How Many Different Types of Husky Breeds are There?

Husky

Generally speaking, when people hear the term “husky,” they will think of the Siberian Husky. However, if there is a Siberian Husky, it stands to reason that there are other huskies that can be found out there. After all, there is an English Mastiff which is but one of a huge number of mastiffs that can be found out there. Similarly, there is a Scottish Terrier, which is but one of a huge number of terriers. As such, it makes sense for there to be multiple kinds of huskies that can be found out there.

How Many Different Kinds of Huskies Are There?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a simple answer for the question of how many kinds of huskies that can be found out there. For starters, it should be mentioned that a husky is a kind of dog that originated with the circumpolar peoples. Primarily, they are known for being used to pull sleds and sledges, which were extremely important as methods of transportation in pre-modern times. However, huskies also saw use for a number of other purposes, with examples including both herding and hunting. Nowadays, huskies are nowhere near as important as they were in the pre-modern times because sleds and sledges have been replaced by trucks, planes, and other modern vehicles. Even so, a number of huskies have managed to make a smooth transition to the present by finding new roles for themselves. To name an example, recreational mushing is surprisingly widespread.

Moving on, the term of “circumpolar peoples” encompasses a wide range of cultures. After all, it is a very literal name, meaning that it includes every single one of the indigenous peoples living in the Arctic. As such, there are circumpolar peoples living in Canada, the United States, Scandinavia, Greenland, and the Faroe Islands. Each of these indigenous peoples were in contact with other cultures, but their location meant that they were on the isolated side of things. Thanks to that, it wasn’t uncommon for their dogs to get the chance to develop in isolation, thus making for increased divergence over time. For comparison, most modern dog breeds are actually closely related to one another, which makes sense because they didn’t come from everywhere in the world but rather from just a part of it that was well-connected within itself. To illustrate this point using an example, consider how every single true mastiff is said to have descended from the Molossus, an ancient Greek dog breed that was popular enough to spread throughout the Roman Empire and beyond.

This isn’t the sole reason that it is difficult to come up with a simple answer for a seemingly simple question. When people say dog breed, they often mean pure dog breeds. For instance, one of the reasons that the Siberian Husky is the best-known husky is because it is considered to be a pure dog breed. Something that has been boosting its already considerable popularity ever since because popularity is one of the major factors that determine whether a particular dog breed can become a pure dog breed. Simply put, if no one cares, then no one is going to make the effort for push for such a move. In any case, this leads to the relevant point, which is that there are a wide range of dogs that aren’t considered to be purebred dogs but are nonetheless quite distinctive in their own right because purebred is something that people impose upon these animals rather than something that people discover about these animals. Naturally, there are huskies that aren’t considered to be purebred but are nonetheless distinctive enough for them to be considered their own kind of dog. Having said that, husky itself is a rather nebulous term. As such, it is perfectly possible for people to disagree about whether a particular kind of dog can be considered a husky or not. Something that further contributes to the confusion over the exact number of the different kinds of husky that can be found out there. In fact, some people are even willing to consider dogs that didn’t originate with circumpolar peoples but were used for pulling sleds and sledges anyways, with the result that their count of different kinds of huskies can hit 20+.

What Is the Siberian Husky?

Regardless, there are very good reasons why Siberian Huskies have managed to become so popular. For starters, they are very impressive-looking animals. Like a lot of huskies, Siberian Huskies come with a thick double coat that provides them with exceptional insulation from the cold. Moreover, this combines with their extended snout, their triangular ears, and the general cast of their countenance to make them look like wolves. Something that is perhaps unsurprising considering the heritage of Siberian Huskies. All dogs are related to wolves because they are either members of the same species or members of two species that diverged in relatively recent times by the standards of such things. However, some dogs are more closely related to wolves than others. In the case of Siberian Huskies, they are one of the huskies that are closely related to the now-extinct Taimyr wolf, so much so that it is clear that these species were mixing together with one another in ancient times. As such, it is no wonder that Siberian Huskies are so wolf-like in appearance.

Personality-wise, Siberian Huskies are quite pleasant, though they are far from being free of fault from a dog owner’s perspective. Given their origins as working dogs, it should come as no surprise to learn that they are very intelligent, meaning that they are good at picking up the things that they are supposed to. However, it would be inaccurate to say that Siberian Huskies are easy to work with because they are also extremely independent-minded pack animals, meaning that dog owners must be able to assert themselves over their Siberian Huskies for the best results. Otherwise, well, suffice to say that it isn’t unknown for these animals to run rampant. Besides this, Siberian Huskies are also very amusing in that they are both very playful and very social. Both of which should be positive traits for people who want a canine companion.

When it comes to their needs, Siberian Huskies aren’t the most demanding dog breed that can be found out there. However, they aren’t the easiest to deal with either. Siberian Huskies need plenty of exercise. Without that, they can get bored, at which point, they can start getting up to mischief as well as other undesirable behaviors. As such, Siberian Huskies are best-suited for yards that offer them some space to run around in, though interested individuals should make sure to keep a close eye on them because their athleticism makes them excellent escape artists. Theoretically, it is possible for these dogs to live in an apartment. In practice, well, suffice to say that is applicable only to the best-trained Siberian Huskies. Leash training is a much for Siberian Huskies. They enjoy running around too much to be trusted otherwise. On top of that, Siberian Huskies have a hunting drive, so that can be a concern as well. In any case, these dogs are like any other in that early training and early socialization can do a great deal to make them the best canine companions that they can be.

What Are Some Examples of Other Kinds of Huskies?

Here are some other examples of the huskies that can be found out there:

Alaskan Malamute

The Alaskan Malamute is an excellent example of other huskies. This is perhaps unsurprising considering that it is related to the Siberian Husky, though the exact way that was true wasn’t clear until relatively recent times. In short, both Alaskan Malamutes and Siberian Huskies were related to the sled dogs from Chukotka, which is a Siberian location that has the distinction of being the easternmost peninsula in the whole of Asia. As such, the two dog breeds are quite close, more so than with most of their other relatives. Appearance-wise, the Alaskan Malamute has a lot of similarities with the Siberian Husky. To name an example, they also possess the thick double coat needed to make it through cold circumpolar weather. Similarly, Alaskan Malamutes are like Siberian Huskies in a lot of ways when it comes to their temperament. They are very friendly animals when it comes to most people, which is the reason that they make for terrible watch dogs. Be warned that there are limits to this, as shown by how people are supposed to be careful around small animals and young children with their Alaskan Malamutes. Amusingly, Alaskan Malamutes are even less vocal than Siberian Huskies.

Alaskan Husky

Speaking of which, Alaskan Huskies are related to both Siberian Huskies and Alaskan Malamutes, which makes sense because it was created using these two dog breeds plus others. Alaskan Huskies are not recognized as purebred dogs by anyone out there. Something that makes a fair amount of sense because they are bred for racing excellence, with the result that they are the most commonly-used dogs for dog sled competitions. Thanks to this, Alaskan Huskies are actually a pretty eclectic-looking bunch. Some of them look like Siberian Huskies and Alaskan Malamutes. Meanwhile, others look like hounds, gundogs, and other kinds of dogs. Moreover, it should be mentioned that Alaskan Huskies often have physical characteristics that are meant to help out with specific competitions. For example, dogs used for long-distance competitions tend to have thicker coats that insulate them better. In contrast, dogs used for short-distance competitions tend to have shorter coats that make it easier for them to get rid of built-up heat. The one thing that truly unites Alaskan Huskies is that they are always very athletic because that is the whole point of their breeding. As for personality, that can see a fair amount of variation. However, it is common for Alaskan Huskies to have some similarities. In particular, they tend to be smart animals that can work well with one another while being capable of solving problems on their own. All of which are characteristics that make Alaskan Huskies useful for competitions.

Samoyed

Samoyeds are sometimes considered to be huskies as well. However, they are more distant from Siberian Huskies and Alaskan Malamutes, which makes sense because they come from the western end of Siberia rather than the eastern end. Even so, Samoyeds played very similar roles for the Samoyedic peoples. For example, they were used to pull sleds and sledges. Similarly, they were used for both herding and hunting, which were also extremely important for their human masters’ survival in a harsh landscape.

As for how Samoyeds look, well, they are just as iconic as Siberian Huskies, though in a very different way. Simply put, these dogs are sometimes called Smileys because of their smiling expression. Technically, that smiling expression serves a practical purpose by preventing the dogs from drooling, which is important because saliva can freeze very fast under Siberian conditions. However, it should be mentioned that smiling expression is also quite good as an indication of these dogs’ personality. Samoyeds are very friendly towards humans, with the result that they also make for terrible guard dogs. Having said that, they can make for decent watch dogs because they are much more prone to barking whenever they see something of interest approaching them. Still, it is important for interested individuals to know how to take charge when they own a Samoyed. After all, their ancestors were used for pulling things, so they can be very willing to pull their owners with them while they are out on a leash. Samoyeds might be cute, but they are also physically-impressive animals.

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