German Shepherd vs Alaskan Malamute

Breed Snapshot

Life Expectancy:
12 to 14 years
Size:

Large

Maintenance Level:

High

Shed Level:

Very High

Best For

German Shepherds are best for active households and experienced pet parents who are ready to train this highly-active pup.

German Shepherd Temperament

Born guardians, the German Shepherd’s best trait is their intense, unwavering loyalty to their families. (There’s a reason they make some of the best police dogs.) The fearless breed has also been known to put themselves in harm’s way before they let a family member get hur...

Born guardians, the German Shepherd’s best trait is their intense, unwavering loyalty to their families. (There’s a reason they make some of the best police dogs.) The fearless breed has also been known to put themselves in harm’s way before they let a family member get hurt.

Not surprisingly, friendliness is not the German Shepherd dog breed’s strong suit. They can be aloof, and you definitely have to earn their trust. Naturally wary of strangers, a German Shepherd will default to “guard dog mode” if they believe their family is in danger.

Early social interactions with kids, babies and other animals is also important if you want your German Shepherd to be well-behaved around guests. With the proper education, this easy-to-train pup can be a great family dog.

German Shepherds are born talkers. They will bark when they’re bored, and they’ll bark to alert you if something isn’t quite right. But training and exercise can help curb a lippy pup and keep their barking to when you need it the most.

These dogs are incredibly smart, and they are at their best when they have a job to do, whether working as a police or military dog, doing tracking or search and rescue, serving as a guide dog or at home practicing scent work or solving puzzles for a treat. And when they’re with their family, German Shepherds will let their silly side show as they flip their toys in the air and roll around on their backs.

German Shepherd Traits

Friendliness
Exercise Needs
Health Issues
Barking Tendencies
Grooming Needs
Shedding Level
Training Needs
Good With Kids
Good With Cats
Good As A Service Dog
Good For Apartments & Small Homes
Biting Tendencies
Energy Level
Good With Other Dogs
Playfulness
Sensitive to Cold Weather
Sensitive to Warm Weather
Good For First Time Pet Parents

Breed Snapshot

Life Expectancy:
10 to 14 years
Size:

Large

Maintenance Level:

High

Shed Level:

Very High

Best For

An Alaskan Malamute is best for dog-savvy people who love being active outdoors. Malamutes thrive with plenty of exercise and training—and are people-friendly pups who do best as a solo pet or with an...

An Alaskan Malamute is best for dog-savvy people who love being active outdoors. Malamutes thrive with plenty of exercise and training—and are people-friendly pups who do best as a solo pet or with an opposite-sex canine companion.

Alaskan Malamute Temperament

Alaskan Malamute dogs thrive on human attention and are happy to welcome a crowd to your house. They don’t play favorites with family members, either—they’re equal-opportunity snugglers. They’re not barkers, but they are chatty—yelps, howls, and “woo woos” are all found in their repertoire. So...

Alaskan Malamute dogs thrive on human attention and are happy to welcome a crowd to your house. They don’t play favorites with family members, either—they’re equal-opportunity snugglers. They’re not barkers, but they are chatty—yelps, howls, and “woo woos” are all found in their repertoire. So expect them to join in on the conversation.

Goofy dogs with a lovable personality, Mals are also great with kids and babies, although they’ll need to be supervised around small children. They’re big dogs, so they might accidentally knock a child over, and if they nip, they could cause injury. (They do have a strong bite force.)

While Alaskan Malamutes are not aggressive toward people, they can be strong-willed. Plus, this breed has a high-prey drive and is dog-aggressive, so they generally do best as your one-and-only. And don’t even think of letting them off-leash, as they’ll take off after critters or cats. For these reasons, it’s best to train your pup from the get-go.

These athletic dogs are always up for outdoor playtime, especially if you give them a job. If you don’t have a sled, this working dog breed is just as willing to pull you on a bike. Or just strap a backpack on your Mal and go hiking.

Savvy problem-solvers, Malamutes are capable of finding new ways to dig under the fence or chew up the furniture unless you keep them challenged. Games of hide-and-seek and teaching them cool tricks are all good ways to exercise their brains, so are dog sports like agility, rally and bikejoring (a sport created to help keep sled dogs in shape in off-winter months).

Alaskan Malamute Traits

Friendliness
Exercise Needs
Health Issues
Barking Tendencies
Grooming Needs
Shedding Level
Training Needs
Good With Kids
Good With Cats
Good As A Service Dog
Good For Apartments & Small Homes
Biting Tendencies
Energy Level
Good With Other Dogs
Playfulness
Sensitive to Cold Weather
Sensitive to Warm Weather
Good For First Time Pet Parents
Viewing 1 / 2