Two kinds of Husky?

Betty MorganBetty Morgan CitronellePosts: 5,018Member
edited 17 November, 2013 in Alaskan Husky
Hi, Could someone please tell me the difference between an Alaskan Husky and a Siberian Husky? Thanks


  • Ash KAsh K Saranac LakePosts: 967Member
    edited 30 July, 2009
    A Siberian has a standard, a national breed club, is recognized by the AKC, is purebred, can be shown in conformation... An Alaskan has no standard, no breed club, is not recognized, is a mix of all sorts of huskies and hounds, and cannot be shown in any conformation (though you can show them in performance events like agility). Think of it this way in terms of body build and functionality... An Alaskan Husky is like a Thoroughbred, a Siberian Husky is like a Quarter Horse, and an Alaskan Malamute is like a Draft Horse... =;
  • Betty MorganBetty Morgan CitronellePosts: 5,018Member
    edited 30 July, 2009
    Thank you very much, that is easy to understand. I think my person's first Husky may have been an Alaskan Husky. She found Pukah in the desert in a wilderness area. Pukah lived to be over 18 and then passed in her sleep. Pukah was similar to but different from me in subtle ways. Her tail didn’t curl and her coat was longer and fuller and her ears were tall and strong. She howled, but didn’t talk much and she loved to sneak outside of the fence and go for a run. She was a big girl, about 80 pounds and although she had a mask and white markings, she was a beige/yellow color so her markings where hard to see.
  • Claire RobisonClaire Robison Oregon CityPosts: 4,926Member
    edited 16 August, 2009
    I dunno about the horse analogy... I think Alaskans are more like Arabians in their delicate build and incredible stamina for long distances. But anyway... I tell people when they ask me what an Alaskan Husky is, "If it can win a sled race, it's an Alaskan Husky." :)) They usually have shorter hair, more tuck-up (waist), longer legs, and are DEFINITELY faster than Siberians. Same coat colors, for the most part. Black-and-tan, red/blonde and piebald are more common in Alaskans, though. Ears may be up or down, doesn't matter. Most racing dogs are part German Shorthair Pointer or Greyhound. This is anecdotal, but I've noticed that Alaskan Huskies are shyer and more reserved than Siberian Huskies, who love everyone, even when raised in the same environment. Alaskan husky breeders are kinda like working border collie breeders, where performance matters WAAAAAY more than looks, and really resent people who try to standardize them by appearance. Fritz, if Pukah was 80 lbs, maybe she was part Malamute or German Shepherd instead? Both Siberians and Alaskans tend to be lighter than that, more like 35-60 lbs. I've seen dogs advertised on puppy mill sites as "Alaskan Husky" who are obviously Alaskan Malamutes instead. Or maybe people think if you cross a Siberian Husky and Alaskan Malamute you get an Alaskan Husky?... (NO.)
  • Shawn CoppShawn Copp Port OrchardPosts: 255Member
    edited 19 October, 2009
    Fritz, its funny that you asked this, I was just going to ask myself. I really dont hear too much about the Alaskans. Anytime I mention them where I live people always have the same responce, \"I never knew there was Alaskan Huskies.\" So if they are mixes, is there a preferred mix that a sled team is looking for? or is it more performance based in the bloodline?
  • Ash KAsh K Saranac LakePosts: 967Member
    edited 23 October, 2009
    "or is it more performance based in the bloodline" Bingo!
  • Shawn CoppShawn Copp Port OrchardPosts: 255Member
    edited 23 October, 2009
    If an Alaskan Husky is a mix of different breeds based off of performance, then what is the determining factor that makes it an Alaskan Husky verses just a Husky mix or sled dog? I’ve done some research and can’t find any material that clarifies this question other than that they are bred in Alaska. If that’s the case, then there are a lot of so called Alaskan Huskies down here in the lower 48 that are in fact just mixed dogs instead of Alaskan Huskies unless you can specifically trace the dogs lineage. This opens the window to a lot of misrepresentation to true Alaskan Huskies in comparison to husky mixes. I’m just really curious because I’m interested in understanding the northern breeds as much as I can, thanks.
  • Ash KAsh K Saranac LakePosts: 967Member
    edited 1 November, 2009
    They are more a "type" of dog than anything else. They are not registered by any kennel club. There is no misrepresentation because there is no standard to go by. Cabela's used to have a great description and story behind these dogs by Joe Runyan, but (I'm VERY happy to see) they have no taken down their "" and they merely have a couple pages on their website. If only they would phase out sponsorship completely.... But as every Iditarod musher is clad head to toe in Cabelas, I can only keep dreaming... Anyway, here is a spot where I found some of Joe's article:
  • Shawn CoppShawn Copp Port OrchardPosts: 255Member
    edited 19 November, 2009
    Cool, thanks for the article.
  • Meredith MapesMeredith Mapes PalmerPosts: 1,351Member
    edited 29 November, 2009
    Just wanted to say, not every musher wears Cabela's...I know of only 1 big name racer who wears Cabela's everybody else wears a mixture of everything that keeps them warm. Just sayin', don't discriminate because you can ;)
  • Delta SnowyDelta Snowy Posts: 135Member
    edited 17 November, 2013
    Alaskans are not really a specific breed, but more a "type". They are bred mainly for working ability, and are generally used for racing more often than Siberians. Alaskans do not have a standard, as they are not bred for looks or showing ability. They are not recongnized by any major kennel club. Siberians are purebred,and have a standard. Siberians are recongnized by the AKC and the UKC, and are bred to the specific breed standard for coat color, height and weight.
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