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American Pitbull Terrier vs. Siberian Husky: Breed Differences & Similarities

If you are considering a Siberian Husky or a Pitbull Terrier for your next family pet, there are few breeds that can rival their attachment to their owners. These dogs are both very active and very loyal, but that's about where the similarities stop. Continue reading on to find out how these two dogs differ, and which pup is a better fit for your lifestyle.

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Last Updated: June 30, 2021 | 11 min read

Pitbull Compared to Siberian Husky

The American Pitbull Terrier, simply known as the Pitbull, has a rep for being aggressive. And the Siberian Husky is supposedly one of the craziest canines on the planet. How true are these assumptions?

And more importantly, how do these two pups match up against one another as family-friendly dogs? The truth is that they both make awesome family pups, but they both need different types of families. Both dogs were bred for very different reasons and will function better in certain environments.

Both dogs also have different personality traits to offer. Huskies need a very active family, and in return, he offers lots of canine comedy. The Pitbull needs an active family, but also one that can be frequently home around them at the same time. In this guide, we compare both of these dogs to help you figure out which is better for your lifestyle.

Breed Comparison

American Pitbull Terrier

  • Height 17 – 21 inches
  • Weight 30 – 65 pounds
  • Temperament Affectionate, energetic, loyal
  • Energy Above average
  • Health Above average
  • Lifespan 12 – 16 years
  • Puppy Prices $1,000 and Up

Siberian Husky

  • Height 20 – 23 ½ inches
  • Weight 35 – 60 pounds
  • Temperament Loyal, mischievous, outgoing
  • Energy Intense
  • Health Above average
  • Lifespan 12 – 14 years
  • Puppy Prices $1,000 and Up

Breed History

Here in this section, we are going to give you a quick canine history lesson. This may be the most important part of the research process. Mainly because it can tell you a lot about the dog itself and why the breed was established. This will help you understand what each pup may be like as a family pet.

Pitbull

Gray and White Dog Standing in a Pond
The American Pitbull Terrier is the strongest specimen in the Pitbull family.

The American Pitbull Terrier is considered to be the original Pitbull. There are four Pitbull-type dogs, but usually, most people are referring to the American Pitbull Terrier when speaking of the Pitbull. Fighting dogs (Terrier and Bulldog mixes) from England came over to America in the 19th century when bull-baiting and dogfighting were outlawed.

Americans bred the strongest and the largest specimens, and they eventually became known as the American Pitbull Terrier. It is his fighting history that has given him his feared reputation. But the fact is that he only fought other dogs because he was made to do so.

When dogfighting was outlawed in America, it became quickly apparent that he was a hardworking dog. And all he wanted was his master’s approval. He makes a fab ranch hand and excels in therapy and assistance work. He is recognized by the United Kennel Club (UKC), but not the American Kennel Club (AKC).

Husky

Black and White Dog Standing on a Rock
The Siberian Husky was built for speed and strength and its ability to withstand harsh weather conditions.

The Siberian Husky is an ancient dog breed that has been around for a very long time. He is a descendant of breeds known to be thousands of years old! He is from northeastern Asia, and he was a favorite breed of the Chukchi tribe.

By day he was a sled dog who would transport people and goods between tribes. Built for speed and strength, he was able to withstand the harsh conditions of the arctic. By night, he would keep the family warm and act as a watchdog for predators.

The Chukchi tribe kept him to themselves to preserve the breed’s bloodline. But in the 1900s, he caught the eye of dog lovers across the world. He is famous for taking part in the legendary 1925 serum run and is credited for saving many lives. He is still the go-to pooch in Siberia, but he is now more popular as a family pet. Huskies are regularly found in the top 20 most popular dog breeds, according to the AKC.

Appearance

Brown Dog and Black and White Dog Posing for Camera
From their size, coat color and build, the Pitbull and the Siberian Husky are very different looking dogs.

Both dogs are completely different-looking dogs. And it is their appearance before anything that normally places people into Team Pittie or Team Husky. Sure, they have big forever puppy dog eyes, four paws, and square fleshy noses, but that’s really all they have in common. Overall, Huskies are taller and more slender in shape compared to the muscular and stockier Pitbull.

The Pitbull measures between 17 and 21 inches tall, from paw to shoulder. And he weighs between 30 and 65 pounds, making him a medium to large-sized pooch. Huskies can be taller than the Pittie by 2.5 inches. But he weighs slightly less and tops the scales at 60 pounds. Still making him a medium to large-sized dog.

With his fluffy coat, wedge-shaped head, erect pointy ears, and a sickle-shaped tail, the Husky is easily recognizable as a northern dog. He often gets confused for his larger cousin, the Alaskan Malamute. The Pitbull has the typical terrier appearance – lean, muscular, hardworking, and agile. But one thing is for sure, both the dogs are just as smiley and happy as one another.

Both dogs have very different coats too. They both have double-coats, but Huskies have a super fluffy coat of medium length that is ice and weather-resistant. Compared to the Pittie, who has a very short coat that is stiff but smooth to the touch.

The Pitbull has a wide range of colored jackets to choose from, with the most popular being white, red (also called red-nosed) and blue (also called blue-nosed). Basically, anything other than merle is accepted. Huskies often sport the typical gray and white coat with the traditional facial mask. Although he can sport the black, agouti, brown, red, and sable with white, or a solid white and black coat.

Temperament

Black and White Dog and Brown and White Dog Looking Into Camera
The Siberian Husky is a bit more outgoing but other than that they both have similar personalities.

The Pitbull and Husky are surprisingly more similar than different in their temperament. The main difference between the two breeds is that the Husky is hyper and a bit whacky. In a good way, though! He’s comically crazy and provides tons of entertainment. With many different quirks, your Husky is bound to have a special talent. Such as singing and talking, to name just a few.

Of course, the Pittie is lots of fun too! But he is better known for his wanting to be part of the pack’s fun rather than being the star of the show. This leads to the fact that the Pitbull is eager to please his master and will do just about anything he is told. Compared to the Husky, who likes to think of himself as the ringleader. He is independent, and it can make him a difficult first-time pooch for those about to start their doggy owner journey.

They are both affectionate dogs who love to cuddle their family. If we had to pick one breed that is the sweetest of the two breeds when it comes to affection, we would have to pick the Pittie. His humans are the apple of his eye, and nothing is better than cuddles for the Pittie. Huskies are more likely to settle in the evening after a busy day. Because his to-do list is never-ending, and he cannot sit still for long.

They are both sociable dogs who are quick to make friends. Huskies are usually quicker to make friends, simply because people who don’t know the real Pitbull tend to be nervous around him. Neither of these guys makes great guard dogs, purely because they are both friendly! And they don’t bark much either. But Huskieshowl quite a bit! So the quieter Pittie is the best option for those who live under noise restrictions or who have sensitive neighbors.

They both love children. The Pittie is affectionately nicknamed the ‘nanny dog’ because he has a soft spot for kiddos. He has a protective streak when it comes to the smaller members of the pack, and you’ll find that he’ll often plonk himself next to them on the sofa. And Huskies makes a great canine sibling because he likes the fact the kids are just as silly as he is!

Exercise

Brown Dog Running and Black and White Dog Running in Field
The Pitbull will need about 60 minutes of exercise and the Husky will need around 90-120 minutes per day.

Both dogs have different exercise requirements. And this is one of the top deciding factors when deciding between these two breeds as the next family doggo. The Pitbull needs around 60 minutes of exercise a day. Which is higher than the average, but about the same as a Labrador or a Boxer. He could exercise for longer if you want him to, but equally, he is happy to go back home and snooze with you if you’d like.

On the other hand, the Husky is one of the most active dogs on the planet. That’s not surprising, considering that he was bred to run all day long! This guy needs at least 90 to 120 minutes of intense exercise every day. Skipping one day of exercise can lead to mass destruction with this pup. And you too, once you realize just how much damage he will wreak in your home. Only super-duper active families should apply for a Husky. Sadly, this is the top reason why so many Huskies end up back in rescue homes!

In between exercise sessions, they will both need mental stimulation too. They will both love to play interactive games with their family. And DIY agility courses are great fun in the yard. But they also need access to a bundle of doggy toys to keep their minds active when you cannot play with them. They are both clever canines, and they both love to chew, so be sure to invest in a variety of chew and puzzle toys.

Training

Brown Dog Begging and Black and White Dog Sitting
The Pitbull is eager to please making him easier to train than the Husky who tends to get bored easily with training.

Both dogs are also very different when it comes to their training abilities. As you already know, the Pitbull is the better option for first-time dog owners. And this is mainly because he is intelligent and eager to please his master.

Compared to the Husky, who is always too busy to take part in your attempts at training. He might entertain the idea for five minutes if there is something in it for him, but he’ll quickly get bored. And this can make training a Husky very difficult indeed.

If you seek an obedient dog, Huskies may not be the right choice for you. But you’ll easily find this in the Pittie. The best way to train both of these guys is with positive reinforcement training. The most important thing to remember is to start training early. And to use whatever motivates them to listen. With the Pittie, this is likely to be your praise and attention. Compared to the Husky who needs something in return, such as a treat or a toy.

One of the most important things you can do for your dog is to socialize them, no matter what breed they are. To ensure that he is polite and confident, you need to mix him with as many other dogs and humans as possible. As well as new experiences and surroundings. This is particularly important for the Pittie, who can display fear-aggressive tendencies towards other dogs if not socialized as a pup. But with adequate socialization, this should not be an issue at all.

Health

Light Brown Dog and Gray and White Fluffy Dog Up Close in Camera
Both of these breeds have a lifespan of about 12+ years.

Both dogs are very healthy and tend to have much better health than most other breeds. The Pittie enjoys an average lifespan of 12 to 16 years, and Huskies can expect 12 to 14 years with you. All dog breeds are predisposed to inherited diseases, and the Pittie and the Husky are no different.

The Pitbull is predisposed to hip dysplasia. This is a common condition in many dogs. It occurs when the hip socket and the thigh bone do not lie together properly. And this causes a reduction in mobility and potential hip dislocation. Skin conditions are commonly found in many terriers. The most common concerns are ichthyosis, demodectic mange, zinc-responsive dermatosis. As well as irritations caused by allergens, such as grass or diet.

The Husky is also prone to hip dysplasia. Eye conditions are another concern in the Siberian Husky breed. The most common conditions are progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) and juvenile cataracts. Lastly, hypothyroidism is more common in Husky bloodlines compared to other canines. This is caused by an underactive thyroid which leads to weight gain, hair loss, and lethargy.

Nutrition

Two Dogs Chewing on Steak Bones
Both of these dogs will require a high-quality kibble diet.

The average Pitbull and Husky will both consume between two and three cups of food a day. This might surprise you to learn that the Husky eats the same as the less energetic Pittie. But Huskies were designed to work hard on minimal sustenance.

If your Pittie or Husky are working dogs or partake in extreme canine sports such as canicross or flyball, they will need more than this. Always follow the instructions on the kibble package just to be sure.

We have a nutrition guide full of the best kibbles suggested for the Husky. And the Pittie will do well on a kibble recommended for the Pitbull. Age-appropriate food is crucial for the healthy development of puppies. Always choose a high-quality kibble because they will provide a well-balanced diet, unlike standard or poor kibbles. They are also full of healthy omega fats, which are important for hip dysplasia, eye concerns, and skin conditions.

Grooming

Brown Dog Walking on a Path and Black and White Dog Walking in the Woods
The Pitbull will only require brushing once a week as opposed to the Husky, who will need brushing 2-3 times per week.

Both dogs have very different grooming regimes. And this is a big decision-making factor for some families. The Pitbull has an easy-to-care-for coat that only requires brushing once a week. His short coat sheds moderately throughout the year, but it isn’t all that noticeable because it is short. The best brush for the Pittie is a simple bristle brush.

Siberian huskies have a medium-length coat that is super thick and dense. He needs brushing two to three times a week throughout the year to keep him looking tidy and healthy. And like many breeds from cold climates, he is a super heavy shedder. Meaning, he will need daily brushing during the shedding seasons if you want to manage his coat. Having an assortment of Husky-approved dog brushes is the key to managing his coat.

Both dogs need bathing once every two months. Huskies will need bathed more frequently than Pitbulls due to their longer coats.. However, the Husky takes care of his coat and will fastidiously clean it after every walk. When choosing a shampoo, the Pittie is more likely to need a shampoo designed for sensitive skin. Compared to the Husky, who will do better on a concentrated or anti-shedding formula.

Puppy Prices

Brown and White Puppy and Fluffy Gray Puppy
Depending on the breeder, expect to pay around $700 for a Pitbull and about $1000 for a Siberian Husky.

The price of a Husky puppy is likely to be higher than the Pittie. But depending on where you live, this might not always be the case. While both puppy prices will typically start at the $1,000 mark, huskies can be a little more expensive for pups bred from champion lines.

If you are looking for a pup from an award-winning bloodline or a popular breeder, you can expect to pay more. Sadly, Huskies and Pitties are some of the most common breeds in shelters. For this reason, you should consider adopting too. The cost of adoption is much lower than puppy prices.

It’s important to research your breeder to ensure that they are reputable and responsible for whatever breed you choose. Look for an experienced breeder who can show you health certificates. And one that allows you to meet the puppies in person. This way, you can be sure that the puppy you buy is likely to be healthy and happy. Puppy mills have no care for the health of their pups, so please avoid them at all costs.

Final Thoughts

And there you have it, the Pitbull vs. the Husky! They are both equally adorable and lovely dog breeds that both make fantastic family pets. But as you can see, they both require different types of family. The Husky needs a really active family who has both the patience and time to train and groom them. The Pittie is an easier-going pup who makes an ideal pooch for a first-time dog parent.

If you still can’t pick between the two, consider the Pitsky, which is a combination of both dogs. This pup is a mixture of the Pitbull and the Husky. And he combines the best of both worlds so that you don’t have to choose!

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