Is Husky a wolf? Why do Huskies look like wolves?

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Is Husky a wolf?

No, Huskies are not wolves. Despite their wolf-like look, huskies are no more related to wolves. While all huskies are dogs, some may be mixed with wolves to produce wolf hybrids. That’s an entirely different animal from a purebred Siberian husky or  the Alaskan Malamute.

 

The husky has a gentle demeanour and is not wolf-like in character. In truth, despite his intimidating appearance, he isn’t much of a guard dog. Given his sled dog lineage, he is intelligent and a hard worker. He gets along with most other dogs, but he’s prey-driven, so cats and other small pets should be avoided. Huskies require a lot of space to run around, thus they aren’t suitable for apartment living.

Why do Huskies look like wolves?

I’d often wondered why Huskies resembled wolves. As a result, I needed to figure out why.

Huskies look a lot like wolves because of this. They’re double-coated to keep them safe from the cold.

 

They come in a variety of colours, from white to black, and have blue or brown eyes. Their tails are thickly covered in fur.

Huskies howl instead of barking, just like wolves do.

 

The most obvious distinction is that huskies are friendly, whereas wolves are not.

The film industry uses Huskies to play wolves in movies because of their striking likeness. If you’re thinking of getting a dog that looks like a wolf, this is the dog for you. 

Wolves are the ancestors of dogs. Although the wolf-like features have been turned off, some dogs still retain some DNA that makes them wolves.

 

Selective breeding can activate some of these features, causing dogs to behave more like wolves. Huskies are an example of these dogs.

The Siberian husky, to be precise. From their appearance to some of their mannerisms, Huskies have a lot in common with wolves.

In the summer, the Siberian husky’s exterior glossy fur reflects heat away from the body. Male huskies are larger than females but not as large as wolves.

What Is The Difference Between Husky And Wolf?

It can be difficult to tell the difference between a husky and a wolf. I’ve listed a few of the differences.


In structure, Huskies are much smaller than wolves – the very largest huskies are the size of the smallest wolves. Huskies are much broader of chest and shorter of body, bred to pull sleds, and their markings are distinctive and bold. 


They typically have blue eyes. Their tails curl up over their back. Huskies have a bite force of around 320 pounds per square inch (much less than a wolf, but respectable for a domestic dog).

 

The Build and conformation:


    • wolves are taller, lankier, and leggier than Huskies

    • wolves have a much narrower chest, and their legs have a slight inward curve
    • a wolf’s head is a bit larger in proportion,

    • a wolf’s muzzle is longer in proportion,

    • wolves have straight tails even when held up, Huskies tend to have a curve in theirs.

    • Wolves have very large feet in comparison to dogs, with relatively large middle toes, large claws, and sloping pasterns—Husky feet are smaller and rounder, with the typically more upright pastern

    • wolves never have dewclaws in their hindlegs

    • wolf ears are low triangles—Huskies sometimes have ears that are much taller in proportion

    • wolf ears have profuse fur on the inside—Huskies have some, but in comparison, their ears do look “naked”

 

Posture and movement:


    • wolves have reserved body language: slower, lower, and less direct
    • wolves rarely hold their tail horizontal or wag, let alone in an upward angle—Huskies often hold their tail rather high up
    • the primary mode for movement in wolves is jog or trot, tail low and head slightly below the horizontal

 

Fur colouration:


    • Huskies often have blue eyes—wolves never

    • Huskies’ yellow pigment is usually diluted into an off white—wolves usually retain their yellow pigment and have an obvious tan, yellow or brownish shades in their coat

    • —as a result, most Huskies have high-contrast coats and wolves more blended, ‘camouflaged’ coats.
    • Huskies often have small piebaldistic white markings on their forehead or muzzle, chest or feet/legs, or at the tail tip—wolves never have any of these, except occasionally a tiny white speck on the chest

    • Huskies can be piebald—wolves never

    • Huskies can be born pale/white—wolves never; a wolf can be phased white at five or six years at the youngest
    • wolves may have a rather highly contrasting pale cream pattern below their cheekbones, extending onto their throat, with or without lower contrast eyebrow spots or spectacle markings—but unlike the typical Husky look, they will never have a “white face”, with the high contrast area extending up to the eyes or forehead, or have bright bold eyebrow spots

 

Behaviour:


    • Huskies are dogs, and dogs behave childishly if compared to wolves—wolves play much less once mature, and are generally more reserved
    • even if comparing a feral Husky and a tame wolf, a wolf is markedly less interested in humans, especially working together with one.

How much does a husky act like a wolf?

Although huskies are one of the dog breeds most closely related genetically to wolves, their behaviour resembles wolf behaviour as much as any other domestic dog.

Dogs and wolves both have 42 teeth and both like to eat meat.

Both are social creatures and affectionate, but male huskies, like male dogs in general, do not participate in pup-rearing, and they do not form packs with other dogs like their wild cousins.

Huskies are more playful, but you have more room for misunderstanding a husky than a wolf.

If you read a wolf wrong, you can die. If you read a husky wrong, you can probably more easily plead ignorance and gain forgiveness.

 

Huskies act more like a wolf than many of the “more domesticated” dog breeds.

What I mean by that is that they are highly independent and very assertive and strong in personality.

They play rougher than many other dogs do, so other dogs can easily mistake their play for aggression.

They are very energetic and will dig your yard full of holes if you leave them alone out there.

Plus they jump like ninjas. We saw ours jump up on our 5-foot fence and perch on top while he decided which way he was going to run more than once.

There was no leaving him outside unattended because he would do what husky love to do, which is run.

Wrapping up...

A Husky and Wolf both look quite different. Your typical wolf (grey wolf) and Siberian Husky are not that similar in appearance, actually.

The wolf will not only be larger and longer, but will also have a different coloured and textured coat, different eye shape and colour, and a longer, more narrow head and snout.

Additionally, the wolf will have longer, skinnier legs than the husky as well as a more narrow chest.

Even the shapes and sizes of the ears will be different as well as the overall size and structure of the skull.

Physically, the Alaskan Malamute more closely resembles a typical grey wolf, but even then the appearance is not that similar.

For more about Huskies see our other articles below

Husky12

The Pros and Cons of owning Siberian Husky as Pet!

The Siberian husky is regarded as one of the most beautiful and greatest dog breeds by dog lovers.

They have the appearance of a regal wolf with gorgeous glacial blue eyes that will melt the hearts of passers-by.

When most animal enthusiasts see a Siberian husky in person, it’s love at first sight.

het 2

why do huskies have different coloured eyes

Heterochromia is caused due to uneven melanin distribution and inbreeding. It occurs in many other breeds of dogs (Australian Shepherd would probably be right behind the Husky), cats, and horses

References

A. E. Ready, G. Morgan
Can Vet J. 1984 Feb; 25(2): 86–91.
 
 
Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Siberian husky”. Encyclopedia Britannica, 28 Jan. 2021, https://www.britannica.com/animal/Siberian-husky. Accessed 4 June 2021.
 
 
 

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