Australian Shepherd vs Siberian Husky: Breed Differences and Similarities

Nothing compares to the joy of having a four-pawed friend wagging its tail while waiting for you after a long day’s slog. Knowing that you will come home to a loyal companion is truly a heart-warming everyday experience. 

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Considered man’s best friend, dogs have been valuable companions to people through the centuries. They can provide you with a comforting presence that helps reduce your stress and ease your loneliness.

Whatever your situation is, there is a companion breed out there for you.

If you want a loyal, energetic, and affectionate dog who loves working and enjoys howling, an Australian Shepherd or a Siberian Husky is the best choice for you.

Wondering what to choose between Aussie and Husky for your next canine companion?

Listed below are several comparisons between these two dog breeds.

History

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Thinking that a dog’s breed has no link with its behavior, you may be refraining from making stereotypical assumptions about behavioral tendencies from its breed. You may probably be avoiding unfair profiling as it is making you feel wrong.

However, several studies have shown that there is quite a connection between dog genes and traits. They show that certain breeds have a predisposition to distinct personalities and traits. Meaning, dogs may tend to behave in certain temperaments and behaviors conforming to what they’ve been bred for. 

To better understand Australian Shepherd’s and Siberian Husky’s predispositions, now is the right time for you to take a broader view of their history.

Australian Shepherds

Contrary to its name, the Aussies that you know and love today are not originally from Australia.

These energetic herding dogs are an American breed developed in the Western US to direct large flocks of cattle and sheep grazing in the open meadows. It is believed that their breed originated from Basque shepherds from Spain, which were brought to settle in Australia and later moved to the US. 

Originally bred to tend to flocks of sheep in ranches, Australian Shepherds are known to be intelligent herding dogs. Besides, they can follow directions and are great companions to cowboys and herdsmen.

The Aussies have been recognized as the most popular American playful medium-sized working dog breeds throughout the centuries. 

Siberian Husky

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Fondly known as Husky, Siberian Husky is considered the oldest dog breed in the world.

It is believed to have originated with the Chukchi tribe of northeastern Asia used to herd reindeers. Having long coarse hair, thick double-coats, and great endurance, Huskies were also used to haul loaded packs for fast long-distance travel in harsh winter seasons.

On top of that, their gentle and friendly nature made Chukchi people greatly fond of them. They were housed in the family shelters and allowed to play with the children of the tribe.

In 1909, Siberian Huskies were imported to Alaska for a sled competition. The Huskies, then on, were recognized by Alaska dog drivers as perfect working dogs for Alaskan winters.

Their delightful temperament and remarkable versatility have made them a perfect four-legged friend to people of all ages and diverse interests.

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Appearance

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Both the Aussie and Husky possess beautiful features and fluffy coats, making them both irresistibly huggable and cute. 

If it seems to be a tough choice, let me make it easy for you by differentiating the two.

Australian Shepherd

Aussie is a medium-sized dog with a medium-length weather-resistant coat. You will find its coat amazing as it resembles a variety of colors. Some have blue merle, red merle, black and red merle, tri-color, black and white coats.

Similar to their coat color, they also have a wide variety of eye colors. Some have firm blue eyes, and others have brown to amber or gold hues.

Aussies’ dropped ears and bobbed tails are two additional adorable features.

The female Australian Shepherd tends to be smaller, weighing between 35-55 pounds and standing between 8-21 inches in terms of size. On the other hand, the male Aussie, who is bigger than the female, weighs 55-70 pounds and stands about 20-23 inches.

Siberian Husky

Contrary to popular belief, Siberian Husky is not a descendant of wolves. They may resemble wolves, but they are hundred percent domesticated dogs.

Considered one of the beautiful dog breeds in the canine world, Huskies commonly have beautifully shaped pale blue eyes. Also, they have erect and round-tipped ears with long and furry tails. 

Huskies are well known for their aesthetically stunning gray and white or copper and white coat colors. Having a double coat and undercoat, they can withstand harsh winter climates.

Siberian huskies are moderately-built working dogs that usually have a high energy level. Like the female Aussies, Female Huskies are also smaller compared to the males.

Their height ranges between 20-22 inches in females and can reach 24 inches in males. Male Huskies weigh between 45-60 pounds, while female dogs weigh between 35-50 pounds.

Grooming

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Both the Aussies and Huskies have beautifully furred coats which need to be regularly maintained. 

If you wish to have a Husky in your care, you will want to avoid having hair all over your house by considering brushing its hair during the shedding period.

Normally, Huskies shed the coat twice a year, especially in the fall and spring seasons. Moreover, Huskies do not need baths regularly as other dogs since they often clean themselves.

Having its long full coat, Aussies are shedders, as well. However, Australian Shepherds lose not as much fur as Siberian Huskies.

Their coats get thicker in the winter and shed in the arrival of spring or summer, losing their winter coat. You will need to keep up with the brushing at least twice a week to remove those tufts of hair.

Regular grooming such as nail trimming, tooth brushing, and ear checks will keep your dog safe from certain health problems with both breeds.

Temperament

Always take into account that the most important factor in choosing a dog to add to your household is a dog’s temperament. Yearning to own a dog with just its striking looks is not half as great as choosing a breed that is right for your lifestyle.

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Being a herding dog and working dog, Aussies, and Huskies both have a high energy level. So, it is recommended that owners have some space for these dogs to play and run around.

To better assess which breed is right for you, let us delve more into their personalities.

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Australian Shepherd

With their herding instinct, Australian Shepherds can be a good watchdog. They are highly intelligent dogs with warm and gentle dispositions. Moreover, they are extremely loyal, making them everything you would love in a family dog.

Being social dogs, Aussies are happy to be around strangers and can be quite rowdy when playing with other dogs. But, they are the happiest when they spend some quality time with the family. 

Aussies are hard workers, too. They were bred to be working dogs. When given a task, they would often take it seriously and do it proudly.

They would love working around, such as helping out on the farm and doing physical activities like playing fetch in the yard, jogging, and even swimming.

Siberian Husky

Like Aussies, Huskies are working dogs who also need an outlet for their energy. Their free-spirited personality makes them love outdoor walks, runs, and plays. They have an extremely high energy level, so they get easily bored and destructive without enough exercise.

Furthermore, Siberian Huskies are gentle and friendly with their family, strangers, and other dogs. They are the dogs who would mind being left or confined at home as they love being with people and other dogs. When left alone, Huskies can develop separation anxiety.

Exercises

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As mentioned above, Aussies and Huskies are working dogs who were both bred to be hard workers. So, they are undeniably energetic, which needs a great deal of exercise to be healthy and happy.

For Australian Shepherds they would need at least 60 minutes of stimulating activities. Aussies love intellectual stimulation, so they want to play with a frisbee or run through an obstacle course. Also, interactive toys can help an Aussie be preoccupied. 

For Siberian Huskies, they will need a great deal of 60 minutes of daily exercise. They might escape the yard if left without getting enough regular activities.

And worse, they may make random sprints around the house or chew your socks, shoes, and other furniture. To avoid such disasters, you will need to provide chew toys and some physical activities.

For both Aussies and Huskies they can become destructive and bored if left without something to do. So, it is important to provide plenty of time and space for activities and exercises before considering any of these breeds to be part of your household.

Training

Both of these breeds are known to be intelligent, strong-willed, and independent. Nevertheless, they can still be trained by dedicated owners. 

Aussies and Huskies need training at a young age to curb some bad habits they inherited from their herding instinct.

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Particularly, Huskies need to be disciplined and trained as they dig, escape, and be destructive without proper discipline and guidance.

For puppies of both breeds, Crate training is recommended. 

Since they are different in size, an Aussie needs at least a 36-inch dog crate, and a Husky will typically be needing 42 inches.

Health 

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With proper care, you can enjoy staying with both Aussies and Huskies for quite a long time. However, like any other individual, they are also prone to acquiring certain health conditions.

Here are some common health concerns to be watchful of.

Australian Shepherd 

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Epilepsy
  • Osteochondrosis Dissecans
  • Progressive Retinal atrophy

Aussies can live up to between 12-14 years.

Siberian Husky

  • Hypothyroidism
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Cataract
  • Skin allergies
  • Hair Fall

Huskies can live for about 15 years.

Nutrition

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With the right nutrition, you can keep your dog healthy, alive, and kicking. However, regardless of the owner’s best intention, they often overfeed their dogs, leading to obesity. Proper nutrition is composed of the right amount of meals appropriate for your dog’s size and weight.

For high-energy natured Aussies, one to three cups of nutritious food every day will keep them nourished. They require a meal rich in protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals to support their high energy level.

Huskies need a balanced diet and food high in protein. Usually, two cups of nutritious dry food split between two meals will keep them thriving for the day. Remember, Huskies were bred to travel long distances on very little food, so ensure not overfeed them.

Knowing that both breeds are energetic, playful, and high-spirited, always make sure to keep them hydrated by providing constant fresh and cool water. 

Prices

Now that you have delved deeper into the facts regarding Aussies and Huskies, perhaps, you have finally picked your next four-legged companion.

If you are interested in buying an Australian Shepherd or Siberian Husky puppy, make sure to buy it from a good, reputable, and reliable breeder.

Do not settle for lower prices offered by unlicensed breeders because they might be using unsafe practices that should not be supported.

Between the two breeds, Aussie puppies are more affordable. Average prices range from $800 to $1,500 depending on the breeder and the puppy’s coat color. Generally, Huskies cost about $1,000 and above from a reputable breeder.

Aussies and Huskies are both popular breeds, often ending up in shelters. If you are not interested in having a puppy, you can check with your local rescue center to adopt the dog of your choice.

Remember, it will always be better to adopt than shop.

Conclusion

Australian Shepherd and Siberian Husky are equally beautiful, smart, affectionate, and gentle dogs that are perfect to be an addition to your family. Having them as part of your household entails a dedicated, sincere, and long-term commitment. 

It will now be up to you if you can take the responsibility of being a good companion to your lifelong friend.

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