Eliminate Your Fears And Doubts About Great Dane Eye Colors

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Last Updated on December 28, 2020

Can Great Dane dogs be blind? Dogs were once believed to be blind. Some breeds were regarded as color blind in particular. Similarly, it was not long ago when the Great Dane dogs were considered color blind as well. The notion suggested that the dogs fail to distinguish the wide range of colors humans are capable of. Later on, scientists propagated that although Great Dane dogs do not possess similar broad spectrum of color preceptor cones as humans do, yet their eyes have enough color cones to achieve a somewhat restricted color recognition. So just know that the beautiful Great Dane Blue eyes your puppy holds can see you.

Great Dane Blue Eyes

Great Danes are born with beautiful blue eyes. This alluring Great Dane blue eye color changes as the pup grows. Yet the eye color in Great Dane changing overtime is totally dependent upon the coat of the dog. In case you are a parent to a black Great Dane there are increased chances that your dog will bear amber colored eyes. Whereas it is quite common that Great Dane eye color change for Harlequins do not happen. The dogs carry blue eyes during all of their life span. 

Generally, Great Dane puppies are born with blue eyes at large. Sometimes the puppy’s eyes could bear blue-grey coloring as well. Whereas, the mature eyes iris-pigment for Great Dane breed is usually brown colored with one exception. That is a harlequin Great Dane, the dogs retain their blue eyes from puppy hood to adulthood and even throughout their lives. 


Great Dane Eye Colors

Great Dane dogs eyes appear beautiful and aesthetic in every color they hold, albeit some eye colors are preferred. Particularly, if we look through a show judge’s prism not all Great Dane eye colors are acceptable for dog shows. 

The Great Dane eye colors which are acceptable by the breed standards corresponding to Great Dane coat colors are;

  • Brown
  • Dark brown or chocolate
  • Blue

But since you are having a companion dog the eye color would not be a problem. Other eye colors for Great Dane dogs which are not favored for show dogs are;

  • Yellow or bird of prey 
  • Amber
  • Gray
  • Light brown
  • Green
  • Bright blue

Great Dane Eye Structure

The Great Dane eyes consist of;

  • Eyeball
  • Retina
  • Optic nerve
  • Tapetum Lucidum

The circular shaped Eyeball of Great Dane is enclosed at the rare by a light sensitive layer called retina. Through Optic nerve images are received after being focused under light and conveyed to the brain.

The Tapetum Lucidum, is a reflecting membrane which functions as a light modifier. The layer enhances available light for image formation.

Did you know?

It is due to this layer, Tapetum Lucidum, dogs can hunt aptly during sunset and sunrise. 

Great Dane’ Eye Function

As dogs have a pair of eyes, their vision is binocular. 

Binocular vision is such a type of vision in which the canine with its two eyes can discern a single three dimensional image of its surroundings. 

Various breeds of dogs have a depth of vision of 250 degrees. Also, the precise degree of binocular vision among various canine breeds changes with

  • the shape of the dog’s head and
  • the location of eyes.

Great Dane dogs have 75 degrees binocular vision. The depth and precision of image changes with nose length. Short nosed canine breeds possess ability to form and interpret more detailed images than long nosed dogs like Great Danes.

What the Breed Standards Say About the Great Dane Eyes?

Indubitably the Great Dane dogs have delightful, and expressive eyes. The eye color plays a pivotal role in the allure created by the amusing character of a Great Dane. The Great Dane puppy eye color changes over time. The eye color could bear darker tinge or Great Dane puppy eye color lightening may happen. However, the Great Dane breed standards emphasize that, the eyes colors for all Great Dane dogs ought to be ill-lit.


Anyhow, For harlequin and blue Great Danes medium tinge in eye is acceptable as well. Great Dane eyes with lighter shades are not favored at all.

Great Dane Eyes

Enlightening on the Great Dane’ eye color and shape, G.D.C.A describes Great Dane breed standards as the following,

The Eyes,

               “shall be medium size, deep set, and dark, with a lively intelligent expression. The eyelids are almond-shaped and relatively tight, with well developed brows. Haws and Mongolian eyes are serious faults. In harlequins, the eyes should be dark; light colored eyes, eyes of different colors and walleyes are permitted but not desirable.”

Therefore, dark eyes for Great Dane dogs are recommended generally. The only exception is a Harlequin Great Dane. Moreover, Yellow tint for eyes is not championed Great Dane’s eye color. A Great Dane meant to be a show dog ought not to hold yellow eyes. 

Great Dane Eyes and Genetics

Genetics are an integral part of a dog’s phenotype. Likewise, Great Dane dogs physical attribute ranging from its stature to its intangible traits like temperament all are linked with genetics. The colors for Great Danes are also decided by the hereditary material the dog holds. Hence, the coat color and eye color for Great Danes are dependent on the gene it carries.

All Great Dane coat colors beside harlequin Great Danes genetically hold brown or amber colored eyes. In case of Harlequin Great Dane dog, presence of Merle gene in genetic material furnishes the dogs with blue, green, or even grey colored eyes.


Dog Eyes Colors

Generally brown color for eyes is frequent in all canine breeds. Most dogs own brown, dark brown, or light brown eyes. Other comparatively less common eye colors for dogs are;

  • Blue which might appear pale
  • Golden or hazel color

There are also some dogs reported with spotted eyes whilst others are observed to own two different colored eyes, i.e., one could be blue while the other eye is brown in color.


  • Green eye color for dogs is regarded as the rarest eye color.
  • An eye that is clear blue but flecked with a white or lighter blue is known as a China Eye.
  • Wall eyes, characterized by a pale bluish-white iris with flecks of brown, are seen in some Harlequin Great Danes.
  • Dogs with a prominent, visible third eyelid are said to have Haw Eyes. Haw eyes are seen in such breeds as the St. Bernard and Bloodhound.
  • Triangular eyes have a three cornered, tent shaped appearance and are seen in Afghan Hounds.
  • Prominent eyes are big, round projecting eyes such as seen on Pugs.
  • Other eye shapes include Almond, Circular and Oval.

Blue Eyes: disease

In some breeds of dog blue eyes could be a herald of diseases. Whilst it is not rational to suspect blue eyes invariably. Like there are canine breeds besides Harlequin Great Danes, whose dogs possess blue eyes naturally. Namely; Siberian huskies.

Although, a canine’s blue eyes could be due to a disease. The blue eyes in dogs is an indication of a disease called ‘Nuclear Sclerosis’. In this disease the color of dog’s eyes alter its color. The hitherto eye color changes to a shade having cloudy bluish tinge.

The extent of damage in ‘blue eyes’ disease to a dog’s eyes is not extreme as in the case of Cataracts. Hence, a dog can not get blind solely due to ‘blue eyes’ disease.

Black Great Dane Eye Color

Usually Black Great Danes own amber, brown, or dark brown colored eyes. Alluding to the Great Dane breed standards, darker eye color enjoins dark coat colors. The Black Great Dane’ ought to have dark brown or chocolate color eyes if it has to be a show dog.


Blue Great Dane Eye Color

Eyes of a Blue Great Dane could bear any of the following colors;

  • Amber
  • Dark brown
  • Light brown
  • Blue

Blue eyed Blue Great Dane dogs are not rare at all. In reality, this eye color is typical in Blue Great Dane puppies born from harlequin breeding. Moreover, the blue eyed Blue Great Dane puppies are born under the discoloration effect of the particular gene. 


Blue Great Dane dogs

As, Blue Great Dane dogs are diluted Black Great Danes. The color dilution is visible on the coat of the dog as well as in its eye color. The blue Great Dane dogs are acceptable show dogs. As the dogs are a dilute variant of a standard Great Dane dog. Blue eyed Blue Great Danes are no different. Dog shows all over the U.S. allow and favor blue eyed Blue Great Danes to participate.  

Frequently, Merle and Harlequin Great Danes have potential to hold blue colored eyes for lifetime. Whereas, the blue eyes of a Blue Great Dane puppy might darkens as the puppy grows.

Great Dane Eye Color Harlequin

As elucidated by the G.D.C.A.,

In Harlequin Great Danes the eyes should be dark. Though,

eyes of different colors including light colored eyes, and wall eyes are acceptable but not favored.


It is common for a Harlequin Great Dane dog to own one eye displaying blue color, and other one holding brown color.

Generally, bright blue eye color for Harlequin Great Danes remain the same with the development of the dog. On the other hand, darker shades of blue might not retain their blue color and turn to brown color as the Great Dane puppy grows.

Blue eyed Great Danes and blindness

In some Great Danes like Harlequin Dane dogs, blue colored eyes are acceptable. Merely, being a blue eyed Great Dane does not imply that it is blind or unfit. Whilst in Merle Great Dane dogs blue eyes could be a sign of probable health problems. It is due to the fact that a double Merle is a lot more prone to diseases than other Great Danes. 

Their flawed genetic makeup mainly renders a Merle or double Merle Great Dane subject to many ailments counting blindness, and deafness. 

What is a double Merle?

The Great Dane carrying a pair of Merle genes is termed as double Merle. The double Merle genes greatly influence the potential of a dog. Marred fitness is the major depiction of this genetic sequence. Hence, double Merle canines are more at the risks of diseases and ailments as compared to non Merle gene carrier canines.

Similarly a blue eyed harlequin could be blind, deaf or suffering from a lot more diseases in that the dog holds double Merle genes.

Nonetheless, it is not rational to doubt blue colored eyes. Blue eyed Great Danes might be healthy and capable canines just like other eye colored Great Danes.  For instance, the puppies born to the litter of a pair of dog in which one is Merle gene carrier Great Dane and other  one is a non carrier, are capable puppies and later on would become healthy dogs. Moreover blue eyed Great Danes’ eyes could be healthy without any defects including blindness.

Great Dane puppy Eyes Color Changes

The Great Dane puppies change their eye color till it reaches 4 months. The eye color can alter even at 6 months from the corners of the eyes.

It takes around 6 to 8 months for a Great Dane puppy to wholly develop its sense sight. However, if you notice anything suspicious you must visit a vet anytime. A Great Dane with blue eyes might have impaired eyes or ears. Consulting a vet would conform the probable eye problems your Great Dane puppy suffering form irrespective of its eye color.

Looking for a show dog? Learn which Great Dane coat colors and patterns are acceptable for show dogs?

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