Both breeds have their good points and their bad points and before you commit to bringing one into your life you need to be aware of both.
Both do better with exercise. Huskies really need exercise. We’ve owned four and all of them lived to run. Our malamute on the other hand like to walk, but I never saw the pure joy on his face that I’ve seen on our huskies’ faces when they broke into a run. He, however, was, like Kiska in Dusty Deals, a bit of a piggy. So, husky or malamute, plan on walking them regularly, or better yet, especially with a husky, jogging or rollerblading or doing something that gives them a chance to really stretch out and cover some ground.
They shed. No, really, they shed. Wait… better way to put that.. they explode like a gutted teddy bear. (Probably gutted by a joy-filled husky.) The good news is that for the most part this explosion (aka blowing of their coat) only happens two times a year: spring and fall. But still… there’s fur. Lots and lots of fur. And odds are good they will not be fans of being groomed. Of course, you can get around that by being a dedicated owner who wields a spoon filled with peanut butter along with the brush, but still tolerance is probably the best you can hope for.
They dig and not little I’m-bored-I’ll-paw-at-the-ground holes. No, big old I-better-build-a-den-because-you-never-know-when-winter-might-hit holes.Huskies hunt. And they catch. And… well, it won’t be pretty for any small furry creature who makes the mistake of having babies in your yard.
Huskies climb. Which when you combine it with the digging and the LOVE for running makes them a major flight risk. You need to know your dog and create a containment system that keeps him in your yard. Underground fencing isn’t recommended for any of the Northern breeds, all of which are known for being stubborn/complete butt-heads .
Both huskies and malamutes are big, but malamutes are really big. Ours weighed about the same as I did. And they are strong. And they are stubborn. (I already mentioned that, didn’t I? But it bears repeating.) They are trainable, but eh… you know… just because you call them doesn’t really mean they need to come. I mean things are going on other places. Things they need to be doing… or not.. maybe it’s just too much trouble to stand up and walk to the door. So, if you want one of those dogs that snaps to attention when you call his name or that will amaze your neighbors with what a fabulous dog trainer you are… huskies and malamutes are probably not the breeds for you.
So, OMG, why would you want one?
Because they are fabulous, of course! Least important to me, but they are striking. People notice when you are walking a husky or a malamute.
And they are loving.
They talk! Sometimes too much. No one can bitch you out like a husky or a malamute.
And they love life. Seriously, no dog has inside them the joy these dogs do and because of that, you can’t live with one without taking a bit of that joy for yourself.
So, if you can handle the fur, are willing to give them exercise and are committed to keeping them contained, you cannot make a better choice for a companion than a husky or a malamute.