Alaskan Malamute

Updated: Jul 3, 2018

Other Names : Malamute

Country of Origin : United States

Dog Group : Working Dog


In Northwestern Alaska, a tribe of Innuit, called the Mahlemuts, developed a breed of dog for hauling heavy loads in harsh weather and assisting with hunting. The dog they developed shares its ancestry with other arctic breeds: the Samoyed of Russia, the Siberian Husky and the Eskimo dogs of Greenland and Labrador. However, the Mahlemuts dog was not built for speed, but for power and his impressive stature supports this fact. It has been stated that the Mahlemuts staked out bitches in heat so that wolves could interbreed with them. However, the Malamute is not a wolf hybrid and any breeding in that direction is strongly discouraged. Although the American Kennel Club till 1935 did not officially recognize the breed, it is surmised that Malamutes contributed to the polar expeditions of Perry, Cook and Byrd. It was in pulling loads that Malamutes made their contribution to expeditions, as they are not a racing dog. Some outcrosses to the faster arctic dogs were made during the goldrush era but the Seeleys (breed enthusiasts) did their utmost to purify the breed back to its original purpose.


This is a large, solid dog with a thick weatherproof coat that can be black, grey, or red with distinctive white markings. In many ways, the Malamute is visually like his distant cousin the wolf. However, the Malamute is a domesticated dog and is not a wolf hybrid.

Feeding & Ownership

If being used to sled, this dog should be on a 'performance' diet as it will burn off an extraordinary amount of calories. As a housepet, a normal maintainence diet should be acceptable. As a giant breed, it may need to be on a specially formulated puppy diet for giant breeds. This diet is helpful in preventing joint and bone problems that these breeds sometimes develop.


With their physical resemblance to wolves, most people assume Malamutes will be good guard dogs. Nothing can be further from the truth! They are extremely friendly, affectionate dogs even to complete strangers and they seldom bark! They are loyal and noble dogs but can display dominant behaviour to other dogs of the same sex. They will get on well with children but there should be supervision from an adult at all times. Whilst inherently gentle, Malamutes need to learn at an early age how fragile human children are in order to prevent accidental injuries. As long as they have been introduced to other household pets from a young age, they will accept them. This breed should never be left alone as they are 'pack' dogs and can become sullen and withdrawn, causing behavioural problems. Owners should make allowances for the breed’s need to both howl and dig, providing an appropriate time and place to do both. Some breeders say the scavenging instinct is also strong in the Malamute and warn against a tendency to raid the bin. It is not recommend for novice dog owners to acquire this breed.


The dog should be given a 5 minute brushing daily. Dogs will shed heavily once a year and bitches twice a year during their seasons. Uniquely, Malamutes are reported to be free of doggy odour so they should not need to be bathed frequently.


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