Alaskan Husky Puppy Facts and Behavior
An Alaskan Husky puppy is not easy to come by since this type of dog is mainly used for working purposes.
Capable of pulling sleds over great distances, Alaskan Husky dogs excel in world-class sled racing and have proven to have more endurance than Siberian Huskies.
If you are thinking about adding an Alaskan Husky puppy to your household, be aware that Alaskan Husky puppies vary greatly in personality and looks due to substantial genetic variations.
Whether you are thinking about buying a puppy or adopting an adult dog and want to know if this is the right breed for you or just want to learn more about this breed, I hope this article will help you find the answers to your questions.
Alaskan Husky Information and History
The Alaskan Husky is not really a breed; it's rather a type of a dog that possesses many different Northern dog bloodlines, with Siberian Husky the most dominant. What really defines it is its use as a highly efficient sled dog. In fact, no true purebred Northern breed can compete with it as far as the speed and endurance are concerned!
This dog's gene pool is quiet varied. It's believed that these dogs originated thousands of years ago and that their bloodlines derive from native village dogs that populated North America back then. Dogs found in Inuit villages were then selectively bred by Alaskan mushers with numerous breeds, including Siberian Huskies, Greyhounds and German Shorthaired Pointers. Even wolf blood flows through this dog's veins!
The purpose of this dog has always been to work, and it's still true today. Though some can be found occasionally in rescues or shelters, these dogs are rarely used as pets.
The Alaskan Husky dog breed is not purebred and is not recognized by the American Kennel Club or the Continental Kennel Club. However, Alaskan Husky breeders strive to produce world-class sled racing specimens that can cost up to $15,000!
Since this is not a breed, but rather a type of dog, there is no breed standard for the Alaskan Husky puppy. The physical and temperamental traits seen in these dogs are, for the most part, based on performance. In other words, Alaskan Husky breeders specifically look for traits in their breeding stock that will help these dogs excel in what they were mainly bred to do - work.
Alaskan Huskies are medium-sized dogs with lean, balanced bodies. They may have a curled tail as seen in many other Northern breeds.
The head may be wedge-shaped as in many Spitz dogs or may feature a longer muzzle. Unlike Siberian huskies, the eyes of Alaskan Huskies are typically brown; however, some may have light eyes. The ears are erect, ready to capture the slightest noises.
The legs of the Alaskan Husky dog are solid and well-boned. The wide feet are meant to provide better weight distribution so they can effortlessly pull loads and run over great distances.
The thick, beautiful coat is meant to protect the Alaskan Husky from the arctic cold. It can be either short or medium-length and can come in any color or pattern.
|Male||20 to 24 inches *||46 to 60 pounds *|
|Female||19 to 22 inches *||38 to 42 pounds *|
* There is no size standard. Some dogs are much larger than these estimates
Some Interesting Alaskan Husky Facts
Alaskan Huskies are often confused with Siberian Huskies. While these dogs appear to be quite similar, there are many differences.
For starters, the Siberian Husky is used for both show and working purposes, whereas the Alaskan Husky is used mainly for work. When it comes to pulling sleds, Alaskan Huskies excel at longer distances, while Siberian Huskies do best over shorter distances.
The Siberian Husky is a purebred breed registered with the American Kennel Club, whereas the Alaskan Husky is not, simply because this dog has often been crossed with other Northern breeds.
From a physical standpoint, Alaskan Huskies are leaner and larger. They also tend to have mostly brown eyes compared to the Siberian's blue eyes or combination of blue and brown.
An interesting Alaskan Husky mix is the Alaskan Amerindian Husky. It was first obtained in the 1970s by crossing the Alaskan Husky with the Siberian Husky.
A miniature Alaskan Husky, also known as Alaskan Klee Kai, is a smaller version of the Alaskan Husky. This mix is bred to be a companion dog but needs to be exercised daily.
Alaskan Husky Behavior and Temperament
Generally speaking, this dog is very affectionate, cheerful and playful. Because of their strong work ethic and desire to please, training an Alaskan Husky puppy should not be difficult. However, because these dogs have a bit of an independent, stubborn streak, Alaskan Husky training should entail loads of motivation, consistency and the gentle guidance of positive reinforcement training.
These dogs generally love everyone. They are also good with children. Because huskies are pack animals, they work well with each other and are good with other dogs. At the same time, because of their wolf ancestry, they can't be trusted with smaller animals, including cats.
Because of their high sociability, they make poor watchdogs. You will rarely hear this dog bark unless it's for a very good reason.
Because mushers have trained these dogs to not be picky eaters, you need to keep an eye open when raising an Alaskan Husky puppy or adult dog. They can literally vacuum your floor and raid the trash can with no problems. This can lead to "garbage gut" and potential intestinal blockages.
Housebreaking the Alaskan Husky puppy is not an easy process; however, it's facilitated by the fact that these dogs love to spend so much time outdoors. Also, just as other Spitz-type dogs, an Alaskan Husky puppy has the tendency to be fastidiously clean.
Best Owner and Living Conditions
A deep understanding of these dogs and their needs is necessary to make them happy. The best owner is somebody who recognizes that taking care of this dog is a full-time job. Senior citizens, the frail, couch potatoes and the disabled may want to look for a calmer type of dog.
Alaskan Huskies can easily become hyperactive and destructive when bored. While technically they can live in an apartment, they do best in a bigger home in a suburban or rural setting. Due to its heritage, the Alaskan Husky prefers cold climate.
Many Alaskan Huskies have a Houdini reputation and are capable of finding their way out in unimaginable ways. For this reason, they require a strong, tall and sturdy fence. Alaskan Huskies are gifted diggers so make sure the fence is set VERY deep.
Activity and Exercise
Problems start when this dog gets bored, frustrated and unhappy. This mostly happens when dog owners try keeping this dog as a pet and leave him alone and underexercised.
If you are a hiker or backpacker, this dog will be more than happy to accompany you on your outings. To make him feel even better, enroll him in the sports of sledding and skijoring. Agility, herding, obedience and rally are other doggie sports that can also help give this hard working dog a purpose in his life.
At a minimum, take your Alaskan Husky puppy for several brisk walks every day and make sure not to over-exercise him when the weather gets hot.
Most sled dogs have a slightly oily and coarse outer coat meant to protect them from the harsh arctic climate. Bathing these dogs often is not recommended since doing so strips the coat from protective oils and may lead to skin problems.
While the coat does not need any major care, consider that these types of dogs tend to shed heavily in spring and fall. The term "blowing the coat" depicts very well what happens. If you are interested in this dog, expect to find stray hairs in every nook and cranny and accept that vacuuming will become a way of life.
Daily brushing will be required during the shedding period. For the rest of the year, two to three times per week will be enough.
Alaskan Huskies are generally healthy dogs; however, some specimens may display genetically-based conditions as seen in purebred dogs. Progressive retinal atrophy and hypothyroidism are a few examples. Some dogs may be prone to developing a congenital malformation of the larynx causing a wheezing sound upon breathing.
Even healthy dogs get sick. While many health problems will require an immediate attention from your Vet, there are many others that you may handle on your own. Learn how to save time and money (and how to prevent small problems from becoming big problems) by diagnosing and treating dog health problems that don't require your Vet's attention.
The average life expectancy for a healthy Alaskan Husky puppy is between 12 and 14 years.
No matter how cute that Alaskan Husky puppy may be, you will have to fully understand his basic needs and have a strong commitment to meet them. Fail to provide this dog with enough exercise and mental stimulation, and you may end up with a bored, unhappy and frustrated pal that can make your life and home miserable. Think twice before adopting this dog, but if you think you have what it takes to make him happy, your Alaskan husky puppy will reward you 10 times more for many years to come.
Did you ever consider adopting your next pet?
If this is the breed you are interested in, and adoption appeals to you, consider contacting your local Alaskan Husky rescue and adoption center. There are thousands of pets waiting for a loving home and, yes, it's possible to adopt a purebred dog.
You may also wish to explore the following articles:
Want to learn more?
Not happy with your pet's behavior? Need help with training your dog for obedience? Then check this dog behavior and obedience training guide.
Find this article interesting? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments, and as always, your +1's, Shares, Facebook likes and retweets are appreciated.
Search this site or click here to search the Web