Alaskan Malamute Dog Breed Profile

Fat doggie

The Alaskan Malamute originated in the U.S and is part of the UKC Northern Dog Group and the AKC, Working group. This breed is an Arctic dog breed bred by Mahlemuts, an Inuit Tribe in western Alaska.

height
23 to 25 inches
weight
75 to 85 pounds
life span
10 to 14 years
group
Working Dogs
Adapts Well to Apartment Living
Good For Novice Owners
Sensitivity Level
Tolerates Being Alone
Tolerates Cold Weather
Tolerates Hot Weather
Affectionate with Family
Kid-Friendly
Dog Friendly
Friendly Toward Strangers
Amount Of Shedding
Drooling Potential
Easy To Groom
General Health
Potential For Weight Gain
Size
Easy To Train
Intelligence
Potential For Mouthiness
Prey Drive
Tendency To Bark Or Howl
Wanderlust Potential
Energy Level
Intensity
Exercise Needs
Potential For Playfulness

This breed ranks 58 of 197 dog breeds in popularity and is one of the oldest Arctic sled dog breeds. Powerful and well-built, the Alaskan Malamute is built for strength and endurance. This affectionate dog breed has tremendous propelling power with a steady, balanced, and powerful gait.

Brief History

The Alaskan Malamute pulled sleds and were bred to work in harsh weather conditions. They were also produced for endurance. This breed is one of the oldest sled dogs. The Malamute was named after the Malamute, an Inuit tribe that lived in Northwestern Alaska. This breed could haul hefty loads at slow speeds for longer distances than the Siberia Husky that specialized in pulling lighter loads faster. Malamutes are known as freighter dogs.

Physical Description

The Alaskan Malamute is a heavy-boned dog breed that has a deep chest and a robust build. This breed is well-muscled and has a broad and deep head. The ears are triangular and erect. With a broad muzzle, the Malamute has intelligent, almond-shaped eyes which are brown. This is a double-coated dog breed that has a thick, rough outer coat. The undercoat is wooly and soft.

The skin is white with mixtures of gray, sable, black, and red. This breed has white markings and a facial mask. The tail has lots of fur and is plumed over the back. The nose is black, brown, or snow-colored. The Malamute is built for strength and endurance. The gait is steady, well-balanced, and tireless. Malamutes have a shorter and less thick coat during the summer months.

Temperament

The Alaskan Malamute is gentle and intelligent. This dog breed adores children and makes for a beautiful companion. It is a brave and playful dog breed that may be stubborn at times. Positive dog training and socialization early on during puppyhood is recommended. Mals enjoy hanging out with their pet parents, even though they’re pack animals. Positive dog training needs to begin early during puppyhood.

The Malamute gets along with other dogs, other animals, and people. This is a family dog breed and not a “one-person” dog breed. The Malamute is devoted to family and matures nicely after reaching adulthood. This breed needs to have a combination of mental stimulation, human companionship, and exercise every day. This breed is so intelligent that if not exercised enough gets over-excitable.

Special Needs

A happy dog posing for a photo

The Alaskan Malamute needs plenty of attention, exercise, positive dog training, and socialization. This dog breed is one of the most intelligent and active working dog breeds. With a need to please, the Malamute has to be with family and can be feisty during puppyhood and adolescence if positive training has not been started. This is a dog breed that is easy to get along with but may be stubborn during positive dog training.

The Malamute is sensitive to other people’s moods. That said, this is a smart and confident dog breed that is also independent. The ideal home environment for the Malamute is with expert dog parents in a country home or a home with a large garden.

This breed is perfect to have at home on extensive grounds with plenty of space. They make for excellent family dogs at home but need consistency throughout their lives. This breed should never be left alone for long periods. They tend to get depressed.

The more socialization and love this breed gets, the more playful and relaxed the dog. The Malamute needs cool climates or to be indoors during the summer. Exercise for this breed should take place during the early mornings and late afternoons. Malamutes can become pushy with little children and other dogs.

Malamutes have a huge digging problem that cannot be corrected. They are born with it. Fencing needs to be checked, and Malamutes need to be supervised so that they don’t stray. Malamutes cannot be used for protection because they are friendly to everyone.

Possible Health Concerns

TheMalamuteis a healthy dog breed that may be susceptible to the following health conditions:

Two pups taking a nap
  • Bloat– This breed is a deep-chested dog breed that may be prone to bloat. Bloat is a life-threatening emergency. It is caused by the stomach’s twisting, together with the accumulation of gas, with or without fluid. It is best to never elevate your Malamute’s water and food bowls. Stress is also a significant factor in causing bloat. Never feed your Malamute a large meal, followed by vigorous exercise. At the first signs of dry vomiting, restlessness, and discomfort, contact your veterinarian. Never wait for a few hours. This is a real emergency that is life-threatening!
  • Chondrodysplasia (Canine dwarfism) – This is a genetic disorder affecting Malamute pups. The pups are born with deformities affecting limb size and shape.
  • Hip Dysplasia – This is a hereditary, developmental disease. HD affects Malamutes. HD occurs when the hip joint fails to develop correctly. In Malamute’s with HD, the thigh bone’s head does not fall into the hip socket. The poor fit takes place when the joint becomes loose and is unstable. This may result in osteoarthritis. (OA)
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) – is the name for a group of diseases that cause the retina’s degeneration. This includes inherited abnormalities of light-sensitive cells.
  • Inherited Polyneuropathy -This refers to numerous abnormalities in the nervous system. Symptoms include lack of coordination, and dogs will “bunny hop.” Some dogs will fall, while others will walk on the tops of their feet with the foot folded underneath. Other symptoms include exercise intolerance, lack of muscle mass, voice changes, swallowing difficulties, and regurgitating. Consult with your veterinarian for advice. The University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine adds that “This disease is usually detected between 3-19 months of age. The dog suffers from slowly worsening exercise intolerance and may develop gait abnormalities, especially in the hind limbs that may progress to ambulatory paraparesis, in some severe cases deteriorating to non-ambulatory tetraparesis. There is often wasting of the hind limb muscles as well.” Research from the University of Denmark shows that Alaskan Malamute polyneuropathy is genetically distinct and is also an autosomal recessive neuromuscular disease.

Exercise

The Malamute is an energetic dog breed that does well with plenty of regular exercise and canine sporting activities. Malamutes need to be mentally stimulated when out exercising for their mental well-being.

This dog breed can get excitable, so plenty of off-leash exercises is necessary. You cannot leave the Malamute out in your backyard alone all day. This breed needs companionship and should be indoors with the family.

The Malamute is a family companion dog breed that does well with obedience training, tracking, and agility. They also make for excellent jogging and biking partners in the right weather conditions. Malamutes enjoy weight pulling, backpacking, sledding, and skijoring in the snow.

Puppy Malamutes under six months of age need special exercise programs specially tailored for puppyhood to prevent hip dysplasia and other sports and exercise injuries.

Nutrition

Feed your Malamutes dog food that is high-quality.

Dog running on snow

Here’s the take:

  • Feed a diet formula from a well-known, reputable company. Contact them with any questions or concerns.
  • The dog food labels on any diet should meet the AAFCO Control Officials’ levels and feeding trials.
  • All commercial dog food formulas need to have the following statement “Animal Feeding tests using the AAFCO procedures substantiate that “Brand X” provides completed and balanced nutrition for growth (or maintenance.)
  • Feeding a small dog diet may result in large dogs like the Malamute growing too quickly and leading to severe growth issues and “growing pains.”
  • There is no correct diet- dogs are individuals. A diet that works for one Malamute may not be suitable for another Malamute. Age, energy level, and health issues play an essential for every Malamute. The recommended guidelines on bags often contain more calories than some Malamutes do well with. If you have concerns reach out to your vet for nutritional advice.
  • Complete and balanced dog food for your Malamutes’ appropriate life stage is necessary to keep your dog healthy.

Malamute pet parents need to understand that the life stage that dog food is marketed for may not be the same life stage for which the food meets the minimum requirements. Consult with your veterinarian if you need advice about which dog food to feed your dogs.

Grooming

The Malamute has a thick waterproof double coat adapted to the harsh, cold climate of the Arctic. The coat needs a lot of maintenance. A pin brush and metal comb should be used every day to remove mats and tangles. The coat and skin need to be kept clean to prevent fungus and hot spots. Shedding occurs twice a year, whereby an undercoat rake needs to be used. Dogs that show need to be bathed weekly.

Canine conditioners should be used. Nails need to be trimmed when needed, and ears should be cleaned frequently. Your Malamute’s teeth should be brushed every day, and twice-yearly visits for dental cleaning are included in his schedule.

Adopting an Alaskan Malamute

Happy fluffy dog

The Malamute is an easy breed to adopt. They are playful, friendly and independent, but do not respond well to harshness or loud noises. That said, the Malamute does need regular socialization and positive dog training during puppyhood. They are stubborn at times and can become hyperactive. Malamutes love to dig and escape. That said, make sure all garden fences are secure.

Most shelters make it easy for prospective Malamute adopters by offering free dog training classes and advice. Make this your number one priority when adopting a young Malamute, although this breed is delightful at home and has no aggression issues.

As with all shelter rescues, your Malamute may have some issues. Whether big or small, behavioral problems can most times be worked through with the help of a positive dog trainer and lots of patience and kindness. Never give up!

Reward-based dog training is the way to go! The Malamute is a gentle-natured dog breed that does well with families, children, and other animals. There are also numerous Malamute Clubs throughout the World, like the Alaskan Malamute Club of America (AMCA) Inc., which is the American Kennel Club (AKC) National Breed Club for Alaskan Malamutes. The main goal with these clubs is to advance the breed and preserve the magnificence of the breed without exploiting it.

Alaskan Malamute Breeders in the USA

Kwik-Pak Alaskan Malamutes (Virginia)

Address
Manassas, VA
Website
www.kwik-pakalaskanmalamutes.com
Phone
(703) 5010051
Email
dana@danasdogcare.com

Kalamals Alaskan Malamutes (Virginia)

Address
Pilot, VA
Website
www.kalamals.com
Phone
(540) 3920843
Email
kalamals@swva.net

Illusion Kennel (Michigan)

Address
Palmyra, MI
Website
www.illusionmalamutes.com
Phone
(734) 9576200
Email
info@IllusionMalamutes.com

Beartooth Alaskan Malamutes (Wyoming)

Address
Powell, WY
Website
www.beartoothmalamutepuppies.com
Phone
(307) 8993424
Email
beartoothalaskanmalamutes@gmail.com

Envizion (Indiana)

Address
Bloomington, IN
Website
www.enviziondogs.com
Phone
(812) 7270762
Email
enviziondogs@gmail.com

Ghost Dance Alaskan Malamutes (Texas)

Address
Alpine, TX
Website
www.ghostdance.biz
Phone
(432) 3642488
Email
ghostdance@bigbend.net

Majestic Malamutes (Washington State)

Address
Yelm, WA
Website
www.majesticmalamutes.com
Phone
(360) 8940626
Email
mike@majesticmalamutes.com

BluMoon Alaskan Malamutes (Washington State)

Address
Bonney Lake, WA
Website
www.blumoonmals.com
Phone
(206) 4035187
Email
blumoonmals@comcast.net

Browns Big Babies (Missouri)

Address
Dixon, MO
Website
www.brownsbigbabies.com
Phone
(573) 7748258

Artic Luv (California)

Address
Acton, CA
Website
www.articluv.com
Phone
(661) 2691994
Email
articluv@earthlink.net

Stars Howl-O (Georgia)

Address
Easton, MD
Website
www.fureverfriendsinc.com
Phone
(667) 2143050
Email
kristi@fureverfriendsinc.com

Chex Alaskan Malamutes (Utah)

Address
Hooper, UT
Website
www.chexalaskanmalamutes.com
Phone
(801) 8142041
Email
info@chexalaskanmalamutes.com

Bowen Malamutes (North Carolina)

Address
Statesville, NC
Website
www.bowenmalamutes.com
Phone
(704) 8724779
Email
bowenwolf@bellsouth.net

Ski Country Malamutes (New York State)

Address
Chaffee, NY
Website
www.facebook.com/SkiCountryMalamutes
Phone
(716) 9492546
Email
skicountrymals@gmail.com

Alaskan Malamute Breeders in the Great Britain

Sanekats

Address
Calgary, Alberta
Website
www.sanekats.com
Email
mailbox@sanekats.com

Iron Pride Alaskan Malamutes

Address
London, Ontario
Website
www.ironhorsemalamutes.webs.com
Phone
(519) 6783949
Email
ironpridemalamutes@yahoo.ca

Mimmenuk Reg’d Kennels

Address
Southern Ontario
Website
www.alaskanmalamutes.ca
Phone
(519) 4495772
Email
brigitte@alaskanmalamutes.com

Moonsnoe Alaskan Malamutes

Address
Baden, Ontario
Website
www.moonsnoemalamute.weebly.com
Phone
(519) 6345367
Email
janis91@hotmail.ca

Spiritrun

Address
Georgian Bay, Ontario
Website
www.spiritrunmalamutes.ca
Phone
(705) 7906327
Email
spiritrunmals@gmail.com

Nordiclight Malamute

Address
St-Amable, Quebec
Website
www.nordiclightmals.com
Email
nordiclightmals@gmail.com

NovaMal Alaskan Malamutes

Address
Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia
Website
www.novamal.com
Email
info@novamal.com

Alaskan Malamute Breeders in the Great Britain

Vom Issam Haus German Shepherds

Address
Orangeville, Ontario
Website
www.vomissamhaus.com
Phone
(705) 3312793
Email
info@vomissamhaus.com

Von Rothhaus German Shepherds

Address
Fordwich, Ontario
Website
www.vonrothhausgermanshepherds.com
Phone
(519) 2918222
Email
vonrothhaus@hotmail.com

Canisphere German Shepherds

Address
Cooks Creek, Manitoba
Website
www.canisphere.com
Phone
(204) 2660142
Email
karen@canisphere.com

Penhall German Shepherds

Address
Steinbach, Manitoba
Website
www.penhallshepherds.ca
Phone
(204) 3460933
Email
rdross@mymts.net

Broomeacres German Shepherds

Address
Merville, British Columbia
Website
www.broomeacresgermanshepherds.com
Phone
(250) 3378253
Email
broomeacresgermanshepherds@gmail.com

Ulvilden German Shepherds

Address
MacDowell, Saskatchewan
Website
www.ulvildengermanshepherds.net
Phone
(306) 9224787
Email
ulvildengsd@xplornet.ca

Stormymagic Shepherds

Address
Melrose, New Brunswick
Website
www.stormymagicshepherds.com
Phone
(506) 8990234
Email
stormymagicshepherds@hotmail.com

Alaskan Malamute Breeders in the Great Britain

Catua Alaskan Malamutes

Address
Derbyshire
Website
www.catua.co.uk
Phone
(07866) 410083
Email
catuamals@hotmail.co.uk

Cedarcreek Kennel

Address
Durham
Website
www.cedarcreekmals.co.uk
Phone
(01913) 723821
Email
stormypad@hotmail.com

Icycool Alaskan Malamutes

Address
Chesterfield, Derbys
Website
www.icycoolalaskanmalamutes.co.uk
Phone
(01246) 454190
Email
briansharon@talktalk.net

Lapema

Address
Evesham, Worcestershire
Website
www.lapemamalamutes.co.uk
Phone
(01386) 765428
Email
pamelawilkinsonatlapema@btinternet.com

Muzoku Kennel

Address
Yeovil, Somerset
Website
www.muzoku.com
Phone
(07989) 398856
Email
muzoku4me@rocketmail.com

Alaskan Malamute Rescue Groups

Moonsong Malamute Rescue

Address
Boise, ID, USA
Website
www.moonsongmals.org
Email
rescue@moonsongmals.org

Chesapeake Area Alaskan Malamute Protection

Address
Gettysburg, PA, USA
Website
www.chaamp.org
Phone
(240) 5093051
Email
malamuteRescue@gmail.com

Texas Alaskan Malamute Rescue

Address
Texas, USA
Website
www.texalmal.org
Email
tamr@texalmal.org

Washington Alaskan Malamute Adoption League

Address
Seattle, WA, USA
Website
www.wamal.com
Phone
(425) 6106257
Email
wamal@wamal.com

Alaskan Malamute Help League

Address
Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Website
www.malamuterescue.com
Email
info@malamuterescue.com

SMART Rescue

Address
Ontario, Canada
Website
www.smartrescue.ca
Email
perunsiberians@hotmail.com

Saints Sled Dog Rescue

Address
England and Scotland, UK
Website
www.saintssleddogrescue.co.uk
Phone
(07983) 548370
Email
info@saintssleddogrescue.co.uk

Sibes and Sled Dogs

Address
Colne, UK
Website
www.sibesandsleddogs.org.uk
Phone
(07821) 876630
Email
huskyrescue@hotmail.co.uk

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