Huskies have gained popularity in recent years. They’ve risen from 24th to 12th in popularity within the last decade, and for good reason. They are energetic, friendly, and loyal. They have sled dog origins, and are highly social and pack oriented.
Before you get a Siberian Husky, you should learn about the different Husky colors.
AKC Accepted Colors
First, it’s important to note that the AKC is generous when it comes to coat colors for the Husky. This is because they are considered working dogs.
The AKC didn’t want to limit the pool of genetically sound dogs based on color. Instead, they focused on traits that affect the Huskies health or ability to do their job.
Any color, or coat for that matter, that is excluded from the AKC standard is excluded for one of a few reasons. Some colors, like merle, are excluded because the color is associated with an increase in health issues.
Merle and brindle are also disqualified because the gene was not originally present in the Husky. It’s believed it got into the gene pool through mixed breeding, which means Huskies with the pattern are not considered pure bred.
AKC Accepted Colors are:
- Black and White
- Black, Tan, and White
- Brown and White
- Gray and White
- Red and White
- Sable and White, agouti and white
There are also two accepted patterns.
Accepted patterns are:
Black Huskies include those with a solid black coat, black and white, and black, white, and tan.
Solid Black Husky
Solid black Huskies have a very intimidating look. Black is dominant over most colors, which you may expect makes black common. However, solid black Huskies are rare.
In fact, a solid colored Husky of any color is considered rare. They are typically bi-color, with white often being the second color. This is because the piebald gene is common in Huskies. The piebald gene causes a portion of their coat to be white.
Black and White
As you may have guessed, black and white Huskies are common. Black and white Huskies have the gene for a black coat, and the piebald gene. How much white they have depends on whether they inherited the piebald gene from one parent, or both.
Some Huskies have a small white area on their chest and their toes. Others have white points that begin under their chin, and cover their chest and stomach. Dogs with this pattern often have a white spot on the end of their tail, and white areas, called socks, on their feet and lower legs.
Black, Tan, and White
Black, tan, and white Huskies have all three colors on their coat. They typically have a coat that’s mostly tan, with areas of white and small amounts of black.
Gray Huskies are very common. However, there are three shades of gray, and some are rarer than others. All shades of gray also include white within the coat.
Wolf gray is often confused with agouti, but technically they aren’t the same. Wolf gray Huskies have a warm gray coat. They have points of tan or red. This typically occurs behind the ears, on their legs, and their back. They have a beige undercoat. They have areas of white as well.
Wolf gray is rare. It’s very similar to the coloring of wolves. It’s often seen in racing Husky lines, and is uncommon within lines bred as pets.
This is the most common gray shade for Huskies. The undercoat can be beige or silver. It has some of the warmth of wolf gray, but it’s more muted. This means the gray is typically a medium or dark shade. The coat can include shades of red or brown, along with patches of white.
Silver gray Huskies are rare. They have no red, tan, or beige tones in their coat. Instead, it’s a light gray or silver color. Their undercoat is white. The coat typically has a larger amount of white than other shades of gray.
If the silver color is diluted, they will look even more silvery or blue colored. This is a striking color, and certainly stands out from the average Husky.
Looking for something in red? Red Huskies are relatively rare, and certainly beautiful. Like gray, there are several potential shades of red.
Red Huskies are almost always red and white, which is the red shade included in the AKC breed standard.
Copper is the most common shade of red. This shade is similar to brown, with a more reddish cast. These Huskies typically sport a red topcoat, with their belly being white.
Their undercoat can be copper or brown.
Light red is of course a light red color. These Huskeis typically have a liver colored nose. Their stomach is white, and their coat can seem to be red or orange.
Sable colored Huskies have a red undercoat. The tips of their fur is black, while the lower portion is red. They have black points as well.
At first glance, Isabella may be mistaken for white. However, the coat has an orange cast to it. This is because of the dilute gene. The base color is either red or brown. However, it’s highly diluted, which makes it almost white, but not quite.
Isabella Huskies typically have a pink nose and mouth. They can have liver colored points, but never black points because of the dilute gene.
Brown is a fairly common Husky color. Huskies can range in color from a rich chocolate brown to a light tan color. The only brown color recognized by the AKC is brown and white, which can include any shade of brown, along with white. However, other shades of brown are accepted by the AKC, they are simply non-standard colors.
Solid brown chocolate Huskies are rare, and quite beautiful. Solid brown isn’t listed as a color by the AKC, but they aren’t disqualified due to color either. It’s simply a non-standard color.
Huskies can also be a light tan brown color. It’s quite beautiful, and popular with Husky lovers.
Brown and Black Huskies
Brown and black Huskies are rare. They have a wild, intimidating look.
Red and Brown Huskies
Huskies can also have a mix of brown and red. Darker colored Huskies will sport a chocolate and copper colored coat. Lighter colored Huskies will have a lighter red coat, with orange copper areas as well.
Brown and White
Brown and white Huskies have any shade of brown, paired with areas of white.
Most Huskies have some white, but solid white Huskies are quite rare. They have a gene that prevents color from expressing itself.
White Huskies are often confused with albino Huskies. Albino Huskies can’t produce any melanin. This means their nose and eyes will have a very light color. The nose and paw pads will be a light pink, and the eyes are typically a pale blue shade.
White Huskies, however, will have normally colored eyes. Their noses and paw pads can range from black to liver colored.
Agouti Huskies look very wolflike. Their undercoat is dark. Their topcoat has lighter hairs, which can vary in color. They begin darker at the base, and become light at the tip.
This gives them an interesting color that can be hard to define. They are considered very rare.
There are two patterns that are recognized by the AKC. These are piebald and saddleback.
Piebald Huskies are the result of the piebald gene. This gene is recessive, but it’s very common in Huskies, so many Huskies are piebald.
Huskies with one copy of the piebald gene may have smaller patches of white. When two copies of the gene are present, the Husky will be mostly white, with patches of another color.
Saddleback is a common Husky pattern as well. The coat is a light color, with a darker color on their saddle area, which spans their back. Imagine putting a saddle on a horse. This is the area that appears darker on a Saddleback Husky.
Husky Eye Colors
Brown and blue are the most common Husky eye colors. However, like their coats, there are several possibilities.
Brown is a dominant eye color for Huskies. This means if a pup inherits one copy of the brown gene, their eyes will be brown. The shade can vary from dark brown to a light amber color.
Blue eyes are also considered dominant in Huskies, sort of. In most breeds, blue eyes are recessive, which makes them less common.
However, a large percentage of Huskies have blue eyes. How does this happen? It’s thanks to a mutation of the ALX4 gene.
Not all blue eyed Huskies have the gene for blue eyes, or they don’t have two copies of it, which would allow it to express itself, since it’s actually recessive.
Instead, the mutation of ALX4 causes the eyes to not produce enough pigment to create brown eyes. Their eyes appear no different than those who inherit two copies of the blue eye gene.
40% of Huskies have blue eyes, either because of the ALX4 gene, or because they’ve inherited blue eyes. The only way to identify the difference is through genetic testing, which is how researchers discovered the ALX4 gene.
Huskeis can also have green eyes. This is rare, but not unheard of.
Many Huskies have a trait that is very rare in other breeds, known as heterochroma. This causes their eyes to be different colors. Typically, the Husky will have one blue eye and one brown eye. However, they may also have one blue and one green eye, or one brown and one green.
It’s a striking and unique combination that is popular with Husky lovers.
Parti-colored eyes are rare in Huskies. Instead of having two eyes that are each a different color, Parti-colored eyes feature two colors within the same eye. Like heterochroma, this makes their eyes very beautiful.
The combination can be any combination of green, blue, and brown.
Husky Color Health Issues
There are some heath issues associated with certain Husky colors.
White or Piebald
White Huskies are at a higher risk of deafness. This applies to Huskies that are solid white, or mostly white. The piebald pattern is also associated with these issues, because the coat is mostly white. This is because the cells that produce melanin, which creates the coat color, are also involved in the development of small hairs within the ear.
Without melanin, these hairs don’t develop properly. This can cause a range of hearing problems, from mild hearing impairment to deafness.
White Huskies can also be at a higher risk of eye issues, which can lead to blindness.
White Huskies are also at increased risk of sunburn and skin cancer, because their skin has less melanin.
Merle dogs will have patches of diluted color, along with patches of the solid color. It’s very common in some breeds, like the Australian Shepard and Dalmation.
Merle Huskies are not allowed in show rings, because it’s believed the gene was not originally found in Huskies.
There’s another concern with the merle pattern. When a dog has two copies of the merle gene, they are known as double merle. Double merles are at a high risk of deafness and blindness.
Most responsible breeders will not breed merle Huskies. If they do, they should be sure that the other dog isn’t a carrier fo the merle gene, which results in double merle puppies.
Are Rare Colors Better?
Other than the health issues associated with some colors, no color is really better than any other. Some colors are more desired or popular, which can make them more expensive. It really comes down to your personal preference.
You should use caution when buying a Husky. Keep in mind that color is one of many important factors. The dog’s health, temperament, and coat should be considered before color.