Energetic, mischievous, and outgoing the Siberian Husky is one of the best known and most popular dog breeds. Originally bred to pull sleds over long distances and harsh terrains, the Husky is a highly athletic and energetic breed.
The Husky’s fluffy coat, erect ears, and wolf-like appearance are commonly seen in several other breeds, which leads people to believe that there are several different types of Huskies. But is that really the case, or are these Husky look-alikes completely separate breeds?
In this article, we’ll answer that question and also tell you more about the different dog breeds that look like a Siberian Husky.
How Many Types of Huskies Are There?
While there are many Husky look-alike breeds, only two types of dogs are known as a Husky – Siberian Huskies and the Alaskan Huskies. Of these two types, the American Kennel Club officially recognizes only the Siberian Husky.
8 Different Types of Huskies
Siberian Huskies are the only purebred type of a Husky dog. But, you can find Husky mix-breed dogs and breeds that look like a Husky.
Known as sled dogs, most of these Husky look-alike breeds were bred to pull heavy loads over long distances in harsh weather conditions.
Before we go any further, keep in mind, the term Husky breed can only be applied to Siberian Husky dogs. And just because certain breeds have the term Husky attached to their names doesn’t mean that they are, in fact, Huskies.
Now, let’s check out some of the most popular Husky look-alike dog breeds!
The Samoyed is a true working dog, originally bred to haul sleds, herd reindeer, and hunt for Siberian Samoyedic people. Best known for their white, thick fluffy coats, Samoyeds are between 19 and 24 inches tall and can weigh from 50 to 60 pounds.
A well-bred and properly socialized Samoyed is a friendly, loyal, and affectionate family dog that gets along well with children. Samoyeds crave companionship and like to be involved in all family activities, so don’t get one if he’ll spend a better part of the day alone.
American Eskimo Dog
Originating in Germany, American Eskimo Dog is a member of the Spitz family and an active companion dog. American Eskimos Dogs come in three sizes – toy, miniature, and standard and can stand from 9 to 19 inches tall and weigh from 10 to 30 pounds.
Like the Samoyed, the American Eskimo Dog has a white, fluffy double coat with a thick undercoat and longer outer layer. The Eski’s coat sheds a lot, and you will have to brush your dog regularly or risk being covered in white dog hair from head to toe.
Eskies are highly energetic, spunky, and clever dogs who like to play games and crave vigorous exercise to stay mentally and physically challenged. While naturally suspicious of strangers, this breed forms strong bonds with its owners and is an amazing family dog.
Originally bred to pull sleds over long distances in extreme weather conditions, the Siberian Husky also belongs to the Spitz family. Best known for their fluffy coats and facial markings, Siberian Huskies can have brown or blue eyes or one eye of each color.
Medium in size, Siberian Huskies stand from 20 to 23 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh from 35 to 60 pounds.
While very popular, Huskies aren’t recommended for apartment living or first-time owners. They are highly energetic working dogs, who need a lot of exercise and mental stimulation to stay on their best behavior (source).
They are also very stubborn and ingenious escape artists, so you’ll have to arm yourself with lots of patience and a tall fence before you bring a Husky home. However, with proper training and strong leadership, your Husky will be a charming, mischievous, loyal, and playful companion.
Developed in the state of New Hampshire in the United States, the Chinook is a breed of a sled dog. Originally bred for its pulling ability and stamina, the Chinook is nowadays a versatile companion.
Large in size, most Chinooks are between 23 and 27 inches tall and weigh from 55 to 70 pounds. They have a medium-length double coat with a soft and thick undercoat and a coarser outer coat.
Often described as calm and dignified, the Chinook is a sensitive, eager to please, and gentle canine who is extremely affectionate with its family. However, Chinooks tend to be independent thinkers, which can make training a bit challenging for novice owners.
Often confused with the Siberian Husky, the Alaskan Malamute has a sturdier and more powerful body, built for strength and endurance. Bred to be a heavy-duty worker and a sled dog, the Alaskan Malamute is also a member of the Spitz family.
Standing between 23 and 25 inches tall and weighing on average from 75 to 85 pounds, the Malamute is a large and muscular dog.
While their size might be intimidating, Alaskan Malamutes have a playful and outdoing nature and are extremely loyal to their families. Being a working dog, your Malamute will need daily exercise and will enjoy activities such as hiking, running, and swimming.
The Labrador Husky isn’t a mix between a Husky and a Labrador Retriever, but a completely separate dog breed (source). Best known for its wolf-like appearance, this breed was developed in Canada, in a region known as Labrador.
Labrador Huskies are typically 20 to 28 inches tall and weigh from 60 to 100 pounds. Like other Spitz-type breed dogs, the Labrador Husky has a thick and dense double coat that sheds continuously all year round.
Playful, lively, and highly energetic the Labrador Husky is best suited for active families who love to spend time outdoors and can keep him exercised. When not provided with enough exercise, mental stimulation, or attention this breed can exhibit problem behaviors such as chewing, digging, and howling.
The Sakhalin Husky, also known as the Karafuto Ken was formerly used as a sled dog but is now on a brink of extinction. This breed shares a common ancestry with Siberian Husky and has a similar appearance.
Medium in size, the Sakhalin Husky is between 22 and 26 inches tall and weighs from 60 to 80 pounds. They have a very thick and fine double coat that can come in black, russet, and cream color.
Alaskan Klee Kai
The Alaskan Klee Kai looks a lot like a miniature version of an Alaskan Husky and is another Spitz-type breed of dog. This breed comes in three sizes – toy, miniature, and standard and weighs from 5 to 22 pounds.
Alaskan Klee Kais are intelligent, curious, and energetic dogs who are affectionate with their family but reserved with strangers. This trait makes them excellent watchdogs although their size won’t intimidate an intruder.
Bear in mind, Alaskan Klee Kais like to be the center of attention and tend to become very vocal when ignored. And while they aren’t as loud as Huskies, they will whine and bark when upset.
Which Type of Husky Is the Best?
Which type of Husky is the best for you and your family will largely depend on your lifestyle and family dynamics. However, the Siberian Husky is the most popular of all Husky look-alike breeds and might be a good choice for active families and experienced owners.
Where to Get a Husky?
Like all other dogs, you can either purchase a Siberian Husky from a reputable breeder or you can adopt one from a rescue organization or a shelter.
Considering how popular Siberian Huskies are, there is no shortage of reputable breeders that make puppies available. Avoid dealing with backyard breeders and puppy mills and opt to get your puppy from a reputable breeder who screens his Huskies for genetic health problems.
On average you can expect to pay between $700 and $1500 for a purebred Husky puppy. The exact price, however, depends on a breeder and other factors such as coat and eye color, lineage, gender, and quality.
If you aren’t looking for a show quality Husky, you should adopt, not shop! While always in high demand, a lot of Huskies are abandoned by irresponsible owners and end up in shelters and rescue organizations.
Check out shelters and rescue groups in your area to see if they have any Huskies available for adoption. And you should also research breed-specific rescue groups that deal only with Huskies and Husky mixed breed dogs.
While many dog breeds look a lot like a Husky and share a common ancestry with this breed, the Siberian Husky is the only officially recognized type of Husky. However, the Husky and his look-alikes all have one thing in common – they were all originally used as sled dogs.
Although all breeds listed above look like Huskies, each of them has distinctive physical and personality traits that make them unique in the canine world.