It is all about eyes – mirror of the soul and breed. Eyes are icing of the cake with pedigree dogs

It is all about eyes – mirror of the soul and breed. Eyes are icing of the cake with pedigree dogs

In my studies in the wonderful world of pedigree dogs has one issue raised above all.  After owning and living decades with large variety of different breeds  eyes has become the detail of the details. It is all about eyes. Eyes are the thing that really makes the breed. Shape, pigmentation, size and the look make the picture perfect. To really understand the breed you must understand the look. Eyes are the most important part of the expression.  For me the look that dog gives is the most important detail of them all. I can live with many faults – but I tell you I can ´t  live with terrible eyes or with fault expression. Eyes are the mirror of the soul in dogs as well. If you understand the breed enough.  You can  read the eyes of your dogs. You can see if the dog is well relaxed and happy. In my own house every single dog must have perfect look. Look is so much more than just plain eyes. 


Annan katse


Eyes are the mirror of the soul with pedigree dogs. Our estrella mountain dog Ch Lil Folks Xtravaganza tell with her eyes that she is very confident in all occasions. There is the power and confidence a real guardian should. I feel safe as looking these soulful eyes.

Eyes and skull goes together

Often if the eyes are what the breed standard ask for also the skull must be about right. Very often big  round skull goes with large round eyes, elegant narrow skull goes often with almond shaped  smaller eyes and so forth.  I do believe that the breeder must sooner or later after getting the structure, health and mental issues about  in shape get to head and finally eyes. Eyes and the look are the details that will separate the real talented breeder from the rest. I feel that eyes are the trademark of any well established line if the breeder has done the homework well.

To be able to breed perfect eyes and look is at the beginning to breed perfect skulls and heads. The size of head is important. Later it is very much a matter of taking care of the pigmentation. Dark true pigmentation is so important. I hate to see light and weak pigmentation. That is an issue I am not willing to make compromises with. I can tell you that weak pigments and lights eyes take over very easily. It is sad to see how many breeders have failed with pigments.  After the shape, size and pigmentation is in control we get to the deepest of the look.

With eyes you should never exaggerate – size model

I personally feel with eyes you should never exaggerate no matter what is the breed. Eyes should never be over large or super tiny. Eyes should not be bulging or very deep with sound dog. The proper eyelid is important part of the look. It must be sound and healthy. Very good basic principle with eyes which worls specially with toydogs is that eyes are very large if they are bigger than proper nose of the dog. Eyes are big  if the size is about the same as the nose. Eyes are medium if eyes are slightly smaller than nose. This all depends of course the size of the nose of the breed, but in general this model can be kept in mind. Eyes are small if they are much smaller than the nose. Eyes are very small if they are half or less of the size of the nose.

Pigmentation, shape and placement of the eyes makes appealing bichon frise look presented by BIS winning Junior World Winner Chic Choix Diamella Le Figaro



Expression must indicate the gender of the dog

Often the gender of the dog must be seen from the eyes. Male and female must have different expressions. This is because male skulls should be slightly stronger than female heads. Therefore male eyes are slightly bigger than female eyes. Eyes are very much a part of the masculinity or feminity. Dog must be quite poor in details if the sex can´t be told from the head and eyes. This is what eyes are all about. It is one of the most important part of the fine details. Gender is very much part of all that. The look of the male eyes is often more open than the modest female look. The very best show dogs can even flirt with their eyes.

Eyes has very much to do with the origin and type of the breed

Deepest secret with truly superior eyes that every breeder and judge should look for is the look. How the dog use its eyes. Will these eyes indicate the sparkle, softness, wickedness, soundness or charisma that the breed should have. I feel that is so important. Lhasa eyes are nothing even if being dark, right size and shape if the look is not somewhat arrogant. This mean dog must have very strong nerves and true charisma. As you look the perfect lhasa eyes you do understand that this dog is originally coming from Tibet. Lowchen look is nothing without sparkle and softness. Deerhound eyes must be gentle and soulful. Every breed has it own special look. Very often to be able to produce that perfect look all the details must be taken care of. Eyes are always the deepest indicator of the purpose and origin of the breed. Every environment has produced sudden eyes for a reason and we must respect that.  But it is not only about genes.

Lhasa look must be impressive, arrogant, noble and strong. With every breed you must see the difference with male and female. Eyes are very dark medium sized. Nose is always bigger than eyes as lhasa is a Tibetan breed. They must have large nose.  Multi BIS winning World winners Chic Choix Alexander The Great and sister Chic Choix Cleopatra Eurydice.

Alex & Elviira


You can see the mental qualities and mental well being from the eyes of the dog

Icing of the cake is the tender loving care that the owner gives to his dogs. All the attention and love that is given to dog shines back. Dog knows being very special. The look is secure and full of love. These are the  eyes I want to see in my household and in breeding. These are the eyes I would like to see in show rings and people breeding programs. Believe me truly talented breeder will produce perfect eyes and look or otherwise something very important is missing. I have come to a point that I can´t use or tolerate bad eyes at all. Why should I? True beauty and understanding of the breed lies in the eyes.

Basenji breed standard says: Eyes. Dark, almond-shaped, obliquely set, far-seeing and rather inscrutable in expression. This look is presented by Golden Stars of Swala Pala. This look match so perfectly with this breeds unique mental qualities. 

Anna Justiina katsoo