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Did you know that there are dog breeds with blue tongues? While the majority of dogs have pink tongues like humans, there are some breeds that display blue, dark, or purple tongues.

These breeds include:

  • Shar Pei.
  • Chow Chow.
  • Akita.
  • Rottweiler.
  • German Shepherd.
  • Border Collie.
  • Pomeranian.
  • Tibetan Mastiff.
  • Korean Jindo.

Why Do Some Dogs Have Blue Tongues?

The blue color of these dogs’ tongues is due to a genetic alteration that results in a higher concentration of pigmented cells in the tongue, giving it a bluish hue. The Shar Pei and Chow Chow breeds are known for their blue tongues, as this characteristic is common in their breed.

On the other hand, the German Shepherd, Akita, Rottweiler, Border Collie, Pomeranian, Tibetan Mastiff, and Korean Jindo may exhibit blue tongues, either in full or partially, but only in some individuals of the breed.

Chow Chow: The Pinnacle of Blue-Tongued Dogs

The Chinese Chow Chow breed is the most well-known breed with a blue tongue. In addition to the blue tongue, the Chow Chow also has blue coloring on its lips and palate. It’s important to note that the tongue typically turns blue or black around 2 or 3 months of age. The palate and lips also have a bluish tint. Light-colored individuals may have a lighter blue palate.

Mythological legends have provided mystical explanations for the blue tongue of the Chow Chow. For example, it is said that the Chow Chow accompanied Buddha while he painted the sky blue and licked the remnants of paint, turning the Chow Chow into a blue-tongued dog from that moment on. Another legend suggests that the Chow Chow was a dragon dog who, tired of the night falling, licked the blue color of the night to make it eternal daylight, and as a punishment from the gods, it retained a blue tongue.

Regardless of the origin, the Chow Chow’s blue tongue, combined with its lion-like appearance, makes it an exceptionally unique dog.


Shar Pei with a Blue Tongue

The Shar Pei, also of Chinese origin, like the Chow Chow, is a breed with a tongue, palate, gums, and lips that are black-blue in color. In other words, there are no Shar Pei specimens with entirely pink tongues. If that were the case, it would suggest that both the Shar Pei and Chow Chow are not purebred and have some ancestry from other breeds.

The degree of blue in the Shar Pei’s tongue usually depends on the shade of its coat. Generally, lighter-colored individuals will have a tongue with a lavender hue.

We are dealing with a dog of unique appearance, with numerous folds covering its body and a distinctive blue tongue.

Important Note: Do Not Confuse with Purple Tongue as a Symptom of Illness in Dogs

If your dog does not belong to one of the breeds with blue tongues or if the color of its tongue changes from pink to purple (excluding Shar Pei or a Chow Chow at 3 months of age), it is essential to consult your veterinarian.

A purple tongue in dogs is a symptom of oxygen deficiency known as cyanosis, which can be caused by heart or vascular problems. Therefore, if you notice a change in the color of your dog’s tongue, it is crucial to seek veterinary care as soon as possible.