Siberian Huskies have a wide range of coat colors. In today’s post, we will put more emphasis on the rare coloring called Agouti. You might have heard of the term before since agouti is one of the oldest color genes among mammals. It exists in rodents and wild rabbits. Read on to learn more about its effects on dogs.
How Does the Agouti Husky Look Like?
In terms of appearance, the Agouti-colored Huskies have clear distinctions from the typical Husky. Starting with their face, it is noticeable that they have a darker face compared to the other colors of Huskies.
Most of them have a heavy and dark nose bar. It is one of the special marks the Agoutis have. The dirty mark is the reason why Agouti Huskies seem to have a dirty face. Like their face, they usually have dark eyes. It is rare to find an Agouti Husky with blue eyes.
The agouti color is characterized by a single hair banded with several colors. If you will look closer to their strands, you will see that the root and tips have a different color of the one of the central part. The root and tip are black and there is a noticeable red color halfway. Sometimes, it is tan instead of red.
An agouti looks like a wolf with either cream or off-white points in some areas of the body. The cream points are a result of the combination of the agouti genes and the diluted phaeomelanin. It refers to the yellowish brown or reddish animal pigment related to melanin.
The light points in Agoutis vary for every dog and will depend on the dilution and pattern of phaeomelanin they have in their genes. Some of them have clear banded hairs while there are a few Agouti Huskies with cream points on the face and far down the legs.
In terms of size, they are no different from the standard Husky which develops as a medium-sized dog. Females usually grow 50-56 centimeters tall and 16-23 kilograms in weight. Males are slightly taller and bulkier with a standard size of 54-60 centimeters and 20-27 kilograms as adult dogs.
What Causes Agouti Coloring in Huskies?
Dog coat genetics is responsible for this rare coloring in Siberian Huskies. It is caused by the gene classified as the wild-type agouti (aw). The A-locus is one of the genes associated with the texture, length, and growth of hair in canines.
The A-locus has four alleles or variants: the tan point, the fawn or sable, the recessive black, and the wolf sable. An agouti has a close resemblance to the shaded sable. However, Agoutis have banded hairs which are restricted to some parts of the body. Their coat pattern looks more like dogs having tan points.
The Agouti Signalling Protein (ASIP) is responsible for the changes in the Agouti locus in canines. Agoutis have banded hairs because their melanocyte-stimulating hormones are competing with their agouti signaling peptide. The alternating colors make the Siberian Husky look like it was grizzled.
Agouti is such a complex coat color. It may appear dirty on the Husky’s lighter parts but the darker tone is more dominant. The lighter spots look more like dark cream instead of white. You will also notice a lighter spot around their eyes, which make them look like they are wearing glasses.
An Agouti can be born grey and white and then mature into a pale grey as an adult. But the changes in color will not end there as the coat changes into darker grey later on. You may also notice them having a brown or tan color as it changes. The transformations that you see in their top coats happen as they grow older.
The Agouti looks a lot like the sable and wolf grey colorings, but it is worth noting that they have unique undercoats. Agouti and Sable are both characterized by black points. However, their undercoat is red. Agoutis have a charcoal undercoat.
The wolf grey, on the other hand, is one of the shades of grey Siberian Huskies have. It has a beige undercoat which causes the coat to look rich and warm. Like the sable color, it is sometimes mistaken for Agouti.
Does the Agouti Husky Behave Like Any Husky?
The Agouti Huskies are no different from the standard Huskies in terms of behavior. In general, Siberian Huskies are bursting with energy, intelligence, and affection toward people. Although it looks tough because of its resemblance to the wolf, deep inside, this breed is known for its loving personality.
Your Husky will appreciate lots of playtime as it was originally bred to pull a sled. One of the activities you can do with your Husky is canicross, a running exercise that attaches pet owners and their dog. It is done by attaching an elastic bungee cord on the person’s waist belt and putting the other end on the dog’s harness.
Tips on Grooming an Agouti Husky
Siberian Huskies have undercoats that shed twice a year, usually during spring and fall. It is possible for a Husky to shed all year round especially if you reside in a warmer region. The undercoat helps regulate the Husky’s body temperature. It warms them when it is cold and cools them when it is hot.
The undercoat is also the reason why Siberian Huskies do not need much cleaning. It has natural oils that keep dirt at bay and protect the skin from the harmful UV rays. Therefore, the undercoat should not be removed. It has a softer texture compared to the top layer and does not grow very long as to conceal the breed’s clean-cut outline.
Unknown to many, dogs do not sweat. They rely on their paw pads to cool themselves. Hence, it will be a bad idea to shave the Siberian Husky. Pet owners should never be tempted to cut their hair even during the shedding season when they will be dealing with lots of pet fur.
On a non-shedding day, brushing the Husky with a slicker brush on a regular basis will keep it presentable. Just avoid brushing too deep because doing so will pull out loose undercoat. If you want to use a de-shedding tool, be as gentle as possible. This way, you will not ruin the shiny guard strands protecting the undercoat.
By the time your Husky blows his coat, an undercoat rake is the best tool you can have. It goes deep into the coat without being harsh in removing all the stuck hair. If you are worried about the rake scratching your pet’s skin, look for a tool made with rounded ages.
Shedding is a Husky thing but you will know that it is no longer normal if it is accompanied by coat dullness and flakiness. There are many possible reasons for this. It could be stress, nutritional deficiency, and skin allergy. In females, an intense shedding is associated with hormonal changes.
In case your Husky displayed symptoms of itching, have a closer look at the hair to see if there are fleas or ticks. When checking for ticks, use rubber gloves so you will not have direct contact with the tick as you run your hands through the dog’s coats. The bitten area should be rubbed using alcohol.
What Else You Need to Know about Huskies
In general, Huskies look tough but they are gentle inside. The Agoutis, for instance, look like wild dogs but they are as friendly as other Huskies. They are best known for their playful nature. They will appreciate lots of time outdoors and doing intense activities like biking and running. If you have an active lifestyle, you will have the confidence to bring your pooch with you because he can keep up.
If you can, it would not hurt to teach your buddy to pull carts and sleds as they have been originally bred for that. They are working dogs with a superb wanderlust potential. If you are looking for a free-spirited dog, nothing is better than the Husky.
As pups, expect them to be a little bit rowdy. They will jump exuberantly and they will bark a lot especially when they have nothing particular to do. Better think of an activity that will help the pooch use his energy. Do note that they cannot tolerate being left alone for long periods.
The only unpleasant thing about Huskies is their tendency to be destructive. They have the impulse to grab and chase anything running. So, if you have other pets at home it may be a challenge to add a Husky into the mix. They are pretty skilled when it comes to escaping so better keep your fence high. This should come as no surprise because the Husky is such an athletic dog with a strong will.
What’s nice about Huskies is they are not gluttons. This is due to the fact that they can burn calories and use nutrients efficiently. They will only eat until they are full, which is the reason why they are generally healthy. Therefore, the pet parent should be careful not to over-feed the Husky. The recommended feeding amount for dog food is only 60 percent of what is said on the label.
Never feed your Husky chocolate, sugary foods, corn on the cob, onion and garlic, dairy, plums, peaches, macadamia, and fat trimmings. These are all considered hazardous for any dog. If you are planning to feed him home cooked meals, stick to fresh veggies, fruits, and ground meat.
Is An Agouti Husky The Right Dog For You?
It is more of a question of “is a Siberian Husky the right dog for you?” since Agousti Huskies share the traits of other Huskies. If this the first time you will own a dog, it may be too challenging to start with a Husky. Yes, they have an impressive intelligence but they have that tendency to be stubborn because of their independent nature.
For first-time dog owners, consider other breeds that are not as intense as the Husky. They are not a bad breed but they have special needs due to their high energy level. If you are quite busy and do not have a lot of time for physical activities then think twice before adopting or buying one. But if you don’t mind being run to the ground or giving long workouts, a Husky may be the right breed for you.
A husky can go anywhere from $600-$1,500 depending on the breed line. It is possible to adopt an agouti Husky because there are owners who think they are not cute enough. Sometimes, these Huskies go to shelters because there were pet parents who simply cannot handle a husky. If you are thinking of getting from a breeder, make sure to do a personal inspection first.
This way, you can see the dam and the sire. They should be at the right breeding age at the time of mating. This should be between 8 months to 10 years for the female or the dam. For the father or the sire, the recommended age is from 8 months to 12 years.
Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions, because a responsible breeder will welcome any questions you may have. The breeders are expected to know a lot about animal care, from handling down to behavior. They should be able to give you tips in preparing the Husky’s food, feeding him, as well as cleaning him.
What to expect from a breeder? They should maintain hygiene and good health in the breeding facility. Aside from the documents of AKC registration, the breeder should be able to provide health records proving that the puppy was vaccinated and dewormed.