The Alaskan Malamute is a large, friendly dog developed by the Innuit Mahlemut tribe for sled-pulling and hunting in harsh cold climates. This attractive dog is related to other Arctic breeds such as the Siberian Husky, but Malamutes are larger and slower than Huskies and cannot have blue eyes.
The largest of all Arctic dogs, Alaskan Malamutes measure between 56 and 68 cm and generally weigh 34 to 43 kg. Malamute colours range from light grey to shades of black, sable and red, with white markings on the face, belly, legs and feet.
These solid dogs have a short to medium-length waterproof coat, denser in winter than in summer. While Alaskan Malamutes can cope well in all climates, they need a cool shady spot and plenty of cold water in summer. They need daily brushing but don’t need frequent bathing as they are virtually free of doggy odour.
Malamutes may look like wolves, but don’t at all behave like them. These dogs are extremely affectionate, even to strangers, and are useless guard dogs. They are gentle animals but can display dominant behaviour to other dogs, especially of the same sex. Malamutes get on well with children but because of their size, strength and occasional exuberance, they’re not the ideal family pet. They will accept other household pets if introduced to them at a young age.
The Alaskan Malamute is a pack dog that doesn’t like to be left alone, and needs at least half an hour of exercise a day, preferably more. You’ll need to make allowances for your Malamute’s strong hunting, pulling and digging instincts. It will pull hard on its lead and will try to dig up your garden if it can. You’ll need to thoroughly socialise your dog before letting it play with other dogs in the park.
A hardy breed, the Alaskan Malamute’s average life span is 10-12 years.
If you are interested in this breed we recommend you contact Arctic Breed Rescue – one of the rescue organisations sponsored by Petsecure.