Many people see designer dogs as dainty lap dogs, and while many designer dogs are, there are some out there that can be very intense work dogs. One such dog is the Alusky.
While they are pretty amazing dogs, Aluskies are far from being as popular as some other crossbreeds, so you may have never heard of them. I also wondered what exactly an Alusky dog was, so I took some time to research the breed.
An Alusky dog is a hybrid between an Alaskan Malamute and a Siberian Husky. Both the Alusky’s parent breeds are famous working dogs, and Aluskies often carry on the tradition. Aluskies are good in colder environments and often work by pulling sleds, racing, or serving as search and rescue dogs.
Once you begin to dig into the world of Aluskies and learn more about them, you will find that they are very intelligent and interesting dogs. There are many temperamental nuances and fascinating characteristics that set them apart from other dog breeds.
Below I’ll take a much closer look at this fantastic crossbreed, where they come from, what they are like owning, and just overall what an Alusky dog is all about.
What is an Alusky Dog?
Alaskan Malamutes and Siberian Huskies, the two-parent breeds of the Alusky, are both very well known and famous dog breeds. Their two very distinct personalities and traits come together in the Alusky to form an all-around hard-working dog with many admirable qualities and attributes.
Alaskan Malamutes are on the larger side of things but are surprisingly gentle and caring. Originally bred in the Arctic for pulling sleds, hauling, racing, and working alongside humans, the Alaska Malamute is a very hard-working dog that loves the company of people.
Many of these great traits are passed down to Aluskies and can be seen in the breed’s behavior and build.
The other Alusky parent breed, the Siberian Husky, is leaner than the Alaskan Malamute and tends to be much more vocal and energetic. Siberian Huskies were bred for pulling sleds through the Arctic’s cold landscape, and this endurance and perseverance can definitely be seen in their behavior daily.
Both of the parent dogs breeds of Aluskies are quite admirable and fantastic breeds, and they both add an interesting combination of traits and characteristics to the crossbreed.
The crossbreeding of Siberian Huskies and Alaskan Malamutes first began in the United States in the later 1900s. During this time, designer dog breeds were becoming increasingly popular, so in an attempt to combine the Alaskan Malamute’s sturdy and robust characteristics with the energetic Siberian Husky, breeders began to breed the two dogs together.
While the original motivation for breeding these two dog breeds together was to create a strong and energetic utility dog, Aluskies have become very popular pets since then, especially in the U.S. and other places around the globe where it gets cold.
However, Aluskies have never really lost their drive for work and are often used to pull sleds, act as search and rescue dogs, and do many other intense and challenging jobs.
Characteristics of an Alusky
Aluskies are fascinating dogs, with many likable and unique characteristics. Because they are a crossbreed between two different dog breeds, the number of traits that Aluskies take from each parent can vary between individuals.
Some Aluskies look almost precisely like Siberian Huskies, and the same goes for them looking identical to Alaskan Malamutes. However, the most common mixture is a middle ground where they take similar traits from both parents.
Below I’ll go over all of the significant characteristics of Aluskies. The features that I go over are only supposed to give you a general sense of how you might expect your Alusky to behave and look.
You must take into account that each Alusky, and dog for that matter, has their own unique set of physical and temperamental characteristics that set them apart from the rest. Just don’t expect all Aluskies to act and look the same, because they don’t.
It would be no fun if all dogs behaved and looked exactly alike!
Both the parent breeds of the Alusky, the Alaskan Malamute and Siberian Husky, are pretty large working dogs. Alaskan Malamutes tend to be slightly bigger than Siberian Huskies, but Aluskies usually take the middle ground and grow to be about 20-28 inches.
Aluskies weigh between 50 and 100 pounds.
The wide range of heights and weights for Aluskies is mainly due to them being a crossbreed between two dog breeds. It isn’t easy to know what traits puppies will inherit from each parent, leading to a wide range of possibilities.
An Alusky’s overall look often reminds people of wolves. This association with wolves is likely due to their pointed ears, agile body, and long muzzle.
Aluskies can have many different colored coats. Depending on their parents’ color, Aluskies can come in white, black, brown, gray, cream, and various other colors and color mixtures. Their fur is usually double-coated and very thick.
The color pattern on Aluskies can vary pretty dramatically, but they often take on the typical pattern among Siberian Huskies and Alaskan Malamutes.
Their back is usually a darker color than the rest of their body, with the darker color leading down their foreheads and sides. However, this is not always the case because solid colored Aluskies and ones with different coat patterns are common.
To fully understand the temperament of an Alusky, you must first look at the behavior of the parent breeds.
Lets first dive into the temperamental characteristics of an Alaskan Malamute dog. Alaskan Malamutes are very gentle and love to be around people. They are large dogs, so while they have a lot of energy, they can’t go hard for too long without taking some time to rest.
Overall, Alaskan Malamutes are quiet and gentle dogs that just want to be around the people they trust and know.
While they share many similar attributes with the Alaskan Malamute, Siberian Huskies are opposites in some regards. Siberian Huskies are a little bit smaller, so their energy will often last longer, and they can play for more time without tiring as quickly. Siberian Huskies are also a lot more vocal than Alaskan Malamutes.
Both the parent breeds of Aluskies are very gentle dogs, and you can see this clearly in the temperament of Aluskies. The pack animal mentality is often very present in Aluskies, and they enjoy being around people they trust.
Aluskies, while they can become very vocal-like their Siberian Husky parent, are usually pretty quiet dogs. They are very curious by nature, which makes them terrible watchdogs as well.
Much like their parent breeds, Aluskies have tremendous strength and endurance. These qualities make them perfect for tasks and jobs that require a lot of physical exertion.
Aluskies were initially bred in the U.S. to combine the extreme strength of the Alaskan Malamute with the energy and enthusiasm of a Siberian Husky. The resulting crossbreed, the Alusky, embodies many of these characteristics and more.
An Alusky’s primary purpose used to be to work, but this has shifted quite a bit over time. Aluskies, as a breed, have always liked being around people, which makes them perfect family dogs.
Mind you, there are still plenty of Aluskies that serve as working dogs and do pretty tricky jobs, but the overall view of what an Alusky is suitable for has recently taken a considerable shift. Besides the exploding popularity of Aluskies as family dogs, the type and range of jobs that Aluskies can complete are quite impressive. Aluskies are known to be fantastic sled dogs, but they can also do search and rescue, racing, shows, and many other activities.
Overall, Aluskies are seen as a pretty healthy dog breed. Both their parent breeds are hardy and extremely healthy, which often passes along to Aluskies.
The life expectancy for an Alusky is 10-15 years.
However, there are a few health issues that Aluskies are known to have occasionally. And while these health problems aren’t super common, they do appear from time to time, so you must bring your dog to a vet regularly.
Some of the common health problems that Aluksies can get are:
● Eye problems such as cataracts, corneal dystrophy, and other eye-related issues
● Hip dysplasia
● Follicular dysplasia
● Ear infections and other ear-related issues
The health of an Alusky is dependent mainly on the health of its parents. If you plan on getting an Alusky, check the parent dogs and ask about their health and any conditions they might have. Some health-related issues are just unavoidable, but getting a healthy dog from the start is never a bad idea.
Another major thing about Aluskies that is related to health is their shedding. Aluskies are NOT hypoallergenic and tend to shed seasonally. Just be aware that Aluskies tend to have pretty thick coats, so it is quite a bit of hair when they shed. If you are allergic or sensitive to dog dander, make sure to take the proper precautions.