Other names: Mal
Dog Group Kennel Club: Working (AKC, KC)
The Alaskan Malamute is one of the oldest Arctic sled dogs and is often mistaken for the Siberian Husky. The alaskan malamute was bred to pull heavy freight as a sled dog, their pulling power is tremendous. This breed is a powerful and substantially built dog with a deep chest and strong, compact and well-muscled body. The head is broad with triangular and erect ears.The alaskan malamutes eyes are almond-shaped and are always brown. The malamutes’ plume like tails are well-furred, aid in keeping them warm when they curl up in the snow . They wrap the tail around their nose and face which helps protect them against harsh weather like blowing snow.
Malamutes have a thick coarse guard coat of sufficient length to protect and a woolly, oily and dense undercoat. Face markings are a distinguishing feature. These consist of a cap over the head, the face either all white or marked with a bar and/or mask. The usual colors range from light gray through intermediate shadings to black, sable, and shadings of sable to red. The Malamutes coat allows them to withstand extreme cold, but be careful to keep the dog cool in hot climates. Make sure they have shade and plenty of clean cool water.
Weight: 34–39 kg
Average Life Span: up to 14 years
Today a few Malamutes are still in use as sled dogs for personal travel, hauling freight, some are used for the recreational pursuit of sledding also known as mushing. The Malamute is one of the most “unaltered” of breeds,retaining its original form and function.
The Alaskan Malamute is an affectionate,loyal, playful, friendly dog, not a “one man” dog.Their affectionate natures means they are not suited as a watch dog. They are great with children who are old enough to play with them safely, they should be supervised around unfamiliar small animals, as they have a strong prey instinct. If their canine instincts are met, they mature into a dignified and mellow adult dog. Without firm leadership and daily mental and physical exercise, malamutes may become destructive nuisances. Malamutes love outdoor activities and would suit an outgoing active family. Malamutes are quiet compared to most dogs but they do like to howl and dig.
Malamutes are not recommended for apartment life. They need a home with a big back yard, a high fence is a must, but bury the base as they like to dig.
Not too difficult to train as malamutes love to please. Males can be very dominant. Owners need to be firm, confident and consistent to be the leader of this breed. Some dogs may be difficult to housebreak. Malamutes can be dog aggressisve therefore proper socialization with people and other dogs is imperative fromearly puppy hood.
The dense double coat of the malamute should be brushed twice a week. Note:The malamute breed is a massively heavy shedder. The undercoat comes out in clumps twice a year. Bathing is not needed as the shedding clears the dirt
Malamutes are highly active dogs and need long daily walks to keep them happy and healthy. Warning: be careful not to over walk them in warm weather.
Alaskan Malamute Health Issues
Bloat – though not a hereditary condition, frequently affects many dogs including this breed. This is a very serious condition. When a dog bloats, the stomach can turn and block, causing a build up of gas. Unless treated quickly, bloat can be fatal. Signs of bloat include futile attempts to vomit and to salivate. Bloat, which may lead to cardiovascular collapse, usually occurs when exercise too closely follows eating. The incidence of bloat may be lessened by feeding adult dogs twice a day and, of course, by allowing a dog time to digest before taking him for a run in the park. Click Here for more information
Hip dysplasia: a malformation of the hip joint resulting in a poor fit between the head of the femur bone and the hip socket. This condition can be alleviated by surgery, at some cost to dog and owner. Because dysplastic dogs often produce dysplastic puppies, buyers should ask if both the sire and the dam of the puppy in which they are interested have been rated clear of hip dysplasia. Do not take yes for an answer without seeing a certificate, and ask for a copy to take to your veterinarian.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is a hereditary disease of the eye that has been identified in this breed. PRA is a blanket term for many types of retinal diseases, all of which result in blindness. All Alaskan malamutes, regardless of age or breeding status, should be examined yearly by a member of the Veterinary Opthalmologists.
Cataracts: cause a loss of the normal transparency of the lens of the eye. The problem can occur in one or both eyes and can lead to blindness.
Alaskan Malamute History
The Alaskan Malamute is a Nordic dog, descended from the Arctic wolf. Its name comes from Mahlemuts, an Alaskan tribe that raised and cared for these beautiful snow dogs. Originally used 2000 to 3000 years ago by these Mahlemuit Eskimos of Alaska, the dogs were their only form of transportation and were highly valued. They pulled light traveling sleds, and hauled heavy loads (including food and supplies).
Later, the Malamute went with Admiral Byrd’s expeditions to the pole. This breed has amazing strength, endurance and heart. The Malamute is a sled dog. Packs of Malamutes have participated in many polar expeditions, for which they are particularly well adapted due to their tenacity, sense of direction, and excellent sense of smell.
They have appeared as unforgettable characters in the stories of Jack London and Rudyard Kipling. In the last decades, they have proved themselves to be civilized and good-natured in this role. Some of the Alaskan Malamute’s talents are sledding, carting, search & rescue, weight pulling and racing.