Huskies are a popular breed of dog known for their stunning appearance and impressive working abilities. There are many different types of huskies, each with their own unique characteristics and traits. Below we will define what is a husky and then explore the different types of husky breeds, including their origins, temperaments, and suitability as pets.
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What is a Husky?
The term “husky” is often used informally to refer to a specific breed of dog known as the Siberian Husky. The Siberian Husky is a medium-sized working breed that originated in northeastern Siberia, Russia. These dogs were originally bred by the Chukchi people for various purposes, including pulling sleds and assisting with transportation in the harsh Arctic environment.
However, the actual definition of a “husky” is a type of dog primarily used in Arctic regions for sled dog work. These dogs are characterized by their traditional northern breed traits, which include a remarkable tolerance for cold weather and exceptional hardiness.
Actually, the term “Husky” or “Huskies” was originally used to describe the people inhabiting the Arctic regions of North America, not their sled dogs. These people were originally known as “Esquimaux” or “Eskimo”. Over time the Eskimos were called different names from different dialects including “Uskee”, “Uskimay”, and “Huskemaw”, which eventually became “Husky” to broadly name a person from the Arctic regions of North America.
When discussing their working dogs, they were called the Huskies’ dogs. And so, snowdog breeds from the Arctic are now known generally as Husky dogs. Isn’t that interesting?! 😲
So, with that in mind, below you will find a complete list of husky dogs and arctic dog breeds that were used for sled dog work. The list includes a range of Arctic dog breeds beyond what the “Huskies” used.
18 Different Types of Huskies
There are several dog breeds that fall under the category of arctic breeds used for sled dog work. These breeds can be categorized as “huskies” or loosely as husky breeds and are known for their strength, endurance, and ability to thrive in cold climates.
Below you’ll find a complete list of the different types of huskies.
1. Siberian Husky
Originating in Siberia, the Siberian Husky is a true icon among husky breeds. This breed’s history is deeply intertwined with the Chukchi people, who relied on these dogs for sled-pulling and transportation in the unforgiving Arctic terrain. Siberian Huskies are instantly recognizable with their striking appearance, marked by a thick double coat, distinct facial patterns, and often mesmerizing blue eyes.
Beyond their captivating looks, these dogs are celebrated for their friendly and sociable nature, making them both skilled working dogs and beloved family pets. Their boundless energy and love for adventure make them a cherished breed among those who appreciate their enduring spirit.
My opinion: The reason why people refer to Siberian Huskies when they say Huskies is because they have the most striking looks similar to wolves compared to all other husky breeds.
2. Alaskan Malamute
The Alaskan Malamute boasts a rich arctic heritage. Originating in Alaska, these dogs were originally bred by the indigenous Inuit people for heavy hauling and sled work.
Alaskan Malamutes are powerful and robust, with a sturdy build designed for tough, cold-weather tasks. They are known for their striking appearance, characterized by a dense double coat, wolf-like appearance, and a proud, dignified demeanor.
Despite their imposing presence, they have a friendly and affectionate nature, making them excellent family dogs for those who can provide them with the exercise and space they need.
3. Greenland Dog (Greenland Husky)
The Greenland Dog, also known as the Greenland Husky, is a breed indigenous to Greenland. These dogs have played a vital role in the lives of the Inuit people for centuries, serving as both transportation and hunting companions in the harsh Arctic conditions.
Greenland Dogs are known for their remarkable strength and endurance, which enabled them to thrive in this challenging environment. They have a sturdy build, thick double coat, and a friendly disposition. Although they are not as commonly seen outside of Greenland, they remain a symbol of the enduring partnership between humans and dogs in the Arctic.
4. Canadian Eskimo Dog
The Canadian Eskimo Dog, also known as the Qimmiq, is a remarkable breed native to Canada’s Arctic regions. With roots dating back over a thousand years, these dogs were the trusted companions of indigenous Inuit people for hunting, hauling, and sled-pulling tasks.
Canadian Eskimo Dogs are robust, hardworking, and exceptionally adapted to cold climates. They have a distinctive appearance, characterized by a thick double coat, erect ears, and a curled tail. While their numbers have dwindled over the years, efforts are underway to preserve and protect this ancient and iconic Canadian breed, ensuring its legacy lives on.
5. Labrador Husky
The Labrador Husky hails from the Labrador region of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, and is believed to have arrived with the Inuit settlers around 1300 AD. Despite its name, this breed is not connected to the Labrador Retriever nor the Labrador Husky Mix but shares its closest genetic ties with the Canadian Eskimo Dog. With a population estimated at just 50-60 dogs worldwide, the Labrador Husky stands as a unique and rare breed!
Samoyeds, although not traditional sled dogs, share a historical connection to the Arctic. Originating from Siberia and named after the Samoyedic people, these dogs were primarily used for herding reindeer and assisting with sled transportation.
Samoyeds are instantly recognizable thanks to their striking white coat, which is both beautiful and functional in cold climates. They are known for their friendly, gentle, and social nature, often referred to as “smiling Sammies” for their characteristic “smile.” Samoyeds thrive in family environments and are cherished for their loving temperament and ability to spread joy wherever they go.
The Chinook is a unique breed with a fascinating history. Developed in New Hampshire, USA, in the early 20th century, they were originally created for sled dog work. This breed combines genes from Siberian Huskies, Mastiffs, and other breeds, resulting in a distinctive appearance and a gentle disposition.
Chinooks are strong, muscular dogs with a friendly and affectionate nature. They excel in various tasks, including sled pulling, and they have a remarkable sense of loyalty to their human companions. Chinooks remain a treasured part of sled dog history and are appreciated for their versatility and devotion.
8. Seppala Siberian Sleddog
Seppala Siberian Sleddogs are a specific lineage of Siberian Huskies known for their exceptional sled-pulling abilities. They are named after the legendary musher Leonhard Seppala, who played a pivotal role in popularizing the breed in North America during the early 20th century.
These dogs are bred for their performance in sled dog racing and working in cold climates. They are known for their endurance, agility, and determination, making them a preferred choice for mushers and enthusiasts involved in dog sledding sports.
9. Sakhalin Husky
The Sakhalin Husky, also known as the Karafuto Ken or Sakhalin Husky, is a rare breed native to Sakhalin Island in Russia. These dogs were used for transportation and sled pulling in the harsh Arctic conditions of the region.
Sakhalin Huskies are characterized by their wolf-like appearance, including a thick double coat, pointed ears, and a curled tail. While they are not as well-known as some other sled dog breeds, they hold a special place in the history and culture of Sakhalin Island, where their resilience and strength have been valued for generations.
Have you seen the movie Either Below? This movie, based on a true story, depicted Sakhalin Huskies working together to survive while left behind on an expedition to Antarctica. If you haven’t seen this movie, make sure you read our article about the best sled dog movies.
10. MacKenzie River Husky
The term “MacKenzie River Husky” refers to mixed-breed sled dogs found in the northern regions of Canada, particularly along the MacKenzie River. These dogs have a rich history as working partners with Indigenous communities, helping with tasks such as hauling freight and transportation in cold, remote areas.
While they may lack the standardized appearance of recognized breeds, MacKenzie River Huskies are celebrated for their strength, resilience, and adaptability to the harsh Arctic environment. Their contribution to the history of dog sledding and their unwavering loyalty to their human companions remain hallmarks of their legacy.
The Utonagan is a unique breed developed in the United Kingdom. While they are not traditionally used as sled dogs, they are sometimes included in discussions of arctic or wolf-like breeds due to their striking resemblance to wolves.
Utonagans are bred for their wolf-like appearance, which includes a thick double coat and piercing almond-shaped eyes. They have a gentle and friendly temperament, making them suitable as family pets. Despite their captivating wolf-like appearance, Utonagans are not known for their working abilities but rather for their aesthetic appeal and companionship.
The Eurohound is a hybrid breed that combines the speed and endurance of racing breeds like pointers and setters with the strength and work ethic of husky-type dogs, such as Siberian Huskies. They are often used in dog sledding races and various dog sports.
Eurohounds are prized for their incredible athleticism, agility, and ability to cover long distances with speed. Their mixed ancestry results in a variety of coat colors and markings, making them distinct from traditional husky breeds. These dogs are bred for the thrill of the run and the excitement of competition, making them a favorite among mushers and sled dog enthusiasts.
The Akita, originating from Japan, is a breed known for its strength, loyalty, and imposing presence. While not typically used for sled work, Akitas have a historical connection to cold climates and are part of the Spitz family of breeds. With a thick double coat and a dignified demeanor, Akitas exude an aura of strength and grace.
They were originally bred for tasks such as hunting large game, including bears and boars, and for guarding. Akitas are renowned for their loyalty to their families and their reserved yet affectionate nature. They are a symbol of Japanese heritage and have found a place in the hearts of many dog enthusiasts around the world.
Hailing from the Netherlands, the Keeshond is a distinctive breed known for its fox-like expression, plush double coat, and charming personality. These dogs were originally bred for guarding ships and barges rather than sled pulling.
Keeshonds are agile and alert, with a natural inclination for companionship and loyalty. They thrive in social settings and make excellent family pets, known for their friendly and outgoing disposition. While not directly associated with sled work, they share common ancestry with northern breeds and have a long history as beloved companions and watchdogs.
15. Norwegian Elkhound
The Norwegian Elkhound, with its strong, wolf-like appearance and cold-weather adaptability, has played a crucial role in the hunting traditions of Norway. While not typically used as sled dogs, they possess a sturdy build, a thick double coat, and an unyielding determination.
Norwegian Elkhounds were bred for tracking and hunting large game, including moose and bears, and were highly regarded for their ability to work in challenging terrains. Their loyalty, intelligence, and endurance have earned them a special place in Norwegian culture and the hearts of dog owners worldwide.
16. Alaskan Klee Kai
The Alaskan Klee Kai is a smaller version of the Alaskan Husky. They are often referred to as mini huskies (however, they are not actually Miniature Huskies). Despite their small size, these dogs possess all the qualities of a typical husky, including their stunning coat patterns and energetic nature. They make excellent companions for individuals or families living in smaller spaces.
17. Yakutian Laika
The Yakutian Laika is a remarkable breed originating from the Yakutia region in Siberia, Russia. Known for its exceptional adaptability to extreme cold, this breed has been a loyal companion and working dog for the indigenous Yakut people for centuries. These dogs possess a robust and athletic build, characterized by a dense double coat that provides insulation against frigid temperatures. Their triangular, upright ears and curled tail are distinctive features.
Yakutian Laikas are renowned for their strength, intelligence, and resilience, making them well-suited for various tasks, including hunting, herding, and sled pulling. With a friendly and alert disposition, they are not only reliable working dogs but also affectionate family pets. Their enduring bond with humans and ability to thrive in challenging arctic conditions make them a treasured breed among dog enthusiasts.
18. Japanese Spitz
The Japanese Spitz is a delightful small to medium-sized breed known for its charming appearance and friendly demeanor. Originating from Japan, these dogs have gained popularity worldwide for their bright, snowy white coat, pointed ears, and distinctive black eyes and nose. With a fox-like expression and a plume-like tail that gracefully arches over their back, Japanese Spitz dogs exude an air of elegance. They are characterized by their affectionate and outgoing personality, making them wonderful companions and family pets.
Japanese Spitz dogs are known for their intelligence and adaptability, thriving in various environments. They are excellent with children and are often described as joyful and easygoing. Their adaptability, combined with their striking appearance and cheerful disposition, has earned them a special place in the hearts of many dog lovers.
Different Types of Husky Mix Dogs
In addition to the different breeds of huskies, there are also numerous husky mix dogs available. These designer dog breeds are the result of crossbreeding huskies with other breeds, such as Labrador Retrievers, Pomeranians, and Poodles. They can inherit a combination of traits from both parent breeds, resulting in a wide range of appearances and temperaments.
Here is a list of popular husky mix breeds:
- German Shepherd Husky Mix
- Pitbull Husky Mix
- Pomeranian Husky Mix
- Australian Shepherd Husky Mix
- Border Collie Husky Mix
- Rottweiler Husky Mix
- Pug Husky Mix
- Labrador Retriever Husky Mix
- Corgi Husky Mix
- Chow Chow Husky Mix
- Akita Husky Mix
- Golden Retriever Husky Mix
- Poodle Husky Mix
- Chihuahua Husky Mix
- Wolf Husky Mix
- Malamute Husky Mix
- Eskimo Husky Mix
- Dachshund Husky Mix
- Samoyed Husky Mix
- Boxer Husky Mix
- Belgian Malinois Husky Mix
- Beagle Husky Mix
- Boston Terrier Husky Mix
- Australian Cattle Dog Husky Mix
- Cocker Spaniel Husky Mix
- Great Pyrenees Husky Mix
- Great Dane Husky Mix
- Bernese Mountain Dog Husky Mix
- Bull Mastiff Husky Mix
- Greyhound Husky Mix
- Basset Hound Husky Mix
- Saint Bernard Husky Mix
- American Bulldog Husky Mix
- Cane Corso Husky Mix
- Shar Pei Husky Mix
- Newfoundland Husky Mix
- French Bulldog Husky Mix
- Catahoula Husky Mix
- Shih Tzu Husky Mix
- Blue Heeler Husky Mix
- English Bulldog Husky Mix
- Dalmatian Husky Mix
- Rhodesian Ridgeback Husky Mix
Rarest and Best Husky Breeds
What is the Rarest Breed of Husky?
While all husky breeds are relatively rare compared to more common dog breeds, the Sakhalin Husky is considered to be one of the rarest. Originating from Russia and Japan, these dogs have a unique history and are highly prized for their endurance and working abilities.
What is the Best Husky Breed?
The best husky breed ultimately depends on the individual preferences and lifestyle of the owner. Each husky breed has its own unique qualities and characteristics. Some may prefer the playful and energetic nature of Siberian Huskies, while others may appreciate the smaller size of Alaskan Klee Kais.
How Many Types of Huskies Are There?
There are 10 traditional types of huskies (the first 10 from our list), each with its own distinct features and origins. From the well-known Siberian Husky to the rare Sakhalin Husky, enthusiasts and dog owners have a wide variety of choices when it comes to selecting a husky breed that suits their preferences and lifestyles. Although, it’s very unlikely you’ll find a rare husky breed like the Sakhalin Husky! If you do, make sure you let us know in the comments below!
How to Choose the Right Husky Breed
Choosing the right husky breed involves considering several factors, such as your lifestyle, living situation, and experience as a dog owner. Some husky breeds, like the Siberian Husky, thrive in active households with plenty of outdoor space, while others, like the Alaskan Klee Kai, adapt well to apartment living. It is important to thoroughly research and understand the specific needs and requirements of each husky breed before making a decision.
Where to Find Husky Breeds for Sale and Adoption
If you are interested in adding a husky to your family, there are several options for finding husky breeds for sale or adoption. Local animal shelters, rescue organizations, and reputable breeders are good places to start your search. It is important to ensure that you are obtaining a husky from a responsible source that prioritizes the health and welfare of their dogs.
Huskies are a diverse and fascinating breed of dogs. With their striking appearance, intelligence, and working abilities, they have gained popularity among dog owners worldwide. Whether you choose a Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamute, or any other type of “husky” breed, you are sure to have a loyal and adventurous companion by your side. 🥰
What type of husky do you have?
Let us know in the comments below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are huskies a type of dog breed?
No, “huskies” is actually a general term used to describe Arctic dog breeds typically used for sled dog work. The term was originally used to describe people like Eskimos inhabiting Arctic regions. These people used dogs to pull sleds and were known as Husky dogs.
What are the different types of husky dog breeds?
There are several different types of husky dog breeds, including the Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamute, Labrador Husky, Greenland Husky, Canadian Eskimo Dog, Samoyed, Chinook, Seppala Sleddog, Sakhalin Husky and Mackenzie River Husky.
How do I know what kind of Husky I have?
Identifying the specific type of husky you have can be done by studying their physical characteristics, such as coat color and patterns, eye color, and overall size and build. However, for accurate identification, try one of these Dog DNA Test Kits. 👈
Do different types of Huskies have different temperaments?
Yes, different types of huskies can have varying temperaments. While most huskies share common traits, such as high energy levels and strong prey drive, each breed can have its own unique temperament and behavioral tendencies. It is important to research and understand the specific temperament of the husky breed you are interested in.
Which type of Husky dog sheds the least?
Huskies are known for their heavy shedding, especially during seasonal coat changes. However, some husky breeds may shed less than others. The Canadian Eskimo Dog, for example, has a thick coat but sheds moderately. Regular grooming and brushing can help manage shedding in huskies.
Are Huskies easy to train?
Huskies are highly intelligent but can be challenging to train due to their independent and stubborn nature. Consistent and positive reinforcement training methods, along with patience and persistence, can help in successfully training a husky. Early socialization and obedience training are essential for husky puppies.
Are Husky dog breeds good for a first-time owner?
Huskies can be a challenging breed for first-time dog owners. Their high energy levels, need for mental and physical stimulation, and independent nature requires a dedicated and experienced owner. However, with proper training, socialization, and ample exercise, huskies can make rewarding and loving companions for committed owners.
Are there different colors of huskies?
Yes, huskies come in a variety of colors including pure white, black, gray, red, and sable.
What type of dog is a husky?
Huskies are working dogs that originated in the cold northern regions. They are known for their endurance and ability to pull heavy loads.
Are huskies good companion dogs?
Yes, huskies can make great companion dogs. However, they do have high energy levels and require plenty of exercise and mental stimulation.
Are there small huskies?
While huskies are typically medium-sized dogs, there are some smaller variations such as the Miniature Husky.
Do huskies shed a lot?
Yes, huskies are known for their heavy shedding. They have a double coat that helps to insulate them in cold climates, but it also leads to frequent shedding.
What is the rarest breed of husky?
The rarest breed of husky is the Sakhalin Husky.
Are there husky breeds that are good for families?
Yes, Siberian Huskies are a husky breed that is known to be good with families. They are gentle and loyal companions.