The AKC Siberian Husky Standard Explained!

Last Updated on October 28, 2022 by Guillermina

The AKC Siberian husky standard is used to define the very best husky breed characteristics, appearance and physical features. Let’s find out everything that you need to know about the AKC Siberian husky standard!

What Is The AKC Siberian Husky Standard?

The American Kennel Club (AKC) is responsible for defining the breed standards for all recognized dog breeds in America. These outline the characteristics of the ideal example of each breed – to put it simply, they describe the perfect dog!

As any dog lover will know, there are huge variations in the size, shape, color, and personality of each dog breed. So as well as telling us what the perfect example of a dog breed should look like, the AKC Siberian husky standard will also tell us what is and is not acceptable for this breed.

Breeders will refer to the AKC Siberian husky standard when deciding which dogs to breed from, and show judges will also use this guide to award prizes to dogs that are as close as possible to this standard. This will include ensuring that they meet the husky height and weight guidance, as well as checking that their colors, markings, and physical features are acceptable.

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The AKC Siberian Husky Standard Explained

 husky body type female

As with all breed standards, the AKC Siberian husky standard can be split into several different categories:

General Appearance

The Siberian husky is a medium-sized dog breed with a compact, furry body. It has a smooth, athletic gait and is built for speed and endurance. The ideal husky measurements are as follows:

  • Husky body type male – 21 to 23.5 inches tall, with a body weight of 45 to 60 pounds.
  • Husky body type female – 20 to 22 inches tall, with a body weight of 35 to 50 pounds.


Almond-shaped eyes, that are either brown or blue in color. It is acceptable for a husky to have one blue eye and one brown eye, or even two colors within one eye.

The ears should be triangular and strongly erect, and the bridge of the nose should be straight and taper to the nose. The facial expression should be keen and friendly, and the head should be in proportion with the rest of the body.


The neck should be arched and carry the head proudly. The chest of a husky will be deep and strong, but not too broad. The back is straight and level, with a lean waist.

The legs of a husky are of utmost importance, as they are intended to be capable of carrying out strong, athletic work. The shoulders should be long and sloping, enabling them to perform their characteristic effortless gait. The hindquarters should be well-muscled, and the hock joint should be set low to the ground.

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 husky breed characteristics


When in a state of alert, the fox brush-style tail of a husky is held upwards, curving up over the back. It should not flop to either side or curl so much that it hits the back. It is acceptable for the tail to hang downwards when the dog is relaxed or at rest.


The coat of the Siberian husky is one of the most distinctive features, and the breed standard only accepts certain coat styles.

The classic husky has a double coat that is medium in length. The outer guard hairs of the coat should be straight and smooth, and the undercoat should be dense enough to support these guard hairs.

For showing purposes, the whiskers and fur or the feet can be trimmed, but not any other part of the dog. Dogs with a long, rough coat or shabby appearance do not meet the breed standard.

Coat colors

The acceptable coat colors of the Siberian husky are black, grey, sable, agouti, red, and white. They can be solid colored or may have shaded areas over the coat. White markings are common and are considered acceptable.

Merle and brindle patterns are not considered to be acceptable, and show judges will disqualify these dogs from competition.

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 husky height and weight


The Siberian husky was traditionally used for pulling sleds in icy conditions, and the temperament of the modern-day version of this breed should reflect its working past. This breed should be friendly and gentle, with an alert, bold nature. They are not known to be possessive or aggressive, but they can be reserved when they meet new people.

One of the key temperament traits of the Siberian husky is their trainable nature and eagerness to please. This dog is a willing worker and enjoys the physical challenge of training. Despite their athletic ability, huskies are not lively dogs, although they require a large amount of daily exercise.

Does It Matter If Your Siberian Husky Does Not Meet The Breed Standard?

If you are not intending to breed from or show your Siberian husky, then the breed standard is not so important. Breeders will breed many dogs that do not meet all the criteria of the breed standard, but there is no reason why these dogs cannot become lovable family pets.

For breeding purposes, it is essential that only dogs that meet the breed standard are used. This helps to maintain and improve the physical and temperamental characteristics of the breed.

And for showing purposes, judges will only accept dogs that meet the breed standard. Only the very best of each breed will go on to win the top prizes.

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So, as we have learned, the AKC Siberian husky standard is used to define the ideal characteristics, body shape, and appearance of this majestic dog breed. Dogs that are closest to this standard will be Siberian husky show dogs, and will be highly sought after for breeding purposes. These standards aim to keep the breed as true as possible to the original working Siberian husky sled dogs.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the AKC Siberian husky standard! Do you have a husky that has an unusual characteristic that means he is not eligible to be registered as a pedigree? Or perhaps you’ve got some questions about how to check whether your puppy meets the AKC Siberian husky standard? Leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you!