When people think of Huskies, they usually think of the Siberian Husky even if they’re not really aware of that fact. However, it’s important to realize that there is more than one breed of Husky dog. Of course, you’re already familiar with the Siberian Husky because that’s probably what you’ve seen in movies and television. You might have even owned one of your own or perhaps you have one now. With that being said, what about its slightly less famous cousin, the Alaskan Husky? This is not just the same dog with a different name attached to it. As a matter of fact, there are a lot of things about the Alaskan Husky that are very different, and 10 of them are listed below.
1. It’s not actually considered a breed
If you really want to get technical about things, the Alaskan Husky is not recognized as a breed in and of itself by the American Kennel Club. Instead, it’s regarded as a mixed breed. Typically, Alaskan Husky is a name attached to a dog that has some Husky breeding along with something else. Siberian Husky is usually reserved for those dogs that are purebred.
2. It doesn’t really look like you might think a Husky should look
When you first lay eyes upon the Alaskan Husky, you might think that you’re looking at a wolf that’s a little underweight or maybe even a Siberian Husky that hasn’t eaten in a week and has mange. This isn’t meant to be cruel or funny, but it’s the best way to describe the appearance of this particular dog. They have exceptionally long legs and they’re lean like a wolf, yet they have more hair like a Husky. They certainly don’t have the amount of hair that a Siberian Husky has, though.
3. You might be surprised what the cross breed involves
You may have a hard time believing this, but the Alaskan Husky is typically half Siberian Husky and half Hound. That’s enough to make most people shake their head, but there’s a very specific reason that these dogs are bred to these standards. You can read more about it in the next several paragraphs.
4. These are the dogs people prefer for sleds
When it comes to getting from point A to point B in the snow, most people far prefer these dogs to their fancier Siberian Husky cousins. That’s because the dogs are exceptionally hardy and they don’t have any trouble getting where they’re going, even in the harshest of conditions.
5. They’re also faster
People that enter dogs in sled races usually prefer this breed because there’s not really a dog on earth that can keep up with it. They’re much faster than the Siberian Husky and they don’t have any trouble passing virtually any other breed of dog.
6. They have remarkable endurance
On top of being fast, Alaskan Huskies have a kind of endurance that most people would envy. They’re capable of going for what seems like forever and then going some more. They don’t tend to get tired easily, nor do they need a lot in order to go long distances in conditions that would make most people turn and run.
7. They have an uncanny ability to focus
There’s no doubt about it, these dogs pay attention to the task at hand. They don’t allow themselves to become distracted by anything they see or hear. Once they’re trained to lead a sled, that is their singular goal in life and they will do it until they are directed to stop by the musher.
8. They’re smarter than they’re often given credit for
As a matter of fact, these dogs are smart enough to continue pulling a sled into the next populated location, even if their musher becomes incapacitated. It’s not unheard of for them to pull an unconscious person into a checkpoint and stop on their own.
9. They’re often considered man’s best friend for the most practical reasons
If you’ve ever spent time in Alaska, you know how harsh the conditions can be. Dogs are frequently considered to be man’s best friend, but these dogs have a tendency to take that to a whole new level. They really are the only thing that stands between their musher and certain death. If it weren’t for them, no one would be able to get around to do anything and life in the area would become virtually impossible.
10. They are often worth of a great deal of money
For a dog that’s capable of leading one of the premier sled teams in Alaska and doing a good job, it’s not uncommon for someone to pay at least $15,000 for a single animal. That’s because these types of dogs are in extremely high demand and when it really comes right down to it, people will pay whatever they need to in order to get their hands on one.