When you think about it, the Siberian Husky is the closest thing we have to a wolf in the canine world. We often say that Huskies and wolves are relatives. Even more, some people call the Husky a wolf-like dog. Well, what about a Husky that looks even more like Canis lupus? That is the Agouti Siberian Husky.
This dog has an unusual color type for the Husky breed, looking more and more like a gray wolf.
Let’s take a look.
History Of The Breed
Most of us know the history of the Husky breed. They were bred from a type of wolf, domesticated by the Chukchi people. They used Huskies as sled dogs, working dogs, and animal companions.
It took a while for Huskies to gain popularity as pets. But once people saw their signature blue eyes, they fell in love with the dog breed.
In 1930, The American Kennel Club officially recognized the Siberian Husky. They set a dog breed standard, allowing a variety of Husky colors like black, brown, grey, sable, red, and agouti.
Primarily found in working and sled dog lines, Agouti Huskies are not common in the show ring. They are rarely part of litter by common breeders.
What Is An Agouti Siberian Husky?
Simply put, these dogs are Siberian Huskies with an agouti coat color. The pattern contains a band of black-based pigment and a band of red-based pigment on individual strands of fur.
Usually, the black pigment includes the tip, and the red pigment is at the base.
Now, not every hair has these bands of color. Usually, it appears only on top of the head, back, and legs.
This might surprise you, but the Agouti Husky is one of the 6 recognized breed standards by The American Kennel Club. And there are several ranges and color variations. For example, a dark Agouti Husky has black and deep red pigment.
Understanding The Agouti Gene
Agouti is not something that is a Husky thing. It is worth noting that Agouti color is a gene occurring in other animals, for example, horses and mice. Agouti is a gene responsible for the amount and distribution of melanin, which can cause black and dark coloring.
In dogs, there are different representations. For example, a Sable German Shepherd or a Fawn German Shepherd. These dogs have tan points or coloring of the wild-type.
In Huskies, the Agouti refers to a wild-type coloring, often called wolf sable. Agouti is one of the oldest and most widespread coat colors in mammals. It is a color that provides amazing camouflage, making animals better suited to survive.
It is the most common coat color in wolves. Yet, as part of domestication, humans have made breeding choices in favor of different coat color genes. They wanted to mask the agouti gene so that dogs do not look like wolves.
How Do I Know If My Husky Is Agouti?
Here is a simple trick, Agouti Huskies look very similar to another coat pattern, sable. We know sable dogs have red-based coats, varying from bright red to pale cream with black tips on some of their fur.
Now, it is worth noting that sable and agouti coats are caused by different genes. But their similarity is they involve bands of black and red pigment on each hair. So, they can look similar.
The best way to tell if your dog has an Agouti coat is to look at their eyes. If there is a ring of tan fur around the eyes, often known as spectacles, you have an Agouti Husky.
When it comes to appearance, these huskies are like regular huskies in terms of size and build. What is special about them is the Agouti coloring. We use the term agouti to describe a coat color that is dark and banded.
That means an individual hair will have at least two different bands of color on it. In this case, shades of black and tan.
The size of the Agouti Husky puppy is between 20 and 22 inches and weighs between 35 and 50 pounds. Males grow larger than females.
They have a double coat, just like a Siberian Husky. Their coat is made of soft, dense fur in the inner layer and medium-length fur in the outer layer.
There is absolutely no difference in temperament between Agouti huskies and Siberian Huskies. They are some of the friendliest dogs in the canine world. They love people and are sociable and friendly with other animals.
Speaking of people, they warm up to strangers immediately. One of the big misconceptions is that Huskies are good watchdogs and guard dogs. Wrong. They are more likely to befriend an intruder than bark.
These dogs are people lovers. They love getting attention and are friendly with everyone they meet. They do not enjoy cuddling all the time but love hanging out in the same room with people.
Because these dogs are so attached to their people, they can suffer from separation anxiety when left alone for longer periods.
Are They Good With Children?
You can say that huskies and children are a match made in heaven. You have friendly and affectionate dogs that love to play, they have high energy and can go all day long playing with your children.
The only thing you need to pay attention is their excitement. When they get too excited, they can run around like crazy and easily knock young children.
These dogs were bred for work primarily. As a sled dog and working dog, the Agouti Siberian Husky has plenty of energy. And Huskies are notorious for their stubbornness. That can make training quite a challenge.
Huskies, in general, are among the hardest dogs to train. They do not always listen to their dog owner. Despite their intelligence, they prefer to do things their own way. That means that they will eventually listen to you, but will try to find their own solution first.
Challenges When Training An Agouti Husky
The biggest challenge when training an Agouti Husky puppy is its high energy. They have excess energy, and that, combined with their desire to run and roam freely, might make it hard to have a dog that walks by your side.
With a Husky dog, your patience will be constantly tested. They are fiercely independent and free-spirited. Huskies realize quickly that they can choose whether to obey your commands or not respond to training.
Another big challenge is they are troublemakers by nature and have a great sense of humor. They may consciously decide to ignore you.
You will have more success with shorter and more frequent dog training sessions. These dogs have short attention spans. After that, they will ignore you.
I have to stress this again. Agouti Husky puppies were bred to be sled dogs. They have an insane amount of energy. With that in mind, anything less than 60 minutes of exercise per day is a recipe for disaster.
Agouti puppies need between 60 and 90 minutes of exercise, play, and mental stimulation per day to be happy. If not, they get bored, resort to destructive behavior, and you end up regretting your choice to get a Husky dog. This is how dogs end up in shelters.