Whilst most dogs have brown eyes, huskies can have much greater variation in their eye colors.
Huskies can have blue, green, brown and bi-colored eyes, as well as parti-colored eyes. If you want to learn more about husky eye colors then this is the article for you.
- Dog Eye Color Explained
- What Color Eyes Can Huskies Have?
- Can Husky Puppies Eye Color Change?
- When Do Husky Eye Colors Stop Changing?
- Can A Husky’s Eyes Change From Brown To Blue?
Dog Eye Color Explained
Before we learn more about the eye colors a husky can have, let’s take a moment to understand dog eye colors.
Dogs can have eyes that are any shade of brown, amber, or yellow. These are the standard eye colors produced by eumelanin, which is responsible for black and gray coat pigment as well.
The amount of pigment a dog produces is determined by their genes. When a dog produces a little less pigment than normal, this causes their eyes to appear green or greenish-yellow.
If they produce no, or very little pigment in their eyes, their eyes will appear blue. There’s no pigment that causes blue or green eyes in dogs.
In reality, it’s an optical illusion. Some light bounces off the tissues of the iris, while some is absorbed by pigment granules within the eye.
Blue light has a shorter wavelength than other colors on the spectrum. The shorter wavelength causes the blue light to scatter, and reflect back, rather than being absorbed by the eye.
When we look at our dogs’ eyes, we see this reflected light as the color of their eyes. This is why they appear blue if there’s no pigment. If there’s a slight amount of pigment, the pigment within the eye blends with the blue light and creates eyes that appear green.
What Color Eyes Can Huskies Have?
Despite being so well known for having blue eyes, this isn’t the only color they can sport. Huskies can have different eye colors, including brown, blue, and rarely, green. Heterochroma, which means each eye is a different color, and parti-colored, which means they have two colors within the same eye, can also occur.
Eyes And Coat Color
In most breeds of dog, eye color and coat color are connected.
Dogs who have a white, merle, or piebald coat pattern are much more likely to have blue eyes. Albino or partial albino pooches, and those with a gray or Isabella coat, can also sport baby blues.
These coat colors lead to blue eyes because these colors are the result of a gene that prevents pigment from being expressed. This causes white or diluted pigment in areas of their coat. When this happens in the eyes, it leads to blue eyes.
In huskies, there’s no connection between coat and eye color. A white and black husky could have brown eyes, while a black husky can have bright blue eyes.
40% of huskies have a pair of blue eyes, compared to 5% of all dogs. As we mentioned previously, blue isn’t actually a color in dogs. Instead, it’s a lack of pigment. In huskies, this is caused by a gene mutation. Researchers have discovered that a mutation on the ALX4 gene. Unlike most causes of blue eyes, which are recessive, the ALX4 mutation is dominant.
This means that if a husky inherits one copy of the gene, they will have blue eyes. If a husky has one parent with blue eyes, they can inherit blue eyes. pending on
Blue eyes range in shade from pale blue to a deep sky blue, depending on whether there is a small amount of pigment, or none at all.
Brown eyes are the second most common eye color in huskies. Brown eyes are caused by eumelanin, which is also responsible for many coat colors, including brown and black. Brown eyes are dominant, and 40% of huskies have brown eyes.
However, since both brown and blue eyes are considered dominant in huskies, their eye color can be unpredictable, unless both parents have brown or blue eyes. This can also lead to heterechroma or parti colored, eyes, which we’ll look at closer in a moment.
Some huskies have dark brown eyes, which can appear almost black. Others have light brown, or amber colored eyes.
When you look at green eyes, they seem very different from both blue and brown. However, they are actually a middle ground between green and blue eyes. All huskies begin life with blue eyes. If a husky will have brown eyes, this occurs as they age.
It’s unclear why, but some dogs seem to stop in the middle of the transition from blue to brown. This creates some pigment, but not enough to make their eyes brown, which results in green eyes.
Their eyes may be closer to blue or brown, or be a bright emerald green.
Bi-color eyes, which are technically known as heterochromia, are actually fairly common in huskies.
Around 15% of them have different colored eyes. Typically, one eye will be blue and the other brown. Bi-colored eyes can occur in many animals, including other dogs and humans, but it’s extremely rare.
Heterochroma causes the eyes to produce different amounts of melanin. One eye will produce enough melanin to make the eye brown, while the other eye produces little or no melanin, resulting in a blue eye.
Parti-colored eyes are the rarest color. Rather than having each eye a different color, parti-colored eyes mean that there are two colors within the same eye.
A husky can have two parti-colored eyes, or just one. Like bi-color eyes, the eyes will feature both blue and brown.
Can Husky Puppies Eye Color Change?
Yes, all puppies are actually born with blue eyes. They are also born with their eyes closed. By the time they open their eyes, some dogs will have already began changing their eye color to brown, because melanin has begun to be produced in the eyes.
Most pooches will begin to change their eye color, if they are going to change, between 5 to 8 weeks old. However, it will be some time before you can be sure that your pooch’s eye color is set.
The process is usually gradual. In fact, you may not notice their eyes are changing for days or even weeks. Then suddenly, your four-legged family member has brown eyes rather than blue!
When Do Husky Eye Colors Stop Changing?
Most huskies will have their eye color set when they reach 4 months, or 16 weeks, old. However, this isn’t always the case. Some huskies will change their eye color later, up to 6 months old.
If your husky’s eyes begin to change after they’ve reached 6 months old, you’l need to visit your vet. Eye color changes late in life can indicate an eye disease, like cataracts, which is a common issue for huskies.
Can A Husky’s Eyes Change From Brown To Blue?
When we talk about a husky’s eye color changing, we are typically talking about a change from blue to brown. Can the reverse happen as well? It’s possible, but it can be a sign of a health problem.
Conditions like cataracts can cause the eyes to go from brown to blue, because they form a cloudy film over the eye. Glaucoma, which causes increased eye pressure, can also cause the eyes to change from dark to light.
There are a few anecdotal stories about the eyes shifting from brown to blue naturally, but this hasn’t been proven.
Do Blue Eyes Cause Eye Issues?
For some breeds, blue eyes are linked to health issues due to the merle or piebald gene. However, not all dogs with blue eyes have these genes.
In huskies, there’s no link between blue eyes and health issues.
Are Brown-Eyed Huskies Purebred?
Yes, a purebred husky can have any of the eye colors mentioned above.
There was a myth that brown-eyed huskies were not purebred. In fact, the AKC released a statement making it clear that the brown hue is accepted as part of the breed standard.
Do Other Breeds Have Eyes Like Huskies?
Australian shepherds and border collies can also have blue or bi-colored eyes.
Like huskies, parti-colored eyes are also possible in these breeds.