Alaskan Malamute Dog Breed Traits & Facts

Last Updated on September 20, 2023

. The Alaskan Malamute is a large, muscular dog with his wild wolfy appearance as well as a large frame. Many believe that this Malamute is tough and will protect his family, but this IS NOT .

No, this dog is a very friendly and sociable dog and will welcome intruders for treats and belly rubs. a very social dog but a formidable guard dog . Although Malamutes can bark at strangers, this is not their best guarding ability. If you’re looking for a guard dog, however, their size can be a deterrent.

The Malamute’s large frame comes with additional needs ,, which means that he is not suitable for all families. A large home and a large yard are essential. Additional time is needed for long walks and financial stability. This guide will teach you everything you need to know about the Malamute, and whether it is the right breed for you. Are you curious to learn if the Malamute is the right breed for your family? Let’s get started!

Alaskan Malamute Dog


The Alaskan Malamute is an ancient dog breed that descends from domesticated wolf dogs around 4,000 years ago. The Mahlemut Tribe of northwestern Alaska wanted a large canine to transport heavy goods between the tribes. They created the breed. He is often confused with his smaller, more popular sibling, the Siberian Husky. The Husky is built to speed and the Malamute for power.

They were also used for hunting seals as well as chasing away polar bears from their camps in order to protect their tribes. The gold rush in the 1890s saw an influx of people and their dogs to Alaska. The Malamute was kept safe in its isolated tribe. While other Alaskan dog breeds were mixed with Alaskan breeds, the Mal bloodline remained pure. Nearly all Malamutes registered can be traced back to one of the three bloodlines: M’Loot or Kotzebue.

The Alaskan Malamute Club of America was formed in 1935, and Malamutes were entered into the American Kennel Club (AKC) studbook. However, many of the Malamutes were used in World War II as sled dogs .. Unfortunately, many of them did not survive the journey to Antarctica.

In 1984, the breed was chosen by the AKC as one of four purebred dogs to feature on their 100-year celebration stamps. And in 2010, he officially became the state dog of Alaska, thanks to a schoolchildren group’s petition. His larger size means he isn’t as popular as the Siberian Husky ,. He consistently finds himself in the top 60 dog breeds. He is a great family pet, if you have the space and are able to meet his needs.


The Alaskan Malamute a pack dog . He loves spending time with his family. He is best suited for families that can spend the majority of their time with him. This is not the right breed for you if you travel long distances or work long hours. This is the right breed if you’re looking for a hot water bottle and a companion.

As a leader . for a pack dog he must be certain . It’s not him, but you need to ensure that. Dogs who lack leadership skills will be challenged by their master for the top dog role. Unruly dogs, unhappy dynamics and behavioral problems can result. The Malamute should be rehomed with a family that has had previous dog ownership.

He is a hardworking dog who enjoys having a job. He needs a job ., whether that’s pulling carts at a ranch or training for hours. He’s not a couch potato and will be difficult to manage if you’re. This breed may seem like a great protector, but it isn’t. Although many intruders might be scared by his size, most Malamutes prefer to lick strangers than chase them away.

He also displays some quirky traits. He is a quiet, reserved dog who loves to howl ,. Sirens, musical instruments and other singing will set him off. As long as his neighbors aren’t bothered, it’s great to have a ‘woo woo!’ conversation with him. This breed also loves digging, so it may be hard to get him to stop.

Size & Appearance

The Alaskan Malamute is a large-sized, well-built dog . To put it into perspective, at 23 to 25 inches tall, he is roughly the same height as the better known German Shepherd. The breed standard states that females weigh around 75 pounds, and males weigh around 85 pounds. His fluffy coat makes him appear much larger than this.

He has a deep chest and wide shoulders which allow him to pull heavyweight. He can pull enormous loads because of his muscular thighs. His head is large but proportional to his body. He smiles a lot and has a big smile. His ears are triangular in shape and round at the tips, and look very wolf-like. His tail is plumes-like and his topline slopes towards the rear.

He is friendly and approachable with a soft smile. His eyes are medium-sized and almond-shaped. While some Malamutes have blue eyes ,, most have dark-colored eyes .. A blue-eyed dog cannot be shown in the conformation rings. Heterochromia is a condition where a dog has different colored eyes than his Husky sibling.

Coat & Colors

The Alaskan Malamute’s has a thick double-coated that is one of the most luxurious on the planet. It is so soft that you can sink your head into it and sleep for hours. His underlayer is thick, wooly and oily. This keeps him warm even in the coldest climates of his home country. His weather-resistant outer layer is medium in length, straight, thick and hard. This helps keep his underlayer dry.

The breed offers a range of coat colors. They all have white coats and the Malamute or Husky facial mask markings. Some dogs have a completely white coat while others have a white base color. The secondary color can range from light gray to black, sable to red and even sable to dark brown. The agouti is a combination of black pigments found in hair strands that gives it a salty and pepper appearance.

Overall it is safe to say that if you don’t like hair falling around your house, this breed isn’t for you. He sheds moderately all year and is a very heavily shedder during shedding season. He makes up for this by being super clean. Later on, we will have a section dedicated to his grooming routine.

Exercise Requirements

The Alaskan Malamute, a highly energetic dog, needs lots of exercise to keep him healthy and fit. He’ll need at least 90 minutes of exercise every day. It should not be a slow walk around the block. He needs to do intense exercise. He is intelligent and needs to have a variety of activities to keep him busy. It’s time to get creative and mix up his day! He will appreciate frequent visits to the dog park, where he can meet new friends, if he is well socialized.

Once he’s fully grown, it is a good idea to involve him in some kind of pulling activity. This will allow him to keep up with his sledding needs. You can get him to take the family rucksack with you on long adventures. He will be happy to participate in many activities because of his love for playing, chasing, and digging . You can take him to the beach, but don’t be too close if he starts digging sand. Or fetching woods. His favorite pastime is skijoring, which involves pulling someone on skis. Be sure to look for your local dog sled racing club!

He does have an high prey drive ,, which goes back to his hunting days. It is important to remember this when you are out in public. He will run if he spots something fast or furry. They should be careful, from cats to rats. You should, too! This cart pulling machine can whip you out of your feet. It is best to keep your big dog on a leash when out in public.

Living Conditions

He is a large-sized dog and needs a large home. Access to the outdoors is a must for him, so no yardless homes. The Malamute is an outdoor dog and needs fresh air to keep his sanity. The Malamute is an escape artist ,. Because he trusts everyone, the Malamute will go off on his own without ever looking back at his family. He loves to dig so he can tunnel himself out. High fences that dig into ground are essential. Malamutes also live their best life in moderate or colder climates.

The Alaskan Malamute is a loving pooch that loves both children and adults. His large body and love for snuggling means that he can easily smother young children and infants. This guy should only be adopted by older families. Some say he’s a great choice for families with younger children. always supervise children and dogs, no matter what you do.

It all boils down to how well he was socialized as a puppy. He will not be able to give the best of greetings to dogs that have not been socialized. If he was well socialized, he loves being around other dogs .. He is not suitable for non-canine multipet households due to his high prey drive. He has also been known to cause harm to family pets and rodents. A Malamute family might not be able to live without small furry dogs.


The Alaskan Malamute is a strong pack dog. Two things are important. First, he must have a strong-willed master who will enforce pack rules. The Mal is a stubborn dog and is not the easiest to train . We only recommend Mal owners who are experienced with dogs. This means you will need to put in a lot of work, but it is worth it.

This breed requires early training. The most critical socialization period is between 3 and 17 weeks. But you will have to continue this as soon as you get him home if you want him to grow into a polite pup. You can also socialize him by enrolling him in a puppy obedience course .. He will learn basic commands and you will be able to establish your leadership role.

*)Obedience classes offer many benefits, especially for stubborn breeds of dogs. You must be consistent with your training. It will take a lifetime commitment. He should also get the whole family involved to ensure that he doesn’t become bossy with the children and the younger members of his family.

leash Training . is another important aspect of training this breed. He is one the most powerful dogs on the planet and built to haul heavy loads. If you don’t teach your Malamute how to walk on a lead, pulling you over every day will become a regular occurrence. Learn about leash training your Malamute, start him young, and reward him for good behavior. A Malamute can pull, so you may also want to use a harness that is breed-appropriate.


The Alaskan Malamute is a very healthy dog breed who is expected to enjoy an average lifespan of 10 to 14 years. As a dog parent, you must do your part to ensure that your Alaskan Malamute is as healthy as possible. The best ways to keep your dog in top shape are to feed him high quality food, exercise him regularly, and keep up with his veterinary visits.

The breed is susceptible to particular Health Concerns . This list is not exhaustive but the following health issues are important to be aware of in your breed. Find out more about these conditions and the symptoms you should look for. Good breeders will be able to discuss your concerns and issue health certificates.

Hip Dysplasia

This is when the hip joint develops abnormally and grows at an irregular rate. This causes the hip joint to grind when it moves. It can become painful over time and cause mobility problems. The most common symptoms include struggling movement, inability to climb stairs or getting up from a lying down position. This is common in large breeds of dogs, so breeders should ensure that their dogs have good hip scores.

Eye Conditions

The Mal can be susceptible to progressive retinal atrophy or cataracts. Cone degeneration disease, also called day blindness, is the most common condition in this breed. Bright light can cause his cone-shaped eyes to become blind. His vision is better at night. This can be seen in bumping into objects or being afraid of brightly lit areas.

Alaskan Malamute Polyneuropathy

This is a unique breed feature that causes reduced stimulation of the peripheral nerve system. His nerves and muscles often become degenerated during his first two years. Affected dogs may lose control over their limbs eventually. A DNA test can identify this condition. Dogs with affected limbs should not be bred.


This occurs when cartilage becomes abnormally large during pregnancy. It essentially causes dwarfism for puppies. It will become apparent that he isn’t developing as well from four months. He is often keeping his puppy teeth, and not developing sexual organs. Chondrodysplasia can affect his long-term health and cause problems in the heart, joints, and a shorter life span.


The Alaskan Malamute, a large dog, will consume four cups of kibble each day. He will require more if he is a working dog pulling carts all day. Follow the instructions on food packaging according his age, weight and energy level. If the breed is not properly exercised, it can become obese. It is important to not overfeed the dog.

It is vital to your Malamute’s health that you provide him with the highest quality nutrition possible. High-quality kibbles provide the best nutrition for your Malamute and a balanced diet. You should feed your large dog a kibble that is specifically made for them. This is especially important in puppyhood. Large breed puppy kibbles will control the rate at which his bones grow, decreasing the likelihood of hip dysplasia.

Healthy omega oils are essential to the breed. It will nourish the skin and promote a beautiful coat. It is also beneficial for brain and eye function as well as mineral absorption and joint support. You should look for ingredients like fish, meat, animal and vegetable oils, flaxseed, and flaxseed. Lower-priced kibbles are less likely to contain sufficient healthy omega fats.


The Alaskan Malamute is covered in a double layer that requires regular brushing He sheds moderately throughout the year. He will require two to three weekly brushing sessions to maintain his jacket. Their best tool is a pin brush. He will require brushing daily during the shedding season, which is between summer and winter. A deshedding tool like the Furminator will also help you to manage his sheer amount of fluff.

This breed is clean,

. His coat is water-repellent and will not attract dirt or water. He will also clean himself after exercising. To keep his coat in its best condition, he will need bathing every eight weeks . A concentrated shampoo that is specifically designed for thick hair, such as a high-quality shampoo, is recommended. Dry him well as a damp hair can cause infections, hot spots and mold.

Their teeth need to be brushed once a week with a doggy toothpaste to avoid periodontal diseases. To prevent bacteria buildup, trim his nails when you hear them tap on the ground. He doesn’t drool as much . despite being a large dog His dewlaps are inwardly turned, which keeps them from freezing in Alaska.

Breeders & Puppy Costs

To find an Alaskan Malamute breeder of high quality, you may need to travel. Also, expect to be on a waitinglist. This is a good thing. This means the breeder is using best practices and taking care of their puppies. Meet them including their parents . You want healthy puppies and a clean environment. Make sure you ask for the certificates of health we have mentioned.

The average price of a purebred puppy from a reputable breeder is around $1,500 and up. This is a fair price for a large-breed puppy that has been treated with love and care. The AKC list of Malamute breeders is a great place to start your search for a good quality breeder.

Do not work with a puppy-mill , or anyone that isn’t a quality breeder. Do not allow them to pressure you into selling a puppy, take money from you before you meet the pup, go somewhere you don’t know, or refuse to give you certificates of health. You will likely get a sick pup and untold behavioral issues.

Rescues & Shelters

There are millions of American dogs waiting for their forever homes in rescue shelters. Why not adopt an Alaskan Malamute instead? You can search for your local shelter online, and then go out with your whole family to find your soon-to be companion. Talk to staff members there. They will be happy to help you navigate the rescue process.

If you are unable to find the perfect pooch, don’t worry. Many breed-specific rescue groups across the country are available to rehome Malamutes s or their mixed. The Alaskan Malamute Assistance League list dedicated rescue centers state by state. If you have any questions, they also offer a contact form. Although rescue fees are sometimes required, they are usually much less than purchasing a puppy from an breeder.

As Family Pets

  • Malamutes are pack dogs and thrive around their family and other dogs.
  • They crave the company of their humans, making them very needy.
  • He has a lot of energy and needs at least 90 minutes of intense daily exercise.
  • He is super friendly with visitors and strangers.
  • This means he’s typically a terrible guard dog.
  • Malamutes are very affectionate with their families.
  • They enjoy spending time cuddled up near the couch.
  • Malamutes love to howl and dig.
  • They are great fun and entertainment for the whole family.
  • He needs an experienced dog owner who can control his dominant character.
  • The Malamute has a high prey drive and wandering potential.
  • He needs lots of space in his family home and a secure yard.
  • Due to his size, a family with older children is his ideal family.

Final Thoughts

The Alaskan Malamute is a large dog with a fluffy exterior and equally soft personality. This sweetie is devoted to his family and can become a demanding and intense dog. He is a pack dog and requires strong leadership. This makes him difficult for novice dog owners. He is a high-energy dog and should be paired with an active family.

As long you are able to meet his needs, he’s a wonderful canine companion and well-suited to bring a smile to everyone’s faces. Except for the neighbor’s cat. He is a great family pet and will bring some wild wolfiness to your life. Expect lots of fluff and canine companionship.

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