Alaskan Malamute dog breed update information

Alaskan Malamutes are a large, powerful, and most popular dog breed for their strength, endurance, and friendly disposition. These dogs make excellent companions for active individuals or families who can provide them with the physical and mental stimulation they need. Malamutes are very attractive for their vocalizations, including howling, “talking,” and barking. They may use their voices to communicate their needs or respond to stimuli in their environment. Here’s some key Alaskan Malamute dog breed update information about this breed:

Alaskan Malamute Dog


The Alaskan Malamute originated from the indigenous Inuit people of Alaska, specifically from the Mahlemiut tribe in the northwestern part of the state. They are one of the oldest and largest Arctic sled dog breeds and were originally bred by the Inuit for their strength and endurance in hauling heavy loads over long distances in the harsh Arctic conditions of Alaska. These dogs were primarily used for transportation and assistance with hunting. They helped the Inuit people with tasks such as pulling heavy sleds loaded with supplies and games, as well as assisting in hunting large game like seals and polar bears. The breed’s name, “Malamute,” comes from the Mahlemiut tribe, which played a significant role in developing and preserving these dogs. In the early 20th century, they were further developed by American explorer and breeder Arthur T. Walden, who aimed to preserve and enhance their characteristics.

Physical Characteristics:

Size: Alaskan Malamutes are large dogs. Adult males typically stand 25 to 28 inches (63.5 to 71 cm) tall at the shoulder, while females are slightly smaller. They have a strong and robust build.

Body: They have a strong and well-muscled body. Their chest is deep and broad, contributing to their strength. The back is straight and level. Limbs are sturdy and straight, with a strong bone structure. Their feet are compact and rounded, with tough pads and well-arched toes. The tail is plume-like, well-furred, and carried over their back.

Head: They have a broad head with a strong, well-defined stop (the point where the forehead meets the muzzle). Their muzzle is of medium length, and the nose is black.

Face: The face is expressive and typically has a friendly and alert expression. They may have a white face mask or markings on the face and legs, which is common in the breed.

Eyes: Alaskan Malamute eyes are medium-sized and almond-shaped. Eye color can vary, including shades of brown, amber, or blue.

Expression: Alaskan Malamutes dogs have friendly and expressive faces, which make them even more endearing to their human companions.

Alaskan Malamute Temperament:

  1. Friendly: Alaskan Malamutes are generally friendly and sociable dogs. They tend to get along well with people and other dogs, making them good family pets. They often exhibit an outgoing and approachable demeanor.
  2. Loyal: Malamutes are known for their loyalty to their owners. They form strong bonds with their families and are protective when needed, making them excellent watchdogs.
  3. Independent Thinkers: These dogs are intelligent but can also be independent thinkers. They may not always obey commands immediately and may require patient and consistent training.
  4. Playful: Malamutes have a playful nature, especially when they are young. They enjoy games and interactive activities with their owners and can be quite enthusiastic in their playfulness.
  5. Energetic: This breed has a high level of energy and stamina. They require regular exercise and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy. Daily walks, playtime, and activities like hiking or pulling carts are beneficial for their well-being.
  6. Sled Dog Heritage: Alaskan Malamutes have a strong work ethic inherited from their history as sled dogs in the Arctic. This can make them determined and purposeful when engaged in activities or tasks.
  7. Vocal: Malamutes are very popular for their vocalizations, including howling, “talking,” and barking. They may use their voices to communicate their needs or respond to stimuli in their environment.
  8. Cold Weather Tolerance: Due to their Arctic heritage, Alaskan Malamutes have a thick double coat that keeps them warm in cold climates. They tend to enjoy cooler weather but may struggle in very hot conditions.

Health Considerations:

  1. Hip Dysplasia: This is a genetic condition where the hip joint doesn’t develop properly. It can lead to arthritis and mobility issues. Responsible breeders screen their breeding dogs for hip dysplasia, and potential owners should ask for health clearances.
  2. Elbow Dysplasia: Similar to hip dysplasia, this condition affects the elbow joint. It can also result in lameness and pain.
  3. Cataracts: Alaskan Malamutes are prone to developing cataracts, which can lead to vision impairment or blindness. Regular eye exams are important to catch and manage this condition.
  4. Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): PRA is a genetic disorder that causes progressive vision loss and eventually blindness. Responsible breeders test their dogs for PRA to reduce the risk in the breed.
  5. Hypothyroidism: Malamutes can develop hypothyroidism, a condition where the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormones. This can lead to weight gain, skin issues, and other health problems. It’s treatable with medication.
  6. Gastrointestinal Issues: Some Malamutes are sensitive to certain foods and can develop gastrointestinal issues, such as bloat or allergies. Feeding a high-quality diet and monitoring their food intake can help prevent these problems.
  7. Heart Conditions: Cardiac issues like dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) can affect Alaskan Malamutes. Regular heart check-ups can help detect and manage heart problems.
  8. Osteoarthritis: Given their size and activity level, Alaskan Malamutes can be prone to developing osteoarthritis as they age. Joint supplements, weight management, and appropriate exercise can help reduce the risk.
  9. Bloat (Gastric Torsion): Large, deep-chested breeds like Malamutes are more susceptible to bloat, a life-threatening condition where the stomach fills with gas and can twist on itself. Feeding smaller, frequent meals and avoiding exercise immediately after eating can help prevent bloat.


  1. Brushing: Regular brushing is essential to remove loose fur, prevent matting, and maintain the coat’s health. Use a slicker brush or an undercoat rake to reach the dense undercoat. Brushing at least once or twice a week is recommended.
  2. Bathing: Malamutes are relatively clean dogs and do not require frequent bathing. Only bathe them when necessary, such as when they get particularly dirty or develop a noticeable odor. Use a dog-specific shampoo to avoid skin irritation and dryness.
  3. Coat Blowing: During shedding seasons, Alaskan Malamutes “blow” their coats, which means they shed their undercoat in large quantities. A high-velocity dryer or a de-shedding tool can help remove the loose fur efficiently.
  4. Nail Trimming: Regular nail trimming is important to prevent overgrowth, which can be uncomfortable and affect their gait. If you’re not comfortable doing it yourself, consider having a professional groomer or veterinarian trim their nails.
  5. Ear Cleaning: Check their ears regularly for dirt, wax buildup, or signs of infection. Gently clean the ears with a dog-specific ear cleaner if necessary. Avoid inserting anything into the ear canal, and consult your veterinarian if you notice any issues.
  6. Dental Care: Brush your Malamute’s teeth regularly to prevent dental problems. Dental chews and toys designed to promote oral health can also be helpful.
  7. Eye Care: Keep an eye on their eyes for signs of discharge or irritation. Wipe away any discharge with a clean, damp cloth, and consult your vet if eye issues persist.
  8. Fur Around Ears and Tail: The fur around the ears and tail can become especially dense and prone to matting. Pay special attention to these areas during grooming sessions.

Alaskan Malamute dog breeds information Table:

The Alaskan Malamute is sometimes referred to by the nickname “Malamute.” It is not commonly known by other specific names or nicknames, as “Malamute” typically suffices to identify this breed. However, people might affectionately call them “Mals” for short.

Name: Alaskan MalamuteOther Name: No Name
Area of originAlaska
Breed groupWorking Group
HeightMale: [25 to 28 inches (63.5 to 71 cm)]
Female: [Females are slightly smaller, typically standing a few inches shorter]
WeightMale: [85 to 100+ pounds (38 to 45+ kg)]
Female: [Female Alaskan Malamutes usually weigh slightly less than males]
Life span10 to 14 years.

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