When you think of huskies, you usually think of sleddogs you’ve seen in Hollywood movies. Large fluffy dogs, usually Malamutes or large Siberian huskies with blue eyes.
But exactly how many types of huskies are there?
Do you know that there are Alaskan and Siberian huskies? And that Malamutes are a type of husky dog?
Well, if you didn’t, we are here to help you understand the world of husky dog breeds better. While the stereotypical image of sleddogs has become the one we see in Hollywood movies, huskies are much more.
The Siberian husky is the most popular husky breed. It is also the most recognizable husky. Its wolf-like appearance is what appeals to people.
The Siberian husky dog breed was originally bred to be working sled dog by the Chukchi tribe in northeastern Siberia. Depending on the dogs for survival, the tribe used huskies as a medium of transport and loading supplies.
Siberian huskies, like other types of huskies, do not bark. Instead, they howl. Their main personality trait is their stubbornness.
Huskies have a mind of their own, which is a reason why most novice owners cannot handle a husky.
One of the more intelligent breeds, huskies need constant mental stimulation and exercise. That is why they are not recommended for first-time owners.
People love huskies because of their appearance. But not everyone can handle their character. Their common white, albino, and grey coat color is just amazing.
The Siberian husky dog breed is also popular for its piercing eyes that come in blue color. The American Kennel Club allows the following Siberian Husky colors:
- Both eyes are blue
- Both eyes are brown
- One blue and one brown eye
- Brown with blue flecks
- Blue eyes with brown flecks
- Red eyes, which appear in rare types of huskies
Often considered the big brother of the Siberian husky, it is a dog often mistaken as a Siberian husky. While it is considerably larger and taller, some people still confuse the Malamute with the husky.
One difference between the husky and the Malamute is their temperament.
The Siberian husky is more vivid, playful, and lively.
The malamute is a guard dog, and he loves spending time enjoying his yard and warning of strangers.
The dog got its name after an Inuit tribe of Alaska called Mahlemiut. As a sled dog, the Malamute was used in hunting expeditions. The Inuit tribe developed the dog to be able to transport heavy loads at high speed in long distance.
The main difference between huskies and malamutes is in their sledding. Malamutes are freighters, while Huskies are racers.
Coat color between Malamutes and Huskies is similar, with the former being larger. Another difference is in their eye color. Malamutes have brown colored eyes.
If you see a Malamute with blue eyes, it means his parents were crossed with a husky. Malamutes with blue eyes are disqualified by the American Kennel Club.
The Alaskan Husky is not a pure breed recognized by the American Kennel Club. It is a breed purely focused on its ability to race and work as a sled dog.
There are no standards, the dog was bred solely for its working ability, not appearance. Breeds do not care what the dog looks like, as long as he can get the job done.
There is one difference between the Siberian Husky and the Alaskan Husky. The former has thicker fur.
Since Alaskans have been bred with racing in mind, they have a more hound-like coat. Siberian husky can withstand colder temperature. Alaskans tend to be skinnier as well.
It is almost impossible to find a dog owner of Sakhalin Husky. Why? Because only a few breeders of this Husky breed remain in Japan. The exact number of Sakhalin Husky dogs is unknown.
Also called Karafuto Ken, it is a nearly extinct breed of sled dog from Japan. This dog is not recognized by the American Kennel Club or by any other major kennel club.
They became famous when an expedition of researchers from Japan had to be evacuated from Antarctica in 1958.
Dogs that look similar to huskies
There are a couple of breeds that you might mistake for huskies. Now, while they are quite different, some people still mistake them.
Those are the following:
- Northern Inuit dog, often compared to the German shepherd and Siberian Husky because of its body. Originating in the late 1980s, it is a breed created in an attempt to get a domestic dog breed closely resembling the wolf. It is not recognized by major kennel clubs
- The utonagan dog is another breed that closely matches the look of a wolf, but it is a domestic dog. You will notice he is a tad bigger than a Husky. It is a mix between Alaskan malamute, Siberian Husky, and German shepherd
- Samoyed dogs sport a similar appearance to the huskies. While they are only white, some people still mistake them for huskies
- If you want a miniature Husky, that is the Alaskan Klee Kai. This tiny type of Husky originates in Alaska. At one point, these Husky puppy was a larger dog. They pulled sleds and guarded the property.But in the 1970s, because of a breeding program in the United States of America, they bred smaller Alaskan Klee Kai dogs
- The name says it all, the Norwegian Elkhound originated in Norway. There, it was used as a hunting dog, originally hunting moose. But this brave dog also excels in guard dog duties like defending its owners and protecting properties. Nowadays, the Norwegian Elkhound is a popular family companion
- A medium-sized working dog breed, Canadian Eskimo Dog descends from animals used by the Thule people more than 2,000 years ago. Back in the day, the Canadian Eskimo Dog was used to hunt polar bears and pull sleds. But since the introduction of snowmobiles and government projects to slaughter them for health and safety reasons, the Husky breed is nearly extinct
- Many people wrongly mistake the Akita Inu as a type of Husky. But they are not related. There is an American Akita and Japanese Akita Inu dogs. They look similar to Huskies, but they are not related in any way.
Now that we covered purebred types of huskies, let’s talk more about crossbreed types of huskies. You will be surprised, but Husky mixes are quite common.
One reason is its beautiful appearance. But because huskies can be quite challenging, a lot of owners are looking for a dog with more manageable character.
Arguably the most popular Husky crossbreed. The dog is a mix between a Husky and any pointer dog breed. Bred for sled racing, they possess the sledding ability of the Husky, and the intelligence and willingness to work of the Pointer.
Originating from the early 1980s, Sweden and Norway are the countries that began mixing German short-haired pointer and huskies.
The reason was simple, the imported North American racing dogs could not match the performance of the Husky, so they needed an entirely new cross.
In addition to sledding, the dog also falls in the categories of hunting dogs, companion dogs, and sprint dogs.
Some might say this is the most adorable husky mix. A cross between American Pit bull terrier and Siberian husky.
Considered a designer dog, the Pitsky is handsome and muscular. Spirited, smart, but also demanding, the pitsky takes up the character of both parents. Remember, it is a high energy dog that will require a lot of exercises.
This mix grew in popularity with the Pomeranian. As the name suggests, Pomeranian Husky is a mix between Pomeranian and Husky. It is one of the smallest types of Husky. They have long and dense coat, making them year-round shedders. If you thought the Husky sheds a lot, wait until you have a Pomeranian Husky.
Husky and corgi mix
The name of this mix is Cusky, but it is not an officially recognized breed. These dogs are lovable, friendly, and outgoing. They look like a Husky, but they come in a more manageable size of a Corgi.
Being that both are energetic breeds, the Cusky needs a lot of daily exercise as well. And remember, both parents are stubborn breeds.
The Hug dog
This is the smallest husky mix, with one parent being a Husky, and the other being a pug. Also a designer dog, the breed has received more attention in recent years.
One of the most popular husky mixes, a cross between Golden Retriever and a Husky.
The best aspect of the dog? His friendly, lovable, and pleasing character. One of the new husky mixes, the Goberian has quickly gained a reputation as the best husky mix.