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Alaskan Malamute

Quick facts

Alaskan Malamute AKC Group: Working
Height: Male: 24-26 inches, Female: 22-24 inches
Weight: Male: 80-95 pounds, Female: 70-85 pounds
Colors: wolf gray, red and gray, black and white, red
AKC recognized in: 1935

Simply stunning and majestic-looking, this royalty of the purebred world stands proud as it boasts its eye-catching features. With strong wolf accents and a powerful body build, this artic dog is often mistaken for the equally majestic Siberian Husky.

But the differences need to be made clear. Although bearing a striking resemblance, the Alaskan Malamute commands a larger frame and some distinct differences in physical features compared to the Siberian Husky.

Powerfully built, possessing strong legs, a strong body, and incredible endurance, the Alaskan Malamute has been used since ancient times by the Arctic people, particularly the Mahlemuit Eskimos, to pull sleds as a primary means of transportation.

This dog was used not only for transportation of people, but for transportation of goods and other cargo. Amazingly, the Alaskan Malamute is very adaptable and willing to work. That goes to testify for their deep loyalty to their master.

And to facilitate working in the Artic environment, the Alaskan Malamute possesses an effective double coat that protects the animal against the cold. Also, its feet are designed in such a way that it can walk efficiently in thickly snow covered surfaces.


Alaskan Malamute Summary
Affection three paws
Cold Tolerance five paws
Ease of Training two paws
Energy level four paws
Exercise Requirements four paws
Friendliness : Children two paws
Friendliness: Other Animals one paw
Friendliness: Other Pets one paw
Grooming Requirements four paws
Heat Tolerance two paws
Playfulness three paws
Protection Ability three paws
Watchdog Ability three paws

Highly loyal to its master and possessing exemplary intelligence, the Alaskan Malamute is highly valued as a working dog. This aside, they also make perfect companions because of their naturally affectionate and gentle nature.

However, the Alaskan Malamute is perhaps too gentle and too dignified in its ways that it can be quite friendly even to strangers. As such, it is not suited to be used as a guard dog. Additionally, the gentle and friendly nature of this breed often comes with a rambunctious playfulness. And this can be quite troublesome considering its large size. Perhaps it is quite acceptable for a Chihuahua, but when this 26 inch tall dog starts ravaging a house, the damage could be phenomenal.

With this in mind, it is very important to train the Alaskan malamute to be formal and disciplined from an early age. And although there are limitations as to how well-mannered they can be trained, proper guidance will avoid property damage. When it comes to contact with other animals, the Alaskan malamute also needs to be formally trained for it to dwell peacefully with smaller animals and other dogs.


The average lifespan of the Alaskan Malamute is 12 to 15 years.

While the Alaskan Malamute is generally a healthy dog, it is susceptable to certain health problems. These problems include:

  • Hypothyroidism - An under-active thyroid gland, which can result in obesity, epilepsy, lethargy, and skin conditions.
  • Cataracts - A cloudiness in the lens of the eye, with varying degrees of opacity. Symptoms vary depending on the degree of opacity.
  • Hip Dysplasia - Where the thigh bone does not fit snugly into the hip joint. This can lead to severe lameness or arthritis. A dog diagnosed with hip dysplasia should never be bred, as this is an inherited condition.
  • Chondrodysplasia - Sometimes referred to as canine dwarfism, this is a disorder that affects the growth of bone and cartilage, causing short legs, typically. While some dogs, such as the Dachshund, were selectively bred to promote this condition, it can show up in dogs that normally grow much taller.
  • Hemeralopia - A form of PRA that results in day blindness. It is characterized by blurred vision when your dog is exposed to bright light. Night vision is typically not affected. There is currently no treatment for this disease.


The Alaskan Malamute requires regular, although moderate exercise, including a long walk daily. Because they are fairly active while indoors, it is not recommended to keep an Alaskan Malamute in an appartment. It is best suited with a house with a large fenced in yard.

Although Alaskan Malamute dogs have a naturally beautiful coat, they need to be taken care of so they maintain their softness and healthy gleam. Generally, a regular combing session using a bristle brush least twice a week will keep the coat in top shape. In terms of shedding, Alaskan Malamutes shed very heavily. The undercoat comes out in clumps twice a year, normally in the spring and in the fall. Shedding can, however, be significantly minimized by regular grooming.

Frequent bathing is unnecessary for this dog breed, since its coat is designed to expel dirt on its own. Occasional dry shampooing is all that is recommended.

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