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The Alaskan Malamute dog breed is a large sled dog that was originally bred by the Mahlemut tribe of Alaska. He thrives in extremely cold climates, similar to other Arctic dog breeds such as the Samoyed and Siberian Husky.
Alaskan Malamutes were not only created for transport but also for hunting and protecting their owners from vicious animals in the Arctic.
The Alaskan Malamutes are playful, affectionate, and loyal. With his gentle and friendly nature, they are not fit to be guard dogs but they are great pets for kids. Also know that their high prey drive makes them unsuitable furry companions for smaller pets.
The Alaskan Malamute is fearless and known to be the strongest amongst the sled dog breeds. He needs to work, otherwise he gets bored quickly.
Alaskan Malamutes are heavy shedders, so they should be groomed frequently. Training them is extremely challenging for beginners, thus they are better suited for experienced owners. The lifespan of the Alaskan Malamute breed is 10–12 years.
The Alaskan Malamute dog breed was developed by the ancient Mahlemut tribe of Alaska. He is one of the oldest Arctic sled dogs.
The Mahlemut people used this large dog during their hunting expeditions. They help catch seals as well as act as deterrents for polar bears. Bred to pull and haul heavy loads, these dogs drag heavy sleds across the tundra.
The Alaskan Malamute almost became extinct towards the end of the 19th century. There was a great demand for sled dogs during the gold rush. Breeders mixed Alaskan Malamutes with other breeds to keep up with the increasing demand. This diluted the bloodline of the large purebred dog.
Fortunately, the Mahlemut tribe was able to preserve the original Alaskan Malamute breed. The natives lived an isolated existence in the western regions of Alaska. Thus, their Alaskan Malamutes were free from cross-breeding, and the bloodlines remained pure.
During World War II, these large Arctic dogs were used as freight haulers and search and rescue dogs of the French Army troops. Renowned explorer, Admiral Byrd, used these sled dogs when he reached the South Pole.
In 1935, the American Kennel Club officially recognised the dog breed. In the same year, the Alaskan Malamute Club of America was formed. The dog breed was introduced to the UK in 1959 and became the largest breed of sled dogs recognised by the Kennel Club.
The Alaskan Malamute and the Siberian Husky are both Arctic sled dogs, but they have different functions.
Alaskan Malamutes were used to pull heavy loads over short distances. On the other hand, Siberian Huskies were tasked to haul light loads over long distances.
The Alaskan Malamute breed is a powerful, heavily boned dog. He has a broad head that is proportionate to his body, with brown almond-shaped eyes and triangular ears.
Adult male Alaskan Malamutes measure around 36–45 kilos (80–100 pounds) in weight and 63–71 centimetres (25–28 inches) in height. Adult female Alaskan Malamutes weigh approximately 29–38 kilos (65–85 pounds) and stand around 58–66 centimetres (23–26 inches) tall.
Generally, female Alaskan Malamutes can deliver 6–8 puppies. But some may even birth 12 Alaskan Malamute puppies in one litter. Large breeds are slow to mature, so Alaskan Malamutes would be around 2 years of age when they reach full maturity.
The Alaskan Malamute dog breed has a double coat—a thick, coarse, outer coat that is longer at the withers and a dense, woolly undercoat.
The standard colours of the Alaskan Malamute range from light grey to shades of black. Another variety is from gold to shadings of red to liver. His underbody, feet, legs, and mask always have white markings.
The Alaskan Malamute is generally a clean dog, so bathing can be done a few times per year. Frequent bathing can strip off natural oils and make the coat very dry and dull.
However, this Arctic dog requires daily brushing to maintain his beautiful coat and prevent mats. He is a heavy shedder and his hair falls in large lumps.
Alaskan Malamutes, like all breed of dogs, require regular basic grooming to keep them neat and tidy. They don’t have any particular needs, but their grooming regimen must not be ignored. Brush their teeth 2–3 times a week to prevent potential gum disease.
The Alaskan Malamute’s nails must be trimmed if they become too long. Check the ears for any signs of infection such as redness or bad odour. Examining his body during grooming can help you detect any signs of abnormality early on.
Yes, Alaskan Malamutes are good pets. They are intelligent, playful, and friendly dogs that interact very well with humans.
These large dogs are patient and loving towards young children. However, they can get too energetic that they may knock the small kids over. This is why children must be taught how to properly approach large dogs, and their interactions should always be supervised.
The Alaskan Malamute rarely barks, which is good for dog owners that get annoyed by excessively loud barking. But when he does vocalise, he makes a "woo wooing" sound as if he is talking.
Yes, Alaskan Malamutes are easy to train if you have prior experience with the breed. But with first-time owners, these large dogs can be very challenging to train.
These Alaskan Malamutes are headstrong and will insist on doing things their way. They will also challenge family members to be the alpha in the family. So everyone at home needs to establish that they have higher roles than this canine.
Are Alaskan Malamutes vicious? No, Alaskan Malamutes are not aggressive or vicious towards humans if properly socialised and trained.
The Alaskan Malamute breed is known to show aggression towards dogs of the same sex. Others do not get along well with canines of the opposite gender either. Hence, these large dogs are better off as the only pet in the household.
No, Alaskan Malamutes are not good with cats as they have a high prey drive. They may stalk and even kill small animals out of instinct. Thus, it is not the best idea to keep these 2 pets together.
If you are keen on having an Alaskan Malamute puppy as your cat's companion, thorough socialisation and training are essential to ensure that they will be able to live harmoniously.
An adult Alaskan Malamute should have 4–5 cups of excellent-quality dry dog food per day. Use this as a guide, but the amount of food depends on his age, size, build, activity level, and metabolism.
Always do your research regarding the breed you are getting, and ask a veterinarian regarding your pet’s nutritional needs.
Here are the typical calorie needs of an adult Alaskan Malamute per day:
Since the Alaskan Malamute was bred as a working dog, he requires more protein and fewer carbohydrates to support his energy needs. Protein can provide him with essential nutrients for building his muscles.
High-quality dry kibbles containing beef, lamb, or fish are often suggested for this large dog breed. Fat is important since it is a good source of energy, it is essential for vitamin absorption, and it can maintain a glossy coat. Also, make sure to take care of his joints as he is prone to hip dysplasia.
The Alaskan Malamute is a generally healthy dog breed with an average lifespan of 10–12 years. However, much like most dog breeds, he is predisposed to certain health conditions including:
The abnormalities in multiple peripheral nerves cause the development of this neurological disorder. Alaskan Malamutes suffering from this disease may experience exercise intolerance, breathing problems, and gradual weakness of the limbs.
Although an incurable health issue, it can be managed through diet changes and physiotherapy.
It is a genetic disorder that affects the bone growth of dogs, hence stunting their body development. Alaskan Malamutes with chondrodysplasia will noticeably have a lot of deformities. They will have bowed legs, large heads, curved spines, and bulging deformities.
There is no cure for this condition, but anti-inflammatory medications will be prescribed to ease the pain.
This eye condition is brought on by a genetic mutation causing day blindness. Affected Malamutes will feel pain when they are exposed to sunlight. Their vision turns back to normal once it's night-time.
As of now, there is no effective cure for hemeralopia. Changes should be made at home to create a safer place for dogs suffering from this vision impediment.
As working dogs, Alaskan Malamutes need at least 2 hours of exercise. Insufficient exercise can cause them to become bored and destructive.
These large dogs thrive on walks, tasks, and playtime. They can also be good running and hiking companions. Alaskan Malamutes love digging, so it is best to give them an area where they can freely dig.
Yes, Alaskan Malamutes can live in hot weather, but care should be taken to prevent heatstroke. Outdoor exercises should be done during the coolest parts of the day. They should be provided with plenty of water for hydration.
If the weather gets too hot, find a shady place where the Alaskan Malamutes can relax, away from the sun's heat. During summer, they need air conditioning to keep them cool.
An Alaskan malamute puppy costs £1,200 to over £2,500 depending on whether he is from a Kennel Club-assured breeder or not. This large dog is a hefty eater, so expect to pay a total of £50–£60 every month for your puppy’s food.
Bringing home a new canine companion comes with the responsibility of providing him with his basic supplies such as toys, crate, and bowls. Purchasing these items will cost you around £200–£400.
Your Alaskan Malamute puppy will need regular health check-ups since the breed is vulnerable to a few major health problems. Each session will set you back about 50–£60.
Vaccinations are also needed to safeguard your Alaskan Malamute puppy from lethal infectious diseases. Be ready to pay £100–150 for initial vaccine shots and £30–£60 for annual boosters.
Veterinary expenses are one of the most costly aspects of your Alaskan Malamute puppy's life. Lower your spending for medical bills with the help of pet insurance.
If you pick a time-limited package, it will cost you around £15–£20 a month. If you choose a lifetime cover, you may need to spend approximately £18 to over £80 per month.
Are you sure the Alaskan Malamute is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.Dog Breed Selector Quiz
Still not sure if Alaskan malamute is for you? Let us help you through our Pet Finder to find the perfect dog pet for you.
By definition, husky refers to well-built dogs with thick coats that allowed them to adapt well in Arctic regions. These dogs used to pull sleds either for transportation or racing. In general, huskies are considered as the sled-type of dogs.