A Husky’s eyes are often striking and beautiful, with irises that really stand out! There are quite a few misconceptions about them, especially when it comes to their color.
Here’s your guide to Husky eye colors!
What Colors Are Husky Eyes?
Husky eyes can be blue, brown, or a combination of the two through bi-eyed coloring or parti-eyed coloring. In rare cases, they may also be green, but this is not an officially recognized Husky eye color.
The Available Eye Colors for Huskies
The iconic blue eyes of Huskies are probably what you think of most when considering the eyes of Huskies. These eyes can differ in shade from a light, ice-like color to a deeper blue hue.
Some blue eyes are so light that they almost appear white!
Blue-eyed Huskies usually have a very obvious dark ring around their eyes, which often makes them look fierce. They serve a practical, biological purpose, helping these dogs to reduce glare and light from snow reflections and direct sunlight.
But why do Huskies have blue eyes?
Studies suggest that this is because of a genetic mutation.
Specifically, to get Huskies to be a uniform and “pure” breed, there’s a lack of genetic variance among dogs of the species. This lends itself to a heightened chance of chromosomal duplication, which is what happened with Huskies.
Specifically, it’s the 18th chromosome that is duplicated in Huskies with blue eyes.
This mutation happens near a specific gene that codes proteins. This gene, called ALX4, is associated with skeletal development, too.
Ultimately, this duplication causes a decreased amount of melanin in a dog’s genes, meaning that lighter colors in fur and eyes are more likely!
Many people falsely believe that brown-eyed Huskies aren’t purebred, but this couldn’t be further from the truth!
Not only is this an officially recognized Husky eye color, but it also accounts for 40% of the dogs of this breed.
As with blue eyes, brown eyes on huskies come in several hues. There are some brown eyes so rich and dark that people mistake them for being black.
Other huskies may have lighter amber or hazel eyes, and plenty more have eyes in between those two extremes. The pupils can sometimes make the brown shade appear darker, too.
A Husky’s brown eyes can also be mistaken for red eyes. There’s a myth that Huskies can have red eyes, but this is completely false. In reality, these are simply brown eyes that look unusual because of lighting or photographic issues.
Green eyes are not officially recognized by the American Kennel Club when it comes to a Husky’s eye color. This is due to how extremely rare the hue is.
Despite being unique, this color isn’t associated with any eye or vision problems and is completely safe for a dog.
Many huskies have greenish eyes as puppies, especially if their eyes start as blue and progressively darken over time. Green is the middle ground of that transition. This eye shade may have different hues but are often hard to completely differentiate from more common colors.
There’s no official consensus on why or how green eyes happen for Huskies, but it’s theorized that this happens when the eyes don’t fully complete the transition from blue to brown.
It’s worth noting that we are yet to have any proper science that explains the phenomenon!
Bi-eyed Huskies are immensely popular, and you’ve likely seen plenty of these dogs posted all over Instagram. This means that the dogs have two different colored eyes, usually blue and brown.
It’s almost unheard of for a husky to have one green eye when they’re bi-eyed.
Heterochromia isn’t associated with any negative effects on vision or eye physiology, so there’s no harm to this unusual appearance.
Bi-eyed Huskies are even officially recognized by the American Kennel Club, though they’re not officially accepted if one of the eyes is green.
Parti-eyed Huskies are extremely unique. This coloring means that one eye has more than one color in its iris.
For example, a Husky’s left eye might be a blend of brown and blue colors that are distinct from each other. Most of the time, these different hues meet around the eye’s sides.
For many other dog breeds, parti eye colorings are indicative of a mixed or merle breed. In Huskies, this is not the case, and even purebred dogs can have these eyes.
In fact, this is an officially recognized purebred Husky characteristic.
Due to how striking parti-eyed Huskies look, some people falsely believe that the coloring indicates a vision problem. But, like all other recognized Husky eye colors, this is not associated with any actual eye issues.
Why Do Some Huskies Have Different Colored Eyes?
Eye color is determined by the distribution of melanin, which is the component of pigmentation, in an animal’s body. High melanin produces darker colors while low melanin creates lighter colors.
Different-colored eyes, such as bi-eyed and parti-eyes, occur due to the genetic phenomenon of heterochromia. This is a completely natural occurrence and is not a sign of any poor health.
Heterochromia can occur in virtually any animal species and is even a feature in humans!
When it comes to domestic animals, it’s believed that heterochromia occurs due to genetic mutation because of a lack of genetic diversity.
This is because the genes meant to distribute melanin through the 8-HTP pathway have become mutated, effectively “corrupted” in a way due to the homogeneity of chromosomes in the breed.
In other words, melanin isn’t distributed in the way that it’s supposed to be, which results in uneven colors. The pigmentation, therefore, is more common in purebreds, as it’s caused by overly similar genetics in the bloodline.
However, do note that it is possible for a dog – or any species of animal – to develop heterochromia due to disease or injury.
With that being said, a vast majority of Huskies will have this quality due to genetics, not for any negative reason!
Do Husky Eyes Change Colors With Age?
All dogs eye color changes with age, and Huskies are no exception. They start life with bright, light blue eyes that darken and change over time until they reach the color that they’re meant to be.
The transition from the lightest blue to the more final color typically begins when Husky puppies are somewhere between the ages of five and eight weeks. This change is quite gradual and may not be noticeable at first.
At about 12 to 16 weeks, you’ll be able to see what the final eye color of the Husky will be as it settles in. Eye color may still change and shift until the Husky is about six months old.
Changes beyond six months often indicate a risk of an eye issue and should receive a vet’s attention.
Are Blue-Eyed Huskies Rare?
Blue eyes are one of the two most common eye colors for Huskies. They exist in approximately 40% of the breed, tying for first place with brown eyes. This comes as a surprise to many, as the beautiful and striking blue shade seems so unique and rare.
Meanwhile, bi-eyed Huskies make up around 15% of all of the breed. Parti-eyed Huskies come in last place, with just 5% of the breed being made up of this unusual coloring.
Green eyes aren’t really included in percentage calculations of Husky eye colors because they’re not officially recognized. A rough estimate would suggest that, after adjusting other percentages to include them, they’d account for about 5% of the Husky breed.
Are All Huskies Born With Blue Eyes?
Yes, all Huskies are born with blue eyes. If you really want a Husky with blue eyes, you shouldn’t get your hopes up too much when you see those lovely light eyes in a young puppy.
To guarantee a Husky’s eye color, you’ll need to adopt or otherwise obtain dogs that are above the age of six months.
How Can You Tell A Husky Puppy’s Final Eye Color?
The gradual change of a Husky puppy’s eye color can make it hard to determine what its final color will be. Your best bet is to simply wait for the change to finish, but if you want to try predicting it, it’s a little tricky and isn’t guaranteed to be accurate.
When your puppy is about eight weeks old, take your dog outside into the sunlight. The natural light will make it easier to carefully examine your puppy’s eyes. You should be able to see some sign of the genuine eye tint that your Husky’s eyes will take.
You can also make an inference or prediction based on the rest of your Husky’s coloring. Light fur can indicate a higher chance for light eyes, and vice versa.
Finally, if you know the eye color of a Husky’s parents, you’ll be able to guess what eye color the puppy will end up having.
Do note, though, that Huskies with brown eyes can be born to parents with blue eyes because blue eyes are a recessive gene.
Huskies have eyes that are brown, blue, or somewhere between the two. Their gorgeous eyes can be traced back to their long genetic history. Given how common the coloring is, it seems that the bright blue eyes of Huskies will remain iconic for a long time to come!