Colors of Siberian Huskies
The Siberian Rainbow
Unlike many breeds, the Siberian husky comes in an enormous range of coat colors and patterns. Below is an in-depth look at the colors that a Siberian can wear.
Black and White
The undercoat of a black-and-white Siberian may be white, charcoal, beige, or a mixture of these three. The top coat can be a range from jet black to a dilution known as a "salt and pepper" that makes the dog look almost grey, giving the coat depth of color. A red tint to the black is also allowed, and sometimes gives the dog a "grizzled" look. This red hue is quite rare, and develops when a black dog is exposed to the sun for long periods of time. When blowing (shedding) his coat, a black Siberian can appear grey.
The Three Greys
Siberian coats can come in three shades of grey: wolf grey, silver, and medium/dark grey.
Wolf Grey is an allowance of the agouti gene, a gene that gives each individual hair a range of color. This gene produces a warm shade of grey, with beige, tan, or red behind the ears and on the legs and back. The undercoat is beige. This coat gives off a rich color with lots of depth. Wolf grey should not be confused with the sable-coated color pattern.
Silver is the complete opposite of a wolf grey. There is a complete restriction of the expression of the agouti gene. As a result, the coat has a silvery or blue tone. There is no red, tan, or beige. The silver Siberian's undercoat is white. Black can often tip the hair. When a genetic dilution factor is present, the shade of silver can become even more blue, with pigment being slate colored.
Medium/dark grey is the most common of the grey colorings. It allows red or tan tones, but not to their fullest and richest extent. The undercoat is a mixture of beige and silver.
Pure White: The "Living Snowdrift"
Pure white is perhaps the rarest coat color of Siberians. This color, or lack thereof, is a result of the complete restriction of pigment and extension of white over the dog's entire body. A white Siberian can have liver-colored or black points (the color of the nose and the skin around the eyes). The undercoat is silver or white.
Agouti-colored Siberians are equally rare. Agouti is also called "wild coloring"; an Agouti Siberian looks almost exactly like a wolf in coloring. Agouti Siberians usually have special masks and markings. White markings are always cream. The mask is always dark and very heavy ("dirty-faced"). Pigment extends far down on the dog's body. No dilution is present. The undercoat of agouti Siberians is charcoal; the outer coat can be a mixture of black, tan, red, or grey. The usual coloring is black on the root and tip of the hair, with red or tan in the middle. The points are black. Agouti coloring is sometimes mistaken for sable or wolf grey.
Shades of Copper
Copper or Red
Perhaps the most variety of shades can be seen in the coats of red-and-white Siberians.
Red-and-white Siberians always have liver-colored points. Their undercoat can be copper, light red, or cream. Dilution factors can fade the coloring from dark to light across the body. They can be chocolate-colored to almost white.
An orange copper Siberian allows more yellow than red. The result is a red Siberian with a very light coat.
A chocolate copper (also called chocolate red) Siberian has a tone with full depth of color. A brown or liver undercoat is present. This is the darkest possible red coloration.
A red copper Siberian allows more red than tan. This brings out a bright color, sometimes seeming orange.
The sable-coated Siberian, another very rare coat color, always has black points and black tipping on the fur. The undercoat is a shade of red, one of the three listed above, but never beige as in wolf-grey coats. Pigment is restricted with full allowance of color. Dilution factors never influence shade. Some sables are born a wolf-grey color, but the red tone deepens as time goes on. Sables are sometimes called "black-nosed reds."
"Pinto" is not a color, rather a pattern. A pinto Siberian can be any of the above colors, except white. The pinto Siberian has an excess of white, usually over the shoulders and front legs.
Piebald Pattern: Paint The Town
The piebald pattern is quite rare in Siberians. White is in excess of 30%; this breaks up the coloration of the Siberian, giving the Siberian spots and unique markings. Piebalds can be more colored than white, or can be all white except for a single spot.
A dirty-faced Siberian (also known as dark-faced), is one that is heavily marked. There is little white on the face or body of the dog. This can create a wolf-like appearance.
Not only do Siberians' coats come in a large range of colors, but so do their eyes!
Blue eyes: What people commonly think of when they imagine a Siberian.
Brown eyes: A deep, rich brown color.
Amber eyes: Usually present in red-and-white or pure white Siberians. A very light brown coloration of the iris.
Bi-eyed: The eyes are different colors. Examples are one blue and one brown, one brown and one amber, and so on.
Split-eyed: The iris is split in half. One half is one color, the other is another. Example: top half blue, bottom half brown or left half brown, right half blue. Can occur in only one eye or both eyes.
Parti-eyed: A parti-eyed Siberian is quite rare. The eye is one color with "spots" of another color mixed in. Example: A blue eye with brown spots.
More by this Author
Some Siberians are show-quality and some are not. Both make wonderful pets! If you want to know the official show-quality breed standards for Siberians, read on.