8 Dog Breeds Similar To The Alaskan Malamute With Pictures

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If you want to learn about dog breeds similar to the Alaskan Malamute, then you’re in the right place.

Some of the most similar breeds include Siberian Huskies, Samoyeds, Norwegian Elkhounds, and many more.

Keep reading to learn all about the Alaskan Malamute and eight different breeds of dog that are similar!

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An Overview Of The Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamutes are a large Arctic breed that is named after the Mahlemut people who settled in Alaska. It is thought that they were originally brought to Alaska over the Bering Strait thousands of years ago.

To this day, Malamutes (or mals) are a popular dog, especially in Northern America.

They are quite large in size, reaching 23 to 25 inches in height and 75 to 85 lbs in weight as per the AKC standard, although owners will know how easy it is for them to exceed these standards.

A close up of an Alaskan Malamute directly facing the camera
Layla – Caitlin of The Malamute Mom’s Malamute

Malamutes have a typical Spitz appearance, with large pointed ears and large fluffy tails that curl over. They also have a long, thick double coat that comes in a wide variety of colors.

Malamutes are known for being stubborn and can be difficult to train, but they are one of the most rewarding breeds to own once you find your position in the pack (hopefully as the alpha).

Malamutes are very affectionate and are actually terrible guard dogs because of how friendly they are to just about everybody!

8 Dog Breeds Similar To The Alaskan Malamute

Here are eight dog breeds similar to the Alaskan Malamute.

1. Siberian Husky

It wouldn’t be a complete list without including the Siberian Husky, likely the most common dog associated or mistaken with the Alaskan Malamute.

A close up of a Siberian Husky

Siberian Huskies originate from Siberia and were also used as sled dogs like the Malamute.

They share very similar coats in terms of both length and color, although Malamutes do tend to have slightly longer and fluffier coats.

Huskies are smaller than Alaskan Malamutes but are often mistaken for them due to how similar they look. An easy way to tell these two apart is obviously the size – Alaskan Malamutes are much larger in both height and weight.

Another way to tell them apart is by looking closely at their faces. Malamutes tend to have a wider snout and a rounder face – but this does take some time to perfect, even for us owners!

2. Samoyed

Another super popular breed similar to the Alaskan Malamute is the Samoyed.

A Samoyed laid down in the snow

Samoyeds are also an Arctic Spitz breed that originates from Siberia, like the ancestors of the Malamute. They are known for their long, white coats and endearing personalities.

Although there are quite a few differences between these, including coat color and overall size, there are also a lot of similarities between Samoyeds and Malamutes due to their origins.

You can check out our guide on the Malamute vs Samoyed for more detail.

3. Norwegian Elkhound

The Norwegian Elkhound is the national dog of Norway, and yet another Spit-type dog breed for this list.

A Norwegian Elkhound laid down on some grass

Although much smaller than the Malamute, Norwegian Elkhounds have a lot of the same physical features, such as the long, bushy tail that curls over as well as the alert, pointed ears.

They are also commonly mistaken for wolves, just like the Malamute.

4. Alaskan Klee Kai

The Alaskan Klee Kai is a relatively new breed of dog designed specifically to resemble the Alaskan Malamute and Husky but in a more compact frame.

An up-close shot of an Alaskan klee klai

Klaee kais were bred from Alaskan Huskies, Siberian Huskies, American Eskimo Dogs, and some Schipperkes during the 1970s.

Klee Kais retain a lot of the personality traits of the Alaskan Malamute, such as intelligence and stubbornness. They are bred to be more of a companion dog, however, and do not need as much exercise.

Klee Kais also come in a wide range of sizes, from miniature to standard, but all of these sizes are much smaller than the Malamute.

5. Greenland Dog

The Greenland dog, also known as the Greenland husky, is another husky-type sled dog brought from Siberia to North America.

Greenland dogs have thick double coats similar to the Alaskan Malamute and require just as much exercise. They have a typical Spitz-like appearance with pointed ears and fluffy, curled tails and are often confused for wolves.

Greenland dogs are smaller in size than Alaskan Malamutes and typically reach 60 to 70 lbs in weight and 20 to 24 inches in height.

6. American Eskimo Dog

The American Eskimo dog is almost like a miniature Samoyed and is closely related to the German Spitz.

American Eskimo Dog up close

Although much smaller in size than the Malamute, there is a lot of resemblance between the two. American Eskimo dogs have long, double coats with pointed ears and the gentle demeanor of the Malamute.

They typically come in three sizes – toy, miniature and standard.

7. Canadian Eskimo Dog

The Canadian Eskimo dog, or Canadian Intuit dog, is genetically the same as Greenland dogs, with the only difference being their country of origin.

Canadian Eskimo dogs are quite large with big fluffy double coats. They have a wider snout, similar to the Alaskan Malamute, with pointed ears and a gentle expression.

8. Utonagan

If you haven’t heard of a Utonagan, I wouldn’t blame you.

This is a mix that is bred from Alaskan Malamutes, as well as Huskies and German Shepherds, to create a mix that resembles a wolf as much as possible. Utonagans are often called wolf dogs or Northern Inuit dogs.

Since this crossbreed is not very well established, there is a lot of variance in how they look, with some Utonagans looking very similar to the Alaskan Malamute.

They also have a pretty similar personality and temperament given the breeds involved, with some Utonagans inheriting more of a guarding instinct from the German Shepherd.

In Summary

Hopefully, this article has opened your eyes to the world of Spitz and Arctic dog breeds that are similar to the Alaskan Malamute.

Although it’s pretty much impossible to find similar breeds that match the sheer size of the Malamute, there are plenty of breeds that range from slightly smaller to much smaller that have similar appearances and personalities.

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.

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