Pitbull with blue eyes are considered undesirable for a reason. Most of the times they are prone to health issues like being deaf or blind or having skin cancer.
Pitbulls are medium-sized bully dogs who have a powerful body and are a very loyal companion. They are not recognized by AKC (American Kennel Club).
Instead, AKC recognizes American Staffordshire Terrier as a breed that is smaller than an American Pitbull.
UKC (United Kennel Club), the equivalent dog club in Britain recognizes Pitbull or American Pitbull Terrier as a breed since 1898.
So why few Pitbulls have blue eyes?
This usually doesn’t happen in pure breed Pitbull dogs. Often it is the result of breeding mixed breed that one gets a blue-eyed Pitbull.
Let us understand the reason behind the same.
Blues eyes in Pitbull happens mostly because of the dog getting double merle genes. That means he receives a merle gene from both of his parents.
Double merle genes cause a lack of pigmentation (Melanin) and that becomes the cause of blue eyes.
The dogs having the double merle genes are prone to being blind or deaf or both. They are also known as Albino dogs.
Getting the double merle genes is not common and hence the blue eyed-pitbull is rare.
Blue-eyed pitbull baby
It is often that the Pitbull puppies have blue eyes. Puppies don’t open their eyes till a couple of weeks and when they open they may have blue eyes.
This is because they don’t have melanin yet and it grows slowly leading to change in the color of the eye.
The color of the eyes keeps getting darker as they mature. The color that they will have when they will become an adult starts reflecting at month four but gets permanent in about one year.
Thus do not judge the puppy as albino if you spot blue eyes. This will change as the puppy grows.
White, Black, or Grey Pitbull – Who is more prone to being double merle?
White Pitbull having blue eyes is very prone to being double merle as this gene may not only cause the blue color of eyes but the lack of pigmentation may also cause the color of the coat to be white as well.
Pure black or grey pitbull having blue eyes should not be having double merle genes. But if you see spots of whites, there is a possibility.
It may also cause the nose to be pink and if it does happen, it is best to do genetic testing as chances of having medical issues would be very high.
Why you find a pitbull with blue eyes?
It mostly happens when the breeder is not following the best practices and trying to breed just for color.
Merle gene is not found in the purebred Pitbull but it can come to any pitbull if his ancestors were crossbred at some time.
It is always best to check for merle genes in Pitbull before breeding as a single merle gene if present may not be dominant and will not have any effects with you can identify him as a carrier of the merle gene.
Thus adult white Pitbulls or ones having patches of white with blue eyes can be albino and be prone to severe health issues like complete blindness or deaf or skin cancer. The risk is greatly increased if the nose color is pinkish.
It is best to do genetic testing to confirm the occurrence of single or double merle genes.
The dogs having merle genes should not be bred as even if they may not have any significant health issue, they may still carry a single merle gene that is not dominant.