Siberian Husky vs Dalmatian: A Complete Breed Comparison

In this article, we’ll take a close look at the husky vs dalmatian to see how these two popular breeds compare.

Huskies and dalmatians are both a lot of work in terms of how much exercise they need, and you can argue that huskies are even more work due to the maintenance that their coats require. Both breeds are highly social, but huskies tend to be more friendly with absolutely everyone, while dalmatians can be more cautious of strangers.

This is only the beginning of the comparison between these two dogs, so stay tuned for a full breakdown to see which suits you better.

An infographic detailing the key similarities and differences between the husky vs dalmatian

Difference In Appearance

Before we dive into the main comparison of these two popular breeds, let’s address the main difference first – huskies and dalmatians clearly look very different.

A Husky with blue eyes

Huskies have a wolf-like appearance with several distinctive Spitz features, such as pointed, alert ears, curly tails, and a thick double coat.

Huskies come in many different colors, including red, white, agouti, and many others.

An up close shot of a dalmatian

Dalmatians are arguably even more distinctive in appearance than huskies, with their classic black and white short coat and large, floppy ears.

They have a well-proportioned head size, gentle eyes, and a gentle tapered mizzle.

More Differences Between The Husky vs Dalmatian

Now that the most apparent difference is out of the way, let’s explore some of the other key differences between huskies and dalmatians to see which is more suited for you.

Guarding Instincts

Dalmatians have an innate guarding instinct and can sometimes become very protective of their family and their territory.

This is because, although not primarily used as guard dogs, dalmatians do have a history of being used for protection in some instances.

On the other hand, huskies have little to no guarding instinct and are more likely to befriend a stranger than anything else.

If you’re looking for a dog to protect your family, dalmatians are much more suited for this role.

Coat Type & Color

In terms of coat type and color, these two couldn’t be more different if they tried.

Huskies have a thick, medium to long double coat that comes in various colors.

Dalmatians have a single, short coat that is black and white. Several other color combinations exist, like sable and brindle, but white and black is the most iconic.

Shedding & Grooming

It should be no surprise that huskies and dalmatians have different shedding levels and grooming needs.

Huskies shed a lot year-round and require regular grooming (ideally daily) with more intense sessions a few times weekly. Huskies also blow their coat twice per year on average when they transition from their winter coats into summer coats, leading to even more shedding.

Dalmatians still shed a fair bit, but they require much less grooming and aren’t prone to excessive shedding like huskies are.


Another key difference between the husky and dalmatian is how hard huskies are to train compared to dalmatians.

Huskies are notoriously difficult to train because they are stubborn and not very eager to please, a common trait seen in Spitz-type dogs (more on that shortly).

Dalmatians are quite the opposite, quickly picking up new tricks and commands due to their eagerness to please their owners.


Huskies have a spitz-type personality, which means they are quite stubborn at times and independent. They love socializing and spending time with the family, but they are often quite quirky in their behavior.

Dalmatians also thrive on human companionship, but they are much more eager to please and don’t have much of an independent streak, meaning they want to spend as much time with you as possible.

Working Backgrounds

Huskies and dalmatians have working backgrounds, but the type of work they were used for (and in some cases still are used for) varies drastically.

Huskies were originally domesticated by the Chukchi people of Siberia and used as sled dogs designed to pull light loads over extremely long distances.

On the other hand, Dalmatians are thought to have descended from pointers and became popular in the 1800s, where they were commonly used to trot alongside carriages (usually fire brigade carriages) to protect them.

Dalmatians are no longer categorized as a working breed and are more of a companion dog now than anything else. In contrast, huskies are still used for work in many places.


That’s about it for differences; let’s now look at the similarities between the husky vs dalmatian.


Huskies and dalmatians both love to spend time with people.

While dalmatians can be slightly reserved with strangers, they are total lap dogs inside the home and love to spend as much time as possible with you.

Huskies are extremely friendly and social to everyone, including strangers, and love to spend time around people.


Huskies and dalmatians are quite evenly matched in terms of size.

  • Huskies weigh anywhere from 35 to 60 lbs and reach 20 to 23.5 inches in height.
  • Dalmatians reach 45 to 70 lbs in weight and 19 to 24 inches in height.

Huskies may appear larger due to their coats, but in terms of raw numbers, both breeds are very similar in size, with dalmatians being slightly larger in some cases.

Exercise Requirements

Both breeds are very hard work regarding how much exercise they require.

You’re looking at a minimum recommended daily exercise time of 2 hours for each breed, which is difficult even for active families.

This one is very important to think about because it’s the reason why so many huskies and dalmatians end up in shelters or animal rescues.


Huskies and dalmatians enjoy pretty long lifespans for their size, with huskies living 12 to 15 years on average and dalmatians living 11 to 14 years.


As dogs with a working background, huskies and dalmatians have a high intelligence level.

Huskies score lower on dog intelligence tests, but these mostly rely on the repeatability of newly learned tricks, which, as we discovered before, is not a great way of measuring the intelligence of a breed like the husky that doesn’t thrive on pleasing people.

Don’t let this fool you, though; most Spitz-type dogs are the same and show their intelligence in other ways (like trying to figure out how to escape from your yard!).

Escape Artists

Another interesting similarity is that huskies and dalmatians are known as escape artists, meaning they have a tendency to try to escape from any area if they see the chance.

These escaping tendencies come from a place of curiosity and tend to worsen if you don’t meet their exercise and mental stimulation requirements.

Prone To Separation Anxiety

Huskies and dalmatians are also prone to a condition called separation anxiety, where they may display destructive behaviors like excessive chewing or scratching when left alone for periods.

Highly intelligent and energetic breeds like the husky and dalmatian tend to be more prone to separation anxiety, and there are steps you can take to help them deal with it.

Require Lots Of Socialization

Huskies and dalmatians require lots of socialization from an early age to help them get used to spending time around other people and dogs without getting anxious or potentially aggressive.

This can help huskies keep their energy under control when around other dogs rather than jumping all over them, and it can help ease the dalmatian’s innate protective instinct and learn to trust other dogs more.

Which Breed Is Best For You?

Huskies and dalmatians are incredible pets that make great family members; when deciding between them, it comes down to the qualities you value.

Both are very hard work in terms of exercise, so you’ll need to be committed to that in both cases. Huskies shed a lot more and are not as suited to hot climates as dalmatians, but they offer the unique Spitz-type personality, which can win over some people.

Dalmatians are complete companion dogs and love to be with you at all times; they are also more protective over the family, which can be both a good and bad thing.

Want to read more husky breed comparisons? Check out some of our other recent husky comparisons below:

Photo of author

About The Author

Caitlin is the owner and lead writer for The Malamute Mom. She has over 10 years of experience with Alaskan Malamutes and Huskies. She is currently working on getting her PhD in materials science but continues to write for The Malamute Mom in her spare time.

Read More

Leave a comment