Alaskan Malamute

Type: Northern Breeds

Height: Females: 23 inches; Males: 25 - 28 inches.

Weight: Females: 75 - 85 lbs.; Males: 85 - 125 lbs.

Life Span: 10 - 14 years.

Litter Size: 4 - 10 puppies

Country of Origin: United States of America

Activity: High. When this breed gets bored, they may howl or dig.

Watch-dog: Medium

Guard-dog: Low

Description: The Alaskan Malamute is a powerful, substantially built dog with a deep chest and strong, compact body. They are the oldest of the Arctic dogs, a native to Alaska and according to stories this dog is a descendant of wolves. Whether or not that is true they have good stamina and the speed of wolves ,though they are mainly built for power. Their body is slightly longer then their height which moves their center of gravity back, giving them more pulling power. Malamutes come in a range of colors, with mostly the same pattern. They can be anywhere from light grey to shades of black or from gold to shades of red and all the way to liver. They highly resemble what most people perceive as Siberian Huskies, but Malamutes are larger in size. The Alaskan Malamute is clean, quiet, and an affectionate companion, though they need a firm owner to show them who is boss. Alaskan Malamutes are family oriented and love to be with people. They make a wonderful companion and they do well with children. They are well suited for colder climates, and do not like hot or humid weather. The Alaskan Malamute is happiest drawing a sled or a wheeled cart.

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Other Names: Malamute, Mal, or Mally

Colors: From light grey to shadings of black or from gold through shades of red to liver. Or they can be all white. The underbelly is always white, with white on their legs, feet and mask.

Coat: Harsh, thick, coarse, medium length topcoat and a heavy plush undercoat.

Temperament: Alaskan Malamutes are independent, strong-willed, fun-loving, active, exuberant, and friendly. They love to pull, run and roam. Malamutes love to dig and sometimes will howl. They are friendly with humans but can be aggressive towards other animals or strange dogs. They may need firm training as a puppy to ensure obedience when they are older and bigger. They are quite powerful and strong-willed, and some tend to be quite dominant.

With Children: Yes, they get along well with children, but supervise them with young children.

With Pets: No, Alaskan Malamutes have a high aggression towards other dogs. They are not recommended in homes with other small pets.

Special Skills: Sled dog and family pet.

Care and Training: Alaskan Malamutes require once or twice weekly brushing of their coat. Careful attention should be paid to keep them free from parasites. They shed in warm weather, and more care of the coat should be taken at these times. Brushing more often during warmer weather is necessary. Alaskan Malamutes need vigorous daily exercise and attention. They should be given the opportunity to go on a long walk, a run or a mush. Obedience training is very important to maintain a well balanced dog.

Learning Rate: Medium. Obedience - Medium. Problem Solving - Low. They learn quickly, but they also bore easily. The Alaskan Malamute can learn, but simply may not want to.

Special Needs: Cool climate, lots of exercise, lots of grooming, and training.

Living Environment: The Alaskan Malamute will thrive with lots of space. They do much better in a country environment. The Malamute also needs cool climate, as they do not do well in hot or humid weather. The best owner for this breed would be a firm, active owner living in a cooler-climate suburban or country home.

Health Issues: Hip dysplasia, cataracts, chondrodysplasia, skin problems, eye problems and sometimes they suffers from a condition where the growth of their limbs is reduced. They may also suffer from bloat, which is a common health concern to most dogs, being the second largest cause of death in dogs. It is also called gastric torsion or twisted stomach.

History: The Alaskan Malamute was developed by a tribe of nomadic Inuit people called Mahlemuts who lived along Norton Sound of northwestern Alaska. The Malamute's origins may have been the result of mixing wolves with other dogs. The Inuit people had wanted a large, strong, sled-pulling dog that was not a speedster but a heavy hauler so that they could use them as draft animals. They were bred to be able to perform great endurance even in poor weather. The Mahlemuts hunted polar bears and seals and needed a very strong dog to be able to haul all of the meat. The breed was so widely used and accepted in their tribe that it was considered almost a part of the family. When people outside of Alaska heard about gold in its land in 1896, they began pouring in. During the European settling of Alaska, the dogs were used for hunting and hauling in large numbers. The breed grew in popularity among outsiders, and some of the breed were even chosen for use on Admiral Byrd's trek to the South Pole in 1933. The breed was also used excessively during World War II as a freight hauler, pack animal and a search-and-rescue dog. In 1935 the Alaskan Malamute was recognized by the AKC.

First Registered by the AKC: 1935

AKC Group: Working

Class: Working

Registries: AKC, ANKC, CKC, FCI (Group 5), KC,(GB), UKC