Alaskan malamutes and Siberian huskies may look similar, but they are actually different breeds! There are some notable physical and character differences between them. Not sure how to tell the difference between these two breeds? We can help!
Siberian Husky vs Alaskan Malamute: two distinct dog breeds
There are many different types of dogs in the world, each with their own unique set of characteristics. Two of the most popular sled dogs are the Siberian Husky and the Alaskan Malamute. Although they are both used for sledding, there are some key differences between these two breeds.
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 most important difference between an Alaskan Malamute and a Siberian Husky is their origin. They come from different places!
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 valued: the Alaskan Malamute was an indispensable part of the Inuit tribe's daily life: it was a strong, intelligent, and obedient dog that was widely used to pull sleds and transport people to 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.
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 raise 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 the Alaskan Malamute and the Siberian Husky is their capacity. They are different. While the Malamute could carry a lot of weight but could only travel a short 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.
However, in general, Siberian Huskies are considered to be more intelligent than Malamutes and Alaskan Malamutes. This is likely due to the fact that Huskies were bred for working purposes, while Malamutes and Alaskan Malamutes were bred for hunting and pulling heavy loads. As a result, Huskies are typically more trainable and easier to handle than their larger cousins.