- Group – Working
- Height – 23-25 inches at the shoulder
- Weight – 34-39 KG
- Life Span – 12-15 years
The Alaskan Malamute was named after the native Inuit tribe of western Alaska. They are one of the oldest Arctic sled dog breeds and have grown in popularity as a family pet.
The precise origin of this noble breed and the nomadic Mahlemut people for whom it was named has never been fully documented. Malamutes were found by Russian explorers when they visited the Kotzebue Sound region of the Pacific Alaskan coast. The dogs were prized by their native owners, who took excellent care of them and housed them in their own simple dwellings. First and foremost they were “heavy haulers” – bred to pull tremendous weight and transport supplies and people during the winter months. Without them, the tribespeople would have had no means of travel in the bitter winter climate of what is now northwestern Alaska. As a result, Malamutes have an inbred willingness and desire to pull. They secondarily were used as pack animals during the warmer months and reportedly carried up to half of their own weight transporting goods for their owners.
From about 1890 to 1920, the Klondike Gold Rush brought many outsiders to California and then north to Alaska, where the sport of sled-racing became extremely popular. While the Mahlemuts had bred their dogs purely for centuries, these newcomers began crossbreeding the Alaskan Malamute with southern breeds built for speed rather than stamina. The overall quality of the Alaskan Malamute went into a steep decline, although in some remote outposts the undiluted breed persevered. In the early 1920’s, two dog enthusiasts reportedly spent more than one year living in an Eskimo village and gathering a group of these untouched Mals, which they used as their foundation stock to revitalize the breed. By 1935, the Alaskan Malamute was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club
Personality and Temperament
Alaskan Malamutes are friendly, affectionate, and loyal, though they’re quite independent.
This breed usually gets along well with children. Their friendliness toward visitors means they are not particularly good as watchdogs.
Hair, Care and Grooming
The outer coat is think and coarse and undercoat is greasy and wooly.
The Alaskan Malamute requires very little grooming, though a coarse comb should be used during shedding.
This breed is usually very hardy. Some are prone to hip dysplasia or bloat.
Training and Activity
This breed requires very firm training from an early age.
The Alaskan Malamute needs a great deal of exercise, including as least one hour of hard workout daily.
If you’re going to feed your Alaskan Malamute a high-quality dry dog kibble, make sure that the first ingredient listed is meat. Feel free to mix up the flavors of the dog food – a variety of lamb, chicken, salmon or different ingredients is recommended. And you can supplement your Alaskan Malamute’s diet with fresh fruits and vegetables.