Alaskan Malamute - Siberian Husky comparison

Can you recognize an Alaskan Malamute, or tell a Malamute from a Husky?

This page is intended to help aid you in breed identification and distinguishing between these two arctic breeds. The comparison chart below is based on the Malamute and Siberian breed standards. Please remember there is a wide variation of actual size, build, and color of individual dogs in each breed... especially in "pet quality" or pet shop dogs.


Alaskan Malamute

Siberian Husky

Appearance: Heavy and powerful Medium sized 
(at shoulder)
Male: 25 inches
Female: 23 inches
Male: 21-23.5 inches
Female: 20-22 inches
Weight: Male: 85 pounds
Female: 75 pounds
Male: 45-60 pounds
Female: 35-50 pounds
Function: To carry heavy loads over long distance To carry light loads at moderate speed
Build: Powerful, substantial, heavy boned Medium - shows balance, speed, endurance
Expression: Soft and friendly Keen, friendly, interested, mischievous
Eye color: Brown, darker preferred Blue, brown, parti-color (mixed), or one of each color type.
Ears: Medium, triangular, tips rounded, set wide apart Medium, triangular, back arched, set high and close
Head: Broad and deep with bulky muzzle Medium
Tail: Waving plume, carried up and over the back. Fox brush, carried in a sickle curve or trailing.
Feet: Large, compact, snowshoe shaped Medium, compact, oval shaped
Coat: Thick coarse guard hair, shorter woolly undercoat Straight smooth-lying guard hair, soft dense undercoat
Color: Light gray to black, sable, red, and all white. Broken color patterns or uneven splashings are undesirable. All colors from black to pure white. A variety of coat patterns, markings, and splashings are allowed 
Disqualifications: Blue eyes Males over 23.5 inches
Females over 22 inches

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