All About Alaskan Malamutes

All About Alaskan Malamutes



Often incorrectly identified as a Siberian husky, the Alaskan malamute is a strong, large Arctic dog with a coarse, thick double coat.  It has a solid, well-built body, furry feet with tough pads, erect ears, a plumed tail and wide head.  Although the female and male Alaskan malamutes differ in size, their average size ranges up to around eighty-five or ninety pounds and up to twenty-five inches high.  The common colors are pure white, white and red, white and black, white and sable and grey and white.  The Alaskan malamute’s eyes are always brown and almond shaped for show.Read more...
Alaskan malamute Alaskan malamute

Temperament of an Alaskan Malamute

Normally good with strangers and children, the Alaskan malamute is a good natured, friendly, fun loving dog.  They are exceedingly intelligent, strong willed, affectionate, self-assured sweet dogs that are very loyal to their masters.  Although they make wonderful family pets, Alaskan malamutes require sufficient daily exercise and attention to keep them well mannered and from becoming destructive or howling.  Malamutes do require firm training and handling and proper socialization skills with other animals and people.

Grooming & Shedding 

The Alaskan malamute’s dense, thick coat sheds extremely heavily.  Twice a year, its undercoat sheds in large clumps.  Malamutes are odorless and clean and although they do not need bathing normally, because their coats shed dirt very quickly, they do require brushing two or three times weekly.

History of the Alaskan Malamute

Descendents of the artic wolf, this Nordic dogs name comes from the upper western Alaskan ‘Mahlemut’ tribe that raised, cared for, and used them over three thousand years ago.  They were highly valued by the Eskimos, as the Alaskan malamutes were their sled dogs and only mode of transportation.  They also hauled their supplies, food, and other heavy loads.  They are well adapted in the bleak, inhospitable, barren land above the Arctic Circle due to their endurance, strength, sense of smell, tenacity, and terrific sense of direction.  Packs of Alaskan malamutes are the breed of dog that took part in numerous polar expeditions, such as Admiral Byrd’s expeditions to the South Pole.  When miners flocked to Alaska during the 1896 gold rush, for entertainment they often staged races and weight-pulling contests among their dogs.  They used Alaskan malamutes in service during World War II as search and rescue dogs, pack animals, and freight haulers.  It was not until 1935 that the American Kennel Club recognized this breed.  Nowadays, Alaskan malamutes are loyal pets and imposing show dogs.

Health Issues for the Alaskan Malamute

  • Major Concerns: ChD (chondrodysplasia), hip dysplasia, cataracts
  • Minor Concerns: renal cortical hypoplasia
  • Occasionally seen: gastric torsion
  • Suggested tests: hip, eye, ChD


Characteristics of an Alaskan Malamute

HeightMales 24-26 inches (61-66 cm)
Females 22-24 inches (56-61 cm)
WeightMales 80-95 pounds (36-43 kg)
Females 70-85 pounds (32-38 kg)
Lifespan12 -15 years
FamiliesYes – with Supervision
Young ChildrenNo
Need exercise spaceYes

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