Differences Between Alaskan Malamute and Siberian Husky

The Alaskan malamute and the Siberian husky, although very similar, are not the same breed! In fact, there are notable differences between them, both physically and in character. Don't know how to tell the difference between these two breeds of dogs? We teach you!

What's the Difference Between an Alaskan Malamute and a Husky

Siberian Husky vs Alaskan Malamute, two different breeds

It is not unusual for people to confuse these two Nordic dog breeds. It is even common that many do not even know that there is a dog called Alaskan malamute, they take for granted that they are all Siberian huskies. But no!

The Alaskan malamute and the Siberian husky are not the same, and despite being very similar at first glance, there are quite a few things that differentiate them.


The first difference between Alaskan Malamute and Siberian Husky is something as important as the origin. They don't even come from the same place!

Alaskan Malamute

Differences Between Alaskan Malamute and Siberian Husky

As its name suggests, the Alaskan Malamute comes from Alaska, specifically from the western area. Are you familiar with the Inuit? This tribe was in charge of breeding the malamute breed during the 19th century. In fact, it was highly appreciated: the Alaskan Malamute was indispensable in the daily life of the Inuit tribe: it was a strong, intelligent and obedient dog, widely used to pull sleds and to transport to other more populated areas.

Subsequently, with the emergence of the so-called gold rush, the Alaskan Malamute began to spread throughout the United States, in order to be used to search for this precious metal.

Siberian Husky

Siberian Huskies

It is not known exactly when the Siberian Husky breed arose, but it is known to be very, very old! In prehistoric times, one of the many tribes that lived together in cold Siberia were the Chukchi. Each of the tribes took it upon themselves to raising a breed of dog, with the Siberian Husky being the one that the Chukchi bred.

These dogs were very good at traveling long distances, so they were used for transporting goods to camp and for trading, but they didn't carry as much weight as the Alaskan Malamute! A big difference between Alaskan Malamute and Siberian Husky is their capacity: they are different, while the Malamute could carry a lot of weight but could travel a shorter distance, the Siberian Husky could carry lighter loads but could travel much longer distances.

Beyond its everyday usefulness, the Siberian Husky was more integrated into the family. The Chukchi's trust in the husky was such that they slept next to these dogs to keep warm, including the children!

Physical differences between Alaskan Malamute and Siberian Husky

The size and weight of the Alaskan Malamute and the Siberian Husky are different. The Malamute is noticeably larger.

  • Alaskan Malamute: between 29.5 and 34.5 inches in height, 75 and 85 lb in weight.
  • Siberian Husky: between 26.5 and 31 inches in height, 35 and 65 lb in weight.

While the Malamute's movements are very forceful and powerful, the Siberian Husky moves in a more fluid, light and elegant way.

The head is also a clear difference between the Alaskan Malamute and the Siberian Husky. Although the faces are similar, the Malamute's head is noticeably larger in relation to its body, while the Husky's is more balanced and thinner. The ears, moreover, are longer in the Siberian Husky. The eyes can also be different: a Siberian Husky can have brown, blue or heterochromic eyes (one of each); on the other hand, the Alaskan Malamute's eyes are always brown.

The coat of the Alaskan Malamute and the Siberian Husky have similarities and differences. Both coats can be of the same colors and are composed of double coats, but not everything is the same! The Malamute has coarser and longer hair than the Siberian Husky.

Character differences between Alaskan malamute and Siberian Husky

The Alaskan Malamute, although very obedient, affectionate, loyal and familiar, is not a one-owner dog. It is capable of getting attached to many different people and is friendly with everyone.

The Siberian Husky, on the other hand, is somewhat different. It is by no means a distrustful or guard dog, nor is it aggressive. But it is true that, although he is generally friendly, he can be somewhat more distant with strangers, being more protective of his family than an Alaskan Malamute would be.

We could say that, if the Siberian Husky is affectionate and sweet, the Alaskan Malamute is even more so. In any case, both are docile, intelligent and very friendly dogs. They are also quite active and love to feel useful and mentally stimulated. They are ideal dogs for sports such as agility and intelligence games.

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