Which Dogs Have Golden Coloring in the Iris?

by Jodi Thornton O'Connell
Dogs with the liver gene have golden eyes.

Dogs with the liver gene have golden eyes.

Kane Skennar/Photodisc/Getty Images

While the majority of dogs have brown eyes, you can find breeds prone to blue as well. The golden, or amber, eye is a variation of brown, caused by less melanin -- a dark brown pigment -- in the iris. Golden eyes are usually determined by genetics, with liver and merle dogs most common bearers of the trait.

Liver Gene

Dogs carrying the liver gene will not have any black or grey hairs in their coat, in addition to golden eyes and a light brown or pink nose. Some common dog breeds that have golden eyes due to the liver gene include dachshunds, Havanese, and Chesapeake Bay retrievers. A diluted appearance of dogs bearing the liver gene produce an isabella -- or lilac-colored -- dog, such as a Weimaraner, with the lightest golden eyes.

Blue Gene

Dogs bearing blue genes commonly have amber-colored eyes. Breeds such as blue heelers and blue tick hounds have blue coats and amber eyes consistent among its members. Other common breeds, such as Great Danes, pit bull terriers and greyhounds have blue variations with distinctive golden eyes.

Photo Credits

  • Kane Skennar/Photodisc/Getty Images

About the Author

A former world-class swimmer, J.T. O'Connell shares her love of adventure travel, extreme sports and pets through thousands of published articles. O'Connell studied journalism at Grand Canyon University, and brings professional experience as a tour guide and travel consultant. She authors the blog, Traveling With Large Dogs.