- dewclawLv 61 decade agoFavorite Answer
OK I have been breeding and racing Alaskan huskies for over 10 years. And although they are not a recognized breed by the AKC, they are by the folks who work with and love the breed. And although they are sometimes said to be historically traced back to sibes and malamutes, modern dogs do not resemble them, nor does crossing a dog with one of those breeds produce one.
I am in Interior Alaska and for us 'cold' is 10 to about -20 F, 'extreme cold' is about -35 and below. Humans and animals both are working hard to not freeze at temps below -40. Both tend to hunker down in a warm comfy place and wait it out. Of course in races like the Yukon Quest and Iditarod they will both still run, but extra care is given in those situations.
The mushers themselves are right out there with the dogs, so we are well aware of the situation and how to make sure everyone stays safe.
SO how do they keep warm, some physical traits, some behaviors, and some care.
The Alaskan husky does have an undercoat, although many people are surprised at how short coated many of them are, compared to the sibe and malamute. It is really the thickness along with length that keeps them warm. Long loose coats don't trap heat well. And having been breed for generations in the Arctic these dogs have the traits needed to survive here. The articles below have some more information. Metabolic rates and circulation also play a role.
Diet plays a big part in keeping them warm, many calories are needed and lots of them come from fat. regular diet is already much richer then your average pet food. (32/20 kibble with added fat and meat) We will feed up to an extra 1/2 cup of fat per dog per meal in the very cold. And we will feed more often. Dogs can noticeably loose weight during a cold snap if not properly cared for.
The dog houses they live in have a thick straw bedding for insulation that they can curl up in and stay warm. (cause they are not always kept busy running and pulling). Houses are not as big as you would expect, and have small holes for openings. You do not want large draft spaces, or big doors letting in drifting snow and cold breezes. The smart ones will not waste energy playing outside their house in the cold, they curl up, tuck there nose in, and sleep. In that way they conserve energy to keep warm.
When you are out running in the cold special care is taken to monitor the dogs, are they getting enough calories? are they well hydrated? Never underestimate the role good hydration plays in your ability to tolerate the cold. Belly wraps that cover the males 'family jewels' and dog coats are used while racing in the most extreme weather, and often worn while dogs are camping out or resting at checkpoints. When camping in the cold mushers bring straw to give the dogs an insulated bed while resting.
A common misconception is the the dog booties worn by working sled dogs play a role in keeping them warm, but that is not the case. They are used to prevent foot abrasions and pad wear.
Found a great article to share. Local musher and Vet Arleigh Reynolds, D.V.M., Ph.D researches and runs sled dogs:
An interesting article on adaptions in arctic dogs
And although I disagree with a comment on length=warmth in this article (length is nothing without loft) this has some very good information
- SibeMamaLv 51 decade ago
Quality undercoat...double coat also...Alaskan huskies are typically mixes between Husky, Malamute, and ShepherdSource(s): 4 Siberian Huskies, 2 malamute mixes
- EmmalyzLv 41 decade ago
That is a non recognized breed. I've read that they are typically a cross of a Siberian husky and malamute. They've got double coats which keep them nice and warm.
- gattusLv 44 years ago
do somewhat prognosis. initiate with the AKC internet site and the Alaskan Malamute club of u.s.. there's an incredible form of ideas on line and a few great books accessible. do no longer base your determination on a information superhighway communicate board! That being pronounced: Mals are great dogs, yet they have been developed to be an arctic breed the place they had to think of for themselves. they at the instant are not ordinary to coach, exceedingly for amateur proprietors. attempting to tension one into doing some thing will backfire. Use advantageous methods and make the dogs think of it became his concept all alongside. in assessment to three breeds, the Mal would be extra in all threat to think of for himself rather of attempting to do despite it fairly is you desire. they are clever adequate to coach you rather of any different way around! Many tend to be dominant. Mals desire an incredible form of grooming and workout, and you need to use great care in the time of warmer climate. it is not a breed which you will leave by myself interior the backyard or kennel all day. they'll dig, bark, bite, and alter into fairly damaging if bored. you need to contain your puppy interior the relatives, no longer leave it via itself. Mals will bounce or climb fences just to tutor they are able to. some tend to be dogs aggressive. Many view smaller animals as prey and could hunt and/or kill rabbits, birds, squirrels, cats, and so on. they are additionally companies to well-being issues if offered from unreputable materials. Take some weeks (or extra) and do your learn. call and confer with some breeders. be certain you purchase from a great breeder rather of from a newspaper advert or a puppy shop. this form of breeder would be prepared to pass to with you and assist you appreciate the professionals and cons of the breed and examine despite if this could be a physically powerful extra healthful for you. all and sundry who tells you it is the appropriate dogs for each individual and that there are not any undesirable issues approximately it does not have your superb pastime or the doggies' in ideas-- they are in undemanding terms attempting to make a sale.
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- 1 decade ago
they have a thick double coat that acts as an insulator; it traps a layer of air in the fur, allowing the dog to keep warm :D
- A JLv 41 decade ago
they have a double coat and the undercoat is thick and designed to keep moisture and snow/water away from the skin.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
yes. the partisipate in the iditorod race which is in like the harshest climate
- 1 decade ago
my dogs part husky
hes got really thick, course fur that i guess keeps him real warm
- Anonymous1 decade ago
they have very thick fur, and also, they are usually keeping active.ie running, pulling sleds ect.
- 1 decade ago
dewclaw!! Absolutely love your article!!Source(s): 15 yrs of Mally ownership