Talk:Alaskan husky

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Need photos[edit]

The featured photo is not of an Alaskan Husky. It is of either a pregnant or fat Siberian Husky. None of these photos accurately depict this dog type. This is one of my sled dogs, out of Doug Swingley bloodlines. Asigglin (talk) 23:03, 30 July 2015 (UTC)

I found an image in Flickr that you may use. It is located here and it has a compatible CC license. Since I don't know much about dogs I leave it up to you people to decide if it is good enough for the article. -- Rune Welsh | ταλκ | Esperanza 12:31, 5 November 2005 (UTC)

I think it is safe to say that this breed has two good photographs and does not the {{reqbreedphoto}} tag anymore. If no one objects, I will remove the tag on the 25th.--Coaster1983 20:31, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

Seeing no objection, I have removed the tag.--Coaster1983 19:54, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

I have uploaded three pictures of Alaskan Huskies, two of whom are owned by me, and one who is owned by a close friend. I didn't want to add them to the page because I wasn't sure where to put them, but if anyone wants to edit them into the page, feel free. You can find them here: Katie, my sled dog and pet. She was around 13 or 15 in the picture. Ruby, my lead dog and pet. She is the daughter of Katie, the dog in the picture above. Harmony, a puppy from a litter of my neighbor's dogs. Her mother was a large white working sled dog from a small village near Nome, Alaska. Though she doesn't look much like a husky, she is one. I think she'd be a good example of an Alaskan Husky that doesn't look like what most people expect to see.

Breed table?[edit]

Should this have the breed table, or is this the equivalent of collie and Jack Russell Terrier? I'm not sure because I don't know enough about the breed/type. -- sannse (talk) 18:33, 15 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I don't know either; I added it based on the fact that it's in the List of dog breeds. There sure isn't much info to put in the table! Elf | Talk 19:03, 15 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Alaskan Husky[edit]

The breed is the most healthy, strongest, trainable and good minded husky I know. A standard version of the Alaskan Husky would at a point loss some of these qualities. If you ask the breeders, they know the breed table of the dogs they have. /denmark

Dog fights[edit]

I'm working on a character in one of Jack London's books, The Call of the Wild.

It describes fights to the death between Alsakan husky dogs. Does anybody know if this really happens? I asked a vet, and she said that dogs don't do that, unless people make them do it.

Some dogs do kill other dogs. Usually it's larger dogs attacking smaller dogs that they somehow perceive as prey. At other times, it's a personal grudge between two dogs--usually only one is deranged enough to want to try to kill the other one (unless, as your vet says, people have trained both dogs to be killers); I've known people who've owned & trained & raised many dogs, all good dogs, except that one in the bunch can't be trusted alone with any other dog or sometimes only with one other dog, or serious damage that can be fatal can occur. (And at least one of these deranged dogs had to be put to sleep.) However, my understanding is that it is not "normal" for two dogs to try to kill each other, and that even in the wild, when one wolf challenges another for the alpha position in the pack, they'll fight only until one acknowledges that it's beaten, not fight to the death. But I don't know a lot about pack behavior in situations like that described in Call of the Wild. There might be something out there on the web-- Elf | Talk 21:07, 23 May 2005 (UTC)

In most cases I've seen as a musher over the last 17 years Alaskan Huskies do tend to fight quite often if not properly socialized. It's not a major problem, as long as they're socialized at a young age. I believe it's because most of them have at least some wolf in them, and almost every one I've owned/worked with has been extremely territorial (which is what starts most fights.) In most dog lots dogs are kept chained (or caged) apart, partly because of this. Also, in my own case, I own a mother and daughter, the mother is over half wolf, and when the daughter turned three they fought almost daily, and extremely violently, over who was dominant. This went on for over a year until the mother finally submitted to the daughter. The daughter, who is now the alpha of our dogs, occasionally tries to pick small domination fights between me and my family, also, though this is easily handled by wrestling her to the ground (yes, its a bit of a challenge because she weighs over 80 pounds) and holding her down, like a dominant wolf would. -Aelyanariah (talk) 7:30, 31 Aug 2009 (UTC−9)


May I ask why this breed and the Mackenzie River husky do not capitalize the word husky? Other huskies I have seen here are capitalized, such as Siberian Husky. I know these are more breed types than actual breeds, but I didn't think that would affect the name. Sorry, I'm just confused. Vortex 19:33, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

I looked around some sled dog websites and it seems that "Alaskan Husky" and "Alaskan husky" are both used. In Description and Origin of the Alaskan Husky, Joe Runyan, the 1989 Iditarod Champion, uses both names in the same article. I am not sure if it should be capitalized or not. --Coaster1983 06:10, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

I believe this breed and the Mackenzie River husky should capitalize "husky", as I have never seen any other breeds use or breed types use lower case and it looks incorrect. Does anyone else have an opinion? Vortex 07:02, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

It should be done, yes. - Trysha (talk) 23:58, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

It has been moved. Vortex 00:04, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

Move Page[edit]

If no one objects, I would like to move this article to the name Alaskan Husky, instead of Alaskan husky. Vortex 22:08, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

Breed History[edit]

"Alaskans are strong working dogs with thousands of years of breeding and history in the north country." can they have thousands of years of breeding and history if the breed is defined as a mongrel cross of New World Alaskan Native dogs and Old World breeds such as hounds? Fledchen 02:31, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

Good point. The dogs have long history of intentional selective breeding, but not under the name "Alaskan Husky", and not with written records. So I'd agree that thousands of years is an overstatement.

When did the term "wolfdog" appear in this article? If you follow the link, the wolfdog article says at the end that not everyone considers the Alaskan husky to be a wolfdog. Several things make me doubt this. Given the known history of the breed as mentioned above, it does not include wolves. Although wolves are physically capable of pulling a sled, I have yet to hear of a known wolf hybrid that was willing to do so at a competitive level. I think we should stick to what we know in this article. Until there is a definitive test, such as a genetic one, the truth of whether there is or is not wolf in the breed may be difficult to determine. I would like to change this, but first, are there any other comments?botanybob (talk) 05:11, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

Can these numbers be right???[edit]

From the article: "Hounds are valued for their toughness and endurance. Winning speeds often average more than 19 miles per hour (31 km/h) over three days' racing at 20 to 30 miles (32 to 48 km) each day. "

So they are valued for their toughness and endurance. OK.

But then we are told they average 19 miles/hour for 20-30 miles per day. So, what... they race for 1.5 hours per day, for three days??? That's toughness and endurance???

Maybe I just don't know enough about these races. But if so, there are lots of people like me. If they really only race for 90 minutes per day, that should be explicitly stated.

Some example race times and distances for both the sprint and distance category races should be shown in the article --Heathera skidog 23:03, 23 November 2006 (UTC)
I think these numbers are correct for unlimited class sprint racing. I would think that sprinting for an hour and a half shows considerable endurance. However, distance mushing (Iditarod, Yukon Quest) where dogs are running many hours a day for 9 or more days, some covering more than 100 mi./day is a better example of endurance. The recent hound crosses do not compete in these races since they lack an adequate coat for Alaskan winters. --botanybob 22:10, 21 September 2007 (UTC)


A reference would be useful to support the text stating that Alaskans deteriorate rapidly after age six. It doesn't match with my personal experience, so I'm wondering if there's broader support for the idea. Perhaps it would be good to make the statement as a comparison to some other breed of dog, since an alaskan at 10 will be spry compared to a lab or german shepherd, for instance. --Heathera skidog 22:36, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

I have to agree with Heather A. I think the statement is unsupportable. After 6 years, an Alaskan may not be in its prime, but deterioration is far from rapid. Many dogs from 7-12 still run and some compete quite well. I think we need to be careful in this entire article about using the cream-of-the-crop top Alaskan huskies as an example of the breed and ignoring the many more that are happy working dogs racing and recreating on the trail. If true, this statement casts a rather negative light on the sport of mushing. --botanybob 22:20, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
I will then delete the reference to quickly deteriorating health, on the basis that it is unsupported and contrary to contributors' experience. --Heathera skidog (talk) 01:42, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

Small Dispute[edit]

I just wanted to point out that referencing the Alaskan Husky is the sled dog of choice for sprint races is a bit, well, I'm not sure how to put it. If I had to pick a breed that's most commonly used in sprints it would be the eurohound, but honestly almost every musher breeds they're dogs to their specific qualifications, so I'd say the Alaskan Husky the sled dog of choice for most sled dog races, since almost any dog running in a race can qualify as and "Alaskan Husky," except of course the few exceptions when people run either purebred Siberians, or other purebreds.

Anyway, my point is, if we're going to talk about a sled dog of choice for sprint races, we should say eurohound and not Alaskan Husky.

On another matter, and I'm not sure this should be added as it's rather horrible, but happens quite often, the point on Alaskans who fail to meet performance standards is mostly true, but there are a few mushers out there who kill any puppy who's not up to standard.

Sorry if I'm a bit picky about this whole subject, I am both a musher and Alaskan Husky breeder. I have quite a few edits I'd like to add, but before I do I'm working on them in my sandbox so I can get opinions on them (they aren't up yet.)

Thank you, Aelyanariah (talk) 7:30, 31 Aug 2009 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

I suggest that Mackenzie River husky be merged here, due to the fact that it is a strain of alaskan husky. --TKK bark ! 13:41, 20 January 2013 (UTC)

Genetic signature?[edit]

"The Alaskan husky does have a unique genetic signature of microsatellite-based markers that are more consistent than those found in Malamutes or Siberians."

This needs citation. Neither of the USA's two largest dog DNA testing companies - Wisdom Panel and DNAMyDog - are able to test for this breed, which suggests there is not actually a unique genetic signature developed.

EDITED TO ADD: Found and added citation. Genetic signature developed is for identifying endurance vs. sprint dogs only and is not for breed identification purposes.