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Discussion Starter #1
I remember at one point reading a thread on the forum that mentioned certain field lines possessing yellow, light amber eyes. Does anyone know which lines in particular commonly have this? And how light do the eyes have to be before it's considered a fault? I'm looking at a particular dog, who's an outstanding sire and has all his clearances with a beautiful pedigree. He lives pretty far away but still on the west coast. I've only been able to see photos and maybe the lighting is affecting his eye color. I may post a picture if it's isn't considered too rude to discuss on the forum.
 

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Are you thinking fault for the show ring, or just in general?
The show ring is very competitive, and even eyes that are a bit too light will be serious.
But as a practical matter, I believe as long as they are at least medium brown, not shades of yellow, its accepted.
Check photos of his offspring in K9data and see what he throws.
When you open a discussion with the stud dog's owner it's totally acceptable, and common, to inquire about his eye color.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Just in general appearance. With this pedigree, I would expect a field champ, but I still would want to produce a great looking dog. Even if they may not be competitive enough for the ring. I looked at the offspring listed and all that were pictured had darker eyes than he appears to have. I'm just starting to hunt for possibles within driving distance. Teal has to finish her own titles and clearances before I get really involved with research.
 

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I also seem to remember a thread that discussed lighter eye color in field dogs. I actually like an eye that isn't pitch black. They seem more expressive because you can distinguish the pupil from the iris. It is hard to tell eye color from pictures because lighting will affect their appearance.
 

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Kate
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I've seen lighter eyes in the show ring....

Depends on the other stuff a dog has.

Personal preferences for a lot of pet people is to have dark eyes on the dogs.

I wouldn't post pictures on a public forum... talk to the owner of the stud about your concerns about eye color. Ask for pictures to see what his offspring look like.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I thought I shouldn't, but it still surprises me how many people can recognize a dog from 1 photo. It's just amazing how small the GR world is and I wouldn't want to offend anyone.

It is an interesting topic to me though. The standard seems to favor a really dark eye, but I would have expected they should be more medium brown. Even on a dark dog. It's so much more expressive than a very deep, dark eye.
 

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It has to do with protection from sunlight I believe, but I could be wrong.
 

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It has to do with protection from sunlight I believe, but I could be wrong.
If that is the case, Barb, I would think that dark eyes would protect from sun (and thus be preferable) in all dog breeds. I have no idea if that is the case. Obviously some breeds (Siberian Huskies come to mind) do not even have brown eyes. I wonder if we have any resident veterinarians who might enlighten us on whether darker eyes are more protective. (The last time I asked for a veterinarian's opinion on this forum, I believe on whether a Golden should ever have his coat trimmed, I was almost run out of town! Other members let me know that veterinarians were the last people anyone should consult on grooming a dog's coat. So if anyone has a better idea on whom one should consult about whether dark eye color is protective in dogs, I am open to suggestions!)

Deb
(NewfieMom)
 

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Thanks for the articles, Barb. I have no way of knowing, short of doing some extensive research into the history of the judging of Golden Retrievers, whether the darker eyes having more pigment and, thus, being less sensitive to ultraviolet light is why the darker eyes are preferred on Goldens. I do, now, know, however, that light eyes are more sensitive to the sun's UV rays than darker eyes because they have less pigment. In my opinion, your educated guess that a health concern (better protected eyes) lay at the bottom of the issue, seems likely.

Deb
 

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That's my story and I'm stickin' to it ;)
 
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If really dark eyes were protective from the sun wouldn't field dogs tend to have the darkest eyes since they spend more time outdoors? Isn't acute vision necessary for a top field dog? I always thought the very dark eyes in show Goldens was related to the dark pigment that is favored in the show ring.
 

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If really dark eyes were protective from the sun wouldn't field dogs tend to have the darkest eyes since they spend more time outdoors? Isn't acute vision necessary for a top field dog? I always thought the very dark eyes in show Goldens was related to the dark pigment that is favored in the show ring.
Well, if we start with the premise that Barb is correct, it means that the best show dogs have far better eyes than any field dogs whose eyes are not as dark but who have managed to get by in the field just because of their athleticism.(They are really blind as bats.) Are you glad that I explained that to you?

NewfieMom
 

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Dark eyes supposedly protect from sunlight's ulta violet rays, not give better vision. I don't know whether anyone has studied the eye melwna rates in show dogs versus field dogs, and even if its higher in field dogs, would that just be because they are in the sun more?
 

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Light eyes really spoil the melting and kindly expression of the golden. Like the flesh color nose of the vizsla v the dark pigment of the golden, it is an important detail of breed type to typify and characterize what make a golden a golden as opposed to a generic dog. Agree the protective element health wise of the darker eye is most important thing since I cant convince them to wear sunglasses, but it is also one of the details that come together with other details to make the breed hallmark.
 

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My earlier thought about the expressiveness of somewhat lighter vs. very dark eyes is mentioned in the article linked above concerning human brown eyes.

The iris (edit: don't they mean pupil?), or dark spot in the center of the eye, dilates with changes in mood and interest. These changes are easily seen on people with lighter eye colors, but can be difficult to notice in dark eyes.

The article also mentions that

Brown eyes appear brown due to the presence of a pigment known as melanin, the same pigment that causes skin to tan. Dark brown eyes have more melanin and lighter brown eyes have less.

This seems to me to confirm that the very dark eyes in show Goldens are related to the dark pigment that is favored and selected for in show Goldens. I would be surprised to find that dark eyes are being selected for in show Goldens because they provide better UV protection.

I have to agree that I don't care for the very light brown, almost yellowish eyes that one occasionally sees in a Golden, especially if combined with a pink nose.
 

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In the old days (before CERF) it was suspected that dogs with light eyes had a tendency to produce more issues with vision, primarily cataracts. CERF has changed the picture over the decades so now it's more a question of appearance than anything else. The lighter the eyes the more harsh the expression appears.

You tend to see lighter eyes in the field because people are more concerned with ability and performance than they are with appearance. If the dog can mark and remember a gnat on the head of a pin at 500 yards, they don't care if he has light eyes or not.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I finally saw some real yellow eyes in person. I've been attending a lot of hunt tests recently, mostly just as a spectator. I was surprised to see the yellow eyes on a lighter colored field golden. I can now definitely say the amber-ish eyes the stud dog appeared to have are nothing like the yellow/green eyes of the dog I saw at the test.
 
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