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How rare are white Huskies?

Huskies are beautiful, energetic dogs that come in a variety of colors. One of the more striking husky colorations is the pure white coat. So just how rare are white huskies? Let’s take a look at the genetics behind their white coats and examine how frequently they occur.

The Genetics of Coat Color in Huskies

Like all dogs, huskies have a set of genes that determine their physical traits, including their coat color. Two genes play the biggest role in husky coat colors:

  • The Agouti gene determines whether the dog will have a solid coat or a coat with alternating bands of color. The dominant variant produces banded fur, while the recessive variant results in solid color.
  • The Color gene controls whether the coat will be black/gray or orange/red. The dominant variant gives black/gray tones, while the recessive variant produces red/orange hues.

Most huskies have at least one copy of the dominant Agouti gene, meaning they have the signature banded fur pattern in black, gray, red, or orange. However, some huskies inherit two copies of the recessive solid gene variant. This blocks the banding pattern, resulting in a solid white coat.

Frequency of the White Coat Trait

So how often does this white coat trait occur? The frequency of coat color genetics can help us estimate:

Coat Color Genotype Frequency
Agouti (banded) + Color (black/gray) Most common
Agouti (banded) + Color (red/orange) Less common
Solid (white) + Color Rare

As the table shows, the white coat trait falls into the rare category. While some husky bloodlines may have a higher frequency of the recessive solid gene, it’s estimated that only about 1 in 10,000 huskies overall will have the pure white coat.

Breeding for White Huskies

Since the solid white coat is caused by a recessive gene, both parents must carry the gene for it to be expressed in the offspring. Here’s how the breeding works:

  • If one parent is solid white and the other carries the solid white gene variant, around half of the puppies will inherit two copies of the recessive gene and have white coats.
  • If both parents carry the recessive solid gene but have banded coats themselves, around 25% of the puppies will receive two copies of the recessive gene and develop white coats.
  • If neither parent carries the recessive solid gene, all puppies will have banded coats in black/gray or red/orange.

For this reason, intentionally producing litters with white husky puppies requires at least one parent to be solid white themselves. Ethical breeders relying on rare recessive genes should health test breeding dogs to avoid perpetuating genetic issues.

Unique Traits of White Huskies

Aside from their striking snowy white coats, white huskies share the typical traits of the breed. However, a few unique qualities set them apart:

  • Blue eyes – Most solid white huskies have bright blue eyes rather than the usual brown. This is linked to their coat color genetics.
  • Skin pigmentation – White huskies often have pink noses/paw pads and skin pigmentation rather than black. Eye rims and lips may also be flesh-colored.
  • Deafness – Congenital deafness is more common in dogs with a high amount of white coat pigmentation, including around 20-30% of white huskies.
  • Sun sensitivity – White fur provides less UV protection, so white huskies require diligent sun protection.

While their white coats make them stand out, these special care needs are important considerations for owners of white huskies.

Popularity of White Huskies

The husky breed surged in popularity following viral photos of striking white Siberian huskies on social media. While most pet huskies have the classic banded look, solid white huskies attract a lot of attention for their wolf-like appearance.

Some key facts about white husky popularity:

  • Celebrity owners like Martha Stewart helped increase demand for rare white huskies.
  • White huskies are often prized as show dogs within the breed.
  • Shelters may charge higher adoption fees for white huskies compared to others.
  • Backyard breeders may attempt to cash in on the demand for white puppies, reinforcing the need to buy from reputable breeders.

While they make eye-catching pets, prospective owners should be prepared for the unique care and training needs of white huskies before getting one.

Cost of White Huskies

The purchase price of a white husky is typically higher than other color variations. Some average costs include:

White Husky Source Average Cost
Reputable Breeder $1,000 – $1,500
Private Sale $500 – $1,000
Shelter/Rescue $350 – $500

For a well-bred white puppy with health clearances, $1,200-$1,500 is typical. Rare color commands a premium but should not be the only factor in selecting a responsible breeder.

Finding a White Husky Puppy

Locating a quality white husky pup can take some diligent research:

  • Contact local husky breed clubs for breeder referrals.
  • Check breeders’ websites for upcoming white husky litters.
  • Ask to see documented health testing for breeding dogs.
  • Inquire about deafness testing of white puppy litters.
  • Be wary of breeders focused solely on color over health.

With patience and caution, it’s possible to find a healthy, well-socialized white husky pup. Avoid impulse buying based on looks alone.

Caring for a White Husky

While their bright white coats stand out, white huskies have the same needs as other colors. Providing excellent care includes:

  • Training & exercise – White huskies need 45+ minutes of vigorous daily exercise plus mental stimulation and training.
  • Grooming – Weekly brushing helps keep their coats dirt-free and minimizes shedding.
  • Sun protection – Limit sun exposure and apply dog-safe sunscreen when needed.
  • Clean facial folds – Gently clean face folds around the eyes 1-2 times per week.
  • Health monitoring – Schedule annual vet exams to catch any issues early.

With proper physical and mental enrichment, white huskies can thrive as uniquely beautiful and energetic companions.

Is a White Husky Right for You?

Before seeking out a rare white husky, consider if the breed is a good fit:

  • Huskies are independent, athletic dogs who need intense daily exercise.
  • They are prone to escaping and roaming if not properly contained and trained.
  • Huskies are pack-oriented and prone to separation anxiety if left alone for long periods.
  • Their thick coats require weekly brushing/combing.
  • They are talkative with unique vocal stylings like “talking” or singing.

For owners prepared to provide structure, activity, companionship and training, a white husky can make a loyal, lively pet. They need experienced owners able to handle their challenging traits.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are white huskies actually albino?

No, white huskies are not albino. Albinism is caused by a lack of skin and coat pigmentation, resulting in pink eyes, nose and skin. White huskies have a normal distribution of melanin in their skin and eyes, but lack pigment only in their coats due to a rare genetic mutation.

Are white huskies less healthy?

When bred responsibly, white huskies are no less healthy than other color variations. Reputable breeders carefully select breeding stock for sound structure, health and temperament. However, some backyard breeders may focus just on coat color, risking poorer health from lack of genetic diversity.

Do white huskies stay white?

Yes, a white husky’s coat remains sparkling white throughout their lifespan. However, owners should take care to keep the coat clean. White fur will readily show dirt, stains, saliva marks and other discoloration. Weekly brushing and prompt washing helps keep their coats pristine.


With their captivating snowy white coats and piercing blue eyes, it’s easy to see why white huskies attract so much fascination. Yet behind the striking looks, they remain challenging, active dogs needing knowledgeable owners. Their rarity further increases their appeal. For the right owner, though, a white husky can be a wonderful albeit quirky canine companion.