The Alaskan Husky is not truly a 'breed' of dog in the traditional sense. The name is actually a classification for this working and sled dog. There is no written breed standard for Alaskan Huskies and it is not a registered breed or show dog. Alaskan Huskies are the descendants of several dogs: Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamute, Border Collie, German Shepard and possibly a few others.
The American Eskimo Dog comes in three sizes - toy, miniature and standard. All sizes are relatively small, the biggest of them only about 15-19 inches high. The toy size is indeed a size like any other artificial stuffed animal, and the dogs even resemble the fluffy artificially created stuffed animals you see often in shops. Their fur is always thick and profuse, and usually looks very nice. The dog has great characteristics as well and is loving, loyal and good with children at a relatively understanding age. American Eskimo Dogs live in average between 12 and 14 years, though make it past 20 years or more. This breed is a fairly healthy breed, although close attention should be paid to its eyes and tear ducts. They are prone to hip dysplasia, Elbow and Knee degeneration, patellar luxation, Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease, progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts, epilepsy, urinary stones and allergies and especially flea allergies that can lead to acute moist dermatitis. These terms may seem foreign to those who don't know what diseases they specify, but most of them are common disorders that appear as the dog grows older. One thing you might want to pay particular attention to is that this breed has a tendency to develop severe allergies to fleas. One single flea on them can result in frantic scratching and gnawing on its skin, which gives painful "hot spots" and skin lesions.
They do not need a lot of maintenance, as their coats tend to be short to mid-length, but do require extra brushing twice a year during shedding season (particularly in the spring when shedding is the heaviest). The coats are wooly and thick (a protective measure when in their native environment) so they are better suited to cooler climates. Living on average about 10 to 15 years, the Alaskan Husky is good with children, but not other household pets as they have a strong hunting instinct and may turn on them. Though playful, loving and generally docile, the Alaskan Husky is not a good indoor pet. They can be difficult to housebreak, and get bored easily, especially if left alone. Alaskan Huskies will become destructive, tearing things or running around in circles. They also need a lot of room to run as they have a lot of energy and need to exercise frequently.
However any dog can bite, especially if it is not trained or socialised properly, isolated, neglected or encouraged to behave aggressively. Allowing a dog to behave aggressively makes the dog think that this is appropriate behaviour, and if it gets attention on demand it believes that it is the top dog. If a dog thinks that it is at the top of the hierarchy then it may become aggressive if its status is challenged, such as being given a command: it believes that it is the top dog so it should demand attention not the other way around; or if another member of the family receives more attention than it.
If outside, Alaskan Huskies do need to be watched closely as they will dig under fences in order to hunt or run. They also do not make good watchdogs, as they will greet everyone with friendly barking and have been known to play with any stranger entering their territory. As a result of their mixed heritage, Alaskan Huskies have relatively little health problems, though some are prone to gastric torsion (bloat) and if they do not get enough exercise will quickly become obese, leading to other health problems.
There is a website that has great information on Alaskan Huskies and most other breeds of dogs. It has details that pertain to a dog breeds health, grooming, living conditions, best food choices and more, the website is called: Dog And Cat Facts, and can be found at this url:
By Robert W. Benjamin
Copyright © 2006
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Robert W. Benjamin has been in the software business on the internet for over 5 years, and has been producing low-cost software for the past 25+ years. He first released products on the AMIGA and C64 computer systems in the late 1970's-80's.