The Difference Between a Husky & a Wolf

A husky is often mistaken for a wolf because of similar facial features.
A husky is often mistaken for a wolf because of similar facial features.

The husky and wolf are four-legged mammals. They belong to the family of dogs and there are several subspecies of both the wolf and husky. The husky is often described as wolflike, due to its physical appearance. However, there are significant physical and behavioral differences between the two animals.

  1. Function

    • Each animal has a different function. A wolf is a wild animal; wolves live and hunt in packs of up to 12. Their function is as predators. In comparison, the husky is kept as a domesticated pet. Several species of the husky make a good pet, including the Siberian husky and the Alaskan malamute. Huskies are used as sled dogs.

    Distribution

    • Wolves are found in the wild across the world. Subspecies live in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Asia and Europe. They live in a variety of habitats, including mountains, grasslands, tundra and deserts. However, the husky has a thick coat and therefore cannot survive in hot climates, like deserts.

    Endangered

    • The gray wolf is endangered and was hunted to near extinction in the lower 48 states of the U.S. It was hunted for sport as well as to protect humans from wolf attacks. The gray wolf has made a strong comeback in some states. Some wolf species have become extinct; for example, the red wolf became extinct in the wild in 1980, but scientists have reintroduced captive red wolves into the wild. Huskies are not hunted and are not endangered.

    Relationship with Humans

    • The wolf and husky have different relationships with humans. Huskies have a good relationship with humans; they are friendly towards strangers, are affectionate and playful. However, the wolf can be a dangerous animal to humans. A wolf is an opportunist feeder. If a wolf is not well-fed, it may look to humans as a source of food. A human who looks weak to a wolf can be seen as a potential source of food.

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  • Photo Credit NA/AbleStock.com/Getty Images

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