Why Do Huskies Have Blue Eyes? (Facts & Genetics Explained!)

Siberian Husky with blue eyes resting on the grass

When we think of Huskies, we instantly picture a Husky with piercing blue eyes. This eye-catching feature has won many hearts but also left a lot of dog enthusiasts curious. So, what exactly causes the Husky’s eyes to appear blue?

Huskies can have an array of eye colors, but blue is the most common and popular hue. Of course, we’re not just talking about one shade of blue. 

You can expect these dogs’ blue eyes to come in a pale bluish-white to deep-sea blue color, with slight hints of silver, grey, and seafoam.

To understand how Huskies dogs’ blue eyes came to be, read this comprehensive guide. Here, you’ll find amazing facts about their striking blue eyes. Let’s start!

How Do Siberian Huskies Get Their Blue Eyes?

Husky with blue eyes during morning walk

After years of studying the Husky breed, scientists found a link between the dog’s genetics and eye color. 

According to a study published in PLOS Genetics, blue eyes are more dominant in Siberian Huskies as compared to other breeds that also exhibit blue eyes.

However, it still remains unclear why Huskies frequently have blue eyes when born. 

To get to the bottom of it, researchers at Embark Veterinary conducted a DNA study of around 6,000 canines. The Husky owners were asked to do an online survey to answer some questions and share photos of their dogs.

After accumulating vast data, they came up with an analysis that revealed that blue-eyed Huskies result from a genetic tweak wherein the canine chromosome 18, located near the ALX4 gene, is duplicated. This particular gene plays a significant role in the development of a dog’s eyes.

According to Aaron Sams of Embark, the duplication of chromosome 18 can alter the expression of the ALX4 gene, resulting in the suppression of genes involved in eye pigmentation. 

Much like a dilution gene affects coat color, this genetic change dilutes the eye pigment to have a blue coloring.

In fact, the blue color we perceive in Husky’s eyes is actually just an illusion. According to a geneticist named Kristopher Irizarry of Western University, the genetic mutation causes the melanin levels in the eye to decrease. 

This mutation causes the eyes to essentially become colorless, but because of how the light enters and exits the eyes, we see a blue eye color instead.

Do All Huskies Have Blue Eyes?

According to estimates, around 40% of the Husky population have this enchanting eye color. Some have light blue eyes, while others have deeper shades.

Unlike with other breeds where eye color is heavily linked to coat color, with Huskies, you can observe blue eyes in many coat color variants of the breed. In other words, blue eyes are seen in light- and dark-coated Huskies.

On the other hand, while many Siberian Huskies have blue eyes, Huskies can also sport other eye colors. In fact, the majority of the Husky population does not retain their blue eyes once they reach adulthood. 

With a decade of experience in breeding Siberian Huskies, many of my black and white puppies sport blue eyes, while my red and copper Huskies usually have brown-colored eyes. In some instances, they are also heterochromatic or have two eye colors.

However, I have personally observed that most of the brightness of the blue color vanishes into a lighter shade as they mature further.

Aside from the mesmerizing blue shade, green is also a possible eye color for the Husky.

Are Blue-Eyed Huskies Rare?

Husky with blue eyes with snow covered trees in the background

Blue eyes have always been considered rare in the canine world. However, for Huskies, it’s a different story. Having blue eyes is quite common for Siberian Huskies. 

The Husky’s blue eye color has always been one of its most striking features. Since this is a dominant trait in this breed, many Huskies you’ll see will have this eye color.

Aside from the Siberian Husky, Border Collies, Great Danes, Australian Shepherds, and Dachshunds, Pitbulls, among others, are breeds that sport blue-colored eyes.

What Does a Blue-Eyed Husky Look Like?

A blue-eyed Husky is a captivating dog with a wolf-like appearance. The eyes are almond-shaped and moderately spaced, bearing a rich blue or light blue color. 

There is also a ring of dark skin surrounding the eyes that can deflect sun rays and glare from ice and snow.

As for other physical attributes, the American Kennel Club (AKC) sets the standards for the Siberian Husky’s appearance.

The Siberian Husky’s muzzle is medium in length, while the nose can either be black or liver depending on the coat color. The ears are large in proportion to their head and not strongly erect.

In terms of physique, the Husky’s body is compact, suggesting a good balance between power, speed, and endurance. 

Their thick coat is also well-furred, and the tail is sickle-shaped, which indicates the breed’s Northern heritage.

Blue-eyed Huskies can be just about any standard breed color ranging from black to white. They may be solid-colored or any color combination. 

Here are the common coat colors of blue-eyed Husky dogs:

Blue-Eyed Black and White Husky

Black and white Husky with blue eyes walking in the woods

Black and white is the most common color combination for blue-eyed Huskies. This color is what we instantly think of when a Husky is mentioned. 

Interestingly, the black and white Husky is a coat color variant that often gets diluted or washed down as the dog ages. Hence, many black and white Huskies will appear lighter once they are fully mature.

Blue-Eyed Grey and White Husky

Grey and white Husky with blue eyes exploring in the fields

This color variety often appears as silver with a slight bluish tinge. Huskies with a grey and white coat will usually have a different-colored top coat and undercoat that accentuates the eye color even more. 

As with most Huskies, this color variant has a darker coat around its neck area and behind its ears. However, given its close resemblance with the agouti Husky, this pooch is often misrecognized by untrained eyes.

Blue-Eyed Red and White Husky

Red and white Husky with blue eyes on a leash

The red and white Husky is another color variation that can have blue eyes. The coat on these dogs can either be deep red, copper, or cream. This rare color is also sometimes referred to as chocolate or brown.

Red and white Huskies with blue eyes are one of the most desirable Husky variants. This is understandable, given the unique contrast between their eye colors and their top coat.

Blue-Eyed White Husky

White Husky with blue eyes face profile

Another rare Husky color that can also be blue-eyed dogs is the white Husky. It’s more common to see a white Husky with black splotches, but a pure white Husky is a rare gem. 

This rare pooch is among the few solid color variations of the Husky breed. Other solid colors of the breed are pure black Huskies and brown Huskies. 

To see blue-eyed Huskies in action, watch this video below:

Super Fluffy Blue Eyed Huskies!!!

Do Husky Puppies Change Their Eye Color as They Grow?

A Husky puppy’s eye color is expected to change as it matures. Almost all Siberian Huskies are born with blue eyes, which later transform into another color depending on the pup’s genetics.

At about 5 to 8 weeks old, the Husky’s rich blue eyes will start transitioning to another color. By the time they reach 12 to 16 weeks old, Huskies will have developed their final eye color.

Of course, there are Huskies whose eyes stay blue until their adult years. These are the true blue-eyed Huskies. However, there are cases when the color change happens later, at six months old. 

If your Husky initially has brown eyes that turn blue after six months old, it could be a sign of cataracts. You should consult a veterinarian if noticeable color changes continue after this period.

Are Huskies With Blue Eyes Healthy Dogs?

Husky with blue eyes face profile

A common misconception about blue-eyed Huskies is that they are more prone to develop genetic eye problems than other Huskies. However, this claim is not backed up by any evidence-based data. They live as long as normal Huskies do, reaching about 12 to 14 years old.

In general, Siberian Huskies can inherit several eye defects regardless of their eye color. 

Some of the common issues encountered by blue-eyed Huskies are as follows:

  • Juvenile Cataracts: This type of cataract is inherited, and it develops during puppyhood. Juvenile cataracts cause the eye lenses to become opaque, causing vision problems. Surgery is often done to treat severe cases.
  • Corneal Dystrophy: This is a collective term used to describe a set of eye defects that causes the cornea to become cloudy. There are three forms of corneal dystrophy — epithelial, stromal, and endothelial. Each of these types has different clinical signs and treatment procedures.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): This refers to a group of degenerative diseases that affect the eyes’ photoreceptor cells. As PRA progresses, it can lead to permanent blindness. Purebred Siberian Huskies and mixed breeds are more likely to suffer from this condition.

It is recommended to have your blue-eyed Husky checked by a vet ophthalmologist as early as puppyhood. Yearly eye screening should also be performed to detect any signs of eye diseases early on.

How Much Does a Husky With Blue Eyes Cost? Puppy Prices & Expenses

A blue-eyed Husky will cost no different than your average Siberian Husky. Since they are not a rare or special type of Husky, you can expect the price range of a blue-eyed Husky puppy to be anywhere between $750 and $3,000

The price is much higher if the puppy has a rare solid color like white, black, or brown.

Dog owners should also consider the initial expenses that come with owning a Husky with blue eyes. If you want a clear breakdown of the initial expenses of owning a Husky, refer to the table below:

Type of ExpenseCost
Food and Treats$70 – $110
Bowls$10 – $30
Toys$30 – $60
Beds$40 – $200
Collars and Leashes$15 – $50
Crates and Carriers$50 – $370
Grooming Essentials$50 – $160
Initial Vet Visits$100 – $500
Initial Vaccine Shots$50 – $300
Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications$40 – $300
Neutering or Spaying$50 – $500
Microchipping$40 – $60
Dog License$10 – $20
Other Essentials$20 – $50
Total Initial Cost$505 – $2,710

Take note that the computed total initial cost is just an estimate. You might end up spending more or less than this amount depending on the prices in your area. 

Places to Find Siberian Huskies With Blue Eyes for Sale and Adoption

Blue eyed Husky puppy resting on a rug

There are several ways to acquire a Siberian Husky puppy with blue eyes. The most common way is to buy from a Siberian Husky breeder. However, because of internet scams, it can be hard to identify which breeder you can trust.

To help you find the right Husky puppy, here are some reputable Husky breeders that offer blue-eyed Huskies:

  • Kingdom Kennel – This is a breeding kennel located in Mississippi that offers CKC and AKC-registered puppies and adult Huskies. They offer puppies in all standard colors, including those with blue eyes. They provide a contract and health guarantee upon purchase.
  • Husky Palace – This is a kennel operated by two families that are passionate about the Siberian Husky breed. All future buyers are subjected to a spay/neuter legal agreement. At seven months old, the puppy purchased must be altered. 
  • Burnsberg Kennels – This is another breeder that specializes in breeding purebred AKC puppies, which are genetically tested for congenital disabilities and diseases. They offer a three-year health guarantee to all of their customers. They can also provide shipping worldwide and across states.

Due to high demand, you might not be able to get the pup of your dreams from these breeders. You may want to try adoption instead.

Below are some shelters and rescues where you may find Husky puppies with blue eyes:

  • Delaware Valley Siberian Husky Rescue (DVSHR) – After 25 years of operation, this rescue has rescued over 2,500 dogs. Their region of service includes eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland. All of their rescued Huskies receive proper assessment, medical treatment, vaccinations, and even obedience training.
  • Texas Husky Rescue – This foster-based rescue started in 2009 with the goal of rescuing 30 dogs from an animal shelter. Over the years, they have saved 2,100 Huskies and counting. All of their dogs are spayed and neutered prior to adoption.
  • Northern Exposure Siberian Husky Rescue (NESHR) – If you are from New Jersey or nearby areas, you can easily adopt a blue-eyed Husky from this rescue. They aim to promote the breed’s health and well-being as well as educate the public about responsible Husky ownership.

If the rescue groups mentioned are not within your location, you can visit local shelters nearby. Additionally, you may scour Facebook and Instagram for breeders and rescues.

Other Dog Breeds That Have Blue Eyes

Icy-colored eyes are the trademark of Siberian Huskies, but they aren’t the only dogs that can exhibit this eye color. 

Here is a list of dog breeds that can have blue eyes:

  • Pembroke Welsh Corgi
  • Old English Sheepdog
  • Border Collie
  • Australian Shepherd
  • Weimaraner
  • Dachshund
  • Great Dane
  • Catahoula Leopard Dogs
  • Alaskan Klee Kai
  • American Pitbull Terrier

Unlike Huskies, most of these dogs have blue eyes as a recessive trait. Other dogs, like Australian Shepherds, can only express blue coloring in their eyes when they carry the merle gene. This gene is responsible for “merle” or “piebald” coats.

All Possible Eye Color Variations of Siberian Huskies

Aside from their fascinating ocean eyes, there are other Husky eye colors you should know about. 

Brown and green are two of the other solid colors they can have. Other Huskies can be bi-colored or even parti-colored.

To understand these eye colors better, refer to the following sections for a more in-depth description of each eye color. 

Brown Eyes

Husky with brown eyes up close

Brown is a common Husky eye color. The brown coloring varies from deep brown to a light hazel shade. Many people confuse the dark brown color for black, but it’s only the Husky’s pupil blending in with the brown tint.

Surprising as it may sound, two blue-eyed Husky parents can produce brown-eyed puppies. This is because the gene for brown is also dominant.

Green Eyes

Husky with green eyes close up

Green is not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) as a standard eye color for Huskies. In fact, this is very rare for this breed. It is believed that some Husky puppies don’t complete their transition phase, resulting in green eye coloring.

Bi-Colored Eyes

Husky with bi color eyes

We’re quite used to seeing dogs with eyes of the same color. However, there are bi-eyed Huskies which are known for having different colored eyes or heterochromia. It is estimated that around 15% of this breed can have this feature.

The bi-eyed Husky’s eye color is different for each eye. The most common pairing is having one brown eye and one blue eye. Blue and green eyes are the rarest combination.

Parti-Colored Eyes

Siberian Husky with parti colored eyes

Huskies can also have parti-colored eyes. This means that one eye has two different colors. For example, a Husky can have a combination of blue and brown in a single eye while the other is solid blue.

Parti eyes make a Husky look unique and sometimes even freakish. However, despite being a rare eye color, it is not associated with any health risks.

Frequently Asked Questions

Blue eyed Husky sitting on snow

Can a Husky Have Two Colors in the Same Eye?

Yes, Huskies can have two colors in a single eye. These are called parti-colored eyes or split eyes. One eye can have brown and blue hues, while the other is a solid color like blue or brown.

What Is the Most Common Husky Eye Color?

The most common eye color in Huskies is blue and brown. Around 40% of Huskies have blue eyes. The same goes for brown eyes. Most blues have an icy shade, while browns are always dark. 

What Is the Rarest Husky Eye Color?

Parti-colored eyes are the rarest Husky eye color. Only around 5% of Huskies have this two-toned shade. One eye has a combination of two colors which are often blended near the side of the eye.

How to Determine the Eye Color of a Siberian Husky?

The best way to determine the eye color of a Husky is by waiting until they develop its permanent eye color. 

This usually happens between 12 and 16 weeks old. You can then take them outside and check their eye color using natural light.

Final Thoughts

Many pet owners consider a dog’s coat color important, but with Huskies, you might want to look into their eye color. Husky eyes come in many beautiful hues, but blue is one of the most intriguing shades.

While most dog breeds have blue eyes as a recessive trait, Huskies have the dominant gene for blue eyes. That’s why you can find this eye color on almost every Husky you encounter, even Husky mixes.

Contrary to popular belief, blue eyes are not bad for Huskies. Most of the time, it doesn’t indicate any eye defects or diseases. It only means you are getting a dog with a mesmerizing gaze.

So, are you getting this blue-eyed pooch soon? Let us know your thoughts about the blue-eyed Husky in the comments below.

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