Malamute Vs Husky: What’s the Difference?

Huskies and Malamutes are both breeds of dogs that belong to the Spitz family, known for their thick, fluffy coats and pointed ears. These breeds are often confused with each other due to their similarities, but there are distinct differences between the two. Here’s the Malamute vs Husky run down.

Alaskan Malamute

The Alaskan Malamute is a large, powerful dog that was originally bred for hauling heavy loads over long distances. They were used by the Mahlemut tribe in Alaska to pull sleds and hunt large game.

Malamutes are known for their strength and endurance, and can weigh up to 85 pounds. They have a thick, double coat that is typically gray and white, with a fluffy tail that curls over their back.

The powerful Malamute dog can weight up to 85 lbs.

Siberian Husky

The Siberian Husky, on the other hand, is a smaller, more agile breed that was originally used by the Chukchi people of Siberia to pull sleds over long distances in harsh, snowy conditions.

These dogs are known for their speed and endurance, and can weigh up to 60 pounds. They have a thick, double coat that can be a variety of colors, including black and white, gray and white, and red and white. Their tail is also fluffy, but it hangs down rather than curls over their back.

Huskies are known for their speed and endurance and will often be found pulling snow sleds.

Malamute Vs Husky: The Differences

Husky Vs Malamute Size

One of the most noticeable differences between the two breeds is their size and build. Malamutes are larger and more heavily built, with a more powerful and muscular appearance. They have a broad chest, thick legs, and a wide head with a strong jaw.

Huskies are smaller and more slender, with a leaner and more athletic build. They have a narrower chest, thinner legs, and a narrower head with a more pointed muzzle.


Malamutes are known for being friendly, loyal, and affectionate with their families, but can be independent and stubborn at times. They need a strong and assertive leader to keep them in line and provide them with enough exercise and mental stimulation.

Huskies are also friendly and loyal, but they are known for being more energetic and playful. They are also more independent and can be more challenging to train.

Energy Differences

Malamutes require a lot of exercise, and they do best with a large fenced yard or access to a park where they can run and play. They also enjoy activities such as hiking, biking, and swimming.

Huskies also have a lot of energy, but they are not as demanding as Malamutes. They are happy with a daily walk or run, but they also enjoy activities such as agility training and sledding.

Eye Color

Huskies typically have blue eyes, while malamutes can have brown eyes. However, some huskies can have one blue eye and one brown eye, a condition known as “heterochromia.” And some malamutes can have one or both eyes blue.


Both breeds have a thick, double coat that requires regular grooming to keep it in good condition. Malamutes have a coarser and thicker coat than Huskies, which may require more grooming to keep it in good condition. Both breeds also shed heavily, so it’s important to brush them regularly to remove loose hair.

Similarities and Differences Between Huskies & Malamutes

Huskies and Malamutes are similar in many ways, but they are also very different.

Malamutes are larger, more heavily built, and more independent, while Huskies are smaller, more slender, and more playful.

Both breeds require a lot of exercise and grooming, but Malamutes require more than Huskies.

If you’re considering getting either one of these breeds, it’s important to consider your lifestyle, energy level, and experience with training large, energetic dogs before making a decision.

Snow Mountain Ranch in Colorado is one of our favorite places to dog sled. Photo courtesy Snow Mountain Ranch.

Dog Sledding

Huskies are more commonly used in dog sledding than malamutes. This is because huskies have been specifically bred for endurance and speed, making them well-suited for long-distance sledding. Malamutes, on the other hand, were bred for heavy freighting and have a more powerful build, making them better suited for hauling heavy loads over shorter distances. Both breeds are used in dog sledding, but huskies are the more traditional choice for racing and long-distance treks.

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