Can you really tell the difference between a malamute and a husky just by looking?

September 10, 2012 | Rae Davies, Q & A | 5 comments

Have you missed all of Lucy’s rants about this? Emoticon Winking Smile

Yes, seriously, you can. In fact once you are familiar with both breeds it takes only a glance to know which breed you are looking at.

Alaskan malamutes in general are larger than Siberian huskies.

Alaskan malamutes always have brown eyes. Siberian huskies may have brown, blue, one of each or even eyes that are a mix. (Yes spots of blue in a brown eye, etc.)

Alaskan malamute

Alaskan malamute

Alaskan malamutes were bred for hauling loads over long distances. Because of that they are stockier. Siberian huskies are smaller and more agile, bred for speed.

Alaskan malamutes’ ears set more on the side of their heads. Siberian husky ears set on the top of their heads.

Alaskan malamutes’ tails are like plumes that they carry up and over their backs – like a flag. Siberian huskies have a curlier tail that for the most part stays closer to their body.

Almost all Alaskan malamutes have some variation of the traditional monks’ cap type markings that most people associate with both malamutes and huskies. (There is a pure white, but even it most often has some bit of a “mask” visible,” and it is not a common color for a malamute.)  Siberian huskies can also have these traditional markings, or they can be all white, or even piebald. (We have owned two piebalds and our current husky is all white.) All white is very common with huskies.

Which is better? Well, I’m a fan of both.

Despereaux, Siberian husky

Despereaux, Siberian husky

Both are horrible watch dogs. With the malamute I’m going to say it’s because getting up and chasing someone off would just be too much effort. With a Siberian husky it’s because everyone is a friend! Yay!! Come play!

Both are good jogging partners, although my preference for that (based on my experience) would be a malamute.  My malamute was a pacer who didn’t veer off the course, at least as long as I was moving forward, because we were WALKING. It was like a mission for him. My huskies have all been wanderers. “She isn’t watching. Yay! Let’s check out that hole.” “Oooo, what was that smell?”

Huskies are an escape risk. Not only do they love to run, just for the sake of running, but they are escape artists. If I was in a situation where I couldn’t have a  100% Fort Knox level secure yard, I’d go with the malamute. A malamute might wander off, but then again, it might not. All depends on its mood. A husky won’t wander off — it will RUN, RUN, RUN off. (If not properly fenced in, etc.)

Of course, as I said before malamutes are bigger and they can be a lot bigger than a husky. If you have small children who you worry will get knocked down, etc. a husky might be a better fit.

For more information on Alaskan malamutes, check out this link.
For more information on Siberian huskies, click here.

Click here to see some fun malamute and husky products at Amazon.


  1. Cheryl

    I have a husky myself and my neighbor has a malamute and I was just wandering

  2. Claudette brown

    I have 2 female husky malamute mother and daughter love them both very much. I could not ask for a better dog. My husband and I are breeds not big breeder. We breed more for fun and seeing family’s that love for the breed husky malamute like use.

  3. bloggyblog

    I don’t care! Both are extremely cute and wonderful

  4. bloggyblog

    I have no idea what you just said, but is breeding dogs fun?

  5. bloggyblog

    y is there a smiley face at the left bottom corner?