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Why do huskies have different coloured eyes? Bi-Coloured Huskies Explained

Heterochromia -Huskies with different coloured eyes

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Heterochromia is caused due to uneven melanin distribution and inbreeding. It occurs in many other breeds of dogs (Australian Shepherd would probably be right behind the Husky), cats, and horses.

Melanin is what gives colour to the irises. It so happens that many puppies have pale blue eyes when they’re born, and colour starts to slowly appear overage.

However, sometimes, melanin isn’t evenly distributed between the two irises, causing the difference in colour.

Breeding of dogs through the line with this specific heterochromia has caused it to be a standard characteristic of this breed. Husky is the only exception to the rule that disallows heterochromia in show dogs.

This absolutely doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with the dog, of course. There are no problems with vision, and if a dog with heterochromia is partially blind in one eye, it’s not because of the colour of the eye.

Also, it’s important to remember that inbreeding has been practised for centuries and is not considered unethical and is nothing to be shocked or disgusted about.

In fact, it’s a great way to filter down a dog’s required characteristics (rich coat, friendly disposition, swimming ability etc) and remove unwanted behaviour (like over aggression).

Het Husky

Why do huskies have different coloured eyes

Why do huskies’ eyes differ in colour? The lovely phenomena are known as “Heterochromia.” 

This is the phrase used by the government. Heterochromia can be caused by too much or too little melanin (pigment) in the iris.

What causes heterochromia and distinct coloured eyes? In huskies, a genetic mutation affects not only the strength of the melanin, but also its distribution. 

There will be a shortage of melanocytes where there is a shortage of melanin, which will result in lighter eyes (blue). Eyes are usually brown where there is more melanin.

Huskies’ various eye colours are caused by a condition known as heterochromia. This is caused by a lack of melanin in the eyes, which causes the iris to change colour. This is not hazardous in any manner because it just concerns pigmentation levels.

It’s also worth noting that heterochromia isn’t caused via crossbreeding. A knowledgeable breeder will tell you this and even go into great detail about the origins of this occurrence.

The misconception that heterochromia increases the risk of UV damage when exposed to the sun has previously been debunked by a number of scientists. 

Bi-eyed or partly-eyed Huskies are just like their other Husky cousins — healthy and attractive.

Does a Siberian Husky with two different eye colours cost more money?

I’ve heard second hand that there are breeders who charge higher prices for heterochromatic dogs. I don’t know why people pay a premium for this coloring difference. 

It does not rank the dogs higher in conformity shows. It does not offer the animal any visual advantage. It is unusual and some people are willing to pay for having that which is different.

Personally, I would require some poor odd-eyed puppy to make a particularly emotional claim on my heart to have one at all much less pay a premium for one.

I find the asymmetry to be anything but aesthetically pleasing. Different folks have different tastes.

Just like any other good, something is worth only what someone else will pay for it. Some “breeders” think that people will pay more for a dog with different eye colours; or blue eyes; or … and so they try to charge more.

The AKC standard talks a lot about the outward appearance of the dog; and a lot about the personality of the dog. 

Siberians come in brown eyes, blue eyes, one of each colour, and even eyes that are partly brown and blue. All of these are acceptable according to the standard.

So get a dog that has a great personality, and don’t worry so much about the outward appearance.

Husky Eye Color Percentage: What Is the Rarest Husky Eye Color?

Although bi-eyed Huskies are rare, they are not as unusual as green-eyed and parti-eyed puppies. The percentage of Husky eye colour can be found in the table below.

Based on the percentages shown below list it is clear that blue and brown-eyed Huskies are the most common.They’re normally sold by respectable breeders and may be found at most shelters and rescue organisations.

Meanwhile, if you’re hoping for a green-eyed puppy or one with multiple-coloured eyes, prepare to pay more because they’re hard to come by.

Husky Eye ColourPercentage
Blue40 %
Brown40%
Green5%
Bi-eyed10%
Parti5%

Common Eye Diseases for Huskies

Huskies, regardless of eye colour, are prone to congenital eye problems. 

Expert veterinary ophthalmologists who are educated to distinguish hereditary from non-hereditary illnesses frequently diagnose these issues.

The Siberian Husky Club of America and the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO) has produced a list of instructions that breeders should employ to minimise the spread of these genetic disorders while research continues to develop a DNA test that can promptly identify these abnormalities.

Here’s a quick rundown of what it’s about:

A Siberian Husky that will be used for breeding should be examined by an ACVO-certified veterinarian. The checkup should be performed during the year in which the dog will be utilised for breeding.

Only dogs with no eye problems should be considered for breeding.

If a Husky is related to a dog with an eye issue but does not have the same problem, they should not be bred.

Owning a Husky is not easy because they are excellent escapists and can be extremely destructive if left alone for an extended period of time. 

Despite these flaws, many people still opt to buy them because they are attractive.

They have a thick coat that comes in a range of colours and resembles wolves. Their penetrating eye colour is another reason why many pet owners desire them.

Blue or brown-eyed huskies are available. However, some people have green eyes, which is quite uncommon.

Heterochromia affects a large percentage of Huskies, causing them to be bi-eyed or parti-eyed.

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For more about Husky see our other articles below

References

A. E. Ready, G. Morgan
Can Vet J. 1984 Feb; 25(2): 86–91.
 
 
Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Siberian husky”. Encyclopedia Britannica, 28 Jan. 2021, https://www.britannica.com/animal/Siberian-husky. Accessed 4 June 2021.
 
 
 

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