Huskies vs. Malamutes: The Same But Different

Huskies vs. Malamutes: The Same But Different

Huskies and malamutes are quite similar in many ways. But there are also some significant differences. If you are looking for a larger dog, this will help you to differentiate between the two and see if one or the other may be right for you.

Huskies vs. Malamutes, Similarities and Differences:

1. What is the Same?

  • Double coat – these dogs will require similar grooming. They both have a double coat and will shed a lot. Fall and spring are heavy shedding times for these dogs.
  • Friendly – you will not have a problem with your Husky or Malamute making friends. Both love people (though huskies can be a little more reserved).
  • High prey drive – both of these breeds have a high drive for hunting prey. They do not do well with other pets.
  • Need a lot of exercise – the Husky and the Malamute are full of energy. They need to exercise daily. It is good to have an area where they can run!
  • Dominant owner required – the Husky and the Malamute are pack dogs who need a firm owner. You do not want your loyal companion to think he is the one in charge. You need to be a firm and dominant person with your dog.
  • Originated in Arctic areas – both the Malamute and the Husky are sled dogs. Knowing which dog is from which area can be remembered from their full names. The Siberian Husky comes from Siberia, and the Alaskan Malamute originated in Alaska.
  • Both love running – both of these breeds are built to run. Malamutes are more likely to return to their owners, but a Husky may keep running. It is essential to have a fenced area for the Husky.
Husky and Malamute puppy

2. How Do They Differ?

  • Lifespan – Malamutes have a shorter life span and are more susceptible to health problems. A Malamute has a lifespan of 10 – 12 years, whereas a Husky can live for up to 15 years.
  • Loyalty – A Malamute is loyal to his owner while a Husky is loyal to the pack.
  • Size – The Malamute is larger and heavier than the Husky. They are both large, but a Husky is lighter and faster than a Malamute.
  • Companionship – Malamutes are content living with their human companions, but Huskies prefer having other dogs around.
  • Both dogs are trainable, but the Husky is known to be more intelligent than the Malamute.

3. Overview of the Husky

Temperament – The Husky is a loyal, outgoing, and mischievous companion.

Size – Males are anywhere from 21-23.5 inches at the shoulders. A female will be slightly smaller at 20-22 inches.

Weight – Males weigh in at around 45-60 pounds. Females can range from 35-50 pounds.

A Siberian Husky is not as big in stature as the term “husky” makes it sound. Many breeders prefer to use Siberian to avoid misconceptions.

Siberian Husky

A Siberian has brown or blue almond-shaped eyes. Siberians can move quickly and effortlessly and need a lot of space to run.

Siberians are clean dogs and easy to keep well-groomed with a few baths a year.

They are a working dog, so they are happy when they are kept busy.

Quick Facts

Siberian Husky appearance
  • The AKC recognized the Siberian Husky breed in 1935.
  • John “Iron Man” Johnson won the 400-mile All Alaska Sweepstakes Race in 1910. Over the next ten years, Huskies won most of the titles in Alaska.
  • Nome, Alaska, experienced a diphtheria epidemic in 1925. Siberian Huskies led “serum runs,” taking antitoxins to the town.
  • During WWII, the Siberian Husky served in the Army’s Arctic Search and Rescue Unit of the Air Transport Command.

4. Overview of the Malamute

Temperament – The Malamute is a dog who is affectionate, loyal, and playful.

Alaskan Malamute on the snow

Size – An Alaskan Malamute is 23-25 inches at the shoulder.

Weight – Malamutes can weigh in at anywhere from 75-85 pounds.

Malamutes are working dogs, but they are also very affectionate and love to spend time with their owners and snuggle up.

Quick Facts

Alaskan Malamute
  • The AKC also recognized the Malamute in 1935.
  • The Malamute has several cousins; Samoyed, Siberian Husky, and Eskimo dogs are all cousins.
  • Adm. Richard Bird had Malamutes accompany him on his Antarctic Expedition in 1933.
  • Malamutes do not bark much, but they make themselves heard in other ways. The Malamute will howl and “talk.” A Malamute will howl if he is bored or lonely.
  • Malamutes need a designated place to dig. They love to dig and can be trained to dig in one area rather than all over the yard.
  • If you are a philatelist (stamp collector), you will want to look for stamps from 1984. The Malamute was one of four breeds to be featured on U.S. Postal stamps. There are also stamps from about 14 other countries that feature this breed.
  • In 2010 the Malamute became the official state dog of Alaska.

Malamutes and Huskies are great dogs who are well-suited to families with large yards and lots of time!