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Siberian Husky vs. Alaskan Husky: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Updated on October 27, 2023
Siberian huskies originate from Siberia and are a purebred; Alaskan huskies are mixed breeds designed for sled racing in Alaska.

Key Differences

The Siberian husky is a distinct breed that originated from the Siberian region of Russia. They were primarily used by the Chukchi people for sled-pulling, guarding, and companionship. These dogs are known for their wolf-like appearance, vibrant eyes (which can be blue, brown, green, or even one of each), and their striking double coat that comes in a myriad of colors and patterns. The Siberian husky has a standard appearance and temperament, as recognized by kennel clubs.
On the other hand, the Alaskan husky is not a recognized breed in the traditional sense. Instead, it's a term used to describe a category of working dog bred specifically for their sledding capabilities in Alaska. Alaskan huskies are often mixed breeds, combining the best traits from various breeds to produce the ultimate sled dog. They may look very different from one another, lacking the uniform appearance of Siberian huskies.
While both Siberian huskies and Alaskan huskies are often used in dog sled racing, Alaskan huskies are typically the preferred choice for competitive mushers due to their optimized stamina and speed. In contrast, Siberian huskies, while also fast and durable, are usually chosen for their purebred status and distinct appearance.
The Siberian husky is often kept as a companion dog due to its friendly nature, intelligence, and distinct appearance. Meanwhile, the Alaskan husky, while also friendly, is often more closely associated with work and sled racing in Alaskan communities. While both can be excellent pets, they each have unique characteristics and histories that make them stand apart.

Comparison Chart


Siberia, Russia
Alaska, USA

Breed Status

Mixed breed


Wolf-like, with a defined set of colors and markings
Varied, not uniform across all dogs

Use in Sled Racing

Sometimes used, especially for long-distance
Commonly used, especially in competitive racing

Recognition by Kennel Clubs

Recognized by major kennel clubs
Not officially recognized

Siberian Husky and Alaskan Husky Definitions

Siberian Husky

A breed of dog originating from Siberia, known for its wolf-like appearance.
I saw a Siberian husky with piercing blue eyes at the park today.

Alaskan Husky

A sled dog known for its stamina, speed, and endurance in racing.
Alaskan huskies are trained rigorously to endure long sled races.

Siberian Husky

A working dog historically used by the Chukchi people for sled-pulling and companionship.
The Siberian husky has a rich history with the Chukchi tribes.

Alaskan Husky

Dogs that vary in appearance, lacking the uniformity seen in purebreds.
Every Alaskan husky I meet looks a bit different from the last.

Siberian Husky

A dog breed known for its friendly and outgoing temperament.
Despite their intimidating appearance, the Siberian husky is incredibly friendly.

Alaskan Husky

Often a mixed breed, combining various dog breeds for optimal sledding performance.
My Alaskan husky has a bit of Greyhound in her for added speed.

Siberian Husky

A medium to large-sized dog recognized by its double coat and varied eye colors.
That Siberian husky's coat looks so warm and fluffy!

Alaskan Husky

A category of working dogs, bred primarily for sled racing in Alaska.
The Alaskan husky team won the race by a wide margin.

Siberian Husky

A purebred dog often seen in dog shows due to its distinct appearance.
The Siberian husky stole the show with its mesmerizing gaze.

Alaskan Husky

Not an official breed, but a term describing sled dogs in Alaska.
Though not recognized by kennel clubs, the Alaskan husky is highly valued in sled racing.

Siberian Husky

Of or pertaining to Siberia, a region comprising all northern Asia and belonging to Russia; as, a Siberian winter.

Siberian Husky

A native or inhabitant of Siberia

Siberian Husky

Of or relating to or characteristic of Siberia or the Siberians;
Siberian natural resources
Siberian coal miners
The Siberian tundra


Are Siberian huskies friendly?

Yes, Siberian huskies are known for their friendly and outgoing temperament.

Are Alaskan huskies a recognized breed?

No, Alaskan huskies are not officially recognized as a breed; they are a category of mixed sled dogs.

Where did the Siberian husky originate?

Siberian huskies originated from Siberia, Russia.

What breeds make up the Alaskan husky?

The Alaskan husky is a mix, often containing Siberian husky, Greyhound, and other breeds for optimal sled performance.

Can Siberian huskies have blue eyes?

Yes, Siberian huskies can have blue, brown, green, or even bi-colored eyes.

Is the Alaskan husky a type of Siberian husky?

No, while they share the term "husky," they are distinct, with the Alaskan husky being a mixed sled dog.

Do Siberian huskies shed a lot?

Yes, Siberian huskies have a double coat and shed, especially during shedding seasons.

How much exercise does a Siberian husky need?

Siberian huskies are active and require regular exercise to keep them happy and healthy.

Are Alaskan huskies good pets?

Yes, while bred for work, Alaskan huskies can be friendly and make good companions.

Are Alaskan huskies and Siberian huskies related?

They share sledding histories, and Siberian husky genes may be present in Alaskan huskies, but they are distinct.

Are Siberian huskies good family dogs?

Yes, Siberian huskies are known to be good with children and make excellent family pets.

Can Siberian huskies live in apartments?

While they can adapt, Siberian huskies are active and thrive better with more space and exercise.

What's the primary use of Alaskan huskies?

Alaskan huskies are primarily used for sled racing in Alaska.

How big do Siberian huskies get?

Siberian huskies are medium to large-sized dogs, usually weighing between 35-60 pounds.

Can Alaskan huskies tolerate warm climates?

While they're bred for cold environments, with proper care, they can adjust to warmer climates.

How fast can an Alaskan husky run?

Alaskan huskies are bred for speed and can run up to 20 miles per hour or more.

Do Siberian huskies howl?

Yes, Siberian huskies are known for their vocal nature, including howling.

Why do Alaskan huskies vary in appearance?

Alaskan huskies are mixed breeds, so they lack the uniform appearance of purebreds.

What's the lifespan of an Alaskan husky?

Alaskan huskies typically live around 10-15 years, similar to other medium to large dogs.

Are Siberian huskies purebred?

Yes, Siberian huskies are a purebred dog breed.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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