Husky VS Pit Bull: A Full Comparison

When it comes to the husky vs pit bull there are a lot of key differences.

These include exercise requirements, aggressive tendencies and coat length/shedding levels. There are also a lot of similarities between the two breeds.

Before we take a deep dive into the comparisons between the two breeds, here’s a quick rundown of the main points:

An infographic detailing the differences between pit bulls and huskies

A Quick Note

A pit bull is not actually a specific breed, but a term used to describe a few different breeds that are known as ‘bully breeds’.

There are 5 breeds that fall under this term:

  • American Pit Bull Terrier
  • American Staffordshire Terrier
  • American Bully
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • American Bulldog

For the sake of this article, we will focus on the American pit bull terrier.

Although not officially recognised by the AKC, it is recognised by the United Kennel Club and is the dog most often associated with the generic term pit bull.

Difference In Appearance Between Husky And Pit Bull

Ok, let’s get the obvious one out of the way first…

Huskies and pit bulls clearly look very different.

Husky vs pit bull comparison image

Huskies have a wolf-like appearance with long fur and pointed ears.

Pit bulls have a much more muscular build with a smooth and short coat. They have a flat nose and small to medium-sized ears set high on the head.

Husky Vs Pit Bull Key Differences

Let’s take a look at the rest of the differences between huskies and pit bulls.

Exercise Requirements

Pit bulls do need quite a lot of exercise – ideally one to 2 hours per day – but huskies need a minimum of 2 hours and are capable of much more.

Huskies were originally bred to pull sleds for miles and miles and have a huge capacity for exercise, especially when they are trained for it.

This is why getting a husky is such a big lifestyle commitment. They are not suited for apartment living and require a good yard with plenty of space to run around.


Both huskies and pit bulls are very loyal to their owners, but huskies show more independence and are harder to train.

Pit bulls, on the other hand, are very eager to please and easier to train.

Compatibility With Other Dogs

Huskies are pack animals and do well with other dogs, especially similarly sized dogs as they can have some issues with smaller dogs or cats if they are not introduced at a young age due to their prey drive (more on this later).

Pit bulls don’t always get along well with other dogs, however.


There is a certain stigma attached to pit bulls, and they are bans enforced for this breed in several states as well.

When raised correctly, they are incredible pets that are affectionate and loving.

Unfortunately, some people have raised them incorrectly which has led to attacks and other incidents involving the breed.

Pit bulls also have a history of aggression, as they were originally bred for fighting against other dogs.

They were not bred to show aggression towards humans, however, as they had to be handled by them.

Huskies, on the other hand, were bred to work and pull sleds rather than fight other dogs.

Although these times have long since passed, certain breeders today still breed for aggression and give the breed a bad reputation because of it.

If a pitbull gets into a fight, even if it didn’t start it, they won’t back down and can become very vicious.

This is why keeping them on a leash is important, and also why training and proper socialization from a young age are crucial.

Huskies on the other hand show little aggression and are not considered to be a dangerous breed at all.

Huskies are much more likely to befriend a stranger rather than attack or show aggression towards them.

Strength & Bite Force

Pit bulls are stronger than huskies in short bursts due to their muscular physiques.

Huskies can pull sleds for miles and miles, however, so have quite a lot of unassumed strength and endurance.

They can actually pull up to 90lbs over long distances, which is very impressive.

Huskies do actually have a stronger bite, though. Huskies bite around 320 PSI, whereas pit bulls only reach 235 PSI.


Huskies have thick double coats and shed a lot. They also require grooming daily and more than once per day when they are blowing coat.

American pit bull terriers, on the other hand, have short coats that don’t need much maintenance.

They typically only need to be groomed once per week, which is much less than a husky, and they shed a lot less as well which is better for allergy sufferers.

What About Similarities?

There are a lot more similarities between these two breeds than you would probably expect at first.

Escape Artists

Both huskies and pit bulls are known to be escape artists.

They will dig or climb their way out of yards if the fence allows for it, and will happily wander off if they can get away with it.

The high prey drives that both of these breeds have also plays a role in this, as they will happily chase a small animal without thinking about where they will end up.


Huskies and pit bulls are actually quite similar in size, despite the muscular advantage of the pit bull.

A white American pit bull terrier on a leash sat on some leaves

Huskies reach a height between 20 and 23.5 inches and weigh between 35 and 60lbs, while pit bulls grow to 17 to 21 inches in height and weigh 30 to 60 pounds.

Prey Drive

Both huskies and pit bulls share a high prey drive.

This means that they will instinctively chase after smaller animals and see them as prey, especially when they are introduced to a new animal.

This does affect how they interact with other pets and it’s one of the reasons why you should introduce other animals to your husky or pit bull at a young age to help the transition become easier.

A red husky running through a field

There are obviously lots of stories of dogs with high prey drives living with cats or small dogs, but they are usually introduced as puppies.


The specific diet of a husky and pit bull can vary a lot depending on age and activity level, but they both do well on commercial dog foods that contain high-quality protein.

Intelligence & Mental Stimulation

There’s a common misconception that pit bulls are not intelligent, but they are actually very intelligent and capable of being trained easily.

Huskies are also very intelligent, and both of these breeds require a lot of mental stimulation to stay happy.

Playing games, implementing obedience training and using toys are all great ways to achieve this, alongside the correct exercise routine.

Summing It Up

Pit bulls are similar to huskies in a lot of ways and are both high-energy medium-sized dogs.

Pit bulls have a lot more muscle and can be much more intimidating, but both of these breeds make for very loyal dogs that are affectionate to their owners.

Want to see more husky breed comparisons? Check out some of our others here:

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About The Author

Caitlin is the owner and lead writer for The Malamute Mom. She has over 10 years of experience with Alaskan Malamutes and Huskies. She is currently working on getting her PhD in materials science but continues to write for The Malamute Mom in her spare time.

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