Telling the difference between a Siberian Husky and Alaskan Malamute isn’t easy. They are very similar pups! But if you have got your new dog shortlist down to a Husky or Malamute puppy, then you are in luck. We are going to compare the pros and cons of a Husky vs Malamute puppy. Helping you to pick the right breed!
Both Husky and Malamute puppies are large, powerful dogs that can be a lot to handle when full grown, but can also prove to be great companions. They have similar appearances, but Huskies are generally social, smaller, and tend to live a little longer. Whereas the Malamute is more loyal, protective, and was originally bred to pull heavy weights. Today we are going to look at which one of these delightful dogs would fit in best with your lifestyle.
- Are Malamutes Huskies?
- Alaskan Malamute Vs Siberian Husky history
- Siberian Husky vs Alaskan Malamute size
- Alaskan Malamute vs Siberian Husky temperament
- Training a Malamute puppy vs Husky puppy
- Alaskan Malamute vs Husky exercise
- Siberian Husky vs Alaskan Malamute health
- Alaskan Malamute vs Siberian Husky puppies
Is a Husky and a Malamute the Same?
The Siberian Husky is not the same as the Alaskan Malamute. In fact, they have some clear differences that can make one a better pet for you than the other. However, when you compare two dog breeds there’s no definitive answer as to which is the best. You can however, decide which is best for you and your situation.
Alaskan Malamute vs Siberian Husky Differences
The Alaskan Malamute vs Siberian Husky debate is a battle of the titans between two breeds that have worked alongside humans for a long time.
Huskies are more sociable, lighter in weight and more free-spirited than the larger Malamute who is beautiful and incredibly loyal. It might seem like a tough choice, but these similar dogs do have quite a few differences. And these differences can make one more suitable to your home than the other. Huskies also tend to live a little longer, and have fewer guarding tendencies. But this doesn’t automatically mean they will be a better pet for you.
Choosing between the Alaskan Malamute vs Siberian Husky for your next pup is no easy decision! Which will be best for you?
Alaskan Malamute vs Siberian Husky History
Both the Husky and the Malamute are ancient dog breeds. They were bred to live and work with people in very cold, harsh climates. Although there are a few types of Huskies, we’ll just focus on the Siberian Husky for now.
Are Huskies and Malamutes related?
Huskies and Malamutes are not related, although you can see why people think they might be! The Husky was first bred by the Chukchi people in Eastern Siberia. Whereas the Malamute originates from Alaska.
Both breeds both have long histories as sled dogs. The Malamute was bred to haul weight while the Husky was bred to race. The Malamute more often worked alone, whereas the Husky would work in a team of dogs. So, although they come from similar environments, they had quite different purposes!
Malamute vs Husky Size
When it comes to size, the Alaskan Malamute vs Siberian Husky difference is clear. The average Malamute size is huge. A large Siberian Husky would look relatively dainty next to a full grown Malamute. The Alaskan Malamute will weigh 75 to 85 pounds in adulthood. But the big husky breed, in contrast weighs just 35 to 60 pounds as an adult. The biggest Husky will never be as big as the smallest Malamute.
Malamute vs Husky Eyes
There is an Alaskan Malamute Siberian Husky difference in eye color. You might know Huskies for their striking blue eyes. Did you know that Huskies can have eyes of two different colors? This is known as heterochromia. Malamute eyes are usually brown. Breeders prefer Malamutes to have darker eyes.
Difference Between Alaskan Malamute and Siberian Husky Coats
Siberian Huskies are perhaps best known for their black and white coat. However, this breed comes in a whole host of colors, including: copper, red, agouti and sable. Malamutes, on the other hand come in gray and white, sable and white, solid white, seal and white, red and white and black and white.
Siberian Husky vs Malamute Grooming
The grooming needs of these two dogs are nearly identical. Regular brushing and grooming is necessary to manage shed hair. As well as to keep their skin and coat healthy. Both dogs will also benefit from regular nail trims and ear cleanings.
Husky and Alaskan Malamute differences in Shedding
Learning about the shedding differences between these breeds is important. It shows how much time you’ll spend cleaning fur around your home! Both dogs have a thick, double-layer coat. This will “blow out” twice per year with the seasons. The coat will also shed year-round. So, both breeds will need regular brushing to keep shed hair under control. They aren’t the best choice for people who don’t want to spend time grooming and cleaning fur.
Alaskan Malamute vs Siberian Husky Personality
The difference in temperament is minimal in most cases. These pups were bred to live and work in packs of people and dogs. They’re known to be friendly and outgoing with “their” people.
However, the Malamute will be more aloof with strangers. They’re also less tolerant of other animals, including dogs. The Husky is more apt to accept strangers readily and live well with other family dogs.
Difference Between Husky and Malamute Guarding Tendencies
Many parents are concerned about guarding tendencies. The difference is especially important if you are choosing a dog for your children! Malamute temperament has more controversy in general than Siberian Husky temperament.
The Alaskan Malamute can have some aggressive tendencies. This is coupled with a high prey drive and a low tolerance for other dogs. The Siberian Husky also has a high prey drive but has a higher tolerance for other dogs. They’re often considered too friendly and outgoing to make good guard dogs.
Difference Between Husky and Malamute in Intelligence
The Alaskan Malamute and Husky dogs are both very smart and learn quickly! These dogs can be expert escape artists. Plus they can jump or dig through areas that aren’t dog-proof.
Siberian Husky and Malamute Differences in Noise
Both Malamutes and Siberian Huskies have a tendency to howl and bark. Huskies are well known for their chatty nature. Especially when they are in groups. There are some hilarious videos of this on the internet!
Although Malamutes have less of a vocal reputation, they’re still likely to be a loud dog. Fortunately, you can reduce the likelihood of your puppy growing into a noisy adult by never rewarding their ‘conversation’. Ignore any noise from the word go. You might get away with a quieter home!
Husky vs Malamute Puppy Training
Alaskan Malamute training is much the same as Husky training. Sled dogs in general can be more challenging to train than hunting or herding breeds. But are there differences between the Alaskan Malamute vs Husky?
Are Huskies hard to train?
Some Malamute owners describe their pets as stubborn, and Huskies have a reputation for being hard to train. Many experts recommend that neither of these breeds should run off leash in open country. But as long as you work hard on proofing your recall, and using high value rewards during training, there is no reason for a pet Husky or Malamute not to become an obedient dog.
Alaskan Malamute vs Husky Exercise
These breeds are both hard-working, which means they need lots of exercise! Alaskan Malamutes and Huskies are both very active. You’ll need plenty of space in a secure yard for your sled dog to run about. But also be willing to take long walks every day!
Alaskan Malamute and Siberian Husky Health
Like any dogs, the Malamute vs Husky are both prone to health issues.
Alaskan Malamute Problems
The Alaskan Malamute is prone to the following:
- chondrodysplasia (dwarfism),
- von Willebrand’s disease,
- thyroid dysfunction,
- day blindness,
- and hip and elbow dysplasia.
Siberian Husky Problems
The Siberian Husky is prone to the following:
- thyroid dysfunction,
- juvenile cataracts,
- corneal dystrophy,
- progressive retinal atrophy
- and hip dysplasia.
Alaskan Malamute or Siberian Husky Health Testing
The Alaskan Malamute Club currently requires members to test parent dogs for hip issues, eye issues and polyneuropathy. They also recommend tests for elbow issues, heart function and thyroid function.
The Siberian Husky Club currently requires that participating breeders test parent dogs annually for eye issues and once for hip dysplasia. So both the Husky vs Malamute need health testing.
Difference Between Husky and Malamute Life Expectancy
Choosing between the Husky vs Malamute, you’ll want a pup that will be a member of your family for a long time. The life expectancy of an Alaskan Malamute is 10 to 14 years. But the life expectancy of a Siberian Husky is 12 to 14 years.
Alaskan Malamute vs Siberian Husky Puppies
You should watch out for the same things in Malamute vs Husky puppies. Look for a bright-eyed, healthy and energetic puppy. She should be eager to play and interact. The breeder should give proof of health testing.
Malamute vs Husky Puppy Price
Price is also a factor when choosing a puppy. Alaskan Malamute puppies can cost $1,200 to $1,700. But Siberian Husky puppies can cost $600 to $1,300.
Malamute vs Husky Puppies as Pets
Supervision and training are key for both kids and pets. Even with proper supervision and training, however, a comparison of the Malamute dog vs Husky for a family pet suggests the Husky is likely to be a better fit for a home with young kids or regularly visiting family memebrs.
Alaskan Malamute vs Siberian Husky Fun Facts
- Huskies have been in our stories and on our screens for a long time. From Whitefang the brave Husky to Mischa the talking Husky on YouTube, we sure do see a lot of these distinctive dogs.
- One Husky story that might have gone under your radar was the story of Balto, Togo and Fritz. These three dogs pulled life-saving medicine on sleds over a combined distance of 1000 miles. If it wasn’t for them, many Inuit children would have died from diphtheria. You can read more about it here.
What is the difference between a Malamute and a Husky
Malamutes are bigger than Huskies, have stronger guarding tendencies and are less likely to be noisy companions. They are both strong, powerful dogs with a lot of loyalty and love to give to their families.
You will always have some people say that one breed is intrinsically better than another. But this is rarely the case. Some breeds just suit one owner better than another. For instance, if you live in a small space, the Alaskan Malamute Husky difference in size might be more important!
Do you have an Alaskan Malamute or a Siberian Husky or even a Husky Malamute mix? Tell us about your reasons for choosing them in the comments!
References and Further Reading
- Culaw, S., “Grooming and Care,” Alaskan Malamute Club of America, 2018.
- Hamilton, H., “Siberian Husky: Official Breed Health Statement,” American Kennel Club, 2015.
- Anderson, S.T., “Alaskan Malamute: Official Breed Health Statement,” American Kennel Club, 2018.
- Ross, D., “The Personality of the Alaskan Malamute,” Alaskan Malamute Club of Victoria, 2018.
- Soares, A., “Behavior Tendencies of Different Dog Breeds,” Montgomery County Humane Society, 2018.