Huskies With Brown Eyes vs Blue: Husky Eyes Explained

huskies with brown eyes and blue eyes

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This guide contains everything you need to know about huskies with brow eyes and how they differ from their blue-eyed counterparts.

When you think of a Siberian husky, you think of a graceful, medium-sized dog with penetrating blue eyes. But can huskies have brown eyes? Yes. Brown is the most common eye color for dogs. Siberian Husky’s eyes can be either blue or brown. However, they can also have one eye, blue and the other brown, multiple colors in one eye, and even emerald eyes.

So, what is the big deal with brown-eyed huskies? Are blue-eyed huskies more prone to health problems? Can a purebred husky have brown eyes? Let’s find out.

History of The Husky

The Siberian Husky is originally from Northeast Siberia. Huskies were bred by the Chukchi Eskimo people of northeastern Asia as endurance sled-pulling, guarding, and companionship dogs.

Siberian Husky’s thick-double coat and effortless capabilities for hauling light loads over vast expanses of the cold and harsh environments of the Siberian Arctic are traits of today’s Siberian Husky. After arriving in Alaska during the Nome Gold Rush in 1909, huskies appeared in the United States and Canada. Siberian Huskies gained notoriety in the early 1900 as sled-winning dogs. In 1925, Huskies made headlines for traveling 658 miles in only five and a half days to deliver medicine when a diphtheria epidemic broke out in the isolated town of Nome, Alaska.

In 1938, the AKC founded the Siberian Husky Club of America. Huskies belong to the Spitz dog family and are known as Chukcha, Chuksha dog, Husky, or Sibe.

Why Do Huskies Have Brown Eyes or Blue Eyes?

While brown eyes in huskies may not seem standard for the breed, it’s common for huskies to have brown eyes. To understand why some husky dogs have brown and others blue eyes, you must first know the factors that determine their eye color.

Below are some main factors contributing to huskies’ brow eye color.

Genetics Affect Eye Color In Huskies

Genetics is the most common factor that determines the eye colors of huskies. If a husky has a long history of brown eyes, then the pup is likely to develop brown eyes.

A study published in the journal PLOS Genetics, where 6,000 dogs’ complete genetic profiles were analyzed, found that a genetic change or mutation near a gene known as ALX4 is strongly associated with blue eyes in Siberian huskies.[1] Huskies without this genetic mutation are more likely to develop brown eyes.

The genetic cause for a Siberian Husky’s blue eyes is known as the “merle gene,” which is responsible for pigment dilution (lightening) of the nose, eyes, and coat. The merle gene makes a Husky more likely to have blue eyes, but it is not guaranteed they will. For instance, huskies with brown eyes may have the gene but never develop blue eyes.

Melanin Levels Impacts Eye Color In Huskies

Besides genetics, melanin (a pigment found in the iris) is another common factor determining the eye color of huskies. Typically, huskies with a higher level of melanin in their iris have brown eyes.

The pigmentation in the iris varies from one dog to another. The higher the concentration of melanin, the darker brown will be the color of a Huskies’ eyes and vice versa. So, what causes low levels of melanin or loss of pigmentation in the eyes of Husky dogs?

There are only two melanin types (pigments) that determine the color of dogs, eumelanin (black) and phaeomelanin (red). A gene such as the “M (merle) locus gene” modifies eumelanin.[2]This results in pigment loss, which creates eye colors in huskies such as liver(brown), blue (grey), or isabella (pale brown).

Siberian Huskies Don’t Actually Have Blue Eyes

Do all huskies have blue eyes?

According to Geneticist Kristopher Irizarry of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Western University of Health Sciences, huskies don’t have blue eyes. The ALX4 gene mutation in Siberian huskies seems to result in decreased pigment production in the eye. The lack of pigment causes the eye to appear blue. “There’s no blue pigment. It’s about how the light enters and exits the eye, creating the appearance of blue, the same way the sky looks blue, but outer space is not blue,” says Irizarry.

Can Huskies Have Brown Eyes?

While Huskies are mostly recognized for being blue-eyed, Huskies can have brown eyes. Typically, huskies with a higher level of melanin in their iris have brown eyes.

Brown Husky With Blue Eyes

Can brown huskies have blue eyes? Yes. Brown Huskies with blue eyes are unique, and their chocolate-brown coats make their strikingly deep-blue eyes stand out even more.

Huskies With Brown Eyes Appearance

Does a brown-eyed husky differ in appearance from a blue-eyed husky?

Blue-Eyed vs Brown-Eyed Huskies

What sets huskies apart with brown eyes from their blue-eyed counterpart is the eye color. However, this main difference is associated with health-related issues, which we discuss later in the article. In general, the Husky is a medium-sized working dog, quick and light on his feet, graceful in action, and with wolfish looks. Males can grow between 21-23.5 inches tall and 45-60 pounds. Females can be 20-22 inches tall and 35-50 pounds.

Their well-furred body, erect ears, almond-shaped eyes, and brushtail are common psychical traits among huskies. Huskies have a compact body that reflects power, agility, and endurance.

Husky Eye Colors

If you’ve seen a Husky before, their almond-shaped eyes usually pose a keen but friendly and even mischievous look. So, what color eyes can huskies have?

The following husky eye color chart will show all the eye colors that Siberian Huskies can have.

Blue-Eyed Husky

Piercing blue eyes are a defining and most common trait of huskies. You may find huskies with darker blue eyes, while others may have a lighter blue eye coloration. A distinctive feature that is more prominent in blue-eyed huskies is a dark outline that surrounds the outside of their eyes.

Brown-Eyed Husky

Huskies with brow eyes are the second most common eye coloration in huskies. Their brown eyes are due to high levels of melanin and the possible absence of the merle gene. These colors range from dark brown to light hazel, which may look greenish.

Bi-Colored Eyed Husky

Bi-eyed Huskies or Huskies have different colors for each eye. These dogs are not as common as blue and brown-eyed huskies. Roughly 15% of Huskies have this characteristic. For instance, a bi-eyed Husky can have one eye blue and the other brown, as shown in the picture.

Green-Eyed Husky

Green eyes (or emerald-eyed) on huskies are uncommon but can occur. It usually happens when huskies transition from blue to brown. During this process, melanin isn’t sufficient to reach a brown tonality, thus staying in the green spectrum of colors.

Particolored-Eyed Husky

By far the rarest eye color variation you can find in huskies. About 5% of huskies present this condition. Parti-eyed means when a Husky has two colors in the same eye (i.e., brown and blue). The shades of one color may be more prominent than the other. It usually happens in only one eye. So why does it happen? We explain below.

Grey Husky With Blue Eyes

White Husky Brown Eyes

What Causes Particolored Eyes In Husky?

So, what causes a husky to have multiple colors in one eye? 

Rather than have one distinct eye color, huskies with heterochromia have two shades of color in one eye. A husky with this condition may have a brown eye with a spec of blue and vice versa. This can happen around the border of the pupil or in the center of the iris. The Husky’s actual eye color is the most prominent, and heterochromia is usually present in one eye. This condition is caused due to uneven melanin distribution and inbreeding.

Can Husky Puppies Eyes Change Color?

Can a husky with brown eyes change its eye color? Yes. A Husky’s permanent eye color usually becomes visible at around 3 or 4 weeks of age. 

However, mature eye coloration in Husky puppies is a process that may take 9 to 12 weeks or even prolong a couple of weeks more. Eye colors can range from brown to amber-green to the rare permanent blue color or even multicolored eyes. 

Husky Puppies With Brown Eyes

Are husky puppies with brown eyes inferior to huskies with blue eyes? Are you concerned about the quality of your Siberian husky puppy with brown eyes?

You shouldn’t unless you are raising your Husky to be a champion show dog. If you are (or want to know for fun), to determine the quality of your Siberian Husky puppy, read and compare it to the breed standard set by the AKC. For instance, if we are talking about the eyes, the AKC says the eyes of a Sibe Husky should be “almond-shaped, moderately spaced, and set a trifle obliquely. Eyes may be brown or blue, one of each, or particolored. Eyes set too obliquely or too close together is not acceptable in Huskies.” 

So no, huskies with brown eyes are completely common and within the brand standards of the breed. In fact, a very large percentage of quality Siberians are brown-eyed or have bi-colored eyes. 

Brow-Eyed Vs Blue-Eyed Husky Health Issues

Are brown-eyed huskies more prone to health issues than huskies with blue eyes or another eye color?

The most common health issues huskies face, regardless of eye color, include juvenile cataracts, corneal dystrophy, and progressive retinal atrophy. These are severe eye conditions. Husky owners should take their pets to a veterinary ophthalmologist once a year to rule out or identify eye defects. 

Uveodermatologic Syndrome is another health condition to look out for. It commonly affects northern dog breeds. It destroys melanocytes in the skin and eyes, causing premature hair, skin, eye whitening, and possible blindness.

Huskies with brown eyes have more melanin or pigment than blue or green eyes. This makes brown-eyed huskies more resilient to the damaging UV rays from the sun and other eye defects. Conversely, lighter-colored eyes (i.e., blue or green) may increase cancer risk.

If your Siberian Husky is a Merle gene carrier, the gene responsible for light-colored eyes, there is a higher chance your pup could suffer from blindness or deafness. We recommend doing an at-home dog DNA test like Wisdom Panel to help you identify if your Husky carries the gene (s) for blue eyes, other genetic disorders, or complications. This will help you provide them with the best possible care.

As fellow pet parents, we always go the extra mile to keep our pups healthy. If you are concerned about your Husky’s eye health or want to keep his eyes in good shape, Zesty Paws Eye Supplement for dogs can benefit your pet.

How To Check For Eye Color In Huskies

A husky puppy eye can be blue, green, brown, or shades in between. So, how do you determine your Husky’s eye color?

  • Step 1: Wait at least a month and a half to check for a husky’s eye color. It usually takes 9 to 12 weeks for huskies to reach color-eye maturity.  
  • Step 2: Check the husky puppies in natural sunlight. Natural light reflects the actual color of a puppy’s eye without causing harm to the eyes.  
  • Step 3: Reference our eye color chart above to see in which category of eye color your husky falls.

Never use a flashlight or anything of that nature to check a puppy’s eye color. 

If you are considering getting a husky with certain eye color, it’s essential to understand everything about the eye color implications in your dog’s health and all the different aspects of caring for your husky.

Temperament & Personality of a Husky

Huskies are loyal, mischievous, and outgoing dogs. 

Originally born pack dogs, they are greys companion dogs and enjoy family life. Huskies are high-energy dogs and can’t resist their instinct to chase small animals, so walking a Siberian Husky on a leash is always a good idea. Huskies are light on their feet, love baking outdoors, and run.

Most Siberians are naturally clean, with little doggy odor. They tend to be super friendly and affectionate. Huskies are even-tempered and not always willing to please. 

Husky’s Intelligence

How smart is my husky? According to canine psychologist Stanley Coren, huskies are “average” intelligent dogs. In Coren’s dog intelligence trials, Siberian Huskies ranked 74th out of 138 dog breeds for obedience & working intelligence. This husky intelligence research found that Huskies needed 25 to 40 repetitions to learn a brand-new command. Coren also found that huskies will obey known commands on the first try with a 50% or higher success rate.

However, their stubborn personality may have influenced these results. They are fully capable of understanding but not always willing to cooperate. Most husky owners on a survey said they are brilliant dogs. 

Husky Puppies With Brown Eyes For Sale

When buying a husky puppy, be diligent. Make sure this breed fits your personality and your family’s lifestyle. Choose reputable and responsible breeders. The AKC MarketPlace is an excellent start to start your search and find husky puppies with brow eyes on sale in your area.

When possible, always consider fostering and adopting.

Breeding Huskies With Brow Eyes

Make sure the female and male come from healthy bloodlines. Breeding unhealthy huskies with congenital or severe hereditary health problems are frowned upon and considered inhumane—genetic eye diseases to check for include juvenile cataracts, corneal dystrophy, and progressive retinal atrophy.

Breeding huskies with brown eyes is no different than breeding non-brown eyes huskies. You should wait until a female is two years old and after her second heat cycle. Don’t breed female huskies in 2 consecutive heat seasons. She needs the proper time to recover. 

You should expect a litter size of between 4 and 8 puppies, with 6 being the most often reported number for Siberian huskies. 

Huskies With Brown Eyes FAQ

Here are the most common questions about husky eyes.

Should You Get A Husky With Brown Eyes?

For good reasons, Huskies rank at number 12 on the American Kennel Club (AKC) list of most popular dog breeds. So, should you get a Siberian husky? 

The answer is yes if you can keep up with a super-active dog. Huskies have a lot of energy and require a lot of exercise. Remember, these dogs can pull sleds across hundreds of miles. If your lifestyle doesn’t match this level of physical activity, we strongly advise choosing a different dog breed. Huskies can develop behavioral problems caused by frustration and lack of physical activity. 

Huskies are chatty too. They tend to howl and make lots of noise. Siberians are social and regularly need the company of owners or dog friends. They are excellent household pets and are tolerant of children but need supervision like all other dogs when around babies and small children. They are not suited for being alone all day.

If you are decided on getting a husky, Siberian Huskies For Dummies answers are your go-to guide to understanding and raising a Husky.

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[1] PlosOne [2] VC Hospitals

Editorial Team at Canine Bible | + posts

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