Alaskan Malamute Vs Siberian & Alaskan Husky: How To Tell Them Apart

Husky Brown Coat Blue Eyes

How to tell the Alaskan Malamute, Siberian Husky, and Alaskan Husky Apart

Some types of dogs look very similar to others and can be hard to tell apart. The Alaskan husky, Alaskan Malamute and Siberian husky are classic examples of dogs that get mixed up easily. Although these three dogs look and behave somewhat similar, there are a lot of differences too. Read on to learn more about the differences between the Alaskan Malamute, Siberian husky, and the Alaskan husky. 

Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamute Grass

The Alaskan Malamute is the official mascot for the state of Alaska. The Alaskan Malamute dog breed was named after the Inuit tribe called the Mahlemuts. Alaskan Malamutes are one of the oldest of the northern sled dogs. The Mahlemuts used these dogs for centuries to hunt seals and pull heavy sleds carrying supplies and people through the Arctic. 

Alaskan Malamute Sled

What do Alaskan Malamute’s Look Like? 

Surprisingly, not much has changed in the look of the Alaskan Malamute in the last 4,000 years. The Malamute’s ears sit far apart on his broad set head. His eyes are brown, and his bushy tail hangs up and over his back. 

How Big is an Alaskan Malamute? 

The Alaskan Malamute is a large dog. Malamutes are typically 23 to 25 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh anywhere from 75 to 85 pounds. Muscular male Malamutes can even weigh as much as 100 pounds! The Alaskan Malamute is larger than the Siberian husky, which is typically 20 to 24 inches in height and between 35 and 60 pounds.

Alaskan Malamute Behavior

The Alaskan Malamute has a high prey drive and loves to run off. He is too large to jump over most fences, but will dig with powerful paws to burrow under fences and runoff; therefore, the Malamute should always be on a leash. 

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Malamutes show aggression towards other dogs of the same gender but are extremely loving with their human companions. Alaskan Malamutes are confident, super smart, and can be very stubborn. 

Siberian Husky

Husky Brown

The Chukchi people in Siberia used the original Siberian huskies to pull light loads at moderate speeds over great distances. Siberian huskies were bred for their ability to endure frigid temperatures and preserve energy.

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Siberian Husky Versus Alaskan Malamute

The first Siberian Huskies were bred to race. They were introduced to Alaska in 1909. One of the most significant differences between the Siberian husky and the Alaskan Malamute is their size. The Siberian husky has a smaller build that makes them excellent racers. The Siberian husky has smaller bones than the Malamute. The Siberian’s head is smaller. His ears and eyes sit much closer together. 

Husky One Brown Eye One Blue Eye

Another difference is the appearance of the Siberian husky’s eyes. Unlike the Malamute, the Siberian husky can have brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes, or one brown eye and one blue eye. The Siberian’s bushy tail is a little different too. The tail hangs in a sickle shape when he is on high alert. It drops lower when he relaxes. Siberian huskies are pack animals and get along well with other dogs and people. 

Siberian Husky Two Tone Eyes

The Siberian is highly intelligent, confident, and stubborn like the Malamute. The Siberian is much more independent, however, and is a great escape artist. Like the Malamute, the Siberian Husky can sneakily dig himself out from under a fence. However, unlike the more massive Malamute, the Siberian husky can also jump over or squeeze through a small hole in the fence. Siberian huskies have a strong prey drive and, like Malamutes, will run off after small animals if they are left off-leash. 

PetSafe Invisible Fence is a great way to let your dog from escaping. Available on Amazon here.

What is an Alaskan Husky?

Alaskan Husky Sleepy Sled Dog

Both the Alaskan Malamute and the Siberian husky are classified as official dog breeds. The Alaskan husky, on the other hand, is not recognized by any kennel club as an actual dog breed. Instead, this dog is a type of husky. In contrast, both the Alaskan Malamute and the Siberian husky are purebreds. These dogs are recognized by the American Kennel Club as official breeds. 

The Alaskan husky is a sled dog. It is bred to work, not for its appearance. Early Alaskan husky breeders only cared about producing dogs that could pull their weight no matter how they looked. For this reason, the modern Alaskan husky comes in a variety of appearances. 

Inuit people and mushers bred Alaskan huskies with other dogs throughout various villages for hundreds of years. There were no standards for breeding practices. The Inuits bred Alaskan huskies to be strong, intelligent, and to pull heavy loads quickly. 

How Big is an Alaskan Husky?

The Alaskan husky is usually taller than the Siberian husky, but smaller than an Alaskan Malamute, although his height can vary widely. Alaskan huskies can weigh anywhere from 35 to 50 pounds. This dogs is typically faster than both a Malamute and a Siberian husky. 

Husky on Hill

Does the Alaskan Husky Look Like a Wolf? 

Some Alaskan huskies look like a cross between a Siberian husky and a Malamute, but many look more like a wolf. The Alaskan husky’s coat is usually short to medium in length. This dog has a lean body build with long legs and a deep chest. The tail curls up and over the back. The Alaskan husky usually has brown eyes and pointier ears than the Siberian or the Malamute. 

Husky lying down

Alaskan Husky Versus Siberian Husky Versus Alaskan Malamute

The Alaskan husky, Siberian husky, and Alaskan Malamute have some differences, as you can see. However, they also have a lot in common. All three are highly intelligent and bred for working. They are challenging to train and like to learn at their own pace, not yours because of their independent and stubborn nature. All three have a high prey drive, love to run, and can escape easily. For this reason, it is a smart idea to keep them on a leash. 

Sarah is not only a pet owner but loves animals of all shapes and sizes.

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