Alaskan Husky

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Is the Alaskan Husky right for you?

Species group:

The basics:
Alaskan Huskies are tough cold weather dogs bred for performance, especially the ability to pull sleds for long distances at high speed in harsh weather. Because they are developed for performance-- to win races or to get to the destination as fast as possible-- breeders haven't put a premium on breeding for consistent appearance. Different strains look different, and no major registry recognizes them as a breed. This is a dog that gets things done, not a dog to sit and look good in the show ring.

The modern Alaskan Husky can lope at over 20 miles an hour for almost 30 miles, and they can run even farther at an average speed of 15 miles an hour. There many stories about their dedication to duty that has saved lives during time of war, epidemic, or blizzard. The ancestors of these heroic dogs may go back 4,000 years, when they helped native Alaskans hunt or travel over a harsh landscape. They are truly the stuff of legend-- the perfect dog for an owner in a cold climate who has lots of time to work with an energetic animal who needs something to do. But these are frontier animals who need to run in wide-open spaces. They're the wrong pet for the busy city dweller with a postage stamp backyard.

Appearance / health:
Being a mixed breed, the looks of an Alaskan Husky vary greatly. The predominant genes include the Siberian Husky and native Alaskan dogs. Alaskan Huskies are moderate in size and tend to be taller and longer-legged than the Siberian Husky. Eyes are often light blue or brown but can be of any other color. The ears are pricked or drooping. The tail shows great variation.

Alaskan Huskies shed heavily twice a year. During this time, owners brush them with a hard comb.

Because they were developed as working dogs, Alaskan huskies require a LOT of strenuous exercise to maintain psychological as well as physical health. 1 to 2 hours of running, bikjoring, skijoring or other dog-powered sport at least 3 times per week. Failure to provide adequate exercise can result in unwanted behavioral issues.

Bloat is seen in some dogs. Arthritis (Joint inflammation) may also occur. Health issues include hypothyroidism, which is easily and inexpensively treated.

Behavior / temperament:
Alaskan Huskies retain characteristics similar to wolves. They howl in packs and their tough feet are perfect for the cold. They are extremely popular with mushers and racers not only for their performance but also for their hardy yet entertaining nature. Some are shy. Others are loud and boisterous, leaping up to greet every person who passes. These dogs were bred to work and show no aggression toward humans. Their hunting instinct is strong probably owing to their wolf ancestry.

They can be difficult to housebreak. Training as sled dogs requires several months of intensive sessions to build their muscles and health.

They can be very noisy because of their tendency to howl and may cause a nuisance to neighbors. They may howl around 2-3 times a day for about less than a minute. They do not bark much.


sociable, Hard Working Dogs, colder climates, great family dog, children


daily brushing, training, wolflike howling, escape artist, high energy, grooming sessions


sled dog, cold temperatures, bright eyes, Skijoring, Skatejoring, Bikjoring

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