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With their soft, pure-as-the-driven-snow white coat, mesmerizing icy blue eyes and affectionate demeanor, few dogs on earth are as captivatingly beautiful as the stunning white husky dog breed.
Originally bred as a working dog in the harsh environs of bitterly cold Siberia, today these adorable canines make wonderful pets for those with the time, energy and love to take care of them.
In this guide, we’ll discuss exactly what it takes to look after a white husky, including their diet, their training and exercise needs and more. We’ll also talk about their temperament, health issues, and everything else that you might need to know to help you decide whether these remarkable creatures are a good fit for your family.
White Husky Dog Breed – Vital Stats
Height: 20″ to 23.5″
Weight: 35 lbs to 60 lbs
Lifespan: 12 – 14 years
Alternative name: Albino husky
White Husky Dog Breed – History and Origins
As a rare form of Siberian husky, it probably won’t come as much surprise to learn that the beautiful white husky can trace its roots back to the sparsely-populated region Siberia, the vast, brutally-cold region that spans Russia and Northern Asia.
The first known evidence of these magnificent breeds dates back no less than 3,000 years, to the Asian indigenous Chukchi people who bred these dogs for their strength and speed, making them powerful working dogs who were often utilized in a pack.
Together, a pack of white huskies would work together to pull a sled which would often be carrying essential food, firewood, or medical supplies.
Sometimes they’d even be used to pull sled-riding humans, though this was more for vital expeditions such as to hunt for food rather than to deliver the kind of fun husky sled rides that are such a popular tourist activity today.
The Development of the White Husky
Back when the Chukchi people were first breeding these dogs there was no such thing as a white husky, at least not as we know them today.
Huskies generally had a mix of colors, including grey, sable, and black.
It was only after several generations of breeding that a recessive gene became prominent in a handful of huskies that gave them a white coat.
Introduction to Alaska and the Wider World
Despite being a 3,000 year-old breed, white huskies generally didn’t make their presence felt on a larger scale until the early 1900s.
They were first introduced to Alaska, where their thick fur and experience in Siberian’s bitterly cold climate made them seemingly ideal for the continent’s equally chilly conditions.
The Alaskans, however, were skeptical at first. Their own native Alaskan Malamutes were larger than most huskies, and as such, they saw the Malamutes as superior species.
While nobody would ever doubt what magnificent creatures those Mamalutes were (indeed, still are), the white husky soon proved its worth, its lean body, and high stamina making it perfect for maintaining high speeds over long-distances.
In fact, in 1910, a sled team pulled by Siberian huskies conquered all 408 miles of the All Alaska Sweepstakes Race and came in the first place, bringing the breed to the wider attention of the world for the first time.
Later, in 1925, a Siberian husky called Balto became famous for helping to prevent a diphtheria epidemic in the Alaskan city of Nome by pulling a sled containing vital medicine through treacherous conditions.
Today, Balto’s posthumous celebrity continues. Though he passed away in 1933, his taxidermied body is on display at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, while a statue of him stands tall and proud in Central Park, New York, and he was even the central character in a 1955 movie based on his daring adventure.
Though Balto wasn’t a purebred white husky, some of his descendants would go on to have that recessive gene that would give them this rare and every-so-beautiful appearance.
White Husky Dog Breed – Appearance
The one thing that sets white huskies apart, not only from other dog breeds but even from other Siberian huskies, is their incredible, pure white coat. This unique appearance is caused by a recessive gene found in a handful of Siberian huskies.
When two huskies with this gene breed, you’re almost guaranteed to get at least one true white husky in the litter. The chances of this happening are pretty slim, making the white husky a rare breed indeed.
The fact that they are so uncommon is partly what makes them so special, though many fans of the breed would admit that it’s usually their breathtaking appearance that really puts them in a league of their own.
It isn’t just the snow-white coat, either. Often, it’s the combination of the fur color and the gorgeous, icy blue eyes that draw people to this breed. But, not all white huskies have blue eyes.
In fact, it’s the combination of this snow-white coat and gorgeous, icy blue eyes that makes many people such a fan of this beautiful breed. Sure, not all white huskies have those famous blue eyes. Some have brown eyes while some have a condition known as heterochromia which can give them different colored eyes, but those who do have that icy blue hue do look stunning.
Elsewhere, the white husky is distinguishable by the dark black pigmentation on their nose, eyes, and mouth.
White Husky Dog Breed – Size
Huskies are strong, powerful dogs with a slender-yet-muscular frame that makes them well cut-out for sledding and other work.
They’re also fairly large dogs.
A fully-grown male can reach between 21” – 24” in height, though most average around 23.5”. Meanwhile, a female is likely to stand around 20” – 22”.
Weight-wise, huskies are perhaps lighter than you might expect.
Males average around 45 – 60 lbs while females tend to grow between 35 – 50 lbs.
White Husky Dog Breed – Temperament and Personality
Don’t let those wolf-like features fool you; white huskies are far more friendly than they are ferocious.
They have a natural tendency to be loving, loyal, and incredibly affectionate. If treated well, these gentle souls will happily come up for cuddles and love nothing more than being around people and even other pets.
All this -plus the fact that they get on great with kids- might make them seem like the ideal family pet, but if you are thinking of bringing one home, we advise you to proceed with caution.
It isn’t just that huskies enjoy being around others – they really need that interaction in order to thrive. Left to themselves for too long, they become bored and aggressive, so they’re not the kind of dog you can leave home alone all day while you’re at work.
Likewise, huskies tend to get restless and can be destructive if they don’t get a lot of exercise.
Speaking of which…
White Husky Dog Breed – Exercise and Training Needs
Ranking right at the very top of our list of the most high-energy dog breeds, Siberian huskies need an active lifestyle and plenty of exercises to keep them healthy and happy.
When you remember that they were originally bred purely for physical labor, this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise,
If you let them, they’d happily play all day and can pretty much handle as much fun exercise as you can throw at them, though at a bare minimum, you’ll need to give them at least an hour a day.
Though huskies love nothing more than to run around, you’ll find it best to restrict this activity to private properties or spaces where it’s perfectly safe to let them run around.
Given how much they love to dash off, it’s always wise to keep them on a leash in residential areas or anywhere in which they might dart off into traffic.
On a related note, it’s also worth noting that huskies are some of the best houdini hounds around, so you might want to invest in a good quality no-escape dog harness to keep them safe.
If all that exercise and outdoor time is too much for you, you might want to check out our guide to the 10 best big dogs for apartment living, as these require little exercise and don’t mind being indoor a lot.
In terms of training, huskies are much smarter than a lot of people give them credit for.
They get a reputation for being none-too-bright partly because of their playful demeanor but mostly because they’re so challenging to train.
However, the truth is that huskies can learn new tricks and commands quickly, but they’re so headstrong and stubborn that they often just refuse to do as they’re told.
For this reason, it’s best to stick to short, regular training sessions with lots of incentives.
This really works best for your dog’s mental wellbeing too. Left unstimulated, they can become depressed and develop behavioral issues which make them hard to deal with.
White Husky Dog Breed – Health and Wellbeing
For the most part, huskies are healthy creatures. However, they are prone to suffering from problems with their hips and eyes.
Hip dysplasia, in which the hip socket fails to grow properly, is sadly a common issue in white husky dogs, and they can also develop cataracts, corneal dystrophy, and progressive retinal atrophy.
As such, the American Kennel Club recommends huskies should see a canine ophthalmologist once a year and have hip evaluations regularly too.
Feeding and Nutrition
The good news is that despite being big dogs, white huskies don’t have a big appetite.
Like most dogs, they do require plenty of high-quality protein which is best provided in the form of real-meat dog foods.
Alternatively, homemade dog food recipes that provide plenty of protein, vitamins, and good fats will also work well.
It can be tempting to fill them up on carbohydrates, certain that these super-energetic dogs will burn them off in no time. However, as with humans, overdoing the carbs can lead to weight gain, so it’s best to stick to a moderate amount.
White Husky Meal Time Recommendations
Huskies do best when they’re fed twice a day. Ideally, you’ll want to make sure that mealtimes are scheduled a minimum of 2 hours before exercise. Again, they’re not too dissimilar to us in this regard. Try and exercise on a full tummy and the results won’t be pretty.
If you’re feeding Snowy after their daily training, give it at least 30 minutes before filling their bowl.
Grooming and Cleanliness
The good news is that there’s no need to take your beautiful white husky to a professional groomer. The natural look suits them well and they actually need that thick coat to maintain regular body temperature, so shaving them is never a good idea.
The bad news, however, is that they do shed excessively in spring and fall, so you’ll need to brush and groom them regularly during these seasons.
In summer and winter, when they tend to shed less, grooming at least once a week will help keep their fur in good condition.
Given how much they love being outdoors, it’s not uncommon for your white husky to pick up grass stains and other dirt in their fur, so you might want to keep a mild whitening shampoo such as Veterinary Formula Solutions’ Snow White Shampoo on hand for such occasions.
That being said, be careful not to bathe your husky too much as this could deplete the natural oils needed to keep their coat looking healthy.
Frequently Asked Questions About the White Husky Dog Breed
Are White Huskies Dangerous?
White or other Siberian huskies are far from dangerous. In fact, no breed of dog is inherently dangerous, providing it’s treated and trained properly. But huskies, in particular, are known for their loving temperament and soft, gentle nature.
Are White Huskies Wolves?
No. Though they certainly share some similarities in appearance and sometimes play the role of wolves in movies, huskies are a purebred breed all of their own. They don’t share any ancestry or DNA with wolves.
Wolves have been bred with huskies in the past to create a wolf-husky hybrid (sometimes known as a wolfdog) though such mix-breeds tend to be very difficult to manage and in some states it’s even illegal to own one.
What’s the Difference Between a White Husky and an Isabella Husky?
Very little besides the tint of their coat. Pure white huskies are -as the name implies- completely white. Isabella huskies have a slightly yellow or sometimes beige tone to their coat.
It’s not uncommon for this tone to be so slight that it can only be seen in a certain light. For this reason, the two husky breeds can seem indistinguishable, and it’s not uncommon for people to use the names “white husky” and “Isabella husky” interchangeably, although they are technically two separate breeds.
White huskies also may have black pigmentation around the eyes, nose, and gums, whereas Isabellas do not. They typically have a brown color around these areas.
Do Huskies Need to Be in the Cold?
Not necessarily. Sure, their thick coats make them resilient to cold weather but if you’re keeping a white husky as a pet then they’re better kept indoors where it’s warm while still spending plenty of time outside for exercise.
Can White Huskies Cope With Warm Weather?
Though they don’t always have to be out in the freezing cold, huskies are bred for that climate, so their thick means they struggle in warm weather. With that in mind, do what you can to keep them cool in summer and perhaps think about getting a different breed if you live in a really hot climate.
Are White Huskies the Breed of Dogs Used in Game of Thrones?
No. Though some people do think that, most of the “direwolves” from the hit fantasy show were actually played by Northern Inuit dogs. While Northern Inuits are relatives of the Siberian Husky, they aren’t technically huskies themselves.
Meanwhile, the dog that played Ghost, the direwolf belonging to Jon Snow, was played by an Arctic Wolf called Quigly.
The confusion over the breed of dog used for direwolves became so prevalent that countless rescue centers reported large numbers of people buying huskies after watching Game of Thrones, only to abandon them when taking care of them got too much.
Final Thoughts: Is a White Husky a Good Fit For Your Family?
There’s no denying that the stunning white husky dog breed is one of the most spectacularly beautiful breeds on the planet. The combination of that soft, snow-white fur, icy blue eyes that seem to look deep into your soul, and general cuteness can make them an attractive option for anyone looking to bring home a new family pet.
Yet while huskies may be incredibly adorable, that alone doesn’t guarantee they’ll do well in your home.
Since they were first bred to work as part of a pack and spend a lot of time with other dogs and humans, huskies have evolved to become very sociable creatures who need a lot of time, attention, and company. They really don’t do well when left alone for long periods and tend to become destructive if they don’t get that social interaction.
So, if you’re out at work all day and the kids are at school, getting a husky is going to be a bad idea. You may be better suited with a dog that doesn’t mind being left alone for long periods such as a french bulldog or a greyhound.
As we discussed earlier in this guide, the beautiful white husky also needs an awful lot of exercise to keep them happy and healthy. Again, huskies that do become aggressive or destructive are those that aren’t properly exercised, so if you don’t have the time or physical capability to meet their exercise needs, you may find a different, low-maintenance dog breed to be a better addition to your family.
On the other hand, if you do have the time and energy to give a husky the care and attention they need, you’ll find that their affectionate, child-friendly nature and unwavering loyalty means they’ll love being part of your pack.