Alaskan Husky vs Siberian Husky: What’s the Difference?

Written by August Buck
Published: February 4, 2022
Image Credit Elena Sherengovskaya/Shutterstock.com
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There are many differences between an Alaskan husky vs a Siberian husky, whether you are aware of those differences or not. These dogs are closely linked in breeding, size, and purpose- but what sets them apart from one another? In this article, we will bring these differences to light so that you can fully understand the differences between these powerful working dogs.

Read on to learn more about how Alaskan huskies and Siberian huskies are different, and also all of the ways in which they are similar.

Comparing Alaskan Husky vs Siberian Husky

Alaskan Husky vs Siberian Husky

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Alaskan HuskySiberian Husky
Coat: Shorter coat found in white or blackLonger coat found in a variety of colors
Weight: 40-55 pounds45-60 pounds
Eyes: Primarily brown, but sometimes heterochromaticBlue, green, brown, heterochromatic 
Bred for: WorkWork and domestic life
Habitat: Alaska, United StatesThroughout the world
Lifespan: 10-15 years10-15 years, though may face more complications due to purebred status
Purebred? NoYes

The 5 Main Differences Between Alaskan Husky vs Siberian Husky

Alaskan husky vs Siberian husky
Siberian huskies are usually larger than Alaskan huskies, with longer coats and more variety of both coat and eye colors.

Jana Caposova/Shutterstock.com

There are many key differences between Alaskan huskies vs Siberian huskies. Alaskan huskies are not purebred dogs according to the AKC, while Siberian huskies are. Siberian huskies are usually larger than Alaskan huskies, with longer coats and more variety of both coat and eye colors. Alaskan huskies and Siberian huskies are bred for different lifestyles over time. These lifestyles affect their overall lifespans.

But what else is there to learn about Alaskan husky vs Siberian husky dogs? Let’s go into these differences in more detail!

Alaskan Husky vs Siberian Husky: Coat and Coloring

A primary difference between Alaskan huskies and Siberian huskies is their coat and coloring. Siberian huskies come in a wide variety of colors, including tan, black, white, red, and bi-colored. Alaskan huskies come in solid black or solid white colors. This can be a key distinction that you can make with ease upon looking at these dogs side by side.

Another difference in the coat of an Alaskan husky vs Siberian husky is the length. While it can be subtle, the fur length of a Siberian husky is slightly longer than that of the Alaskan husky. This is likely due to their relative size differences. However, both dogs have double fur coats to keep them warm in frigid temperatures.

Alaskan husky vs Siberian husky
While both of these husky breeds tend to have heterochromia, Siberian huskies are known for having more eye colors overall, while Alaskan huskies typically only have brown eyes. 

Dora Zett/Shutterstock.com

Alaskan Husky vs Siberian Husky: Size and Weight

Another difference between Alaskan huskies and Siberian huskies can be found in their relative sizes and weights. While the build of an Alaskan husky can be similar to that of a Siberian husky, their weights vary. For example, an Alaskan husky tends to weigh 5 to 10 pounds less than the average Siberian husky, depending on gender. Alaskan huskies also tend to be leaner and longer than Siberian huskies, given their working dog breeding. 

Alaskan Husky vs Siberian Husky: Purebred Status

There is a key difference between Alaskan huskies vs Siberian huskies in their breeding. Siberian huskies have long been considered a purebred dog by the AKC, while Alaskan huskies are not granted purebred status. They are bred with other dogs to increase their working ability, which means they are not purebred. 

Many dog breeders don’t consider Alaskan huskies to be a breed of dog at all, while Siberian huskies have been a breed that exists for some time. Alaskan huskies were originally bred as working dogs, and therefore were created out of necessity and designed to pull sleds through the snow. 

Alaskan husky vs Siberian husky
Siberian huskies are bred in a wide variety of colors, including tan, black, white, red, and bi-colored; Alaskan huskies are usually only found in solid black or solid white.

iStock.com/Nicholas Chase

Alaskan Husky vs Siberian Husky: Eye Color

Another difference between Alaskan huskies and Siberian huskies is their eye coloring. While both of these husky breeds tend to have heterochromia, Siberian huskies are known for having more eye colors overall, while Alaskan huskies typically only have brown eyes. 

While this isn’t an absolute and can be a subtle difference that you may not notice, it is something to keep in mind when comparing these two dog breeds. Given the purebred status of Siberian huskies, more colors and variety have been introduced into their breeding, both in their coats and their eyes. Alaskan huskies are simplistic in their appearance since they have only been bred for work. 

Alaskan husky vs Siberian husky
Siberian huskies have been bred for different uses over the decades, while Alaskan huskies were originally intended as working dogs and were bred for such work.

ANURAK PONGPATIMET/Shutterstock.com

Alaskan Husky vs Siberian Husky: Breeding

A final key difference between an Alaskan husky vs Siberian husky is something we have already mentioned: their breeding. Siberian huskies have been bred for different uses over the decades, while Alaskan huskies were originally intended as working dogs and were bred for such work.

Over time, Siberian huskies have become more and more domesticated, leading to key differences in their appearance and stamina when compared to Alaskan huskies. While Siberian huskies were originally bred for work, they have since become associated with domesticity and family life, while Alaskan huskies are still primarily used for work to this day. 

This isn’t to say that a Siberian husky can’t still pull a sled through the snow- they seem to still enjoy doing this. However, Alaskan huskies have simply been bred with the sole purpose in mind, and their cross-breeding has created a dog that is stronger and more capable than the Siberian husky that we know today.

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About the Author

I am a non-binary freelance writer working full-time in Oregon. Graduating Southern Oregon University with a BFA in Theatre and a specialization in creative writing, I have an invested interest in a variety of topics, particularly Pacific Northwest history. When I'm not writing personally or professionally, you can find me camping along the Oregon coast with my high school sweetheart and Chihuahua mix, or in my home kitchen, perfecting recipes in a gleaming cast iron skillet.

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