When choosing a friendly and fluffy canine, deciding between a Samoyed vs. Malamute can be challenging for dog lovers. 

It is because both breeds possess a striking similarity in appearance and share a common northern heritage. 

The two dog breeds are famous for their loyalty, intelligence, and above all, their beauty. On the contrary, they also have distinctive differences that make them better suited for different types of owners and living conditions. 

Today, we shall explore the similarities and differences between a Samoyed and Malamute. We’ll also give an insight into the breed best for your lifestyle. 

Samoyed Vs. Malamute

The Samoyed and the Malamute do have a comparison in their appearance. Samoyed will only come in a gorgeous white or cream-colored coat while a malamute comes in various colors, such as white and brown, white and black, or even white and red. 

The dogs also share a common similarity: they have triangular-shaped ears and powerful legs. Their legs are perfect for traversing snow tundras. 

Key Differences Between Samoyed And Malamute

The Samoyed and Malamute do compare in many ways. Understanding their differences can help you identify them with ease. 

1. Size

When it comes to size, the Malamute always comes a little taller and heavier than the Samoyed. The Malamute can grow 23 to 25 inches tall, while the Samoyed can grow 21 to 23 inches tall. 

Malamutes are pretty heavy, and they can weigh 65 to 85 pounds. On the other hand, a Samoyed can weigh 35 to 65 pounds. 

2. Original Reason For Breeding 

Both the Samoyed and the Malamute were bred in the beginning. However, they were not bred for the same reason. 

Alaskans originally used the malamutes in sled dog racing while Siberians bred the Samoyed to help in herding and hunting of reindeer in Siberia. 

3. Behavior 

The Samoyed and the Malamute also have come notable behavioral differences. An average Samoyed is seen to be friendlier to children than an average Malamute. 

However, this comparison does not imply that Malamutes are naturally aggressive. An average Malamute can’t make a good guard dog as compared to a Samoyed due to the friendly nature of Malamutes.  

4. Life Span

Regarding life span, an average Samoyed is more likely to live longer than a Malamute. We can conclude that it’s because Samoyed is medium size and weighs less. 

On the other hand, Malamutes are large dogs that are pretty heavy and hence have a shorter life span. 

Specifically, a malamute will live an average of 10 to 12 years, while a Samoyed can live for 12 to 15 years. 

However, the two breeds of dogs will live longer if they are well taken care of and fed on a balanced diet. 

All-inclusive, the Samoyed and Malamute are two great breeds of dogs that can make excellent pets for the right owner. 

However, their differences in temperament, size, and energy levels should help you decide what is best for you. 

What Samoyed And Malamute Have In Common

Despite the differences between the Samoyed and Malamute, they also share some similarities. Most of the things you will find familiar between these two canines include the following:

1. Origin 

The Samoyed and Malamute share a rich history and originally came from the world’s cold regions. The breeding of Samoyeds was done in Siberia, while that of the Malamute was in Alaska. 

2. Working Dogs 

Both breeds were originally bred to work and marvelously perform in cold weather conditions. The Samoyed was beneficial for herding reindeer, pulling sleds, and guarding their owner’s property. 

The breeding of the Alaskan Malamute was for transportation and hunting. Traditionally, the Alaskans used them as sled dogs. 

3. Appearance

Even though the Samoyed and Malamute have different appearances, they are similar too. The Samoyed and Malamute appear to have a thick double coat, pointy ears, and even curled tails. 

The two breeds are both muscularly built and have strong bones allowing them to perform strenuous tasks without much struggle. 

4. Intelligence 

Both breeds are intelligent, and it is easy to train. It is why they are a popular choice for agility and obedience training. Samoyeds and Malamutes are great sharp learners who enjoy being occupied most of their time. 

5. Socialization 

The Samoyed and Malamute require early socialization to be great, well-rounded dogs. They may become shy, anxious, and even aggressive without proper socialization. That is why petting them as young dogs is more important than adult dogs. 

How To Take Care Of A Samoyed And A Malamute

The care routine of a Samoyed and a malamute is quite similar, with only a slight variation, especially in the grooming and exercise needs. The two dog breeds are intelligent, strong, and active and need proper care and attention. 

If you were to adopt one or both of these breeds, here are some tips on how you can take care of them: 


The Samoyed and Malamute have thick fur coats as they inhabit cold weather conditions. The thick fur requires regular grooming to maintain its orientation. You must brush their coat at least once weekly to remove the loose fur and prevent matting. 

When winter ends, you might have to groom their fur daily. It is because the Samoyed and Malamute shed their thick coat as they try to adapt to a warmer season. 

Most people refer to this as the shedding season. Make sure to trim their hair regularly and clean their ears as needed. 


The Samoyed and Malamute are active dogs, requiring regular exercise to stay healthy and happy. Some of the activities these breeds of dogs will enjoy doing include hiking, walking, and even playing in a secure yard. 

Ensure you provide them enough opportunity to play daily, as every dog owner knows a tired dog is happy. 

It is good to remember that a Samoyed and a Malamute have thick coats, meaning they do not love hot weather. 

Therefore, it is essential to exercise them in the early mornings as the sun rises or in the late afternoons to evenings as the sun sets. 

Giving them at least two hours of exercise every day is enough for them. You could do more if you have got time. 


Reinforcement training for dogs is essential for developing their behaviors in general. The Samoyed and Malamute are intelligent dogs that will respond well to positive reinforcement training. 

Since they are very active dogs, they can be stubborn sometimes, so it is crucial to be patient and train them consistently. 

Enrolling them in an obedience class would help them learn basic commands and socialize with other dogs. 


Active dogs need active nutrition to provide enough energy for their day. Feeding your Samoyed and Malamute with a high-quality and nutritious diet appropriate to their age and activity level is good. 

It is essential to monitor their food intake and avoid overfeeding to avoid excessive weight gain that might lead to other problems. 

Always combine a good diet with exercise. It will help your dogs to stay in shape, healthy, and happy throughout. 

Health Care

Like you, a Samoyed and Malamute need proper health care to stay healthy and happy. Taking them to the vet for regular checkups and vaccination is best. It is crucial to monitor their health and look for vet care when they get to seek it. 

The breed of dogs is prone to some health conditions, such as hip dysplasia. That is why you should visit a vet to teach you how to prevent such problems. Moreover, giving them a regular bath is good for maintaining their body hygiene. 


Both breeds of dogs are animals belonging to a pack and enjoy socializing with other dogs and people. 

It is great to introduce them to other people and make them encounter different situations such as parties regularly. It will help these two types of canines to be social and well-adjusted.  

They might get shy, anxious, or aggressive if you do not show them how to behave around people from a young age. An aggressive dog can bite people or even bark at them, causing a scene in a public place. 

Climate Control 

Since both Samoyeds and Malamutes have thick coats, they are prone to heat stroke during hot weather. 

It is best to ensure access to a good shed and water outside. Do not exercise them during the hottest time, especially when the sun is above the head. 

Additionally, even though their fur coats usually warm them during the cold season, they might still feel cold. 

That is why it is essential to intervene and ensure they are on a dog cot or sweater to help them stay warm.

Samoyed Vs. Malamute Conclusion

Generally, the Samoyed vs. Malamute are two great canines with slight differences. If you are a dog lover and looking to get one of them, their differences should help you decide on which breed suits you best. 

The dogs also possess many similar characteristics in appearance, socialization, and intelligence. They are strong and active dogs, and it would be best to give them regular exercise to keep them happy. 

By providing your Samoyed and Malamute with a proper diet, regular grooming, and good health care, you can help them live a long, happy, and healthy life. 

About the Author

Raising Samoyeds

Raising Samoyeds serves as a go-to resource for Samoyed owners and prospective owners. Our blog shares insights, stories and tips relevant to both new and experienced owners alike in raising these magnificent dogs.

Our content covers everything from finding Samoyed puppies for sale, to training and grooming guides, health and nutrition advice and even heartwarming stories about life with Samoyeds.

RaisingSamoyeds.com exists to assist readers on their journey with these wonderful dogs, encouraging responsible ownership, and celebrating the unique charm and companionship they bring into our lives. Through expert knowledge and personal experiences shared here on Raising Samoyeds' blog, Raising Samoyeds provides a supportive community for Samoyed fans worldwide.

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