Alaskan malamute – Dog Breed – My Animals

Alaskan MalamuteThe Alaskan Malamute  is native to the Arctic and is considered one of the longest-lived breeds in the history of sled dogs . His imposing and sober presence gives the wrong image of his real character. Its appearance similar to that of a wolf has made this breed capture the attention of all dog lovers, since its impressive size and beautiful coat does not go unnoticed. Sometimes, this breed is often confused with the Siberian Husky , however, as we will see, there are notable differences between the two.

The stories surrounding the Alaskan Malamute have also helped to engrave in the popular imagination the idea of ​​a resistant, loyal, hard-working and very noble breed. If you want to know much more about this breed, continue reading this article, where we talk in depth about the characteristics of the Alaskan malamute , also called Alaskan malamute , its origin, temperament and main care.

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Origin of the Alaskan malamuteAlaskan Malamute

The Alaskan malamute originated in the arctic and has the arctic wolf among its ancestors. These dogs were used by the Mahle people to pull their sleds and collaborate in hunting activities. In fact, the Alaskan malamute could carry 70 kilos on a sleigh trip and could be seen fighting with other Alaskan animals such as wolves or bears.

It is possible that the word “malamute” comes from “Mahle muit”, which would mean “people of the mahle” . The English phonetics for these two terms would have given rise to the name of the breed. As time went by, the means of transportation in the Arctic changed and dogs became less and less important. However, the wonderful Alaskan malamute continues to be used by Alaskans and is common in many countries around the world as pets.

Characteristics of the Alaskan malamute

The Alaskan malamute is a large, very strong and robust dog that is adapted to pulling very heavy loads such as sleds and up to weights of 40 kilograms. Let’s see some of the characteristics of the Alaskan Malamute:

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  • The height at the withers of the Alaskan Malamute : for males it is around 63.5 centimeters, while for females it is around 58.5 cm.
  • Weight : around 38 kilograms for males and 34 kg for females.
  • The chest : it is deep and strong, and its body is muscular but not hypertrophic. Furthermore, the Alaskan Malamute’s carriage shows dignity, pride and nobility.
  • The head : Continuing with the characteristics of the Alaskan malamute, the head of this dog is wide and deep, but well proportioned to the body. The Alaskan Malamute’s facial expression is friendly and affectionate.
  • The muzzle of the Alaskan Malamute is long and bulging, well proportioned to the rest of the skull and tapers slightly from its base to the tip of the nose. It should never be pointed.
  • The teeth close in scissors .
  • The eyes of the Alaskan Malamute : They are medium-sized, brown, almond-shaped and arranged obliquely. The malamute should not have light blue eyes (these are considered a fault).
  • The ears of the Alaskan malamute : they are medium-sized, but small in relation to the head. They are triangular in shape and slightly rounded at the tip.
  • The neck : is muscular and slightly arched. He does not have a double chin.
  • The body of the malamute : it is powerful and compact, but not short. This dog is powerful and, although not light, should not be excessively heavy. The tail is thick and densely furred. Its insertion is medial, continuing the line of the spine. The Alaskan Malamute should carry it curved over his back when he is not working.

Colors of the Alaskan malamute

This breed has two coats and is therefore prepared to withstand cold temperatures. The outer coat is thick and rough and is the protective coat of the malamute. The undercoat is very dense, oily and wool-like in texture.

As for the colors of the Alaskan Malamute, the most common is black and white , however, the accepted colors are many more, so we can find them in shades ranging from light gray to black and reddish . Combinations between colors on the inner layer of the coat and face are also accepted.

Solid colors are not accepted for the Alaskan Malamute, except for white. Likewise, irregular colors are not accepted either. In general, the appearance of the Alaskan Malamute’s hair is blanket-like. Now that you know the characteristics of the Alaska dog, let’s see its character.

Alaskan Malamute Character

It doesn’t seem like it, but the Alaskan Malamute is a docile, sociable and affectionate dog , especially with its owners and even strangers. It is very important that the malamute is owned by someone who is experienced and has been informed about the characteristics of the breed as it needs discipline. It is a very intelligent and independent dog that will not accept orders just for the sake of feeding them every day. They look for a responsible and coherent friend in their leader whom they can follow. He shows a calm, slow and relaxed character.

It is a playful dog, loyal to its master and protector of the little ones in the home. Although he is not actually a protection dog in himself, it is true that he will serve as a guard dog. With good socialization and doses of weekly training we will obtain a balanced dog due to its high learning potential .

Regarding the character of the Alaskan Malamute with other pets, it should always be under the supervision of the owner since due to its strong hierarchy instinct it can be involved in aggression with other animals, another reason why it needs an experienced owner. It is very important that we educate our children and our pet in the field of play since the large size of the Alaskan Malamute can be a problem if the game is not correct.

We will avoid pulling the pet’s tail and ears as well as violent games or games involving great body movement. For the rest, you have to be careful in the first days of interaction. In general, the Alaskan Malamute is a breed that gets along great with children and is capable of risking its life to protect the little ones in the house. You simply have to remember the correct playing guidelines for both.

Alaskan Malamute Care

High temperatures can be a very serious problem for malamutes, as well as any other breed of sled dog. It is important to keep this in mind to avoid heat shocks that can be fatal. A small apartment or house is not the ideal place for this breed.

It is preferable if you have a garden or patio where the malamute can release its energy every day. This does not mean keeping him isolated, but rather giving him the opportunity to “move his bones” every day. Some of the more specific care for the Alaskan Malamute are:

  • Feeding : this is one of the most fundamental cares for the Alaskan dog, as it provides health and energy. Their diet is simply based on a balanced and rich diet that provides them with all the nutrients but without overdoing it, as it can lead to overweight. Therefore, when they are puppies, the ideal is to give them between one and two cups of food a day . When they are adults it is best to mix wet and dry food . Additionally, you can continue feeding twice a day or just once. Finally, when the Alaskan Malamute is in its senior phase , it is best to give it wet food . Even so, we recommend that you always consult with your veterinarian.
  • Exercise : The Alaskan Malamute requires daily exercise . This exercise does not need to be extreme, but it should at least be moderate. Great care should be taken to avoid heat shock when exercising the malamute in a hot climate.
  • Grooming : This breed does not need frequent baths , but it does need frequent brushing . Depending on the climate, the malamute can lose a lot of hair, so it is advisable to brush it twice a day, slightly moistening its coat to facilitate this task and using a soft, long-toothed brush.

For the rest, we will have to take the same type of care that we would have with another dog: we will be attentive to the care of its nails and eyes, as well as its ears.

Alaskan Malamute Education

The Alaskan Malamute is a somewhat independent but very intelligent dog . He will enjoy learning all kinds of commands and also tasks at home, although we have to carry out a correct education since, due to his genetics and origin, the Alaskan Malamute dog can have aggressive behavior, as we have mentioned in the previous section. . Carrying out sessions of between 10 and 15 minutes will be enough for us to educate him.

The first thing we must do is socialize it with other animals and people , as well as teach it to live with them. We will have to practice walking because, being a large dog, it can tug at us and hurt us. On the other hand, in addition to being used as a sled dog or for carrying weights, the Alaskan dog is also a good rescue dog , as well as for people with physical disabilities.


The Alaskan Malamute is one of the dog breeds that is certainly quite healthy and very resistant and, although it is not prone to diseases, the most common ones that affect the breed are the following.

  • Hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia : these are hereditary problems, so we will not be able to prevent them to a large extent unless we know the origin of our Alaskan Malamute. It consists of a malformation of either the hip or the elbow in question and is common in Alaskan malamute dogs due to their large size.
  • Heat stroke : due to very high temperatures. It is also known as hyperthermia in dogs and also usually affects overweight dogs. Furthermore, due to a lack of hydration or too much exercise, our Alaskan dog can suffer from heat stroke. If you want to know more about Heat Stroke in dogs: symptoms, what to do and treatment , do not hesitate to consult this post.
  • Kidney failure : it can affect both kidneys or just one, although we will notice its symptoms because our dog will lose weight, lose appetite, have vomiting and diarrhea, and may even go blind, among other symptoms.
  • Hemeralopia : This is the dog’s daytime blindness.
  • Eye diseases : such as glaucoma , corneal dystrophy or progressive retinal atrophy . These are diseases, again, of hereditary origin for our Alaskan Malamute. Periodic consultations with the veterinarian must be made since, as these are progressive diseases, they can lead to our Alaskan dog completely losing his sight.

For the rest, we will keep our Alaskan Malamute healthy if we keep his vaccination record up to date and go to the vet when we observe strange symptoms that are not typical for him.

Where to adopt?

After having read all these characteristics and care of the Alaskan Malamute dog, perhaps you are thinking about adopting one. It should be noted that, as we have been mentioning throughout the article, the Alaskan Malamute breed is very strong and, due to its origins and genetics, it can have behaviors that are difficult to manage for a first-time guardian, which is why this breed of dogs is more focused on those already experienced.

Even so, if you are well informed and guarantee that you will be able to provide the best care, you can try to contact clubs that have the Alaskan breed or, if not, with a canine society that is close to where you live. In any case, remember that the important thing is to be able to take in a furry dog ​​to give it the best care, regardless of the breed standard.

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