This detailed introduction to the agouti Husky color has everything you need to know about Siberian Huskies with agouti coats. From whether their color changes their personality, to whether agouti Siberian Husky puppies should cost more than Husky pups in other colors.
- What is an agouti Husky
- How do I know if my Husky is agouti?
- Agouti Husky temperament
- Health and grooming
- Finding and Agouti Husky for sale or adoption
- Choosing a good agouti Husky breeder
An agouti Husky is a Siberian Husky with an agouti colored coat. Agouti coloring is characterized by bands of dark and light color on each individual hair. Some people regard it as an unusual color for Huskies, but the truth is more complicated than that .
What is an Agouti Husky?
Agouti Huskies are Siberian Huskies with an agouti coat pattern. The agouti pattern is characterized by a band of black-based pigment and a band of red-based pigment on individual strands of fur. The band of black-based pigment includes the tip, and the band of red-based pigment is at the base. Not every hair has these bands of color, usually just the hair on top of their head, back, and legs. The hairs on their chin, belly, and inside their legs are the same color as the red-based band on the banded hairs, from root to tip.
Agouti is one of the 6 allowable coat colors in the Siberian Husky breed standard. The color section of the standard is drafted very broadly, so that ‘all ranges of the allowable colors’ are permitted. This means several color variations of an agouti Husky are possible. For example, a dark agouti Husky has bands of black and deep red pigment in their fur. But Huskies with red pigment dilution have bands of black and pale cream on each hair. This combination is known as ‘wolf grey’ and it is particularly striking due to the high contrast between black and cream.
How Do I Know If My Husky Is Agouti?
Agouti Huskies can look very similar to another standard Husky coat pattern – sable. Sable dogs have red-based coats (which can vary from bright red to pale cream) with black tips on some of the fur on the top of their head, ears, and back. Sable and agouti coats are caused by different genes. But, since they both involve bands of black and red pigment on each hair, they can look very similar. If a dog has a small band of black at the tip of their fur, they are more likely to be sable. And if they have a wide band of black, they are more likely to be agouti. But there are definitely ‘in between’ cases, which are difficult to judge. If your breeder has an extensive knowledge of your dog’s ancestry, they might know exactly which their puppies are.
A tell tale sign that a dog has an agouti coat is a ring of tan fur around their eyes, known as spectacles. In the video above, the depth of the black pigment band on each strand of Kakoa’s fur is clearly visible. As are her spectacles. So there’s no doubt she is an agouti Husky!
What is the rarest Husky fur color?
There is a lot of confusion over whether agouti Huskies are rare or not. Agouti is one of the oldest and most widespread coat colors in all mammals. This is because agouti coats provide excellent camouflage, making their owners better adapted to survive.
Agouti is the most common coat color in wolves, and so the agouti gene is also widespread in dogs. But, as part of domestication, humans have deliberately made breeding choices in favor of coat color genes which mask or obscure the agouti gene. For example the gene for black.
These days, the popularity of the original agouti color for Huskies tends to rise and fall (more on this later).The most unusual Husky color though, is white. We’ll include a link to more information about white Huskies with the resources at the bottom of this article!
Agouti Husky Temperament
Huskies are friendly, easy going, happy-go-lucky dogs. They are also athletic, energetic, talented problem solvers and notorious escape artists! They are best suited to homes with large and very secure yards. Huskies of all colors need a home where their need for exercise can be met on a daily basis. Huskies have been bred to be capable of enormous physical endurance. So they’re likely to engage in unwanted behaviors if they don’t get several hours of physical activity every day. For example, chewing, digging, and climbing over fences.
There’s no evidence at the time of writing that the agouti coat causes any changes in temperament. So the things that will determine you agouti Husky’s personality are:
- the temperament of their parents
- their sex
- neuter status
- early socialization
- the amount of exercise they get
- the amount of mental stimulation they get
- and their diet.
Agouti Husky Health
Compared to many pedigree dogs, Siberian Huskies are relatively free from hereditary genetic diseases. This is a tribute to their working past – when fitness to work was breeders’ absolute top priority. Happily, the agouti coat color is not linked to any increased risk of ill health in Huskies, or a shorter life expectancy. In fact, none of the standard Husky colors are! To make sure this stays the case, the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals recommends that all potential breeding Huskies are tested for hip dysplasia and eye disease. And that dogs with abnormal results are excluded from breeding programs.
Finding An Agouti Husky Puppy For Sale Or Adoption
Since agouti Huskies are standard color for a pedigree dog breed, you can search for breeders by word of mouth, by attending dog shows, or via national breed registries and regional clubs. For example, if you’d like to find agouti Husky puppies for sale in California, the Siberian Husky Club of America maintains a directory of breeders by state. They also keep an online list of local area clubs, who might know details of members planning a litter nearby.
Since Huskies are one of the United States’ most popular dogs, they’re also among the breeds most easily found at dog shelters. For example because their owner’s financial situation changed, or they got sick, or they realized they couldn’t provide a Husky with enough space or physical activity. Besides local shelters, there are also a number of Husky-specific rescue organizations. These usually arrange for homeless dogs to stay with foster families until a new forever home can be found.
Choosing A Breeder
Despite the fact that agouti is one of the standard Husky coat colors, and a widespread genetic possibility in the breed, a significant number of breeders advertise it as ‘rare’ or ‘unusual’. This both is and isn’t true, but there is an important reason why responsible breeders don’t describe any of the Husky colors as rare, or charge more money for them than other colors.
Are agouti Huskies rare?
We’ve touched on this earlier, but let’s look at it specifically from a breeding and puppy selling perspective. Agouti coloring produced by a gene which is dominant over some of its alternatives, and recessive to others. In other words, some other coat colors mask it, but it’s not so readily masked that it’s very difficult to achieve, and even when it is masked, the gene still remains present in lots of individuals.
Good breeders select a mom and dad for their next litter by choosing the healthiest dogs with the best temperaments, and taking care not to mate dogs who share close ancestors. The color of the puppies should be a secondary consideration. But it’s understandable that some breeders also have a special interest in breeding healthy, well adjusted puppies in a particular color. Which colors are popular tend to vary by region and over time, which means some colors may seem more readily available than others in any particular place, or decade.
However, reputable breeders never advertise their puppies as having a rare or unusual color, even if their color is objectively less common than the others. And they don’t charge more for uncommon colors either. This is because putting a higher price tag on unusual colors makes them appealing to puppy farmers. Puppy farmers breed dogs for maximum profit, but they don’t care for their dogs well, or use health tested parents for their litters. Their puppies are more likely to have behavioral problems, and inherit chronic diseases. This is cruel on an individual level, and it also has knock-on effects for the health and temperament of the whole breed.
Choosing an a agouti Siberian Husky puppy
Our Puppy Search guide will help you navigate the process of finding a healthy, friendly puppy for sale, from a reputable breeder. Bear in mind that to get a puppy in a specific color, you might need to be willing to join a waiting list.
Your Agouti Husky
Agouti Huskies have a beautiful two-tone coat which calls to mind the original color of their wild ancestor, the wolf! These beautiful dogs have a lovable nature, and an insatiable appetite for activity. In the right home they can be the perfect pet, but make sure you find your Husky from a reputable and responsible breeder.
Don’t miss this Husky resources elsewhere on our site!
- Siberian Husky Temperament – Is This Majestic Breed Right for You?
- White Husky: Guide To A Stunning Breed
- Best Food For Husky Puppy Health and Happiness
- Best Brush for Huskies and Their Fluffy Coats >
Brancalion et al. Canine coat pigmentation genetics: a review. Animal Gentics. 2021.
Official Standard of the Siberian Husky. American Kennel Club. 2021.
Thorsrud & Huson. Description of breed ancestry and genetic health traits in arctic sled dog breeds. Canine Medicine & Genetics. 2021.
Wauthier et al. Using the mini C-BARQ to investigate the effects of puppy farming on dog behaviour. Applied Animal Behaviour Science. 2018.