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ok I am having a dog of a time with the search function.

The standard specifies that dark eyes are to be preferred. Does anyone know why that is and what, if any, problems are associated with light eyes?

Most of the GSDs I have seen light eyes on are dark sables, btw, who have light brown eyes. And who also have good pigment elsewhere - skin, nails, mouth, nose, pads.............

I know, a standard is a standard is a standard. I get it.
I am just asking why? Is it some frivolity or is there an underlying reason for it?

The discussion is on PDB but I think it will go south because people get defensive - I think the OP wa asking faults are faults but which faults are worse faults (The suggestion to look at the Breed Survey Rules was good because it defined that any fault kicks you down,at best, to KKL2
 

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The only thing I remember hearing or reading was somewhere in Max's book him saying dark eyes appeared more intelligent and less feral. I'd suspect it really came down mainly to personal preference on the part of the breed founders.

Possibly, part of the reasoning against light eyes was due to erroneous associations between light eyes and faulty pigmented dogs, similar to a misunderstanding between white and albino being a big part of why whites were disfavored. Blues and Livers have light eyes, so perhaps they though a light eyed dog carried the dilution genes?

Medium brown eyes are perhaps not ideal, but are quite accepted and not a major fault and isn't going to knock a dog down a rating. The eyes have to be pretty light, getting to the point of more yellow than brown, before it becomes a major issue.
 

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Thanks for the insight.
 

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I have noticed that most of the longer/plush coats have a lighter eye coloring...anyone else see that too?
 

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Nope I have three coats and Lakota has the lightest eye which isn't that light at all.

I saw a picture once of really really light eyes on a very dark dog. The eyes were almost yellow, it was freaky looking.
 

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My GSD has light eyes -they are pretty much yellow and very wolf like- [mind you he isnt the best bred GSD] and I have been told by a member on here that it is possible that he carries the dilute gene.

Is there a possibility that light eyes can infact be linked to dilution genes?
 

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That is what I was wondering, but Grim has very dark pigment. His mouth is black inside, his skin is dark, nails, nose, etc. But his eyes are light. A lot of the other dogs like him have the lighter eyes. (Perhaps the Czechs did not care about that as much)

It is unsettling looking into them. I can gaze into the other dogs eyes his are more "intimidating" (but he isn't) - It is hard to be too intimidated by a dog walking around the hosue with a sock in his mouth.
 

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I saw the yellow eyes on a dark dog and the sire to one of my dogs was a black and had light eyes, not to the yellow, but with the black face it really stood out.

So I don't think there is a connection between eye color and dilution of coat color.
 

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Nancy, the eyes I saw were honestly yellow, I clicked to a website and those freaky eyes were what I saw on the page. It was spooky. The dog was for sale and I am sure was sold for breeding, but I would pass on that for a stud.
 

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I don't think I've seen really yellow eyes on a GSD / just light brown - light enough to differentiate the pupil from the iris.
 

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I thought I had save the picture or at least the name. I will check my other computer tommorow or this weekend to see if I have the picture.
 

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Originally Posted By: Wisc.Tiger

So I don't think there is a connection between eye color and dilution of coat color.
It's one of those "all tigers are cats, but not all cats are tigers" things.

Blues and Livers have light eyes, that typically range from yellow to light brown. But not all dogs with light eyes are dilute, or carry dilute genes.

Years ago we had a solid black male, Odin, with yellow eyes. He looked every bit like a wolf, and being oversized with a pretty plush coat just added to the terrifying appearance. He was the sweetest lap dog ever, but those eyes were just freaky. Knowing his bloodlines and close relations quite well, we know there were no dilute genes in the mix. His littermates all had medium brown eyes, some a lighter brown, but his were the only ones that were yellow. Just a flukey thing.
 

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These dogs would earn a comment of "eyes should be darker" but wouldn't necessarily be considered to have "light eyes" Their eye color is acceptable and wouldn't be considered a major fault that would knock the dog down a notch in a breed survey.





Unfortunately I don't have a photo of our old dog, Odin, to post an example of truly light eyes, but his were about the color of Travis'. Maybe even a little lighter.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
That is about how Grim's eyes are and many I have seen with light eyes.

Someone posted this comment (quote below) on PDB
OBVIOUSLY the eyes and coat do NOT make the dog!
I would think you would not specifically breed for these things.
I cannot verify or deny but thought it was interesting :

"The great breeder Alfred Hahn of Busecker Schloss kennel who bred shepherd for infinity and produced some of the great GS in the history of the breed always asserted that he found a higher correlation of light eyes to better working dogs. He also felt that there was a higher percentage of working dogs that came from sables. The definition of this breed is a working dog by intent, so why would not either of these traits not be preferred or encouraged by top breeders. Afterall, isn't shepherd breeding working dog breeding"
 

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hi nancy..
this is the OP on the PDB...thank you for trying to help me figure this out..:)
here is a pic of my dog everyone...the eyes im asking about...
<a href="http://s205.photobucket.com/albums/bb286/yourgoddess909/my%20pets/?action=view&current=bosscollage.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb286/yourgoddess909/my%20pets/bosscollage.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>
 

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shoot... i hit the submit button...
anyway, the same pic is on his pedigree, and the pedigree link is in my signature so you can click there if you would like to see the pic...im still tryin to figure out excatly how to put pics on here, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesnt...
 

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Here is an example of dark, medium sized, almond-shaped eyes the FCI Standard calls for.

 

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Grimm, at 7 months, says "But don't YOU think the caramel-colored eyes are cute?!
 

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What about eyes darkening up with maturity - anyone have experience with that? Dena's eyes have always been dark, like Deejay's. Keefer's were noticeably lighter as a puppy, but now look exactly like hers. Here's a picture of the two of them together where you can see his eyes are lighter than hers:



He was 6-1/2 months old in that picture, she was exactly 18 months old. At 4-1/2 months old, this was taken in very bright sun so he's washed out, but you can see a distinct light brown circle around the iris:



.And here, she's two years old and he's just over a year old, their eyes are both dark brown:

 
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