- Size: Large
- Life Expectancy: 13 years
- Average Weight: 84 pounds (38kg)
- Average Height: 24 inches (61cm)
- Grooming: Low / Moderate
- Shedding: High
- Exercise: High
- Training: Difficult
- Color: Black/White, Gray/White, Red/White, Sable/White or Solid White
- Country of Origin: Alaska
- Personality: Loyal, Friendly, Independent and Energetic
These dogs were originally bred by the Alaskan tribe the Mahlemuts about 2000 to 3000 years ago. This is also how they gained their name as Alaskan Malamutes. They were used for hunting, hauling sleds, carrying heavy packs and also as loyal pets to keep watch over the family and children. They were bred to live in cold climates and have a high a level of endurance and strength to enable them to perform these physical tasks in freezing conditions. They were never bred as sled racing dogs, their best attribute is their ability to pull heavy loads long distances.
Alaskan Malamutes are strong, alert and well-built dogs. They are very active and have great stamina, having the ability to run for miles. Their bushy tails are carried over their backs and they have triangular shaped ears that stand erect. Alaskan Malamutes have an outer coat that is very thick and coarse. The undercoat is woolly and also very dense. Their coats are reasonably short, about 1-2inches, with a bit more length around the shoulders, neck, back and rump. The only solid color allowed is white, otherwise black, gray, red and sable mixed with white is acceptable. White is the main color for the lower body and legs as well as some markings on the face. These hardy dogs thrive on exercise and are well suited to cold climates.
Alaskan Malamutes are friendly, devoted companions that love being part of a family. They are intelligent, strong-willed and need firm leadership. Plenty of physical and mental stimulation is important to stop them from becoming bored and destructive. They are not good guard dogs as they are typically friendly and will welcome strangers. They prefer to be outdoors, but also need companionship from their family. Alaskan Malamutes are usually quiet dogs that don’t bark often. They sometimes vocalize with a howl or a “woo woo” sound as if talking. Alaskan Malamutes make great companions, but are a demanding breed with their level of intelligence and naturally stubborn nature.
They can be difficult to train with their independent nature and high level of intelligence. So an experienced dog owner is best suited for Alaskan Malamutes. They are a breed that likes to please, so with clear leadership they can be trained to be well behaved dogs. Socialization with children and small animals is recommended as they do have a natural instinct to chase prey. But with proper socialization Alaskan Malamutes make lovely companions with children and other household pets.
Alaskan Malamutes are demanding when it comes to exercise. Their bodies are designed for strength and endurance, so daily exercise is a must. Without adequate physical activity they can become destructive.
Alaskan Malamutes need a weekly brush and they do moult a decent amount. Their coats are less dense during the summer months. Their coats should not be trimmed except for around the feet for a tidy look. They stay clean with their coats naturally shedding dirt, so baths are not important for Alaskan Malamutes.