Breeds of dogs with different colored eyes
The word heterochromia has its origin in the Greek, formed by the words hetero, khroma
and suffix – ia which means “difference in coloration of iris, complexion or hair”. It is considered a “genetic defect” and is common in dogs, cats, horses and humans.
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Would you like to meet breeds of dogs with two-color eyes ? Continue reading this YourCatCareguide article where you can find some breeds with eyes of different colors. You will be surprised!
Can dogs have heterochromia?
Heterochromia is a condition that can be expressed in all species and is defined by genetic inheritance . Depending on the color and amount of melanocytes in the iris (melanin protective cells) we can observe one color or another.
There are two types of heterochromia and two causes that cause it:
- Iridium or complete heterochromia : one eye of each color is observed.
- Heterochromia iridis or partial: distinct tones are observed in a single iris.
- Congenital heterochromia: heterochromia is of genetic origin.
- Acquired heterochromia: may be caused by trauma or by some disease such as glaucomaor uveitis.
Out of curiosity, we can add that complete heterochromia is not usual in people, but in dogs and cats, for example. In addition, it is important to note that this condition does not alter theanimal’s vision .
Breeds of dogs with complete heterochromia
Eyes of different colors are common. We can observe this condition in several breeds of dogs, as for example:
- Husky siberiano
- Australian pastor
- Catahoula cur
It is important to note that in the husky case, the AKC (American Kennel Club) standard and the FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale) standard accept a brown and a blue eye, as well as partial heterochromia in one of the iris eyes, as in catahoula leopard dog.
The Australian shepherd, on the other hand, has eyes totally brown, blue or amber, although there may be variations and combinations thereof.
Dogs with one blue eye and one brown eye
The Merle gene is responsible for the blue color on the iris and the “butterfly” pigmentation on the dogs’ noses. This gene also causes partial heterochromia , for example, showing a brown eye, a blue eye and, within the blue eye, brown pigmentation.
The Australian shepherd and the border collie are examples of dogs that may have the Merle gene. Albinism and white spots around the eyes are also caused by this gene. Each dog is special whatever its characteristics, including heterochromia, which make it unique and distinct .
Breeds of dogs with partial heterochromia
In iridis or partial heterochromia , the dog has a multicolored eye , that is, we can observe several different shades in the same iris. It is common in dogs with the Merle gene , some of them are:
- Catahoula cur
- Great Dane
- Welsh Corgi of Pembroke
- Border Collie
- Australian pastor
This is the result obtained when eumelanin is diluted or modified by D or B series recessive genes, which may result in yellowish-green or yellowish-gray shades.
The Merle gene dilutes random pigments in the eyes and nose. Blue eyes may arise as a result of pigment loss. It is important to note that from this list, the Siberian husky is a breed that may also show partial heterochromia.
Legends about heterochromia
There are different legends about dogs with eyes of different color. According to the Native American tradition , dogs that have one eye of each color protect the sky and the earth at the same time.
Another ancestral story suggests that while dogs with heterochromia protect humanity, those with brown eyes or amber are the ones who protect the spirits. The Eskimo legends explain that dogs that pull sleds and have this eye color are quicker than those with eyes of the same color.
The truth is that dogs that have eyes of different colors have genetic differences . Some breeds that we have not previously mentioned may spontaneously express this condition, such as the Dalmatian, the Pit Bull Terrier, the Cocker Spaniel, the French Bulldog, and the Boston Terrier. In addition, there are also cats with heterochromia .