This is about a duel between Alaskan Malamute and Siberian Husky. It is easy to confuse the Alaskan Malamute and the Siberian Husky due to their similarities. However, both breeds differ in personality and temperament. Both the breeds are extremely friendly with people. Stay tuned to know every detail about the two dog breeds.
Alaskan Malamute is a domestic breed originally bred as a sled dog. These dogs have a prominent history of being with humans as hunting dogs or living alongside humans. They have remarkable hunting skills and were used to hunt large predators like bears. During the Klondike Gold Rush in 1896, these dogs became extremely valuable to landed prospectors and settlers and were often crossbred with imported breeds.
Alaskan Malamute is one of the oldest Arctic sled dogs. One tribe known as Malamutes settled in the northeastern area of the Seward Peninsula and it’s there that the Alaskan Malamute was developed.
Now, coming to the Siberian Husky. When you think of a Siberian Husky its proud demeanor comes to your mind. This breed belongs to the Spitz genetic family and is a working breed. These dogs originated in Northeast Asia and were bred by the Chukchi tribe for sled pulling, guarding, and companionship. They are often known as Chukcha, Husky, or Sibe.
Huskies are known as escape artists. They can jump fences, break chains, or slip out of collars to escape. They need high fenced yards with the fences dug deep into the ground so that the husky does not dig their way out.
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The Alaskan Malamute has a dense double coat. The outer coat is also known as the guard coat and it should not be soft. The undercoat is one or two inches deep and is only to prevent any wetness or cold.
Malamutes have longer coat length near the shoulders and neck. Its tail resembles a corkscrew that allows them to keep its tail on its nose to keep it warm in cold temperatures. This breed’s coat colors range from light gray to black, sable, and shades of sable to red. The underbelly is more white as compared to other parts of the body.
Siberian Huskies have a medium-length double coat. The topcoat is straight and the undercoat is soft and dense. The coat color varies from black to white with different colored spots on their body. The spots can be red or copper. Eyes are brown, blue, or a combination of both.
Male Alaskan Malamutes are 25 inches tall whereas females are 23 inches tall. Males of this breed weigh around 85 pounds and females weigh around 75 pounds.
An average Male Siberian Husky stands between 21 and 23.5 inches high while the female averages 20 to 22 inches. The male weighs between 45 and 60 pounds and the female 35 to 50 pounds.
Both breeds generally live a healthy life. The life expectancy of an Alaskan Malamute is 10 to 12 years whereas the lifespan of Huskies ranges from 12 to 15 years. However, some dogs live longer than average.
Alaskan Malamutes shed heavily and you can find hair on furniture, clothing, carpeting, etc. Their hair falls out in large clumps. Shedding depends on different factors like seasonal change, hormonal change, or pregnancy. Shedding is a natural cycle of the body to get rid of dead or damaged hair.
Siberian Huskies shed moderately round the year, however, shed heavily twice a year. Heavy shedding is during the seasonal change when they shed their undercoat. It is recommended to brush your Siberian Husky at least once a week during the heavy shedding period to control shedding around your home.
Malamutes require regular brushing and bathing. With this double-coated breed, proper bathing and drying techniques lay the groundwork for achieving a beautiful coat and healthy skin. When the coat is dirty it tends to become rough and therefore, regular bathing is required. The coat needs to be brushed weekly in order to prevent matting.
Siberian Huskies need lesser grooming as compared to other double-coated dogs. This breed needs brushing weekly to prevent tangles in the coat. Nails should be trimmed once a month to prevent any painful tears.
Alaskan Malamutes are affectionate, dignified, playful, and loyal. Like other sled dogs, Malamutes have a high prey drive and chase small animals. These dogs are loving towards people and thrive for human attention. They also often participate in animal therapy programs, like visiting patients in hospitals, due to their soft nature.
Siberian Huskies are intelligent, gentle, outgoing, and alert. Like Alaskan Malamutes, these dogs thrive for human attention. These dogs are generally sociable and friendly with other dogs. Most Siberian Huskies have strong instincts to chase and seize cats and other small animals.
Both the breeds are smart, however, the Siberian Husky is considered more intelligent and cunning as compared to the Alaskan Malamute. According to The Intelligence Of Dogs By Stanley Coren, Siberian Husky is ranked 77 whereas Alaskan Malamute is ranked 95.
Both the breed are good at agility training. It helps to maintain their physical and mental health. However, Siberian Husky has more energy as compared to Malamute and therefore, it is better at agility activities.
Alaskan Malamutes require sufficient exercise daily to keep them active. According to the American Kennel Club, Malamutes need at least 2 hours of exercise daily. This helps them to release pent up energy and enrich mental stimulation. Exercise can involve walking, jogging, hiking, or any other physical exercise. As well as this they’ll also need extra playtime, free time in the garden, and training to help keep their brains active too.
Like Alaskan Malamutes, Siberian Huskies need at least 2 hours of exercise daily. Along with this, Husky’s need playtime in the yard and training sessions as well. Due to their hunting nature, you might find it hard to get them back once they are let off. Huskies have high endurance and love to do difficult physical exercise. These dogs show destructive behavior if they don’t get enough exercise like chewing furniture, ripping the bedsheets, stealing absolutely everything, jumping on you, and the list can continue.
Malamutes are challenging to train. Early socialization helps in the overall development of the pup. These dogs can show dominance as they mature. Boredom is one of the greatest challenges in training Alaskan Mals. Owners should keep in mind not to include activities that overstimulate them or makes them aggressive. The training sessions should be consistent and ever-changing so they don’t get bored. These dogs can be trained in the best way by positive reinforcement techniques like giving healthy treats and lots of affection are bound to be more effective.
Just like Malamutes, Huskies are also difficult to train. They try to ignore commands that they feel are of no use. Also, they tend to think of themselves as pack leaders when not constantly trained with dominance. Because Siberian Huskies are pack dogs, they will challenge your leadership and test boundaries. You need to show dominance over the pup in order to train them properly. Like Mals, positive reinforcement techniques work the best for these dogs.
Good With Family
Malamutes thrive for human attention and are wonderful family pets. They can withstand various games with children. Mal love to spend time with family. Like other breeds, they require socialization with other pets to get used to them.
Like Mals, Huskies are wonderful family pets and have become the favorite family pet for the past few decades. They get along well with children as well as senior citizens.
Alaskan Malamutes are not recommended for apartments especially small apartments as they prefer open spaces. Their size makes it difficult for them to move around in an apartment. The best home for an Alaskan Mal would be a house with an open backyard for them to play.
Like Mals, Huskies are not made for apartments due to their size. They are highly energetic dogs and prefer open spaces to release pent up energy. If they live in an apartment, they need plenty of exercises to live a healthy life. However, it is best for them to live in open spaces.
Both these breeds are sociable and thrive for the company and therefore, face separation anxiety like other dogs. Separation anxiety is more often than not, caused by an overprotective, obsessive owner.
They tend to show symptoms of anxiety-like howling and barking. They need mental and physical stimulation to prevent anxiety. As they are highly intelligent it is harder to house train them. There are different psychological techniques that could be used to reduce anxiety in these breeds such as dog puzzles.
These dogs can have varying degrees of anxiety and distress depending on the dog.
Malamute is generally a healthy dog but faces a few health issues like other dog breeds. Some of the health issues faced by this breed are hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), corneal dystrophy, glaucoma, and entropion. According to the club survey, hypothyroidism is third on the list of health concerns in Alaskan Malamutes. Also, Mals are prone to losing color on their nose and muzzle due to vitiligo or other skin problems.
Siberian Huskies also face a few health issues like cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, Corneal Dystrophy, hip dysplasia, etc. In order to ensure your Husky remains healthy, it is important to follow a specific diet routine and exercise.
With proper care and medical attention, both these breeds live a healthy and long life.