Last Updated on October 13, 2021 by Marco
Everyone loves a blue-eyed dogs but dog breeds with yellow eyes are equally captivating. Here are 22 awesome dog breeds with gold eyes or amber eyes.
While brown is the most common color for dogs’ eyes, light brown, yellow, gold, or amber are often overlooked. Many people just count them as brown and see past them. That’s a big mistake, however. Not only are these colors due to a couple of unique and distinct genetic mutations, but they can also look phenomenal on certain breeds. So, what are some of the dog breeds might want to take a second look at?
Which Are The Most Common Dog Breeds With Gold Eyes?
There are quite a few dog breeds with gold eyes you can check out, as well as many with light brown and amber eyes that are often mistaken with them – we’ll cover those below as well. Gold-eyed dogs, however, are separate in that their eye color is caused by a different genetic mutation.
What Causes This Eye Color?
The gene that causes dogs to have golden eyes is called the “liver gene” – a gene that occurs on the B locus of the genome and causes a browning coat color. This gene is recessive, meaning that it’s rare – dogs with BB or Bb locus will be “non-liver” and only dogs with the bb locus will have gold eyes. In other words – both parents of the pup have to have this mutation for the pup to have it too.
Note: A genetic locus refers to the specific physical location of the gene in the chromosome.
11 Gold-Eyed Dog Breeds:
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- Havanese dogs
- Irish water spaniel
- Australian shepherd
- Ibizan hound
- Rhodesian Ridgeback
- Pharaoh hound
- Chesapeake bay retrievers
- Pitbull terrier
- American Brittany
- Cirneco dell’Etna
Popular Dog Breeds With Amber Eyes
Another fascinating variation is the amber eye color. Amber and gold eyes are often mistaken because the two colors look so much alike. They are also often called light brown or yellow eyes, however, amber and gold are the more widely accepted terms.
Even though they can look similar under certain lights, amber eyes are darker than gold ones. Additionally, they are caused by an entirely different mutation.
What Causes This Eye Color?
The amber eye color In dogs is caused by the so-called “blue gene” or Dilute gene. This one is caused by the D locus in the genome which is entirely separate from the B locus. Like it, however, the D locus is recessive so both of the pup’s parents have to have this blue gene for them to pass it down. DD and Dd locus won’t have the blue gene – only the dd locus does.
11 Amber-Eyed Dog Breeds:
- Bluetick coonhounds
- Great Dane
- Neapolitan mastiff
- Bedlington terrier
- Curly-coated retriever
- American hairless terrier
What’s The Difference Between Dogs With Light Brown Eyes, Gold Eyes, and Amber Eyes?
People often mistake gold and amber eyes. And they do look similar. So, don’t be too annoyed if other articles online list Weimaraners as dogs with gold eyes or dachshunds as amber-eyed. The difference between the two is purely genetic and the eyes themselves can look similar. In fact, it’s usually much easier to distinguish the two types by the coat color rather than the eye color.
Does The Color Of The Eyes Tell Us Anything About The Health Of The Dog?
While a lot of people claim that dogs with the liver and blue gene have health problems, there isn’t really any evidence to support that. The only thing to note here would be the risk of Colour Dilution Alopecia (CDA) which can happen in some blue gene/amber-eyed breeds. This condition affects the quality of the coat, namely its length and texture.
However, CDA is easily avoided by responsible breeders by just healthy dilute dogs with good coats. There aren’t really any other health problems that have even the slightest connection with the dog’s eye color or D and B genetic loci.
This isn’t to say that dogs of the 22 breeds above don’t have certain breed-specific health conditions to watch out for. However, these aren’t connected to the blue and liver genes that cause their unique eye colors. Remember, correlation doesn’t equal causation.
Are The Eye Color and Coat Color Connected?
Indeed they are. Because both the liver gene and the blue gene affect the melanin pigment of the dog, the coat is affected too. So, dogs with the liver gene will have a brown (or browner) coat while dogs with the blue gene will have a blue-ish or a more lilac coat hue.
Are The Dog Breeds With Gold Eyes Or Amber Eyes More Aggressive?
There is a popular myth that dog breeds with gold or amber eyes are more aggressive. This isn’t at all true, however. There isn’t anything in the D and B loci that cause the blue and liver genes that affects the dogs’ temperament and personality.
The most likely cause of this myth is the fact that looking into the gold or amber eyes of some dogs can feel a bit “uneasy” if you’re not used to them. Amber-eyed dogs can be particularly unsettling for some people because of the contrast between the blueish coat color and the light-brown amber eye color. Once you look past that uneasiness, however, there isn’t anything particularly aggressive about these dogs.
What leads to dog aggression is usually a combination of two factors – what the breed’s been bred for traditionally and how the particular dog has been raised and trained. Some dogs are bred as guard and watchdogs. Others, like pit bulls, have been bred for dogfighting rings for centuries. Such breeds will naturally have a bit more aggressive and domineering tendencies. That has nothing to do with the dog’s eye color, however.
The other big factor is how the dog is raised. For example, even though dogfighting rings are outlawed today, pit bulls are still often raised to be aggressive by irresponsible dog owners. This continues to give the breed a bad name even though it’s the owner’s fault and not the dog itself. In either case, the fact that pit bulls often have gold eyes just isn’t a factor here.