Have you considered bringing home an Alaskan Malamute breed? There’s a lot to love about this energetic, friendly dog. Keep reading to learn more.
|Alaskan Malamute Dog Breed Overview|
|Height||22 - 26 inches|
|Weight||75 - 85 pounds|
|Lifespan||10 - 14 years|
|Temperament||Loyal, Playful, Affectionate|
|Suitable For||Families with or without children, families with or without other pets, active families|
History Of The Alaskan Malamute
The Alaskan Malamute is one of the oldest sled dogs in the Arctic. It’s believed that they migrated to the United States nearly 4,000 years ago and are descendants of domesticated wolf dogs.
This breed was developed by the Mahlemuit, where it got its name. These Inuit people resided in Kotzebue Sound in northwestern Alaska.
Alaskan Malamutes were developed to be sledge dogs. They worked in packs to haul heavy loads over great distances.
In addition, they’d carry packs over the summer months. They’d find seal breathing holes in the ice and distract bears on hunts.
Overall, Alaskan Malamutes are known to be freighters since they pull heavy cargo over a great distance at a slow pace.
This breed isn’t to be confused with the Siberian Husky, who were racers and sled dogs. They’d pull lighter loads at faster speeds.
In 1935, the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized this breed.
What Does The Alaskan Malamute Look Like?
According to the AKC’s breed standard, the Alaskan Malamute is powerfully built with a deep chest. They have strong-muscled bodies. They’re heavy-boned dogs with sturdy legs to pull heavy loads delicately and easily.
Males are typically larger and heavier than females. For example, males can grow between 24 and 26 inches tall, typically about 25 inches. They can weigh up to 85 pounds.
On the other hand, females can grow to be between 22 and 24 inches tall, typically about 23 inches. In addition, they can weigh up to 75 pounds.
Alaskan Malamutes have a broad head with a soft expression through almond-shaped, brown eyes.
The body is powerfully built with a straight back, gently sloping near the hips. Their tail is moderately set, following the spine at the base.
Both hindquarters and forequarters are heavily boned and well-muscled.
Finally, Alaskan Malamutes have a thick coat. This breed has a double coat, which includes a coarse guard coat (top coat) and a dense undercoat.
The undercoat is oily and wooly to protect this doggo from harsh cold weather and wetness.
The coat is short to medium long, depending on the temperature. The sides of their body have shorter fur, while the rest of the body has medium-length fur.
What Coat Colors Do Alaskan Malamutes Have?
Alaskan Malamute dogs have varied coat colors, all typically grayscale. You won’t see too much color on this pup.
For example, they can have the following coat colors:
- Agouti & White
- Black & White
- Blue & White
- Gray & White
- Red & White
- Sable & White
- Seal & White
- Silver & White
In addition, this pup may have a black mask or gray mask as part of its coat markings.
Caring For The Alaskan Malamute Dog Breed
Pet care for this doggo is relatively easy once you learn their needs. Let’s discuss what you need to know about Alaskan Malamute care.
Alaskan Malamutes shed quite a bit. They’ll heavily shed at least twice a year during shedding season. So expect to have your Malamute’s fur all over your furniture and clothes. Vacuuming the house regularly will help keep it somewhat under control.
With the shedding in mind, you’ll want to brush your dog’s coat routinely. Brushing at least one to three times a week is ideal. It’ll keep their coat clean and also keep the shedding at bay.
During shedding season, you’ll want to brush your dog’s coat thrice or thrice a week.
Luckily, you won’t need to bathe your Alaskan Malamute too often. This is because they don’t have an odor and won’t get too dirty often. However, a bath once every two to three months is a good idea to keep them healthy and clean.
You can bathe your doggo yourself at home for bonding time. Or, you can bring them to a professional grooming salon to let them socialize a bit.
In addition to brushing their coat, you’ll want to keep up with brushing their teeth. Also, trim their nails regularly and clean their ears.
Alaskan Malamutes are high-energy dogs. Therefore, a diet that’s formulated as such with high protein content is ideal.
You can provide your furry friend with commercial dry dog food, canned wet food, or homemade.
Whichever option you choose, ensure it’s appropriate for your dog’s breed size, age, weight, and metabolism.
If you’re unsure what diet to give your pup, discuss nutritional needs with your vet.
These working dogs were bred for work. They’re athletic and energetic. So if you bring home this dog breed, be prepared to spend some time with them.
You should always set aside playtime with your pup. This puppy needs plenty of room to run around and stretch its legs. They’ll do well in a bigger house with a backyard to explore.
Unfortunately, this large dog breed won’t do well in an apartment.
Be mindful when letting your dog outside on its own. Be sure they can’t get out of the yard off-leash. Also, they enjoy digging. So, if you don’t want your garden to get messed up, section it off so your doggo can’t get to it.
Malamute dogs want to spend time with you, though. They’ll enjoy living with an active family. This pup can join you on hikes, jobs, and swimming activities.
This dog breed needs at least 90 minutes of exercise per day. This activity may include physical and mental stimulation.
Otherwise, this doggo will get bored and can become destructive.
With consistency, positive reinforcement, and showing your doggo you’re the boss, Alaskan Malamutes are trainable.
They’re intelligent but also independent. Unfortunately, it’s easy for this dog breed to become stubborn, making training difficult.
However, training and early socialization are a must. This breed is rather friendly with everyone they meet, but they can easily believe they’re the alpha dog if they don’t respect you.
If you’re an experienced dog owner, you can train this pup yourself at home. However, if you’re a movie dog owner, bringing your Malamute to dog training classes is a good idea. Alternatively, you can hire a professional dog trainer for private sessions.
Malamutes are relatively healthy. However, like all dog breeds, Alaskan Malamutes are prone to specific health issues.
For example, this doggo can get the following:
- Hip Dysplasia
- Inherited Polyneuropathy
- Skin Problems
An Alaskan Malamute puppy should go to the vet twice during their first year. Together, you and your vet can keep your pup up to date with their shots and boosters. You can also keep track of their growth and development.
As they age, your doggo can go to the vet yearly for an annual checkup.
With proper care through diet, exercise, and frequent vet visits, Alaskan Malamutes have an average lifespan of about ten to 14 years.
Alaskan Malamute Temperament
There’s a lot to love about this dog breed. They’re outgoing, friendly, and affectionate with their family members. They’re excellent around young children, other dogs, and meeting new people with proper socialization and training.
This doggo loves being around their pack. Since they’re domesticated, their pack is you. Unfortunately, this causes them to be prone to separation anxiety.
When leaving your furry friend home alone for long periods, it’s wise to hire a professional dog walker or pet sitter to check in on them throughout the day.
Alternatively, you can ask a family member or friend to check in on them. As long as it’s someone your dog knows and trusts, they’ll be happy to have some company.
On the other hand, if you know you’ll only be gone for an hour or two, crate training is another good option.
There will never be a dull moment when Alaskan Malamute puppies are around. This breed loves to play and have fun with you, especially outside.
If you want a dog to cuddle on the couch with you, you’ll need to tire them out during the day for them to sit still long enough.
Malamutes are excellent companions for kids, but they’re not aggressive enough to be guard dogs or watchdogs.
Finally, this breed talks a lot. Malamutes enjoy barking, moaning, grumbling, yipping, and howling.
Be prepared to have a loud house with this doggo around.
Are There Any Differences Between Males And Females?
Both genders are lovely to have as part of the family. However, males tend to have more energy than females. On the other hand, females tend to be more independent than males.
Who Should Own The Alaskan Malamute?
Novice owners and experienced owners alike can handle a Malamute. However, this breed might be better suited for experienced dog owners due to their energy levels and trainability.
However, this doggo will fit right in with active families with or without children and other pets.
Where Can You Get An Alaskan Malamute?
You should be able to find this dog breed anywhere you can adopt dogs. However, it’s best to adopt and not shop.
Your local animal shelter or breed rescue organization is an excellent place to start.
Here, you may find purebred Alaskan Malamutes or mixed breeds. You might also find puppies, adults, or seniors of this breed looking for a loving, forever home.
The Alaskan Malamute Assistant League is an excellent place to begin your search. Or, you can check out the breed club, the Alaskan Malamute Club of America (AMCA).
If you have your heart set on getting a puppy, you can go through a reputable Alaskan Malamute breeder. They’ll have purebred Alaskan Malamute puppies for sale.
Always research a dog breeder before deciding to work with them. An ethical breeder will do the following:
- Ensure the puppies are up to date with their vaccinations
- Socialize and train the puppies as early as possible
- Meet with you in person to get to know one another
- Have health documents and family tree history for you to bring home upon adoption
- Won’t allow the puppies to leave their mother until at least eight weeks old
In addition, a good breeder will treat the dogs and litter as part of the family. Aside from crate training, no kennels are used.
Beware of backyard breeders and puppy mills. These places do not breed dogs in healthy or safe conditions. Also, they only care about making a profit from the puppies.
To find a good breeder, you can start at the AKC Marketplace.
Question Corner: FAQs About The Alaskan Malamute
Read through the frequently asked questions below to learn more about this remarkable dog breed.
What’s The Average Cost Of The Alaskan Malamute?
The average Alaskan Malamute price is between $500 and $2,500. However, the cost may vary depending on the number of puppies in the litter, the breeder’s reputation, and more.
What’s The Average Litter Size Of Alaskan Malamute?
The average litter size for this dog breed is between four and ten puppies.
Are Alaskan Malamutes Hypoallergenic?
No, this breed is not hypoallergenic. To help keep your allergies at bay, you’ll need to clean your house and brush your dog’s coat regularly.
Do Alaskan Malamutes Shed?
Yes, Alaskan Malamutes shed moderately all year long. However, they have a heavy shedding season twice a year.
Is This A Banned Breed?
Unfortunately, yes. This breed is banned in certain areas due to its high prey drive.
Is The Alaskan Malamute Right For You?
Alaskan Malamutes are lovely dog breeds. They’re friendly and fun to be around. This breed is a good option if you have the energy to care for them each day.
Rachel Poli is a content writer and author, but her real job is being a stay-at-home pet mom. Her zoo currently consists of a dog, a cat, two turtles, and two fish tanks. She’s also an avid pet sitter for a few local families, caring for various animals.
After realizing how little information there is for pet sitters on the internet, Rachel decided to start her own animal website. She strives to educate pet parents and pet sitters about the overall care of our furry friends.