Alaskan Husky vs. Siberian Husky Breed Comparison

Last update:
Alaskan Husky in a farm

Key Takeaways

  • Both Alaskan Huskies and Siberian Huskies are medium-sized breeds, but Alaskan Huskies have a leaner physique while Siberian Huskies are more compact and muscular.
  • Both breeds are high-energy and require ample physical activity. Alaskan Huskies need more consistent exercise due to their endurance focus, while Siberian Huskies were primarily used as family pets.
  • Alaskan Huskies are bred for speed and endurance, making them ideal for dog sled racing. Siberian Huskies excel at pulling heavy loads over longer distances while requiring less food.

When choosing a Husky as your furry companion, knowing the differences between the Alaskan Husky and Siberian Husky is crucial. Each breed possesses unique physical characteristics, temperaments, and energy levels that make them suitable for different households and lifestyles.

In this comprehensive breed comparison, we’ll discuss everything from their size and build to temperament traits that define these striking canines.

Physical Characteristics of Alaskan Husky and Siberian Husky

a siberian husky in a grass field

The Alaskan Husky and Siberian Husky have distinct differences in their physical characteristics, including size and build, eye color, and facial features.

Size and Build

Alaskan Huskies and Siberian Huskies share similarities in size, as both are considered medium-sized breeds. However, there are differences in their build which can help to distinguish between the two.

Alaskan Huskies usually have a leaner physique than their Siberian counterparts, with a more pronounced tuck-up ideal for racing and long-distance running.

On the other hand, Siberian Huskies often possess a more compact and muscular body structure due to their genetic background bred for strength rather than speed alone. They typically carry more weight than Alaskan Huskies, with males weighing 45-60 pounds and females weighing 35-50 pounds.

Eye Color

One of the most striking differences between Alaskan and Siberian Huskies is their eye color. Alaskan Huskies, being a mixed breed, have only brown eyes, and this is because they are bred for their working abilities rather than appearance.

The genetics behind dog eye colors play a significant role in determining these variations. Brown is generally considered the most common eye color among dogs, including Siberian Huskies; however, the captivating blue-eyed trait sets them apart from other breeds like Alaskan Husky.

Facial Features

In comparing the physical characteristics of Alaskan Huskies and Siberian Huskies, facial features play a significant role in distinguishing these two popular canine breeds.

One typical difference is their eye color. While both breeds may exhibit heterochromia – having different-colored eyes or eyes with multiple colors – Siberian Huskies generally display a broader range of vibrant eye colors, including blue, brown, green, and amber.

Meanwhile, Alaskan huskies are more likely to have brown eyes. Furthermore, the shape of their heads can vary; Alaskan Husky tends to have a narrower snout than its Siberian counterpart which has a medium-width muzzle that tapers near the end.

As both purebred and mixed breed dogs share unique facial features depending on other dog genes involved in an Alaskan Husky’s lineage, it adds even more diversity to this breed’s appearance compared to the distinct traits found among purebred Siberian Husky dogs.

Temperament And Personality Of Alaskan Husky And Siberian Husky

an alaskan husky standing while leaning on a fence

Alaskan Huskies are highly energetic, independent, and love to work, whereas Siberian Huskies are friendly, outgoing, and more suited for household pet life.

Energy Levels And Exercise Needs

Alaskan Huskies and Siberian Huskies are high-energy, athletic breeds requiring a lot of physical activity. If you’re looking for a couch potato dog, you need a different breed! You’ll need to commit to an exercise regimen that includes plenty of outdoor recreation.

While both breeds have high energy levels, Alaskan Huskies require more consistent exercise compared to Siberian Huskies. This is because they were specifically bred for endurance and working abilities.

In contrast, Siberian Huskies were used primarily as family pets in their native Siberia.

Trainability And Socialization

Huskies are intelligent and trainable dogs, but it takes patience and consistency to achieve positive results. Positive reinforcement training is highly recommended, as huskies respond well to treats, praise, and affection.

Obedience training techniques such as clicker training can also be very effective in shaping the behavior of Alaskan Huskies and Siberian Huskies. Socialization is crucial for husky puppies to learn to interact with other dogs and people from a young age.

It’s important to note that while both breeds share common traits of intelligence and trainability, there may be differences in their individual personalities that could affect their response to obedience training.

For example, some Siberian Huskies may have a higher prey drive which could make them more challenging to train off-leash than an Alaskan Husky who has been bred specifically for sled dog work.

Comparison of Alaskan Husky and Siberian Husky

When comparing Alaskan and Siberian Huskies, it’s important to consider their purpose, temperament, and working abilities.

Purpose and Working Abilities

Alaskan Huskies and Siberian Huskies share an impressive work ethic and a long history of helping humans navigate harsh arctic environments. However, slight differences in the breeds’ working abilities set them apart.

The Alaskan Husky is bred for speed and endurance, making it the go-to breed for dog sled racing competitions. Alternatively, Siberian Huskies excel at pulling heavy loads over longer distances while requiring less food than their Alaskan counterparts.

Suitability as a Family Pet

Both Alaskan Huskies and Siberian Huskies can make great family pets, but there are differences to consider. Siberian Huskies usually have a more gentle personality, making them more suitable for families with children or other pets.

They also tend to be more laid-back when not on the job, whereas Alaskan Huskies may have a stronger working drive and require more exercise.

It’s important to note that while Siberian Huskies are registered purebred dogs with the AKC, Alaskan Huskies aren’t recognized as a single breed by any major kennel club.

This means that while they share many characteristics as well as with Siberian Huskies, there can be greater variations in temperament and appearance among individual dogs of the Alaskan breed.

Hunting and Prey Drive

Both Alaskan Huskies and Siberian Huskies have a strong prey drive due to their origins as working sled dogs in harsh climates. This instinctual behavior is rooted in their genetic makeup and has been honed over centuries of selective breeding.

It’s not uncommon for both breeds to give chase after smaller animals, such as squirrels or rabbits.

Owners must understand the limitations of their dog’s hunting instincts and train them accordingly. Proper socialization, positive reinforcement training, and watching your pet can help minimize any negative behaviors related to hunting and prey drive.

In addition, some owners successfully provide alternative activities for their dogs that channel this energy into more productive outlets.

How To Choose the Right Breed For You

Siberian husky resting on a grassy lawn

Deciding which dog breed to bring into your life is a big decision. When it comes to Alaskan Huskies and Siberian Huskies, there are several factors you should consider before making the final choice.

The first thing to think about is your lifestyle and what you want in a pet.

Another factor to consider is their temperament and trainability. While both breeds are intelligent dogs, Alaskan Huskies tend to be more independent and easier to train with proper socialization early on.

Finally, if you plan on having children or other pets, choose a breed that will adapt well around them.

Ultimately, choosing between these two breeds depends on your individual needs and preferences.


In conclusion, while Alaskan and Siberian Huskies belong to the Northern breed category, they have distinct differences in physical appearance, temperament, and working abilities.

The Alaskan Husky is primarily a working dog, bred for its functional characteristics suited for dog sledding and other outdoor activities. On the other hand, the Siberian Husky is more commonly kept as a household pet due to its aesthetic qualities and friendly personality.