View Full Version : eye color
11-13-2003, 11:47 AM
If a puppy's eye color is going to change, at what age does it usually happen?
I always heard that all puppies are born with blue eyes, but I'm getting a blue mantle with blue eyes. I will be getting her when she is 8 weeks old. She is 3 weeks old now and has the prettiest blue eyes.
If her eyes do change color, does anyone know at what age this usually happens?
11-13-2003, 12:45 PM
My duncan is a porcelain harl and his eyes were an amazing blue until about 3 and a half months old, I thought they stayed long enough that they wouldn't change, the did, and now they're a green/grey color. I think a lot of pups at 3 weeks have blueish eyes, but that bright blue color...I know what you mean! Maybe someone with more experience will be more help, I can just speak from my experience, not from a few litters of pups.
My Harl boy had bright blue eyes until he was about 3 1/2 months old. Now they are brown around the outside edge with an inner light blue ring. I love them. He's now almost 6 months old and I hope they stay this way.
11-13-2003, 03:14 PM
My merle's eyes changed at about the same age. He had such gorgeous blue eyes, and a mostly pink nose, and the pink totally filled in and the eyes changed to a light brown (almost yellow) color at around 3 months old. Actually i love the color of his eyes more now than when they were blue, although i wouldn't have known it when they were blue.
11-13-2003, 05:29 PM
Blue mantles may possibly have the gray blue eyes in blues The ones ive seen arent usaly the bright blue like in a blue eyed harle.
KC and Critters
11-13-2003, 10:03 PM
My Merlequin Danielle is 3 years old and still has beautiful crystal blue eyes. Our new pup Luna has them too. I think she will keep hers as well.
All baby pups have a grey-blue eye; mature pigment in a dog's eye is yellow to brown. Actual blue-eyed dogs do not have any iris pigment; their eyes appear blue as, like the sky, they reflect that particular wave lenght of light. Some Harlequin-bred dogs have "spotted" eyes, called "cracked glass" in some breeds. This is where the eye is partially brown and partially blue. This is called "heterochromia iridis" meaning a "varigated" iris. Actual blue eyes are referred to as "hypochromia iridis" meaning a lack of pigment. It's not possible for a genetic mantle-patterned dog (of whatever coat color) to have true blue eyes. That's part of the spotting pattern found only in Danes with merle/harl genes. (Cryptic merles and blanket harlequins can be mistaken for mantles.)
Your puppy should have the basic color of her "adult" eyes by 3-4 months (for all some feel the color exactly may not be stabilized until early adulthood). IF your puppy is a dilute (blue), then her eyes will be relatively lighter than her littermates as the dilution gene that makes for a blue coat affects not only hair, but skin and eye pigment as well. SO it's most likely it will be medium brown to yellow.
Just FYI, if you are going to register this puppy, it should be registered as a BLUE WITH WHITE MARKINGS and not as a Mantle. Accurate registration helps the AKC and the GDCA keep track of what is produced in the breed. An AKC Mantle is by definition a dog with BLACK pigment and specific white markings. Not that it's not fine to refer to your girl if you like as a "blue mantle" and Dane people will know what you mean, but it's always nice to have the official paperwork done accurately.
Hope this is helpful. Good luck with your girl.
11-17-2003, 06:18 PM
I'm a little confused as to why my puppy's eyes cannot stay blue. If her sire was a harlequin and only harlequins carry that gene, that would make her half harlequin, genetically, or does that only happen in humans?
And if her mother was a mantle, why wouldn't she be considered a mantle when I register her?
In any event, I will love her no matter what color her eyes turn out to be, I'm just curious as to why.
By the way, we named her Skye (Skyler)
I hope I didn't misunderstand your post.
>I'm a little confused as to why my puppy's eyes cannot stay
>blue. If her sire was a harlequin and only harlequins carry
>that gene, that would make her half harlequin, genetically,
>or does that only happen in humans?
As JP said, "It's not possible for a genetic mantle-patterned dog (of whatever coat color) to have true blue eyes."
Your pup took on her mother's mantle pattern and a dilute color from both parents (combined recessive). Based on what JP said, the mantle pattern keeps your pup's eyes from staying blue. However I've seen merle Corgis with blue eyes, and Corgis carry the mantle pattern.
>And if her mother was a mantle, why wouldn't she be
>considered a mantle when I register her?
Again, as JP said, "An AKC Mantle is by definition a dog with BLACK pigment and specific white markings."
Because your pup is a blue, not defined by AKC as a mantle, as mentioned by JP. It's just a categorization, don't get hung up on it. I do think you should register her as a blue if only because it is a clearer description of her appearance. Mantles are always assumed to be black/white unless otherwise described.
11-18-2003, 12:46 PM
When registering the dog, it's based only on their own color/pattern, not what is behind them. Same goes for the eye color - just because one of the parents was a harl doesn't mean that your dog is "half harl" - "she is what she is" for color and pattern. Your dog's eye color has to do with the pigment - to have blue eyes the dog lacks pigment in the eye, which a mantle would not.
11-18-2003, 12:55 PM
I think I got it now. Thanks to all for explaining eye color and genetics to me.
Like I said, my baby is beautiful, and I'm gonna love her no matter what color her eyes turn out to be, I just asked out of curiosity
"If her sire was a harlequin and only harlequins carry that gene, that would make her half harlequin, genetically, or does that only happen in humans?"
ThiS DOESN'T HAPPEN AT ALL. You either inherit a gene or you don't. Each parent gives one of two they have, never both. Your puppy did not inherit the harl/merle complex from her sire, she got the "m" gene (non-merle)and not the "M" (merle) gene. IF she HAD got the merle gene from her dad, she's be a merle. (Then she might have blue eyes<G>). Merle is a dominant, so it always shows. Harlequins have ONE merle gene. She didn't get it, so she's has recessive white trim from another gene (gives her those "mantled" markings), but that has nothing to do with blue eyes or harl/merle. You cannot be "half harlequin"--you<G>is or you ain't....and it shows if you are.
"And if her mother was a mantle, why wouldn't she be considered a mantle when I register her?"
Because she did not inherit the Mantle pigment, just the Mantle pattern. For a Mantle to *be* a Mantle under the AKC standard means black pigment as well as a certain pattern of white. Just like for a Harlequin to be a Harlequin it must also have black pigment and a particular patching pattern. If you register other colors/patterns as Mantle or Harlequin it just means that AKC records for the breed contain errors, and so any research, statistics, etc. taken from them also contains errors.
There is a place on the AKC registrationto indicate color on the registration slip: she is a BLUE. There is a place to indicate markings on the registration slip: she has WHITE MARKINGS. That's the correct way to register your blue puppy with "mantled" markings.
Since she is a blue, the blue gene dilutes eyes and skin as well as haircoat. She will have a steely colored nose rather than black, and will have relatively lighter eyes (than what her black-pigmented relatives have). Her eyes will end up somewhere between a sort of smoky-grey (with or without greenish highlights) to an outright yellow. But they were never really 'blue'--just the greyish-blue that is what baby pups have until their irises are colonized by the adult pigment that will give their eyes their adult color. Had she "really" had blue eyes, she wouldn't have had any pigment there to start with. Her eyes from the time they opened would have been and stayed a pale, bluish color, as there is no pigment here to change.
As to Anne's comment: "However I've seen merle Corgis with blue eyes, and Corgis carry the mantle pattern."
That's because the Corgi in question was a MERLE. Merle is the spotting gene that caused the blue eyes. It wouldn't have mattered if the dog was solid and so didn't have "mantled" markings, he could have still had blue eyes, recessive white genes (like that cause mantle) are not related to issue of blue eyes.
People confuse these things routinely. White trim markings that produce the "Irish" or Boxer-style markings we think of as "mismarked black," "Harlequin Black," B&W (Black and WHite), and Mantle are the result of recessive white spotting genes. Merle and Harlequin are dominant pigment dilution genes that cause a patchy, mottled, or dappled sort of look to the coat. THey affect eyes as well, given this gene acts early in embryonic development. The gene that ends up giving the dog the white trim we think of as mantle acts late. It essentially 'wars' with the gene trying to cover the dog totally in pigment. Because it acts so late, it acts on the extremities and parts still growing--like legs, nose and the belly area. This won't affect eyes. Eyes stay brown/yellow.
Merle is a horse of a different color and acts in a much more random fashion as to phenotype as it selectively kills/disables the pigment producing cells very early on in the development of the fetus. Which is WHY there can be blue eyes (they are really spotted/patched eyes actually), and why, in double dose, so many pigment cells are typically killed off, that the resulting "double merle" looks mostly white. You can have a "mouse" or solid merle without any of those "boston/Boxer/mantle" sort of genes and you can even then get blue eyes. The white trim is seperate from the merling/blue eyes, so you have to consider them seperately even though both make a dog "whiter" than it would be otherwise.
Hope that helps. It's easy to get all these "white markings" and eye color things confused when we just look at the dogs and don't know the biology that's driving the process. That's why I wrote all this, and I hope it helps seperate out what are entirely seperately inherited things.
11-20-2003, 12:59 PM
Are you certain this puppy is a Blue dog with mantle markings?
(Blue as in dane terms of a dilute blue)
Could she instead be a blue "looking" dog that is actually a merle
with mantle markings?
Merle-mantles are very common and could easily have blue eyes.
11-20-2003, 01:13 PM
Like Anne said, it's just a classification, don't worry about it! My Peverett is AKC registered as a Blue with white markings (he has a blue nose), and I call him a blue mantle (although he doesn't have a full collar). He had baby blues until he was about 4 months old, and now they are the color of a blue dane, a very pretty almost gray, violet kind of color, and you know what, I like them much better than the blue! I am sure you will enjoy your puppy no matter what, and I would love to see pictures, I don't see too many dogs that look like Peverett. :7
That does help JP, thanks!
11-20-2003, 05:58 PM
I don't have my little girl yet, she is only four weeks old. She seems to be the same color as your Peverette, who by the way, is a beautiful dane. She has a little more white around her muzzle and bridge of her nose and her collar is only white three quarters of the way around.
I don't know how to post pictures yet and I'm not that great at the computer yet. Maybee by the time I get my baby, I'll have figured it out:)
She is a little sweetheart to me, so it really doesn't matter what color her eyes turn out to be.
11-20-2003, 07:01 PM
Thank You, JP for giving us your expert explanation, it helps a great deal to hear it explained by someone so educated on the subject! :)
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