The Alaskan Malamute is immensely strong and is one of the oldest Arctic sled dogs. The dog resembles the Siberian Huskies and is heavily boned, with broad, broad chest and strong shoulders. They have almond shaped eyes that may be in blue, grey or brown. They have a short muzzle with erect ears on the head. This breed is very similar to other arctic dogs like Canadian Eskimo dog, Greenland Dog, and the Siberian husky. They are working dogs and can endure in cold and rough terrain. They are incredibly affectionate and loves to live in packs. The Malamutes are often believed to be a part of the wolf family. They were originally bred to pull heavy sleds over long distance and to hunt seals and polar bears. The Malamutes are quiet and usually express themselves vocally with long howls. Their thick double coat is water resistant and helps in keeping them warm and dry.
The Alaskan Malamutes are found in different colors ranging from red to gray to black. It remains as one of the most unaltered breeds and has retained its pure bloodline. They are pack animals and like to live in large groups surrounded by people or other domesticated animals. You might see them playing the part of the wolf in movies or daily series. They are high maintenance dog and can shed heavily. Training them can be tough as they are a little stubborn. The Malamute master has to be extremely patient with them and use their intelligence for training them properly. You can go to a Malamute rescue center to understand the breed correctly. People living in hot climates are advised not to take Alaskan Malamutes as pets as the weather may not suit the dogs.
Alaskan Malamute Puppies
|Common nicknames||Mal or Mally|
|Coat||Dense double coat.|
|Color||Grey, brown or black and all white on belly, legs, feet and face.|
|Life Span||10-14 years|
|Weight||Male –85 pounds
Female – 75 pounds
|Height||Male – 25 inches
Female – 23 inches
|Personality||Friendly, loyal, affectionate, outgoing, courageous|
|Litter size||6-9 puppies|
|Good with children||Yes|
|UKC, AKC, FCI, CKC, KC (UK), NZKC, ANKC|
The history of the Alaskan Malamute dates back to almost 2000 to 3000 years ago. The dogs were the companions of the Mongoloid people who moved from Siberia to Alaska. The dog achieved its name from the Inupiat tribe called Malamute. These dogs were used by them for hunting big game and transportation to their villages. At the time of gold rush, which occurred towards the end of 19th century, the demand for sled dogs increased rapidly as the people came in huge numbers in Alaska looking for gold.
Many incoming prospectors crossbred their sled dogs with other breeds which pushed the purebred Alaskan Malamute to the verge of extinction. The Malamute dogs isolated existence helped them to pure and the race was saved from extinction. A lady named Mrs. Seeley established the first standard of this breed after a few decades. The American Kennel Club gave official recognition to this breed in 1935 based on the standard set by Mrs. Seeley. It was based on the standard of the ‘Kotzebue’ line.
Alaskan Malamute vs. Husky
There are many notable differences between the Alaskan Malamute and Huskies which can ease out the confusion. The Malamute is large and heavy in comparison to the Huskies. The Malamutes are much closely related to the wolves genetically. The Malamutes cannot pull the sled as fast as the Huskies. They can pull more weight on their back which can go up to 100 pounds.
Alaskan Malamute vs. Siberian Husky Comparison
|Characteristics||Alaskan Malamute||Siberian Husky|
|Weight||75-85 pounds||35-60 pounds|
|Color||Light grey, brown or black and white on legs, face, and underbelly||Any color|
|Temperament||Friendly and loyal, affectionate||Alert and outgoing, gentle and friendly|
|Exercise requirements||Need long workout sessions||Need long workout sessions|
|Life Expectancy||10-12 years||10-14 years|
This breed sheds heavily and you need to groom them properly. It has a thick, waterproof double coat which is appropriate for the cold arctic life. The dog requires daily brushing with a pin brush or metal comb. Check for the mats that can dwell fungus and become infectious. Its shedding season occurs twice a year and the same practice should be followed for clearing its undercoat. Malamutes can go without bathing for a span of six to eight weeks. To bathe the dog you can use a conditioner shampoo if the coat feels dry. Trim their nails on a regular basis.
They are a working dog breed and require regular exercise. They have tremendous endurance and have the ability to carry a heavy amount of loads. Daily long walks will help to channelize their energy level. Include activities like romping in a fenced yard, carrying heavy bag packs will meet their exercise needs. You can include outdoor activities like hiking, running, and swimming in the exercise routine.
The Alaskan Malamutes are prone to genetic issues like hip dysplasia which may require surgery. The senior dogs may face the issue of arthritis.
The Alaskan Malamute is an intelligent breed which makes it easy to train these dogs. Keep the training session short and interesting to avoid boredom.
Obedience: Emphasize on obedience training as Malamutes often stays in the pack and have a tendency to become the leader by dominance. Start obedience training right from puppyhood. Ensure that the dog obeys your command by speaking to them in a firm manner. Speak out commands like SIT and STAY firmly and make sure dog responds to you. On obeying you, reward the dog with some treats.
Keep a vigilant eye on these dogs as they tend to chase smaller animals. Take them to the dog park for socializing them with other dogs. Speak out loudly commands like STOP and COMEBACK if he tends to sprint after other animals or dogs.
For feeding the Alaskan Malamute, you can opt for high-quality dry dog kibble, preferably of meat ingredient. You can choose from a mix of other flavors of dog food which includes ingredients of lamb, chicken or salmon. You can even add fresh fruits and vegetables as a supplement to the Alaskan Malamute’s diet.