The Alaskan Malamute and the Siberian Husky are both Northern Breed dogs from the Working Group. Both breeds have similarities in coat colors and patterns. Both breeds were used for similar activities. The Alaskan Malamute being strong and powerful, was used to transport heavy loads for long distances. The Siberian Husky, being a more of a medium size, was used for pulling lighter loads a shorter distance at a moderate pace.
Both breeds are prey-driven and will go after small animals including cats, squirrels, birds, rabbits or any other creature that mistakenly gets into their territory. Both breeds do dig. They have been known to ruin many landscaping beds and to dig up small bushes and trees.
Both breeds are pack oriented and can be very destructive if left unattended for long periods of time without attention. Crate training is advisable.
Both breeds are born to run. Neither of these breeds should ever be left off leash to run in fields, woods, or neighborhoods. They will keep on running and will never come back. Many Alaskan Malamutes and Siberian Huskies have been picked up by local dog wardens who have found them running stray. Some of them are never claimed and end up in rescue organizations or euthanized due to overcrowding in local shelters.
Some of the differentiating characteristics are as follows:
The Alaskan Malamute is a heavy boned, powerful dog. The males weigh between 85 and 100 lbs and the females between 75 and 90 lbs. The eyes of the Alaskan Malamute are always brown. Their head is broad with ears set wide apart. Their tail is similar to a plume carried up and over their back. The Alaskan Malamute is known for being gender aggressive toward dogs of the same sex. They can also be food aggressive. They are very loving and affectionate dogs and carry a laid back attitude. They make good companions but are not guard dogs even though their size can be intimidating. Everyone is a friend to a Malamute. Malamutes enjoy hiking, backpacking, swimming, jogging and cuddling up with their owners. Malamutes are very intelligent and can be very stubborn. Unlike the Siberian Husky, the Malamute is not prone to fence jumping. If they are bored, they can easily dig themselves out of kennels or under fences. Lifespan 10-12 years.
The Siberian Husky is a medium sized, smaller boned dog. The males weigh between 50-70 lbs. And the females between 35-50 lbs. The Siberian Husky can have brown eyes, blue eyes, one of each or a split eye (one eye with two colors).
Their head is smaller and not as broad as the malamute with ears set high on their head and close together. Their tails are considered a fox brush shape and are carried in a sickle shape when alert and trailing when the dog is relaxed. The Siberian Husky does well in a pack situation. They do not have the gender aggression that is a characteristic of the malamute. They are, however, very high energy dogs that are very vocal. They are an intelligent breed with a stubborn streak. They are not a guard dog and not a "one-man" dog. Siberians require a lot of exercise and enjoy swimming, jogging hiking, and agility amongst other activities. The Siberian Husky can be an escape artist and is prone to fence jumping when left unattended for long periods of time. They have also been known to climb a chain line fence to escape. They do best is a 5' or 6' fenced yard. Life span 12-15 years.