Originating from northeastern Siberia, Siberian Huskies are popular dogs known for their thick fur coats and playful personalities. One unique aspect of this breed is the variety of colors it comes in.
From classic black and white to more unique shades of copper and agouti, Siberian Huskies display a range of hues that set them apart from other breeds.
Whether you’re a seasoned Siberian Husky enthusiast or just discovering the breed for the first time, this article will provide you with a wealth of information about the various coloration of this breed. So, read on!
How Many Siberian Husky Colors Are There?
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), there are at least nine officially recognized Siberian Husky colors. The AKC acknowledges all allowable colors such as red, black, gray, agouti, sable, and white and their varying shades and combinations.
The following are the standard Siberian Husky colors as per the breed standards:
- Agouti & White
- Black & White
- Black Tan & White
- Brown & White
- Gray & White
- Red & White
- Sable & White
While certain colors and patterns are more common in the breed, some non-standard colors can also be exhibited by Siberian Huskies.
Nonetheless, this does not imply they cannot be registered or participate in canine shows. Per the AKC breed standard, all colors are allowed for Siberian Huskies except specific patterns, such as merle and brindle.
The following are the non-standard Siberian Husky colors:
- Black Gray & White
- Black & Tan
- Tan & White
Various Husky colors may be attributed to certain characteristics or traits. Read on to learn more about the characteristics that can influence your Husky’s physical appearance.
9 Standard Siberian Husky Colors
While there are many different coat colors and patterns that can occur in this breed, only a few are well-known. Here are the specific Husky colors that are stated on the AKC Siberian Husky breed standard.
1. Agouti and White Husky
Agouti is a pattern of several colors combined to create a look that usually gives a dog a wolf-like and wild appearance, hence called “wild” or “wolf-like” marking. The agouti colors can cover the full body of a Husky.
Typically, the Huskies with the agouti pattern have dark undercoats, while their outercoats have lighter hairs. The base of the overcoat hairs is darker and lighter toward the tip. This particular color of Husky is rare and may be quite costly.
2. Black Husky
The pure black Siberian Husky is considered a rare and impressive coloration, often eliciting feelings of intimidation and majesty. The color can range from a light gray to a dark, jet-black hue.
Although white patches may appear on the legs, face, chest, and tail tip, at least 75% of the dog’s body must be black to be classified as this color.
This white patch is due to the piebald gene, and Huskies without the said gene are nearly entirely black.
Even if a Husky’s coat is nearly all black, there may still be some white marks present in some areas of the body.
Furthermore, for it to be considered a pure black Siberian, it is essential that the nose, lips, and eye strokes are completely black.
3. Black and White Husky
This particular color pattern of Siberian Husky is considered to be the most common. A black and white Siberian Husky’s undercoat can be comprised of white, charcoal, beige, or a blend of these three hues.
The intensity of the black color can differ, resulting in a top coat that ranges from jet black to black and silvery dilution.
4. Black Tan and White Husky
The black tan and white coat of this particular Siberian, though it resembles the black gray and white coat, is distinguished by its various shades of tan.
These Huskies are extremely rare to encounter. They are listed under code 030 in the AKC, and their main body coat is black.
5. Brown and White Husky
This particular color of Husky, which replaces the black pigment with brown, is akin to the black and white-coated Siberian Husky.
The white coloring in the coat is typically found on the dog’s face, chest, and legs, and it provides a striking contrast to the brown fur.
Distinguishing between brown and white or red/copper Siberian Huskies is often difficult since it primarily depends on the intensity of the brown coloration on their coat.
6. Gray and White Husky
Similar to the agouti color, the upper coats and undercoats of gray and white Huskies have a range of colors.
Their gray coats can appear in different intensities, from a dark “wolf” gray and matte to a dilute gray that appears yellowish.
Another form of dilute gray seen in Siberian Husky is silver, the opposite of wolf gray. The silvery coat (almost blue tone) results from the complete restriction of the expression of the agouti gene.
Hence, red, tan, or beige is nonexistent, unlike that seen in wolf gray Husky.
7. Red and White Husky
The red and white color pattern is characterized by the absence of black hair on the coat. Huskies with this color pattern also possess liver-coated points. The red color can vary from a deep, almost brown-red to a light copper.
8. Sable and White Husky
Siberian Huskies also exhibit a rare color and pattern known as sable. Sable-coated Huskies are sometimes referred to as “black-nosed reds.”
These dogs are characterized by black points and tippings on their fur and are often mistaken for red Huskies due to their reddish undercoat and partially white outer coat.
While some sables may be born with a wolf-gray appearance, their red tone darkens as they age.
In contrast to wolf-gray coats, which have beige undercoats, sable-coated Siberian Huskies have undercoats in shades of orange, chocolate, or red, while the top layer of fur is red near the skin and black near the tip.
9. White Husky
A pure white Husky is considered the breed’s rarest color. A purebred white Siberian Husky commonly has blue eyes and is distinguished by black points, but it could also be liver-colored.
This coloration does not imply an albinism phenomenon. A recessive gene in Siberian Huskies causes their coat to be entirely white. A pure white Siberian has a silver or white undercoat.
My friend’s pure white adult Siberian Husky, Hugo, has always been mistaken for a Samoyed. They both look elegant in all-white coats, but Hugo is definitely smaller than a Samoyed. Hugo is also by no means an albino. He has all the marks of a Siberian Husky from head to tail.
Watch this video to see how adorable white Husky puppies look:
5 Non-Standard Siberian Husky Colors
While the following colors are labeled as non-standard, you should note that Huskies with these colors are still recognized by major kennel clubs and can participate in canine events and conformation shows.
They are only listed under non-standard because they are not explicitly stated on the breed standard since only the common and well-known colorations are listed.
However, as established in the previous sections, the AKC and other major canine organizations acknowledge all colors, shades, and combinations of the listed allowable colors. This is further emphasized by the International Siberian Husky Club (ISHC).
Here are the other Husky colors that you should see:
1. Black Gray and White Husky
Different shades of gray and black can be found throughout the body of a black gray and white Husky. Its head may also display distinctive markings.
The gray fur is typically found on the shoulders and sometimes on the back and sides. The white pigmentation is usually seen on the legs, chest, face, and sometimes on the tail.
2. Black and Tan Husky
Black and tan is a rare color combination in Siberian Huskies. Hence, breeders who specialize in this color combination frequently have exclusive access to them.
The black fur in the coat of a black and tan Husky is usually solid, with little to no white markings. The tan fur can range from a light cream color to a deeper red-brown hue.
The tan color is usually seen in distinct facial, leg, and chest markings, giving the dog a unique look.
This coloration is characterized by black fur on the dog’s back, sides, and tail and tan fur on the face, legs, and chest. The distribution of black and tan fur can vary between individual dogs, making each black and tan Husky unique.
3. Brown Husky
The coat of this Siberian Husky is a solid shade of brown with no presence of white throughout the body. This particular hue of Huskies is also one of the rarest to exist.
4. Tan Husky
Tan Huskies have no white showing in the abdominal area, and tan coloration covers their entire body. This shade of color is a diluted form of brown. Tan Huskies are not the rarest Husky variety but are not common either.
5. Tan and White Husky
The tan and white coat has the same diluted brown color as the tan coat. However, Huskies with this coat color usually have white patches on the chest, stomach, and on other parts of the body, such as the feet.
6 Siberian Husky Markings and Patterns
The coat colors listed above, combined with their unique markings, can result in an endless array of possible variations. But it doesn’t end there, as Huskies can also have a variety of possible markings.
Here are some coat patterns and markings that Huskies can exhibit:
1. Piebald (Pinto)
“Pinto” is the AKC-recognized term for piebald markings, manifesting as a dominant coat color covering most of the dog’s body, while one or two other colors form a spotted pattern.
The genetic makeup that results in such a pattern is associated with the mutation in the Microphthalmia Associated Transcription Factor (MATF) gene, which leads to random color deletion, resulting in the white spotting observed in piebald puppies.
Compared to a standard black and white Husky, the black spots in piebald Huskies are more prominent on the back, around the ears, and on the front legs and shoulders. The patches do not cover as much of the dog’s body.
Although they are often considered white, Huskies with only a small patch of coloration are technically classified as piebald. Piebald Huskies are also considered rare.
Just like piebald Huskies, a saddleback also has a distinctive and recognizable appearance. They have light-colored fur with a dark saddle area or a patch on their back. Huskies with this type of pattern are quite common.
This describes the black pigmentation on the skin surrounding the eyes, paw pads, and nose. This striking pattern makes the black-point Siberian Husky such a sought-after variety.
The black-point pattern is unique, often seen in Huskies with black and white coats. This pattern is eye-catching due to the breed’s thick, dense coat and wolf-like appearance.
The agouti pattern was already mentioned previously. This coat pattern gives off a wolf-like appearance, which can be attributed to the breed’s wolf lineage.
An agouti Husky has a top coat that is lighter in color than the undercoat. Meanwhile, its undercoat is dark colored, often black, brown, or gray, creating a stippling effect.
Siberian Huskies can also exhibit a less common coat color known as sable, which is characterized by black points and tips on the fur.
Due to their reddish undercoat and partially white outer coat, sable Huskies can be mistaken for red Huskies.
This particular color pattern has a dark red undercoat. The hairs of the top coat change in color intensity as they get closer to the tip, with a darker color at the tip and more copper-colored at the root.
Some sables may initially appear wolf-gray when they are born, but the red tone becomes more prominent as they mature.
6. Merle Husky
Merle Huskies have a mottled appearance with lighter-colored backgrounds and dark spots.
Although merle Huskies have a distinctive color pattern, the Siberian Husky Club of America expresses that this characteristic pattern is usually associated with several health concerns, specifically causing the double merle condition.
Merle Huskies are not considered purebreds since they possess the merle gene, which is believed to have been introduced into Huskies through mating with other breeds that already have the gene.
Siberian Husky Breed Standards & Disqualifications
By now, it is clearly understood that Huskies come in a fascinating spectrum of colors and markings, some being a little unusual. But, not all of these are accepted within the breed standards of Siberian Huskies.
In this section, we will go through the guidelines approved by the American Kennel Club and the Siberian Husky Club of America.
All colors of Siberian Husky that are permissible within the breed standards include black, gray, agouti, sable, red, and white. These colors may be a solid hue or may have different variations in shades.
Additionally, white markings are also acceptable. The breed standard recognizes a diverse range of markings and patterns, both symmetrical and asymmetrical, with piebald being a common example.
It’s crucial to mention that no particular color, marking, or pattern should be favored over others. Nevertheless, merle and brindle patterns are deemed unacceptable and will lead to disqualification.
Brindle is identified by the presence of individual hairs that alternate between darker and lighter shades, resulting in a unique vertical stripe pattern similar to that of a tiger.
It’s important to differentiate this from the horizontal banding on guard hairs and the undercoat that may create the impression of horizontal striping.
Siberian Husky Coat Color Genetics
The coat color of Huskies is determined by the interplay of multiple genes that code for the production of pigments in the hair follicles.
The two main types of pigments responsible for the fur color in dogs are eumelanin (black pigment) and pheomelanin (red/yellow pigment).
The expression of these pigments is influenced by several genes, each with different variants that determine the final fur color.
Symbols are frequently used to represent these genes. Listed below are a few instances of how genes affect coat colors:
|Gene||Effect on coat|
|Ag||Responsible for the agouti color of Huskies.|
|ach||Restricts the red and yellow color, giving a silver coat.|
|ay||Restricts dark pigment; produces sable or tan.|
|B||Represents the black color present on the pooch’s body.|
|b||Must be present for a brown coat to appear; accompanied by liver points.|
|cc||Results in total albinism; very rare in dogs. Only theoretically possible in Siberians.|
|D||Allow full color or is a color intensifier in its dominant form.|
|T||Total coat color. Provides the Husky with a uniform color all over.|
|ty||Responsible for the sable or dominant yellow coat color in Husky.|
|sp||Piebald factor. White typically covers the dog’s sides in length.|
|sw||When homozygous (swsw), it covers the entire coat, resulting in a pure white dog; it is a pattern, not a color.|
Understanding the role of genes in determining coat color is important for responsible breeding practices.
Breeders should carefully select mating pairs to ensure the offspring are healthy and have the desired coat color and pattern.
By doing so, breeders can help preserve the unique and beautiful coat colors of the Siberian Husky breed.
Do Siberian Husky Colors Affect Behavior and Health?
The color of a Siberian Husky does not directly impact its behavior. Behavior is primarily influenced by a dog’s training, socialization, genetics, and gender.
A well-trained and socialized Siberian, regardless of color, will generally be friendly and well-behaved.
As a Siberian Husky breeder for more than seven years, I have produced puppies of diverse colors, and I can attest that color does not have any effect on their behavior. In fact, even black and white puppies I produce coming from the same litter may differ in their temperaments.
Nonetheless, regarding health, some specific colors and coat patterns in Huskies have been associated with certain genetic health issues.
For example, blue eyes in a Siberian Husky have been linked to an increased risk of blindness and other eye problems. Meanwhile, the merle coat pattern has been associated with hearing loss and other health issues.
However, it is important to note that these health issues are not solely related to color and can occur in dogs of any color. Many dogs with blue eyes or merle coats are perfectly healthy.
Do Siberian Husky Puppies Change Colors as They Grow?
Yes, it is possible for Siberian Husky puppies to change colors as they grow. Coat color can sometimes lighten or darken as dogs mature. This is due to various factors, including genetics, diet, and environmental conditions.
Typically, Husky pups are born with soft, fluffy coats that frequently have darker tones coursing through them.
You may notice that markings that were originally black have changed to a pale gray hue during their first shedding season.
Sun exposure is a lesser-recognized cause of color change in Siberian Husky puppies. Long periods in the sun can also result in fur lightening.
Although this change may revert if you reduce their sun exposure, it can sometimes be permanent in certain instances.
However, it’s important to note that not all Siberian Huskies will experience a change in fur color, and it is impossible to predict when or how the coat will change. The extent of the color change can also vary from dog to dog.
What Color Will My Siberian Husky Puppy Be?
The genetics of coat color in Siberian Huskies is complex and involves multiple genes. As a result, it is often difficult to predict the exact coat color of a Siberian Husky puppy with certainty.
The coat color of a Siberian pooch can be quite diverse and ranges from solid black to solid white, with many variations in between. In some cases, a puppy’s coat color may change as it grows and matures.
If you’re interested in getting a specific coat color for your Husky puppy, it’s best to consult with a reputable breeder who has experience breeding the breed and can provide guidance on coat colors and patterns.
They will be able to give you a better idea of the potential coat color of a litter based on the parents’ color.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Fully Brown Huskies Rare?
Yes, fully brown Siberian Huskies are considered to be rare. Brown is not a common coat color in the breed, although it can occur.
It is important to note that Siberians’ brown coloring is caused by a recessive gene frequently called “liver” or “chocolate.”
This means that a puppy must inherit two copies of the gene (one from each parent) to be totally brown.
A puppy will not be brown if it just receives one copy of the gene, although it may carry the trait and pass it on to its offspring.
What Is the Rarest Husky Color?
The white Siberian Husky is considered to be the rarest of all colors, while piebald Huskies display the rarest color pattern.
Compared to most light-colored Huskies with some brown or black markings, a white Husky should be entirely white. They often have blue eyes, although some can have brown or bi-color eyes.
It is important to note that dogs of this coat are not albinos.
What Is the Most Common Husky Color?
While no single “most common” color exists for this breed, the gray and white Husky is one of the most popular and recognizable coat combinations.
The specific pattern and distribution of these colors can vary greatly from dog to dog, making each gray and white Husky unique.
Siberian Huskies are known for their distinctive coat colors, markings, and patterns.
Aside from the most common colors of this breed, such as gray & white, black & white, and red & white, Huskies still have a wide variety of other colors and patterns they can exhibit.
Siberian Huskies are loved for their unique personalities, intelligence, and playfulness, regardless of their coat color.
They are loyal and affectionate dogs that make excellent pets for families and individuals willing to give them the exercise and attention they need.
Which Siberian Husky color captivated you the most? Let us know in the comments below!