Most people are well aware of the fact that blue eyes are fairly uncommon. They are one of the least common eye colors, and as such, they are seen as more beautiful than other eye colors. The same concept applies to some dogs as well, especially considering that blue eyes in animals are even more rare than they are in people.
One thing that you should note is that because some breeding practices require a lot of inbreeding to have the desired traits, such as blue eyes in a dog that doesn’t often have them, this means that having this unique feature can often result in other problems in the animal’s health. For instance, consider some of the additional health problems that are found in pitbulls who have blue eyes that stem from purebred practices rather than a rare genetic outcome.
Understanding what causes blue eyes, how this type of breeding affects the dog’s long-term health, and knowing what to expect will all help you have a good sense of what to expect when you choose to adopt a pitbull that has blue eyes.
Is it Possible?
Some people are under the impression that finding an adult blue-eyed pitbull is impossible, especially considering how rare they are. While it is absolutely true that it is rare and often far more expensive to adopt an adult pitbull that has blue eyes, it is not entirely impossible. As with many aspects of breeding, blue eyes are simply a rarity rather than impossibility.
The blue eyes stem from genetics, and it is both a rare and recessive gene. This means that both parents of the pitbull have to have blue eyes for there to even be a chance that the puppy also develops blue eyes; even then, there is no guarantee that the puppy will keep its blue eyes after it is born.
These are the factors that go into making the price of blue-eyed pitbulls as expensive as they are. Another thing to note is that there are some less reputable sellers that may claim that their pitbull’s eyes are blue and will stay blue throughout the dog’s life when this is not the case. All puppies are born with blue eyes, but retaining those blue eyes into adulthood is what the rare aspect is. It is absolutely possible for your pitbull to develop this trait, though you should expect that it is rare and likely will not happen unless your dog has been bred exclusively for the sake of its appearance.
Why Are Puppies Born with Blue Eyes?
Think about how human babies are born with blue eyes and as they mature and develop into toddlers and young children, their eyes will slowly change color into the one that they will have as adults. This process is not exclusive to humans, and in fact, there are a lot of mammals that go through this process of changing eye color.
This comes from the amount of melanin in the body. Melanin is the skin pigmentation that is the result of skin color, eye color, and for animals, hair color as well. When people and animals are first born, they do not have nearly as much melanin in their body, so their coats are lighter and their eyes have not matured into being their natural color quite yet.
For the pitbull puppies, this natural blue eye color will fade away as your puppy begins to open its eyes and explore the world at a few weeks of age, with their eyes fully developing their adult color around four months of age. Until this point, just about all pitbull puppies will have the blue eyes that people covet as much as they do. After your puppy has reached about six months of age, if its eyes are still completely blue, then there’s a good chance that they will stay that way.
Genetics and Eye Color
One of the reasons why your pitbull keeps its blue eyes into adulthood is if it has the merle gene. This gene affects the appearance of the eyes, skin, and fur, showing that it has an effect on the melanin production in dogs, among other things. Often, dogs who have this gene are going to have patchwork-type patterns in their fur and they are more likely to have blue eyes than other dogs.
Another reason why your adult pitbull has blue eyes is if the dog is albino. Albinism is defined by the lack of melanin production throughout the body, resulting in pale skin, a pink nose, blue eyes (sometimes red eyes in animals), and a white coat. Albinism is an exceedingly rare genetic condition that is associated with a lot of health problems, so if you choose to adopt an albino pitbull, be prepared to give it a fair amount of extra care.
And finally, there is at least one known gene that will cause blue eyes in pitbulls (and other dogs) and this is known as the ALX4 gene. This gene is pretty rare and it can be either recessive or dominant. The amount of inbreeding that has to happen for this gene to be prevalent in a family of pitbulls is part of what makes it a controversial practice among experienced, reliable breeders.
When Should You Expect Blue Eyes in a Pitbull?
You should never necessarily expect your pitbull to develop blue eyes unless you know for a fact that it is albino, has the merle gene, or has the ALX4 gene. Most pitbulls grow out of their blue eyes by the time they are half a year old. There are a number of disreputable sellers who will try and claim that their puppies will have blue eyes forever even though blue eyes are something that all puppies have.
Typically, pitbulls that have white or paler coloration around the eyes are going to be more susceptible to keeping their blue eyes throughout adulthood. This is because the paler coloration shows that for whatever reason, the dog is not producing a lot of melanin in that area of the body. When this includes the eyes, this will result in the pale blue eyes that people covet.
Keep in mind that to many more reliable breeders, blue eyes in an adult pitbull are not a desirable trait to have as it often indicates that there is something going on genetically that will have a chance to affect other areas of the dog’s health. In pitbulls, blue eyes that remain in adulthood are associated with an increased likelihood of blindness, deafness, skin problems, and skin cancer. As such, it may be worth thinking twice before you actively seek out a dog who will have blue eyes as an adult.