Those Baby Blues

Our thanks to Shelly Hollen for her terrific chart on eye color in the Australian Shepherd. 

The Australian Shepherd can come with any eye color, including blue eyes on non-merles. None are rare or preferred, all eye colors being equally acceptable. In puppies, however, eye color change from four weeks to adult.

Shelly adds that Aussie puppies (and all puppies, actually) are all born with a blue tint to their eyes because Melanin, the brown pigment molecule that colors skin, hair, and eyes, hasn’t been fully deposited in the irises or darkened by exposure to ultraviolet light.

As a puppy matures, the pigment becomes concentrated and darkens with UV exposure,  and the final adult eye color becomes more apparent. usually setting to a close approximation of their adult color by 3 months of age.

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