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Why did my dogs eyes change from green to brown?

It’s not uncommon for a puppy’s eye color to change as it matures. This is especially true for breeds that tend to have lighter eye colors like blue or green. If your puppy was born with green eyes that turned brown, here’s an explanation of what happened.

The Biology Behind Eye Color Changes

The iris of the eye contains pigment that determines eye color. puppies are often born with lighter eyes because they have less pigment in their irises. As a puppy matures, more melanin (pigment) accumulates in the iris which leads to a darker, richer eye color.

The two types of pigment that determine eye color are:

  • Eumelanin – Produces brown/black pigment
  • Pheomelanin – Produces red/yellow pigment

Most puppies are born with blue eyes because they have yet to develop pigment in their irises. As they age, more melanin accumulates and their eye color transitions to green, hazel, brown or amber.

Common Eye Color Changes

Here are some of the most common eye color transitions you may see in puppies:

  • Blue to brown or amber
  • Blue to green
  • Green to hazel
  • Green to brown or amber

For breeds with green eye color, the green tone comes from a lower melanin content than brown. As melanin increases over time, the eye transitions from green to brown or amber.

Breeds Prone to Eye Color Changes

Certain breeds are more likely to have light eye colors as puppies and therefore more prone to changes as they mature. These include:

  • Siberian Husky
  • Border Collie
  • Australian Shepherd
  • Weimaraner
  • Dalmatian
  • Great Dane

In these breeds, it’s very common for puppies to be born with piercing blue eyes that darken overtime. The husky is one breed especially known for changing from blue to brown or amber eyes as adults.

When Do Puppy Eye Color Changes Occur?

The eye color change process typically happens in the first few months of a puppy’s life. Here is the general timeline:

  • Birth to 8 weeks – blue gray eyes
  • 8-12 weeks – eyes start to lighten to blue, green or amber
  • 3-5 months – eye color continues to intensify
  • 5-8 months – adult eye color becomes fixed

However, this timeline varies depending on the breed. Some puppies may undergo gradual eye color changes over a year or more. By one year old though, the eye color should be settled.

Will My Puppy’s Eye Color Change Again?

For most breeds, the eye color change only happens once as the pup matures. The final adult eye shade usually remains constant throughout the dog’s life.

However, some breeds may undergo additional subtle shifts:

  • Siberian huskies can develop flecks and marbling as they age
  • Australian shepherd eye color may intensify from medium to dark as adults

Aside from minor variations, dogs typically maintain their mature eye colors for life once initially changed as puppies.

Are There Exceptions to Eye Color Changes?

While most puppies undergo some degree of eye color change as they develop, there are certain exceptions:

  • Purebreds fixed for eye color – Some breeds like pugs and great Danes, often have consistently dark eyes from birth due to selective breeding for that trait.
  • Mixed breeds – Crossbred puppies tend to have more variation in eye color at birth and not change significantly.
  • Genetic conditions – Albinism or other conditions affecting pigment production may inhibit normal eye color changes.

So while eye color shifting in puppies is generally the norm, some pups are the exception and retain their initial eye shade.

Why Did My Puppy’s Green Eyes Turn Brown?

If your puppy was born with green eyes that changed to brown, it’s likely due to normal pigment accumulation. The initial green tone came from a small amount of melanin in the iris. As the puppy matured and produced more melanin, the green changed to reflect the higher brown pigment content.

This eye color shift is very common in breeds like Siberian huskies, border collies and Australian shepherds that start with light eyes. The brown tone your pup ended up with simply indicates a mature iris higher in melanin content compared to the younger green shade.

Is an Eye Color Change Something to Worry About?

In most cases, a puppy’s eye color transitioning from green to brown is completely normal and not a cause for concern. As melanin content increases in the iris, green shades turning more hazel, brown or amber is expected development.

However, if you notice the eye color changing significantly later in life after already settling, that could indicate:

  • Inflammation inside the eye
  • Injury that’s damaging the iris
  • A viral infection like canine herpes
  • Glaucoma or increased eye pressure
  • Cataracts forming

But typically, green to brown shifts early in puppyhood are harmless and just reflect the maturation process. Still, consult your vet if you have any concerns about drastic color changes later in adulthood.

How to Care for a Puppy’s Eyes

While your puppy’s eyes are developing and changing colors, there are some things you can do to keep their eyes healthy:

  • Gently wipe eyes daily to remove any discharge
  • Avoid rubbing eyes harshly
  • Use preservative-free eye drops if eyes seem irritated
  • Feed an antioxidant-rich diet for eye health
  • Trim hair around eyes carefully if needed
  • See the vet annually for eye exams

With good care and nutrition, your puppy’s eye color transition should progress smoothly as they mature into an adult dog.


It’s normal for puppies, especially breeds with light eyes, to develop deeper, darker eye colors as they age. Green puppy eyes turning brown simply indicates the iris is maturing and producing more melanin pigment. This typically occurs in the first year of life. While surprising at first, this natural progression is harmless and expected as part of your puppy’s development from newborn to adult dog.

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