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Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamute profile

Oher Names: Malamute

Country Of Origin: United States

Dog Group Kennel Club: Working 

General Appearance:

The Alaskan Malamute was originally bred for use as an Alaskan sled dog and, as such, is powerful, compact and capable of surviving at low temperatures with a thick course outer coat and a dense undercoat. In many ways, the Malamute is visually like his distant cousin the wolf. The head is broad, especially between the ears and there should be a slight furrow between the dark, almond shaped eyes. Bulky in proportion to the skull, the muzzle has an almost uniform width and depth throughout its length.


Light grey to black or gold to shades of red or liver. They always have white on the underbody with white parts of legs, feet and face.


Bitch             58-66 cms

Dog               64-71 cms

(Height measured to top of shoulder)


                              Min                 Max 
Bitch            38kg (84lbs)   56kg (123lbs) 
Dog               38kg (84lbs)   56kg (123lbs)


Alaskan Malamutes are affectionate, friendly and loyal.  They are certain to make a good family pet but also have a strong independent streak as a result of the origins of the breed. They are also known for their lacking tolerance of small animals that could be deemed as prey. After maturity the Alaskan Malamute usually settles in to a nice calm and quiet adult.


Tireless and rhythmical

Care and Training:

The Alaskan Malamute has a very thick and coarse coat and would do well with a good brushing twice a week. They are very heavy shedders and there undercoat comes out in clumps twice a year. Bathes for this breed really aren't necessary as they easily shed dirt.  Dogs will shed heavily once a year and bitches twice a year during their seasons

Overall Exercise:  60 - 80 minutes per day.
Some owners join sledging clubs to compete in races thus giving the dogs plenty of exercise.
It should be noted that Malamutes do have a tendency to run off so they should be well trained to recall before being let off the lead.  A Malamute needs a confident handler who will clearly take on the role of pack leader and train the dog with kind, but firm methods.

Feeding Requirements:

If being used to sled, this dog should be on a 'performance' diet as it will burn off an extraordinary amount of calories. As a housepet a normal maintainence diet should be acceptable.

Exercise: Med

Grooming: Low-med

Noise: Low

Personal Protection: Low

Suitability As Guard Dog: Low

Level of Aggression: Medium

Compatibility With Other Animals: Medium

Suitablity for Children: Medium

Often Docked? no

Average litter size: 5

Life Expectancy (yrs) 14

Health issues: Hip dysplasia, cataracts, chondrodysplasia, skin problems, eye problems and sometimes they suffer 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, trong, 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 with 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.

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