A blue-eyed pitbull is certainly beautiful. However, they are also controversial. Many purists argue against accepting pitbull with blue eyes, and consider it against the breed standard.
There are valid reasons for this, related to breed purity and health concerns. However, others are simply enamored by the clear blue eyes, and fall in love with blue eyed pitties.
Blue-Eyed Pitbull Facts
There are a few things that can cause a pitbull to have blue eyes. Before we get into those, let’s define what a pitbull is.
What is a Pitbull?
Technically, the pitbull is a type of dog, not a specific breed. This type includes breeds that descend from Bulldogs and Terriers, and include the American Bully, Staffordshire Terrier, American Bulldog, and the American Pitbull Terrier.
However, most people use the term pitbull to refer to the American Pitbull Terrier, so that’s what we will focus on here.
All Pitbulls are Born Blue
All puppies are born with blue eyes. In fact, when they are born, the entire eye is blue. When they are born, their eyes are closed. This is why you have probably never seen a dog with a blue iris.
By the time they open their eyes, usually around two weeks old, most dogs will still have blue eyes, or eyes with some blue. This is because melanin production is just beginning to ramp up.
Melanin is responsible for your dog’s coloring. This includes their coat, eyes, nose, and skin.
Most dogs will lose their blue eyes around 1-4 months old, with their eye color being permanent when they reach 4 months. During this time, most Pitbulls will lose those baby blues.
The Merle Gene
The most common cause of blue eyed pitbull is the merle gene. This gene causes the dog to have a beautiful coat. Most often a dog with a merle coat has sections or patches of color. The most common pattern is black and red with patches or swirls of blue and white.
This color pattern is caused by the merle gene. However, dogs can also carry the merle gene, without displaying a merle coat. These are called cryptic merles.
Merles are at a higher risk of certain health issues. If the pooch is a double merle, they are at a very high risk of health problems. This is why the merle pattern is controversial. Two dogs with the merle gene should never be bred, because they will create double merle puppies.
The merle gene isn’t present in purebred pitbulls, which is another reason they are controversial.
In addition to the unique coat coloring, merles often have blue eyes.
Diluted pigment occurs when a dog doesn’t produce melanin in a certain area. Dogs with white patches, particularly around the face, may not be able to produce pigment in their eyes.
This causes the eyes to be blue. This can also occur in only one eye. In this case, one eye produces pigment, and the other does not.
Albanism is a condition that can occur in any animal, including dogs and humans. It’s very rare, and does carry health concerns.
Pitbulls with albinism can’t produce any pigment. Their eyes will be blue, their nose will be pink, and their coat will be solid white.
Albanism occurs when a dog can’t produce tyrosinase. Tyrosinase is essential for producing melanin. So, dogs who lack tyrosinase will also lack melanin.
Blue Eye Gene ALX4
All of the above explanations refer to dogs who have blue eyes due to a lack of pigment. However, dogs can also simply have the gene for blue eyes, which is ALX4.
Some breeds, like Huskies, commonly have blue eyes, because ALX4 is common in the breed. Other breeds, including Pitbulls, can have blue eyes, but the gene is rare.
Blue Eyed Pitbull Price
Blue eyed pitbulls are typically comparable to other pitbulls in price. The average pitbull price is $1,000-$3,000. Since blue eyed pitbulls are rare, some breeders will sell them for a premium.
Others consider it a deviation from the breed standard, and undesirable. They may sell them for a lower price than other pitbulls.
Blue Eyed Pitbull Rarity
Blue eyed pitbull are rare. This is because the circumstances that cause bleu eyes in pitbull are not common. They are also considered undesirable by most breeders, so they try to avoid creating them.
Of course, blue eyed puppies are not rare at all. In fact, all pitbull puppies begin their lives with blue eyes.
Blue Eyed Pitbull Life expectancy
The life expectancy of a blue eyed pitbull will depend on the reason it has blue eyes.
Most pitbull have a lifespan of 10-16 years, with 12 years being the average life expectancy.
Merle Pitbulls have a similar life expectancy. However, double merles have a much shorter lifespan, typically 5-8 years due to their high risk of health issues.
Albino pitbulls also have a very short lifespan. Some have very short lives, while others can live for up to 10 years. They are very rare, so it’s difficult to determine their lifespan.
It’s important to note that white pitbulls have a regular lifespan. They can look very similar to albino pits, but they typically have a dark colored nose, and often brown eyes as well.
Pitbulls who have blue eyes due to the blue eye gene or diluted pigment have the same lifespan as other pitbulls.
Blue Eyed Pitbull Size and weight
The size and weight of blue eyed pitbull is the same as other types. Female pitbull reach 17-20 inches tall, and weigh 30 to 50 lbs. Males grow to 18-21 inches tall, and weigh 35 to 65 pounds.
Blue Eyed Pitbull Health
A blue eyed pitbull’s health will depend on the cause of their blue eyes, just as their life expectancy does.
Hip dysplasia is a condition that is common in medium and large dogs, including pitbulls. The risk of hip dysplasia is determined by genetics. However, the dogs’ diet, weight, and exercise can also increase or decrease their risk of developing the condition.
Hip dysplasia causes the hip joint to come out of place. This can lead to pain and limited mobility.
Pitbulls are prone to allergies, particularly skin allergies. This can be caused by environmental allergens, or food allergies.
Skin allergies can cause itching, scratching, and licking. They may develop skin lesions or hair loss as well.
There are several eye conditions that can occur in pitbulls. These include progressive retinal atrophy, or PRA, glaucoma, and cataracts.
PRA causes the dog to go blind, usually at 2 or 3 years old. Glaucoma causes pressure in the eye. It’s a painful condition that affects vision. Cataracts are another concern. Cataracts cause a cloudy film over the eye, which also clouds vision.
These conditions can occur in any pitbull, but blue eyed beauty can have a higher risk of them.
Double merle pooches are at a high risk of going blind.
Albino pitbull also have a high risk of blindness. This can be present at birth, or develop as the dog ages.
Like other health conditions, deafness can occur in a pitbull with any eye color. However, merles are at a higher risk of being deaf.
Dogs with one merle gene have a 2% chance of deafness in one ear, and a 1% chance of being deaf in both ears. Pitbulls with two merle genes have a 10% of being deaf in one ear, and 15% chance of being deaf in both ears.
Albino pits are also at a higher risk of deafness. They may be born deaf, or become deaf as they grow.
Blue Eyed Pitbull Behavior/Characteristics
Blue eyed pitbulls have the same characteristics as any other pitbull. However, each pitbull will have its own personality as well.
Some are more laid back. They have plenty of energy when playing, but are content to relax most of the time. Others seem to be non-stop. They always want to play, and rarely slow down.
Affection is a trait that all Pitbulls share. They are extremely loving with their family. They may look intimidating, but they are big cuddle bugs.
Their high affection also means they need plenty in return. Pitbulls crave human interaction, and don’t do well if they are left alone for long periods.
Are Blue Eyed Pitbulls Aggressive?
Pitbulls are often feared because they were originally bred for fighting. However, most Pitbulls today have been bred for companionship for many generations.
It’s also important to note that aggression towards humans was never a desired trait. Handlers wanted dogs who they could work with, and evne buidl a relationship. Not dogs who were likely to attack them.
Pitbulls are no more aggressive than most breeds, particularly when they are properly trained and socialized.
This is proven with the American Temperament Test. The test measures several aspects of temperament, including aggression and friendliness.
86% of Pitbulls pass the test. This is slightly better than the family favorite, the German Shepard, who passes the test 85% of the time. Some dogs, like the Chihuhua, fare much worse, with only 70% passing the test.
Have you ever heard someone say, “Oh. You have a chihihua? Don’t you know they are highly aggressive?”. No? If someone comments on the “aggressiveness” of Pitbulls, feel free to comment on the terrifying aggression displayed by Chihuhuas.
How to care for a Blue Eyed Pitbull
Caring for a blue eyed pitbull can be a bit different than caring for other pitbulls. Again, this depends on why they have blue eyes.
Pitbulls need plenty fo exercise. If your pooch has health problems, their exercise may be limited. Generally, pitbull need at least one hour of exercise each day.
They also need mental stimulation. Training and playing games with them are a great way to keep their mind active.
A proper diet is essential. Puppies should be fed a quality puppy food, 3 times a day. After they reach 1 year old, you can transition them to an adult food, 2 times a day.
They should eat a high quality food that is high protein. Look for protein as the first ingredient, or choose one that is listed as high protein.
Training and Socialization
Training and socialization are extremely important for pitbulls. When they are properly trained and socialized, they are not aggressive.
However, they are easily excitable, and may jump on people or destroy your personal items without guidance. Without socialization, they can be aggressive towards other animals or other dogs.
They are highly protective, which means it’s important to teach them the difference between friend and foe early on.
Dealing with Health and Wellness Concerns
Because some blue eyed pitbull are at a higher risk of health conditions, you should work closely with your vet. Many diseases can be treated or managed, and the earlier they are discovered, the better the outcome for your dog.
Albino pitbulls need protection from the sun. Melanin protects the skin and eyes from the sun’s rays. Without it, your pitbull is very vulnerable to sunburn and damage to their vision from sun exposure.
You may need to apply sunscreen or limit their time outside. It’s best to speak to your vet about managing albinism.
How do you buy a Blue Eyed Pitbull?
The best way to buy a blue eyed pitbull is to find a reputable breeder. The easiest way to accomplish this is to search breeder registries. Registries have standards that breeders must adhere to. This eliminates most unethical breeders. You can find breeders at the American Dog Breeders Association, or the UKC (United Kennel Club).
Beware Blue-Eyed Breeders
Blue eyed pitbull are certainly beautiful and unique. However, you should avoid any breeder who breeds for pitbull with blue eyes.
A reputable breeder will always focus on the heahtl ahd temperament of their dogs. Coat and eye color are secondary considerations, if they are considered at all.
Since blue eyes can also come with health problems, most breeders will try to avoid pitbulls with blue eyes.
You should absolutely avoid any breeder that knwoingly breeds two merle dogs, or those with albinism. These are at the highest risk of heatlh problems, and should never be bred intentionally.