Today’s article looks at the rise in popularity of the Husky Pitbull Mix. Please note that in some regions, legal restrictions to Pitbull or Pitbull mix ownership may apply
Striking looks? Check.
Cute mash-up name? Check again.
Heritage which would make even the most experienced dog handler feel a little bit faint? Extra-big check.
In this article we find out what happens when you play the genetic lottery with two of the dog world’s most high-octane breeds, and help you decide if you’ve got what it takes to bring such an energetic puppy home.
Introducing the Pitbull Husky mix
Let’s start with a bit of disambiguation. In this article, husky means Siberian Husky, and Pitbull means American Pit Bull Terrier .
Both breeds are smart, lively, loyal and noted for being gentle and affectionate with their human family.
But they don’t exactly look alike, and when their features come together, it often has eye-catching results.
Think dark coloring and bright blue eyes, or a Husky’s markings and large triangular ears with a streamlined short-coated silhouette.
It’s easy to see the appeal, so let’s find out more about their origins.
First take a Siberian Husky…
Siberian Huskies have come a long way from pulling sleds across the most eastern reaches of Siberia, to being one of America’s favorite dog breeds.
Chukchis are nomadic hunter gatherers who needed dogs with great power and endurance to pull their sleds, but also a gentle disposition so they could be trusted to live in close quarters with their families.
Our complete guide to the Siberian Husky breed is right here, but we’ll continue picking out the most relevant things you need to know in this article too.
… then add an American Pit Bull Terrier
It’s impossible to think about Pitbulls without some unpleasant stereotypes coming to mind, and we’ll take an honest look at those associations in a minute.
Pitbulls were created back in the 19th century by mixing English terriers and English bulldogs of the time, to try and harness the enthusiasm of the former and the athleticism of the latter.
The result was a strong and versatile lineage which became the ancestors for the modern day Pitbull.
Unfortunately, people also began to rear them to take part in illegal bloodsports.
Dogs which displayed high levels of aggression were purposefully bred from, and mistreated to make them even more aggressive.
Inevitably, they gained a reputation for being dangerous (which is exactly what the dangerous people who owned them wanted).
Following this, the American Kennel Club distanced themselves from Pitbulls, refusing to accept them onto it’s registry, and eventually registering the American Staffordshire Terrier instead.
In fact, Pitbulls and American Staffordshire Terriers are so similar some people consider them to be the same breed, and this article can be applied equally to Husky-Amstaff crossbreeds.
… and voila, a Pitsky!
Now crossbreeds have been bred deliberately and accidentally since the beginnings of domestication, so the Pitbull x Husky mix is not something new.
However, crossbreeds are enjoying a lot of extra attention and popularity at the moment, and the name Pitsky seems to have been coined sometime in the last seven years to join in with that trend.
What does a Pitbull mixed with Husky look like?
I’ve already said the results can be eye-catching, but what features are guaranteed?
The short answer is, none.
Moreover, Huskies are immediately recognizable by their thick long coat, with a dense undercoat and long guard hairs. They are, in a word, fluffy.
Whereas Pitbull’s have very short, sleek coats, which are stiff to the touch.
In addition, Huskies and Pitbulls have different body shapes, different eye shapes and colors, different ears…
So when a Pitbull and a Husky mate, there’s no predicting what appearance the puppies have until they’re born. They could look very Husky-like, very Pitbull-like, or be any combination of the two.
If looks are important to you, this is something to bear in mind if you’re ever tempted to place a deposit on an unborn puppy.
How big will a Husky Pitbull get?
Male Pitbulls typically stand around 45 – 53cm tall (18 – 21 inches) at the withers (shoulder blades), and females slightly smaller at 43 – 50cm (17 – 20 inches).
Male Pitbulls weigh in at 15 – 27kg (33 – 60lb) and females tip the scales at 13 – 22kg (29 – 49lb).
Huskies are a bit bigger.
Male Huskies should be between 53 and 61cm (21 – 24 inches) at the withers and 20 – 27kg (44 – 60lb).
Female Huskies grow to 51 – 56cm (20 – 22 inches) and 16 – 23kg (35 – 51lb).
That’s a lot of numbers to take in, but a Pitbull and Husky mix dog will end up any where on the scale between the smallest female Pitbull and the biggest male Husky: so, a compact 43cm, 13kg (17 inch, 29lb) female, or a strapping 61cm, 27kg (24 inch, 60lb) male.
What is the temperament of Husky and Pitbull mix dogs like?
The American Kennel Club describes Huskies as loyal, mischievous, outgoing, friendly, dignified, alert, and not aggressive.
And the United Kennel Club (which does accept Pitbull registrations) describes Pitbulls as confident, intelligent, willing to work and eager to please, brimming over with enthusiasm, and extremely friendly, even with strangers. They also note that the breed is gentle, and good with children.
As with appearance, a pitsky puppy can inherit any quality of either parent.
But, there are a lot of personality parallels between Huskies and Pitbulls, so putting them together is perhaps likely to have a more predictable outcome than mixing breeds with more disparate temperaments.
Good with children?! I though Pitbulls were dangerous?
The UKC’s description of Pitbulls may well have caused you to do a double-take.
So now let’s turn to concerns over Pitbulls, and whether they should stop you getting a Husky Pitbull cross.
Dog aggression is an area of significant public interest, so there are a number of studies we can use to inform us.
In a special report in Veterinary Medicine Today in 2000, 244 dog bite-related fatalities in the United States between 1979 and 1996 where the breed of the dog had been recorded were examined. 76 were caused by Pitbull-type dogs or Pitbull crossbreeds.
They were the type of dog responsible for the most deaths.
(Interestingly, the second most responsible type was the German Shepherd, the breed Americans trusted enough to make their 2nd favorite breed of 2016, and Husky-type dogs and their crossbreeds were responsible for 21 deaths – the fourth most responsible breed overall.)
In 2014 when an American Veterinary Medical Association literature review found that Pitbulls are not disproportionately aggressive towards humans.
In fact, they found Collies, Spaniels and toy dogs are all more likely to bite humans.
This is backed up by a 2008 study into breed differences in canine aggression, which found that breeds with the greatest percentage of dogs exhibiting serious aggression towards humans were Dachshunds, Chihuahuas, Jack Russell Terriers, Cocker Spaniels and Beagles.
So Pitbulls aren’t as disposed to biting people as their reputation suggests. In fact all of the studies agreed that breed alone is a poor predictor of aggression.
But the reality is that when Pitbulls do bite, their sheer power, and gripping style of bite, means they are likely to cause much more harm than a smaller dog.
And the 2008 paper specifically noted Pitbulls for being more likely to display serious aggression towards unfamiliar dogs.
Which brings us neatly onto the importance of socializing and obedience training for your Husky cross Pitbull puppy…
The importance of socialization and obedience training for Pitsky puppies
Socializing puppies with other dogs and people is a crucial part of shaping their attitude towards unfamiliar encounters as they grow up.
You can find out more about the importance of early socialization with our article 12 Great Places to Socialise your Puppy.
As your Husky cross Pitbull grows, you’ll need to be confident you can can control him in any environment, and recall him to your side from any situation.
Unless you have a lot of experience training dogs, the best place to learn these skills to the standard you’ll need them is at an obedience class.
How much exercise will a Husky Pitbull mix dog need?
Huskies and Pitbulls are both athletic dogs bred for heard work and stamina.
So when they breed, one outcome is for sure: a Husky mixed with Pitbull is going to have SO. MUCH. ENERGY.
How they want to channel that energy might vary a bit from individual to individual.
Some Husky mix Pitbulls might feel the Husky’s instinct to run for miles, whereas others might enjoy jumping or weight pulling games drawing on their Pitbull skills.
Be prepared to spend up to two hours a day exercising your Pitbull cross Husky so that they don’t become bored and destructive.
Having some Pitbull proof dog toys will help you to keep him happy at home after he’s had his exercise.
Bear in mind both Pitbulls and Huskies are enthusiastic diggers, agile jumpers, and nimble climbers. So if you want your crossbreed to take some of his exercise in your yard, make sure your boundaries are high enough and deep enough!
Will my Husky and Pitbull mix need much grooming?
This, at least, is one area where the Husky Pitbull is slightly more low maintenance than average.
Huskies are noted for their fastidious self-care, so much so they often completely lack that “doggy” smell.
However, they do shed constantly outside of Siberian climates and “blow their coat” completely twice a year.
To keep on top of this they need regular brushing, and it’s likely any puppies they have by a Pitbull will do too.
But that should be all it takes.
Are Pitbull Husky mix puppies healthy?
On the whole, crossbreeds typically enjoy better health than pedigree dogs, because out-breeding expands their gene pool – a phenomenon known as “hybrid vigor”.
But like any pedigrees, Huskies and Pitbulls have their own predispositions to certain health problems, and any love puppy of the two is at risk of inheriting them.
Potential joint problems in Pitskies
The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals identify Pitbulls as prone to hip, knee and elbow dysplasia.
Huskies usually have quite healthy joints, necessary for a career based on running long distances, but we always recommend you ask for their hip scores anyway.
Our article about hip dysplasia will help you understand the hip scores when you receive them.
Skin conditions in Pitbull Husky cross breeds
Both Pitbulls and Huskies are vulnerable to some nasty skin conditions.
Pitbulls are more susceptible than other breeds to infestation by Demodex canis mites, which cause demodectic mange.
Demodex mites naturally live in small numbers on the coats of most dogs, but something in Pitbulls’ genetic make up means their immune system is more easily overwhelmed by them.
Huskies are prone to a hereditary skin condition called follicular dysplasia which causes patches of hair loss and dry skin. Follicular dysplasia can’t be cured, but can be managed.
Husky Pitbull mix eyesight
Sadly both Huskies and Pitbulls are more than usually afflicted with eyesight problems.
Approximately 10% of Huskies are thought to have eye problems, in particular cataracts.
Pitbulls are prone to a unique inherited form of retinal dysplasia which is inherited via a dominant gene.
Finding a healthy Pitbull cross Husky puppy
Luckily, responsible breeders routinely screen their dogs for joint and eye problems these days, and should be happy to provide the results if you ask for them.
The skin conditions described shouldn’t affect a dog’s quality of life, as long as you know what to look for and act quickly to treat them.
Will a Pitbull Husky fit in with my family?
Both Huskies and Pitbulls are noted for being exceptionally devoted and affectionate to their owners.
Like either of their parents, Husky Pitbull crosses will need lots of interaction and exercise to prevent them becoming bored and destructive.
You will also need lots of very chew proof dog toys, and ideally a chew proof dog bed too as both Pitbulls and Huskies are notorious chewers.
If you are an active household who spend a lot of time outdoors, a Husky Pitbull mix might be a pet suited to keeping pace with your lifestyle.
Pitbull Husky mix dogs will love to play, but bear in mind they are fairly heavy dogs, and small children could easily get knocked over in the heat of an exuberant moment.
However older children and teenagers may love having such a loyal fan, and in turn they can help you provide your puppy with the stimulation they need.
Breeders Of Husky Pitbull mix puppies
Unfortunately as so many of the Pitbull’s behavioral problems are caused by reckless and irresponsible breeders, you must always be ultra careful looking for a Pitbull puppy.
Unlikely crossbreeds are enjoying a period of being very fashionable, and there is a risk of Pitbulls which have been poorly bred for aggressive temperaments in the past being used to create new designer “Pitskies” for a quick profit.
It’s therefore especially important that you know how to recognize a responsible breeder.
And that you ask your breeder for a full medical history for both parents, including hip scores and eye certificates.
Insist, without exception or excuse, on meeting both parents. If they are not delighted to meet you with wagging tails, or if you think you would struggle to control either, then walk away.
Also, be prepared to answer lots of questions from your breeder. A responsible breeder will want to make sure their puppies are going to the right home with the right motive for buying them.
Where to find Husky Pitbull mix puppies
It’s not hard to find Pitbull Husky mix puppies for sale online, but be extremely cautious of their background. Remember, you want a Pitbull parent that has been bred for show or for the pet market, not for unsavory activities!
The United Kennel Club, and the breed associations for Siberian Huskies and American Pit Bull Terriers all have breeder directories on their websites.
It’s a long shot whether these breeders would ever produce crossbreeds, but they might be able to help you find a reputable breeder by word of mouth.
Pitbull husky mix price
A puppy of two healthy parents with good temperaments shouldn’t be cheap.
Be wary of litters being offered cheaply online, and be prepared to pay a fair price to a breeder who has taken their responsibilities seriously.
Important note: Pitbulls outside the United States
Pitbulls are a heavily regulated breed outside of the United States.
In the United Kingdom the Pitbull is a banned breed under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, and it is illegal to breed from one or sell or give away their puppies.
There are also regulations on owning or breeding Pitbulls in Australia, New Zealand, much of Europe and many other countries.
What next for the Husky Pitbull mix?
Okay, so I’ve deliberately made Pitbull Husky crossbreeds sound a bit intimidating.
And with good reason.
Either breed taken on its own is already a big commitment, and whichever way you put them together, you’ll have your work cut out for you with a Pitbull Husky mix.
The traits they inherit and to what degree may be a lottery, but any combination will be super intelligent and have bottomless reserves of energy.
There’s no denying that Pitbulls have been badly bred, mistreated and misused in the past, and these individuals have tainted the reputation of the whole breed.
A report from the Tufts Center for Animals and Public Policy in 2000 found that the “vast majority” of Pitbull owners felt their dogs were stigmatized due to their breed, which caused tension with other people.
However, Pitbulls have many admirable qualities, and if you’re looking for a big-hearted active dog, and you’ve got the time to socialize and train them, then a Pitbull Husky cross could be a rewarding, one of a kind companion.
Editors note: As with any cross-breed there is less pressure on breeders to meet standards. And sometimes breeding standards are very poor. With a powerful dog that has a gripping bite, taking a poorly socialized puppy is a big risk. It pays to chose your breeder carefully.
Tell us about your Husky Pitbull mix
Do you have a Pitsky at home?
Please tell us about their temperament and give us your training and socializing tips in the comments section below.
For more information about choosing a breeder follow our step by step guide to finding a puppy
Alternatively, you can find all the information you need in Pippa Mattinson’s puppy search guide book. It’s called: Choosing The Perfect Puppy
And is available worldwide from Amazon and in book stores.
Siberian Husky Club of America
United Kennel Club