This powerful breed blessed with loads of stamina is sure an eye catcher. Other than its pretty looks, this breed is very intelligent and requires an owner capable of meeting his needs for exercise and mental stimulation. This is an ancient breed that has remained minimally altered.
We are talking about an ancient, rugged breed that was used as a sled dog to cross from Siberia to Alaska with its native people thousands of years ago. Unlike the husky, this breed was bred for strength and endurance rather than speed. Its believed to be able to withstand extremely temperatures.The name of this breed derives from a tribe known as Mahlemuts, who settled in the northeastern area of the Seward Peninsula. Other than pulling sleds filled with supplies, the malamute hunted seals and chased polar bears. In 1896, the gold rush brought many dogs to Alaska, causing many dogs to interbreed with the local dogs. These dogs became highly valuable to the many prospectors and settlers. Fortunately, the Malamute remained pure thanks to the fact that Mahlemuts were isolated. During world war II there was a great demand for this breed to be used for sledding and search and rescue dogs in Greenland, many though were destroyed during an expedition to Antartica. This breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1935 and is currently part of the working group. Indiana Jone’s name was inspired by a malamute that went by the name of Indiana. This breed is thought to be one of the oldest on earth. It’s a member of the Spitz group of dogs.
On average, this well-muscled, heavy boned breed weighs between 75 and 85 pounds. Height ranges between 23 and 25 inches. Some specimens may even weigh up to 100 pounds, and some”giant” versions may even reach 140 pounds, but heavy malamutes are predisposed to many problems. This breed is appreciated for its wolf-like facial markings. Overall this breed is large and boasts a huge waving plumed tail, you’ll see them sleep with their tail covering their face. The coat is double boasting a top coat and under coat meant to protect from cold and wetness. The face in some specimens may boast an attractive white blaze on the forehead.
Unlike the husky, blue eyes are a disqualifying fault. The teeth meet in a scissor bite. The nose is preferably black to protect this breed from the UV rays that glare off the ice, but brown is OK in red dogs and the occasional snow nose is also acceptable,.The feet have protective hair between the toes. The coat color ranges from light gray to shadings of black, sable, and shadings of sable to red with white being the predominant color covering parts of legs, feet, and part of face markings. The only solid color permitted is white. This breed was meant to pull sleds so a great importance is given to legs which show great strength and propelling power. Cow hocks, bad pasterns, stilted gait lightness of bone, and poor proportion are serious faults. The paws have claws that extend to grip the ice. The broad pads act like snow shoes, spreading their weight on greater surface area to prevent them from sinking into the snow.
Get ready, this rugged breed is very playful and this breed will keep you entertained with its antics. This is breed that has loads of stamina, energy and endurance. He was selectively bred to pull sleds and hunt seals and polar bears. Keep a watchful eye on this dog; when you’re looking away he may get into mischief. This means surfing your counter-tops, raiding the trash or digging out your flowers.
Plan on keeping this breed busy and mentally stimulated; a bored malamute will resort to relentless chewing and howling. If left at home alone for too long, your coaches are at risk for being deprived from their stuffing and your dry walls may be chewed through. This breed can at times be possessive over food. You’ll see them cleaning theirselves as cats.
Like all dogs, early socialization is important. This breed is often labeled as stubborn,and even not much bright but if you implement motivational, reward-based training, his intelligence will shine. To drain this breed’s energy, enroll him in some fun doggy sports such as weight pulling, skijoring, backpacking, and recreational sledding. This dogs loves to engage in vigorous activities in cold climates and romps in the snow. Fail to provide enough exercise, training and mental stimulation and you’ll end up with a bored, destructive fellow. Start training early and be consistent. Overall, this breed is clean and easy to house train.
The Ideal Household
This energetic breed needs plenty of space to romp. A large yard and daily opportunities for exercise and mental stimulation will keep him happy and entertained. These dogs make ideal companions for the outdoorsy person. Make sure you have a tall and sturdy fence as these dogs are escape artists. If he can’t jump over it, he will dig under, so consider burying some fence so he won’t dig his way out. This breed is happiest when around his owners, he has a strong pack drive and may get upset when left alone.
In the yard, don’t expect this dog to take the guardian role. Malamutes love people and if they see a thief, they’ll likely invite them over for a movie and popcorn. Yet, their size may still work as a deterrent. You won’t hear them bark much, but to compensate they’ll make all sorts of noises to share their opinions. When left alone in the yard, his mournful howls though can be problematic. This dog also loves to dig, so expect your yard to turn into planet Mars. Rather than suppressing this innate behavior, you’re better off giving him a place where he can dig to his heart’s content.
Due to his size and stubborn, independent streak, this breed does best with experienced dog owners.
This breed may not get along well with cats and other furry critters which he’ll likely see as prey. There are countless reports of malamutes killing animals even small dogs. Yet, when raised with them from an early age, they can learn to respect them. With other dogs, this breed tends to get along with other dogs in his pack, but some may be aggressive with dogs of the same sex.
With children, this breed is quite patient, however, because of its size and exuberance he may easily knock a small child over. Be careful having children approach when he’s eating; this breed tends to be possessive. Never leave a dog and child unattended.
Get ready; this breed will shed heavily twice a year when it blows its coat. To minimize the presence of hairs in your home, plan to brush this breed’s coat 2 to 3 times a week. Many owners find it appealing that this breed has an odorless coat.
This breed is prone to growing pains as they grow, cataracts,Chondrodysplasia, hip dysplasia, hypotyroidism.Inherited Polyneuropathy, Hemeralopia . This breed can be sensitive to heat. The typical lifespan is 10.7 years but many live up to 15 years.
Where to find one
Alaskan Malamute Assistance League
Alaskan Malamute Club of America, Inc.