Siberian Husky vs Samoyed: A Complete Breed Comparison

If you’re looking for a full breakdown of the husky vs samoyed, including the key similarities and differences between these breeds, you’ve come to the right place.

There’s no denying that huskies and samoyeds are pretty similar; they both originate from Siberia, where they were used as sled dogs, and they have a lot of similar personality traits as well as thick coats to help keep them warm.

There’s a lot more to the story than that, though, so stay tuned as we take a deep dive into the key differences and similarities between the husky and samoyed.

An infographic detailing the similarities and differences between the husky vs samoyed

Difference In Appearance

Before we get into the main section of this article, it’s essential to address the most obvious difference between these two breeds: their appearance.

An alert husky in a backyard on some grass
Huskies can be pretty intimidating if you aren’t familiar with the breed.

Although both Spitz-type dogs with characteristic point ears and fluffy, curled tails, huskies and samoyeds look pretty different at first glance.

Huskies are much more wolf-like, with black or other color markings on their face and bodies. They’re more slender than samoyeds and have a medium-length coat (unless they’re wooly) shorter than the samoyed.

A Samoyed sat down in a garden
Samoyeds are often described as giant teddy bears and have a personality to match.

Samoyeds look much friendlier than huskies and usually have an all-white coat longer than the husky. In fact, as per the breed standard, it’s required for samoyeds to look like they are smiling!

They also have a shorter and broader muzzle, which helps boost their friendly demeanor.

Other Differences Between The Husky vs Samoyed

Now that the most apparent difference is out of the way, let’s explore other differences you might not have considered.

Coat And Eye Color Variation

Huskies have a much greater variation in coat and eye color.

Samoyeds are mostly white but can also be white and biscuit, biscuit, or cream.

On the other hand, huskies have a huge variation in possible coat colors. They can be white like the samoyed, agouti, red and white, black and white, and much more.

They also have greater eye color variation as well, commonly having blue or bi-colored eyes, while samoyeds usually have brown eyes.

Exercise Requirements

Okay, both breeds are very active and need a bunch of exercise, but it’s hard to compete with the exercise needs of the husky.

Huskies need at least 2 hours of exercise per day as a minimum, whereas samoyeds need 1 to 2 hours. This is obviously still a lot in either case, but huskies are even more demanding in this aspect.

Behavior Around Other Dogs & People

Huskies are friendly with everyone, including strangers, and have little suspicion or natural guarding instinct.

Samoyeds are also very friendly, but they can be more wary of strangers and have more of a protective personality. They’re not as protective as a German Shepherd or similar guard dog by any means, but they are more instinctively suspicious of strangers.


Huskies and samoyeds are both quite costly breeds, which is something to consider if you’re looking at getting one from a breeder. Samoyeds have increased in popularity in recent years, and as such, they are usually more expensive to purchase than huskies.

Huskies cost anywhere from $800 to $1,500 on average, with samoyeds coming in at $1,000 to $3,000.

I highly recommend our guide on choosing the right breeder to ensure you work with somebody reputable.

Remember that these breeds regularly end up in shelters due to how much work they are, and we’re advocates for checking your local shelter first before going straight to a breeder.


Huskies and samoyeds are very similar, but just how similar?

Let’s take a look.

Working Background

Huskies and samoyeds have very similar working backgrounds.

Both originated from Siberia and were used for working purposes. Huskies were used mainly for pulling sleds, while samoyeds were used for sled pulling and herding animals.

This contributes directly to their intelligence and high-energy drive.

Spitz Type Dogs

Given their similar origins, both huskies and samoyeds are classified as Spitz-type dog breeds, which means they share a few personality traits that are unique to these types of dogs.

  • Stubborn – Spitz dogs are notoriously stubborn, which can make training very difficult. Don’t expect them to listen to you a lot of the time, and be prepared to be patient with training and teaching them new tricks.
  • Independent – Spitzs are also very independent at times; even though they love socializing, they take themselves outside for some alone time when they feel like it.

If you haven’t had experience with a Spitz-type dog before, you’ll notice a pretty big difference from your ‘regular’ dog breeds.


Huskies and samoyeds are very similar in size, although samoyeds may appear larger due to their longer coats:

  • Huskies reach 35 to 60 lbs in weight and 20 to 23.5 inches in height as per the AKC breed standard.
  • Samoyeds reach 35 to 65 lbs in weight and 19 to 23. 5 inches in height as per the AKC breed standard.

Of course, there are exceptions to both ranges, but in general, huskies and samoyed have very similar heights and weights.


As well as overall size, huskies, and samoyeds also share similar life expectancies.

Huskies usually live between 12 and 15 years, while samoyeds reach 12 to 14 years, both of which are very respectable ages given the size of these dogs.

Cold Tolerance

It should be no surprise that huskies and samoyeds share an incredible cold tolerance thanks to their thick double coats and origin.

Both breeds can tolerate well below freezing, with working specimens capable of tolerating down to the -60oF to -75oF range for periods.

When kept as pets, their cold tolerance is usually much less but still very impressive compared to other dog breeds. For example, it isn’t uncommon for either breed to take themselves outside and fall asleep in the snow.

Grooming & Shedding

Although their coats might help them withstand freezing temperatures, they also have the added effect of shedding often and requiring regular grooming.

Their coats also have two layers: a short wooly undercoat that provides insulation and a long guard layer that protects the layer below from dirt, debris, and even moisture.

The consequence of this is that roughly twice a year, they will blow their coats, which is when they transition from their winter coats to their summer coats.

During this time, they will shed even more than usual and require multiple grooming sessions daily.


Huskies are known for being super vocal and howling almost constantly, as well as ‘talking’ at you and making a variety of other noises, but not many people realize that samoyeds are just as vocal as well.

Samoyed howl and ‘talk’ just like huskies, so you’re in for quite the shock if you think they’re quieter.

Great With Children & Families

Both breeds are undoubtedly great with children and as family dogs.

They are not aggressive towards kids or babies, although supervision is always advised, and they love to be part of the family pack due to their working backgrounds.

Which Breed Is Best For You?

Huskies and samoyeds are very similar dogs, which can make it hard to decide between them.

Both are excellent options and make great family pets. Huskies tend to be more work in terms of exercise, but samoyeds are still quite challenging in this area as well.

The main difference is their appearance; huskies are more wolf-like, which can be intimidating to some people, whereas samoyeds look more like giant teddy bears. Both love to socialize with everyone, but they can be pretty stubborn at times, too.

Samoyeds can be better guard dogs as they have more of a natural protective instinct, whereas huskies are terrible guard dogs and will try to make friends with everyone.

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

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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.

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