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Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamute Dog Breed Information

In a Sentence:

A large and powerful sled dog breed with a thick fur coat and a friendly personality.

Scientific Name:

Canis lupus familiaris.
Type:Mammal

Size:

Alaskan Malamutes are considered a Large Dog breed.
Weight:34-38 kg.
Height:58-64 cm (23-25 inches).
Length:63-71 cm (25-28 inches).

Lifespan:

The average lifespan of an Alaskan Malamute is around 10-14 years

Behavior:

What type of dog is a Alaskan Malamute, how do they behave and what temperament do they have? See below for a detailed overview of their traits and personality.

Personality & Temperament

Alaskan Malamutes have friendly and outgoing personalities. They are highly social dogs that thrive on human companionship and interaction. Their loyalty and devotion to their families make them excellent family pets.

Malamutes are intelligent and independent dogs that can be stubborn at times. Their strong-willed nature can make them challenging to train. However, with consistent and patient training, they can learn to follow commands and behave well.

Malamutes also have a high energy levels and love for physical activity. They are natural athletes and excel in activities such as hiking, running and pulling sleds. They require regular exercise and mental stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive behavior.

Despite their friendly nature, Malamutes can be protective of their families and territory. They have a strong prey drive and may chase smaller animals, so it is important to socialize them from a young age.

Overall, Alaskan Malamutes are friendly, loyal and active dogs that require a lot of attention and exercise. They can make excellent family pets for those who are willing to provide them with the necessary care and attention.

Intelligence

Alaskan Malamutes are considered to be intelligent dogs, but their intelligence can vary from individual to individual. They possess problem-solving abilities, independence, and a strong-willed nature. However, they can also be stubborn and difficult to train, so early and consistent training is important. Overall, with proper training and socialization, Alaskan Malamutes can be a smart and loyal companion.

Trainability

Training an Alaskan Malamute can be challenging as they are independent and strong-willed dogs. However, with patience, consistency and positive reinforcement techniques, they can be trained effectively. It is important to start training early and socialize them with other dogs and people to prevent any behavioral issues. Alaskan Malamutes respond well to reward-based training and enjoy activities such as obedience training, agility and sledding. It is also important to establish yourself as the pack leader and provide them with plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive behavior. Overall, training an Alaskan Malamute requires time, effort and dedication, but the rewards are worth it as they are loyal, loving and intelligent dogs.

Sleep

Alaskan Malamutes typically sleep for around 14-16 hours per day. However, this can vary depending on their age, activity level and individual personality. Puppies and older dogs may sleep more, while younger and more active dogs may sleep less. It’s important to provide your Alaskan Malamute with a comfortable and quiet place to sleep, as well as plenty of opportunities for exercise and mental stimulation during their waking hours.

Bark

Alaskan Malamutes are vocal dogs, but they do not bark excessively. They are more likely to howl, whine and make other vocalizations. However, their level of vocalization can vary depending on the individual dog and their training and socialization. It is important to provide proper training and socialization to prevent excessive barking or howling.

Drool

Alaskan Malamutes are known to drool moderately. However, the amount of drooling can vary from dog to dog and can also depend on factors such as age, health and diet. Regular dental care and keeping the dog’s face and mouth clean can help reduce drooling.

Lick

Alaskan Malamutes are moderate to heavy lickers. They are affectionate dogs and enjoy showing their love and affection through licking. However, excessive licking can also be a sign of anxiety or boredom, so it’s important to monitor their behavior and provide them with enough mental and physical stimulation.

Jump

Alaskan Malamutes are not known for their jumping ability. They are a large and powerful breed that is more suited for pulling sleds and heavy loads. While they can jump, their jumping ability is not exceptional compared to other breeds. The height of their jump would depend on the individual dog’s size, strength and athleticism. However, it is not recommended to encourage or train them to jump excessively as it can put a strain on their joints and cause injury.

Dig

Alaskan Malamutes are diggers with a strong instinct to dig. They were originally bred to work as sled dogs in the Arctic, where they would dig snow caves to shelter themselves from harsh weather conditions. In a domestic setting, they may dig holes in the yard or garden out of boredom, to escape from confinement or to find a cool spot to lie down. The amount they dig can vary from dog to dog, but it is important to provide them with plenty of exercise, mental stimulation and a designated digging area to prevent destructive digging behavior.

Good Fit for You?

Is a Alaskan Malamute the right dog for you? Keep reading to find out how compatible you are with a Alaskan Malamute.

Exercise

Alaskan Malamutes are a high-energy breed that require a significant amount of exercise to stay healthy and happy. They need at least 60-90 minutes of exercise every day, which can include walks, runs, hikes or other activities that allow them to use their energy and strength. They also enjoy activities such as sledding, skijoring and agility training. It’s important to note that Alaskan Malamutes should not be left alone in a yard for long periods of time as they can become destructive and bored. They thrive on human interaction and need regular exercise and mental stimulation to prevent behavioral issues.

Space

Alaskan Malamutes are large and active dogs that require a significant amount of space to move around and exercise. Ideally, they should have access to a large, securely fenced yard where they can run and play. A minimum of 6-foot high fencing is recommended to prevent them from escaping. If living in an apartment or smaller home, daily walks and regular exercise are essential to keep them healthy and happy. It’s important to note that Alaskan Malamutes are not well-suited for living in small spaces or being left alone for long periods of time.

Apartment

Alaskan Malamutes are not recommended for apartment living. They are large, active dogs that require a lot of space to run and play. They also have a thick coat that requires regular grooming and shedding can be a problem in a small living space. Additionally, they are known for their howling and may disturb neighbors in an apartment building. It is important to consider the needs and temperament of a dog before bringing them into a living situation that may not be suitable for them.

Left Alone

Alaskan Malamutes have a strong attachment to their owners and can become anxious or destructive when left alone for long periods of time. They are social animals and thrive on human interaction and companionship. Therefore, it is not recommended to leave them alone for extended periods of time. If you need to leave your Alaskan Malamute alone, it is important to provide them with plenty of exercise, mental stimulation and a comfortable and safe environment. It is also recommended to hire a dog walker or pet sitter to check on them during the day.

Kid/Family Friendly

Yes, Alaskan Malamutes are generally good with kids and families. They are known for their friendly, loyal and playful nature, which makes them great companions for children. However, it’s important to note that Alaskan Malamutes are large and powerful dogs, so they may accidentally knock over small children or be too rough during playtime. Therefore, it’s important to supervise interactions between children and dogs and teach children how to properly interact with dogs. Additionally, Alaskan Malamutes require a lot of exercise and attention, so they may not be the best fit for families who cannot provide them with enough physical and mental stimulation.

Perfect Fit

An Alaskan Malamute would be a perfect fit for a home/household that has:

  1. A large yard or space for the dog to run and play.
  2. An active family who enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, camping and running.
  3. A family who is willing to provide regular exercise and mental stimulation for the dog.
  4. A family who has experience with large and energetic breeds.
  5. A family who is willing to provide regular grooming and maintenance for the dog’s thick coat.
  6. A family who is willing to provide consistent training and socialization for the dog.
  7. A family who is willing to provide plenty of love and attention to the dog as they thrive on human interaction.

Pros and Cons:

Alaskan Malamutes are a beautiful and powerful breed of dog that have been used for centuries by the Inuit people for transportation and hunting. However, owning an Alaskan Malamute comes with its own set of pros and cons. Here is a table with 5 pros and cons of owning an Alaskan Malamute:

ProsCons
1. Loyal and affectionate1. High energy and exercise needs
2. Excellent watchdogs2. Can be stubborn and difficult to train
3. Great with children3. Heavy shedding and grooming needs
4. Good for cold climates4. Can be destructive if bored or not exercised enough
5. Can be trained for various activities5. Prone to certain health issues such as hip dysplasia and eye problems.

Overall, Alaskan Malamutes can make wonderful pets for the right owner who is willing to put in the time and effort to meet their needs.

Cost:

The cost of an Alaskan Malamute in Australia can vary depending on several factors such as the breeder, location, age and pedigree. On average, you can expect to pay between $1,500 to $3,500 AUD for a purebred Alaskan Malamute puppy from a reputable breeder. However, prices can go up to $5,000 AUD or more for a show-quality puppy with exceptional bloodlines. It is important to do your research and only buy from a reputable breeder to ensure the health and well-being of your new pet.

Breed History:

Alaskan Malamutes were originally bred by the Inuit people of Alaska for their strength and endurance to pull heavy sleds over long distances in harsh Arctic conditions. They were also used for hunting and as a general-purpose working dog. The breed is named after the Mahlemiut tribe of Inuit people who lived in the Kotzebue Sound area of Alaska. The Alaskan Malamute is one of the oldest Arctic sled dog breeds and is still used for sled pulling, as well as for search and rescue, therapy work and as a family pet. They are known for their loyalty, intelligence and affectionate nature.

Current Usage

Alaskan Malamutes are still used as working dogs in various capacities, although they are also popular as pets. Here are some ways in which they are currently being used:

  • Sled dogs: Alaskan Malamutes are known for their strength and endurance and they are still used as sled dogs in some parts of the world. They are particularly well-suited for long-distance races and expeditions.
  • Search and rescue: Alaskan Malamutes have a keen sense of smell and are highly trainable, making them ideal for search and rescue operations. They are often used to locate missing persons in wilderness areas.
  • Therapy dogs: Alaskan Malamutes are gentle and affectionate and they make great therapy dogs. They are often used to provide comfort and companionship to people in hospitals, nursing homes and other settings.
  • Guard dogs: Alaskan Malamutes are protective of their families and can be trained to be effective guard dogs. They have a deep, intimidating bark and are not afraid to defend their territory.
  • Show dogs: Alaskan Malamutes are also popular in the world of dog shows. They are judged on their appearance, movement and temperament and are often bred for specific traits that are desirable in the show ring.

Overall, Alaskan Malamutes are versatile dogs that can excel in a variety of roles. While many people keep them as pets, they are still valued for their working abilities and are used in a number of different settings.

Guard Dogs

Alaskan Malamutes are not typically recommended as guard dogs as they are friendly and affectionate with people, including strangers. They are also not known for being particularly territorial or possessive of their homes or families. While they may bark to alert their owners of potential threats, they are not aggressive by nature and are more likely to greet intruders with wagging tails than with aggression.

Where Are They Found?

Alaskan Malamutes are popular in many countries around the world, but some of the countries where they are most popular include:

  1. United States: Alaskan Malamutes are most popular in the United States, where they were originally bred for sled pulling and other work in Alaska.
  2. Canada: Alaskan Malamutes are also popular in Canada, where they are often used for sled pulling and other outdoor activities.
  3. United Kingdom: Alaskan Malamutes have gained popularity in the United Kingdom in recent years, with many people adopting them as pets.
  4. Australia: Alaskan Malamutes are also popular in Australia, where they are often used for sled pulling and other outdoor activities.
  5. Germany: Alaskan Malamutes are popular in Germany, where they are often used for sledding and other outdoor activities.
  6. Japan: Alaskan Malamutes are popular in Japan, where they are often kept as pets and used for sled pulling.
  7. Russia: Alaskan Malamutes are also popular in Russia, where they are often used for sled pulling and other outdoor activities.

Climate

Alaskan Malamutes are best suited to cold climates. They are bred to work in harsh, snowy conditions and have a thick, double coat that provides insulation from the cold. They are also able to withstand extreme temperatures and can tolerate temperatures as low as -70°F (-57°C). However, they may struggle in hot and humid climates as their thick coat can make them prone to overheating. It is important to provide them with plenty of shade, water and cool areas to rest in if they are in a warmer climate.

Population

It is difficult to determine the exact number of Alaskan Malamutes in the world as there is no centralized database or registry for this breed. However, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC), Alaskan Malamutes are ranked as the 58th most popular breed in the United States, with approximately 3,000 new registrations each year. Additionally, the breed is recognized by kennel clubs in many other countries, including Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. Therefore, it is estimated that there are tens of thousands of Alaskan Malamutes worldwide.

Physical Appearance:

Alaskan Malamutes are large, sturdy dogs with a thick, double coat that is designed to keep them warm in cold weather. They have a broad head with triangular ears that stand erect and their eyes are almond-shaped and set wide apart. Their muzzle is strong and their nose is black.

Their body is muscular and well-proportioned, with a deep chest and a straight back. They have a thick, bushy tail that curls over their back. Their legs are strong and straight, with large, round paws that are well-suited for walking on snow and ice.

Alaskan Malamutes come in a variety of colors, including black, gray, sable and red. They often have white markings on their face, chest and legs. They are known for their expressive faces and friendly, outgoing personalities.

Coat:

Colours:

Alaskan Malamutes can be various colors, including: Gray, Black, Sable, Red, Seal, White and Wolf gray. These colors can also have different shades and patterns, such as a solid color, a combination of colors or a mix of colors with white markings.

Hair/Fur Length:

Alaskan Malamutes have a thick and dense double coat of fur that can grow up to 3 inches in length. The outer coat is coarse and long, while the undercoat is soft and woolly. This coat helps them stay warm in cold weather and sheds heavily twice a year during seasonal changes.

Shedding:

Yes, Alaskan Malamutes do shed. They have a thick, double coat that sheds heavily twice a year, typically in the spring and fall. During shedding season, they will require more frequent brushing and grooming to help remove loose fur and prevent matting. Regular grooming can also help reduce shedding and keep their coat healthy and shiny.

Grooming:

The Alaskan Malamute has a thick, double coat that requires regular grooming to prevent matting and tangling. They shed heavily twice a year and during this time, daily brushing is necessary to remove loose fur. Outside of shedding season, weekly brushing is sufficient.

It is not necessary to cut the Alaskan Malamute’s hair, as their coat serves as insulation in both cold and warm weather. However, trimming the hair around their paws and ears can help prevent matting and keep them clean. It is also important to regularly trim their nails and clean their ears to prevent infections.

Hypoallergenic:

No, Alaskan Malamutes are not hypoallergenic. They have a thick double coat that sheds heavily twice a year, which can trigger allergies in some people. Additionally, they produce dander, which can also cause allergic reactions. If you have allergies, it’s best to spend time with an Alaskan Malamute before bringing one into your home to see if you have a reaction.

Speed:

Alaskan Malamutes can run at a speed of up to 40-50 kph (25-31 mph).

Health:

Alaskan Malamutes are generally healthy dogs, but like all breeds, they can be prone to certain health issues. Some of the most common health issues they are faced with include:

  • Hip Dysplasia: a genetic condition where the hip joint doesn’t develop properly, leading to arthritis and pain.
  • Hypothyroidism: a condition where the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormones, leading to weight gain, lethargy and skin problems.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): a genetic condition where the retina degenerates over time, leading to blindness.
  • Polyneuropathy: a neurological disorder that affects the nerves in the body, leading to weakness and difficulty walking.
  • Bloat: a life-threatening condition where the stomach fills with gas and twists on itself, cutting off blood supply to the organs.

Teeth:

Alaskan Malamutes typically have 42 teeth, which is the same as most other dog breeds.

Eyesight:

Alaskan Malamutes have a good sense of vision, which is essential for their hunting and sledding abilities. However, their eyesight is not as sharp as some other breeds, such as the Greyhound. They have a wider field of vision and are better at detecting movement than seeing fine details. Additionally, like all dogs, their eyesight can deteriorate with age or due to certain health conditions.

Nipples:

Alaskan Malamutes typically have 8 to 10 nipples, arranged in two rows on their underside.

Gestation:

Litter Size:

The typical litter size for Alaskan Malamutes is between 4 to 8 puppies. However, it is not uncommon for a litter to have as few as 1 or as many as 12 puppies. The size of the litter can be influenced by various factors such as the age and health of the mother, the quality of the breeding and the genetics of the parents.

Gestation Period:

The gestation period for Alaskan Malamutes is approximately 63 days, which is the same as most other dog breeds. However, it is important to note that the exact length of the gestation period can vary slightly from dog to dog and can be affected by factors such as the size of the litter and the health of the mother. It is important for owners to provide proper care and nutrition to their pregnant Alaskan Malamute to ensure a healthy pregnancy and delivery.

Heat:

Alaskan Malamutes typically go into heat twice a year, although this can vary slightly from dog to dog.

Male vs Female:

Male and female Alaskan Malamutes have some differences in physical appearance and temperament. Males are generally larger and heavier than females, with a height of 25 inches and weight of 85 pounds, while females are 23 inches tall and weigh 75 pounds. Males also tend to have a more dominant and independent personality, while females are more affectionate and nurturing. However, these differences are not absolute and can vary depending on the individual dog’s genetics and upbringing. Both male and female Alaskan Malamutes are loyal, intelligent and energetic dogs that require plenty of exercise and socialization.

Tips and Advice:

They are intelligent, loyal and affectionate dogs that make great companions for the right owner. However, they require a lot of care and attention to keep them healthy and happy. Here are some tips and advice for caring for an Alaskan Malamute:

  • Exercise: Alaskan Malamutes are high-energy dogs that require a lot of exercise to stay healthy and happy. They need at least 30-60 minutes of vigorous exercise every day, such as running, hiking or playing fetch.
  • Grooming: Alaskan Malamutes have a thick, double coat that requires regular grooming to keep it in good condition. They should be brushed at least once a week to remove loose hair and prevent matting.
  • Nutrition: Alaskan Malamutes require a high-quality diet that is rich in protein and nutrients to support their active lifestyle. They should be fed a balanced diet of meat, vegetables and grains that is appropriate for their age, size and activity level.
  • Training: Alaskan Malamutes are intelligent dogs that respond well to positive reinforcement training. They should be trained from a young age to prevent unwanted behaviors and to teach them basic commands such as sit, stay and come.
  • Socialization: Alaskan Malamutes are social dogs that enjoy the company of people and other dogs. They should be socialized from a young age to prevent shyness or aggression towards strangers or other animals.
  • Health: Alaskan Malamutes are generally healthy dogs, but they are prone to certain health issues such as hip dysplasia, eye problems and obesity. They should receive regular check-ups from a veterinarian and be kept at a healthy weight to prevent these issues.
  • Environment: Alaskan Malamutes are not well-suited to living in apartments or small homes. They require a large, fenced yard where they can run and play freely. They also need access to fresh water and shelter from extreme weather conditions.

By following these tips and advice, you can provide your Alaskan Malamute with the care and attention they need to live a happy and healthy life.

Food:

Alaskan Malamutes are large dogs and require a significant amount of food to maintain their energy levels and body weight. On average, an adult Alaskan Malamute will eat between 3 to 5 cups of high-quality dog food per day, depending on their size, age and activity level.

While Alaskan Malamutes do enjoy food, they are not typically considered food-oriented dogs. They are known for being independent and strong-willed and may not always be motivated by food rewards during training. However, like all dogs, they should be fed a balanced and nutritious diet to maintain their health and well-being.

Facts:

Alaskan Malamutes are large and powerful dogs that were originally bred for hauling heavy loads in the Arctic. Here are three interesting facts about them:

  1. They have a thick, double coat that keeps them warm in extremely cold temperatures. Their coat is so insulating that they can even sleep outside in sub-zero temperatures.
  2. Alaskan Malamutes are known for their strength and endurance. They can pull up to 3 times their own weight and have been used in sled races that cover hundreds of miles.
  3. These dogs have a strong pack mentality and are very loyal to their owners. They are also known for their friendly and playful personalities, making them great family pets.

Names:

When it comes to naming these majestic creatures, it’s important to choose a name that reflects their rugged, adventurous spirit. Here are 15 names that would be a good fit for an Alaskan Malamute:

  1. Kodiak – This name pays homage to the Kodiak bear, a powerful and majestic creature that is native to Alaska.
  2. Denali – Named after the highest peak in North America, this name is perfect for a Malamute that loves to climb and explore.
  3. Yukon – This name is inspired by the Yukon River, which flows through Alaska and Canada.
  4. Nanook – Meaning “polar bear” in Inuit, this name is a nod to the Malamute’s Arctic heritage.
  5. Sitka – This name is inspired by the coastal city of Sitka, Alaska, which is known for its stunning natural beauty.
  6. Tundra – This name reflects the Malamute’s love of wide open spaces and rugged terrain.
  7. Koda – Short for “Kodiak,” this name is perfect for a Malamute that is both strong and affectionate.
  8. Glacier – This name is inspired by the glaciers that are a hallmark of Alaska’s landscape.
  9. Aurora – Named after the Northern Lights, this name is perfect for a Malamute with a striking coat.
  10. Sable – This name is inspired by the Malamute’s thick, luxurious fur.
  11. Kenai – This name is inspired by the Kenai Peninsula, a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts in Alaska.
  12. Anana – Meaning “beautiful” in Inuit, this name is perfect for a Malamute with a striking appearance.
  13. Balto – Named after the famous sled dog that helped deliver medicine to Nome, Alaska during a diphtheria outbreak in 1925.
  14. McKinley – Named after the highest peak in North America, this name is perfect for a Malamute that loves to climb and explore.
  15. Kiana – Meaning “moon goddess” in Inuit, this name is perfect for a Malamute with a regal demeanor.

Famous:

Over the years, many Alaskan Malamutes have become famous for their incredible feats, appearances in movies and ownership by famous people. Here are some of the most famous Alaskan Malamutes of all time:

  1. Togo – Togo is perhaps the most famous Alaskan Malamute of all time. He was the lead dog of Leonhard Seppala’s team during the 1925 serum run to Nome, which delivered diphtheria antitoxin to the town of Nome, Alaska. Togo ran over 260 miles, including a treacherous section across the Norton Sound, to deliver the serum and save countless lives.
  2. Balto – Balto was another lead dog during the 1925 serum run to Nome. Although he did not run as many miles as Togo, he became famous for leading the final leg of the journey and delivering the serum to Nome. A statue of Balto stands in New York City’s Central Park.
  3. Diesel – Diesel was an Alaskan Malamute owned by actor Vin Diesel. He appeared in several of Diesel’s movies, including “The Pacifier” and “Fast and Furious 8.”
  4. Nanook – Nanook was an Alaskan Malamute owned by explorer Robert Peary. He accompanied Peary on several expeditions to the Arctic and was known for his strength and endurance in extreme conditions.
  5. Kavik – Kavik was an Alaskan Malamute who starred in the movie “The Incredible Journey.” The movie tells the story of three pets who travel 250 miles through the Canadian wilderness to find their way home.
  6. Chinook – Chinook was an Alaskan Malamute who became famous for his role in the development of the breed. He was the first dog to be named an official state dog and his descendants are still used in sled dog racing today.
  7. Charlie – Charlie was an Alaskan Malamute who became famous for his role in the movie “Eight Below.” The movie tells the story of a group of sled dogs who are left behind in Antarctica and must survive on their own.

These are just a few of the many famous Alaskan Malamutes who have made their mark on history. Their strength, endurance and loyalty have made them beloved by many and have cemented their place in popular culture.

Summary:

The Alaskan Malamute is a large working dog breed that originated in Alaska. They were originally bred for pulling sleds and hunting and are known for their strength, endurance and loyalty. They have a thick, double coat that provides insulation in cold weather and come in a range of colors including black, gray and sable.

Malamutes are known for their friendly and outgoing personalities and are often described as being affectionate and playful. They are also intelligent and independent, which can sometimes make them challenging to train. They are typically good with children and other pets, but may have a strong prey drive and should be supervised around small animals.

The history of the Alaskan Malamute dates back thousands of years and they were originally bred by the Mahlemut people of Alaska to help them survive in harsh conditions. They were used for hunting, transportation and as companions and were highly valued by the Mahlemut people.

Today, the Alaskan Malamute is a popular breed for those who enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, camping and skiing. They require regular exercise and mental stimulation and do best in homes with large yards or access to open spaces. They can make great pets for active families who are willing to put in the time and effort to train and care for them properly.