Canine Breed Menu



No Additional Pictures
Breed Organization
Alaskan Malamute Club of America
Native Country
United States Of America
Other Names
Alaskan Malamute
Life Expectancy
Approximately 12-15 Years
Litter Size
Average of 6 Puppies
Breed Group
AKC Working
Breed Appearance
The Alaskan Malamute is a large breed dog often called a northern dog, Arctic Sled dog, even a Nordic dog. This breed was used as an Alaskan sled dog and is quite often mistaken for the Siberian Husky, which is his cousin as is the Samoyed of Russia and the Eskimo dogs of Greenland and Labrador. The Alaskan Malamute is the oldest sled dog known to be in existence.

The Malamute has a double coat with the guard coat or top coat being coarse and varying in length with the undercoat being one to two inches in depth and very dense. The undercoat tends to be oily and wooly. The colors range from light gray to transitional shadings of black, sable, and then shadings from of sable to red. The undercoat can be a variety of shadings as well. There is only one solid color of the Alaskan Malamute, which is pure white. Their coat is never long; it is more short or medium in length along their sides, with the length becoming a bit longer around the shoulders and neck, down their back, over their rump, and in the breeching and plume. Broken colors are expected unless you are talking about the pure white Malamutes.

As a puppy, you will have your hands full, as he will wish to play, romp, and discover his surroundings. The Alaskan Malamute is a very intelligent breed, which is enormously loyal, sweet, and loving to their master. An Alaskan Malamute is not suited as a guard dog because they are overly tender; however, they can be quite aggressive to other animals or even small children until they have had the chance to except them as part of the family. They love the outdoors and plenty of activity; however, they also need to be part of their human family. They can be destructive if left alone indoors, as they need extra attention.

Breed Description
Head : Broad and strong. Broad skull. Slight stop. Strong, massive muzzle. Black or brown nose in red dogs. Close fitting lips.
Ears: Medium size, triangular, wide set. Held erect.
Eyes: Almond shape, set obliquely in the skull. Brown color. Blue eyes are a disqualifying fault.
Body: Compact and well muscled. Strong neck. Well developed chest.
Tail: Richly clad. Carried over the back, but not in a tight curl.
Hair: Thick, harsh; never long or soft. Hair is longer on the shoulders, neck, length of the back, croup, thighs and tail. Dense, wooly, oily undercoat is 2.5 to 5 cm long.
Coat: Light gray through intermediate shadings to black or shadings of sable to red. Color combinations are acceptable in undercoat. The only solid color allowed is white. White is always the predominant color on the underbody, feet, and parts of leg and face markings.
Size: Dog: 65 cm Bitch: 58 cm
Weight: Dog: 38 kg Bitch: 34 kg

For centuries, the Alaskan Malamute was indispensable to the native peoples of Alaska. He was named for the Mahlemuts, an Inuit tribe that developed this breed and used it for hunting caribou and guarding the camp. Though not as fast as the Husky, the Alaskan Malamute can pull heavier loads, earning it the reputation as the "snow train" of the north. The breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1935. Breeding began in France in 1975, but the Alaskan Malamute is still rare in that country.

This robust, calm, steady dog has great endurance. Though quite independent, he is not as feisty as the Husky. He is playful, affectionate, and gentle with children, making him an excellent pet. The Alaskan Malamute makes a poor guard dog because he rarely barks, is not aggressive, and is very sociable. His pack instinct is still strong, and he is rather dominant with other dogs. Firm training must begin at a very young age.

The most commonly reported health problems of Alaskan Malamutes in the 2004 UK Kennel Club survey (based on a sample size of 64 dogs) were musculoskeletal (hip dysplasia), and hereditary cataracts. There are additional health issues in the breed whose origins are unknown at this time including varied seizure disorders found in young puppies as well as adults, Epilepsy, congenital heart problems, kidney problems and skin disorders.

Other health issues in Malamutes include inherited polyneuropathy, chondrodysplasia, heart defects, and eye problems (particularly cataract and progressive retinal atrophy).

The Alaskan Malamute could possibly adapt to life in the city, but this dog does not like to be left alone and hates inactivity. If closed in, he will destroy a house. To maintain mental and physical health, this dog must take long, frequent walks, and if possible be allowed to pull loads. This breed does not tolerate heat well. Brushing twice per week is required. A curry comb is needed during seasonal shedding.

Sled dog (heavy loads over long distances), Pet.

Horse Herd