Dog Breeds with Big Eyes

Reviewed By Julie •  Updated: 01/23/22 •  11 min read
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dog breeds with big eyes

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Dogs are amazing companions and come in various sizes, shapes, colors, and more! How on earth could we live without our canine companions? They’ve been with us for thousands of years!

Over the time canines have been with humans, dogs have changed in many ways. You may be surprised to learn that dogs’ eyes have even changed! A couple of years ago, a study came out in The Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences (see article on BBC) that dogs’ faces have evolved certain structures for complex expression!

The study compared wolves and dogs and found that dogs have developed special muscles that frame their eyes. Wolves don’t have these special muscles. These muscles in our canine companions’ faces are meant to give us that “adopt me” look. The muscles do this by raising their inner eyebrows.

Scientists in the study believe dogs have developed these muscles to better communicate with us! Wolves don’t have this ability to communicate in the same way.

So, the next time you take a look over at your fur baby, see how his face changes when he notices!

Dogs with Big Eyes

If you love dogs with big eyes, then read on! We’ve put together a list of dog breeds that have very large, communicative eyes!

1. Chihuahua

Chihuahuas are tiny dogs that have large eyes. You can’t miss their expressive eyes! Chihuahuas know how to use their eyes very well. They can have a demanding gaze that commands you to give them a wonderful treat! They can also ask you to let them sit in your lap, and more! Chihuahuas can easily wrap you around their little paws!

Along with their big eyes, Chihuahuas also have large voices. And they’re not afraid to use these large voices! These compact pups are filled to overflowing with confidence and aren’t afraid to take on a larger dog when necessary!

We must also remember that these diminutive dogs are an ancient breed. They were around in prehistoric times and have evolved thanks to the Techichi and the Aztecs. Chihuahuas were around at the time Spanish conquistadors invaded the Aztecs in the 1500s.

2. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is another dog breed known for their large, expressive eyes. These are dogs sure to melt your heart. How could you not fall in love with their long, silky hair and loving faces? These dogs were bred to be companion dogs for wealthy women! Today, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a joy to all pet parents who fall in love with this breed’s large, beautiful eyes!

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a toy dog that has all the vivacity and athletic abilities of a sporting dog. They have a certain air of nobility about them, too. The dogs are famous for their melting eyes and their long, silky coat of beautiful colors.

This is a breed for anyone who’s athletic or would rather stay at home watching TV! These are very adaptable dogs who want nothing more than to be with their pet parents!

3. Pugs

Pugs are another small dog breed that is famous for their expressive, large eyes! The dogs have prominent eyes (some would describe them as bulging) and sweet wrinkled faces. Many people love Pugs, and for a good reason.

This dog breed is one of the most expressive dogs. If you head over to Instagram, you’ll find endless images of pugs and pet parents who create daily photos of their fur babies. The dogs can be comical, cute, and more. No wonder these Pug accounts have so many followers!

Pugs originally came from China, dating all the way back to the Han dynasty (206 BC to 200 AD). The dogs were companions to the country’s emperors and often lived luxurious lives. It’s said the dogs were even guarded by soldiers!

While these canine companions can be cute and sweet, they can also be stubborn. And with their huge eyes, Pugs are sometimes prone to eye problems. However, it’s impossible not to fall in love with these little dogs and their expressive eyes!

4. Beagles

Beagles are medium-sized dogs who have very large eyes! Who wouldn’t fall in love with a Beagle with expressive eyes? These beautiful dogs are thought to have originated in France, though no one is certain of that. However, their history may go all the way back to ancient Greece and Rome!

Along with their huge eyes, Beagles are also famous for their wonderful noses! These dogs are scent hounds and have an amazing sense of smell. Consider the fact that Beagles have about 220 million scent receptors in their noses compared to humans with 5 million scent receptors. Their noses are one of the reasons Beagles are used in airports, in police work, and more to sniff out contraband of all kinds.

With their wonderful sense of smell, Beagles are also great hunting dogs. Even so, they make great family companions. They are gentle, small, and do well in smaller homes. However, they do have plenty of energy and require daily walks. Beagles need about an hour of exercise (at least) every day!

5. Parson Russell Terrier

The Parson Russell Terrier is another dog breed that has large, lovely eyes! They were first bred in the 18th century in Devon by Reverend John Russell. He wanted a dog that could keep up with horses while hunting foxes.

These dogs are very active, lively terriers. Along with their big eyes, Parson Russell Terriers also have long legs. This was one of the features Rev. Parson wanted, so the dogs could keep up with running horses. The dogs’ bodies are small and compact to reach into small places.

We forgot to mention that Parson Russell Terriers are also called Jack Russell Terriers! These compact dogs are highly intelligent! And they tend to be brave, bold, and determined. One important note is that these dogs are cute; however, they’re not always easy to live with.

Jack Russell Terriers are trainable; however, they tend to be stubborn and don’t take boredom well. When left to their own devices, these dogs can become destructive. And we do mean destructive!

6. Bulldog

Next on our list of dogs with large eyes is the Bulldog! These dogs do look tough, but their eyes will melt your heart! Bulldogs were originally bred to herd cattle, though they were also used in bullbaiting. However, today these dogs make loving companions for just about anyone. And they love kids!

You may also hear these dogs referred to as an English Bulldog or British Bulldog. These names have stuck because this is where the breed originated. It’s thought the dogs were brought to the British Isles by the Romans, which makes this dog breed very old!

These medium-sized dogs are low to the ground and very muscular. With their broad cheeks, strong jaws, and large eyes, the dogs can look a bit intimidating. However, they are full of love and loyalty for their families. Bulldogs are known for being affectionate, kind, and courageous. However, if they are threatened by another dog, they won’t back down from a fight.

The Bulldog is perfect for pet parents who want a dog that doesn’t require a lot of exercise. If you choose a Bulldog, you’ll have a loving companion who wants nothing more than to spend time with you!

7. Great Dane

Here’s the largest dog who also happens to have very large eyes—the Great Dane! These noble dogs are extremely large and loving. You can’t ignore a Great Dane who’s gazing at you with those large, deep brown eyes!

It’s thought Great Danes were originally bred to hunt wild boar; however, Great Danes today don’t have the fierceness required for such work. Instead, they make wonderful companion dogs for people who have the space Great Danes require.

These dogs are known for being extremely affectionate. They love to spend time with their families and play. They’re even great around kids, despite the dogs’ size. Even so, Great Danes are large dogs and need to attend obedience training classes. You don’t want an uncontrollable dog who ways as much or more than you do!

Great Danes are large fur babies who are eager to please. They need to be with their humans most of the time. What’s more, the dogs don’t need as much exercise as other dogs!

8. Saint Bernard

Saint Bernards are another dog breed that has huge, loving eyes! These are the dogs who have a reputation for being nanny dogs; however, they were originally bred to find and save travelers caught in mountain storms. They really did rescue many people in the Alps!

Today, St. Bernards are family companions. These gentle giants really do love kids and are even said to be great with cats and kittens! The dogs are also highly intelligent and good-natured. They also make great indoor fur babies.

One downside to these gentle giants is that they do drool a lot. So, if you don’t want drool all over the house, it’s best to choose a different dog breed. However, if you don’t mind the drool, you may be happy to learn St. Bernards don’t require a ton of exercise every day!

9. Dandie Dinmont Terrier

Here’s a dog breed you may not hear about every day—the Dandie Dinmont Terrier. These are small dogs that have beautiful, large brown eyes! The dogs were originally bred to hunt otters and badgers. As badger hunters, you know these dogs had to be brave and fierce! The breed is thought to have been bred in the early 1700s, though their history is not clear.

What is known is that these dogs are one of the oldest terrier breeds. And they haven’t changed very much since they were first bred! These small dogs are low to the ground and have a body that’s longer than the dog is tall. You might mistake this dog for a Dachshund mix; however, this is a  purebred dog breed.

One of the reasons you may not have heard of these dogs is because they’re becoming very rare. These loving, energetic dogs are highly intelligent, independent, and determined. They will protect their home and family and are wary of strangers.

When it comes to training, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier can be challenging. They’re intelligent dogs with minds of their own! So, they need an experienced pet parent who understands how to work with the breed.

10. Old English Sheepdogs

While you may not be able to see their eyes, Old English Sheepdogs do have large, loving eyes! You’ll know a sheepdog by his size and furriness! They were originally bred to herd sheep in England probably in the 19th century.

The amazing shaggy Old English Sheepdog has been a favorite in many TV programs and movies. These dogs are extremely intelligent and want to have fun! They tend to have a wonderful personality combined with a strong, athletic body. Some pet parents have said their sheepdogs were a bit mischievous and had a great sense of humor. Even so, these dogs make great protectors of their families and home.

These dogs are extremely adaptable and can even live in an apartment! However, they must be exercised regularly. What’s more, sheepdogs want to be with their families. They may develop separation anxiety if left alone for long periods.

11. Japanese Chin

Here’s the last dog on our list—the Japanese Chin! These are small dogs who have large eyes in sweet faces! They are another ancient dog breed that may have come from the Chinese imperial court. They were highly prized and sometimes lived with royalty!

These dogs are toy-size and act almost like a cat! They love to be in high places and have an uncanny ability to climb! They also play like a cat, batting a toy around in a similar manner! However, these are still dogs, and they love to be with their pet parents.

Japanese Chin do well in apartments yet can adapt to living just about anywhere!

Summing It Up

There you have it—our list of dog breeds with big eyes! We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about these lovely fur babies. When you look at these dogs, you can help but fall in love with them and their large brown eyes!

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Julie is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, where she studied Animal science. Though contrary to the opinion of her parents she was meant to study pharmacy, but she was in love with animals especially cats. Julie currently works in an animal research institute (NGO) in California and loves spending quality time with her little cat. She has the passion for making research about animals, how they survive, their way of life among others and publishes it. Julie is also happily married with two kids.