Can Golden Retrievers Have Green Eyes? Truths, Myths, and SCAMS

So you’re sitting there on your couch with a sandwich in your hand and your golden retriever staring up at you with his big heartwarming eyes, and all of a sudden, a question pops into your mind: Can Golden Retrievers Have Green Eyes?

We’ve all known Golden retrievers with dark brown eyes, and we’d most probably fail to visualize them with any different color.

So, Can Golden Retrievers Have Green Eyes? Golden Retrievers cannot have Green Eyes, despite how cute that would be. Mixed breeds of golden retrievers may have colored eyes, and sometimes as puppies, golden retrievers would have green, grey, or blue eyes, yet they change color into brown as they grow.

Green eyes are so captivating and out of the ordinary, a pet with green eyes is definitely something you wouldn’t miss, but also extremely rare when it comes to golden retrievers. Did you know that only 2% of the dogs have green eyes? Green irises have a different melanin level — less than brown eyes, but more than blue eyes. 

The Merle gene is responsible for eye color because it generates eumelanin, a brown pigment, in the iris. Certain breeds of dogs with low eumelanin levels may have blue, amber, or green eyes.

If you have ever wondered if golden retrievers can have green, blue, or hazel eyes, and the reasons behind it, this article will dig deeper into it, just keep on reading to find out.

Can Golden Retrievers have green eyes? 

golden retriever smiling to show can golden retrievers have green eyes or not

Golden Retrievers don’t belong to the list of breeds that can have green eyes, it can happen once in a lifetime, but typically Golden Retrievers tend to have brown eyes according to breed standards. Colored eyes do occur and can be explained though. 

If you have a Golden Retriever with green eyes, it is most likely a mix or has a medical condition that causes its eyes to turn greenish.

Some breeders sometimes tend to use genetic manipulation to produce dog breeds with green eyes, they do that by the Merle gene which can change a dog’s eye and coat color.

Breeds that can have naturally green eyes are Border Collie, Chihuahuas, Great Danes, Cocker Spaniels, Dachshunds, Weimaraners, Welsh Corgis, and Pomeranians.

How rare are green eyes in golden retrievers? 

Green eyes are exceptionally the most uncommon in Golden Retrievers, the reason why green eyes are so rare is that the chances of producing a green-eyed golden retriever in a pure breed is extremely slim, and doesn’t happen except once in every blue moon.

You should also know that even if there are puppies born with green eyes, they’ll most likely change into dark brown as they grow.

Golden retrievers with green eyes are mostly merle dogs, Merle is a gene that changes eye and coat color.

Merle dogs have even been found to have half-and-half eyes, which implies that each eye is partly blue and partially brown! Green eyes in a dog, on the other hand, may be the most uncommon eye color in dogs. Most people have never seen, and will never see, a dog with green eyes.

You can check some of these stunning different colored eyes here.

What does it mean if a dog has green eyes? 

Since the density of eumelanin pigment in the iris determines eye color; Brown eyes in dogs are a result of an abundance of eumelanin pigment, which we, humans, perceive as brown. 

Dogs with green eyes have very little eumelanin — likely due to other genes that control how much is produced. So we perceive primarily light being refracted, and a tiny bit of pigment as well. 

Dogs can also have green eyes if breeders use the Merle gene to change a dog’s eye and/or coat color.

What colors are golden retrievers’ eyes? 

Golden retrievers normally have brown eyes, if a retriever has blue, green, or grey eyes it’s probably that they are mixed breeds or having a health issue that causes their eyes to turn green or blue.

Some golden retrievers are born with blue eyes, which goes back to them having little eumelanin, yet while they grow, their eyes turn brown.

Some Golden Retrievers may have what appear to be yellow eyes but can still be considered purebreds.

This would happen if the pup has a genetic flaw that prevents the brown pigment (eumelanin) in its eyes from fully appearing, resulting in eye hues ranging from golden to amber.

Yellow or amber eyes are not always indicative of a medical or genetic problem that should be taken seriously. A golden retriever with yellow or amber eyes likely will still be considered an acceptable true breed.

Related Questions 

Can Golden Retrievers have yellow eyes? 

No, Golden Retrievers cannot have yellow eyes. This would happen if the pup has a genetic flaw that prevents the brown pigment (eumelanin) in its eyes from fully appearing, resulting in eye hues ranging from golden to amber. Almost all purebred Golden Retrievers have dark brown eyes. 

Can golden retrievers have lighter-colored eyes? 

Golden Retrievers cannot have lighter colored eyes than brown; sometimes, Golden Retriever puppies are born with blue eyes yet this changes with aging. Golden retrievers, according to breed standards, only come with dark brown eye color.

What is the Iris color in Golden Retrievers? 

The iris color in golden retrievers is brown. The iris is the colored part of the eye. Some golden retrievers have an iris color of blue or green, but the reasons behind that may be a health issue of that the dog is a mixed breed.

What is the rarest eye color in dogs?

The rarest eye color in dogs is green eyes, most dog breeds have brown eyes according to the breed standards of most dogs, and only a few have hazel /yellow or blue iris color. Green eyes represent only 2% of dogs.

What is Heterochromia?

Heterochromia is a pigment disorder in which a dog’s eyes are two distinct colors. It is commonly referred to as having “odd eyes.”

It is nearly usually harmless, However, it can also be associated with unpleasant diseases in dogs, such as inflammation or damage.

Can Golden Retrievers have Heterochromia?

No, Golden retrievers rarely get heterochromia, Heterochromia is frequent with Huskies, and Australian Shepherds and much rarer in Golden Retrievers. It is more prevalent in Golden Retriever mixes, especially when mated with a regularly afflicted breed such as a Husky or an Australian Shepherd.

This article isn’t to suggest that Golden Retrievers can’t have eyes that are blue, green, yellow, or amber. These characteristics are prevalent in mixes, might be caused by a random genetic aberration, or can be symptoms of a growing medical problem.

At the end of the day, all dogs with every eye color possible are just as beautiful and just as loveable.

Helpful Resources 

Golden Retrievers for Dummies by Nona Kilgore Bauer

Living with a Retriever: Recommendations and Sources

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Hey there, I'm Matt, the author behind With a deep love for dogs and a dedication to strengthening the bond between owners and their retrievers, I've created a hub of resources for enthusiasts like you. Through engaging articles, training guides, and product reviews, I aim to provide practical advice that makes a real difference in your life as a dog owner. Whether you're a seasoned pro or new to the world of retrievers, my approachable and informative writing style ensures that you'll find valuable insights. Join me on this incredible journey of discovering what makes retrievers tick, unlocking their potential, and creating an unbreakable bond with your furry companion. Let's embark on an adventure of dog ownership together. Thank you for visiting and being part of our vibrant community.

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