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Alaskan huskies are not so much a breed as a type of dog bred especially for sled racing, more specifically for sprint and mid-distance racing. They can be of any color and coat pattern, but are usually of the Northern type.


Origin

Alaskan huskies descend from the native Inuit dogs. Eskimo dog, Siberian husky, Greyhound and German shorthaired pointer have been added since the 1940s. Working dogs may be hauling logs, or cord wood, working a trap-line, or giving tourists rides on glaciers. Racing dogs, on the other hand, are specialised for sprint and mid-distance racing. Some dogs race in winter and work in summer. While reduced in popularity since the advent of snowmobiles, dog mushing with many Alaskans is still a beloved way of life, and in many other places in the United States dog mushing is a popular sport, either in the snow or with dry land carts,and snowy hills.

Appearance

Being a crossbreed bred for performance there is no preferred type. Alaskan huskies may be of any possible coat color and any pattern of markings. Coats are almost always short to medium in length, never long, and usually less dense than those of northern purebreds; the shorter coat length stems from the need for effective heat dissipation while racing. Even though Alaskan huskies do have some hound or gundog ancestry for added speed and endurance, mushers generally distinguish between the Alaskan husky and the other "hound crosses", the Alaskan husky being expected to display some degree of northern dog type. Most Alaskan Huskies have pointy ears, meaning they are in fact classified as a spitz-type dog. 

Alaskan huskies are very clean dogs, with little or no "doggy" smell. Some people who are allergic to many dog breeds can live with Huskies.


Differences between the Alaskan Husky and the Siberian Husky

Alaskan huskies are bred for speed rather than endurance making them fit for sprint-racing, while the Siberian huskies, being more resistant to cold, are more fit for longt distance racing. Alaskan huskies usually lack the tick fur between the toes, necessary to keep them warm and protect their feet against injuries on long trips. Siberian huskies are smaller and more compact than the leaner Alaskan huskies. Siberians usually have blue eyes or two different colored eyes, while Alaskan huskies generally have brown or dark eyes.
Character and Temperament

Like all huskies, Alaskan huskies are extremely intelligent, easygoing and forgiving. However, they can be very mischievous and can become very distructive if bored.

They are generally quiet and will only bark when playing. However they can howl and "talk" seemingly for no reason.

They are very sociable and usually get along well with pets. They do not discriminate as much between 'their' humans and strangers, as compared to other dogs, which does not make them fit as guard or watch dogs.
Alaskan Husky

by Catherine Marien-de Luca, Dogbreedsoftheworld.org
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