Very often people confuse Alaskan Husky with Siberian Husky or Alaskan Malamute but it is neither of the 2 breeds. An Alaskan Husky is a working dog that was initially bred to have the ability to pull sleds.
It is not a pure breed and was initially bred mixing various other dog breeds like Siberian Husky, Greyhound and German Shorthaired Pointer. They are still bred today to be used in sled racing dog sports conducted in Alaska.
The Alaskan Husky looks very much similar to Siberian Husky but there are a few characteristics that will help you distinguish between the two dog breeds;
- Alaskan Huskies have a longer and leaner body when compared with Siberian Huskies.
- The Siberian Huskies have blue or grey eyes while Alaskan Huskies mostly have brown eyes
- Alaskan Huskies have short or medium coat length but the Siberian breed always has medium length coat.
Alaskan Husky Size & Weight
Size – It is larger and leaner in size when compared to other similar dog breeds like Siberian Huskies. They can grow up to 20-24 inches.
Weight – Alaskan Husky is a medium sized dog with an average weight ranging between 40 and 60 pounds in males and 35-48 pounds in females.
Alaskan Husky Temperament
Alaskan Husky is the most alert, energetic and powerful dog breed known. You do not need to allow a separate hour to take him out to exercise; they are very active and will keep you busy most of the time when you are near it.
The following characters define this breed best;
- Agility – They are very quick and love being on the constant move. Alaskan Huskies can prove to be great companions to runners, mountaineers and people with a love for adventure.
- Team Player – They get along well with other dogs and people. Since they pull sleds, they can be great team players.
- Energetic – Let them play the whole day and you will never see them feel exhausted. But if give them company during play, you would just feel worn out by the end of the game (when he has literally stopped chasing you).
- Powerful – They are typically a sled pulling dog and have the capacity to pull the heavy load.
It is very rare that this breed gets aggressive but it’s best if you are around when the dog plays with the children.
Alaskan Husky Lifespan
Alaskan Husky is a healthy breed and is expected to have an average lifespan of 10 – 15 years. Few are even known to have lived longer; hence there cannot be a standard life expectancy range allotted to the breed.
Females tend to live longer than the male dogs. Even health is a criterion to be considered; if your pet is healthy, then it is obvious that it would enjoy living a few more years.
Alaskan Husky Health Problems
All dogs tend to have genetic disorders and this is not associated with the breed type. Whether it is a crossbreed or a purebred, most dogs suffer from congenital health issues like retinal atrophy and hypothyroidism.
The Alaskan Husky is usually a healthy breed and they rarely contract diseases. Here are 2 major types of diseases that this breed tends to suffer from:
- Lysosomal Storage Disease – this leads to a lack of necessary enzymes required to perform metabolic functions; this is mostly fatal.
- Wheezers – This is a very common disease that affects the Alaskan husky mostly. This is caused due to Laryngeal Paralysis and the symptoms include gagging, difficulty in breathing and excessive coughing.
A regular checkup by the vet is necessary to keep health issues at bay. Dogs usually come with few genetic disorders but you can always avoid that if you buy the pet from a reputable breeder.
Feeding An Alaskan Husky
If your Alaskan Husky says no to “Salmons”, then it is something to worry about because almost all sled working dogs love this food; it has kind of become a base food for the Huskies.
Alaskan Huskies should be fed twice a day; once in the morning and next in the evening. When they are less than 6 months old, it is better to split the meal to 3 intervals.
How To Train An Alaskan Husky?
Begin the training process the day you bring him home. This breed is quite powerful and energetic and will always be ready to learn new tricks. They are quite easy to train and regular brisk walks are enough to keep them active throughout the day.
Be informed of the fact that they can easily get bored if left alone for a long time. This pet is a “Don’t-Buy-Breed” if you just wish to have a cuddly dog at home; this breed is best suited for adventurous people who love hiking.
If you have planned to buy an Alaskan Husky, then make sure to enrol him into some kind of sports or sled racing club. Trust me, he will love you for that!
Read Also: Dog Training Types
Interesting Facts About Alaskan Husky
- The Alaskan Husky loves the cooler climate and is not very adaptable to hotter climates. So if you are staying in an area that has a temperature higher than 25°C, then it is better not to buy this breed.
- They can run for miles and never get tired.
- This breed craves for exercise and activity; lack of movement can make them grow unhappy and frustrated.
- They are calmer than other breeds like the Siberian Husky. They are good with children but it is always best to have an elder supervising while the kids play with the dog.
- No wonder, they are called pack dogs. Alaskan Huskies have a great team-work-instinct and work in unison with the pack.
- Training becomes extremely easy with this breed. Even the puppies that are around 8 weeks old understand and learn basic tricks/commands easily.
Alaskan Husky Price
The average price of an Alaskan Husky could be $1000 to $1500 for a registered dog. This is not a standard rate and may vary from breeder to breeder.
Now if you are planning to bring home a racer or a leading sledge dog, then you can expect the rate to be around $10,000. Quite a lot, I know!
The breeder’s location and reputation also play an important role in determining the price of an Alaskan Husky. Sometimes a breed from a particular bloodline requires the higher amount to be paid than a normal crossbreed puppy.
This dog breed can be a great buddy to an adventurous, fun-loving owner. So if you are planning to get home a pet that would accompany you to the hiking plan next weekend, then an Alaskan Husky is the right choice.
Alaskan Husky Breeder
Finding the right breeder is essential if you wish to bring home the right Alaskan Husky. Walk away from a breeder who claims to offer you a 100% healthy breed.
Every dog is prone to suffer from some kind of small genetic disorder and it is always good to discuss things clearly before purchasing. A reputable breeder would be open enough to discuss any known problem related to the pup’s health.
Most of the breeders take genetic tests and also screen the dog’s health prior to making it available for sale. If a breeder is willing to sign up papers guaranteeing the health of the dog and also produces the required certificates to authenticate its perfectness, then you can proceed to buy a pet from him.
Lots of top-notch breeders have websites, so you can always do a little background check online before personally visiting a breeder.
Here are a few tips to remember while buying a dog;
- Talk to a vet or a groomer who can help you connect with well-known breeders. You can always rely on these local experts because they may have observed the dog owners quietly closely.
- Search for a Rescue centre online that has the special affinity towards the Alaskan Husky. You will always be able to adopt a healthy pet because rescue centres take extra care to ensure the health and well-being of the breeds they take in.
- If you are buying a full grown dog, it is better if you get to know its past behaviour, health issues, energy level, etc.
- Ensure that the puppy is given the necessary vaccinations prior to sale.