Breed Group: Mixes and More
Weight: 38 to 50 pounds
Life Span: 10 to 13 years
A working sled dog, the typical Alaskan Husky is a blend of various Nordic breeds, depending on the breeder’s preferences and needs in a sled dog. Pulling ability and team player qualities are more important than looks. Alaskan Huskies are not typically sold as pets but are sometimes found through rescue groups and can make good companions if their exercise needs are met.
Did You Know The Alaskan Husky is a Mix of Spitz-Type Dogs?
Alaskan mushers bred the dogs they found in Inuit villages with Siberian Huskies, Greyhounds and German Shorthaired Pointers to create the Alaskan Husky.
The Alaskan Husky is a sled dog bred for working ability, not looks or pedigree, and there’s no set formula for creating him. He is usually bred from various spitz-type dogs and has their characteristic prick ears, but in all other respects his looks vary widely. His usually short to medium-length coat can be any color or pattern, and he may have the wedge-shaped head of a spitz breed or a face with a longer muzzle. He is usually a medium-size dog, weighing 38 to 50 pounds. Alaskan Huskies are built for different types of sledding: some are freighters, pulling heavy loads; some are sprinters, going quickly over short distances; and some are long-distance runners.
The Alaskan Husky is more often seen as a working or competitive dog than solely as a family companion. He is an active dog and is best suited to a home where he has an opportunity to run on a daily basis. An athletic owner who can fulfill his strong desire to run and pull will make this dog happy, but one who leaves the dog in the home or backyard with nothing to do will come home to a scene of epic destruction.
Alaskan Huskies are great companions for hikers and backpackers and of course are naturals at such dog sports as sledding and skijoring. You will also see them performing well in agility, herding, obedience and rally.
With his heritage as a hard-working sled dog, the Alaskan Husky is intelligent and easy to train with positive reinforcement techniques such as praise, play and food rewards. That said, he likes to do things his own way. Be firm, and keep training interesting.
The Alaskan Husky is an escape artist and can be a digger. Confine him to a yard with a fence that can’t be dug under or jumped over. An underground electronic fence will not stop an Alaskan Husky if he really wants to leave the yard.
The people-loving Alaskan Husky needs to live in the house with his family. It’s an unhappy Alaskan Husky who is relegated to the backyard with little or no human companionship. If you do so, his barking and howling will be the least of your concerns.
More Quick Facts About the Alaskan Husky
- The Alaskan Husky is a type rather than an actual breed. There is no breed standard for him; each breeder selects for the qualities that are most important to him or her.
- Different types of Alaskan Huskies do different jobs. Freighting dogs pull heavy loads. Sprinters go fast for short distances. Other dogs have the stamina to go long distances.
- Alaskan Huskies who are top racing dogs may be worth $10,000 to $15,000 or more.
- Alaskan Huskies typically have short or medium-length coats and can be any color or pattern.