Husky is one the most sought-after breed of dogs in the world. They have been popular sled dogs that were originally bred in the cold arctic terrain to transport humans and goods. In distant history, they had been inaccurately named “Eskimo” or “Huskimo”. Today they are commonly known as “Husky.”
It is believed that they were mixed in with wild wolf breeds. That is why they share many common traits like athletic and strong bodies, thick long coats, webbed paws, deep chests, smart minds, and a graceful gait. They are ideal companions and watchdogs. Thanks to their sense of humor, you can never get bored in their company.
Although Siberian Husky is most the popular dog among this breed, there are other types of Huskies too. On average, there are 22 different types of Husky dogs. Some are purebred while others are mixed but all are adored and loved by pet lovers. Each breed is unique in its appearance and personality traits. We have shared 8 types of husky dog breeds in this article. Let’s dig into them in detail!
1. Siberian Husky
The Siberian husky is the pure breed of Huskies. In ancient times, they were bred as sled dogs. Due to their phenomenal endurance and athletic abilities, they are used as rescue dogs in US Army’s Arctic Search and Rescue Unit.
Siberian Huskies have relatively smaller heads with a closer setting of the eyes and ears. These medium-sized huskies grow up to be about 20-24 inches tall and weigh 35-55 pounds. Their eye color varies from blue to black and hazel to brown. They can be white, grey, brown, or black (Agouti Husky) in color.
Huskies are affectionate, vocal, and outgoing dogs. They are friendly towards children, strangers, and animals alike. Siberians’ stubborn disposition needs experienced trainers to handle it. They howl instead of barking. Due to high activity levels and to avoid destructive behaviors, they require extensive mental and physical training. Here is a detailed guide on how to train a Siberian Husky.
2. Norwegian Elkhound
Norwegian Elkhound, as the name suggests, originated in Norway. During their phenomenal stamina, they were used to hunt moose and other big games. In recent times, these hardy and brave dogs utilize their guarding abilities to defend the herds and their family.
Elkhound is a medium-sized husky breed, averaging 20 inches in height and 48 to 55 pounds in weight. Their dense silver-gray coat, deep chest, muscular thighs, the tail curling over the back, and sturdy legs give them a majestic look. Their eyes are dark brown and their ears are erect and mobile.
Elkhounds have a wonderful sense of humor. This smart, protective, bold, and energetic breed makes an excellent watchdog and guardian. They are tender-hearted Vikings who do every possible thing to bring a smile to your face. Both experienced and novice pet parents will find it easy to befriend these types of Husky dogs. They just need plenty of exercise and enrichment to meet their high energy levels.
Calling Samoyed, a type of husky is inaccurate. It is a breed of its own kind. It is just a descendant of huskies and has a strikingly similar appearance to them. They were originally bred in Asia and Siberia. Despite their small size, they can astonishingly carry sleds. Samoyed dogs reach up to the height of 19-24 inches. Adult dogs weigh 35 to 65 pounds on average.
They usually have brown eyes and black noses. They have white or cream color poofy coats with lengthy fur. If you live in a small apartment, this breed is not suitable for you. Samoyeds have a high activity level so they need big yards and open places to play and exercise.
They make excellent working, herding, and family dogs. They are prone to separation anxiety. You must play with them quite often because they love entertainment. Being powerful and agile, they love to work tirelessly.
Purebred Samoyeds are rarely aggressive although they might get territorial if there is a lack of socialization. Their ability to tolerate harsh weather conditions has made them useful for transporting goods and humans in snowy regions.
4. Labrador Husky
Contrary to the popular belief, the Labrador Husky is a purebred husky. It is not named after the Labrador retriever but a Canadian region called Labrador from where these types of husky breeds originated 1300 years ago. It is the indirect descendent of many dog breeds especially the Siberian Husky and German Shepherd.
Labrador Husky is a large size breed that can grow up to 100 pounds in weight and 20-28 inches in height. They are exceptionally similar to Siberian husky both in looks and temperament.
Labrador Huskies have high metabolic needs and require extensive exercise. Their prey drive is very strong which makes them dangerous for other pets. They are excellent watchdogs and companions. Loyal nature makes them extremely possessive. You need to be careful while having this breed around strangers or inside your house.
Chinook dogs were originated and bred as sled dogs in New Hampshire. Being a mix of a farm dog and husky, they have retained the characteristics of both parents. It makes them a rare husky breed with a calm and relaxed disposition.
Males of the breed reach up to a height of 22 to 26 inches and weigh 50-90 pounds. A variety of coat colors like brown, buff, tan, fawn, black, and grey make their looks appealing. They have dark and almond-shaped eyes just like pure breed Huskies.
Chinooks make excellent watchdogs, companions, and farm dogs. They are affectionate towards their family, children, and strangers as well. Due to their cozy and cultured attitude, children often love to play with them. They howl but are rarely vocal. They can prove excellent pets for novice owners.
6. Alaskan Malamute
The Alaskan Malamute is a replica of the Siberian Husky but has a bigger size. The word “Malamute” is derived from the ‘Mahlemut’ tribe that originally created this breed approximately 2000-3000 years ago. Just like their Siberian cousins, they are pure breed sled dogs, descended directly from the wolves.
Malamutes have a substantial skeleton with a well-furred body, plumed tail, and erected ears. Their adults can reach up to 23-26 inches in height and 75-95 pounds in weight. AKC registered them among the other types of husky breeds in 1935.
Malamutes are bred for multiple tasks including hunting, guarding, towing supplies, and providing warmth in the harsh arctic environment. They are stubborn with a strong-willed personalities. Their owner should be assertive and experienced in handling a large and moody breed.
They behave more like the protective mother of the family and are exceptionally good with the kids. Their playful and gentle disposition makes them ideal companions.
7. American Klee Kai
American Klee Kai is one of the small-sized types of Husky breed that originated in Alaska. They were originally larger than they are today and assisted their owners in pulling sleds, tracking games, and guarding the property. The modern smaller breed is introduced by Linda Spurlin around 40 years ago. Klee Kai means small dog.
These miniature versions of Alaskan huskies stand at 15-17 inches tall and weigh only 15-22 pounds. With a wedge-shaped head, furry curled tail, and pricked ears, they appear very striking. Their unique versions of Red, white, black, or grey coats make Klee Kai stand out from the other husky breeds.
American Klee Kai sheds moderately, doesn’t require very strict grooming, and is a great watchdog. These dogs can tolerate cold weather. They are playful, active, and easily trainable.
While they are friendly and adaptable toward family and animals alike, they might be suspicious of strangers. Their athletic disposition and intelligence make them excellent at dog sports such as nose work or agility.
8. American Eskimo
The American Eskimo dog belongs to the Spitz family of Nordic dogs. Its true origin is unknown. What is known is that these dogs are descended from the white Spitz-type German dogs, white Keeshonden, or white Pomeranians that came to the United States with the German immigrants. The American Eskimo Dog has bred as a circus performer and a farm dog in the United States during the 19th century.
The Eskimo breed is one of few types of the husky breed that comes in three sizes-miniature, toy, and standard. They have a distinctive fox-like smiling face with black noses, lips, and deep eye rims. Their dense white coat with a lion-like fur around the chest, and a fluffy curved tail look ethereal.
American Eskimo breeds are a perfect example of beauty with brains. They are always friendly but alert and slightly suspicious of strangers. Behavioral problems are common if you neglect or undertrain them. They are kid-friendly, pet-friendly, and perfect companions. These ‘biscuit colored’ fluffs are always eager to please their owners.
All the types of husky breeds are not for everyone. The owner should be able to provide them with good training, socialization, plenty of exercises, and space.
Due to a lack of resources and proper handling, most Huskies end up in animal shelters. So, bring such rewarding and affectionate buddies to your home only if you understand how to care for these types of dogs.