Have I mis-identified my dog's breed?
February 13, 2007 4:11 PM   Subscribe

Is my dog a husky or a malamute?

About four years ago, I adopted my dog from the local shelter. He was already full grown (although very thin to start with) and the scarce info they had on him was that he was a husky, so that's what I tell people when they ask what type of dog he is. But now, looking through wikipedia and some other sites, I'm wondering if he might be a malamute.

Picture here, here and here.

I thought that huskies have blue eyes and malamutes, brown, so I just assumed he was a husky. But from what I read recently, it seems like huskies are generally smaller. My dog is pretty big-boned and probably about 80-90lbs. I don't remember him ever barking, but sometimes to get your attention he'll make "woooowoooo" howling type of sound.

So is this guy a husky or a malamute?
posted by nakedsushi to Pets & Animals (22 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I've also heard that only huskies have blue eyes. He also looks more like a husky than a malamute based on the dogs that I've met.
posted by disaster77 at 4:18 PM on February 13, 2007

found via google for: difference malamute husky...

"What's the difference between a Malamute and a Siberian?
Lots! The Alaskan Malamute and the Siberian Husky differ in physical characteristics as well as purpose. Each breed has specific differences found in characteristics such as ear set, coat length and tail set. The Malamute is a larger, heavy-boned dog bred for freighting and hauling heavy weights over long distances. The Siberian Husky is a smaller dog bred for speed and agility. For a more complete explanation plus pictures, please see the Malamute versus Siberian comparison chart."

Also, if you are disappointed when you find out which one your dog is, I'll take him. Beautiful pup!
posted by twiggy at 4:20 PM on February 13, 2007

Twiggy, hah no disappointment. I was just wondering if my dog likes disobeying my "stay!" command because it's a form of payback for telling people he's the wrong breed.
posted by nakedsushi at 4:22 PM on February 13, 2007

I was joking about any potential disappointment, just looking for a way to steal a cool dog ;-)
posted by twiggy at 4:25 PM on February 13, 2007

According to this your dog is not a husky because blue eyes disqualify it. But it also says that a dog over 23 1/2" is not a malamute....
Maybe your dog qualifies as neither?
posted by Osmanthus at 4:25 PM on February 13, 2007

Oops, i got that backwards, blue eyes means not malamute!!!
posted by Osmanthus at 4:26 PM on February 13, 2007

Looks more like a husky to me, at least in the head.

But there's absolutely no reason he can't be a husky/Mal cross, or a mutt with a lot of Sibe or Mal, or a Mal with a bad head and bad eyes for a Mal.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:27 PM on February 13, 2007

Definitely a husky. To paraphrase a line from Big Trouble in Little China, "Huskies don't come with blue eyes." There are lots of other physical characteristics to help you determine malamute vs. husky, as mentioned above, but the eyes make it easy. You can have huskies with brown eyes, but not malamutes with blue ones. That said, Kiba has some definite malamute-ish characteristics around the mouth, and might have some malamute in his background.

In any case, he's an utterly gorgeous specimen, and as an aside, he likes disobeying your "stay" command because he's a husky and/or malamute. They're very intelligent dogs, but also very stubborn; they don't have that eager-to-please attitude you'll find in a lot of other working breeds. My dog growing up, who was a malamute, was a very fast learner, but if you asked her to do anything she'd just give you this look, like "I don't speak English. I'm a dog." Hold up a piece of chicken liver, though, and she'd "speak," "sit," "lay down," "sit," "shake hands," and "speak," in that order, whether or not you actually asked her to do anything.
posted by infinitywaltz at 4:30 PM on February 13, 2007 [1 favorite]

Crap, I did the same thing as Osmanthus! To clarify:

Malamute - brown eyes
Husky - blue OR brown eyes
posted by infinitywaltz at 4:32 PM on February 13, 2007

He's a super pretty boy!

It could be that's a mix of the two.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 4:33 PM on February 13, 2007

(a mix of the two even)
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 4:33 PM on February 13, 2007

I'm gonna side with ROU_X, were I a betting man, I'd go with mix.

So now you get to name it's new breed, might I suggest Huskimute? Because sounds Malamusky like a poorly adjusted fish of some kind.

Beautiful dog by the way. And obviously laid back; were I to try to get those heart antennas on either of my pups, it would end in tragedy for all.
posted by quin at 4:49 PM on February 13, 2007

Ack! stupid cut/ paste: "Because malamusky sounds..."
posted by quin at 4:51 PM on February 13, 2007

As someone with a lovely husky, I'm saying "a beautiful husky, maybe with some equally beautiful malamute". Specifically, the photos show some husky mannerisms I'm familiar with, but the body just seems bigger than a typical husky's (especially in the photo where he's standing on his hind legs).

My husky, for what it's worth, almost never barks, and just howls her disapproval.

My dog growing up, who was a malamute, was a very fast learner, but if you asked her to do anything she'd just give you this look, like "I don't speak English. I'm a dog."

Heh. Ain't that the truth.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 4:54 PM on February 13, 2007

I've had malamutes, huskies and American Eskimoes (I'm a glutton for punishment). I'd say your boy's a husky with a malamute in the woodshed. He's way big for a husky, but he's lean like a husky and he has the more alert expression of a husky. The malamutes I've known are more big-boned, a little "shaggier" than huskies, and have a sleepier look. They're also quieter and more laid back.

Neither breed makes much noise , BTW - unlike American Eskimoes.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 5:33 PM on February 13, 2007

You can have huskies with brown eyes, but not malamutes with blue ones.

Erm. Not that I've done research or anything, but the breed standard for the malamute lists blue eyes as disqualifying. Listing something as a disqualifying fault means, to my eye, that it's something that's rare-ish and very undesirable but that's common enough to worry about, not something that doesn't happen. Otherwise they wouldn't bother to put it in the standard.

Nobody's breed standard says "Disqualifying faults: lizard scales, opposable thumb." or "Disqualifications: limbs in excess of four. Feathered wings," because those things really don't happen. You list the traits that are present, but that you want to remove from the breed.

Anyway, all that means that it's (probably) possible to have a malamute with brown eyes. It'd just be not a very good malamute.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:34 PM on February 13, 2007

::Covers Griffin's ears::

"It's OK Fido. You are the best dog ever, no matter what anyone says. Hey! Stop nipping at me, that beak is sharp damnit. "

Are you happy ROU_X? Now he'll be cranky all week.
posted by quin at 5:41 PM on February 13, 2007

So if it is a cross of the two, would it be a Huskamute or a Malusky?
posted by CrayDrygu at 6:31 PM on February 13, 2007

Beak... are you sure he's not a griffon? Or maybe a griffy-poo, or a groodle.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:02 PM on February 13, 2007

He was just a pup when I found him; all sweet with his scaly tail and pretty hawk-like wings. But at first he was a bit of a biter, it wouldn't have been a problem but his beak is really efficient at slicing fence posts. It only became a concern after that one time he got out and ate the neighbors house. Fortunately, after all was said and done, there was no one to complain about it.

If only I could get him over his propensity for climbing on tall things and striking a pose. It's gotten to the point where I can't even walk him without people gathering around with cameras.

He is just really photogenic.

posted by quin at 11:48 PM on February 13, 2007 [2 favorites]

My rescued Malamute Fenris is around the same weight (90lbs) and about 26 inches to the top of his shoulder. Here's a comparsion picture with my him and sister's Mal and Husky. I would guess that he's a Mal/Husky cross.

Blue eyes in Malamutes are very rare and undesirable in the breed. My boy barks sometimes, but it's 'normal' in most Mals to make 'chewbacca noises'.
posted by X-00 at 11:52 PM on February 13, 2007

X-00 those pictures are adorable. From what everyone has been saying and the comparison pictures, I think the consensus is right. I think I'll call him a Huskimute since his head seems more husky than mal.
posted by nakedsushi at 11:06 AM on February 14, 2007

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