The Alaskan Malamute is a large breed of dog. They were originally bred as sled dogs, due to their strength and endurance.
It is one of the oldest breeds of dog. Mixing Alaskan Malamutes with other breeds is not very common.
This has lead to them keeping the same appearance since their existence was discovered.
Alaskan Malamute History and Background
Alaskan Malamutes have a role as a work and hunt dog. They were well known for their great hunting abilities. They often were used on large game hunts, such as bears.
Malamutes became very valuable assets to land owners, prospectors, and settlers during the Klondike Gold Rush of 1896.
They had great use during this period because of their ability to haul heavy loads of gold via sled.
Malamutes also served during World War II. They had great use as search and rescue dogs in extreme cold climates of the war, such as Greenland.
Not only were they great search and rescue, they were great for hauling equipment by sled, as they did during the gold rush.
But their service during the war did not come without great loss.
After the war was over the breed was all but extinct. In 1947, there were only 30 registered Alaskan Malamutes remaining.
Alaskan Malamutes originate from the Siberian region of Russia, often likened to the Siberian Husky of the same region.
They came to America byway of the Bering Strait about 12,000 years ago.
The Alaskan Malamute became the official state dog of Alaska in 2010.
Alaskan Malamute Physical Characteristics
Alaskan Malamutes possess a large stature and a face that is very similar to that of a wolf.
Malamutes have so much similarity to wolves, that they often play the role of a wolf on movies and TV.
For comparison, these dogs are slightly larger than German Shepherds and Labrador retrievers.
Male Alaskan Malamutes stand about 25 inches tall, and weigh at around 85 pounds on average.
Female Alaskan Malamutes stand about 23 inches tall, and weigh at around 75 pounds on average.
Well-fed adult male Malamutes can weigh up to 100 pounds.
In very very rare cases, there are ‘giant’ Malamutes. These giant Malamutes weigh up to 140 pounds!
Alaskan Malamutes have a very fun, playful, and outgoing personality.
To them, no one is a stranger. Malamutes will befriend just about anyone they come in contact with.
They would not make great guard or watch dogs since they are so friendly.
Shockingly they are rather quiet dogs, despite their outgoing personality.
With that outgoing personality, they need the perfect name to match it.
Much like adult Malamutes, pups are curious, playful, and enjoy contact and playing with people.
Nutrition & Training
Alaskan Malamutes have a fairly easy diet. They do well on normal good quality dog food. As it is for all breeds, any diet needs to be appropriate for the dog’s age.
Do not overfeed because they can easily become overweight. Manage the dogs weight carefully.
Mix in some treats as an aid or reward when they do well while being trained.
Malamutes will become very pushy around other pets if they do not have obedience training.
There are some behaviors in Malamutes that are useless to try to train out of them.
The main behavior they won’t stop is digging, so it is best to give them one certain spot they can dig in.
With their digging habit any fencing will need to go into the ground fairly deep.
This should keep them from digging their way out of the yard.
Alaskan Malamutes are generally healthy dogs. But they are susceptible to certain health conditions, as most dogs are.
It is important to be aware of any possible health concerns.
Many Malamutes suffer from dysplasia in the hips and elbows.
Other health conditions that effect Malamutes include: cataracts, hypothyroidism, and day blindness.
Day blindness in Malamutes is fairly easy to spot and starts to show at a young age,
Dogs effected by this condition often stumble over or bump into things. They also will show a reluctance to go outside during the day.
The ears of Malamutes need regular checking. This check is to remove any matter or wax from it’s ears.
It is also important to take care of it’s teeth.