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Alaskan Malamute vs Siberian Husky: Which Dog Is Better?

Alaskan Malamute vs Siberian Husky 2
Alaskan Malamute vs Siberian Husky

Are you captivated by the stunning features of Alaskan Malamutes and Siberian Huskies and contemplating which one to welcome into your home? It’s natural to find yourself torn between these two majestic breeds, both of which boast striking appearances and intriguing personalities.

To help you make an informed decision, we’ve crafted a comprehensive guide that delves into the key Alaskan Malamute vs Siberian Husky differences. From their physical attributes and temperaments to their unique care requirements, we aim to provide you with a clearer understanding of what sets these two breeds apart.

Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be better equipped to determine which of these magnificent canines is the best fit for your lifestyle and preferences, ensuring a pleasant and rewarding bond with your new furry companion.

So, let’s give you some insights comparing the Malamute vs Husky, and discover which breed resonates with you the most!

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Malamute vs Husky Differences

This table shows the essentials of Malamute vs Husky differences.

Alaskan MalamuteSiberian Husky
LegacyAlaska-Yukon Gold RushGreat Race of Mercy 1925
Size/Weight22 to 26 inches tall / 75 to 100 lbs20 to 23½ inches tall / 35 to 60 lbs
BuildHeavier and muscular, wider and robust chest, straight and leveled toplineStreamlined body, curved topline
Coat/GroomingThicker, coarser double-layered coat, sheds more heavily, requires regular groomingThick, double-layered coat, softer and fluffier, sheds less, requires more frequent grooming
TemperamentReserved and independent, loyalEnergetic and playful, outgoing and social
ExerciseRequires exercise but not as much as SibesRequires plenty of exercise
AgilityStronger and best suited for hauling heavy loadsFaster and better suited for running long distances with light load
TrainingHighly intelligent, obedient, and eager to pleaseIntelligent, stubborn, and independent in nature

Origin & History

Huskies and Malamutes both have a rich story that’ll shed light on why each are so unique and special.

Malamutes

Alaskan Malamutes are an ancient breed that has been around for thousands of years. Malamutes were bred by the Mahlemut Inuit people of western Alaska to help with hunting and transportation in the harsh Arctic conditions.

They were introduced during the gold rush in the late 19th century where they were utilized for pulling sleds in Alaska and the Yukon.

Huskies

Siberian Huskies originated from the northeastern region of Siberia, where they were used for sled pulling and transportation. In the early 20th century, Huskies were introduced to North America where they quickly gained popularity and later became family pets.

Further reading: How much weight can a husky pull?

Fun fact:

A husky named Togo played an important role in the “Great Race of Mercy” in 1925, where they transported life-saving serum to the town of Nome, Alaska during the diphtheria outbreak.

Malamute vs Husky Appearance

The appearance of Huskies and Malamutes is a key factor in their popularity as companion animals, as they’re both beautiful breeds with unique physical characteristics.

Alaskan Malamute Appearance
This is what an Alaskan Malamute looks like! Image from @ejlish
Siberian Husky Appearance
This is what a Siberian Husky looks like! Image from @huskychai

Physical Differences

Huskies tend to be smaller and more slender, with a narrower head, a striped forehead, and pointed ears. Also, they have a variety of colors and patterns, including black, white, gray, and red.

In contrast, Malamutes are larger and more muscular, with a broader head and more rounded ears, and sport curlier tails. They have a thick, wooly coat that can come in shades of gray, black, and sable.

Malamute vs Husky Size

Alaskan Malamutes are 22 to 26 inches tall and weigh 75 to 100 lbs.

Siberian Huskies are 20 to 23½ inches tall and weigh 35 to 60 lbs.

Malamute Ears vs Husky Ears

Alaskan Malamute ears are medium-sized, set wide apart on the head, and triangular in shape. They are slightly rounded at the tips and stand erect when the dog is alert. The ears are thick, and well-furred for protection against the cold, and the inner edge of the ear lines up with the outer corner of the eye when viewed from the side.

Siberian Husky ears, on the other hand, are also medium-sized and triangular, but they are set closer together on the head than those of the Alaskan Malamute. They are high-set and fully erect, with pointed tips that give a more alert and attentive appearance. The Husky’s ears are also well-furred, but they are generally less rounded and more angular than those of the Malamute.

Malamute Tail vs Husky Tail

The tail of an Alaskan Malamute is fluffy, and when the dog is calm or excited, it holds its tail like a proud flag waving over its back. The tail starts from the end of the dog’s back and doesn’t hang down too low. The Malamute’s tail doesn’t curve to the side or lay flat against its back.

The Siberian Husky’s tail is also very fluffy. When the dog is alert, it holds its tail up, curving it like a graceful banana over its back. When the dog is relaxed or running, it lets its tail straighten out. Unlike the Malamute, the Husky’s tail can lay flat against its back, but it also doesn’t hang down too low.

Both breeds use their tails to cover their noses for warmth in cold weather. But the way they carry their tails can help you tell the difference between the two breeds.

Malamute vs Husky Personality & Temperament

A canine’s temperament and personality are important factors to consider when choosing a pet. 

Let’s see how the Malamute v s Husky personality and temperament compare.

Malamutes

Malamutes are known for their loyal, friendly, and affectionate personalities. They love spending time with their family and can be quite protective of their loved ones.

Additionally, Malamutes are independent and stubborn, and training is a bit challenging. But with proper discipline, they can be well-behaved and obedient.

They’re less vocal than huskies but can be just as playful.

Alaskan Malamute Personality
Alaskan Malamutes like hanging out with family! 😍 Image from @havelwoelfe

Huskies

Siberian Husky Personality
Siberian Huskies are playful and active! Image from @husky_yeti

Huskies are playful and outgoing. They love families and huskies can be quite vocal, often “talking” to their owners.

Huskies are known for being highly energetic and friendly, often displaying an infectious enthusiasm for life. They’re intelligent and independent as well, which makes them a bit challenging to train especially for novice owners.

Remember too that Huskies need the necessary physical exercise and mental stimulation. They’re quite loyal to their families and have a strong sense of pack mentality. 

Both breeds have a strong prey drive and should be supervised around small animals.

Malamute vs Husky Cost

The cost of buying a Malamute puppy vs Husky puppy from a reputable breeder can vary widely, depending on factors such as the breeder’s location, the pedigree of the puppy’s parents, and supply and demand at the time of purchase.

Alaskan Malamutes tend to be more expensive than Siberian Huskies. However, you can still find both dog breeds within the same price range.

The price range to buy an Alaskan Malamute or Siberian Husky from a reputable breeder is $700 to $3,000 USD.

Remember, these are just the upfront costs. Dogs, especially breeds like Malamutes and Huskies, can have significant ongoing costs for things like food, grooming, veterinary care, and supplies.

You could also consider adoption as an alternative to buying a puppy. There are many wonderful Malamutes and Huskies in shelters or breed-specific rescue organizations who are looking for a loving home.

We recommend contacting breeders or adoption agencies in your area for the most current and accurate pricing.

Further reading:

Suitability and Lifestyle

Suitability and lifestyle are important factors to consider when choosing a dog breed. When it comes to families with children, both Huskies and Malamutes are great with kids.

However, Huskies tend to have a more playful and energetic personality, while Malamutes are generally more calm and reserved.

For apartment living, neither breed is well-suited due to their high energy and exercise needs. Given enough space and time for exercising, they can adapt to apartment living, but this isn’t guaranteed.

In terms of energy levels, Huskies require more exercise and mental stimulation, while Malamutes are content with moderate exercise.

For first-time dog owners, Malamutes are considered easier to train and handle due to their calmer personalities. However, both breeds require consistent training.

Pros and Cons

Below you’ll find the gist about owning either a Husky or a Malamute (or both!).

Siberian Huskies

The pros of owning a Siberian Husky include:

  • Friendly
  • Lively and energetic
  • Independent
  • They often take care of themselves
  • Tidy and don’t stink
  • Likable

The cons of owning a Siberian Husky include:

  • Great escape artist
  • Wolfish attitude
  • Unyielding character
  • Heavy shedder
  • Loud howler
  • Digger
  • Poor watchdog

Alaskan Malamutes

The pros of owning an Alaskan Malamute include:

  • Intelligent
  • Loyal
  • Protective
  • Has a pack mentality
  • Playful

The cons of owning an Alaskan Malamute include:

  • Hard to train
  • Ability to overpower
  • High maintenance
  • Health issues

Malamute vs Husky vs Samoyed

Samoyeds, Alaskan Malamutes, and Siberian Huskies are all Nordic breeds known for their cold-weather resilience, sled-pulling capabilities, and striking appearances. However, there are several key differences among them.

Samoyeds are recognized for their lush, all-white coats, giving them a stunning, snow-like appearance. Their fur is longer, and denser compared to Malamutes and Huskies.

Samoyeds are also known for their signature “Samoyed smile,” a slightly upturned corner of their mouth that gives them a friendly and welcoming expression.

In terms of size, Samoyeds are typically somewhere between the larger Alaskan Malamutes and the smaller Siberian Huskies. Adult Samoyeds usually weigh between 35-65 pounds, with males being larger.

Malamute vs Husky vs Samoyed
Malamutes and Huskies are not to be mistaken for Samoyeds. Although they are very cute! 😍 Image from @calathesammy

When comparing the Samoyed vs Husky, both have ears that are relatively close-set and erect, but they are slightly larger and more rounded at the tips. Their tails are covered with long hair and are carried curled over the back, similar to both Malamutes and Huskies.

Samoyeds are usually quite friendly, gentle, and less “wolf-like” in their behavior compared to the other two breeds. They are known to be good with children and other animals, making them excellent family pets.

Other comparisons include:

Malamute vs Husky: Which Will You Choose?

While both breeds share many similarities, considerable differences exist between them that can affect their suitability as pets. They’re equally energetic, intelligent, and have a strong prey drive.

However, Huskies tend to be more independent and vocal, while Malamutes are more loyal and quiet. Additionally, Mals are larger and heavier than Sibes, making them better suited for colder and more demanding work.

Ultimately, the decision between a Husky and Malamute may be based on careful consideration of the individual dog’s temperament, activity level, and living environment.

So, which breed will you choose?

If you can’t make up your mind, why not consider getting a Malamute Husky Mix aka Alusky?

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Author
Max Jacobs
Max Jacobs is the owner and lead author of Husky Gifts. He loves spending time with his family, who have two huskies. Max loves to write and is passionate about creating interesting and engaging content. To learn more, visit the team section of the about page.

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