They say eyes are the windows to the soul. For dogs, these are just other distinctive features. There are different types of dogs’ eyes from as huge as eyes measuring over 20mm wide to as small as half of that.
The Chihuahua, Boston Terrier and Pug are some of the canine breeds with adorable and expressive large bulging eyes. They give the impression of alert and steady, very interactive and friendly.
Read on to find out what dog breed has the biggest eyes, other canines with huge eyes plus interesting facts about them, plus some bit of science as we look at different eye disorders that affect the size of a dog’s eye.
Dog with Biggest Eyes (Boston Terrier)
The Guinness world record holder, Bruschi, is a Boston Terrier with the largest eyes in the world yet. His eyes measure 28mm in diameter.
That’s double the size of most dog breeds. This puts the Boston Terrier in the first place for the dog with the biggest eyes.
The boston Terrier is a non-sporting dog breed that’s been around since the 1800s. Also called the American gentleman, they are small compact dogs with a short tail, erect ears, and certainly big eyes that bulge.
Their large and prominent eyeballs often appear to be bulging out of their sockets, but that’s simply their appearance.
Their average height is 13 inches tall with a weight of six to 24 pounds. They are very intelligent pups that are not so easy to train, but they have a need to please their owners.
They are friendly and protective of their owners. So protective that they can be quite aggressive and territorial with other pets and strangers.
Other Breeds with Big Eyes
A small sized dog breed with bold and expressive eyes. What’s more, their wrinkled face makes the eyes appear more prominent especially since they also have a short muzzle.
Their lively and big eyes appear to show more white than dark as you will also notice they don’t particularly have large irises.
This short Dutch mastiff is from the toy family native to Europe and China. They are very sociable and have a very charming personality.
These companions dogs are also popularly used as an accessory, walking amongst the royal family and other wealthy people. They are playful and crave attention and affection especially from its owners.
As opposed to the two former breeds above, Saint Bernard is a more built dog with equally big eyes. With its deep chocolate coat and large expressive brown eyes, they are certainly very cute creatures.
What’s more, their almond-shaped dark eyes complement their coat even more regardless of the hue.
Saint Bernard, for the longest time, has been bred as a rescue dog, trained to walk in trails, follow trails and pick up on scents. They sure serve servicemen well.
They have a gentle temperament; very calm and receiving to people, even strangers. Playful with the kids and quite intelligent. They enjoy outdoor activities such as talking walks, playing around the backyard, and playing catch/ fetch.
As small as the Chihuahua is, it has a rather big head and huge eyes. From the toy dog family, they are very sweet and loyal companions.
One stare into their puppy dog soft and aroused eyes and you will be sympathizing with the dog.
They enjoy playing with the family and just having a great time. With its erect ears, their eyes become the center of attention as you would be left admiring their big bulgy eyes
Besides their rounded head, erect ears, and their big eyes. They also have a bold voice.
Yes, you would miss a bark from the Chihuahua. More especially when the dog is unsatisfied, hungry, or simply fussy; they would bark intently looking at you with those big puppy eyes.
With their cartoon-like head, they sure do know how to keep one’s spirit up.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The most interesting thing about King Charles Spaniel’s eyes is their sweet appearance. Very sweet looking and unapologetically large.
They have one of those stares that touch your soul by just merely looking at you. As for their temperament, they are very friendly and kind, loving to people including children.
Because of their sweet eyes, pendant ears, and hair face; they are seen as comforters and companions, or even accessory dogs. In the same group as Poodles and the Shih Tzu. They are very playful as well, which is why they are great for your family.
Dandie Dinmont Terrier
A not so common Terrier: the Dandie Dinmont Terrier from Scotland. This is a small dog with a long body short legs. Weighs about 18 to 24 pounds and a height of eight to 11 inches.
From a Terrier group, the dog has a charming facial appearance with a thick silky coat and complementary eyes. As for the shape of their eyes, they also have almond eyes with either dark or light-colored rims.
The Dandie is a guard dog, very protective, and a bit aggressive. Not suitable around babies but pleasant to play with older children. They are tough and challenging as you will see them play around or wrestle with other pets and animals.
Parson Russell Terrier
The Parson Russell Terrier is a small to medium-sized dog with very bright and large eyes. Very mischievous and eyeliner like coloring eyes.
Their eyes tend to look fierce and signal intelligence from a mile away. Weighing only 14 to 17 pounds, they are a brave breed, fast enough to race with horses.
They have a friendly personality and they warm up even to strangers. They have a liking to nature and outside, therefore a walk outside will do them some good.
Another dog with wide-set eyes is the Japanese Chin. Ancient to southern Asia, this spaniel looks similar to the Shih Tzu.
Eight to 11 inches tall, and a weight of three to 15 pounds, they are a very small breed. As small as they are, their eyes are quite distinct. Round, wide, dark eyes that you wouldn’t miss.
They are one of the most alert and attentive dogs you will find. Very intelligent, loyal, and friendly.
The dog is more of a lap dog or a toy breed, bred for the purpose of entertaining their owners. Lastly, they are defensive animals but calm and peaceful even around strangers.
One of the largest dogs with one of the biggest eyes there are. Dark eyes that give off an alert and intelligent expression.
They often appear extraordinarily stern with darkly pigmented eyelids and large eyeballs forming perfectly within their sockets.
The lower lid also has a certain slack that would imply a small stripe of the conjunctiva, typical to this particular breed.
This giant is bred as a working dog that needs its sight for most of the hunting and activities they will have.
They are heavily built with a weight if 140 pounds and height if 28 to 30 inches: very tall as well. Even with such a huge body, they are friendly, loving, passionate, and playful.
Next up is yet another huge-eyed dog is Shih Tzu. Just like the pug, they have round, bulging, marble-like eyes that distinctively appear in the midst of its curly silky hair. Their eyeballs are quite large but befitting their dark eyelids; not too large or oblique.
Also seen as a toy breed, the lion dog is very small and affectionate with its owners. Great companions and friendly dogs, they are one of the best dogs to have.
Basset Hounds are a very unique dog breed. They have drop ears, sunken eyelids, wrinkled foreheads, and large droopy eyes.
More often than not, they look like sad dogs probably due to their dark eyes deep-set to convey intelligence and urge to track. They also give off a threatening look with their deep-hued eye rims.
Known for their impressive sense of smell, they are very active dogs. They love to follow and pick up on scents, tracking people and animals for miles and miles away.
They are very devoted to their owners, loyal to their cause, and rarely aggressive even with people unfamiliar to them. They are energetic dogs with a liking to nature. One walk a day is quite enough to keep them happy.
A very meticulous creature, the Scottish Deerhound is one of the oldest dog breeds. They have long pointy ears, a medium-sized head, hairy eyes, all of which point to their large and bold brown eyes. This is the largest sighthounds amongst the other breeds such as the Greyhounds, Whippets, and Lurchers.
They are very fast dogs thanks to its streamlined body and tend to walk around in packs. They enjoy outdoor activities, adventures, plenty of walking and running, and some bit of exercise. As scary as your scruffy appearance and long legs may be, they are actually very appealing dogs. Sweet and kind to their owners, not too aggressive even with strangers.
Breeds with Small Eyes
Most dog breeds with small eyes also have a small body, with an exception to other bugs ones. Breeds with small eyes include;
- Pomeranian Husky
- Bolognese – a small toy breed weighing five to nine pounds appearing a white puffball. Very friendly and playful, even around children.
- Pekingese – a very hairy animal also seen as a lap dog. Small in size with eyes disappearing behind its silky hair.
- Bichon Frise – bred for the nobles since the French revolution, this breed has one of the smallest eyes. Kind, easy to train, and very intelligent
- Affenpinscher- in Germany, the dog was used to exterminate rats, over time they have also become house dogs. Very obedient and affectionate.
- Havanese – with a teddy bear appearance, the Havanese are very temperamental. They are very stubborn to train but great company.
Dogs and Eye Size Facts
There isn’t much to it that dogs have big eyes or small eyes, or even medium eyes. However, there’s a case when your dog’s eyes are smaller than usual. This could be a genetic condition called Microphthalmia.
As you’ve read from the article above, there are breeds with huge eyes such as the Chihuahua, beagle, and Boston Terrier.
Some with smaller eyes like a Pomeranian Husky, of you, see a pug with the same eyes like that of a Pomsky, then they probably have a medical condition.
Microphthalmia is a genetic condition that affects the dog’s eyeballs causing them to be smaller than a number. This causes them to have even more problems such as strained sight.
This condition is inherited by recessive genes which occur while the pup is still in their mother’s womb. This could cause the dog to be blind at birth or severely visually handicapped.
In most cases, this condition will come with other eye problems such as cataracts, problems with the cornea and lens, and a condition known as coloboma, in which the iris of the eye is distorted into a cat-eye shape.
This condition can be inherited in any one of these breeds;
- American Foxhounds
- Australian/ Old English Shepherds
- Bedlington/ Tibetan Terrier
- Cavalier Charles Cocker Spaniels
- Great Danes
- Labrador Retrievers
- Miniature/ Toy Poodles
- Miniature Schnauzers
- Saint Bernard
These are just common breeds.
Why Does My dog have One Eye Smaller than the Other?
It could simply be a congenital birth defect or an eye condition called Anisocoria. This is an eye disorder where the dog’s pupils/ eyes vary in different sizes meaning one could be larger or smaller than the other.
This condition is not common as it’s associated with brain injury, glaucoma, or Uveitis, which is an inflammation of the interior of the eye.
You may need to seek doctor’s advice on this matter because studies alone reveal that it can be associated with retinal disease, iris atrophy meaning decreased tissue in the iris, or even cancer.
Are Dog Eyeballs Bigger than Humans?
The basic structure of a dog’s eye is quite similar to that of humans. However, dogs have larger eyes in terms of the diameter of the cornea, therefore larger irises as well.
Moreover, a dog’s pupil can dilate into a larger diameter as seen with the pug and Boston terrier measuring to even four times that of humans.
Nonetheless, the dog’s eyeballs are just about the same size as of a human, more especially for larger dog breeds.