The Alaskan husky is a breed of medium-sized working sled dog, developed specifically for its performance as such. Alaskan huskies are the most commonly used type of dog for competitive sled dog racing, both in short-distance sprint racing as well as long-distance expedition races such as the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, the Yukon Quest, and the Finnmarkslopet.
The Alaskan husky is not an officially recognized breed by any kennel club, nor does it have a formal breed standard. Unlike breeds developed for the show ring, the Alaskan husky is instead a product of careful selection for desirable sled dog traits from various other breeds, such as aptitude for pulling, endurance, speed, intelligence, appetite, and tolerance of extreme weather.As a result of this specific and mindful performance-only based breeding, DNA studies show that Alaskan Huskies share a genetic signature and indeed can be identified accurately on DNA breed tests.
The Alaskan husky is an incredibly athletic dog variety, and as a dog crossbreed their appearance can vary markedly, although various lines have been bred for multiple generations and breed very true to that line's type.Some Alaskan husky lines have very traditional husky spitz-like features with pricked ears and curled tails, whilst other lines more closely resemble their hound or gundog heritage with tipped or floppy ears, straight tails and tucked up sighthound-like loins. As they are not bred with conformation in mind, cosmetic features are not a consideration for breeding, and these features instead tend to follow the purpose of the dog's intended style of sled work.
Generally Alaskan huskies are taller than Siberian Huskies and are lighter in build than Alaskan Malamutes, both of whom they share lineage with and are descended from. On average they stand between 20 and 26 inches (51 and 66 cm) and weigh between 35 and 75 pounds (16 and 34 kg). Tough feet are an important feature and desirable trait for breeding consideration. As with their build, the Alaskan husky's coat can vary greatly; they usually have double coats with all colors and patterns of colors seen within various lines. Distance-type Alaskan huskies often have denser double coats to better contend with cold temperatures and harsh wind, whereas sprint lines have shorter coats to allow for greater heat dissipation during races at high speeds.
It is common for distance-type Alaskan huskies to be outfitted with dog coats and dog booties during long expeditions and races, in order to regulate temperature and protect the dog's feet from ice and rough terrain. The use of dog coats has become more common into the late 20th and early 21st centuries as even the distance lines have been bred for greater speed, sacrificing some of the heavier and more dense protective double-coat of their Arctic breed ancestors.
About Alaskan Husky
Weight 35-60 lb Lifespan10-15 years Temperament Energetic, active, friendly, affectionate GroupNot Applicable Best Suited For Families with children, active singles, houses with yards Comparable Breeds Alaskan Malamute, Siberian Husky Height 23-26 inches
Alaskan Husky Basics
If you were to imagine a dog that looks like a Siberian Husky but in an entirely different color palette, you might be thinking of the Alaskan Husky. The name Alaskan Husky refers to a type of dog rather than a specific breed and each breeder of Alaskan Huskies breeds selectively for the traits that are important to him or her. Overall, the Alaskan Husky is an intelligent and active breed that thrives as a sled dog or simply when given a job to do.
The Alaskan Husky is an intelligent and active breed that thrives as a sled dog or simply when given a job to do.
The Alaskan Husky’s origins can be traced back to the Native Village dog in Alaska and Canada. The Native Village dog is taller and rangier than most Eskimo Village-type dogs – these traits are preferred by mushers because it lends the dog capable of performing a variety of tasks in addition to pulling a sled. Alaskan Huskies have been selectively bred from local village dogs to create a breed that possessed the desired traits of speed, stamina, good feet, size, and coat type. This combination of features makes the Alaskan Husky the ideal sled dog who is also able to compete in races, pull heavy loads, and to travel great distances at high speed.
The Alaskan Husky is not technically considered a purebred dog because no Standard of Perfection has been published and there are no restrictions regarding the breed’s ancestry. This dog is essentially a blend of various Nordic dog breeds, selectively bred for its skills as a sled dog.
Because the Alaskan Husky is a highly active breed, it is best to feed him a dog food formulated for active dogs. Follow the feeding instructions on the package but monitor your dog to see if the amount of food is adequate for his needs. If he appears to lose weight or energy, you may need to increase his daily ration.
The Alaskan Husky is a highly intelligent breed and typically responds well to training.
Because the Alaskan Husky is a highly intelligent breed, he typically responds well to training. Start training your husky as early as possible to head off the development of problem behaviors – if you wait too long to start training your dog could become willful or headstrong. Positive reinforcement training methods are recommended for this breed and it is best to keep your training sessions short and fun so your dog doesn’t get bored.
The adult male Alaskan Husky typically weighs between 40 and 60 lbs. at maturity while the female weighs between 35 and 48 lbs. Both sexes achieve an average height at maturity of 23 to 26 inches.
The Alaskan Husky is a friendly and playful breed – he is also affectionate and loves to cuddle with his owner. These dogs do have a great deal of energy and require a good deal of daily exercise – a simple walk around the block will not be sufficient. In addition to physical exercise, these dogs also require a great deal of mental stimulation to keep them from getting bored. If your Alaskan Husky doesn’t get enough physical or mental stimulation, he is likely to develop problem behaviors. It is also important to note that these dogs can jump as high as 6 feet, so they need to be watched carefully when kept outside because they have a penchant for escaping.
Common Health Problems
For the most part, the Alaskan Husky is a healthy breed, though some strains are prone to developing certain genetically inherited conditions. Some of the health conditions known to affect the Alaskan Husky breed include hypothyroidism, progressive retinal atrophy, congenital deformation of the larynx, and various stomach and bowel issues.
The average life expectancy of the Alaskan Husky breed is between 10 and 15 years.
Because the Alaskan Husky was bred to pull a sled, these dogs have a great deal of stamina – they are able to run for hours on end and they do best when given a job to do. These dogs are highly active and very playful, so they require a great deal of daily exercise. In addition to physical exercise, these dogs are also highly intelligent and they require plenty of mental stimulation to keep them occupied.
The Alaskan Husky is a friendly and playful breed – he is also affectionate and loves to cuddle with his owner.
The Alaskan Husky is not currently accepted for registration with the AKC because it is not technically a purebred dog.
The Alaskan Husky has a short- to medium-length coat that is self-cleaning like the coat of a Siberian Husky or an Alaskan Malamute. The coat sheds minimally except twice a year when the dog blows its coat. These dogs come in a variety of colors, either solid or multi-colored, with various shades of gray, black, and white. Some dogs exhibit brown, cream, or red coloration. Unlike the Siberian Husky, the Alaskan Husky has brown eyes.
Because the Alaskan Husky is an intelligent breed, it is important that you start training your puppy as soon as possible. Even when they are as young as eight weeks old, these dogs can learn quickly. If you wait too long to start training your Alaskan Husky puppy he may become headstrong and training will be much more difficult in the future. It is also a good idea to socialize your puppy as much as possible from a young age.
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