A member of the Spitz group of dogs, the Alaskan Malamute’s roots can be traced back hundreds of years to nomadic Eskimo/Innuit tribes in the region we know today as Alaska. “Malamute” refers to the regional dialect of the Alaskan Inupiaq Eskimos. The Malamute Tribe developed their dogs to pull heavy sleds far distances in harsh winter conditions. They relied upon their dogs for work, but also included them as members of the family. Around the turn of the 20th century, people from other regions developed interest these dogs as sled dogs.
By the 1920s, The Alaskan Malamute was being developed as a specific dog breed. The Alaskan Malamute was officially recognized by the AKC in 1936 and the Alaskan Malamute Club of America was formed that same year. They have continued to work diligently as sled dogs but are more commonly seen as companion dogs today.
Weight: 75-85 pounds
Height: 23-25 inches at the shoulder
Light gray to black with white markings, sable to red with white markings, or solid white
Responsible breeders strive to maintain the highest breed standards as established by kennel clubs like the AKC. Dogs bred by these standards are less likely to inherit health conditions. However, some hereditary health problems can occur in the breed. The following are some conditions to be aware of:
- Hip Dysplasia
- Inherited Polyneuropathy
- Hemeralopia (Day blindness, AKA Cone Degeneration)
About the Breed:
The large, wolf-like Alaskan Malamute is an incredibly strong and energetic dog breed with high levels of endurance and intelligence. Though an overall independent dog, Malamutes are friendly and affectionate towards humans and tend to bond especially close to their human families.
The Alaskan Malamute, affectionately called the “Mal,” has a dense, double hair coat that allows the breed to withstand very low temperatures. The undercoat is soft while the top coat is thick and coarse. This dog breed sheds a lot – especially in warmer months. Though their coat length is medium-short, Mals have a lot of hair and requires routine grooming – specifically a thorough brushing several times a week. A brief daily brushing is recommended to decrease shedding and to keep your Mal looking his best.
Malamutes are energetic and intelligent dogs that require adequate mental and physical stimulation to thrive. Plenty of daily exercise is essential to keep them fit and happy. In addition, training is important to help stimulate the Mal’s intelligent mind and keep him focused on his “job” as a companion dog.
With proper care and attention, the Alaskan Malamute can make a wonderful companion for the right household. The breed tends to do very well with children if properly trained and socialized, though slightly older children are preferred due to the Mal’s large size. If you decide the Alaskan Malamute is right for your lifestyle, you will have a loyal and affectionate companion for life.