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Alaskan Malamute Dog Breed Profile

Alaskan Malamute

Other Names
Dog Group Kennel Club
Breed Classification
Alaskan Malamutes belong to the working group and are used for sled-pulling, sled-racing, as companions and seen in the show-ring. 
Cost of Ownership
Average Food Cost
£7.50-10 per week
Feeding Requirements
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. 
Other Expenses
The cost of a puppy will range from £750 to £800. Once purchased, apart from feeding, there will be little further expenditure. They are a hardy breed therefore veterinary costs should be low. 
9 - 15 years
Giant breeds do not live as long as their smaller counterparts in the dog world. 10 years would be a good life expectancy for a Malamute. 
Average Litter Size
The avergae size of litter is 6 or 7 puppies. 
General Physical Description
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.

Height Min Max
Bitch 58cm (23") 66cm (26")
Dog 64cm (25") 71cm (28")
Weight Min Max
Bitch 38kg (84lbs) 56kg (123lbs)
Dog 38kg (84lbs) 56kg (123lbs)
Size Category
Weight Height Range
Dogs ideally measure between 64 - 71cms at the withers and bitches measure between 58 - 66cms. Both dogs and bitches weigh between 38 - 56kgs. 
This is a strong and naturally hardy breed, their most significant problem being Hip Dysplasia. Malamutes may also be prone to copper and zinc deficiencies. 
Common Ailments

Haemeralopia, Factor VII disease
Zinc related dermatosis  
Susceptibility To Illness
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. 
As this is a dominant breed, especially with the same sex, it is essential the dog be thoroughly socialized before allowing free play in the park with other dogs. A Malamute needs a confident handler who will clearly take on the role of pack leader and train the dog with kind, but firm methods. Although the Malamute will never respond to commands at lightening speed, it can learn obedience and agility commands and will perform them competently.< 
Show Characteristics
This is a powerful, heavily- boned dog. The head is broad, especially between the ears and there should be a slight furrow between the dark, almond shaped eyes. Bulky in proportion to the skull, the muzzle has an almost uniform width and depth throughout its length. A black nose is preferred but a brown nose or a streaked ‘snow nose’ is acceptable in lighter-coated dogs. The teeth should be large and meet in a scissor bite. Medium in size, but small in relation to the head, the ears are triangular in shape with rounded tips. They are set wide, on the outside back edge of the skull, almost in line with the upper corner of the eyes. A strong and moderately arched neck leads into a deep chest that should be equal to half the height at the withers. The body is compact but not short coupled so that the length of the body is slightly more than the height to the withers. There is a gentle slope to the hips and the loins should be well muscled and of a moderate length. The tail follows the line of the spine, not tightly curled to rest on the back, nor like a fox-brush, but, carried with the appearance of a waving plume. The shoulders have a moderate slope and lead into the heavily boned foreleg. Straight to the pastern, which is short, strong  
Country Of Origin
United States 
Famous Examples
Records Held
Overall Exercise
60 - 80 minutes per day.
Whilst this breed will adapt themselves to family circumstances, owners should still allow at least an hour a day of hard exercise. Some owners join sledging clubs to compete in races thus giving the dogs plenty of exercise. It should be noted that Malamutes do have a tendency to run off so they should be well trained to recall before being let off the lead. 
Distress if Left Alone
Personal Protection
Guard Dog Suitability
Risk of Sheep Worrying
Tendency to Bark
Level of Aggression
Compatibility With Other Animals
Suitable For Children


General Character And Temperament
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 how 
Coat Length
Grooming Requirement
Every Day 
Requires Professional Groomer
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. 
Colours are wolf gray, black, sable and red, all with white markings. White markings normally appear as a cap or mask on the face, on the legs and feet and on the belly. A white blaze on the forehead or a spot on the neck is also seen. 
Suffers From Allergies

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