Alaskan Malamute Dog Breed at a Glance
It is a playful and affectionate dog that makes a good companion in homes with kids, but it may not be the ideal breed for those without previous experience with dogs. The Mally requires plenty of exercise and also training that will require patience and perseverance.
It also has a very low watchdog ability, and it is highly unlikely for the dog to defend its family, if a situation is to escalate.
History of the Alaskan Malamute
The Alaskan Malamute’s purpose in life, like other Alaskan dogs, were to haul heavy loads. Their stamina and strength eventually led them to become sled dogs. They likely crossed over to Alaska from Siberia thousands of years ago. Hunting seals and frightening away polar bears were their primary jobs.
Origin: United States
Alaskan Malamute Temperament
The Alaskan Malamute is a friendly, affectionate, loyal, and social companion who is also independent and quiet. It can, however, be aggressive at times. It can also be very sensitive, meaning it does not take well to reprimanding.
Malamutes are known for their stubbornness, as well as their intelligence, which can be a challenge for the inexperienced dog owner. A notorious digger, the Mal will end up challenging each family member for the alpha position.
It is great with kids but not cat-friendly. Its high hunting drive and impulse to wander suggests keeping it on a leash when out and about.
Note: The Alaskan Malamute is associated with 15 attacks on humans since 1982, ranking it in the top 20% of dog attacks. In total, there were 6 deaths and 5 maimings involving this breed. However, it’s highly unlikely that it will cause death.
Physical Characteristics of the Alaskan Malamute
The common colors the Alaskan Malamute are typically solid white, or shades of grey, black, red, or sable. Their coat is thick, harsh, and rough and their facial markings are wolf-like.
Malamutes are extremely strong dogs with high energy levels.
This breed of dog weighs between 71 and 95 pounds, so this makes it one of the heavier dogs of all the breeds. It stands between 24 and 26 inches tall.
Shedding is constant with the Alaskan Malamute, so prepare yourself for plenty of vacuuming, especially when seasons change. Frequent brushing will help. It is not a hypoallergenic breed.
Health and Care of the Alaskan Malamute
The life expectancy of the Alaskan Malamute has a generally shorter lifespan than comparably sized breeds. On average, its life expectancy is between 10 and 12 years.
Common Alaskan Malamute Health Problems and Concerns
All dog breeds are susceptible to some common health problems. The Alaskan Malamute is at a high risk for:
- Follicular Dysplasia
- Diabetes Mellitu
- Uveodermatologic Syndrome
and is at a lower risk for:
- Hip Dysplasia.
Caring for your Alaskan Malamute means giving it regular exercise. It is an excellent breed for runners and other dog owners who enjoy various fitness activities, so it’s not the breed for those who live sedentary lifestyles.
As it originates in Alaska, it can bear the very cold winters, but it does have problems with warm temperatures.
Nutrition is important for all breeds. According to its size, expects to feed the Alaskan Malamute dog 3 to 4 cups of dry dog food each day.
Moderate grooming needs and regular brushing is required. Keep its fur in perfect shape with occasional stripping or trimming.
The Alaskan Malamute was recognized by the AKC in 1935.