Height: 23-26 in
Weight: 40-65 lbs
Life Span: 10-15 yrs
Coloring: Black and white, gray and white, brown, gray, and white, silver, tan and white, red and white; many color and pattern combinations
Area of Origin: Alaska, United States
Similar Breeds: Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamute
History and Origin:
Not a true recognized breed, the Husky (also referred to as the Alaskan Husky) is rather a type of dog that is defined by its sledding ability. The term “Husky” refers to a number of different cross breeds that have been bred to result in the ideal sled dog, a combination of power, speed, and stamina. Mixes of the Canadian Eskimo Dog, Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamute, Samoyed, Greenland Dog, and Alusky have all been used in cross breeding to created the “ideal sledding dog”. As with the purebred sledding dogs: the Alaskan Malamute and the Siberian Husky, the Husky’s origins trace back thousands of years to the north-eastern regions of Asia before humans arrived in Alaska and northern Canada. American settlers in the Alaskan region saw the pulling power of the Eskimo dogs domesticated by the native inhabitants, and began experimenting with crossbreeding to produce a racing dog. The Husky is now the preferred dog for sled racing, and is frequently a cross between the stockier, rugged Malamute or Siberian Husky for power and survivability and the leaner pointer or hound for speed and agility.
Personality and Temperament:
As the Husky is not a registered breed, temperaments vary from dog to dog. Generally, however, the Alaskan Husky has many of the same personality traits as other sledding breeds. They are friendly, lovable, and are great cuddlers, designed to keep itself and it’s sled-mates warm when sleeping in the Arctic nights. Highly energetic and adventurous, the dog will face challenges and new experiences with great enthusiasm. It is loyal to its pack, which can include its sled-mates and its human family.
Exercise & Training:
Highly active, the Husky requires strenuous exercise to satisfy its physical needs. If not used as a sled dog, it is ideal to ensure the dog receives some form of sledding-type exercise, such as bikejoring or skijoring. Living in the city, the Husky tends to get bored, and may develop bad habits such as digging or attempting to escape a fenced-in yard. A varied training and exercise regime will help keep the dog stimulated and challenged. As with its sledding cousins, the Husky tends to be very intelligent, and requires a well-structured, firm training regime to ensure it becomes a well-adjusted member of the family.
The Husky possesses various types of coats, depending on the breeds in its ancestry. Many Huskies have the rough, oily double coat of the Malamute and Siberian Husky, and as such, require little coat care. The under coat may need to be removed when it begins shedding to promote skin health, however frequent bathing damages the oily protective qualities of the outer coat, and is best left alone.
The Alaskan Husky shares ancestry and qualities with most other sledding and Arctic dog breeds, such as the Alaskan Malamute, Siberian Husky, Samoyed, and the American Eskimo Dog. The dog is also sometimes a cross-bred with the German Short Haired Pointer, and has also been a product of Greyhound and Border Collie influences.
Interesting Facts about the Alaskan Husky:
1. Most dogs in sled races are Huskies, which can average more than 19 miles per hour.
2. A champion lead dog can be worth up to $15,000.
3. The Husky has the endurance to complete races of up to 1,000 miles.
4. Just like the Siberian Husky, most Huskies can jump up to 6 feet vertically from a stand-still.