6 Dog Breeds Similar To Huskies

Jun 3, 2024 | Pet Ownership

Looking for a new dog to add to your family and love the look of a husky? Although this arctic breed is gorgeous to look at and can make a great fit for the right household, it’s not for everyone. Maybe you want a smaller dog, or a larger one? Or you’re in search of a different type of personality in your dog? The good news is that there are quite a few dog breeds similar to huskies that might match your family.

Below, let’s have a look at 6 dogs that look like huskies! Be sure to let us know in the comments below which breed is your favorite.

Should I get a husky or not?

It’s easy to fall in love with the unique, wolfy look of a husky. However, please remember that these are not the best dogs for beginners, nor for folks who want a more casual, low-maintenance pet. Huskies are boisterous, chaotic, loud, and stubborn—they can be huge handfuls.

It’s not a surprise that many unprepared husky owners end up having to find their dogs a new home! Obviously, no one wants to end up surrendering their pet. As such, as wonderful as huskies are, you may want to choose another breed if they don’t match what you’re looking for in a dog.

Here are some of the traits associated with huskies that can put people off adding one to their family:



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  • Very high energy: huskies cannot sit still. They can become destructive if you don’t meet their need for exercise.
  • Temperament: this breed is known for its independent streak and can be highly stubborn. If you don’t have much dog training experience, you may struggle.
  • Escape artists: whether it’s digging under a fence or jumping over it, huskies are known for being real Houdinis.
  • Highly vocal: if you’ve ever heard a husky howl, you’ll know what we mean.
  • High prey drive: even a well-trained husky will have trouble resisting chasing a rabbit, squirrel, or cat. This can lead to dangerous situations both for small animals and your dog.
  • Not suitable for hot climates: unless you take serious measures, your husky will be miserable in warmer regions.

Before we look at dog breeds similar to huskies, it’s important to emphasize that, just like huskies, none of the dogs discussed below are suitable for first time dog owners. Most are (descendants of) arctic dogs and many are working breeds, meaning they’re generally energetic and need proper training by an experienced owner. However, their personalities do tend to differ from huskies, meaning that some might make a better fit for your family.

Take a look and see what you think!

Dog breeds similar to huskies

Alaskan Malamute

Origin: Alaska, USA

Bigger or smaller than huskies?: Bigger

Temperament: Loyal, affectionate, stubborn, dignified

In terms of similarities when it comes to looks and origins, the most similar dog breed to a husky by far is the Alaskan malamute. They look so much alike we actually wrote an article on how to tell the difference between a husky vs Alaskan malamute! The similarities aren’t surprising, as the breeds are closely genetically related. However, malamutes are quite a bit larger than their husky cousins, and their coats tend to be longer.

Alaskan malamutes make a great choice if you’re looking for an active but highly social breed. They’re quieter than huskies and tend to be a little less mischievous. Do keep in mind that they have a strong prey drive, so they may not be the best choice if you also keep smaller dogs or cats.

Close-up portrait of white and grey Alaskan malamute dog, one of the dog breeds similar to huskies

Alaskan Klee Kai

Origin: Alaska, USA

Bigger or smaller than huskies?: Smaller

Temperament: Energetic, loyal, intelligent

Is that a mini husky?! Well, almost! Developed in the 1970s, the Alaskan klee kai was actually created specifically to create a companion-sized version of the husky breed. Klee kais have a large percentage of husky blood, mixed with miniature spitz dog breeds like the American eskimo dog to achieve a much smaller size. They maintain the husky’s dense coat, typical coloration, curled tail and chaotic personality, though.

Alaskan klee kais are highly energetic little dogs, making them a perfect potential addition to active families. They’re generally very affectionate towards people they know well, but they also make good watchdogs due to their more reserved attitude towards strangers. We wouldn’t recommend them for first-time dog owners, but if you have experience training dogs and an outdoorsy lifestyle, an Alaskan klee kai may just be the breed for you.

Alaskan Klee Kai Leaping Over a Jump at a Dog Agility Trial

 

Northern Inuit Dog

Origin: UK

Bigger or smaller than huskies?: Bigger

Temperament: Social, active, loyal

If you like huskies for their wolfy looks, here’s a breed with an even more lupine appearance: the Northern Inuit Dog. Developed in Great Britain in the 1980s, these dogs are a mix of arctic breeds like huskies and Alaskan malamutes, but also have German shepherd parentage. They may look scary to some, but are actually known for their friendly nature. They’re active and highly eager to please, making them a great choice if you’re looking to get into obedience or agility training.

Like huskies, Northern Inuit Dogs have strong personalities and need proper socialization and training. They’re active and need a lot of exercise and attention, but they’re not quite as mischievous and stubborn as their husky cousins. If you’re looking for a more “dignified” breed that still fits your active lifestyle, a Northern Inuit Dog may be the one for you.

Northern Inuit dog

Tamaskan

Origin: UK

Bigger or smaller than huskies?: Bigger

Temperament: Social, active, loyal

No, it’s not you—the aforementioned Northern Inuit Dog and this one, the Tamaskan, do look very similar. That’s because the former breed formed the base for the latter! As a result of an internal disagreement, some Northern Inuit breeders took the breed in a new direction in the 2000s, creating the Tamaskan by introducing new stock.

Like their “parent” breed, Tamaskans are known for their wolfish looks but friendly nature. They’re highly loyal and usually get along fine with children and other dogs. In fact, they’re pretty unsuitable as guard dogs because they’re so social! Your Tamaskan will need a lot of attention to thrive. Plenty of exercise is also important, as this is an active breed that can become destructive if it can’t channel its energy.

Did you know? The Tamaskan breed isn’t the only offshoot of the Northern Inuit Dog. There are at least two more: the British timber dog and the utonagan. None of these are very common, but you may be able to find them through hobbyist breeders.

Tamaskan dog, which looks similar to a wolf, sitting in the grass

West Siberian Laika

Origin: Russia

Bigger or smaller than huskies?: Slightly smaller

Temperament: Intelligent, independent, loyal

Hunters, pay attention! Whereas huskies aren’t suitable as hunting dogs, this breed absolutely is. Although the West Siberian Laika isn’t usually recommended as a regular house pet (it’s extremely energetic and can be overly protective of property and people), it makes a great choice for folks who are into hunting small game. The breed has been around for a very long time and is thought to have originated in the Russian Ural and West Siberian regions, where indigenous locals kept them for their keen sense of smell and strong hunting instincts.

Laikas can make a good choice for active families who have owned and trained dogs before, and can provide the constant mental and physical stimulation this energetic breed needs. These dogs are strong-willed and independent, but they’re also fiercely loyal and highly protective of their owners. Nothing will make a West Siberian Laika happier than roaming the forest in search of squirrels to catch!

West Siberian laika dog in the forest

Akita Inu

Origin: Japan

Bigger or smaller than huskies?: Bigger

Temperament:

The breeds we’ve discussed so far have all been arctic dogs or were developed using arctic stock. Let’s finish the list with an exception that is entirely unrelated to huskies, but does actually look a good bit like them: the Akita Inu. This spitz breed originated in northern Japan, where it was bred to hunt big game like bears and as a guard dog. It’s not much used for the former anymore, but many dog enthusiasts still appreciate it for its highly loyal nature and excellent home guarding abilities.

Although they look similar to huskies, the personality of an Akita Inu is generally quite different. Whereas huskies are goofy, Akitas are dignified and calm. They’re less fond of strangers and can be more difficult to train than huskies as a result of their independent nature. Although it’s not suitable for first-time dog owners (none of the dogs on this list are!), people worldwide love the Akita Inu breed for the deep bond it forms with its human family.

Portrait of a white Akita dog

Sources & further reading

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