Dog breeds

10 Dog Breeds With Beautiful Green Eyes

Dogs with green eyes are rare, they are the dog breeds most likely to have them.

The eyes are the windows to the soul – and for dogs, that’s doubly true. Our four-legged friends can’t communicate with us through words, but they can tell us a lot through their eyes, ears, and general body language. However, a dog’s eyes, especially their eye color, can tell you a lot more about them than whether they would like a second suckling bone or step on an ouchie. They can also convey important information about their breed and genetic makeup.

Why do some dogs have green eyes?

You probably remember Punnett Square from college. Well, it’s time to reconsider because a dog’s eye color, just like yours, is a matter of genetics. It turns out that most dog eyes have different shades of brown because all dogs carry a gene that produces a brown pigment in the iris called eumelanin. It requires the presence of a second gene, such as the merle gene, for a dog to have blue, green, or amber eyes; the merle gene creates patches with reduced eumelanin. Green-eyed dogs have a small amount of eumelanin while blue-eyed dogs do not.

The merle gene is common to several popular dog breeds such as Border Collies, Australian Shepherd Dogs, Chihuahuas, etc. However, many carriers of the gene simply have blue eyes, not green. The merle gene also impacts a dog’s coat color. Many dogs that carry the merle gene have a brindle or patchy coat.

Is it rare for a dog to have green eyes?

He is! Although there are no official statistics on the number of green-eyed dogs, only two breeds tend to have them: the American Pit Bull Terrier and the Pomeranian Husky. Green eyes are a bit more common in puppies. However, these green eyes often take on an amber color as the puppy ages.

Ahead, we’ve found the most adorable dogs with green eyes. Some of these puppies, such as the American Pitbull Terrier and the Pomsky, are more likely to have emerald eyes, while others are less so. Either way, they all deserve praise for being super cute.

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1. American Pit Bull Terrier

The American Pit Bull Terrier is the only purebred dog that tends to have green eyes, although it can also have blue, brown or hazel. Pitties are intelligent, sociable and make loyal guardians. And although they look tough, they are giant fluff. Along with their remarkable peepers, they have a muscular build and a shiny coat that can come in colors like brown, black, brindle, and white. Looking to adopt a pittie? Be sure to revise pitbull “facts” that are wrong.

Pomsky Puppy Malibu CaSalameh dibaei/Getty Images

2. Pomeranian Husky

Although not officially purebred – pomskies are technically a crossbreed – Pomeranian huskies are the second breed of dog that usually has green eyes. You can spot these guys by their short statures, curly tails, and playful antics. Not to mention, the fact that they look like Siberian huskies gone through a shrink machine is absolutely adorable. In addition to green eyes, Pomskies can also have blue eyes, brown eyes, or two-tone eyes (usually one blue eye and one brown eye). These puppies are playful, intelligent and independent and need lots of puzzles, games and exercise to keep them happy.

A young Australian Shepherd dog rests his chin in the grass while looking at the camera.  The sun illuminates the grass in the foreground.  Small organic farm in Hawaii.Kjell Linder/Getty Images

3. Australian Shepherd

How cool is that? In addition to sometimes having green eyes, Australian Shepherds frequently have eyes of two different colors (technically called heterochromia); for example, blue and brown or green and brown. These work-oriented puppies are members of the herding group and require vigorous exercise and training. As the American Kennel Club notes, they are “fully capable of fooling an unsuspecting first-time owner.” With those adorable puppy eyes, whatever color they are, we’d be fooled too.

Close-up portrait of WeimaranerTara Gregg/Getty Images

4. Weimaraner

The sleek, puppy-like Weimaraner has had famous owners including President Dwight D. Eisenhower and actress Grace Kelly. And who wouldn’t want to own this beautiful breed? Originally used as hunting dogs in Germany, Weimaraners have a distinctive silver-gray coat and amber, blue-gray, or green eyes. These puppies need plenty of exercise and love to run. If you don’t take them out for a solid game of off-leash retrieval, expect them to have a serious case of zoomies.

close up portrait of a border collie dog at homeCristiano Bonifacio Gil Cris/Getty Images

5. Border collies

These bright dogs sometimes have bright green eyes. Originally bred as herding dogs, border collies sometimes have brindle coats, meaning they carry the merle gene that predisposes them to green, blue, and multicolored eyes. Border collies are hard working puppies who need lots of activity to stay happy. A morning jog is not enough for a Collie; you’ll want to involve your dog in a vigorous exercise program or a sport like flyball. City dwellers need not apply and should consider one of these best apartment dogs instead.

Beautiful labrador retriever puppy with stunning green eyesFor the Love of Photography/Getty Images

6. Labrador retriever

OK, no purebred Labs have green eyes (to meet the standard, these puppies must have brown, black, or yellow peepers). But because this breed is so often mixed – after all, it’s the most popular breed in the country – some near-purebred Labs have them. Labs are intelligent, friendly and outgoing and are one of the main breeds chosen as guide and rescue dogs, thanks to their trainability and athleticism.

Dachshund dog running outsideCapuski/Getty Images

7. Dachshund

The sausage-like bodies and stocky legs of the dachshund are simply iconic. But did you know that they can also have green eyes? The merle gene frequently shows up in Doxies as a spotted coat. However, an emerald green eye color can also sometimes come into play. These curious and courageous puppies were originally bred to independently hunt badgers. That said, they are not particularly playful, although they do enjoy a nice walk. Check out more short legged dogs that are just too cute.

English Springer Spaniel Puppy laying down looking very cuteNigel_Wallace/Getty Images

8. English Springer Spaniel

With floppy ears and a long coat, English Springer Spaniels are among the cutest dogs with green eyes. Originally used as hunting dogs, these playful and obedient puppies are known for their good looks and charming manners. They are perfectly suited for a small house or apartment, although they will need long weekend walks. English Springer Spaniels are eager to please, and your Springer puppy will likely graduate at the top of his class from obedience school.

Unrecognizable woman holding a Chihuahua puppy in her lapmiodrag ignjatovic/Getty Images

9. Chihuahuas

Chihuahuas are another green-eyed dog breed that carries the merle gene. These purse-sized puppies have a reputation for being a sassy and sometimes yapping breed. They’re charming and capable – think of their many screen appearances in movies and TV shows like Revenge of a Blonde and sex and the city– and are sure to become the center of attention in any home. Take your Chi to obedience class, or the AKC warns he’ll “rule your home like a little Napoleon.”

A Harlequin Great Dane dog with heterochromia in the eyesMary Swift/Getty Images

10. Great Dane

If there’s one thing you’ve probably noticed about Great Danes, it’s that they’re huge. These doggos can stand up to 3 feet tall and weigh up to 175 pounds. On their hind legs, they are taller than most humans. So we can’t blame you if you never noticed that they can also have green eyes. Great Danes carry the merle gene, which means they are somewhat predisposed to this trait. Even if your Dane doesn’t, she’s still a friendly, patient, and dependable pup who deserves every cuddle. Need more dog photos to spend the day? These are the cutest dog breeds as puppies.