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Coat and Eye Colors of the Siberian Husky

 

Siberian huskies may have many different colors and markings.

The breed standard for the Siberian husky states, “All colors from black to pure white are allowed. A variety of marking on the head is common, including many striking patterns not found in other breeds.”

The following descriptions include photos of dogs that we have bred or owned and the colors and shades approved by the Board of Directors of the Siberian Husky Club of America, the source of which I found at SHCA Coat Color Identification Guidelines.

 

Black and White

Shades:

 

Jet Black

Guard coat is solid black, the individual guard hair is monochrome (not banded) black from root to tip. Single white guard hairs appear occasionally. The undercoat is black or more frequently dark grey. The jet black coat is frequently accompanied by great depth of black pigment on pads and roof of mouth.

Below, Boomer is jet black. Her undercoat is charcoal. In the summer, the sun turns the black hairs on her topline and tail a reddish brown color, not to be confused with true red.

 

 

Black

Guard hairs are banded with some amount of white near roots. Single white guard hairs appear more frequently. Undercoat may be lighter than is seen in the jet black coat while some buff-colored hairs may be found in the lower stifle and in the vicinity of the ears. The dog gives the impression of having a black and white coat but without the depth of pigmentation found in the jet black coat.

Below, Starbuck (Boomer’s sister) is black and white. Her undercoat is white:

 

 

Dilute Black

Guard hairs are banded with the whitish cast extending substantially from the root and tipped with black. Undercoat has a whitish cast. Dog appears to be black on head and along spine while shorter guard coat along flanks produces a silver effect.

Below, Arrow (Boomer and Starbuck’s mother) is dilute black and white Siberian husky:

 

Almost all Black

The Siberian husky puppy below, Odin, is almost all black. He has white on his chest and toes:

 

 

Gray and White

Shades:

 

Silver Gray

Guard hair is banded with various tones of white and minimal black tipping, with no red or yellow tones (no allowance of the agouti gene). The undercoat is of a whitish cast. The effect produced is a silver shade of gray on head, back, and flanks, with only minimal darkening along spine.

Below, Bailey was a silver gray Siberian husky:

 

Gray

The guard hair is banded with cream and/or buff tones near the root with black tipping. The light undercoat is toned to give the dog a yellowish-gray cast (some allowance of the agouti gene but not to its fullest extent).

Below, Gienah is a gray and white Siberian husky:

 

Wolf Gray

The guard hair is banded with buff tones near the root with black tipping. The undercoat is beige or cream colored. The cream tones of the undercoat combine to give the dog a brownish-gray cast (allowance of the agouti gene).

Below, Winner was a wolf gray Siberian husky. His undercoat was cream colored:

 

Red and White:

Always associated with liver “points” (nose, lips, and eye rims cannot be black) and complete absence of black hairs. Light, medium, and dark may be specified, determined by the amount of solid color banding on guard.

The red gene is recessive.

Below, Trigger is a light shade of red and white:

Below, McKenzie is a medium shade of red and white. Her undercoat is white:

Below, Kermit was a dark shade of red and white. His undercoat was also red:

 

Sable and White:

The guard hair is banded with a reddish cast near the root with black tipping. Undercoat is reddish-copper. Always accompanied by black points; this color gives the dog a reddish cast and is not to be confused with wolf gray.

 

Agouti and White:

The guard hair is banded with black near the root and at the tip with a yellow or beige band at the center of the hair. Undercoat is dark gray or charcoal. Defined as the "wild color," it is most frequently seen in wild rodents.

Agouti Siberian huskies are rare. Often wolf gray Siberians are mistaken for Agouti.

 

Solid White:

The guard hair appears to be either monochrome (not banded) or banded with pale cream tinges at the root of an otherwise white hair. An occasional black guard hair may appear.  

The undercoat is solid white.

This coat color results from either an extreme piebald factor or an extreme dilution factor and as a result may be accompanied by either black or liver points.

Genetically, a white Siberian may be black, gray, or red.

The white gene is recessive.

Mark, below, was almost solid white. He was mostly white with little black spots on the back of his ears, and a couple very small black spots on his body:

 

 

Piebald:

Piebald is a color pattern.

The piebald gene is recessive.

Below, Husker is white with black piebald Siberian husky:

 

 

There are no “Merle” Siberian huskies.

Merle “Siberians” are mislabeled or falsely registered with the AKC as “piebald.”

Click here to learn the SHCA’s statement on merle Siberian huskies

 

 

Coat Types:

The coat of the Siberian is double and medium in length, giving a well-furred appearance, but is never so long as to obscure the clean-cut outline of the dog.

A long, rough, or shaggy coat is a fault in the breed standard.

 

Wooly Coat:

A long and soft coat.

A Siberian with a wooly coat type is referred to as a “wooly.”

A wooly coat is a fault in the breed because the coat type is undesirable and even dangerous for a working sled dog.

A wooly coat is a recessive trait.

 

Eye Colors:

Eyes may be brown or blue in color. Siberians may be bi-eyed or have parti-colored eyes.

 

Brown Eyes:

 

Amber Eyes

Red huskies have amber eyes instead of brown

 

Blue Eyes:

 

Bi-Eyed

(One of each color)

 

Parti-Colored Eyes

(One eye is two colors)

One or both eyes may be parti-colored.

 

Siberians cannot have green eyes.

All Siberian puppies are born with blue eyes. A puppy’s eyes sometimes appear green before they change to brown.

 

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