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Alaskan Malamute vs. Alaskan Husky: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Updated on October 26, 2023
The Alaskan Malamute is a large, heavy-duty sled dog, while the Alaskan Husky is a smaller, mixed-breed sled dog optimized for speed.

Key Differences

The Alaskan Malamute is a sturdy, muscular breed, suitable for heavy pulling. The Alaskan Husky is lighter and faster, bred for racing.
Alaskan Malamutes have a dense, waterproof coat, ideal for cold climates. Alaskan Huskies have a varied coat type, often less dense.
The Alaskan Malamute has a wolf-like appearance with a broad head. The Alaskan Husky often has a leaner build and a more streamlined head.
Alaskan Malamutes are recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC). Alaskan Huskies are not a recognized breed but a type, focused on performance.
Alaskan Malamutes typically have a calm and friendly demeanor. Alaskan Huskies are known for their high energy and endurance.

Comparison Chart

Size and Build

Large and muscular
Smaller and leaner


Heavy-duty pulling
Speed and racing


Dense and waterproof
Varied, often less dense


Wolf-like, broad head
Streamlined, leaner head

Breed Recognition

Recognized by AKC
Not a recognized breed


Calm and friendly
High energy and endurance

Alaskan Malamute and Alaskan Husky Definitions

Alaskan Malamute

Known for endurance and strength.
Alaskan Malamutes are admired for their incredible strength.

Alaskan Husky

A mixed-breed sled dog.
The Alaskan Husky led the team in the dog sled race.

Alaskan Malamute

Has a thick, waterproof coat.
The Alaskan Malamute's coat keeps it warm in harsh climates.

Alaskan Husky

Not a recognized breed.
The Alaskan Husky's diverse lineage makes it a type rather than a breed.

Alaskan Malamute

A large, powerful sled dog.
The Alaskan Malamute pulled the heavy sled effortlessly.

Alaskan Husky

High energy and endurance.
The Alaskan Husky thrived on long-distance runs.

Alaskan Malamute

Friendly and social breed.
The Alaskan Malamute greeted everyone at the park.

Alaskan Husky

Bred for speed and agility.
Alaskan Huskies are known for their impressive racing abilities.

Alaskan Malamute

Wolf-like appearance.
The Alaskan Malamute's majestic look resembles that of a wolf.

Alaskan Husky

Varied coat types.
The Alaskan Husky's coat can range from short to medium length.


Are Alaskan Malamutes good family pets?

Yes, Alaskan Malamutes are known to be friendly and good with families.

Are Alaskan Malamutes prone to any health issues?

Like many large breeds, they can be prone to hip dysplasia and other joint issues.

What kind of coat does an Alaskan Husky have?

An Alaskan Husky’s coat can vary, but it is generally less dense than that of an Alaskan Malamute.

What is an Alaskan Husky?

An Alaskan Husky is a mixed-breed dog optimized for sled racing, known for its speed and agility.

Are Alaskan Huskies good with children?

They can be, but as with all dogs, supervision and proper socialization are key.

Do Alaskan Malamutes have a high prey drive?

Alaskan Malamutes can have a high prey drive, so supervision around small animals is advised.

Are Alaskan Malamutes good for first-time dog owners?

They can be, but they require consistent training and plenty of exercises.

Do Alaskan Huskies require a lot of grooming?

Their grooming needs can vary, but regular brushing is beneficial.

Can Alaskan Malamutes be used for sled racing?

They are more suited for heavy pulling than racing.

What is the lifespan of an Alaskan Husky?

Alaskan Huskies typically live around 10-15 years.

What kind of temperament does an Alaskan Malamute have?

Alaskan Malamutes are generally friendly, social, and loyal.

How do Alaskan Malamutes handle cold weather?

They thrive in cold weather thanks to their thick, insulated coats.

What is an Alaskan Malamute?

An Alaskan Malamute is a large, powerful sled dog known for its strength and endurance.

Can Alaskan Huskies compete in long-distance races?

Yes, Alaskan Huskies are excellent at long-distance racing due to their high energy and endurance.

How much exercise does an Alaskan Husky need?

Alaskan Huskies need substantial daily exercise due to their high energy levels.

Can Alaskan Huskies live in apartments?

Due to their high energy, Alaskan Huskies are better suited to homes with more space.

Do Alaskan Malamutes require a lot of exercise?

Yes, Alaskan Malamutes require regular exercise to maintain their health and happiness.

Can Alaskan Malamutes tolerate hot climates?

Alaskan Malamutes can struggle in hot climates due to their thick coats.

How fast can an Alaskan Husky run?

Alaskan Huskies are swift and can reach high speeds, especially in sled racing.

Are Alaskan Huskies recognized by the AKC?

No, Alaskan Huskies are not recognized as a breed by the AKC.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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