Alaskan Malamute: Captivating details

One of the largest and strongest breeds of Alaskan or Arctic dogs is the Alaskan Malamute. Alaskan Malamutes have captured the hearts of many people around the world with their strong personalities and endurance. They come from a proud legacy of a clever and hardworking canine.

Due to their matching coat colors, Alaskan Malamutes and another sled dog breed, the Siberian Husky, are sometimes misidentified. But that is the only similarity between an Alaskan Malamute and a Siberian Husky. Siberian Huskies are substantially smaller than Alaskan Malamutes, which can carry much heavier loads across the snow.

Possessing a strong, independent, and clever personality, Alaskan Malamutes are believed to have adapted to their environment and survived the coldest winters, with temperatures as low as 70 degrees below zero. This hardy type is capable of hunting for its food without assistance from humans.

You are making a wise choice if you are the proud owner of this magnificent breed or if you intend to adopt an Alaskan Malamute as a family pet. We provide you with all the factors you must consider before acquiring a Malamute so that you can create an atmosphere that fosters a healthy dog and enduring companionship.


The oldest dog breed in North America may be the Alaskan Malamute. These canines may also have the oldest and longest relationship with humans in the entire world. Paul Voelker, an early 20th-century American Malamute breeder, claimed that the Malamute can be seen on bone relics that date back 20,000 years.

The name of the dog derives from the Malamutes, an Inuit fishing and hunting clan who owned canines that are thought to be the ancestors of modern Alaskan Malamute dogs. This nomadic clan coexisted together with the dogs and endured conditions so harsh that death was frequently never far away.

The Western world did not learn about dogs until the late 19th century. If this and other sled dogs hadn’t been around, the Klondike Gold Rush might not have taken place. The dogs were quickly bred with other breeds to improve them and minimize their aggression toward people. The American Kennel Club (AKC) first recognized the breed formally in 1935.

There weren’t many dogs, and the majority of those who were registered lacked ancestry information. The registry was operational for a brief period. In 1925, the popularity of the breed skyrocketed. They were one of the numerous sled dogs that transported serum to Nome, Alaska that year during a diphtheria outbreak via the Iditarod Trail.

A few years later, in 1928, Commander Richard E. Byrd added to the history of the Alaskan Malamute by bringing some along on his first Antarctic trip. The AKC reopened the stud book after the dogs’ service in WW2 nearly wiped off the breed. Around 30 Malamutes were claimed to still be alive at the time, which occurred in 1947.

The Alaskan Malamute was designated as the state dog of Alaska in 2010.


Beautiful and majestic, Alaskan malamutes have a flirtatious tail that curls over their back. Bright, almond-shaped brown eyes and a medium-sized muzzle, along with a happy and alert attitude, indicate an endless amount of energy. When they are moving around, their pointed ears stand straight up and even lean back; when they are resting, their ears will droop slightly to the sides of their broad head.

They have two coats of fur covering their lean, athletic bodies. The undercoat is soft and dense, in contrast to the short, coarse, and maybe slightly woolly outer. They are well insulated by this combination during protracted sled runs in subfreezing temperatures. From the front of their chests to the tip of their tails, a mal’s underbelly is white.

Depending on the dog, their topcoat often comes in a variety of hues (black, blue, brown, gray, red, sable, seal, and silver are all common). The only Alaskan malamutes with a solid color coat are frequently those that are completely white.

Large dogs and mals can pull sleds, wagons, and kids on toboggans. They stand around 2 feet tall at the shoulder and weigh 75 to 85 pounds. Their sturdy but elegant legs, thick neck scruff, and slightly rounded backs are all distinguishing features.


They have a lot of energy, are quite playful, and enjoy interacting with others. On the other side, if they feel you are not the boss or similarly strong, they will act in any way they choose and are difficult to train. These dogs will continually put you to the test, and you may at times find their behavior annoying.

Alaskan Malamute puppies need to be properly socialized, trained, and taught not to “mouth play,” not to chase other animals, and that you are serious. They are extremely intelligent, and they will constantly try to outsmart you. Even though they can be extremely vicious when necessary, they don’t make good watchdogs because they are friendly to everyone.

Only when someone approaches the dog’s food will they become hostile toward humans when there is no apparent threat. Kids and an Alaskan Malamute make a lovely pair. These dogs are laid-back and can put up with a fair amount of mischief. As long as the kids are old enough, your Malamute will be a fantastic playmate.

These dogs may accidentally damage infants, toddlers, and very young or small children due to their high level of energy and frequent playfulness. Any interaction between your Malamute and children under the age of six should be under your supervision. The Alaskan Malamute is quite possessive of other dogs, in contrast to how they behave around people. This might easily escalate into ferocious aggression.

These dogs are very predatory when dealing with non-canine pets or animals. Almost invariably, cats, rabbits, and other small, hairy animals will flee, and you can bet a Malamute will after them. Simply put, malamutes shouldn’t be trusted among these animals. Even with extensive training and socializing, there may still be significant issues. It’s preferable to keep Malamutes away from them entirely.


To lessen discomfort, illness, and other health issues, you must keep your Mal’s coat clean. Infections, fungi, and skin disorders can all be brought on by matted hair. The most crucial aspect of grooming is brushing your pet every day since it keeps the coat clean and enables you to look for mats and knots.

There is a thick layer that contains the coat’s natural oils, therefore it shouldn’t be shaved unless necessary, such as during surgery. Every year, these dogs seem to have a few coat blowouts, so be ready for the aftermath! If you decide to learn how to groom your Alaskan Malamute, make sure to invest in the best tools possible.

The following is some brushing advice:
When she is a puppy, brush her to help her get familiar with being handled.
Every day, brush at the same time.
Choose a calm hour and location.
Have a big hair container ready.
Brush for a few minutes each day.
First, use the slicker.
Progress to a pin brush.
Use the rake to dig deeply, but take care not to graze either skin or joints.
Keep an eye out for tangles, especially on the belly.
After that, clean off with a chamois.


Due to their high level of intelligence and drive, Alaskan Malamutes are not very challenging to teach. Malamutes thrive when they are constantly engaged in both their mental and physical activities. Malamute puppies should be trained from an early age so that their owners may teach them obedience and manage their energy. Malamutes are pack animals, so they must recognize their owners as the pack’s alpha males to properly train them.

Malamutes should be trained to walk on leashes from an early age because they are genetically predisposed to running and hunting. Given their great intelligence, puppies who are crated early learn new skills more quickly, especially when it comes to housetraining.

You must make sure the puppy views the crate as his home rather than a place of punishment. Reproduction The Alaskan Malamute is a robust breed that is simple to breed. A mature Alaskan Malamute is about 18 months old. The Malamute reaches its full height and physical structure during this period as well.

For mating and postpartum care, novice owners may need to consult a veterinarian. A malamute typically has a litter of 6 to 9 puppies. Puppies The litter size of an Alaskan Malamute can range from 6 to 9. The puppies need to be housebroken and given exercise because they have a lot of energy to prevent boredom and destructive behavior.

It will be crucial for puppy owners to socialize with their pets from a young age. Do not be startled if you find your puppy digging in the garden or the yard or pursuing small creatures like squirrels or rabbits because these dogs are genetically intended to hunt and catch prey.


Due to their size and need for space to run and exercise, Alaskan malamutes are not appropriate for apartment living. Malamutes suffer poorly in humid and hot weather because they are sled dogs and are accustomed to snow. You could want to install air conditioning in the home for your Malamute if you live in a region with stifling summers.

To prevent their excessive activity from harming the pets and kids in the house, malamutes will need early socialization with both. You will need to train your kids to be a little careful around this dog as parents. Due to their energetic nature and desire for space to play and run, Malamutes would perform best in a home with a large yard or garden. If you choose to live in an apartment, you will need to plan an active lifestyle for the Malamute that involves lots of running.


Malamutes are generally robust, healthy dogs that enjoy their 10- to 14-year lifespans, although the breed is prone to a few health issues. A puppy’s parents should be verified as having undergone a hip dysplasia screening by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals or PennHip, according to Becker, as Alaskan malamutes are predisposed to the condition. “Puppies of large and giant breeds need to receive specialized nourishment that promotes controlled growth for proper musculoskeletal system development.

Early-life supplementation with nutrients that promote cartilage also slows the progression of degenerative joint disease.”
Hip dysplasia is a genetic skeletal disorder that results in hip joint dislocation and causes the ball and socket to grind and rub rather than glide. The issue is uncomfortable and may lead to arthritis. Younger dogs may benefit from surgery, and weight management is an essential preventative approach.

According to Becker, this breed’s dogs should also undergo temperament evaluations, elbow dysplasia, autoimmune thyroiditis, and polyneuropathy DNA testing. Please wait to purchase a puppy until you have personally reviewed the mom and dad’s test results.
Health issues:
CHD and cataracts are serious problems.
Minor issues include hypothyroidism and chondrodysplasia.
Gastric torsion, hemeralopia, polyneuropathy, and seizures are occasional occurrences.
The following tests are advised: chondrodysplasia, hip, eye, (thyroid), (elbow) (polyneuropathy)

Care and diet

The Alaskan Malamute enjoys the cold and snow in particular. They require daily exercise in the form of either a lengthy leashed walk or the chance to run since they can run for kilometers at a time. A weekly or biweekly brushing is required, more frequently during shedding.

The Malamute diet is crucial to keep these dogs healthy and content, as it is for other breeds. Due to their high level of activity, Alaskan Malamutes require food that is rich in animal proteins, complex carbs, and beneficial fats. Some breed aficionados believe that a BARF (Bones and Raw Food) diet is the greatest option for Alaskan Malamutes.

The supporters claim that because these dogs are thought to be directly derived from wolves, they would benefit most from a diet resembling that of their wild forebears. While such fanatics may be right, the majority of “normal” Mal owners claim that the BARF diet is just too difficult, thus premium dry kibble is the preferred option.

The dry food will need to be of excellent quality because it will meet the nutritional needs that inexpensive dog food, which is often filled with empty calories, simply cannot.

Regardless of what you decide to feed Mal, there should be a lot of it because the dog will almost certainly still ask for more. The recommended serving sizes for Alaskan Malamute food are 3-3½ cups divided into two meals per day for adult Mals;  2½ cups divided into three meals per day, depending on age, for puppies. (These quantities may change depending on the age and level of activity of the Mal; a dog that spends the day hauling snow sleds, for example, will probably eat more than one that lazes around all the time.)

Mals are quite athletic, yet if given the chance, they have a great propensity to gain weight. And part of the explanation is genetics: these dogs have been used as sled dogs for decades, frequently dragging sleds for extended periods without a pause for food. Because they may not have another opportunity to eat for several hours, modern Mals have an innate predisposition to wolf down their food (and then beg for more!). This means that a Malamute will finish a meal in two minutes, beg for more, and owners will keep feeding the dog until the dog is overweight and waddling around.

Veterinarians and breed specialists all advise following a consistent feeding plan with predictable portions. No matter how much your Malinois begs for more, never give in to his requests. Veterinarians also highly caution against “free-feeding” a Mal, which is continuously leaving food in the dog’s bowl so that it is always available to eat.

It’s recommended to only put your dog’s bowl down for meals and to pick it up 15 to 20 minutes later when the dog starts to eat. Give your Malamute this easy Ribs Test if you’re concerned about its weight: run your hand along its side; if you can’t feel any ribs, it’s time to start a diet. Reduce the dog’s daily food intake by one-fourth and increase the amount of time it spends walking or playing each day.

Pros and cons

extraordinary intelligence.
stronger resistance to cold.
extremely cordial towards others.
perfect for active lifestyles.
fantastic family pet.
wonderful working dog.
appears majestic.

heavy shedder.
canine aggressive.
Intolerance to heat.
Anxiety over separation.
tendency to run away.
Numerous health issues.
Costly in every way.
aggressively food-obsessed
requires a lot of physical activity
Will chase cats and different tiny canine pets.

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