Malamute vs Husky: Difference and Comparison

Malamutes are larger and stronger, bred for heavy hauling and harsh climates, with a calm demeanor. Huskies are smaller and more agile, known for their endurance and friendly disposition, used in sled racing and as family pets. Both breeds share a strong work ethic and thrive in cold environments, but their specific roles and temperaments vary.

Key Takeaways

  1. Malamutes and huskies are breeds of domesticated dogs used for sledding and other outdoor activities.
  2. Malamutes are bigger and more muscular than huskies, with thicker coats and broader heads.
  3. Huskies are more agile, have thinner coats, and are used for racing.

Malamute vs Husky

The difference between Malamute and Husky is their behaviour. Malamutes prefer to live a content life with humans, whereas huskies like to hang out with other dogs and are more friendly. Husky has a healthier and prolonged lifespan than Malamute. Malamute is more enormous and heavier than a Husky. On the other hand, the husky is more volatile and active.

Malamute vs Husky

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Comparison Table

SizeLarger, more heavily builtSmaller, leaner build
WeightMale: 85 lbs, Female: 75 lbsMale: 60 lbs, Female: 50 lbs
Height23-25 inches at shoulder20-24 inches at shoulder
CoatThick double coat, longer furThick double coat, shorter fur
ColorTypically gray and white, black and white, or all whiteWide variety of colors and markings, including black and white, red and white, brown and white, agouti, sable, and others
EyesTypically brown, but can be blue or heterochromaticOften blue or brown, but can also be heterochromatic
TemperamentLoyal, independent, strong-willedEnergetic, friendly, playful
Activity LevelHigh, requires lots of exercise and stimulationVery high, requires even more exercise and mental stimulation
Training DifficultyMore challenging due to independent natureModerately challenging due to high energy and playfulness
Prey DriveHighVery high
Suitability for First-Time OwnersNot recommended due to size, strength, and independent natureNot recommended due to high energy and prey drive
Common Health ConcernsHip dysplasia, cataracts, bloatHip dysplasia, eye problems, hypothyroidism


What is Malamute?

The Alaskan Malamute is one of the oldest Arctic sled dogs, originating from the Inuit people of Alaska’s Norton Sound region. These majestic canines were bred for their strength and endurance, originally serving as hauling and transportation dogs in the harsh Arctic environment. Their name is derived from the Mahlemiut tribe, an Inuit group that settled in the Kotzebue Sound area of northwestern Alaska.

Physically, Malamutes are large and powerful dogs, with a sturdy build designed for pulling heavy loads over long distances. They stand between 23 and 25 inches tall at the shoulder and can weigh between 75 to 100 pounds or more. Their thick double coat provides insulation against the freezing temperatures of the Arctic, consisting of a dense undercoat and a coarse outer coat.

Malamutes are known for their friendly and affectionate nature, forming strong bonds with their human companions. Despite their imposing size, they possess a gentle temperament and are renowned for their patience and tolerance, especially with children. However, they also retain a strong independent streak, which can sometimes manifest as stubbornness, requiring firm yet gentle training and consistent leadership.

In addition to their historical role as sled dogs, Malamutes have also been employed in various other tasks, including hunting, search and rescue operations, and even serving as therapy dogs. While they thrive in cold climates and excel at outdoor activities, they require ample exercise and mental stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive behavior.

Due to their impressive appearance, loyal nature, and rich history, Alaskan Malamutes have gained popularity as both working dogs and beloved family pets, though potential owners should be prepared for the responsibilities of caring for such a large and energetic breed.


What is Husky?

The Siberian Husky is a medium-sized working dog breed that originated in northeastern Siberia. Bred by the Chukchi people, an indigenous group from the region, the Husky was developed as a sled dog to pull light loads over long distances through the harsh Arctic conditions. Their endurance, strength, and ability to withstand cold temperatures made them invaluable companions for transportation and survival in the Arctic environment.

Physically, Huskies are known for their distinctive appearance, characterized by their dense double coat, erect triangular ears, and striking facial masks. They have almond-shaped eyes, blue or brown, or a combination of both. Their coat comes in various colors, including black, gray, red, and white, with striking markings.

In terms of temperament, Huskies are renowned for their friendly and outgoing nature. They are known to be affectionate, gentle, and sociable, making them excellent family pets. However, they also possess an independent streak and can be quite stubborn, requiring consistent training and firm leadership. Due to their high intelligence and energy levels, Huskies thrive in environments where they receive ample mental and physical stimulation.

Historically, Huskies have been used for various purposes beyond sled pulling, including search and rescue missions, therapy work, and even as competitive sled racing dogs. Their adaptability, coupled with their striking appearance and friendly disposition, has contributed to their popularity as pets worldwide.

adult Siberian husky near gray Yeti cooler box

Main Differences Between Malamute and Husky

  • Size: Malamutes are larger and heavier than Huskies, with Malamutes weighing between 75 to 100+ pounds while Huskies range from 35 to 60 pounds.
  • Build: Malamutes have a more robust and muscular build, suited for heavy hauling and endurance tasks, whereas Huskies are leaner and more agile, optimized for speed and agility in sled racing.
  • Coat: Malamutes have a thicker, coarser coat designed to withstand extreme cold, while Huskies have a dense double coat but with a softer texture. Malamutes have a plume of fur on their tail and a distinct “mane” around their neck, while Huskies have a more uniform coat without these features.
  • Temperament: Malamutes tend to be more laid-back and calm, while Huskies are known for their energetic and outgoing personalities. Malamutes may exhibit a more independent streak, while Huskies are more sociable and affectionate.
  • Purpose: Malamutes were originally bred for heavy hauling and work in harsh climates, while Huskies were developed for sled pulling and transportation over long distances. Despite these differences, both breeds share a strong work ethic and excel in cold environments.
Difference Between Malamute and Husky
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