Husky or Malamute?

Are these really two terms for the same dog, or is there a difference? Maybe “Malamute” is Alaskian (Allusion?) for “Husky”?
It’s a wuff question!

  • Jinx

Huskies are from Siberia. Malamutes are from Alaska. Malamutes are larger. They also have different temperaments.

I don’t know much about these breeds of dogs, but I had reason to look them up recently and learned these things on my way.

It can be hard to remember the difference!

Malamutes are bigger, and pull greater loads at a lower speed, with fewer dogs per sled. Purebred Malamutes do not have blue eyes. They’re heavier boned, blocky, more stolidly built. They have a sweet, kindly expression.

Huskies are smaller, more lightly built, even petite by comparison. They pull in a bigger team, and pull smaller loads more swiftly over long distances. They do have blue eyes sometimes. Their face has a sharp, mischievous, foxy expression.

Malamute sounds like ‘Aleut’ and Husky rhymes with ‘Russkie’ if that helps you remember their origins.

They’re both great dogs but way too energetic and driven for me - I like a dog who holds the floor down real good. is a great Web reference for learning about dog breeds (only AKC-recognized ones, though)

Here’s the pages on the Alaskan Malamute and the Siberian Husky

Beautiful, beautiful dogs.

**toadbriar ** pretty much nailed it. They are very different breeds but can be very hard to tell apart for a non dog-expert. I’m no expert either but if i remember correctly if the size doesn’t give it away (sometimes they can be quite similar to the untrained eye), the tail can be a good give away. If it’s curled up the back then it could be either but trailed down its almost definately a husky, i think Malamutes almost always have them curled up (but Huskies do sometimes too).

Failing that the face is the next obvious thing. Think flatter, broader more manly for Malamutes and narrower, more pointy and more ‘feminine’ looking for Huskies.

Both beutiful dogs right enough, but the Husky definately more classicaly beutiful and the Malamute beutiful in a more rugged kind of way!

In the US, there is a lot of variation among dogs known as Huskies. Alaskan Huskies (the sled dogs associated with the Iditarod) are smaller and faster, with a shorter coat, while a Mackenzie River Husky has a longer coat, is larger, stronger and possessed of greater endurance, though not as fast as a racing husky. Neither is a recognized breed, however.

Better link: Mackenzie River Husky

While it’s a nice idea, I have to disagree with your pronunciation here.
Russkie should be pronounced Rooskie, since it’s a takeoff on the 'Russian[/Русский (Rooskiy), which just means ‘Russian’. I know I’ve heard both pronounciations, and in a sense, I’m probably more insulted, if at all, by the ‘incorrect’ pronounciation, but only because the insulter can’t even get his language straight. Husky therefore can’t be compared to Russkie since the U in ‘Husky’ is pronounced like the U in cut.

My friend has a rescue dog that looks like a husky. It’s hard to tell what kind of dog he is, since as a lazy suburban dog, his sledding qualities are not particularly apparent, and there aren’t any other sled dogs of known pedigree around with which to compare him.

According to this site, huskies shed seasonally while malamutes shed constantly. From that we can only conclude he is a malamute - “a massively heavy shedder” - since you could knit a new dog with what he loses in a day. Every day.

I would love to get a malamute or husky if only I did not live in a hot and humid country

Ha, you got that right! When I mushed teams in Fairbanks (way back in '45 & '46) we has 26 Malamutes in the kennel. We never could come up with a good solution as what to do with the bags full of hair we swept out each day. Probably should have gone into the pillow business on the side.

As has been mentioned, they are wonderful dogs with gentle temperaments.

But, please folks, don’t get any malamute or husky (we used to call the latter “Eskimo”) unless you are willing to let it either run free or vigorously exercise it daily.

You need to meet my husky, Frost. Laziest. Dog. Ever.

One thing to love about the Dope - you never know what kind of topic will come up. Thanks for the vivid and totally appropriate aside! :slight_smile: Well done, sir.

Hubby and I baby-sat two huskies a while back. They climbed (not jumped) our chain-link fence in about 2 seconds flat and went swimming in the lake near our house. Incredible escape artists.

It’s a debate with a long history, the extent to which one ought to pronounce a foreign-origin word with the origin-language’s accent. Might you visit Paris (rhymes with Ferris) or Paree (that’s with the funny back-of-the-palate R too)? Do you hack up a lung to name the artist van Gogh?

In the context of a spoken-only-in-my-head mnemonic device, I should hope it’s a forgivable insult at the worst.

And anyhow if I used the ‘oo’ pronunciation, I’d really really want to roll the R too, and that’s just a bad idea.

I know we’re getting a bit off topic here, but I think that this falls outside of the debate you mentioned, since the whole meaning of the word Russkie is tied to its pronounciation - pronounced Rooskie, it’s a mimic of Russians’ own word for themselves. Pronounced Ruskie (u as in cut), it becomes a nonsense word. Unlike other foreign-origin words, cafe for example, Russkie’s entire sense and purpose derive from it being pronounced true.

Well, I say Russky rhymes with Husky. The origin of the word is debatable, believe it or not, and I think it was formed using the typical formula of tacking on “-sky/-ski” to things to make them funnier and make them sound more slavonic. Russianski just sounds retarded, but I can imagine somebody coming up with Russky without ever hearing the word “Русский”. I would imagine Americans were tacking on “-ski” on to things to poke fun at the Poles way before Russky was even a word, but I don’t have anything to back that up.

Now, dictionaries keep saying that it’s “Offensive slang.” but how in the world is it offensive? Now, I’m not going to get offended just because the dictionary tells me so. Are you saying somebody can react to it as if you dropped the N-bomb? I already get funny looks from people for saying things like “Damn Krauts!” :slight_smile:
Back to the topic, I’ve never seen a Husky that did not have a curled tail.

Mackenzies don’t:

That’s impossible. If this is to mean that half-breeds can have blue eyes, then pure bred Malamutes carry the recessive gene. Thus, two pure-bred malautes can have a blue-eyed offspring.

The Alaskan Huskies pictured in your link are not typical for what is found up here. Those dogs have a significant amount of actual husky in them, while most Alaskan huskies (or Alaskan sleddogs, as they’re also called) are a mutt mixture of dogs that love to run. It’s not an actual breed, just a classification.