Alaskan Malamute dog breed characteristics and facts

Alaskan Malamute dog breed characteristics and facts


Purebred Dogs


1 foot, 11 inches to 2 feet, 1 inch tall at the shoulder


75 to 100 pounds


12 to 15 years

Alaskan Malamute is a breed bold, friendly, and hardworking dogs, which is native to the rough snowy land of Alaska. The Malamutes are very large fluffy dogs that have strength, endurance, and loyalty beyond all. Malamutes were a part of the wealth and preeminent companions in the north for the mahlemuts of Alaska. In the history of the Arctic, Alaskan Malamutes have an immovable niche. Due to its thick coat, Malamutes loved and thrived in cold weather. The double coat provides insulation from the cold, and the colors of the coat vary. Alaskan Malamute comes in shades of gray, black, runt, white, and copper.

Malamutes are big, powerful dogs that are built for endurance. They were regularly utilized to pull heavy sleds across long distances. These dogs helped transport essential goods, and the drive and stamina continue to be deeply ingrained. This means that they need lots of regular exercise as well as mental stimulation. A bored Malamute can soon grow into a destructive one, thus indoor and outdoor activities of their families should be a top priority.

Alaskan Malamute Facts

  • Origin: Alaska, United States
  • Size: Large breed, Alaskan Malamute males 25 inches tall, Alaskan Malamute females 23 inches tall and 75 pounds
  • Breed group: Working dog
  • Lifespan: 10-14 years
  • Coat: Thick, double coat
  • Temperament: Affectionate, gentle giants, playful, loyal
  • Exercise needs: High
  • Training: Needs early training
  • Grooming: Moderate
  • Health: Certain health issues include elbow dysplasia, hip dysplasia, bloat and eye problems

Alaskan Malamute Overview

When you see an Alaskan Malamute for the first time, you cannot help but be impressed by the size and wolf-like facial markings and the plumed tail that waves over their backs. Despite their movie-star wolfish looks, the Malamute is loyal, affectionate, and friendly around people. They have strength, energy, endurance, independence, and most importantly, intelligence. The breed was originally designed for heavy sled pulls and polar bear and seal hunting, yet they will also succeed in many dog sports. This incorporates compliance and dog events, as well as pulling weights, ski riding, backpacking with humans, and casual dog sledding upon occasion.

That said, when your Malamutes is not accompanying your inline skating sessions or vocalizing their characteristic “woo woo” away or sharing TV time, they might be rummaging through the trash or scouting out treats on kitchen counters or digging cool holes in the backyard. Malamutes is inherently friendly and sees everyone as friends, making them unsuitable watchdogs. Malamutes size alone will walk itself to the grave, and strangers may scare away, and that is as far as their protective nature goes. Malamutes need  spacy environs and  additional exercise conserves of boredom They are occasionally misunderstood as obstinate due to their independent streak, but they are brilliant and learn quickly. If the Malamutes match your lifestyle, it will offer you many active years of companionship, staying youthful and excited well into old age.

Alaskan Malamute Highlights

Not recommended for first time dog owners: Alaskan Malamutes may be intelligent, but they scamps are equally hard to train and teach. Its training, therefore, requires adequate skill and preparedness to undertake. As such, they may not be good choices for novice or inexperienced persons.

Will challenge for top position in the household: Alaskan Malamutes will need to understand who the boss is. These ferocious wolves will run for the employer’s role if you do not take up your leadership duties as soon as possible. You can exercise control by being on top of it from the onset and training consistently.

Majestic, thick coats: Malamutes are known to have remarkable and thick double coats. The mighty insulating coats on the malamutes keep these creatures warm at all times. However, hot weather conditions may cause your dog to overheat and become uncomfortable. Thus, the thick coats will require shade and plenty of water to keep them cold in warm climatic conditions.

Notorious Diggers: Alaskan Malamutes are intelligent and active, and they must stay in motion and be continuously stimulated. They may resort to chewing if they are bored.

High prey drive: Malamutes are animals with a high prey drive, with a preference for capturing and murdering helpless animals. There is a need to exercise caution when introducing them to your other pets.

Shed heavily twice a year: Alaskan Malamutes discard significant amounts of hair twice every year. Regular brushing is required to get rid of the loose fur during this period.They bellow seldom. Malamutes are rarely bellow and fans are advised to howl back.

Alaskan Malamute History

The Alaskan Malamute is an ancient Arctic sled dog breed, evolving from early native peoples who migrated from Siberia to Alaska over the Bering Strait land bridge thousands of years ago. One of the Mahlemut settlements in the northeastern Seward Peninsula contributed to the development of the Alaskan Malamute breed by utilizing the dogs for seal hunting and polar bear deterrence, in addition to hauling heavy sleds filled with essential goods. These indigenous tribes valued their dogs, but the Gold Rush of 1896 introduced various compatible dogs to the Alaskan climate to hybridize indiscriminately and destroy purity. However, the Mahlemutes’ isolated manner helped the survival of the Malamute. Arthur T. Walden’s Chinook Kennel in New Hampshire initiated the breeding by supplying dogs for Byrd’s Antarctic expeditions. One strain is the “Kotzebue,” which originated from the Norton Sound area, and the “M’Loot,” which was cultivated by Paul Voelker, Sr., in the early 1900s. The Alaskan Malamute Club of America was established in 1935, and the American Kennel Club recognized the breed that year. During World War II, many registered Malamutes were deployed for war duty; however, many dogs were euthanized after returning from Antarctica in the expedition. Present-day AKC-registered Malamutes can trace their ancestry back to the original Kotzebues or dogs that were registered during the late 1940s open period.

Alaskan Malamute Size

On average, Alaskan Malamutes are about 25 inches tall at the shoulder for males and 85 pounds; female Malamutes are around 23 inches tall and 75 pounds. At the same time, a well-built adult can occasionally exceed 100 pounds. In extremely rare cases, there are individuals of “giant” breed, which are more than 140 pounds, but the Malamute body is not adapted to carry an excessive burden.

Alaskan Malamute Personality

Do you believe that you can’t live without Alaskan Malamutes? They easily win people’s hearts with their friendly and playful nature, behaving like everyone around them, including strangers and visitors, who instantly become fast friends. That makes them inappropriate to serve as watchdogs whereas it can always be funny learning how a 100-pound Alaskan sounds when greeting an unknown presence. Their loyalty to family and friends is sacred. They require human employers to be a key part of their pack; they want to join in all their family’s activities. While Malamutes are not frequent barkers, they communicate in distinctive woo-sounding words. The Malamute temperament is determined by hereditary factors and training, with socialization playing a significant role. Dogs with pleasant temperaments are curious, willing to approach people and become more open to others. When choosing a puppy, avoid those who are too shy or overly aggressive. It must be well-balanced. It is better to meet one of the parents to ensure that you feel comfortable with the temperament. His or her behavior can indicate the dog’s future attitudes. Start socializing your Alaskan Malamutes as early as possible. Socializing as a puppy Sets the stage for your puppies being positive. A puppy kindergarten will encourage you to meet new customers. Regular guests, visits to a park where dogs are encouraged, and walks through the area are all excellent ways to promote this well-rounded animal.

Alaskan Malamute Health

Alaskan Malamutes are generally healthy, but they are prone to some health conditions that includes:

  • Cataracts
  • Chondrodysplasia
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hemeralopia (day blindness)
  • Polyneuropathy

Knowing the health conditions a dog is likely to have makes it essential if you are planning to have an Alaskan Malamute. Reducing the risk of the dog getting some of these ailments goes down to getting a dog from a breeder known to have screened the parent dogs for the conditions. It is also important that you take your dog to see a veterinarian regularly and treat any conditions that may arise early enough.

Alaskan Malamute Care

Alaskan Malamutes are very active and vigorous dogs who were bred to pull heavy sledges through the cold Arctic snow. Malamutes have a powerful work ethic and must be exercised on a regular basis to keep them happy and healthy. They must be exercised on a daily basis for one hour, devoid of the possibility of utilizing their power. They require vigorous physical activity to avoid them becoming bored and engaging in destructive activities. A Malamute will require long walks, long hikes, and activities like sledding or weig Malems have a strong prey drive and must be kept within a secure fenced Backyard. Dog-proof accordion wire is a must!

Malamutes have a thick double coat to help protect them against the cold. However, as an owner, it is important to recognize your pup’s need for temperature control. A Malamute, for example, will quickly overheat in warm conditions. Never shave your Alaskan Malamute’s fur during the summer. That is counterproductive and only adds to your dog’s ability to cool down. Regular grooming is also required for the coat to remain healthy and not shed too much. This means brushing your dog at least a couple of times per week—up to once every two days during the few seasons of heavy shedding to get loose fur off and avoid matting. They are relatively clean dogs, but they do shed a lot, primarily during the change of seasons, and for a few weeks, you can expect to vacuum twice a day. Their nails should be clipped regularly, their ears should be cleaned, and their teeth should be brushed. They should also be monitored for ear infections and their mouth hygiene to avoid tooth decay.

Alaskan Malamute Grooming And Coat Color

Alaskan Malamutes have a thick double coat that needs regular brushing. The outer coat is also thick and coarse, while the inner coat is soft and woolly. Alaskan Malamutes lose their coat twice a year, so brushing is of the utmost importance to remove excess hair. Here is how to groom an Alaskan Malamute:

Brush, Alaskan Malamute, one to three times per week using a slicker brush or undercoat rake; this will help keep the coat clean and the skin’s oils spread properly. Brush more often during the shedding season to help with hair loss. Bathe the Malamute only as needed to prevent dry skin due to regular bathing. Brush your Malamute’s teeth two to three times a week to remove tartar to help prevent gum disease. Trim your Malamute’s nails once or twice monthly, to keep them in good shape. Check the ears of the Malamute one time a week for red or an unpleasant odor, both of which suggest infection.

If you are not sure how to trim nails or clean ears, you should ask your vet or professional grooming assistant. It is essential to brush your Malamute even as a puppy to get them used to the process. Start brushing their teeth regularly and make them feel positive by providing treats and praising.

Alaskan Malamute Children And Other Pets

Malamutes are generally found to be patient, friendly, grateful, and gentle with children, enjoying the attention given to them. However, it is crucial to keep in mind that playful Alaskan Malamute puppies, which develop rapidly, can easily overpower a child under five years old and unintentionally knock him over with sheer drive. So it’s critical to teach your child the appropriate ways to approach and contact dogs. Any kind of socialization between dogs and youngsters must always be supervised to avoid accidental biting, ear or tail pulling, on both sides. Parents should also tell children not to bother dogs when they are eating or sleeping and not to try to take their food away. Children should not be allowed to be near any dog on their own. Socialize your Malamute early and educate it to get along peacefully with other dogs. A Malamute may instinctively pursue a cat, even if they are thoroughly socialized. Proper introductions to other household animals, as well as constant supervision of their interaction with kitties and other creatures that often appear outside, are extremely advised.