can spaniels have blue eyes

Can spaniels have blue eyes?

Spaniels come in a variety of breeds, colours and sizes with different coats and abilities. Many people are drawn to spaniels as pets for their looks and loveable and friendly nature.

There is one question that many people ask about spaniels that is not always obvious and that is can spaniels have blue eyes?

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Almost all spaniels are born with blue eyes that stay with them during puppy stages and gradually change into more typical spaniel eye colours of light brown, dark brown, black and even dark pink to red looking. There is a slim possibility of a spaniel having blue eyes in adulthood if they have inherited the ‘merle’ gene – however this is extremely rare in spaniels.

Yes, all spaniel puppies are born with blue eyes. The level of ‘blueness’ can vary among puppies with puppies from the same litter having differing levels and shades of colour.

As the puppy grows older his body produces more and more melanin and it is this that produces the colour of the dog’s eyes. The absence of melanin results in a blue colour – which is why all puppies have blue eyes when they are youngsters.

can spaniels have blue eyes

Can you tell if a spaniel's eyes will stay blue?

No. All spaniel puppies are born with their eyes closed and they do not open until they are around 2 weeks old.

The blueness in a spaniel puppy’s eyes is caused by the lack of melanin ( which is the scientific term for pigment – aka skin colour) getting to the eyes.

As soon as a spaniel puppy’s eyes open, melanin production increase which leads to the change in eye colour and the colour change can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months to occur.

It is almost impossible to tell if a spaniel’s eyes will stay blue.

Can Cocker spaniels have blue eyes?

It is very rare but yes, Cocker spaniels can have blue eyes if they possess the ‘merle’ gene. 

These ‘types’ of Cockers are very rare and breeding from them is frowned upon by many people as the gene can hide a range of potentially damaging defects that could result in blind puppies or other profound disabilities.

To sum up

All spaniel breeds have blue eyes when they are puppies. This is normal across all breeds of spaniels and, in fact, across all dog breeds and is part of the natural growth process.

A spaniel’s eyes change colour as he grow older into adulthood.

An adult spaniel that has blue eyes is very rare and there are many that consider that the blue eyed adult spaniel could pass on a variety of defects to offspring and should not be bred from.