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Eye color and other "indicators"

Sue R

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I recently read some comments in a book by a British sheepdog trainer/trialist/shepherd that darker-eyed dogs tend to lack confidence and avoid confrontation, and lighter-eyed dogs tend to have more eye and be stickier. Medium-color-eyed dogs would therefore be considered about right, having eye and confidence but not being sticky.


So, I took a look at my two. I noticed that Celt, who is defined by a certain obvious lack of confidence, is very pressure-sensitive, and has problems confronting heavy or recalcitrant stock, has beautiful, dark-brown eyes. Bute (my unguided missile of a youngster) has much more confidence (foolishness of youth?), a lot of eye, and a potential for stickiness as well as lighter-colored eyes. Megan, who is the sticky one but also the one with the poor breeding, has medium eyes.


This same author also attributes stamina to short-coated dogs. Certainly I've seen some very outstanding short-coated dogs but also medium-coats that can do an International-style course, but I'm not remembering (in my very limited experience) a lot of really rough-coated dogs that aren't very challenged by a longer, more demanding course. I would think that stamina was a result of genetics and conditioning, but do short- and medium-coated dogs tend to have more stamina, or does a heavy coat just cause a dog to overheat more easily?


Any comments? I'm curious to have folks take a look and see if these opinions seem to hold for their dogs, just for the sake of a discussion.

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This is really fascinating! I'll be interested to see what others have to say. My working girls are smooth coated, and have medium eyes, I guess. I don't have anything else here to compare to, but their stamina seems OK (but then I condition them a lot), although they are all shade lovers, and they have no problem moving whatever kind of stock...


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I really think it just depends on the individual dog, it's training and it's level of

fitness. I had a rough coat bitch that could go all day and never overheat, her

son would if not watched. My current male has light eyes and never displays too

much eye and my older bitch mentioned above had the same color eyes and

was very sticky. All in all I prefer a smooth coat simply because they are less


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