I do! I love them for both their appearance and their behavior, but I prefer more wolf looking dog breeds.
Huskies are more closely related to their ancestor the wolf than other domestic dog breeds, but huskies are not the dog breed closest to wolves - not in appearance nor DNA. I wrote about this before, so I’ll copy it for you in case you’re interested in reading on this:
Domestic dogs have about 99% of their genes in common with one another. But a few very distinct genetic differences separate them into about 400 dog breeds known worldwide. All domestic dog breeds are almost identical in relatedness to wolves. The DNA structure of domestic dogs is only about 0,2% different from wolves.
A recent study claims that several dogs whose origins date back to antiquity are also the most genetically similar to wolves — the very oldest ones being from Asia, such as the Shar-pei and the Chow, and from Africa, such as the Basenji. Others, like the Afghan, come from the Middle East, while the Siberian husky and others come from the Arctic [source].
Note that looks can be deceiving; Huskies have a wolf-like appearance, but the extent to which a certain dog breed looks like a wolf stands apart from the extend to how closely related to wolves they are. For example, a Shih Tzu (which the authors of the recent study I talked about assigned to the ancient group of Asian dogs) is more closely related to the wolf than a German shepherd is.
List of the fourteen ancient breeds that show the fewest genetic differences from wolves [source]:
- Afghan Hound (Afghanistan)
- Akita Inu (Japan)
- Alaskan Malamute (Alaska)
- Basenji (DR Congo)
- Chow Chow (China)
- Lhasa Apso (Tibet)
- Pekingese (China)
- Saluki (Iran)
- Samoyed (Russia)
- Shar Pei (China)
- Shiba Inu (Japan)
- Shih Tzu (China)
- Siberian Husky (Russia)
- Tibetan Terrier (Tibet)
(Note that this study was done on 85 different dog breeds, and as there are some 400 known dog breeds (of which the AKC recognizes 167), it is possible that an extended study would reveal additional “ancient” breeds)