Like most human infants, neonatal puppies' eyes, upon first opening up to the world, tend to have a bluish tinge to them. This color generally doesn't last, however, and usually changes to its permanent coloration several weeks down the line. It takes awhile to uncover puppies' "true" eye colors.
Eyes Firmly Shut
Puppies' eyes aren't visible right after they're born. The furry creatures start out with closed eyes and as a result, no vision. Their eyes only begin to reveal themselves -- and slowly open -- once puppies are somewhere in the range of 8 to 14 days old. At this time, their eyes are blue and wholly uniform in color, meaning there is no change from the irises to the pupils.
Once puppies are around 3 or 4 weeks in age, their final eye color slowly starts to make its introduction. Dogs often have deep brown eyes, so you might notice the chocolatey tones making their way through around this time. However, the process is a measured one and doesn't work overnight. It often takes nine to 12 weeks, starting from this point, for a puppy's eye color to settle in and "stay." Puppies sometimes are 16 weeks in age by the time this happens. However, some puppies' eyes do display their real colors sooner than that.
Not all puppies' eyes turn darker as they develop. The majority of doggies out there have dark eyes, but there are definitely some exceptions. The Siberian husky breed is one such example. These intense sled dogs often have pale blue eyes, in which case they start out blue as puppies and remain that way for life, although perhaps in varying shades. Siberian huskies also sometimes have two eyes of differing colors -- think a single blue eye and a single light yellowish-brown or brown eye. Apart from blue and brown, possible eye colors in dogs run the gamut, just as in people.
Puppies' eye colors aren't developed when they first show themselves, and the same applies to their actual vision. When puppies initially open their peepers to their fascinating surroundings, they can't take much in of what they see -- everything still looks rather hazy. Puppies' eyes generally start to operate like those of adults once they're between 3 and 4 weeks old -- around the same time the color starts coming into its own.
By Naomi Millburn
Sacramento SPCA: Puppy Development and Socialization
The Humane Society of the United States: Puppy Behavior Basics
UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program: Canine - Guide to Raising Orphan Puppies
Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine: Care and Management of the Neonate Puppy
About the Author
Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.