Jessica L asked in PetsDogs · 1 decade ago

Alaskan husky vs. Siberian Husky..whats the difference?

I lived in Alaska for about three years, and I noticed that there seems to be a whole separate type of husky there. Siberian huskies are stocky, but the alaskan huskies seem to be leaner and built for speed more than pulling power.

Alaskan husky:

Siberian Husky:

Does anyone know why the huskies in the lower-48 are shorter and stockier than the ones in Alaska?


the alaskan husky is not a recognized breed. But the huskies used for sledding seem to be different than the siberian huskies

Update 2:

the alaskan husky is not a recognized breed. But the huskies used for sledding seem to be different than the siberian huskies

10 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The Alaskan husky is a mixed breed, which may or may not have some Siberian husky heritage. Many are hound mixes.

    This is a type of dog bred specifically for sled dog racing, and there is no standard "look" to them. The two photos you found just happened to be Alaskans with some Siberian in their background.

    Siberians are a purebred dog originally imported from Siberia in the early 1900s. They are smaller and heavier-coated than Alaskans because they were *not* bred for racing, but rather pulling sleds in harsh climates in order for their native owners to survive.

    ADD: Other examples of Alaskan huskies:

    Note that Alaskan huskies are not limited to Alaska! The last example above is from a kennel in Oregon.

    ADD2: The Siberian huskies used for *racing* are, as Animal Artwork said, becoming leaner and leggier in order to compete with the Alaskans. But I can promise you there are *plenty* of Siberian huskies used for sledding who look they way they are *supposed to*.

    Two beautiful examples:

    Source(s): Sled dog musher for many years.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Alaskan Husky - mixed breed used for racing

    Siberian Husky - purebred - more moderate dog designed for arctic temperatures and more moderate speed and load over distance day after day.

    Alaskan Malamute - purebred - freight hauling

    Different purposes lead to different types of dogs. Those who are racing their Siberian Huskies are gradually "morphing" the dogs to fit racing conditions - longer legs etc... rather than sticking to the true heritage and standard of the breed.

    Starred for Loki who will give a better explanation I'm sure!... and there she is .. a moment behind me.

  • 1 decade ago

    The Alaskan Husky is not so much a breed of dog as it is a type or a category. It falls short of being a breed in that there is no preferred type and no restriction as to ancestry; it is defined only by its purpose, which is that of a highly efficient sled dog. That said, dog drivers usually distinguish between the Alaskan Husky and “hound crosses”, so perhaps there is informal recognition that the Alaskan Husky is expected to display a degree of northern dog type. Specializations in type exist within the breed, such as freighting dogs (Mackenzie River Husky), sprint Alaskans, and distance Alaskans. Most Alaskan Huskies have pointy ears, meaning they are in fact classified as a spitz-type dog.The Alaskan is the sled dog of choice for world-class dog sled racing sprint competition. None of the purebred northern breeds can match it for sheer racing speed. Demanding speed-racing events such as the Fairbanks, Alaska Open North American Championship and the Anchorage Fur Rendezvous are invariably won by teams of Alaskan huskies, or of Alaskans crossed with hounds or gun dogs. Hounds are valued for their toughness and endurance. Winning speeds often average more than 19 miles per hour (31 km/h) over three days' racing at 20 to 30 miles (32 to 48 km) each day.Alaskan huskies that fulfill the demanding performance standards of world-class dogsled racing are extremely valuable. A top-level racing lead dog can be worth $10-15,000. Alaskans that fail to meet the performance standards of the musher who bred them often go on to be sold to less competitive mushers, allowing them to continue to run.

    The Siberian Husky (Russian: Сибирский хаски, Sibirskiy Haski) is a medium-size, dense-coat working dog breed that originated in eastern Siberia. The breed belongs to the Spitz genetic family. It is recognizable by its thickly-furred double coat, sickle tail, erect triangular ears and distinctive markings.An active, energetic and resilient breed whose ancestors came from the extremely cold and harsh environment of the Siberian Arctic and were bred by the Chukchi of Northeastern Asia, it was imported into Alaska during the Nome Gold Rush and spread from there into the United States and Canada, initially as a sled dog. It rapidly acquired the status of a family pet and a show-dog.

  • 1 decade ago

    Siberian Huskies are not stocky... they are very lean as they are built for speed.

    Alaskan Malamute are stocky... since they were built for power.

    Hmmmm... my guess is an Alaskan Husky (???) is a mixed breed of the two. In which case who knows what you'll end up with.


    Source(s): Raised & rescued Siberian Huskies for 15 years...
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  • 1 decade ago

    Siberian Huskies are an established purebred dog.

    Alaskan Huskies are not a "breed", but rather a type of dog.. bred only for their pull drive, endurance, and tolerance for the weather. They are often sibe or malamutes mixed with sighthounds.. they may be leaner in build because of the sighthound in them.

    The "alaskan" huskies you posted actually look more like a working line of Sibes.. while the others are conformation bred sibes. The leaner ones are bred more for their work ability, rather than the physical aspect of meeting the breed standard.

  • 1 decade ago

    alaskan huskies are taller and leaner and are larger and they always have brown eyes, huskies are shorter and stockier and are more likely to have blue eyes and they have more endurance then siberian huskies and siberian huskies come in way more colors and patterns then the alaskan husky,

    they are shorter and stockier because maybe they have more body fat to keep them warm. thats my best guess.

  • 1 decade ago

    Alaskan Malamutes were bred for hauling heavy freight in snow. And I don't think huskies are probably about the same size, but in colder weather dogs tend to exercise more to stay warm.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    There is no such thing as an Alaskan husky. The breed is actually called an Alaskan Malamute... and it's an entirely different breed than a Siberian husky.

  • Stephy
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Alaskans are more working dogs and siberians are calmer

  • Kaz
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Its an Alaskan Malamute not Husky and they are bigger

    Source(s): I use to have one many years ago
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