherited separately from the gene for blue eyes.

What Other Dog Breeds Can Have Blue Eyes?

A Husky With Blue Eyes

The most common dog breed with blues eyes is the border collie, followed by the Australian shepherd and German shepherd. Other breeds which have been known to have blue eyes include:

  • Dalmatian
  • Siberian Husky
  • Cardigan Welsh Corgi
  • Great Dane
  • The English springer spaniel
  • Australian shepherds
  • Shetland sheepdog
  • Catahoula Leopard Dog
  • Weimaraner
  • Alaskan Klee Kai
  • Portuguese water dog
  • Dachshunds
  • The greyhound
  • Pit Bull

There is also a breed called the American and European Cocker Spaniel that can be born with blue eyes as well. While they are more rare, blue eyes can also appear in some non-dog breeds.

Final Thoughts

Blue eyes are not only striking, but they make for a gorgeous pet you can show off at a dog show or just around the neighborhood. If you do end up with a blue-eyed border collie, the female in question could just as easily become an all-blue breeder themselves one day.

I hope you enjoyed this article. Thanks for reading!

For more, check out Why Are Border Collies Smart? (And How to Make Them Smarter)

Please share!

Kathleen Ryan

Wednesday 2nd of March 2022

I just looked up blue eyed border collies for my neighbour who has one I am quite sure he is able Merle, she also had a black and white female who also had blue eyes she had to have her put down. The male is called Wolfe he is the most lovely tempered dog and a very good watch dog.

Jim James

Wednesday 2nd of March 2022

Thanks for sharing. I am sorry to hear about her loss!