Similar to humans, the presence of green eyes in the canine world is a rare, but noticeable, sight.

From bulldogs to beagles, almost all dog breeds have eyes of various shades of brown.

This is due to the merle gene, which produces eumelanin – a brown pigment – in the iris. Dogs with reduced eumelanin may develop blue, amber, or green eyes in certain breeds.

Some consider the American Pit Bull Terrier to be the only purebred with green eyes. Here we look at other breeds known to also carry the rare genetic trait.

American pit bull terrier

The American pit bull terrier is often considered to be the only purebred dog with naturally occurring green eyes.

However, these dogs can also have blue, hazel, or brown eyes. Similarly, the color of their coats can vary in a spectrum of white, black, brown, and brown tones.

Tofu, the white pit bull, was raised as a puppy in Austin, Texas.

Border collie

Originally bred to be herding dogs, the border collie is one of the few breeds of dogs that have a genetic predisposition to having two different colored eyes, also known as heterochromia. It is not uncommon to find a dog of this breed with one black eye while the other can be green or brown.

Border collies are sometimes found with two different colored eyes, also known as heterochromia.
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Weimaraners, also known as “Silver Ghosts”, were originally bred in Germany as hunting dogs for large game such as deer and bears. Today, these family-friendly dogs are better known for their alluring green eyes, unique silver-gray fur, and long velvety ears.

WeimaranerA Weimaraner looks out from its bench as it competes against hundreds of other breeds at the Crufts Dog Show in Birmingham, England.
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Weimaraner puppyA six month old Weimaraner puppy is guarding its master during the Slovak All Breeds National Dog Competition in Banska, Bystrica.
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Australian shepherd

This smart, work-oriented, and loyal dog was originally intended for the herd of sheep and other animals and is still used by farmers who tend to the livestock.

Similar to the Border Collie, the Australian Shepherd is one of the few breeds of dogs that commonly have two different colored eyes. It is not uncommon to see a combination of brown, blue, hazel, amber, or green eyes in the breed.

Australian shepherdCody, an Australian Shepherd, poses at the Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade in New York City on October 20, 2012.
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Labrador Retriever

Purebred Labs can only have brown, black, or yellow eyes. However, some chocolate-colored mixed-breed Labs can be born with hazel, green, or yellow-green eyes. The dogs’ friendly temperament and easy training ability make them one of the most popular breeds in the United States

Labrador green eyesThis gorgeous mocha brown Lab with bright green eyes was the first pet of former President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton. Buddy stares into the distance in Washington on December 14, 1997.


Originally bred for hunting, the Dachshund’s long, slender body and snout were used to flush badgers out of underground burrows. Dachshunds can vary widely in the color of their coats and eyes.

dachshundA long haired apple dachshund sniffs green bell peppers in a home garden.
Andy Katz / Getty

German Mastiff

Although Great Danes typically have brown eyes, some – including the Harlequin Great Dane – develop deep, amber eyes.

German MastiffA Great Dane is shown in a show ring as it competes on the second day of a dog show in Birmingham, England.
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Siberian husky

The Siberian Husky is perhaps best known for its showy and piercing ice blue eyes. However, it’s not uncommon for the breed to wear green eyes as well, and in some cases even one at a time. Originally from Siberia, the breed (as the name suggests) withstands cold and harsh climates with its thick fur and distinctive markings.

Siberian husky A team of Siberian Huskies pulls a sled during practice for the Aviemore Sled Dog Rally in Feshiebridge, Scotland, on January 23, 2013.
Jeff J Mitchell / Getty

English springer spaniel

The English springer spaniel is a breed of hunting dog in the spaniel family and was originally used for flushing and retrieving game. These enthusiastic and happy dogs usually have deep brown eyes, although some are more amber-green in color.

English springer spanielThis beautiful English Springer Spaniel named Twiglet poses for the camera on June 30, 2016 in Sydney, Australia.


Made famous by Paris Hilton, this pint-sized breed has a variety of coat and eye colors from black to green.

ChihuahuaA Chihuahua puppy born with a perfect heart-shaped mark on its back poses outside the Pucchin Dog store in Japan.
Koichi Kamoshida / Getty