The 5 Main Siberian Husky Colors
If the Siberian Husky is your favorite breed of dog, you are in great company. This magnificent animal has many of the best traits of man’s best friend. A unique characteristic of the Husky is that it comes in a variety of colors. While there are many factors to consider in judging the quality of the animal, color is the least important when it comes to breeding. But not everyone is concerned about buying a couple for breeding purposes.
Several important points need to be made here. One is the difference between the topcoat and the undercoat, where the undercoat primarily serves as insulation for the dog the topcoat is what you will see from afar. A second is the concept of banding, where as the fur is growing the cells initially produce one type of pigment, then change to another type resulting in a color change.
There are many interesting facts about how the different colors came about in the Siberian Husky, but their facial “masks” and coat patterns also have a wide variety to them. There are five major genetic color groupings, each with their own distinct variations within the group.
This is the second most common color found in the breed. The coloring is divided into several groups. First, there are the breeds that have an all-black coat contrasted with those who have a banded coat. Then there are those who have a white or beige undercoat contrasted with dogs who have a completely pigmented topcoat and undercoat.
Though it may seem that black is black when it comes to coloring, there are several kinds. One is jet black, which has little or no banding, and the banded jet black variety. There is also a silver black, which is always banded, and a reddish-black which has a reddish hue to the coat and usually can be distinguished by looking for reddish highlights behind the ears, in the middle of the tail, or in the saddle area of the dog.
This is the rarest of the colors found in the Siberian Husky, primarily found in Indian dogs and often confused with the Wolf Grey coloring.
The banded coloring of the topcoat distinguishes this variety, with black at the root and tip of the banding and yellow in the center band. A slat-and-pepper coloring is commonly present in the saddle area.
Grey is the most common color of the Siberian Husky, and all dogs colored grey will be banded. The undercoat will be grey as well, though there are instances where a charcoal or beige color will be found on the undercoat. When trying to decide between a dark grey Husky or a light black one is usually a matter of personal choice.
There are four types of grey: medium, wolf, silver, and seal. The medium grey is the most common of the greys, while the Wolf Grey is akin to the Agouti coloring. With Wolf Grey you will find beige, tan, yellow or reddish coloring behind the ears, as well as in the saddle area.
The Silver Grey color is absent of any yellowish or reddish hues, which gives it its silvery tone, while in contrast the Seal Grey coloring is very rare and usually found in Malamutes. Its color comes from a beige or yellow undercoat with far more reddish pigmentation than the Wolf Grey variety.
There are a number of shades of brown, ranging from copper to sable. There are three distinct types of copper coloring: orange, red and chocolate. Chocolate is the darkest of the brown coloring while the reddish hues are attributed having been exposed to a constant sunshine. The red color is brighter than the orange, despite the fact that the orange has more yellow pigment.
Sable coloring is very rare in the Siberian Husky breed. The best way to distinguish its color from the Grey Wolf coloring is through its undercoat – it is either red, chocolate or orange, never beige. New born Huskies may have Grey Wolf fur, but as they mature the color deepens with a reddish hue.
There are two types of while coloring in the Siberian Husky: the Extended-white and the Isabella White. The way to distinguish the two types is by realizing that the Isabella White is nothing more than a genetically bleached blonde. The Extended-white is completely white pigmented genetically; there are no buff tones or black points as are found in the Isabella White dogs. These buff tones will most noticeably appear on the ears, even though both types can have a white undercoat.
Other subtypes of white coloring are the buff and white, which is very rare and the buff hue gets darker as the dog ages. This type of dog also never has a black undercoat. White Huskies can also be found with combinations of black, grey, or copper coloring.
It is clear that whether you are a someone looking to breed a special type of Siberian Husky, or are simply looking to own one, you have a lot of choices when it comes to coat coloring.
The various patterns and masks are also features that can uniquely define your dog, but the greatest advantage to the coloring is that you are able to choose one that is easily identifiable to everyone. Anyone can just buy a dog, but with the Siberian Husky you can be guaranteed that the chances of finding another dog with the same coloring and patterns is very small.
For those wanting specific genetic coding classes, there is also a chart detailing all the genetic information about the arctic breeds at available from the International Siberian Husky Club, Inc. There is far more genetic detailed information present in the codes that takes the specific origins of coloring to a far higher level.