Alaskan Malamute

Origin: United States of AmericaAlaskan Malamute Breed

Type: Working dog

Weight: Male dog – 38 kg

Female dog – 34 kg

Height: Male dog – 25 in /63.5 cm

Female dog – 23 in/58.4 cm

Appearance: As a Northern breed the Alaskan Malamute has a double coat. The undercoat is both woolly and oily and can be as much as two inches thick. The outer coat is coarse and stands away from the body. Coat colour varies; variants include grey and white, sable and white, black and white, seal and white, red and white, or solid white. Malamutes may be single-coloured or bi­coloured. The ears are small in proportion to the head and stand erect. Eyes are almond shaped and may be various shades of brown, darker colours are preferred. The Malamute’s tail is well-furred and is carried proudly over the back; a corkscrew tail is sometimes seen but is considered a fault within the breed standard. This is a large, powerful dog build for power and endurance, something that distinguishes it from the lighter and speedier Husky.

Temperament: Malamutes are strong dogs, bred for a harsh environment, they’re courageous and powerful but generally slow moving. They have a strong independent streak can be dominant and territorial and are noted for having retained a lot of their natural behaviour. This is a large dog which combined with the traits mention above means they’re not the best choice for a first time owner. However, they’re also noted for a friendly and responsive temperament. On the surface a Malamute appears dignified but in the right moment they can be very playful and active.

Skills: Malamutes are still used as working dogs, mainly as sled dogs. In a family environment their power, intelligence and long association with humans translates well into dog sports and they’re trainable for weight pulling or even agility competitions. All that strength and power does need an outlet, your Malamute needs challenge, exercise and lots of it.

Behaviour Toward Other Animals and Children: Malamutes have a strong prey drive, early socialisation is important to train them to tolerate smaller animals such as rabbits, squirrels, cats and even smaller dogs. However, they’re very much pack animals and will be devoted and loyal to their human pack. With the right training, Malamutes can make great family pets.

Common Health Problems: Reported problems include hip dysplasia and hereditary cataracts. Seizure disorders including epilepsy have been seen in young puppies and adults. There are also reports of congenital heart problems, kidney problems, skin disorders and canine diabetes.

Lifespan: 13 to 16 years