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Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamute
Other names: Malamute

The Alaskan Malamute is an ancient breed bred by the Eskimos of the Malemute tribe. Large and hardy, malamutes are designed to work in dog sledding in the regions of the Far North.

Brief information

  • Breed name: Alaskan malamute
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Weight: males 36-43 kg, females 32-38 kg
  • Height (height at the withers): males 63.5 cm, females 58.5 cm
  • Life expectancy: 13-16 years old


  • Alaskan malamutes are difficult to train and train because of their natural mind and independent disposition. Inexperienced dog lovers will find it difficult to cope with them.
  • Representatives of this breed like to dominate everything, so both the owners and the rest of the family need not only to be ready to lead them, but also to be able to hold the "reins of government" in their hands.
  • Malamute is a born digger. If you settle this native of Alaska in your yard, be prepared for the fact that trees, shrubs, and a vegetable garden may suffer from his "digging" activities. He can easily make a hole under the fence and escape to the street.
  • Proper training is the key to the peaceful coexistence of the dog and the owner. In order for a large and energetic malamute not to get bored, it needs to be loaded with work – cargo transportation. Otherwise, a violent temperament will turn into trouble – he will start destroying everything in the house.
  • Alaskan malamutes get along well with other dogs and even cats, but provided they are properly socialized. However, on the street, even the most well-mannered representatives of this breed forget about all the "rules of decency" and start chasing neighbor's cats and other small animals.
  • Because of the thick coat, they cannot live in regions with a hot climate.
  • Malamutes don't know how to bark. There are exceptions to this rule, but very rarely.

Alaskan malamute is in demand in northern latitudes as a sled dog for transporting heavy loads. This ancient breed is distinguished by large dimensions, ability to work and a strong character, combined with friendliness and sociability. During walks, malamutes attract admiring glances from others, but people often confuse them with Siberian huskies . The main qualities of the Alaskan malamute are the extraordinary strength of the limbs and the huge traction ability, but we must admit that he is so dearly loved by everyone because of his pretty fluffiness!

Characteristics of the breed

Aggressiveness ?
Low ( Rating 2/5)
Activity ?
High ( Rating 4/5)
Training ?
Average ( Rating 3/5)
Molt ?
Very high ( Rating 5/5)
Need for care ?
Average ( Rating 3/5)
Friendliness ?
Below Average ( Rating 2/5)
Health ?
Good ( Rating 4/5)
Cost of maintenance ?
Above Average ( Rating 4/5)
Attitude to loneliness ?
Short Periods ( Rating 2/5)
Intelligence ?
Smart ( Rating 4/5)
Noise ?
Average ( Rating 3/5)
Security qualities ?
Bad guard ( Rating 2/5)
*The characteristics of the Alaskan Malamute breed are based on the assessment of experts and reviews of dog owners.

History of the Alaskan Malamute breed

The Alaskan Malamute is the oldest breed in North America. At the same time, it is considered one of the oldest on the planet. It is possible that the Alaskan malamute, in comparison with other dogs, lives next to a person for the longest time. This theory is supported by archaeological finds, which confirm that the malamutes have not changed genetically since ancient times. In 2004, experts analyzed their DNA and came to the conclusion that it has a great genetic similarity with a wolf. It is highly likely that the ancestors of modern malamutes are domesticated wolves. The latter were immigrants from Central and East Asia, having come to North America through the Bering Strait together with their nomadic masters. It happened about 14 thousand years ago.

Alaskan malamute

Interesting results were obtained as a result of the analysis and comparison of the DNA of the Alaskan malamute, Alaskan kli-kai and Siberian huskies . It turned out that they are related not only to the wolf, but also to each other. The differences were found only in size and weight. Alaskan Malamutes are larger than their counterparts, they have heavy bones and a powerful physique. The weight ranges from 34-39 kg, while, for example, siberian huskies weigh 20-27 kg.

Alaskan Malamutes did not become sledding right away. The Eskimo tribes in those distant times led a nomadic lifestyle, moving around the territory with severe weather conditions in search of food. The dogs were full members of the tribe, performing guard functions and helping the men on the hunt. It was the cold climate of Alaska, coupled with limited food resources, that played a fundamental role in the development of this breed. Weak individuals who found it difficult to survive simply dropped out of the genetic chain as unnecessary links. The strongest and fittest survived. The breed has been developing for centuries in the Anvik River basin, where representatives of the Malemute Eskimo tribe who came from Siberia to Alaska settled.

The Eskimos developed the Malamutes according to their simple standards, which had nothing to do with beauty. The main thing is that the dog should be a faithful assistant – strong, capable of hunting, pulling sleds and adapted to cracking frosts. Natural breeding work has yielded results, and the Alaskan malamute has become what we know it today.

The breed has also gained popularity among Europeans. This happened by the end of the XIX century, although their acquaintance with it began since the conquest of Siberia. Why then, and not before, you ask? The fact is that in 1896 a gold rush began on the Klondike, and crowds of people who wanted to enrich themselves poured in. They were interested in moving quickly on the ground. And since this is not an easy task in the conditions of the North, so the malamutes came in handy. The popularity of dogs of this breed caused a rise in prices for them. For one individual they asked for 500 dollars, and for a whole team – one and a half thousand. In the modern equivalent, this is 13 thousand and 40 thousand dollars. So malamutes have become the most popular and most expensive dogs in the northern latitudes.

Gold diggers brought with them representatives of other breeds, for example, Newfoundlands and St. Bernards. By crossing them with malamutes, the prospectors hoped to get stronger and hardier dogs. However, as riding such mestizos did not justify their hopes. Instead of pulling the sled, they snapped and fought with each other more. At the same time, such a sport as dog sledding was popularized. The 408-mile All Alaska Sweepstakes race, held in 1908, has gone down in history. Dogs were collected from all over Alaska to participate, since winning it meant not only fame and prestige, but also money.

Malamute Puppies

The undisputed quality of Alaskan malamutes is endurance. Only in terms of adaptation to the climate, the ability to work in a team and high-speed qualities, this breed lost to dogs of other species. The owners hoped to improve these indicators in it by crossing with representatives of small breeds. Such efforts have brought purebred dogs to the brink of extinction. The situation worsened especially in 1920, when the number of the latter decreased to a critical level. To prevent the breed from disappearing, a small group of enthusiastic breeders joined forces and restored it.

Over the next two decades, the breed was divided into three lines – M'lut, Kotzebue and Hinwan-Irwin. Their representatives are the ancestors of modern Malamutes, preserving the features of a particular line. But the white streak in the development of the breed did not last long – the Second World War began. Four-legged representatives of Alaska took part in it and suffered huge losses. By 1947, the number of malamutes had reached a critical point: only 30 registered individuals remained. In order to preserve the breed, breeders had to make some sacrifices, namely to move away from the standards of the lines.

In the XXI century, the Alaskan malamute has not only been preserved, but also continues to be one of the most popular dog breeds. Its history began simply as a sled dog, and today it is the official symbol of the largest and northernmost American state – Alaska. However, such a status does not prevent these very capable and hardy dogs from fulfilling their traditional role – to transport heavy loads.

Video: Alaskan Malamute

Features of the Alaskan Malamute

Psst, do I look like a wolf?

The Alaskan malamute is a large, beautiful and strong dog that looks like a wolf. The spectacular appearance, which invariably attracts attention, is complemented by irrepressible energy, which only experienced lovers of this breed, who are sensitive to the psychology of their pets, can cope with. These northern giants treat people good-naturedly, but strive to dominate them. In everyday life, such a trait of their character is not considered positive, but in extreme situations it is a big plus. There are cases when, thanks to the ability to make independent decisions, the dog saved the lives of his owners.

For Russia, this breed has been exotic for a long time and is represented in small numbers. However, recently in our country she has more and more fans. Many, however, later become disappointed in their dog. Only the malamute is not to blame for this: such a dog does not need to be acquired spontaneously, but first you should collect all the information about the characteristics of the character, behavior and conditions of detention. The choice in favor of this breed should not only be conscious, but also carefully weighed.

Appearance and special features of the breed

The main "mission" of the northern handsome is the same as that of husky - dragging loaded sleds through the snow. With husky the malamute has a lot in common: both dogs have a wayward character, many even confuse these breeds. But the differences between them are not so difficult to find. The malamute is taller, he has more weight, and the bone is wider than the husky . All these qualities make the Alaskan handsome man much hardier than his closest brother: with a heavy harness, he can run for at least a whole day. The representatives of these breeds also have a different coat, the malamutes have a longer and thicker coat. But the color is almost identical.

Heterochromia in the Alaskan malamute

General description

The Alaskan malamute, one of the top 30 most popular breeds in North America, belongs to the spitz-like group. This is a strong-built dog with a muscular body, densely covered with thick hair. Representatives of the breed are also distinguished by a large head and deep chest. The height at the withers and the weight of males and females differ: 63.5 and 58.5 centimeters and 38 and 34 kg, respectively. Looking at puppies, it's even hard to believe that huge and energetic dogs grow out of them. Malamutes in childhood are plush bumpkins that cause emotion.

High five!

The depth of the chest of the northern heavyweight is equal to half of its height at the withers, but its lowest point is located behind the forelimbs. If you measure the body from the shoulder-scapular joints to the sciatic tubercles, it turns out that its length is greater than the height at the withers. The power and temperament of adult males can amaze even the most sophisticated dog lovers. It will surprise you, but malamutes can be kept in a city apartment. But so that he does not behave in the dwelling like an elephant in a china shop, teach him various commands and do not let him dominate. With the enormous stubbornness and self-will of these dogs, it is necessary and possible to fight. With a positive result of the efforts spent, you will get a loyal friend for many years.

Despite the impressive appearance and some character flaws, Alaskan malamutes sincerely attach themselves to their owners, love them, show loyalty. They are friendly, playful and kind. The movements of the dog of this breed are smooth, fast and balanced. The push given by the hind limbs is transmitted, like electricity through wires, to the forelimbs through the developed lower back. If you look from the side, the moment of the push is visible very well. The forelimbs, in turn, take a wide and smooth step. The legs moving along the line – this is perfectly noticeable when viewed both from the front and from behind – do not step too wide, but also not too narrow. As the step accelerates, the paws become close to the center line. Experts recommend: if your pet steps or generally moves in a way that interferes with productivity and efficiency, punish him in order to avoid repeating such mistakes in the future.


It's not too heavy, but deep and wide. Relative to the body, it looks proportionally. The skull is also wide, moderately rounded between the ears, with gradual flattening and narrowing to the eyes, and also rounded into the cheekbones. The muzzle of the malamute is large relative to the skull. Its upper line is slightly lowered and thus slightly diverges from the upper line of the skull. The furrow between the eyes is weakly expressed. The transition from the forehead to the muzzle (the so-called stop) is not sharp, but noticeable. From the foot to the nose, the muzzle decreases slightly – both in width and depth.

The muzzle of the Alaskan malamute


Large, with a regular scissor bite. The jaws are wide and powerful, the cheekbones are flat. Overshot or undershot is qualified as a defect.


The eyes of the malamute are almond-shaped, of medium size. They are set obliquely, the color is brown. The presence of a representative of the breed of blue eyes is not just a defect – it is a disqualifying defect.


Fluffy puppy

Triangular shape, medium size, rounded at the ends. Relative to the head, they look small. Located on the back of the skull, along its outer edges. They are in line with the upper corners of the eyes. By the direction of the ears, you can judge the mood of the dog: if they "look" to the sides, it means that something has alerted your pet. When the malamute is at work, that is, carrying a load, his ears are often laid back. In an upright position (standing) the ears are pointed slightly forward. The high fit of the ears is considered a defect.

Nose and lips

The malamute's nose is large, the nostrils are wide. The nose is black, as are the lips and the rims of the eyes. This standard is mandatory for malamutes of all colors. The exception is dogs of red color: they are allowed to have a brown nose lobe. Weak pigmentation of the nasal lobe is possible during the cold season, it is called "winter lobe". The lips are thin, they fit tightly.


Strong, powerful, moderate curvature.


Is not particularly massive, but the backbone is strong. Not short, looks compact.


The tail of the Alaskan malamute is densely covered with thick hair, raised above the back, but does not touch the back and does not twist on it. At the base, it continues the line of the middle postage (that is, the top).


The forelimbs of the malamute are distinguished by developed muscles and a massive backbone. They are straight up to the pasterns, placed in parallel. The shoulder blades have a slight slope. Pasterns are strong, but short, when viewed from the side they look somewhat inclined. The paws are of the "snowshoe" type, they are large, deep and collected, the pads are developed. The fingers close tightly, well curved, with a protective coat between them. The claws are strong.

The hind limbs are also massive and strong. If you look from behind, you can see that they are in line with the front ones. The setting is "average", that is, not too wide and not too narrow. The hips are very muscular, the knees are moderately angular. Hock joints are located low above the ground, slightly pronounced. Fingers with short claws, well curved and tightly closed, fur grows between them. The pillows are strong, thick. The presence of dewclaws is undesirable, they are usually removed from puppies immediately after birth.



The coat of the Alaskan malamute is double, consists of two types of hair that differ in texture. The first is a protective cover: his hair is hard, sharp. The second is the undercoat, it is soft and dense. The length of the integumentary hair and the undercoat on different parts of the body is not the same.

Body hair, when viewed along the sides, of different lengths – from short to medium. The hair is longer on the neck, shoulders, rump, hips, tail and down the back. In the warm season, the coat of the malamute is shorter and not so thick. Representatives of this breed do not have their hair cut or trimmed.


The so-called wolf color is most common in malamutes. Black, gray, white and sable colors are also acceptable. A combination of several colors is not prohibited, but only on the undercoat or in the "pants" area. Mixing colors in other areas is unacceptable, it is considered a vice.

White color invariably dominates in the lower part of the body, partly on the limbs, paws, and also in the form of a mask on the muzzle. A white groove on the forehead and a spot or collar of the same shade in the back of the neck are acceptable – it looks very attractive!

It is important to know: the color of Alaskan malamutes is cloaked, which excludes the presence of unevenly spaced or even tearing spots.

Possible vices

Limbs and paws are the "tools" of Alaskan malamutes. Any pathologies – regardless of whether they occur on the forelimbs or hind limbs, they manifest themselves in movement or in a stand – are qualified as a serious disadvantage. Accordingly, defects will also be considered a cow's posterior limbs, straight shoulders, a sweep, weakened pasterns, bad angles. Serious disadvantages include, among others, stilted or any other types of movements assessed as insufficiently productive or frankly unstable.

Experts consider the possible breed defects to be generally poor proportions of the dog, its heaviness, thinness and not too powerful backbone. Any shortcomings and defects and the degree of their severity are assessed in proportion to their severity and impact on the welfare of the animal, its daily health.

Disqualifying vices

Blue eyes and other obvious physical abnormalities are assessed as disqualifying. From mental abnormalities, cowardly or, conversely, aggressive behavior leads to disqualification.

The testicles of males, there are two of them, should be normally developed and completely lowered into the scrotum.

Photo of an adult Alaskan malamute

Character of the malamute

Dogs of this breed can not be attributed to idlers and sluggards in any way. They are well motivated to work, have irrepressible energy, requiring almost constant attention to themselves.

Some owners initially expect that after a walk in the fresh air, the dog will get tired and want to sleep. But no. When he gets home, he starts rushing around the apartment, "fighting" with furniture and spoiling things. Living in a private house does not remove the problem of overly active behavior of the malamute. After releasing him into the yard, be prepared for the fact that he will dig a huge pit.

Alaska Malamutes in harness

Some owners call malamutes a great way to lose weight without dieting. As a joke, of course. But there is some truth in this statement. From an early age and up to three years old, these Alaska natives show especially remarkable energy. And in order to somehow curb it, to direct it in a controlled direction, the owner is forced, whether he wants it or not, to constantly play with his pet, intensively engage with him and be ready for long runs. The dog will settle down and become calmer only after 3 years.

The Alaskan malamute looks like a wolf, which prompted many to raise a hunter or a guard dog in it. Practically nothing came out of this venture, the features of the defender in his character are poorly developed. In addition, malamutes do not know how to bark, but they sing perfectly. Only here's the bad luck: if a thief got into the apartment, you can't tell by the dog's singing. If there was a bark, it would be another matter.

Innate good nature and sociability with improper upbringing and lack of training in the character of the dog will not prevail. In this situation, she becomes dangerous and uncontrollable, tends to dominate the household, so it is not worth neglecting the proper upbringing of a native of Alaska. He needs to constantly prove that he is not the main one in the house, but you! Otherwise, you won't have any problems.

Nature has endowed the Alaskan malamute with an excellent memory. In the conditions of the North, it turned out to be very useful, since the dog had to somehow return home through the snow cover. In our climate, such an ability to navigate is not needed, but memory has not gone away, and it should be taken into account. When training a dog, be gentle with it, without rudeness. Malamutes perfectly remember bad treatment and, on occasion, they will remember it to you, they may even take revenge.

Malamutes have fun in a rather peculiar way. When they get tired of the everyday routine, they start rushing around the apartment, house or yard, demolishing everything that gets in the way. Broken pots and torn pillows are nothing. It can be worse: a dog can gnaw furniture and tear off wallpaper, after which you have to spend money on new repairs. Closed space representatives of this breed, as well as huskies , don't like. Their element is will, so it is better and cheaper to keep your North American pet in a large and spacious aviary, regularly walking outdoors.

Small children or small animals cannot be left alone with the dog in the house. He is big and likes to dominate, and one careless movement will be enough to injure those who will be weaker than him. It is very funny to watch how the Malamutes and their closest brethren husky show their acting abilities by "imagining" themselves as cats. They lie down with their paws tucked up like a cat, and hunt the same way - first they hide, and then they jump up sharply.

Training and education

Malamutes are very intelligent and agile, and these qualities manifest themselves almost from birth. A puppy of this breed begins to strive for leadership early. In his upbringing, it is necessary to show firmness and consistency, constantly give feasible physical activity, which should be increased as he grows up. You can start training immediately after purchasing a puppy, teaching him a call, simple commands and, what is also important, neatness.

Steel shutter speed

It is important to know: innate good nature does not prevent dogs of this breed from being aggressive towards other dogs, chasing cats or birds.

Socialization of the malamute is an important stage in his life. You can start visiting the training ground from the age of 4 months, when the vaccination quarantine ends. In addition to discipline training, a malamute puppy, communicating with other dogs, will certainly find friends for noisy games. At the same time, you should accustom your pet to extraneous sounds, passing cars and other irritants. Thus, you will strengthen his nervous system and make the dog's stay in the city comfortable. Many owners who plan to settle a dog in a country house sometimes neglect these simple rules. As a result, the socialization of the dog suffers, it feels uncomfortable on noisy city streets.

Care and maintenance

This is love!

One of the distinctive features of the Alaskan malamute is its thick coat. Such a "fur coat" allows you to keep dogs outdoors all year round, they are not afraid of frosts. The wool cover significantly thinns only in summer. Regardless of the season, the hair of malamutes needs to be taken care of, especially it needs combing during the molting period.

Malamute, despite its size, is a sporty dog and therefore needs many hours of jogging. Constant physical activity allows them to train not only the muscles, but also the mind. Keeping a representative of this breed in the yard of a private house does not relieve the owner of the need to walk with his pet. These dogs are disgusted with idleness, they begin to get bored and howl with longing, destroy everything that comes across, or begin to "entertain" themselves by digging huge holes.

Alaskan malamutes are unpretentious in nutrition, they can be fed with natural food. Usually the owners cook a mixture of cereals for them in broth, adding pieces of beef tripe or scraps to the porridge. You can also give the dog ready-made dry food, but its quality should be high enough. Ready-made feeds with a high protein content are especially necessary during the preparation for exhibitions, races. You should not worry about the fact that your dog may recover. Due to his natural mobility, he is not in danger of obesity.

Health and diseases of the Alaskan malamute

Alaskan malamutes – dogs are quite hardy, adapted to life in extreme climatic conditions, but diseases do not bypass them. They are prone to neurological disorders with damage to the peripheral nervous system – polyneuropathy.

Representatives of this breed also have diseases such as hip dysplasia, anal adenocarcinoma, diabetes, hemophilia. They also suffer from skin diseases: atopic dermatitis and demodecosis (the latter is caused by the Demodex tick).

Eye pathologies are not uncommon in malamutes, these are progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts, day blindness (hemerology), glaucoma. They also suffer from bloating and thyroid disease – hypothyroidism. Oddly enough, but these northern giants sometimes have dwarfism.

Alaskan malamutes, unlike some other breeds, are distinguished by enviable longevity. They live an average of 13-16 years.

How to choose a puppy

In order to avoid all possible risks, do not buy a puppy with your hands, but contact registered kennels or private breeders. The Alaskan Malamute must have the documents of such official organizations as the Russian Cynological Federation (RKF) and the Union of Cynological Organizations of Russia (SKOR). You should not trust the so-called club documents, since there is a high probability that you will find yourself the owner of a dog that is not purebred or with physical and psychological defects.

Malamute puppy with mom

It is recommended to buy a puppy at the age of 1 to 4 months. Monthly puppies are acquired by those who believe that a long stay in the pack can develop various bad habits in it. Accordingly, having been with the owner almost from infancy, he will become attached to the person faster. In older puppies, the exterior inclinations are more accurately determined, so future owners, for whom this indicator is important, are gaining patience and waiting for the kids to grow up.

Regardless of age, Alaskan malamute puppies should be active, curious and have a good appetite. Characteristic features of healthy babies: dark eyes, lively gaze, straight and thick paws, small belly, thick tail. The color of the puppy should match the color of an adult dog. His fur has been thick and fluffy since infancy. Puppies with great exhibition potential, as a rule, have not only a great appearance, but also self-confident, sometimes audacious behavior.

The simplest test can help the future owner in choosing a puppy. They put a light collar with a leash on him and slowly move away. If, after a short persuasion, the baby follows the person without crawling, whining or falling, then an excellent, balanced dog with leadership inclinations will certainly grow out of him.

Photos of malamute puppies

How much does an Alaskan malamute cost

The cost of a malamute puppy with great exhibition prospects can reach $1200. Kids without documents are estimated much cheaper, their price does not exceed $150. Such a significant difference in price is explained by the fact that puppies – potential winners of exhibitions and competitions – usually start breeding, giving excellent offspring. And no one has such types for kids without a "passport", they remain just pets.

The cost of Alaskan malamute puppies is also influenced by the regalia of parents. The offspring of the titled winner of world exhibitions will cost the most. Puppies from a dog that won the Russian championship are somewhat cheaper. Well, the lowest cost will be for puppies whose parents have only an excellent rating.

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