alaskan husky

The Alaskan Husky is derived from a mix of northern types, most notably the Siberian husky. It is not considered to be a wolfdog, although distant wolf ancestry is quite visible in several features of many Alaskan Huskies. The history of the Alaskan husky really began with the Gold Rushes of the late nineteenth century; Alaskans of that era were typically heavy draft dogs with obvious Saint Bernard ancestry. The importation into Alaska of dogs from across the Bering Strait in Siberia in 1908 and subsequent years changed Alaskan sleddogs radically and permanently towards a smaller dog with lighter weight and much greater speed. With the increasing prevalence of motorized winter transport in the mid twentieth century, working sled dogs became less common in the northern villages. The Alaskan sled dog experienced a revival in the 1970s. George Attla, a Native Alaskan from the village of Huslia, was largely responsible for this. Many successful racing dogs today trace their lineage back to Attla dogs.

The Alaskan Husky is not so much a breed of dog as it is a type or a category. It falls short of being a breed in that there is no preferred type and no restriction as to ancestry; it is defined only by its purpose, which is that of a highly efficient sled dog. That said, dog drivers usually distinguish between the Alaskan Husky and “hound crosses”, so perhaps there is informal recognition that the Alaskan Husky is expected to display a degree of northern dog type. Specializations in type exist within the breed, such as freighting dogs (Mackenzie River Husky), sprint Alaskans, and distance Alaskans.


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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Alaskan Husky".