Let’s take a closer look at one of the most asked questions regarding the Siberian Husky… Are huskies related to wolves? And if so, how closely related are they?
You’ve got to admit this is a fascinating question, so let’s dig in and give the best answer we possibly can. We’ve used the most recent scientific research and findings to help us explain everything.
Is a husky a wolf? According to science, the Siberian Husky is not technically a wolf and they’re two separate breeds of animal, despite sharing 98.8% (and in some cases more) of the same mitochondrial D.N.A.
Table of Contents
How Are Dogs And Wolves Related?
Let’s just talk about dogs in general for a moment, then we’ll clarify about huskies just after.
Although for a long time, scientists thought that wolves and dogs were two separate species, we now know that’s not true.
Newer research shows that wolves and dogs are in fact the same species (a subspecies of Canis lupus) and this is now the accepted stance on the “relation” question.
So, to state it simply, dogs and wolves are part of the same species: Canis Lupis.
But What About Huskies? Are They Closer To Wolves Than Other Dogs?
The quick answer is no. Huskies appear much more like a wolf than most other dog breeds but are not any closer genetically than other breeds.
Huskies and wolves are the same species of animal, a sub-species of Canis Lupus.
The definition of “species” is a group of individuals who already interbreed or have the potential to. Dogs are able to interbreed with wolves, there are already many wolf/husky hybrids out there.
7 Key Similarities & Differences Between Huskies & Wolves
There are clear visual similarities between huskies and wolves which is pretty much why this question is asked so much.
So why do huskies look like wolves so much?
🎯 There isn’t really a good answer for this. The truth is that huskies just happened to retain a similar facial structure, pointy ears, and a thick coat just as the wolf has. Yes, they do look a lot like wolves, yet they still aren’t any closer to a wolf than any other breed.
That’s actually about it… The differences now outweigh the similarities.
2. Markings and Color
Despite both of them having double-layered coats, the coloring of their coats is fairly different. Huskies have more defined color differences in the coat, especially in their face markings, whereas wolves tend to display a more gray/brown blended-looking coat, more suited for survival in the wild.
The above photo also displays the difference in eye color. Wolves often have yellow/amber/ brown eyes whereas the huskies usually have light blue colorings.
Heterochromia (rare eye condition) which huskies are known for does not happen with wolves. Heterochromia is one of the most visually striking elements of the Siberian husky.
Wolves can be so large they actually hold the No.1 spot for the biggest animal in the canine family. The husky is far from holding this title.
The average height of a male husky is 21-23.5 inches compared to a male wolf which is 26 – 32 and in some cases even taller.
6. Snout and Teeth
Wolves have a narrower and longer snout which leads to a mouth full of bigger and sharper teeth. Both of which help wolves survive in the wild.
Huskies have significantly different mouths and do not possess teeth like a wolf.
Although the head is similar in structure and shape, the head of a wolf if much larger than a husky. This larger head contains a much larger brain.
Having a bigger brain capacity enables the wolf to have superior intelligence and allows them to survive in the wild. Our domesticated husky although deemed an independent dog, would fall very short on the survival side of things compared to a wolf.
Husky vs Wolf Comparison Chart
Let’s take a look at the similarities and differences between huskies and wolves with this breed comparison chart.
|Height||Female – 20-23 inch|
Male – 21-23.5 inch
|26-32 inch |
Adult wolf (F+M)
|Weight||Female – 35-50 lbs|
Male – 45-60 lbs
|Female – 50-121 lbs|
Male – 50-176 lbs
|Lifespan||12-14 years||6-8 years (in the wild)|
|Location||Global||North America, |
|Eye Colors||Blue, Brown, |
|Coat||Double coated||Double coated|
|Ears||Pointed upright||Pointed upright|
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Behavior & Temperament: Husky vs Wolf
When it comes to the behavior and temperament of huskies and wolves, these animals couldn’t be further apart. Our huskies are domesticated family pets, and wolves are wild animals.
Domestication is what separates these two animals.
The Siberian husky is a warm, affectionate, social, human-loving animal who is likely to come to you for cuddles and playtime. This happens because of domestication, the process of changing the behavior, temperament, and mind of an animal to live closely with humans.
Coming to you for affection and playtime is obviously the last thing a wolf would ever do. Wolves are wild animals and have only one goal: survival.
A very popular question asked by many is if huskies make good guard dogs? Interestingly enough, this is only asked because of their wolf-like appearance! The answer is that they generally make terrible guard dogs as they are not aggressive, protective or overly suspicious of anyone or anything.
I have an entire article about huskies being guard dogs, some things may surprise you!
Husky Vs Wolf FAQ’s
Let’s go through some more commonly asked questions about huskies being wolves, and wolves being huskies!
Is a Siberian husky a wolf hybrid?
The short answer is no. Dogs and wolves are now considered to both be sub-species of Cani Lups.
Are husky wolf hybrids dangerous?
People have had mixed results trying to make a nice family pet of a wolf hybrid. You could never be totally sure that your husky-wolf would not attack you or any other small pets.
Why do huskies howl like wolves?
Wolves howl in the wild because the sound travels much further through the air. The howl is primarily used to locate another wolf or pack and is often used by lost wolves to find their way back. When other wolves hear howling, they will almost always howl back.
Which dog breed has the most wolf DNA?
While all dogs have at least a 98.8% match of mitochondrial D.N.A there are some that are technically closer than others.
Hopefully, this has cleared up your question about Siberian huskies and wolves. If you have a husky-wolf hybrid, comment below! I would love to hear about them.
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