Dog Breeds > Alaskan Malamute
|Alternate Names||Malhmut, Alaskan husky, Alaskan Malamute|
|Group||Spitz and Primitive Type|
|Section||Arctic Sled Dog|
Alaskan Malamute Profile
The Alaskan Malamute is a classic arctic dog with pronounced Spitz characteristics. It has a strong and compact, yet not heavy, thorax; straight and powerful paws; and a tail that looks like a brush plumed above the body without touching the back. The head is held erect and the ears are well apart and turned slightly forward. The snout is elongated, but not pointed. Its eyes are slanted, inclined and the Alaskan Malamute has a typical Nordic expression.
Although it is similar to the Siberian husky, the malamute is stockier, more powerful, more stubborn and more dominant. The Siberian Husky is thinner and faster, while the Malamute is built for endurance, and will pull heavier loads over longer distances.
Coat: medium-length, thick and rough, with a dense undercoat.
Color: every color from gray to black is allowed, but always with some white on the paws and the underpart of the body. Masks with a variety of shapes can appear on the head, but they must always be symmetric.
Size: about 63.5 cm for the males and 58.5 cm for the females.
Weight: about 38 kg for the males and 34 kg for the females.
Origins and History
Originally from the north of Alaska, it was selected by the Mahlemiut tribe from which it took its name. The Mahlemiuts were reindeer hunters, but these animals left the territory shortly before the gold rush, leaving the people without resources. The first Americans to reach the north only found a few of these dogs. Luckily, they brought the Alaskan Malamute back to the USA and restarted the breed.
Character and Abilities
It was originally a heavy sled dog, the Malamute has become obsolete in this occupation nowadays. Current sled dog competitions are speed events that require more agile and flexible dogs (such as the Siberian Husky). It is for this reason that the Alaskan Malamute is now mostly a companion and exhibition dog. Some Malamute – but not all – have good skills for guarding, but a good Malamute should never bite. A sled dog (and thus pack) should theoretically be very sociable with others, but, unfortunately, the opposite is often true in practice. However, the Malamute is extremely sweet and affectionate with its owner and its family: it endures children well, even if playing with them is not its favorite activity.