Alaskan Husky vs Siberian Husky: Which is the ideal pet for you?

6 mins read
Alaskan Husky vs Siberian Husky

If you love huskies, you must have found yourself confused between Siberian and Alaskan Huskies but guess what? They are two different breeds with many similarities. But this dilemma changes now as we have covered everything from origin, appearance, and trainability to much more that will help you decide on the ideal pet. So are you ready to find out more about your favorite huskies?

DifferencesSiberian HuskyAlaskan Husky
SizeMedium sizeMedium Size
Height20-24 inches20-23.5 inches
Weight45-60 pounds40-55 pounds
OriginSiberiaUSA
CoatLonger coatShorter coat
Coat thicknessDouble layeredDouble layered
Color and MarkingsWhite, red, agouti, black,
grey
All white or all black
EyesBlue, green, brown, heterochromaticPrimarily brown, but sometimes heterochromatic
Bred forWork and domestic lifeWork
HabitatAll over the worldAlaska, United States
Lifespan10-15 years10-15 years
Breed RecognitionRecognized as a breedNot recognized as a breed
Registration with AKC and CKCRegisteredNot registered
Genetic FamilySpitzMixed
Litter Size4-8 puppies4-8 puppies
Adaptable to small apartments2/52/5
Kid Friendly5/55/5
Dog Friendly5/53/5
Stranger Friendly5/55/5
Prey Drive3/51/5
Easy to train2/52/5
Exercise needs4/55/5
Easy to Groom3/52/5
General Health4/53/5
Good for novice owners1/51/5
Tolerates being alone1/51/5

Critical Differences in Detail Between Siberian Husky and Alaskan Husky

two fawn Siberian Huskies

Origin and History

The Siberian Huskies are one of the oldest dog breeds in the world, believed to be a thousand years old; they originated from eastern Siberia by the Chukchi tribe. Alaskan Huskies are a mixed breed created by Canadians and Alaskan Mushers by crossbreeding them with various sled dogs to develop the most efficient, hard-working sled dogs. They come from a mix of breeds, such as Siberian Husky, greyhounds, German shorthaired pointers, and malamutes. Siberian Huskies are purebred and registered AKC compared to Alaskan Husky, which aren’t registered or recognized breeds.

Temperament

Their temperament is affected by the way they are bred. Siberian Huskies are bred as working and family dogs, making them great family dogs for children and adults alike. Alaskan Huskies were produced for the sole purpose of working, which makes the affectionate side a little less, but that doesn’t mean they don’t make great family companions. The only difference is that Siberian Huskies become playful and friendly. In contrast, Alaskan Huskies will take their time growing attachment.

Both breeds are hard-working, energetic, loyal, friendly, and independent. They are quick learners and understand commands quickly. Despite their wolf-like appearance, they make friendly and non-aggressive pets.

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Appearance and Coat

They both have similar appearances, but subtle differences help differentiate the two breeds.
Siberian Huskies live up to 12-15 years and have various eye colors like ice blue, dark blue, amber blue, and brown. They can also have different eye colors; the right eye could be amber and the left blue. Siberian Huskies are slighter taller, and bigger than Alaskan huskies, standing at 21-23 inches. Siberian Huskies have a variety of coat colors, like tan, brown, white, red, and grey. They are pretty athletic and can easily compete as championship-quality dogs.

Alaskan Huskies have brown, blue, or blue-brown eyes. They have shorter or mid-length coats. They have a lifespan of 12 to 15 years and a working dog history, making them hard-working workaholics. They do not have various coat colors like Siberian huskies, as they come in black or white. They are smaller than Siberian Huskies and stand between 20-24 inches.

Intelligence and Training

Both Huskies have average intelligence; after they surpass their stubbornness and mischievousness, they are brilliant dogs. They are intelligent dogs who desire to test their owners by doing what they want; however, Siberian huskies are more competent in the long run due to being domesticated than Alaskan Huskies.

Huskies are energetic dogs that need adequate exercise. However, the Alaskan Huskies tend to have higher energy levels than Siberians which doesn’t mean Siberian Huskies are lazy or have low energy. Both breeds tend to be stubborn, which makes training difficult and time taking; we recommend starting exercise in the early years and using lots of positive reinforcements.

Diet Requirements

Alaskan and Siberian Huskies need a balanced diet full of nutrients to support their daily energy requirements. Both dogs used to survive on raw food owing to their long history; however, they have had sensitive stomachs since being domesticated. So owners must be careful while feeding them to avoid allergic reactions, bad health, or overeating.

When it comes to protein, they need a rich diet containing 18-20% protein which can be a mixture of commercial and homemade food, including raw meat. However, due to their active lifestyle, Siberian Huskies might need more food than Alaskan Huskies.

Health

No matter which breed you choose, they both suffer from health problems that can’t be avoided but treated with the proper diet, treatment, and patience. Cataracts, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Corneal Dystrophy, Hip Dysplasia, and Elbow Dysplasia are some of the most common problems faced by both breeds. However, when it comes to Alaskan Huskies, they are susceptible to Encephalopathy (AHE), which is an incurable brain disease that causes neurological issues due to the food not being correctly processed.
We recommend taking your husky to the vet for regular checkups and treatments and feeding them a protein-rich diet and a healthy lifestyle to avoid facing susceptible health problems in the future.

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Puppy Price

Finding a healthy, well-bred puppy out of the two breeds makes you more likely to find Siberian Huskies due to their high popularity. It doesn’t mean Alaskan puppies aren’t famous; they are usually bred for work.

Alaskan Husky puppies can cost between $500 to $1500, but prices can vary according to lineage, health, availability, and other factors. Siberian Huskies can cost between $600 to $2000. However, it is essential to find a good breeder and verify their legitimacy and the health of your breed before buying them.

Grooming and Shedding

Siberian Huskies have longer coats compared to Alaskan Huskies. However, their coats are easy to maintain and require weekly brushing but more frequently during shedding season. Both dogs are heavy shedders, which can be challenging to tackle in hot regions where they might shed daily during the seasonal changes of fall and spring.

Regarding baths, it may be that Siberian Huskies will need more maintenance due to their long coats. However, they have a habit of licking themselves and keeping their fur clean compared to Alaskan Huskies, which require more care. We recommend using a bristle brush for in-house grooming sessions and also taking both your Huskies to the vet for professional grooming sessions once in a while.

Similarities

To help you avoid getting confused between these two adorable breeds, we’ve listed a few similarities that will help clear the confusion between these two adorable furballs.

Genetic Relationship

Both breeds share a close genetic relationship which came into being due to the contribution of Siberian Huskies and malamutes, which led to the creation of Alaskan Huskies, who now share an undeniable DNA with both. As a result, both breeds have very similar appearances. Suppose we were to assign a family title to the genetic relationship they share. In that case, they are half-brothers.

Running

Alaskan and Siberian Huskies share a love for running inside the house and while playing. They both are active and energetic breeds who love playing and are always ready for a walk, run or jog around the locality. They make excellent companions for activities; however, Alaskan Huskies are prone to digging and should be supported for extended periods as they tend to explore or run excessively. A sense of escape accompanies Siberian huskies’ love for running. Their favorite pastime can turn into a game which means if they see a locked gate, they will attempt to conquer this quest which owners should keep in mind.

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Conclusion: Siberian Husky vs. Alaskan Husky: Which is Better for you?

brown and white Siberian huskies on snowy field

If you’ve made it this far, we hope you now understand the difference between the two breeds, and all that’s left to consider is which one will be best for you. Both huskies require attention, time, and patience. They are loyal, affectionate, and active and have different independent personalities that should be considered before opting for them.

Alaskan Huskies are friendly and loyal companions that are curious and adventurous. They make great family pets due to their calm temperament around children. They are active, making them great companions, but they need reasonable exercise to stay healthy. Alaskan Huskies tend to dig, which needs to be taken care of, along with excessive vocal tendencies when not paid attention to. Alaskan Huskies are independent dogs which make training them a little tricky. Siberian Huskies are intelligent, friendly dogs that are pretty sociable with strangers and make great companions for any activity due to their high energy and stamina levels. They have predatory levels around other animals that must be watched. They also have an independent streak that can lead to stubbornness and unwillingness to engage in training.

The subtle differences between the two dogs can help you decide which works better for your and your family’s needs. Both make great family pets; however, Siberian Huskies are a better choice if you are looking for a working dog. We recommend you assess both breeds’ personality traits, needs, and requirements before deciding which one will be the perfect four-legged addition to your home.

FAQs

Which breed makes a better family pet?

Both breeds enjoy spending time with family and working; however, The Siberian Husky can manage balancing work and spending time with family more than the Alaskan Husky. It is due to Siberians being both working and family dogs.

Why do huskies indulge in undesirable behaviors?

Both breeds are quite vocal inside and outside the house. They indulge in undesirable behaviors like howling, barking, chewing, and digging when they feel stressed and depressed due to unmet physical and mental needs.

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