10 Adorable Dog Breeds with Beautiful Green Eyes
Green-eyed dogs are rare—these 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 convey a lot to us 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’d like a second milk bone or have stepped on an ouchie. They can also relay important information about their breed and genetic makeup.
Why do some dogs have green eyes?
You probably remember the Punnett Square from middle school. Well, it’s time to reconsider it, because a dog’s eye color—just like yours—is all about genetics. It turns out, most dog’s eyes are various 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. Dogs with green eyes have a small amount of eumelanin while dogs with blue eyes have none.
The merle gene is common in several popular dog breeds such as border collies, Australian sheepdogs, chihuahuas, and more. However, many carriers of the gene simply have blue eyes, not green. The merle gene also impacts a dog’s coat color. Many dogs with the merle gene have brindle or patchy coats.
Is it rare for a dog to have green eyes?
It is! Although there are no official statistics about the number of dogs with green eyes, only two breeds tend to have them: the American pit bull terrier and the pomeranian husky. Green eyes are somewhat more common in puppies. However, those green eyes often shift into an amber color as the puppy ages.
Ahead we’ve found the most adorable dogs with green eyes. Some of these pups—such as the American Pitbull Terrier and the Pomsky—are more likely to have emerald eyes, while others are less so. No matter what, they all deserve praise for being super cute.
1. American pit bull terrier
The American pit bull terrier is the only purebred dog that tends to have green eyes, although they can also have blue, brown, or hazel ones. Pitties are smart, sociable, and make loyal guardians. And while they might look tough, they’re giant softies. In addition to their notable peepers, they’ve got a muscular build and a glossy coat that can come in colors like brown, black, brindle, and white. Looking to adopt a pittie? Make sure you brush up on the pitbull “facts” that are wrong.
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2. Pomeranian husky
While not officially purebred—pomskies are technically a crossbreed—pomeranian huskies are the second dog breed that typically 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 shrinky dink machine is absolutely adorable. In addition to green eyes, pomskies can also have blue eyes, brown eyes, or bi-eyes (usually one blue eye and one brown eye). These pups are playful, intelligent, and independent, and require lots of puzzles, games, and exercise to keep them happy.
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3. Australian shepherd
How cool is this? In addition to sometimes having green eyes, Australian shepherds frequently have two different colored eyes (technically called heterochromia); for example, blue and brown or green and brown. These work-oriented pups are members of the herding group and require vigorous exercise and training. As the American Kennel Club notes, they’re “quite capable of hoodwinking an unsuspecting novice owner.” With those cute puppy eyes—no matter which color they are—we’d be hoodwinked too.
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The elegant and puppy-like Weimaraner has had celebrity owners such as President Dwight D. Eisenhower and actress Grace Kelly. And who wouldn’t want to own this handsome breed? Originally used as hunting dogs in Germany, Weimaraners have a distinctive silvery-gray coat and amber, blue-gray, or green eyes. These pups require lots of exercise and love to run. If you don’t take them out for a solid game of off-leash fetch, expect them to have a serious case of the zoomies.
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5. Border collie
These bright dogs occasionally have bright green eyes. Originally bred as sheepherding dogs, border collies sometimes have brindle coats, which means they carry the merle gene that predisposes them to green, blue, and multi-colored eyes. Border collies are hard-working pups that require a lot of activity to stay happy. A morning jog won’t cut it for a collie; you’ll want to get your dog involved in a vigorous exercise program or a sport such as flyball. Urban dwellers need not apply and should consider one of these best apartment dogs instead.
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6. Labrador retriever
OK, no purebred labs have green eyes (to meet the standard, these pups must have brown, black, or yellow peepers). But because this breed is so frequently mixed—after all, it is the most popular breed in the country—some almost-purebred labs have them. Labs are smart, friendly, and outgoing and are one of the primary breeds chosen as guide and rescue dogs, thanks to their trainability and athleticism.
Dachshund’s sausage-like bodies and stumpy legs are nothing short of iconic. But did you know they can have green eyes, too? The merle gene frequently presents itself in Doxies in the form of a dappled coat. However, an emerald green eye color can also occasionally come into play. These curious and spunky pups were originally bred to independently hunt badgers. That said, they’re not particularly playful, although they do appreciate a nice walk. Check out more short-legged dogs that are just too cute.
8. English springer spaniel
With floppy ears and a long coat, English springer spaniels are some of the cutest dogs with green eyes. Originally used as gundogs, these playful and obedient pups are known for their handsome good looks and charming manners. They’re perfectly suited for a small house or apartment, although they’ll need some long walks on the weekends. English springer spaniels are eager to please, and your springer pup will likely graduate at the top of its class in obedience school.
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Chihuahuas are another dog breed with green eyes that carries the merle gene. These purse-sized pups have a reputation as a sassy and sometimes yappy breed. They’re charming and performative—just think of their many on-screen appearances in movies and TV shows like Legally Blonde and Sex and the City—and are guaranteed to make themselves the center of attention in any household. Take your Chi to obedience class stat, or the AKC warns he’ll “rule your household like a little Napoleon.”
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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’re taller than most humans. So we can’t blame you if you never noticed they can also have green eyes. Great Danes carry the merle gene, which means they are somewhat predisposed to the trait. Even if your Dane doesn’t, she’s still a friendly, patient, and dependable pup who deserves all the snuggles. Need more dog pictures to get you through the day? These are the cutest dog breeds as puppies.