Alaskan Malamute vs. Siberian Husky

What's the Difference?

The Alaskan Malamute and Siberian Husky are both beautiful and powerful sled dog breeds, but they have distinct differences. The Alaskan Malamute is larger and heavier, with a strong and sturdy build, while the Siberian Husky is smaller and more agile. In terms of appearance, the Malamute has a thicker coat and a broader head, while the Husky has a sleeker coat and a more fox-like face. Temperament-wise, Malamutes are known for their friendly and affectionate nature, while Huskies are more independent and mischievous. Both breeds are highly energetic and require plenty of exercise, but the Husky tends to have a higher prey drive and may be more prone to escaping. Overall, both breeds make excellent companions for active individuals or families, but their distinct characteristics should be considered when choosing the right fit for your lifestyle.


Alaskan Malamute
Photo by Monika Stawowy on Unsplash
AttributeAlaskan MalamuteSiberian Husky
OriginAlaska, United StatesSiberia, Russia
Weight75-100 pounds35-60 pounds
CoatThick, double coatThick, double coat
ColorVarious colors including gray, black, and whiteVarious colors including black, white, and gray
TemperamentFriendly, affectionate, and loyalFriendly, outgoing, and mischievous
Exercise NeedsHighHigh
TrainabilityIntelligent but independentIntelligent but independent
Life Expectancy10-14 years12-15 years
Siberian Husky
Photo by Reba Spike on Unsplash

Further Detail


When it comes to choosing a dog breed, there are numerous factors to consider, including size, temperament, exercise needs, and more. Two popular breeds that often come up in discussions are the Alaskan Malamute and the Siberian Husky. While both breeds share some similarities, they also have distinct differences that make them unique. In this article, we will explore the attributes of these two magnificent breeds, highlighting their physical characteristics, temperament, exercise requirements, and grooming needs.

Physical Characteristics

Both the Alaskan Malamute and the Siberian Husky are large, powerful dogs with striking appearances. However, there are notable differences in their physical characteristics. The Alaskan Malamute is generally larger and heavier than the Siberian Husky. They have a strong, sturdy build with a broad head, erect ears, and a thick, plumed tail that curls over their back. On the other hand, Siberian Huskies have a more athletic and leaner build. They have a fox-like face, almond-shaped eyes, and a bushy tail that is carried in a sickle shape.


When it comes to temperament, both breeds share some similarities, but there are also distinct differences. Alaskan Malamutes are known for their friendly and affectionate nature. They are generally good-natured, gentle, and sociable dogs. They are often described as being loyal and devoted to their families. Siberian Huskies, on the other hand, have a more independent and mischievous temperament. They are known for their intelligence and can be quite stubborn at times. Huskies are also known for their friendly and outgoing nature, but they may not be as affectionate as Alaskan Malamutes.

Exercise Requirements

Both the Alaskan Malamute and the Siberian Husky are active breeds that require regular exercise to stay happy and healthy. However, the Siberian Husky has higher energy levels and a stronger drive to run and explore. They were originally bred as sled dogs and have a natural instinct to pull. Huskies thrive in colder climates and enjoy activities such as sledding, skijoring, and canicross. Alaskan Malamutes, while still requiring regular exercise, have a slightly lower energy level compared to Huskies. They are better suited for activities like hiking, backpacking, and long walks. It is important to note that both breeds need a securely fenced yard as they have a tendency to wander if not properly contained.

Grooming Needs

When it comes to grooming, both breeds have thick double coats that require regular maintenance. However, there are differences in their grooming needs. Alaskan Malamutes have a dense, coarse coat that sheds heavily twice a year. During shedding season, also known as "blowing coat," they require more frequent brushing to remove loose hair and prevent matting. Siberian Huskies have a similar double coat, but they shed more evenly throughout the year. They also have a self-cleaning coat that repels dirt, making them relatively low-maintenance in terms of bathing. Regular brushing is still necessary to keep their coat healthy and to minimize shedding.


While both the Alaskan Malamute and the Siberian Husky are magnificent breeds with their own unique attributes, it is important to consider your lifestyle, preferences, and the specific needs of each breed before making a decision. If you are looking for a larger, more affectionate dog with a lower energy level, the Alaskan Malamute might be the right choice for you. On the other hand, if you are an active individual who enjoys outdoor activities and can provide the necessary exercise and mental stimulation, the Siberian Husky could be a great fit. Ultimately, both breeds make wonderful companions for the right owner, and with proper care, training, and socialization, they can bring joy and happiness to any household.

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