Samoyed vs Malamute — Are They That Different?

The Samoyed vs Malamute, both are spitz-type breeds originating from a cold climate. However, despite their similar heritage and wolf-like appearance, there are differences that set these two breeds apart. 

If you feel like the Siberian Husky isn’t the best breed for you, a Malamute or Samoyed can be a good alternative. However, these two breeds aren’t an exact match. 

In this comparison, we’re weighing up the similarities and differences between Samoyed vs Malamute. By the time you finish reading, you’ll have a better idea of the best breed for you.

Samoyed vs Malamute Quick Comparison Chart


















Family Dog




19-23.5 inches

23-25 inches


35-65 pounds

75-85 pounds








12-14 years

10-14 years

Coat Colors

White, cream, biscuit, white & biscuit

Gray, white, black, sable, seal, a combination of various colors




Samoyed vs Malamute — The Breeds


which is better samoyed or husky.

The white and fluffy Samoyed dog breed originates from the cold plains of Siberia. These working pack dogs are thought to have roots in the Nenets Herding Laikas and were specifically developed for herding and hunting, alongside pulling sleds for several miles in the snow.

Is the Samoyed for Me?

Samoyeds are great for families, couples, and single people looking for an affectionate and loving pooch. 

However, if your family life is too busy to fit in at least 2 hours of walking every day, a Samoyed is not for you — they’re an energetic breed. Samoyeds will be happiest with an owner who enjoys spending time exploring the great outdoors and walking long distances. 

Samoyeds are also very intelligent and need plenty of mental stimulation. Your Sammie will want lots of attention and interaction and will also benefit from socialization with other dogs. 

Samoyed Pros

  • Hypoallergenic coat. 
  • Low-dander producer.
  • Affectionate and loyal. 
  • Good with children. 

Samoyed Cons

  • Sheds heavily twice a year. 
  • Can become bored easily. 
  • Needs at least 2 hours of exercise every day.
samoyed malamute mix.

An Alaskan Arctic breed, the Malamute looks like the Siberian Husky in many ways — and is the cousin of the Samoyed. 

Bred purposely to pull heavy loads, hauling sleds through the snow for hours at a time. They’re strong and independent dogs and also highly intelligent. While they may be bred as working pack animals, Malamutes are also popular and loving family pets. 

Is the Malamute for Me?

A Malamute would make an excellent pet for anyone who wants a majestic-looking dog to join them on their long walks in nature every day. These working dogs love to run and walk for several miles at a time and are a great breed for hikers. 

If you have dog allergies, unfortunately, the Malamute is not for you. This is a heavy-shedding breed and they blow their entire coat twice a year. There will be no escaping the clumps of fur during this time, and you will undoubtedly suffer the full force of your allergy symptoms. 

Malamutes are friendly and playful and are known to make good family dogs. However, due to their size and strength, Malamutes can unintentionally knock young children over during playtime. 

Malamute Pros

  • Loving and gentle temperament. 
  • Loyal to their owners. 
  • Friendly and patient with children.

Malamute Cons

  • Sheds heavily. 
  • Requires at least 2 hours of exercise a day. 
  • Can be too big to live safely with small children.

Samoyed vs Malamute Size

The Samoyed and Malamute may have similar facial features and fluffiness, but are these dogs the same size? 


A full grown Samoyed can weigh as much as 65 pounds — this would be considered a big Samoyed. The females of this breed will grow to around 21 inches tall, and the males can reach up to 23.5 inches. 


Malamutes are the larger of these two breeds, surpassing the Samoyed in both weight and height. 

Adult Malamutes can weigh an impressive 85 pounds. The females will grow up to 23 inches, and, as is usually the case, the male dogs are taller — reaching around 25 inches in height.

Samoyed vs Malamute Temperament

Both the Samoyed and Malamute can make a great addition to any family but is one better suited than the other?


Samoyeds are pack dogs and have brains as well as physical prowess. These dogs are built to spend their days in a pack, pulling sleds across the snowy landscape. As highly intelligent creatures, they thrive on socialization and mental stimulation. 

Friendly and gentle, Samoyeds behave best when they have a leader to follow (this needs to be you!) — establish this early on during puppyhood. 


Malamutes are also friendly and playful and are known to get on well with all members of the family. A word of caution though, if you don’t train your Malamute appropriately, they will happily place themselves in the role of top dog, which can lead to undesirable behavior. 

While both the Samoyed and Malamute are friendly dogs and can get on well with children, Malamutes are known to have a little less patience. Neither breed is aggressive but out of the two, the Samoyed is more relaxed.

samoyed vs malamute temperament.

Samoyed vs Malamute Training

As highly intelligent animals, both the Samoyed and Malamute are quite easy to train — using plenty of positive reinforcement and praise. While all dogs are different and respond in their own way, it can be argued that Malamutes are slightly more eager to please than Samoyeds, thus easier to work with.

However, both these breeds have an independent side and are quite headstrong at times. It’s essential you make it clear you’re the ‘leader of the pack’ very early on. 

If your puppy assumes they’re the alpha, you’ll feel like your dog is the boss of you! Once you’ve established you’re the one who’s in charge, your Samoyed or Malamute will be a loyal and obedient companion.

Samoyed vs Malamute Price

It’s difficult to provide an exact price of a Samoyed or Malamute puppy as prices vary drastically between different breeders. Often dogs from certain bloodlines can cost thousands of dollars.

  • Samoyeds can cost anywhere between $600 and $1500. 
  • Malamutes range from $500 up to $2500.

Samoyed vs Malamute Shedding

If you have dog allergies, you’ll need a hypoallergenic dog to avoid suffering from unpleasant symptoms. There is no such thing as a 100% non-shedding canine — all dogs lose dander — but there are many breeds that won’t trigger allergy symptoms. 


Unfortunately, for those of you with allergies, the Malamute won’t be a suitable choice. Malamutes have a medium-length, double coat that’s both functional and beautiful. This breed traditionally pulls sleds in the cold, and their double coat keeps them warm in harsh temperatures. 

Malamutes shed heavily twice a year. During this seasonal shedding, they will lose large clumps of fur and need to be brushed regularly. To keep as much fur as possible out of your home, brush your dog outside, this stops the dander from settling on your floors and furniture. 


Samoyeds also have a double coat, but they’re hypoallergenic. Out of the two breeds, Samoyeds are the best choice for allergy sufferers. Samoyeds shed twice a year during the change of seasons, just like the Malamute, yet they don’t produce enough of the allergy-inducing protein to be a problem.

Allergies are triggered by a protein found in a dog’s dead skin cells, saliva, and urine. Samoyeds don’t have much of this protein in their skin and also the smile shape of their jaw prevents them from drooling. This evolutionary trait stops a Samoyed’s saliva from freezing into little icicles of drool!

white malamute.

Malamute and Samoyed Grooming

Malamutes and Samoyeds both require regular coat care — let’s run through the maintenance list.


The Malamute should be brushed daily to prevent any mats in their thick coats. These dogs also shed seasonally during the fall and spring. During these times, they require additional brushing using an undercoat rake or deshedding tools.

Samoyeds, with their light-colored fluffy coats, also need to be brushed daily. This is because they have a thick double coat, and shed all year round. They too blow their coats during the spring and fall, so daily brushing will help keep this under control. 


Malamutes need regular bathing to keep their coat in top condition. Ideally, you should bathe your dog and wash their fur with dog shampoo around once every 6 to 8 weeks. This will depend on whether they get into any smelly problems in the meantime!

The Samoyed’s light coat may be beautiful, but it will show any dirt and mud. To keep their coat looking clean and fresh, bathe your Samoyed once a month and wash their fur with a suitable dog shampoo. 

Nail and Teeth

Samoyeds and Malamutes will need their nails clipped every 4 to 6 weeks. If your dog isn’t walking on hard surfaces, like concrete, their nails may not wear down naturally. Overgrown nails may splinter or become infected, this is why it’s essential to stick to a regular trimming schedule.

Samoyed vs Malamute Exercise

As working dogs who are used to running miles through the snow, both the Samoyed and Malamute need plenty of exercise — approximately 2 hours every day. 

Thanks to their sled-dog ancestry, both breeds are more than happy to walk long distances and will walk for hours in the cold. Ideally, they should get time off the leash to really burn off their energy. That said, these dogs are born to run and renowned for wandering off to explore, so a secure backyard would be the safest option for leash-free fun.

As playful and intelligent dogs, you must spend time at home interacting and playing games with your furry friend. When your dog’s physical exercise needs are met, they’re much more likely to be well-behaved.


If you’re looking for a medium to large, active and fluffy dog breed, both the Samoyed and Malamute meet this criterion. These dogs are loving and loyal, and enjoy plenty of attention from their humans. 

The biggest difference when it comes to Samoyed vs Malamute is that one is hypoallergenic and the other is not. If you want an affectionate walking companion but also have dog allergies, the Samoyed is the breed for you.

big samoyed.

Samoyed and Malamute FAQs

Which Is Better Samoyed or Husky?

Many people wonder is a Samoyed a type of Husky, and the answer is no. These breeds may look very similar, but they aren’t identical. Deciding which is better will depend on your personal preferences. Samoyeds are hypoallergenic, but Huskies aren’t — their heavy shedding will trigger allergy symptoms. Huskies can also be a little more aggressive and protective of their territory.

Are Samoyeds Half Wolf?

They may have a wolf-like appearance, but the Samoyed isn’t half wolf. These pack dogs don’t have any wolf lineage, but they’re likely to be the closest breed to their wild dog ancestors. 

Where Do Samoyed Dogs Originate From?

Samoyed dogs originate from the nomadic tribe of the Samoyede people. This group migrated from Asia to Siberia and used Samoyeds to pull their sleds through the Siberian terrain.

Is a Malamute Calmer Than a Husky? 

Siberian Huskies have a lot of energy and become restless when cooped up inside. While Malamutes also need plenty of exercise, they’re known to be a little more relaxed and calm within the home. Plus, they don’t rely on as much socialization as Huskies to be well-behaved. 

Are Samoyeds Bigger Than a Husky?

There is a slight difference between the Samoyed vs Husky size. 

  • The Samoyed can reach a height ranging from 19 to 23.5 inches tall and a weight of 35 to 65 pounds. 
  • Huskies have a height range of 20 to 23.5 inches and a weight of 35 to 60 pounds.

Are Husky and Samoyed the Same?

Both these dogs have similar personalities in that they’re good with young children and make amazing family dogs. But they aren’t the same breed.