What Breed Is An Alaskan Husky Sled Dog?
We often get asked, what makes a dog a sled dog? And, what exactly is an Alaskan Husky? Many also remark that the dogs that take them on their Alaskan sled ride look a lot like a dog they’ve seen before. We will give you some basic information on what makes the Alaskan Huskies unique. And how sled dogs are an exciting part of Alaskan history.
Alaskan Husky History In The Making (Or Mushing)
The ancestors of the many of the sled dogs that live today in Fairbanks, Alaska, were Alaskan village dogs. These village dogs lived with native people thousands of years ago as hunting companions and pack animals. These Alaskan native dogs were known for their double hair coat and rugged feet. But, most importantly, they could withstand the challenging arctic conditions with a great attitude.
When European settlers made their way to Alaska, they learned that horses could not live and work well in the freezing temperatures. It’s not easy to trudge through the snow with long knobby legs and short hair. So the native Alaskan dog became highly sought after as the main form of transportation for generations.
During the Alaskan or Klondike Gold Rush, an estimated 100,000 prospectors made their way to western Canada and Alaska. This migration increased the popularity of the native Alaskan dog as transportation. There was so much demand for dogs that people assembled sled dog teams of whatever large working dogs they could find.
Today, Alaskan huskies are long-distance endurance athletes. They embody all the adventure hard work and loyalty of their ancestors
Purely Bred For Purpose, Not Purebred Dogs
According to the American Kennel Club, the Alaskan Husky is not a purebred, let alone a recognized dog breed. Instead, huskies are defined by their purpose: for use as an athlete sled dog. So we are breeding Alaskan Huskies for their abilities that make them great at what they do. It’s likely that all working dogs were bred for specific purposes.
Of course, for the Alaskan Husky, no one came along to say this dog is everything it needs to be in look and size like other working dogs. Our Alaskan Huskies are still evolving, and are bred for what matters most to dog mushers today.
For An Alaskan Husky, It’s What You Can’t See
You may think an Alaskan Husky Sled Dog should look like a Siberian or the Malamute. While you can see some similarities to these purebred dogs, there will be many different variations in an Alaskan Husky. When assembling our sled dog teams, we look for qualities that are not always evident in appearance alone.
Some Qualities We Look For In Our Alaskan Huskies:
- Strong pack instinct because they must work closely with people and other dogs.
- Great Personality
- Fur coat can be short to medium length, with a very heavy undercoat for cold weather because temperatures here can drop as low as 80 degrees below freezing (-62.2°C)
- Highly Trainable
- Loads of energy for running long distances
- A healthy dog with a healthy appetite
At Trail Breaker, we breed our dogs for what is on the inside. That’s why we get a lot of diversity on the outside.
Ask An Alaskan Husky Training Expert
This is just a taste of what you can learn at Trail Breaker Kennel in Fairbanks, Alaska. It’s an easy trip from the Fairbanks, AK Airport! We are here to help you experience the Alaskan Musher life with its rich history. Contact Us or Book your visit today!