Getting a puppy is one of the most exciting milestones in one’s life. If you’re interested in a pup that looks like a Husky but isn’t a Husky, perhaps you want a mini-wolf to call your best friend? If you want to know more about options that resemble Huskies but are more petite, you’ve come to the right place!
Options for small dogs that look like a Husky include:
- Alaskan Klee Kais
- Northern Inuit
- Finnish Spitz
- American Eskimo Dog
- Alaskan Malamute
- Icelandic Sheepdog
- Sarloos Wolfdog
We will cover each of these breeds in depth so you can make an educated decision on what petite Husky-cousin would be the best option for your family. There is no shame in wanting to commit to a smaller pup, perhaps you have small kids or a studio apartment and simply need a companion that doesn’t take up the entire square footage! This guide will be your ultimate and honest look at which pup is the one for you and your loved ones.
Options for a Small Dog That Looks Like a Husky
Many of those 10 breeds above are similar. It can be difficult to tell a few of them apart with many Northern pups being mistaken for Huskies all the time.
The Pros of Tinier Husky-like Breeds:
- Very intelligent
- Loyal and known for being loving
- Still need some exercise but not as active as the larger full-Husky breed
- Smaller dogs tend to live longer than bigger breeds
- Easy to train
- Good with other dogs especially if raised around them.
The Cons of Tinier Husky-like Breeds:
- More energetic than a larger dog, little dogs are easily excited
- Shiller bark, tendency to bark more
- Don’t always get along with other dogs or pets, know the differences in breed temperament
- Can’t cope in the heat well because of fur
- Can suffer from separation anxiety
- Some have expensive grooming needs.
These are just a few key notions to keep in mind for any dog, but what are the factors you should keep in mind before you decide on which breed is best for your family?
Factors to Consider in Your Decision Process
Knowing which type of dog (that resembles a Husky) is the right fit for your family will depend on your family’s preferences and needs.
The factors you ought to consider are:
- Temperament and ideal pup personality (this may include loyalty, intelligence, aggression levels, how protective they are, and if they’re compatible with other animals).
- If you have kids or not
- Size of dog/ how much room you have to let them run around in (if you have a yard, etc.)
- How much exercise you will be willing to give them/ how much time you really have for your new pet
- How much you have to spend (dogs are expensive. Aside from shots and food, they may need grooming and other monthly charges that can add up quick. Know what you’re getting yourself into).
- How committed you really are.
I put that last bullet in because one of the greatest tragedies on this planet is the amount of stray and starving animals. It is sadly far too common for people to get a pet and then hate that it barks, or hate that it tears up the furniture, gets upset when it has one too many accidents or what have you – then they decide that dog is not for them.
I beg of you to understand the commitment your looking at and understand that they won’t dogs are hard work. Please do not consider adopting a pet unless you are committed to keeping it for its entire life.
But first, let’s discuss which pup may be your new favorite child! Diving right in with…
#1 Alaskan Klee Kais
This little baby-Husky tops our list because they truly look just like tiny Huskies! They are hilarious and very smart without being overly hyper or exhausting (comparatively). The Klee Kais are known for always being right at their owner’s side and very protective of their human family.
You may have a conversation with them, and they’ll howl back to answer you, very aware of your presence and attention that is directed to them.
The Klee Kais are conversational but also don’t bark too much.
You’ll want to be sure they have enough room to run around and good defense around your fence. Because of this breed’s sharp intelligence, they are known for being Houdini’s and escaping often!
These little tricksters make wonderful pets and will live well with other pets that are around their size or bigger.
Something to watch out for with this breed is if you have small pets like rodents, birds, or lizards, as the Husky prey instincts are very primed in this breed, and they may unintentionally kill smaller creatures. Well, it is intentional, but they won’t know that’s your other pet! So don’t blame them as you’ve been warned that they’re only responding to their birth-given instincts, which are nearly impossible to fight.
I would only recommend that you have time to give them because if they’re left alone too often, they will become depressed or become destructive, tearing up your home or yard.
This destructive nature is a common side effect of many social breeds, so keep this in mind. I always believe the animal should not be blamed for these behaviors because, like children, they really don’t know better. You need to be the smarter one and realize if it’s the right fit.
Note – Klee Kais do shed quite a bit, so don’t select this breed if that bothers you.
#2 Northern Inuits
These little wolfs are true to their name, but it is not precisely known where they originate from. Known not for barking, but for their howls, they look like wolves yet don’t have wolf DNA. These affectionate sidekicks are known for being very intelligent and loving their owners fiercely.
They are the type to suffer from separation anxiety, so you won’t want to leave them alone for more than 8-10 hours a day. I realize we all have to work, but be sure to set aside time for them in the morning, evening, and on weekends, while also not crating them up in a kennel all day long.
This is an active breed, so they’ll want to be outside running around and using their strong bodies. Not allowing this will result in a sad dog that ends up feeble and ill.
If you have children, these are still wonderful pets. But keep in mind, they are not suited to very small children, toddlers, or infants. It’s not that they are a rough breed, they are simply the type to not know their own strength. Because of this, they may knock your toddler over a lot or bump into them by accident in their unintentional boisterousness.
I recommend that you choose this breed if you already have experience with animals. They will require a lot of your time, and someone who understands the physical and intellectual demands that help them thrive. If this is your first pet, you may opt for an easier breed.
Note – your Northern Intuit may have a sensitive tummy and need specific food. If you adopt this breed, understand their dietary needs and realize it may be more expensive than the common Iams.
#3 Finnish Spitzes
Not a huge surprise due to their name, but the Finnish Spitz is the most common dog breed in Finland! They love ‘em, and I’m certain you will too. With adorable foxlike faces, these little hunters are great for taking out on the hunt to be your personal bark alarm for any nearby prey.
These are fantastic partners in crime with plenty of energy. Known as the ‘bark pointers,’ for their hunting methods, these dogs may be slight chatty Kathys. If you want a quiet pup, this may not be the best breed for you.
This little fox will need plenty of exercise and time spent outdoors. If you spend any time with them at all, it’s clear to see why they’re great with children and usually with other pets. The exception to this may be other dog breeds that they’re unfamiliar with or feel threatened by.
As smart as they are, they are known for being a bit immature. So if you have kids and want a fun pup that will maintain their energy to chase the tots around for hours a day, this could be a great option for you. Finnish Spitzes may not fully mature mentally or calm down until they’re about three to five years old.
Since they are so wily and independent in their thinking, you may need to practice some patience in training these young-at-heart spirits. If you want a quietly behaved guard dog, this is not the breed for you.
Named after its Samoyed people originating in Siberia, these miniature-huskies were initially bred for the purposes of hunting and sled-pulling.
This is another active dog that cannot be tied to a pole or kept in a crate all day. They need to be running free and helping their owners. Feeling useful to their family gives them so much pride and joy. They are loyal as can be and will instill so much trust in their tribe (your family).
Similar to the Inuits, this breed is great for older children but may knock over small children or toddlers.
Known for being a bit stubborn, you may have to exercise some patience in the training process, but they love to please their owner, so it shouldn’t be too difficult. The final point of consideration is grooming as they do shed quite a lot, especially during warmer seasons.
Because of their hunting-priming, they may nip at small animals or chase after other species that they recognize as prey. This may make them unsuitable to homes that already have small pets.
If you’re looking for the hybrid of all Huskies, look no further as this dog is crossed with Alaskan Malamute, German Shepherd, and Siberian Husky! Like a melting pot of personality, the Tamaskans were intended to look like a wolf while behaving more like a domesticated canine.
Tammys are as sweet as they are intelligent, with very little signs of aggression. This is a great option if you have children or other dogs, but they may be a bit stubborn in their deep intelligence.
Once they’ve attached their hearts to yours, they will be incredibly loyal and caring to you as an owner. This is another type that will need a high level of time-commitment and outdoor exposure to exercise. Not giving your Tam enough exercise will harm its overall health as they were bred to be sled dogs.
If you’re already loving the sound of this breed, here’s another quality to be excited about – little to no grooming!
Please note – they may look tough but are big softies on the inside. So they are not intended to be guard dogs.
#6 American Eskimo Dogs
Who doesn’t want an Eskimo dog? These stunning white and fluffy babies even come in a variety of sizes! So you can choose the standard which is larger, miniature, or toy.
Bred originally by Germans in the 1800s, this breed has stood the test of time and therefore is a very healthy dog to select. They are incredibly smart and alert, so if you’re looking for a watchdog to keep you safe at night, this is the best choice to make.
Don’t play too rough with them, and they will be a wonderful addition to your family for any age group.
Fair warning – they do bark a lot. But if you want a watchdog, that is simply part of the deal. I also don’t want to be blamed if they tear up your home because you didn’t give them enough attention. Those are the possible downsides, so consider yourself thoroughly warned.
#7 Alaskan Malamutes
With a fascinating history, the Alaskan Malamutes are clever in mind and body, descending from wolves, which would help hunters over 4,000 years ago and then later being utilized as sled dogs.
Hopefully by now, you’re getting the picture – these dogs need exercise. Give them space to run around and take them on daily walks to get the amount of activeness they require to thrive.
If they’re not getting what they need, they will let you know by becoming very destructive.
Like little baby-tyrants, they are demanding, but this is merely a sign of their intelligence. Because of this, you should probably be an experienced dog owner to take on this feisty sassafras.
They are playful and gentle, but let them know who the alpha is, or you may try to overrule your authority.
#8 Icelandic Sheepdogs
Surprisingly the only dog breed which was ever native to Iceland, these were brought from another country by Vikings around 800 AD. With a rich history like this, it’s obvious they have powerful minds and great intelligence.
Known for herding cattle, horses, and livestock, these pups have plenty of energy, which means they need to have that expended to not become antagonistic.
It is also worth noting that their vocal cords are powerful, and they will tend to bark at other animals. This stems from their history of being watchdogs, which would bark to warn their owners of impending danger in treacherous mountain environments.
Better to have a dog that has your back than one who doesn’t. This Icelandic breed is sure to blow you away with their capacity for love and specifically affection towards children.
Please note – usually good with other animals but not with birds. No birds. Please, no birds.
#9 Sarloos Wolfdogs
This captivating breed does not disappoint with their names. If you’ve ever wanted a wolfdog but not the size of a Husky, this is a brilliant option for your family that will result in a truly rewarding companionship.
Bred to be a working dog, like all of these tiny-Huskies, they will need exercise. And plenty of it. Similar to German Shepherds, these energetic pups are very loving but will thrive with the right owner.
Some things to note include that they will be quite shy around strangers but not hostile. You may see them hide, which means they are not exactly ideal watchdogs. If you have children around or small pets, they are not good options for you either because their prey-drive is still very active.
This is the type of Husky relative that will get intense anxiety if separated from its beloved owner for extended durations. Because of this, you may be best suited to this dog if you have a lot of time on your hands and no children or other pets.
Easy to maintain, these fluffy pups have fur like a real wolf that only needs to be brushed around once a week.
Last but not least, how could I leave off these teeny tiny little Huskies from our list? You may not have ever noticed, but Pomeranians were bred from Husky-cousins of larger Spitz breeds. With a little fox face, these silly creatures are as amusing as they are sweet.
A perfect pet for a home with small children or other animals, this pup is an ideal addition to your family. They are a bit feisty with toddlers so perhaps children over age 5+ are the perfect range.
This spritely breed has a bit of Napoleonic syndrome and will often think he’s a Pitbull when he’s actually a mouse. Ha! So they may get cocky and try to fight larger dogs thinking that they are the top-hound. Ignore their ego and help them stay safe despite this small-dog syndrome.
Note – they bark at the sight of almost anything (as many small dogs do), so this may annoy you if you’re not looking for a watchdog. It’s truly the only defense that this tiny canine has, so one can empathize with its barking more easily when put into the perspective of how helpless they truly are.
They are fluff balls, so they will require grooming. With a little upkeep and ego-control, they will be beautiful additions to your home and family.
Adopt Don’t Shop
I encourage you to look around your local shelters for a pup that may resemble a Husky and see if you can find him/her locally.
Another important point I’d like to bring up is that you also should at least consider getting an older dog.
Everyone wants a little puppy because they’re so adorable and small. But having worked in a shelter for many years, I can tell you firsthand how tragic it is the number of older dogs that will never get adopted or have a loving home of their own.
Consider adopting a sweetheart that may be 4-5+ years old, already be potty trained and calmer around kids, and really needs you just as much as that puppy. Perhaps more.
Final Verdict on Which is Best for You
Each miniature Husky has its pros and cons, so it will truly depend on what you’re seeking from your new best friend. Some quick highlights would be:
- If you have children – I would recommend Icelandish Sheepdogs or Pomeranians
- If you don’t want to groom – I would recommend the Tamaskans
- If you want a playful dog – I would recommend the Finnish Spitz
- If you want a calmer dog – I would recommend the Sarloos Wolfdog
- If you don’t like exercise – I wouldn’t recommend any of these breeds.
I always recommend trusting your gut as it never lies to you. You probably know the answer deep down after reading about each one. So trust that and check out the local shelters to see if your heart isn’t tugged by every one of them.
I hope this list has been beneficial for you to consider which characteristics are the ones best suited for your lifestyle. After this breed exploration, what do you think? Which would you bring home?
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