Perhaps you have seen or even own what you think to be a Labrador with blue eyes.
For a Labrador Retriever to have blue eyes, it is an indication of poor genetics or they are not a purebred Labrador. The normal eye color for a Labrador is brown for a Yellow or Black Lab or hazel or brown for a Chocolate Labrador. A possible exception is the Silver Labrador.
Labrador traits tend to dominant when mixed with other breeds such as Collies or Huskies. Even if you are under the assumption that both the parents were Labrador, there may be DNA from another breed somewhere in the bloodlines.
If the blue-eyed Labrador in question belongs to you, a dog DNA test will determine if there are any other breeds in the mix. You can find a dog DNA kit here on amazon.
But I’ve seen a chocolate Lab with blue eyes for sale!
Blue eyes don’t appear in chocolate brown Labs which meet the breed standard, but you may still have seen pictures of them. Here’s how.
All Labrador puppies are born with blue eyes to begin with. Of course, you won’t be able to see them right away, because they remain tight shut until they are approaching 2 weeks old. Once they open they still won’t have any pigment in them yet, so puppy eyes appear blue for at least another week or two. The earliest you might start to see their final eye color appearing is about a month old, and it can take a further two months for the pigment to finish developing. So there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to bring home a baby chocolate Lab with blue eyes at 8 weeks old. They just won’t stay blue for much longer, so enjoy them while they last!
If you meet an adult chocolate Lab dog with blue eyes, the chances are they’re not a full blooded Lab. They could have inherited the blue eye gene from a Husky ancestor and combined it with the genes for a brown coat. Or, they could have inherited the merle gene from a merle ancestor. If they have the merle gene they will also have a merle pattern coat, so have a look for tell tale patches of dilute fur color. But bear in mind though that merle patterning occurs on a spectrum, and ‘minimal’ or ‘cryptic’ merles have very few dilute patches at all!
If you’ve rescued an adult chocolate Lab with blue eyes, you can pay for DNA tests to find out what other breeds occupy places in their family tree, and whether they carry the ALX4 or merle gene.
What about Lab with blue eyes?
Chocolate Labs don’t have blue eyes because the breed standard doesn’t allow for any of the genetic mechanisms which would make it possible. They are highly pigmented dogs, and that includes their eyes!
However, some Labradors with the color dilution gene do make less pigment than others. Silver Labs are chocolate Labs with the color dilution gene. Their coat is lighter brown than a traditional chocolate Lab – think more chocolate milkshake than chocolate brownie. Their eyes are lighter too – usually somewhere between amber and pale green. Silver Labs with very light green eyes are perhaps the closest it is possible to get to a chocolate Lab with blue eyes, but they still aren’t blue in the truest sense.
What Kind of Temperament Do Labradors Have?
Most Labrador Retriever dogs are very popular because of their amazing personalities. Most Labs are known for being loving, kind, patient, fun, happy, eager, energetic, caring, and loyal.
Labrador Retrievers love to play and be energetic. They crave attention and being around their humans.
Most Labrador retrievers are able to get along with other animals and pets because they love to be sociable and to get to know new people and other animals.
Even though puppies and Labrador Retrievers can be a little bit destructive, if you learn to understand their personality and give them a lot of exercise, your Labrador puppy will learn to be calm and make an amazing pet.
How rare is a puppy with blue eyes?
Can Labradors have green eyes?