If you want to learn how to tell if your Husky is purebred, this is the guide for you.
I’ll split up the process into three areas, including physical appearance, behavior, and then getting more reliable proof if you’re still unsure through DNA testing or registration papers.
While it doesn’t matter for the majority of people if their Husky is purebred, it’s not hard to understand why some people want clarification.
Stay tuned to learn if your Husky is purebred or not!
- Step One – Physical Appearance
- Step Two – Behavior & Temperament
- Step Three – Get Proof
- A Note On Huskies And Malamutes
- Does It Matter If Your Husky Is Purebred?
- In Summary
Step One – Physical Appearance
Physical appearance is the biggest giveaway that your Husky is purebred outside of doing definitive DNA testing or searching for registration proof.
Here’s a list of the things you need to look out for to tell whether your Husky is purebred or not from a physical point of view.
Coat Type & Color
Purebred Huskies should have a thick, double coat that can vary in length. Some Huskies can have a shorter coat, while others have a longer, woolier coat.
A double coat means the fur is split into two distinct layers: a dense, wooly undercoat and a longer guard layer.
The purpose of this coat is to keep your Husky warm in cold weather, and it also helps them to stay cool in hot weather as the wooly layer can trap cold air against the skin. It also provides protection from water and other debris via the guard layer.
You should be able to see the undercoat when brushing, and they will also seasonally shed twice per year in a process known as blowing coat, usually in the fall and spring.
In terms of coat colors, Huskies can have a wide range of colors, and you can learn about all of these in our article here. In fact, according to the standard, all colors are allowable, including black, gray, agouti, sable, red, and white, so it’s easier to look out for common patterns and markings rather than colors.
Typically, Huskies will have white markings on the face, stomach, and legs, although this isn’t a guarantee of the Husky being purebred.
Eye Color & Shape
The eye color and shape of your Husky can give you an excellent indication of whether they are purebred or not.
Huskies should always have either blue or brown eyes or a combination of both.
Be careful, though, as various shades of these can be found, which may appear as a different color. You can read our guide on Husky eye colors to learn about the shades you can expect from a purebred Husky.
In terms of shape, Huskies almost always have almond-shaped eyes, which is another good indicator of whether a Husky is purebred.
The double coat is one of the Spitz-type features that purebred Huskies will have, but there are others as well.
These include erect, alert ears and a fluffy, curly tail.
Measure Height & Weight
Another easy way to check if your Husky is purebred is to measure their weight and height. Many Husky crosses are much smaller or larger than a regular Husky – a Bullmastiff Husky mix, for example, can weigh over 100 lbs!
In general, full-grown Huskies should be in the following ranges:
- Weight of 35 to 60 lbs
- Height of 20 to 23.5 inches at the shoulder
There are exceptions to these ranges, but generally, if your Husky is around these weight and height limits, it’s a good indication that they are purebred.
You can also see charts for expected growth by age here if your Husky hasn’t fully grown yet.
The overall build of a purebred Husky should be capable of great endurance, with a slim but muscular appearance.
Huskies are not sprinting dogs, so they should never appear skinny but rather strong and ready for endurance.
Plush Cheek Fur
This one is a bit harder to recognize if you aren’t familiar with Huskies, but purebred Huskies have plush cheek fur, which stands out once you notice it.
You can find a much more detailed description of the ideal Siberian Husky appearance in the official standard here, which I highly recommend reading if you’re unsure whether your Husky is purebred.
Step Two – Behavior & Temperament
Outside of physical checks, you can also check for some classic Husky behaviors that they exhibit.
These are obviously less accurate than the physical checks. Still, it’s a good indication that your Husky is purebred if they display characteristic Husky behaviors strongly as part of their personality.
Huskies are very vocal but in their own way.
These are all classic Husky behaviors, and if your dog talks to you in this way, it’s a good indicator that they’re at least partly Husky.
Another telltale sign that your Husky is purebred is if they are very stubborn.
Huskies are naturally stubborn and independent, which means they often refuse to listen to their owners and like to spend time to themselves every now and then.
An easy way to check this is by teaching your dog a new command or trick.
If they seem very eager to please, then it’s very likely that they aren’t a purebred Husky. Purebred Huskies are not eager to please and are a challenge to train at the best of times.
The last personality trait of the Husky to look out for is a very high energy level.
Huskies have an almost endless amount of energy thanks to their background as sled dogs. They love to exercise and can keep going all day long, and this is a good indication of a purebred Husky.
Step Three – Get Proof
If you’re still unsure about the origin of your Husky, the best thing for peace of mind is to get actual proof.
Although it should be quite easy to tell if your dog is a purebred Husky, it can be challenging for people who aren’t familiar with the breed.
You can do this in a couple of ways, including checking for AKC registration or ordering a DNA test.
Several DNA tests on the market today will allow you to figure out exactly how much ‘Husky’ is in your Husky’s DNA and whether or not they’re mixed with anything else.
- Screens for more than 350 dog breeds
- Tests for genetic health risks as well
- Get results in 2 to 4 weeks
Embark is one of the best DNA tests on the market, and it will also let you check for health issues simultaneously.
A cheaper way to check if your Husky is purebred is to look up their AKC number. If your Husky has an AKC number, both parents were registered, and you’ll be able to see if they were both Huskies.
Remember that scams happen here, and I highly recommend this article to learn more about why AKC registration doesn’t guarantee your Husky’s purebred, although it’s a good indicator.
The AKC does offer a program where breeders can submit DNA samples to conclusively prove parentage, so you can check for this, which guarantees your Husky is purebred.
A Note On Huskies And Malamutes
Huskies are most often confused with Alaskan Malamutes, and for good reason.
These two dogs look very similar (as you can see below), which is no surprise given their origins. Both are sled dogs native to Northern America, with similar origins of their ancestors passing the Bering Strait thousands of years ago.
The main difference is in size; Malamutes are much larger than Huskies and reach 23 to 25 inches in height and 75 to 85 lbs in weight, although it isn’t uncommon for them to reach over 100 lbs.
You can read up about the differences in detail here if you suspect that your Husky might actually be an Alaskan Malamute.
Does It Matter If Your Husky Is Purebred?
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter all that much if your Husky is purebred or not unless you plan to show them in competition or breed them.
Obviously, Husky mixes can’t compete in shows where the breed standard is required, and they’re usually only allowed to compete in agility or the AKC Canine Partners™ Program. For breeding, it would be assumed that you would have all the necessary paperwork ready beforehand to show whether your Husky is purebred.
If your Husky is mixed with another breed, it just means they’ll exhibit other behaviors and look differently to a purebred Husky, which shouldn’t make a big difference.
Most Husky mixes are just as active and stubborn, but it is worth discovering the other breed(s) to learn about their temperament to understand your pup better.
There will always be variations to the Husky standard, so even if your Husky doesn’t conform entirely to the standard either in appearance or personality, the only way to be certain is to do a DNA test.
Breeder papers can be reliable, but it depends on which breeder you are working with, as there are, unfortunately, some that forge documents, although this is rare.