Close
Click Here To Sign Up!
BaxterBoo Blog
January 9, 2013

Meet the Breed: The Alaskan Malamute

main image

Overview:

  • Height: 24"-26" (Male), 22"-24" (Female)
  • Weight: 80-95 pounds (Male), 70-85 pounds (Female)
  • Historical function: Working and sled dogs
  • Modern function: Family Companions
  • AKC classification: Working

Physical Characteristics:

The Alaskan Malamute is the largest of the Arctic dogs. This thick, well-built dog is solid with a plumed tail that is held over the back. The head is wide with erect ears. The eyes are almond shaped and always brown, unlike the Siberian Husky, which can have blue or bi-colored eyes. The Malamute resembles a wolf but has a sweet expression. The feet are large, of the snowshoe type with tough pads. The thick, coarse, oily double coat averages one to three inches in length and is the dog's secret to enduring harsh winter conditions. Coat colors come in a range of light gray to intermediate shadings of black, sable and shadings of sable to red. The only solid color allowed is white. The dog often has darker highlights and sometimes has a dark mask or cap. The legs and muzzle are almost always white.

History of Breed:

Unlike the Siberian Husky that was designed for speed, the Alaskan Malamute was designed as more of a utilitarian companion, able to haul heavy sled loads, to hunt large game, including bears, and to spot seal blowholes. This ancient descendent of arctic wolves formed an interdependent relationship with the native peoples above the arctic circle. This enabled a fairly prosperous life in an otherwise inhospitable land. The Alaskan Malamute also became valuable to prospectors hauling heavy loads during the Gold Rush of 1896.

Temperament:

Since the Malamute has learned to survive in the harshest environment imaginable, behaviors such as independence, resourcefulness, and intelligence were selected. These tendencies can also make them difficult to train in standard obedience. They are eager to please, however, so using positive motivation and fun can make a well-behaved family dog. Early and consistent socialization is a must for any large breed. They have a strong prey drive, so socialize young pups with cats to keep them from chasing them.

  • Best suited for: Families with or without other pets. Outdoorsy, active types. Cold climates.
  • Preferred living conditions: Indoor and outdoor living with lots of exercise. A large yard is needed. Bury the high fence line as they are adept diggers that are prone to roam whatever they consider to be their territory.

Care and Health:

  • Grooming requirements: Alaskan Malamutes are prolific shedders, that shed in clumps seasonally. Daily brushing is required, but bathing should be rare as it strips the protective oils. They have little to no odor.
  • Exercise needs: This breed needs daily walks, but take care not to overdo it in warm weather.
  • Life expectancy: 12-15 years
  • Health concerns: Health issues include being prone to bloat and hip dysplasia.

Breed Club Links: Alaskan Malamute Club of America

BaxterBoo.com Perfect Pairings: As Malamutes are prone to wolfing down their food and being prone to developing the life-threatening bloat, we highly recommend the GREEN Interactive Dog Feeder to slow them down.

Have any stories about your Alaskan Malamute?

 

What do you think?

Name:
You are not logged in.
This entry was posted by Mary.

Recent Articles

article image

July 20, 2017

Five Tips for a Positive Potty Training Experience

  Whether you bring home a young puppy, middle-aged dog, or senior dog, your new companion will most likely need to learn new or break old habits and take a little time to adjust to their new environment.  Potty training is a commonly need


article image

July 20, 2017

Watch this: Cat Feeds Dog

We're not sure if this is the laziest dog... or the smartest. Either way, he's got a pretty good thing going. 


article image

July 19, 2017

Dog Harness or Collar: Select the Best Option

Whether you are heading out for a leisure walk or a brisk run, it is important that your dog is properly secured. Over the years there have been quite a few developments in proper training and walking apparatuses, and collars and harnesses have risen


Subscribe to

Baxter's Backyard!