One of the very popular questions that revolve around dog enthusiasts is, “Can Chocolate Labradors have Blue eyes?”.
Chocolate Labradors are one of the most in-demand labs. Although at the time of getting the dog, a lot of individuals demand Chocolate Labs with Blue eyes. However, since purebred Labradors only have brown and hazel eyes (most of the time), people go back disappointed. But what’s with the Blue-Eyed Chocolate Labradors?
Well, every Chocolate Labrador is born with Blue eyes. However, as the dog grows old, his eyes turn Hazel or brown. Chocolate Labradors maintain the Blue color of their eyes till the age of 4 to 5 months or sometimes even lesser.
Chocolate Labradors and their Eye Color
While Black and Yellow Labradors have Brown eyes, Chocolate colored Labradors can have Brown or Hazel eyes. For all of the Lab types, Hazel is a permissible eye shade for the Chocolate Labradors. However, whatever the eye color of a Labrador is, the eye rims are always dark brown.
The default eye color of each type of Labrador is a shade of Dark Brown color. Black and Yellow Labradors have visibly brown eyes since the Eumelanin (a pigment) production is not altered in them. However, both coat and eye color are altered in Chocolate Labradors by the formation of Eumelanin. Due to the alteration of the ‘Eumelanin’ pigment, these Labradors have a Brown, Liver, or Red coat. Whereas at the same time, it is Eumelanin that gives Chocolate Lab’s eyes a Hazel or Greenish shade instead of Dark Brown.
Likewise, in some cases where pigmentation in Labrador’s eye is altered or eliminated by a spontaneous mutation or uncommon gene, they end up getting Blue colored eyes. Besides that, a Labrador’s eye color also depends upon breed genetics.
What about Chocolate Labrador’s Blue Eyes?
Every Chocolate Labrador puppy is born with Blue colored eyes. A puppy’s eyes remain closed for the initial two days, and when they open them on the 14th or 15th day after birth, their eye appears Blue. During this phase, a Chocolate Lab’s eyes are completely Blue with no difference in the color of the rim.
The Blue color of Chocolate Lab’s eye remains the same until 4 to 5 months. It is near (slightly before) the third month when their eye color starts changing a bit. Soon either Brown or Hazel color starts showing up, and by the end of 4th or 5th month, their eyes completely change color. Now, this eye color is what the Chocolate Labrador will keep for its entire life.
However, if the eye color does not change from Blue till 5 to 6 months, the Chocolate Labrador will probably keep it the same for life. A Chocolate Labrador’s brown eyes can be anything from dark espresso to warm sepia. At some of the rarest chances, a Chocolate Labrador can also have green or grey eyes.
Chocolate Labradors don’t have Blue eyes as per breed standards. The official breed reorganization even doesn’t allow any genetic mechanisms that can lead to Blue eye color in Chocolate Labs.
What gives a dog’s eye that Blue color?
There are three reasons that can be responsible for a dog’s Blue eye color. These reasons explain as follows:
Merle coloring or Merle Color Coating. Any dog with the Merle gene can often have one or two Blue eyes. However, that’s not popular with Labrador Retrievers but with breeds like Australian Shepherds and Great Danes.
This genetic condition inhibits pigment formation and can leave the dog with Blue or Pink eyes.
ALX4 or the Blue Eye Gene. The ALX4 gene determines the amount of pigment in the eyes and can make the dog have Blue colored eyes.
Can an adult Chocolate Labrador have Blue eyes?
An adult Chocolate Labrador can have Blue eyes, but that is a very rare instance. However, because Chocolate Labradors are highly pigmented dogs, Blue eyes are extremely rare in them or maybe nearly impossible. Most of the time, when you spot an adult Chocolate Labrador, there is a high chance that it isn’t a full-blooded Lab. The dog could be a crossbreed and must have inherited Blue eye from their other purebred parent.
Or, an adult Chocolate Labrador can have Blue eyes if it has inherited the merle gene from a merle ancestor.
How to determine if the Blue-eyed Chocolate Labrador is a purebred?
If you have rescued or adopted a Blue-eyed Chocolate Labrador, it is obvious to doubt whether it is purebred or not. To determine that, you can perform a DNA test at home or take the dog for a DNA at the Vet.
A dog DNA test helps in determining all the breeds that have occupied places in genetic trees.
Blue Eyed Chocolate Labrador Breeders
Until a dog is born, a breeder cannot determine its eye colour. A lot of dog breeder claim breeding Blue eyed Labradors, though that’s completely baseless. As an alert dog lover, never fall for such a trap. Especially while you are searching for a Chocolate Labrador, remember each of them is born with Blue eyes. It is after a few months into life that their eye turns Brown or Hazel from Blue. If a breeder is selling you a high-priced Chocolate Labrador and claiming it will keep the Blue eyes for life, he is surely fooling you. Until the age of 5 to 6 months, it is impossible to determine whether the Lab will keep Blue eyes for life or not. Even when the puppy is born by both Blue eye parents, the chances are still sceptical.
Labradors with Blue, Green and Golden eyes have a truly outstanding presence. Their eye color is the factor that brings them immense popularity and keeps them in high demand.
However, always remember that having Blue eyes for a Chocolate Labrador is extremely rare. If you spot one of them, make sure you check out if it is a purebred dog and not a cross with any Blue eye breed.