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Alaskan Malamute


Alaskan Malamute Facts

  • Group
  • Working
  • Affiliations
  • Height
  • 23" - 25" (58.4 - 63.5cm)
  • Weight
  • 75 - 85lbs (34 - 38.5kg)
  • Lifespan
  • 12 years | Add yours

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  • Exercise Requirement
  • High - This breed requires vigorous daily activity
  • Training Requirement
  • Average Training Time
  • Grooming Requirement
  • Moderate
  • Colors
    • Silver / Grey
    • White / Red
    • White / Black
    • White
  • Breed Characteristics
    • Good with children
    • Ok outdoors

True Cost Of Ownership

Alternate Names

There are currently no known alternate names for the Alaskan Malamute.


The Alaskan Malamute is an arctic sled dog breed developed by the Mahlemuts (and named from), an Inuit tribe in western Alaska, and descendant of the Artic Wolf.

Date Of Origin

It is unknown what its true date of origin is, but the modern day rendering of the Alaskan Malamute was defined in 1926. The Alaskan Malamute was recognized by the AKC in 1935 and by the UKC in 1947.


The Alaskan Malamute evolved from the ancient dogs that accompanied prehistoric man in his migrations from Asia, across the Arctic to Greenland and back.

The Alaskan Malamute was bred to perform in inclement weather and to be capable of great endurance. It was also bred to be a freighting dog (carrying heavy goods), and not originally a sled dog as commonly thought. He is not designed to race, but rather to carry large loads over long distances. Later, the Alaskan Malamute was used in arctic exploratory expeditions and in World War 2.

Today, many Malamutes are family pets, but are highly athletic and still capable of enjoying sledding, weight-pulling, back-packing, jogging and swimming with their owners. A growing number have found themselves as part of a "recreational" sled dog team consisting of one, three or as many as seven or more dogs.

Recently a paleontologist at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences found dog remains 30,000 years old that fits the Alaskan Malamute's description very closely. Though not scientifically confirmed, the Alaskan Malamute may be the closest living relative to the "First Dog".


The Alaskan Malamute is a powerfully built, heavy-boned dog with a deep chest and well muscled body. It has a broad, deep head, with triangular, erect ears. The muzzle is broad and the almond shaped eyes are brown. The nose black, brown or snow colored. The plumed tail is curled over the back. He has a double coat and a thick harsh outer coat that ranges in color from solid white to mixtures of gray, black, sable and red always with white markings and facial mask. The Alaskan Malamute is a clean, odorless dog.


While resembling wolves, they are not closely related. The Alaskan Malamute is considered an excellent pet. The Alaskan Malamute is a gentle, stoic, playful, intelligent, and affectionate family dog. He gets along with almost everyone, including children and other dogs ans as such. the Alaskan Malamute is usually considered too friendly to be good a watch dog, although their appearance often is intimidating to strangers. Alaskan Malamutes definitely are not one-person or one-family oriented.

Alaskan Malamutes are lively and alert to their surroundings. They are intelligent but often independent by nature. Because of this, it is recommended that the new owner enlist his dog in formal obedience classes to develop discipline and proper social behavior. Training should be intriguing and include socialization to ensure the best results. Alaskan Malamutes learn quickly but can be strong-willed, so training should start at an early age.

This breed is a wonderful companion for people who are leaders, but can attempt to assume dominance over less strong individuals. The Alaskan Malamute may be dog-aggressive and all interactions with small pets should be closely supervised. As an athletic breed, daily exercise is a necessity.


The Alaskan Malamute is a sled dog. Packs of Malamutes have participated in many polar expeditions, for which they were particularly well adapted due to their tenacity, sense of direction, and excellent sense of smell. Today, many Alaskan Malamutes are family pets, but are highly athletic and still capable of enjoying sledding, weight-pulling, back-packing, jogging and swimming with their owners.

Health Concerns

Possible health concerns for the Alaskan Malamute include bloat, chondrodysplasia (dwarfism), hip dysplasia, PRA, skin problems.

Additional Information

The Alaskan Malamute requires an active owner in a suburban or country home, preferably in a cool climate. They enjoy skijoring, sled dog training, carting, hiking, or backpacking. Alaskan Malamutes require brushing twice per week, but during shedding seasons (primarily spring and fall) daily brushing is needed to keep up with intense shedding.

Show Sources & Contributors +


The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Dogs, Dog Breeds and Dog Care

Publisher: Anness Publishing Limited, 1999

Website: http://www.southwaterbooks.com

Authors: Dr. Peter Larkin, Mike Stockman

The New Encyclopedia of the Dog

Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishing, 2000

Website: http://www.dk.com

Author: Bruce Fogle

Dog Bible

Publisher: BowTie Press, 2005

Website: http://www.bowtiepress.com/bowtie/

Authors: Kristin Meuh-Roe, Jarelle S. Stein

The Howell Book Of Dogs

Publisher: Wiley Publishing Inc, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Author: Liz Palika

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