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What Is A Wall Eyed Dog?

In mankind’s never-ending quest to develop the cutest, cuddliest, fuzziest puppy pals that canine genetics can produce, we’ve seen some pretty extraordinary results.

There’s the stout and cocksure bulldog, the frightfully intelligent and fierce German Shepard, the energetic and lovable poodle, the plucky and hilarious chihuahua, and so much more.

Sometimes the dog breeds that breeders are able to come up with are startlingly capable, intelligent, and beautiful. Sometimes there are health problems that result from breeding programs, and sometimes the results are as unintentional as they are adorable.

Perhaps the most outstanding example of a side effect of excessive breeding that is both adorable and problematic is the propensity of certain breeds to be born wall eyed.

Certainly, you know exactly what we’re talking about and it’s relatively common. We also know that many times a wall eyed dog, or even a person, can see just as well as a dog or human with apparently normal eyes.

Now, you can admit it, when you’ve seen a pug or a Boston terrier with this condition, you know you thought that they were super adorable.

It’s okay. We think they’re super adorable too. Here, we want to help you understand what this condition in a dog is, how to treat the animal if you happen to own one and answer just about any questions you may have about this admittedly comical doggy condition.

What Is A Wall Eyed Dog?

First, it should be mentioned that the term “wall eyed dog” has two meanings. The first and most common is a dog with strabismus.

The second and less common is a dog with a blue/pale colored eye often with heterochromia. The second version is more commonly known as “china eye” and that we will be focusing on the first, more common use for this article.


This is the condition where one eye is a different color from the other. It is fairly common in certain species of dog and it typically presents as one eye displaying a bright blue, aqua blue, or greenish blue color surrounding an apparently shrunken iris.

The condition is the result of a genetic anomaly in which melanin fails to be deposited in the smooth muscles of the iris.

It can sometimes be triggered by an illness or a disease, but more often than not it is harmless and most dogs with the hereditary form of the condition have normal vision.

The breeds most likely to display this condition are:

  • Australian Shepherds
  • Border Collies
  • Chihuahuas
  • Dachshunds
  • Dalmatians
  • Great Danes
  • Shetland Sheepdogs
  • Siberian Huskies
  • Shih Tzus

If your furry pal has been born with this condition and behaves normally, you can enjoy her or his unique appearance, and rest assured that your pet is healthy.


This condition, rather than affecting the color of the animal’s eye, affects its position. It is the trademark appearance of the eyes looking in two different directions. It can be caused by a hereditary condition, an injury, or from a vestibular problem.

Can Wall Eyes Be Fixed In Dogs?

Hereditary strabismus may be correctable with surgery, but it is usually only cosmetic as the animal can more often than not learn to cope with it just fine.

Unless the sight of the animal’s wonky eye is so hilarious that you break out into uncontrollable laughter every time you look at your pet, chances are there’s no reason to try to change the condition.

Sometimes the condition can be a problem for the animal. If it does interfere with her or his vision and is so severe a problem that something must be done, a surgical solution may be an option. For this, you will need to consult a veterinary surgeon.

This specialist may be able to determine whether or not a surgical solution is a viable one and whether or not the risks are worth the possible rewards.

In the case of heterochromia, there are only cosmetic interventions that could change the color of a dog’s eye, and this is both unkind and unnecessary. When these conditions are hereditary, more often than not, they should be left as they are.

If, on the other hand, they are the result of an injury, infection, or other condition, you should consult a veterinary professional.

In such cases of a non-hereditary cause, your dog’s vet will treat the problem at the root of the condition.

Wall Eyed Dog Treatments!

The viable treatments for these conditions will depend on the cause. Congenital cases that are a health risk for the animal will need to be rectified using surgery more often than not.

Some such cases may be treated through certain exercises or corrective devices that your veterinarian may or may not recommend.

Cases acquired through illness or injury will have surgical, corrective, or medicinal treatments. Infections may be treated with antibiotics. Injuries may be treated with surgery, stitches, or other similar methods.

Remember that it is generally the case that dogs will fare just fine with these conditions. It is almost always only when the cause of the condition is an injury or illness that must itself be addressed.

But wall eyed dogs with a case of either Strabismus or Heterochromia who were born with the condition or who developed it over time as the result of a genetic precondition almost never need to have it corrected.

So, unless your veterinarian recommends some kind of medical intervention, it is strongly advised that you learn to love your wall eyed dog for his or her wall eyed self, and do not attempt to change the condition.

What Causes A Dog To Be Wall Eyed?

As suggested in the introduction, the reason wall eyedness has become such a common thing in numerous dog breeds is because our breeding programs have caused certain genetic abnormalities to develop, and wall eyes is one of them.

The good news, and we hope we’ve made this clear by now, is the fact that in most cases this condition is only superficial. Usually, it does not affect the dog’s health or its ability to negotiate with the world around them.

You have probably met or known someone in real life who had one eye that didn’t look in the same direction as the other. If so, you probably noticed that it bothered the people around them a heck of a lot more than it bothers them.

That’s because adapting to the condition is natural. The very same is true for dogs, and these dogs should be left alone in most cases and not altered just because their owners feel weird about a harmless condition.

The exception to this is when either of the two conditions referred to as wall eyes will have been caused by an illness or injury. In these cases, the animal should be seen by a veterinary professional.

Common Wall Eyed Dog Breeds!

The following dog breeds are the most common breeds to develop wall eyes naturally. If you have one of these dogs and she or he has a wonky eye – chances are it’s not a problem.

  • Boston Terriers
  • Irish Wolfhound
  • Shar Pei
  • Akita
  • Golden Retriever


In researching for this topic, we came across many, many images of dogs with crossed eyes and differently colored eyes. In thinking back on the lot of them two words come to mind, hilarious and adorable. In most cases, that’s all the condition amounts to. If your wall eyed dog seems healthy and happy, she probably is. If that’s the case, hopefully, this information has brought you some comfort.