Why do some dogs have one blue eye and one brown one?

Our question this week was:

I am just wondering why a dog would have one blue eye and one brown eye? What is this condition called?


Primarily, eye color is determined by genetics. Although irises come in different colors, they actually only contain brown pigment. When an iris has alot of brown pigment, the eyes appear brown or dark. When the amount of brown pigment is small and is only on the back surface of the iris, the shorter wavelengths of light are scattered from the unpigmented portions and eyes appear blue, green or gray. This effect is similar to the scattering of light that makes the sky appear blue. The iris pigment may not be fully developed at birth so alot of young animals eyes may appear blue or gray at first until their pigmentation fully develops. Sometimes, one eye may contain more pigmentation than the other, making the eye colors within one individual distinctly different. Siberian Huskies are one of the breeds that commonly display this trait.

In addition, there may be some articles available on our site that you will find useful. The article(s) include:

Structure and Function of the Eye in Dogs

Dog Colors and Coat Patterns

Choosing a Siberian Husky

I hope this helps to answer your question

Dr. Debra

Our question this week came from Sandra A.

To read most recent questions Click here!

Click here to see the full list of Ask Dr. Debra Questions and Answers!