Alaskan Malamute

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  • Alaskan Malamute
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  • Alaskan Malamutes in the UK
  • Alaskan Malamutes
  • Alaskan Malamute in Great Britain
  • Alaskan Malamute Dogs
  • Alaskan Malamute in the UK
Exercise Level:
Barking Level:
Good with Children:
Good with other pets:
Height: 58 - 64cm M | 58 - 64cm F
Weight: 34 - 39kg M | 34 - 39kg F
Life Expectancy: 10 - 14 Years

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The Alaskan malamute is a large domestic dog originally bred to haul heavy loads over long distances. The breed thrives in cold climate similar to other arctic dog breeds such as the Samoyed and Siberian husky.

This working dog is fearless and known to be the strongest among the sled dog breeds. The Alaskan malamute needs to work because it gets bored rather quickly. This sturdy breed is playful, affectionate, and loyal. With their gentle and friendly nature, they are great pets for kids.

The Alaskan malamute has a double coat consisting of a coarse outer coat and a thick, oily, and woolly undercoat that requires regular upkeep.

book icon History

The Alaskan malamute originated from the ancient Mahlemut tribes of Alaska who used the breed during their hunting expeditions. It helped in catching seals and dragged heavy sleds across the tundra. Although various breeds were mixed to develop many types of sled dogs, the Mahlemut tribe preserved its original breed. This has something to with their remote location.

The American Kennel club officially recognised the Alaskan malamute in 1935. The breed reached the UK in 1959 and has become the largest breed of sled dogs recognised by the Kennel Club.

comb icon Appearance and Grooming

The malamute is a powerful, heavily-boned dog. It has a broad head proportionate to its body with brown almond-shaped eyes and triangular ears. A male should be around 65 centimetres tall at the withers and weigh 85 pounds. A female should be about 58 centimetres and 75 pounds.

The breed has a double coat: thick, coarse, outer guard coat longer at the withers, and a dense, woolly undercoat. The standard colours range from light grey to shades of black. Another variety is from gold to shadings of red to liver. Its underbody, feet, legs, and mask always have white markings. The 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, it requires daily brushing to maintain its beautiful coat and prevent mats. This breed is a heavy shedder and its hair falls in large lumps.

The Alaskan malamute, like any dog breed, requires regular basic grooming if you want to keep this dog happy. It doesn’t have any particular needs, but other grooming regimens must not be ignored. Brush the malamute’s teeth twice or thrice a week to prevent potential gum disease. The nails must be trimmed if it becomes too long. Check the ears for any signs of infection such as redness or bad odour. Examining the malamute during grooming can help you detect any signs of abnormality early on.

bulb icon Temperament and Intelligence

The malamute is intelligent, playful, friendly, and hardworking. It rarely barks and interacts very well with humans. Whilst this breed can be a good family dog, it is not advisable for first-time pet owners. Since it is stubborn, training can be hard if the handler is inexperienced with pet behaviour. In addition, it can challenge family members to be the alpha in the family. Everyone at home needs to establish they have higher roles than this canine.

The breed is patient and loving towards young kids, but can get too energetic and knock them over. This is why children must be taught how to properly approach this breed, and interactions should always be supervised.

Like every dog, the Alaskan malamute requires early training and socialisation. Regardless of its breed’s predisposed temperament, its personality will be largely influenced by its experiences when young.

food icon Nutrition and Feeding

A typical serving for an adult Alaskan Malamute is four to five cups of excellent-quality dry dog food per day. Use this as a guide, but the amount of food depends on its 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.

Typical calorie needs of an adult Alaskan malamute per day:

  • Senior and less active: up to 1,110 calories daily
  • Typical adult: up to 1,480 calories daily
  • Physically active/working dogs: up to 1,850 calories daily

Since the malamute was bred as a working dog, it requires more protein and less carbohydrates to support its energy needs. Protein can provide it with essential nutrients for building its muscles. High-quality dry kibbles containing beef, lamb, and fish are often suggested for this breed. Fat is important since it is a good source of energy, essential for vitamin absorption, and maintains a glossy coat. Also make sure to take care of your malamute’s joints as it is prone to hip dysplasia.

stethoscope icon Health and Exercise

The Alaskan malamute is generally healthy, but it is predisposed to certain health conditions. You need to be wary of hip dysplasia, chondrodysplasia, hemeralopia (day blindness), inherited polyneuropathy, hypothyroidism, and cataracts.

As a working dog, it needs plenty of exercise. It thrives on walks, tasks, and playtime. It can be a good running and hiking companion. It also loves digging so it is best to give it an area where it can freely dig. Insufficient exercise can cause it to become bored and destructive. Avoid walking it in extremely hot weather.

pound icon Cost of Ownership

An Alaskan malamute puppy costs £250–£800 depending on whether it is a Kennel Club-registered pedigree puppy or not. On top of the initial purchase cost, expect to spend £1500 per year on high-quality food, supplies, grooming, initial vaccinations, boosters, neutering or spaying procedure, and vet fees.

Getting pet insurance will add £20–£50 to your monthly expenses. Since the Alaskan malamute is predisposed to some medical conditions, opting to get insurance can protect you from unexpected medical expenses.

Alaskan Malamute Breed Highlights

  • The Alaskan malamute is a fun-loving dog that is generally great around children.
  • It is highly intelligent but can be stubborn, hence early training and socialisation are important.
  • The breed is ideal for people who are outdoorsy.
  • Daily grooming is necessary as it is an excessive shedder, especially during spring and autumn.
  • It can be strong-willed, so a potential owner needs to establish himself as the alpha in the family.
  • The malamute is a notorious digger, so it needs a big space where it can freely dig or play.

Are you sure the Alaskan Malamute is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.

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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.

The information, including measurements, prices and other estimates, on this page is provided for general reference purposes only.

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