Alaskan Malamute

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Species group:

Other name(s): Mal; Alaskan Malemute

The basics:
The Alaskan Malamute is the classic Arctic sled dog, a cold weather Spitz breed that may have been carrying loads for native Alaskans as early as 3,000 years ago. This athletic working dog demands a confident and energetic owner who knows how to maintain control and channel the Mal's energy in a positive direction. A fragile, unconfident owner will be tested and dominated by this large, powerful animal. A bored Alaskan Malamute could chew right through the furniture. Make certain you have the time and knowledge for this breed before you take home a cute puppy. An active owner who likes to jog, sled, or backpack with the dog would be ideal.

Appearance / health:
The standard Alaskan Malamute is a big, strong Arctic dog with a thick, coarse double coat and a plumed tail. It is well built, with a wide head, erect ears and small, dark, almond shaped eyes. The obliquely placed eyes bear a friendly expression, are brown, almond shaped, of medium size and resemble the eyes of a wolf. The breed usually has white legs and muzzle.

The Alaskan Malamute is a heavy shedder. It has a dense coat and should be brushed twice a week. The undercoat comes out in clumps twice a year. Bathing is done on rare occasions, because the coat sheds dirt readily. The breed is naturally clean and odorless, and hence dry washing occasionally should suffice.

They require plenty of exercise in the form of long walks, jogs, sprints, agility, etc.

The Alaskan Malamute is generally a very healthy breed. But, once in a while, the breed is prone to hip dysplasia (inherent disease that affects hip joint causing crippling, or lameness), although no more than any other large breed and less then many others. Some are also prone to chondrodysplasia (dwarfism), bloating, obesity and the usual northern-breed eye problems namely, cataract and progressive retinal atrophy (a hereditary disease of the retina that can be blinding).

Behavior / temperament:
The Alaskan Malamute is a loyal, devoted companion, playful and eager to please. However, the breed is notorious for being highly independent and somewhat stubborn. It needs a lot of attention, without which, it tends to become a nuisance. The males can be quite dominant. This breed is quiet compared to other breeds but it likes to howl and dig occasionally. The breed also has a strong prey instinct; hence, it should be supervised around unfamiliar small animals.

The Alaskan Malamutes can be difficult to train for formal obedience, but because they love to please, it is not particularly hard to train them to be well-mannered either. Firm handling and obedience training are highly recommended. The Alaskan Malamute is a fast learner but tends to get bored easily.

They are not very noisy.

Is a Alaskan Malamute right for you?

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What owners are saying about Alaskan Malamute health

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What owners are saying about Alaskan Malamute behavior and training

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My Alaskan Malamute is a Cuddle Beast :)

I absolutely love our malamute - I tell him he's our pet of the month every month (we also own a german shepherd). He's fluffy, has PPF syndrome (Permanent Puppy Face syndrome), and LOVES to cuddle. We got our malamute from one of the St. Louis, MO human societies. He was forc...

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