Alaskan Malamute

The Alaskan Malamute, as the name suggests is a
Nordic Breed. They are a very strong and powerful dog bred to pull sleds in harsh terrain and brutally cold climates. This strong instinct and intensity to pull doesn’t make them the best dog when it comes to walking on a leash. It is important to always keep him tethered and at your side while on walks, as he has the urge to roam and run. Getting him back might be a bit of a challenge. Due to the fact that they are expert diggers and climbers, keeping one behind a fence is not always the best idea. They will dig holes and try to find the best way out, as well as howl. They are going to need lots of exercise and will need to be walked or given a job to do daily. This job can entail pulling a sled while walking. These are beautiful dogs though and are very gentle with children.

While we really recommend that you acquire one through a rescue, we understand that some people might go through a breeder. Always screen your breeders as much as possible to ensure that you are getting as high a quality dog as is possible.

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Here are some pictures of the Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamute History

Per his name, the Malamute hails from Alaska. Based on studies of the canine genome, the Alaskan Malamute is one of the most ancient breeds in existence. Early Inuit people were nomads who relied on dogs and sleds to transport themselves and their goods through their snowy barren land. Besides pulling sleds or carrying burdens themselves, the dogs helped hunters seek out polar bears and other food animals. The Alaskan Malamute had a prominent role with their human companions – as a utilitarian dog, working, hunting, and living alongside humans. The dogs were renowned for their excellent hunting abilities.

The Malamute dog has had a distinguished history; aiding Rear Admiral Richard Byrd to the South Pole, and the miners who came to Alaska during the Gold Rush of 1896, as well as serving in World War II primarily as search and rescue dogs in Greenland, although also used as freighting and packing dogs in Europe. This dog was never destined to be a racing sled dog; it was used for heavy freighting, pulling hundreds (even thousands) of pounds of supplies to villages and camps in groups of at least 4 dogs for heavy loads.

The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1935, and the Alaskan Malamute Club of America was formed the same year. A few years later, however, military service devastated the breed when a cruel and foolish bureaucratic decision led to many Malamutes being deliberately blown up on an ice floe after serving on an expedition to Antarctica. The AKC reopened registration to the breed for a brief time. The breed has since thrived and ranks 58th among the dogs registered by the AKC.

Awesome videos of Alaskan Malamute puppies

Alaskan Malamute Size and Weight

Typically stand 25 inches.

Typically range from 75 pounds to 100 pounds.

Alaskan Malamute Personality

Alaskan Malamutes are friendly and love people but they don’t exactly make the best watch dogs. They are too friendly and amicable and were bred to be that way. They were bred to get along with the village. He is a smart and curious dog but if not given the proper amount of exercise might destroy the house or dig a hole to China in the backyard. He is going to need lots and lots of exercise. If you can’t provide that to him, than I suggest that you look elsewhere for a dog companion. Take him hiking, and let him pull sleds up and down the street. That is exactly what he wants to do. Due to his coat and his not being in the Arctic anymore, be very careful about letting him overheat. He is a smart dog, but can also be strong-willed and independent.

If you get one as a puppy, don’t wait until he is 6 months old to begin training. This will create bad habits that might be hard to stop. Go ahead and start training your puppy the day you bring him home. Do everything you can to socialize the young puppy. Take him to puppy classes, doggy day cares, etc. Just keep socializing him as much as you can.

Even though this refers to acquiring one as a puppy, you can also get one through a rescue and find a little bit older, more mature and well socialized dog looking for a new home.

Alaskan Malamute Health

All dogs have the potential to develop genetic health problems as all breeds are susceptible to some things more than others. However, the one positive thing about getting a puppy is that you can avoid this as much as possible. A breeder should absolutely offer a health guarantee on puppies. If they won’t do this, then look no more and don’t consider that breeder at all. A reputable breeder will be honest and open about health problems in the breed and the incidence with which they occur. Health clearances prove that a dog has been tested for and cleared of a particular condition.

Here are some conditions that have been seen in the breed; hip and elbow dysplasia, chondrodysplasia, and polyneuropathy.

Hip dysplasia in Dogs is a disease of the hip in which the ball and socket joint is malformed. This malformation means that the ball portion and its socket don’t properly meet one another, resulting in a joint that rubs and grinds instead of sliding smoothly. Ask the breeder to show written evidence that a Dogo puppy’s parents have been cleared by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA). .

Chondrodysplasia is a developmental abnormality of the cartilage that can lead to dwarfism.

Polyneuropathy is a nervous system disorder that causes chronic lack of coordination and weakness in the dogs.

Do not purchase a puppy from a breeder who cannot provide you with written documentation that the parents were cleared of health problems that affect the breed. A careful breeder and one who truly cares about the breed itself, screens their breeding dogs for genetic disease and breed only the healthiest and best-looking specimens. One of the most common health problems with dogs is obesity. Keeping this under control is your responsibility.

Alaskan Malamute Care

The Alaskan Malamute has a thick, coarse double coat. You are going to need to get used to combing them a couple of times a week for a long time. He will shed twice a year in something called “blowing coat.” During these times get ready to have the vacuum right by your side and comb him twice a day. You will also need to invest in a really good vacuum cleaner. Bathe him as often as you think he needs it, but not too much where it will dry out his coat. Trim his toe nails every couple of months and brush his teeth or get him an approved bone to chew on that will clean them for you.

Alaskan Malamute Feeding

A lot of times diet is done on a per-dog basis. Each one is unique and has different dietary requirements. Most dogs in the U.S. are overweight. A mix like this one that is prone to hip and elbow dysplasia should really be on fish oil and glucosamine and chondroitin supplements as soon as possible.

Overfeeding any dog is not a good idea as that can really exacerbate health problems such as elbow and hip dysplasia.

A good diet to look into is Raw Food Diet.

Links to other breeds you might be interested in

Dogo Argentino

Teacup Pomeraniani


Alaskan Malamute

Tibetan Mastiff


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