Surely, you have dreamed of owning a Siberian Husky after watching some dog-themed movies like Togo and Call of the Wild. I can’t blame you. Huskies have their own charm despite being tagged as great escapers.
They are useful working dogs and are very affectionate towards their owners. Their wolf-like appearance is also something that many are fascinated with.
But among all these characteristics, what I really find interesting about Huskies is their eye color.
The usual eye color of Siberian Huskies is brown and blue. However, because of a condition called the Heterochromia, some pups’ eyes are bi-colored or parti-colored. There are also some Huskies who possess green eyes, which are considered very rare.
In this article, I will explain in detail the different Husky eye colors, including the unusual ones.
I will also discuss some eye defects that this canine breed can get afflicted with. Whether or not you want to own this pup, I’m sure you’ll enjoy reading this guide.
All Husky Eye Color Variations (With Pictures)
The Siberian Husky’s distinctive almond eyes come in different colors, as I mentioned a while ago. Let us explore each tint in this section.
Blue is probably the most known eye color of a Husky, and it is recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). It gives this breed a distinct look that many people find striking.
Some pups have deep blue eyes, while others have a light icy shade that is almost white in color. This is why some pet owners claim that there are white-eyed Huskies, when in fact, what they actually see is a bright tone of blue.
Most blue-eyed Huskies have a noticeable ring of dark skin that outlines their eyes. This gives the impression that they are fiercer than most blue-eyed breeds.
But aside from the aesthetic function of this ring, it helps the Huskies deflect the sun, the glare of the snow, and some other reflection that affects their sight.
Brown is another standard color of Husky eyes that is recognized by the AKC. Even if both the Husky parents have blue eyes, their offspring can be brown-eyed because their genes are not recessive.
This often causes confusion, especially for those who are not knowledgeable about dog genetics.
Just like the blue tint, the brown coloring of a Husky’s eyes has different shades. It ranges from a light hazel tone to a rich dark brown color.
A lot of people are fooled by the dark brown shade because they thought it was black. What they didn’t realize is that it only blends with Husky’s black pupil making it appear as if they are black-eyed dogs.
Green-eyed Siberian Huskies are not very common. In fact, the green coloring is not included in AKC’s breed standard for this pup.
Some pet owners claim that they own this very rare Husky variety, and this is possible because of green signals the transition of a young pup’s blue eyes into brown. Some dogs did not finish the transition phase, which results in green eye coloring.
Some Siberian Huskies are bi-eyed. In other words, the color of their eyes is different from one another.
The most common combination is blue and brown but it is possible to have green and brown or blue and green combinations although they are very rare.
Despite being unusual, the green eye tind doesn’t signal any eye problem because this is only a result of Heterochromia, which I will be discussing later in this guide.
Huskies are also known to have parti-colored eyes. This is when a single eye has two different colors, for instance, a combination of blue and brown, which is often blended near the side of the eye.
Like the other colors mentioned in this guide, this doesn’t indicate any defects and pups. This eye coloring is entirely normal despite being rare.
You can also watch the video below to learn about all the eye color variations of the Siberian Husky.
Eye Color Percentage for Husky: What Is the Rarest Eye Color for Husky?
Maybe you are wondering which among the eye colors I discussed in the former section is the rarest. Well, you might have guessed it right.
Even though bi-eyed Huskies are uncommon, they are not as rare as the green-eyed and parti-eyed pups. You may refer to the table below to find out the Husky eye color percentage.
Husky Eye Color Percentage Blue 40% Brown 40% Green 5% Bi-eyed 10% Parti 5%
Based on the presented percentage above, it is noticeable that blue and brown-eyed Huskies are the standard colors. They are usually sold by reputable breeders and are found in most shelters and rescues.
Meanwhile, if you are looking for a green-eyed pup or those who have multiple-colored eyes, expect that you will need to pay more because they are hard to find.
Can Huskies Have Red Eyes?
Some people love antagonizing Siberian Huskies by claiming that this breed’s eyes suddenly turn red. To end this issue, let me say once and for all that Huskies don’t have devil red eyes.
It is quite impossible for the Husky’s eye color to change once it reaches its permanent shade.
There may be times that it will appear red, but this is only a trick of the light, or you are only noticing the red blood cells inside their eyes that become visible when they look directly at a light source.
If the red tint in their eyes did not disappear and you already ruled out that it isn’t a shade of brown, you should bring your Husky to a veterinarian.
They may have acquired a specific eye problem like conjunctivitis, corneal ulcers, glaucoma, or uveitis. It is also possible that they got red eyes through an injury.
Do Husky Puppies Eyes Change Colors as They Grow?
Just like any other dog, the eye color of a Siberian Husky also changes as they mature. Almost all of them are born with bright blue eyes, which later transforms into another color depending on melanin concentration and, of course, genetics.
Their eyes can remain blue or turn brown, which are the usual colors of Husky eyes. They can also acquire the unique tint of being bi-eyed and parti-eyed which are favorite subjects of dog photographers.
Meanwhile, some of them won’t finish transitioning to the brown coloring and will get stuck in a green shade.
At What Age Do Huskies Eyes Stop Changing?
At 5 to 8 weeks, the bright blue color of your Husky’s eyes will start changing until it settles into permanent eye color. Do not celebrate yet if you are dreaming of a blue-eyed pup because chances are, it might still change.
When your Husky has finally reached 12 to 16 weeks, their final eye color is already visible. However, some pups still change eye-coloring until they are six months old, so you need to be patient.
In case there is a noticeable eye-color change in your Husky after they reached the 6th-month mark, you should bring them to the veterinarian to get checked. This may be a sign of an eye problem, and it would be better to cure it in its early stages.
Husky Eye Genetics: Why Do Huskies Have Different Colored Eyes?
I am sure you are intrigued by why Huskies have different colored eyes. In this section, let me explain the reason behind such phenomena and why you do not have to worry about your Husky’s eye health.
Heterochromia is responsible for the different eye coloring of Huskies. This is a result of melanin deficiency in the eyes, which alters the color of the iris. This is not, in any way, dangerous because this only involves pigmentation levels.
It is also important to note that heterochromia isn’t a result of cross-breeding. A knowledgeable breeder would tell you this and even explain the origin of this phenomenon in detail.
A lot of scientists already debunk the myth that heterochromia increases the chance of UV damage when exposed to the sun. Huskies that are bi-eyed or parti-eyed are just like their other Husky cousins – equally healthy and striking.
How to Determine Eye Color in Husky Puppies?
Are you having a hard time determining the eye color of your Husky? Below are some tips you can apply to figure out whether your pup got the eye shade you desire.
- Tip #1: It is better to wait more than a month before checking your Husky’s eyes. This is because their eye color usually starts transforming when they are 5 to 8 weeks. The blue eye coloring you will see once they begin to open their eyes at their 18th to 20th day may not be their permanent eye color.
- Tip #2: Instead of using flashlights to determine their eyes’ color, bring them out for a bit and check them using natural light. This will help reflect their natural eye color so you will easily point out if they are blue, brown, green, parti, or bi-eyed.
- Tip #3: Use the eye color samples we have included above or search for more pictures on Instagram and Pinterest. Create an eye color chart using the images you collected and compare them to your pup’s eye shade.
- Tip #4: Ask the help of the breeder where you bought your pup because they have more experience in identifying eye colors. You can also ask a veterinarian to help you out.
Common Eye Diseases for Huskies
Huskies are prone to hereditary eye defects regardless of their eye color. These problems are usually diagnosed by expert veterinary ophthalmologists who are trained to distinguish hereditary from non-hereditary disorders.
Since research is still ongoing to develop a DNA test that can quickly identify these problems, the Siberian Husky Club of America and the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologist (ACVO) has published a list of guidelines that breeders can use to prevent the spread of these hereditary diseases.
Here’s the summary of its content:
- A veterinarian certified by ACVO should examine a Siberian Husky that will be used for breeding. The examination should be done during the year that the dog will be used for breeding.
- Only the dogs with zero eye problems should become breed parents.
- If a Husky is related to a dog affected by an eye disorder, but they do not exhibit the same condition, they should also be withheld from breeding.
Here are three hereditary eye defects that your Siberian Husky may inherit:
Hereditary or Juvenile Cataracts
Juvenile cataracts are different from the ones developed by a pup as it reaches old age. This defect is primarily hereditary and is manifested by Huskies as early as three months old.
Because the function of the eye lens is to focus light rays and transform them as an image to the retina, an opacity in them translates into diminished eyesight.
Usually, cataracts in Siberian Huskies are located in the posterior region of their lenses, which is caused by a recessive gene.
Cataracts are treated depending on their stage. In the early stages, the veterinarian may prescribe eye drops for your pup.
You don’t also have to worry because Huskies have the capacity to rely on their sense of smell and hearing if they are having vision problems. However, if your dog’s cataract is already turning them blind, a surgery is already suggested.
Corneal Dystrophy targets the cornea or the outer transparent part of your pup’s eyeball.
Like cataracts, having this condition turns the eye hazy or opaque because there is an unusual lipid collection in the cornea. This is commonly seen in young adult dogs, especially female Siberian Huskies.
Ongoing research about this hereditary eye defect suggests that a recessive gene causes this. There is no treatment required for this condition because this doesn’t compromise the dogs’ vision most of the time.
Nevertheless, I strongly suggest that you bring your pup to an excellent veterinary ophthalmologist to get checked as this might lead to corneal ulceration.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy
Among the defects I have included here, Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is the most serious. Dogs that have this condition may lose their vision as early as five months old.
This is because PRA affects the retina, which contains two types of rods responsible for pup’s vision. Once your Husky inherited this eye problem, they may lose their night vision, followed by their day vision, and eventually, become blind.
Siberian Huskies are afflicted with a unique PRA similar to humans. This is called XPRA since this is transmitted through the XX chromosome of a female Husky.
According to VCA Hospitals, there is no effective treatment for this condition. The vitamins and antioxidants that most veterinarians suggest don’t have any measurable effect in curing XPRA.
Most Prevalent Eye Defect
So which among the three eye defects discussed above is most prevalent in Siberian Huskies? The American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologist conducted a study with the purpose of answering this very question.
They examined 1,345 Huskies, and the statistical report showed that the most common hereditary eye defect of this breed are cataracts, followed by corneal dystrophy, and progressive retinal atrophy.
The table below shows the research result of ACVO in more detail:
Eye Defect Number of Huskies Afflicted Out of 1,345 Examined Pups Percentage Juvenile Cataracts 107 8% Corneal Dystrophy 44 3% Progressive Retinal Atrophy 4 Less than 1%
Recommended Eye Check-Ups for Husky
Because Huskies can inherit eye defects from their parents, it is essential that their eyes are regularly checked by an expert veterinary ophthalmologist.
They should undergo eye screening, which is recommended especially for those who are breeding their dogs. Here are some facts about eye check-ups that you should learn about:
- Eye screening should be done yearly because most eye defects manifest when the pup is three years of age.
- Final eye screening is done when the dog is 7 to 8 years old.
- When a Husky is 18 months old, eye screening may not be beneficial unless the dog has a cataract.
- The eye examination is not painful or invasive, although physical restraint is needed to check the dog’s eyes through lights and magnifiers.
Commonly Asked Questions for Blue-Eyed Huskies
Are Blue Eyes Bad for Huskies?
Although blue eyes are unusual for most dog breeds, Huskies with this eye color are perfectly normal.
This is the eye color recognized by the AKC along with brown and Parti, so you don’t have to worry that your pup has an eye defect. Unless, of course, you have them checked by a vet, and a problem is identified.
Are Blue-Eyed Huskies More Likely to Go Blind?
Huskies are prone to eye diseases but not the blue-eyed ones in particular. As I have said, this eye tint is listed in the breed standard for this dog. Therefore, the chances of a blue-eyed Husky getting blind is very slim.
However, if the pup inherited some genetic conditions like juvenile cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy, they may go blind if not given proper treatment.
How Can I Tell if My Husky Will Have Blue Eyes?
To identify whether your Husky has blue eyes, you should wait until they are five to eight weeks before checking them in natural light. This is because Huskies are naturally born with this shade, and it only transitions to their permanent color as they mature.
If your puppy’s eyes turned murky blue during his 5th to 8th week, expect that you have a brown-eyed Husky. But if there are minimal to no changes at all at that span of time, then you are lucky because your dog got the most sought after eye color.
Why Are Huskies’ Eyes So Blue?
The blue coloring of a Husky’s eyes is not due to any diseases or defects. This is caused by a mutation in their genes that leads to a decreased eye pigmentation.
To be specific, scientists found that a genetic change near the ALX4 gene on canine chromosome 18 is the main reason why Huskies have blue eyes. The National Geographic reported this, citing the work of Adam Boyko and Aaron Sams of Embark Veterinary, Inc.
Are My Husky’s Eyes Really Blue?
According to a geneticist named Kristopher Irizarry of the Western University of Health and sciences, the blue shade we perceive in a Husky’s eyes isn’t really blue.
In fact, because of the decreased melanin levels in the eye caused by the mutation near the ALX4 gene, the pup’s eyes are colorless. It only appears to be blue because of how the light enters and exits the eye.
Nevertheless, pet owners and scientists already labeled the eye color as blue to avoid confusion.
What Other Dog Breeds Can Also Have Blue Eyes?
Although blue-eyed dogs are somehow rare, there are other breeds aside from the Siberian Husky that possesses this gorgeous eye color.
Some of them are the Border Collie, Australian Shepherd, Daschund, Weimaraner, and Cardigan Welsh Corgi. Just like Huskies, they may also have different shades of blue eyes, including a light blue tint and a dark blue hue.
This video listed the 10 most common blue-eyed dog breeds that show rare and unique eye colors.
Owning a Husky isn’t a breeze because they are good escapists, and they can be very destructive when left for a long time. Despite these characteristics, a lot of people still choose to purchase them because they look aesthetically pleasing.
They are wolf-like, and they have a thick coat that comes in a variety of colors. Another reason why many pet owners desire them is because of their piercing eye color.
Huskies can either be blue or brown-eyed. But some possess green eyes, which is very rare. There is also a significant percentage of Huskies that are bi-eyed or parti-eyed due to heterochromia.
Their eyes contain a combination of colors that one would find alarming if they didn’t know that it is normal and possible. Although the AKC does not recognize bi-eyed and green-eyed Huskies, it doesn’t mean that they are more prone to eye defects and diseases.
All Huskies may acquire or inherit certain eye problems, and it is the responsibility of their owner to have them checked regularly.