Even though Huskies and Wolves share 98.8% of the same mitochondrial DNA and look similar, they are actually two distinct animal breeds. It is assumed that this dog’s ancestors separated from Wolves at least 27,000 years ago.
However, the first dog domestication started approximately 14,000 years ago. Nowadays, keeping a Wolf as a pet is forbidden in most countries worldwide, but some people enjoy Wolf and Siberian Husky mixed pets. If you adore magnificent wild beasts, these Wolf-dogs are worthy replacements.
Husky Vs. Wolf
Siberian Husky Origin
All dogs are related to Wolves, but it is impressive how close are Huskies to Wolves. In fact, they look like these wild animals more than any other breed does. It is considered one of the oldest living dog breeds on the planet since the Chukchi Tribe started using them to pull sleds and play with children 3,000 years ago.
The first dogs came to Alaska in 1908, but the whole world heard about them in 1925 when Gunnar Kaasen and his Huskies, led by a leading dog Balto, ran 674 miles (1,085 km) to Nome to deliver a lifesaving diphtheria serum.
The AKC recognized the new breed in 1930. The last Husky came to American soil from Siberia the same year, right before the Soviet government closed the borders. Siberian Husky Club of America has existed since 1938.
Gray Wolf Origin
Scientists can’t agree on whether there are only two Wolves, gray and red, or there is also a third type, Ethiopian Wolf. Anyway, they are separated into 38 subspecies living worldwide.
The most common gray Wolf probably descended from Miacidae, a now-extinct breed. It is believed that Wolf originated in the Eurasian continent, survived the Ice Age, and migrated to North America at some point in history.
Besides German Shepherd, Alaskan Malamute, and Siberian Husky, breeds that look like Wolves the most, a few other dog breeds are closely related to these wild animals’ DNA.
Some of them are really unexpected on this list!
- Czechoslovakian Wolf dog
- Shiba Inu
- Chow Chow
- Shiz Stu
Wolf compared to Husky is of superior intelligence that allows this species to survive in the wild, but there is almost no chance to react desirably on human commands. It barks to warn and howl to communicate with a pack in long-distance. This animal prefers living in a pack numbering four to thirty members but typically mates for life. You can find lone wolves in the wild only in rare cases.
This bold, consistent, and confident dog enjoys human company and is incredibly loyal to its owner. You can expect to get a highly active buddy that requires mental stimulation and a lot of physical activities. Husky is often over-friendly, making it a perfect family pet.
Basically, you can hardly find any similarity in Siberian Husky and Wolf temperament. While Wolf is a wild beast, domestication has successfully adapted Husky behavior, and it happily and peacefully enjoys its life with humans.
The most apparent difference between Husky and Wolf is their behavior toward people. While the Wolf shies away from humans, Husky feels uncomfortable without its human family.
This dog will never become independent while Wolves mature at the age of two when they leave mothers and join the pack or forms their own. Husky is an ideal pet for families with children, while no one would like a Wolf near their kids, right? However, you can see one similarity between these two animals. Both consider small animals as prey.
4. Size And Look
Although these two animals are closely related and quite similar, you can notice differences in their appearance and size. Let’s take a closer look at Wolf vs. Husky size.
Wolf is twice or even three times heavier than Husky. An average wild grey Wolf is 25 and 33 inches (63.5 – 84 cm) high at shoulders and weighs approximately 50 to 175 pounds (23 – 79.5 kg).
|Height||26 to 33 inches (66 – 84 cm)||25 to 32 inches (63.5 – 81 cm)|
|Weight||65 to 175 pounds (39.5 – 79.5 kg)||50 to 120 pounds (23 – 54.5 kg)|
Siberian Husky weighs from 35 to 60 pounds (16 – 27 kg), depends on its age and gender. In most cases, its height will be 20 to 24 inches (51 – 61 cm).
|Height||22 to 24 inches (56 – 61 cm)||20 to 22 inches (51 – 56 cm)|
|Weight||45 to 60 pounds (20 – 27 kg)||35 to 50 pounds (16 – 23 kg)|
Both Husky and Wolf have double-layered coats but of a different color. Wolf’s coat is a mix of gray and brownish or sometimes white, making an ideal combination for surviving in the wild.
Husky has a multicolored coat and specific face mask. AKC recognizes Husky’s coat types like:
- Red and white
- Sable and white
- Agouti and white
- Gray and white
- Black and white
Wolf’s eyes are primarily amber, yellow, or brownish, while Husky has blue eyes, and you can often see heterochromia. Even though both species have 42 teeth, Wolf has longer and sharper teeth, particularly scary-looking teeth canines.
There is no Husky vs. Wolf comparison regarding caring since it is illegal keeping a wolf as a pet. Even if it weren’t so, I couldn’t imagine anyone in their right mind trying to bathe a wolf, teach it to go on a leash, or brush its teeth. On the other hand, your Husky will require basic care. Husky is a heavy shedder, particularly during spring and autumn, but you can solve most of the problems by brushing your buddy once to twice a week. Luckily, it doesn’t have an unpleasant doggy odor, so there is no need to bathe it.
Siberian Huskies need to go out for at least an hour a day. It will enjoy walking, hiking, and jogging with you. In ideal conditions, you should provide an outdoor area for your buddy to play freely.
In most cases, your Husky will follow your commands and instructions. Remember that crate training and leash training are vital.
8. Diet And Nutrition
Wolf is a strict carnivore. It equally hunts beavers, hares, rodents, and large hoofed mammals like bison, deer, and moose. Hunt is often a pack activity, but some lone Wolves can go hunting individually. One adult needs approximately 20 pounds (9 kg) of meat per meal but can survive without food for up to two weeks in harsh conditions.
Unlike Wolf, which can’t survive by eating artificial food, Husky will be satisfied with 0.5 to 2 cups of dry dog food divided into two equal meals. This breed is well known for its ability to run long distances on a low amount of food. However, your pet will appreciate getting some raw meat from time to time.
9. Possible Health Problems
Some studies show that Wolf can suffer from a few severe diseases that shorten their lifespan in the wild.
Rabies – It sporadically occurs in nearly all wolves’ habitats.
Canine distemper – It is reported in 1904 for the first time in captive wolves.
Infectious canine hepatitis – First cases were officially reported in Canada in 1974.
CPV -2 (Canine parvovirus) – Appeared in 1970 in Europe and is one of the most severe diseases in canines.
Blastomycosis – It is an enzootic disease in Minnesota, and the most famous fatal case in wolves was reported in 1987.
Dog heartworm – It was diagnosed in gray wolves living in ZOOs.
Lice – Numerous free-ranging gray Wolves in North America suffer from this condition that has appeared during the last decade.
Even though Husky is a generally healthy dog, it can have health issues like:
- Degenerative myelopathy
- Hip and elbow dysplasia
- Von Willebrand’s disease
- Spontaneous pneumothorax
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Eyes disorders like cataracts, corneal dystrophy, and progressive retinal atrophy
- Skin issues like zinc-responsive dermatosis, pemphigus foliaceus, and uveodermatologic syndrome
- Cancer in older dogs, particularly basal cell tumors, anal gland tumors, hemangiopericytomas, and sebaceous gland tumors
A reputable breeder will provide adequate health clearances for Husky’s parents when you come to buy a puppy.
The list includes test results for:
- Elbow and hip dysplasia
- Von Willebrand’s disease
- Common eye diseases
You can expect your Siberian Husky to live at least 12 to 15 years. The thing with Wolves is a bit more complicated. Their average lifespan is about 6 to 8 years in the wild. However, you can often see individuals living approximately 16 to 20 years in captivity.
When putting Husky and Wolf side by side, you can notice how different they are at first glance. However, it is possible to spot numerous similarities between a dog and Wolf when looking at them more closely.
Plus, they are entirely different in character and temperament. While Wolf is more intelligent, Husky is a gentle and loyal family pet. All in all, these two animals are a great indicator of what time and different living conditions can do with genetically related canines.