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Husky and Malamute 101

The Siberian Husky and the Alaskan Malamute breeds are not for everyone.  

We strongly recommend that you do your research on the breed before adopting one of these amazing dogs.  


What you need to know about the Siberian Husky:

  • Huskies are typically very high energy dogs; daily walks will make for a tired and good companion.  
  • Huskies can jump a 4' fence, some choose not to; some huskies can jump or climb a 6' fence.    
  • Huskies love to dig and may try to find friends in China if they get bored in your back yard.
  • Huskies were bred to run to the horizon and not look back, they should NEVER be let off leash if not in a fenced area.  
  • Huskies have a high prey drive for many small mammals.  This means rabbits, many times cats and even sometimes small dogs.  
  • Huskies thrive with a job to do and love to work, if not they will get bored and may choose to chew your shoes or couch. 
  • Huskies need routine, consistent meal times, play time and exercise. 
  • We strongly recommend a crate for your husky when you aren't home.  
  • Huskies shed.  A LOT.  Invest in a good vacuum. 
  • Huskies need their fur in the summer to protect them from the UV rays.  Do not shave them! 
  • Huskies don't like to be left alone for long periods of time, many times the companionship of a second dog can be helpful. 
  • Huskies typically love people, they don't usually make good watch dogs.  


What's the difference between Siberian Huskies and Alaskan Malamutes?

It’s more than just a size thing!


Alaskan Malamutes can carry heavy loads forever at slow speeds, think of a Clydesdale horse

Siberian Huskies can carry a light load at a moderate speed, more like a race horse

Alaskan Malamutes are built for strength and endurance; they have a powerful and substantial build.  

Siberian Huskies tend to be longer and leaner than the malamute.

101-2Alaskan Malamutes are bigger in size and weight. Males should be about 25” at the shoulder and average around 85 lbs. Females should be about 23” at the shoulder and average about 75 lbs. Alaskan Malamutes don’t have disqualifying ‘show’ sizes, but bigger is not necessarily better.

Siberian Huskies are smaller in size and weight. Males typically fall in that 45 – 60 lb. weight range and females should be 35 – 50 lbs. Males should not be over 23.5” and Females should be around 20” - 22”. Well-bred Siberians should seem small compared to Malamutes.

Alaskan Malamutes expressions are soft indicating an affectionate disposition.

Siberian Huskies tend to look mischievous and contemplative

Alaskan Malamutes always have brown eyes

Siberian Huskies can have blue, brown or mixed eye colors

101-1Alaskan Malamutes ear size is medium and set farther apart on the head. There should be room for a small party hat between the ears! Their ears seem small in proportion to the head and typically will have rounded tips. This gives the Malamute a relaxed or sleepy look.

Siberian Huskies ears are set closer together, about enough room for two fingers to point straight up. This gives them an alert and energetic expression.

Alaskan Malamutes have bigger rounder, bulkier heads, much like a bear.

Siberian Huskies have a leaner head, more like a fox

Alaskan Malamutes viewed from the side do not have a big step down to the muzzle; it’s a gentle straight line.

Siberian Huskies have a step down to their muzzle; this is called a ‘stop’.

Alaskan Malamutes have a thick, long coat. Their guard coat is coarse and the undercoat is thick.

Siberian Huskies tend to have a shorter coat than the Malamute, their coats tend to lie flatter and they have more variety of color and markings.

101-3Alaskan Malamutes have a waving plume for a tail is usually up.

Siberian Huskies tails will hang down or curl up.

Alaskan Malamutes will typically dig under the fence to escape

Siberian Huskies will jump over the fence or dig under just to run, they might even open the gate.

Alaskan Malamutes don’t typically like other dogs of the same gender

Siberian Huskies don’t tend to have social conflicts with other dogs and they generally enjoy being with other dogs.

Alaskan Malamutes are extremely people friendly, love children and want to be with their humans

Siberian Huskies can be more independent, they are typically comfortable when left alone, but happy when with their family.

Alaskan Malamutes are medium and low energy (typically)

Siberian Huskies are mostly high energy dogs.

“Alaskan Huskies”

As 101-5for "Alaskan huskies"....they are just mutts! They are typically a mix of Malamute, Siberian, and who knows what else...often they'll throw in a little greyhound, or lab or something else that's fast because they are bred primarily for speed and racing only. It doesn't matter WHAT they look like or that they can survive in the artic, it just matters that they can run and run fast...They are not a recognized "breed." 

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