Malamute vs Husky…What’s the Difference?

Smiling Brown Husky

To the untrained eye the Malamute and Siberian Husky may look the same, but to those who breed these wonderful pups or are pet parents to either pooch they will be quick to correct you. So before you mix-up the Malamute and Siberian Husky again (and possibly find yourself in a heated debate with a cranky pet owner) we are here to settle the question once-and-for-all.  Plus, you can use all this wealth of information to impress those dog-loving girls or guys.  We don’t mind…really

Origins and Adaptability Differences

The Malamute and Siberian Husky were both used for their skills when it came to transporting people and goods across the rugged rough terrain and also their ability to withstand physically harsh conditions such as ice, snow, sleet and frigid temperatures.  Although this duo does share similar backgrounds the Malamute and Siberian Husky were used in different locations and were expected to have specific qualities.

 MalamuteSiberian Husky
OriginAlaska by the Inuit people with a nomadic lifestyle. Name originated from the Inuit word, Mahlemuts Siberia by the Chukchi people with a semi-nomadic lifestyle.
AdaptabilityPull heavy sleds with people and supplies around Arctic region and to hunt seals. (Like a Clydesdale horse)Pull lighter sleds longer distances when expanding their hunting grounds. (Like a racehorse).

Appearance Differences

The Malamute and Siberian Husky are both noble and beautiful in appearance, but when it comes right down to the “doggy-details” there is quite the difference.

 MalamuteSiberian Husky
Size23 to 25 inches at the shoulder (58.4 to 63.5 centimeters). Tends to be a heavier and denser-boned.20 to 23.5 inches at the shoulder (50.8 to 59.6 centimeters). Tends to be lighter with smaller bones.
Weight75 to 85 pounds (34 to 38.5 kilograms). Muscular male could hit 100 pounds (45.3 kilograms).35 to 60 pounds (15.8 to 27.2 kilograms).
EyesBrown, almond shaped and of medium size. NEVER blue!Brown, blue, green, 1 brown and 1 blue or multi color (more than one color). Eyes set closer together on head.
HeadBigger and broad with wide, medium sized, triangular ears (rounded on ends) that stand erect on head.Smaller more angular with closely set triangular ears that stand erect on head.
TailVery furred and plume like (drapes in a soft curve) which lies over the back.Bushy and carried in a sickle shape (over the back in a slight curve) when on alert and dropped low when relaxed.
CoatDouble coat with the layer closest to skin being around 2 inches thick. The outer coat is coarse and stands off the body, but is longer on the tail.Thick dense undercoat (close to skin) with longer topcoat of short straight 'guard' hairs (outer hair).
ColorShades of gray and white, sable and white, black and white, seal and white, red and white, or solid white. Markings on face and a bit at the nape of the neck. Can also have a dark grey to buff colored undertone around their white areas or 'agouti' (each hair displays alternating bands of dark and light). Variety of colors and patterns; black and white, less common copper red and white, grey and white, pure white, and the rare 'agouti' coat. White on paws, legs and facial markings.

Personality Trait Differences

The Malamute and Husky have some very different personality traits which makes them both unique and the perfect dog for those that love them.

 MalamuteSiberian Husky
Problem SolvingCalculatingSneaky
People SkillsLoves people/children and wants to be around you and other dogs.Aloof and can be without you, but likes children.
EnergyTypically low to medium - may dig under a fence if bored. Not as much exercise is needed.Typically high energy - will jump the fence because it can! NEEDS daily exercise!n

Cool Facts

We couldn’t finish off a comparison list of the Malamute and Siberian Husky without comparing some of the cooler facts about both breeds.

MalamutesSiberian Huskies
Can survive in climates below negative 70 degrees Fahrenheit.A group of Siberian Huskies save Nome Alaska by transporting lifesaving serum for a Diphtheria outbreak.
Chubaka (Star Wars) was inspired by a Malamute.Their howl can be heard up to 10 miles away (16 kilometers).
George Lucas' Malamute (Indiana) lent his name to the character of 'Indiana Jones'.Brought to America in 1909.
Their black nose designed to prevent sunburn from the glare of the ice and snow.Thrives in cold weather (negative 50 or 60 degrees Fahrenheit) and loves to pull sleds.
Too affectionate to make a good watch or guard dog.Can race for hours while preserving their energy stores.

Now that we have explored the differences between the Malamute and Siberian Husky you can be sure to never confuse the two again.  This will not only make you popular among those individual breed-lovers, but will also be impressive to all those that care to debate the topic.

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