Alaskan Malamute - Dog Breed Info, Temperament & Facts

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The Alaskan Malamute is the largest sled dog in the Arctic. It got its name from the region it was bred in and the Mahlemut people it coexisted with. This breed has a long history, being domesticated by the Inuit Tribe of Alaska around 4,000 years ago. Originally trained to hunt and take down large animals like polar bears and seals, they are now commonly used for sled hauling and also make great pets.

Despite their rugged origins, Alaskan Malamutes have an average lifespan of 12 years and are generally healthy. However, they are prone to certain congenital disorders such as hip dysplasia and cataracts. These dogs have a unique ability to withstand cold and damp weather due to their double layer coat. They thrive in colder temperatures and are well-suited to Arctic conditions.

Visually striking, Alaskan Malamutes typically have white coats with gray, red, or black coloring. They often resemble wolves, but have gentler facial expressions. These gorgeous canines are not only powerful working dogs but also make loyal and loving companions.

Below, we look at Alaskan Malamute dog breed, its history, personality, pros and cons of owning an Alaskan Malamute, characteristics, and must-know facts. We will also examine how to care for this breed and more. Prepare for a tail-wagging adventure into the world of Alaskan Malamutes!

Dog Breed Alaskan Malamute
Size Large
Weight 65-85 lbs (average)
Height 23-26″ (average)
Location Alaska
Ancestry Spitz
Date of Origin Ancient Times
Group Heavy Sled Pulling, Large Game Hunting
Life Expectancy 11-15 years
Price $1200 – $1500
Family Canidae
Scientific Name Canis Lupus Familiaris

📖 Breed History

Named after the Innuit Tribe, Mahlemuts, the Alaskan Malamute is a breed that thrives in snowy conditions. They have a rich history, dating back over 4,500 years, and are descendants of Greenland’s Eskimo dogs, Siberian Huskies, and Russian Samoyeds. Originally, the Mahlemuts used these dogs for hunting polar bears and seals, as well as for sled pulling. In the 1700s, explorers recognized the strength and affection of the Alaskan Malamutes, increasing their popularity. During the gold rush of 1896, miners began using them in weight-pulling competitions for entertainment. However, this led to crossbreeding with other breeds, diluting the pure Alaskan Malamute lineage. It wasn’t until the 1920s that breeders started working to restore the original breed, resulting in the Alaskan Malamute we know today.

The Alaskan Malamute’s contributions extend beyond entertainment and companionship. In 1933, they were part of Richard Byrd’s Antarctic expedition, showcasing their endurance and usefulness in extreme conditions. During World War II, they even served alongside soldiers as working dogs. The breed gained recognition from the American Kennel Club in 1935 and was honored on a postage stamp in 1984, both in the United States and other countries. The Alaskan Malamute’s popularity grew so much in Alaska that they were officially designated the state dog in 2010, thanks to the efforts of a group of school children.

🐕 Alaskan Malamute Appearance

Nine various colors—agouti and white, black and white, blue and white, gray and white, red and white, sable and white, seal and white, silver and white, and white—are used to describe the Alaskan Malamute. Some have a gray mask or black markings. They stand proudly, have attentive eyes, and a robust, muscular frame. They also maintain a high head position. Strong legs, a big skull, triangular ears, a thick nose, and a fuzzy tail coiled over their backs are some of their physical features. For strength and endurance, they have broad shoulders and a deep chest. This active dog adores the cold weather because of their thick, double-layered coat, which protects them from the elements. This huge breed, which may weigh up to 100 pounds, can handle pulling hefty loads in chilly conditions. They often have almond-shaped, dark brown eyes.

👀 Eye Color Brown
🐽 Nose Color Black, Brown
🐕 Coat Color White, Sable, Silver, Blue, Red, Brown, Gray, Black

⚡ Fun Fact: Alaskan Malamute dogs are a social breed. They enjoy being around people or other animals. This breed doesn’t tolerate being left alone.


🐶 Traits & Temperament of Alaskan Malamute

The Alaskan Malamute is an extremely loving and devoted family pet. They especially enjoy kids and will play with them for hours if given the opportunity. To prevent boredom, they require a lot of mental and physical stimulation. Unless you teach your dog not to hunt them, cats and other small animals will be viewed as prey. Although they have great bravery and loyalty, they can exhibit strong will and stubbornness. This breed picks things up extremely quickly and is very easy to teach. They require regular care and exercise via both inside and outdoor play. They are liable to cause problems by chewing on furniture or making holes in the yard if they are left alone for an extended period of time or become bored. Although they prefer to howl if they hear a siren or other dogs howling, their barking is often not a cause for alarm. You shouldn’t be startled if your Alaskan Malamute appears to be speaking to you because they are outspoken with their owners as well.

🤝 Are Alaskan Malamutes Friendly or Aggressive?

Alaskan Malamute dogs thrive as the sole pet in a family, as they prefer not to share their space with other animals. They are generally friendly towards strangers and are also known to be good with children, making them a suitable choice for families with kids. However, Alaskan Malamutes are not particularly fond of cats and may not get along well with them. On the other hand, they are very sociable with other dogs, making them a great option for those looking to have multiple dogs or join dog meetups. Additionally, Alaskan Malamutes are often recommended for elderly individuals as companions.

This breed is known for being:

  • Playful
  • Dignified
  • Friendly
  • Affectionate
  • Loyal
  • Devoted

🐩 Alaskan Malamute Care & Maintenance

The Mally loses a lot twice a year, therefore they require a lot of maintenance to maintain their gorgeous coat. This breed requires regular grooming with a metal comb and an oval pin brush. Brush beneath their armpits and around their necks, and look for any mats that might be an infection source. Every few months, give them a bath, and have them professionally groomed several times a year. Once a month, their nails should be filed down using a veterinary-approved nail clipper or grinder. Weekly ear cleanings are required to remove wax, debris, and other foreign objects, and daily teeth brushing is advised. Given that the Alaskan Malamute has a lot of energy, you should be prepared to offer your dog loads of exercise, such as jogging or walking. Since this breed gets along with others well, a trip to the dog park may be enjoyable as well. This huge and active breed should not live in an apartment since they require a big yard to play in. However, because Alaskan Malamutes enjoy digging, you should offer a secure space for your dog to do so.

Alaskan Malamute dogs have a tendency to shed a lot of fur, which is a normal part of their hair growth cycle. This means that you should expect to do some daily vacuuming to keep up with the amount of fur they leave behind. The quantity and frequency of shedding can vary depending on the dog’s health and the specific breed type they belong to. Additionally, it is recommended to give these dogs a bath every 6-8 weeks to maintain their cleanliness and hygiene.

🍖 Food: We recommend 3 cups daily, costing you about $2.00 – $2.25 daily, or approximately $60.00 – $67.50 a month.

🐾 Exercise: Alaskan Malamute dogs need quite a lot of exercise. Daily walks should be on schedule. If you live an active life, this breed can be a good choice for you.

This dog breed requires to be walked for roughly 10 miles per week, which equates to about 90 minutes of physical activity daily. This consistent moderate exercise regimen will help maintain their physical wellness and significantly contribute to their mental stimulation. Consciously setting aside this time for your furry friend can dramatically enhance their life quality, helping them stay energetic, healthy, and mentally alert.

Did you know: Alaskan Malamute dogs are high-energy dogs. An active lifestyle makes them happy.


❤️‍🩹 Alaskan Malamute Health & Issues

Some of the major concerns for Alaskan Malamute Dog Breed can be:

  • Canine Hip Dysplasia
  • Chondrodysplasia (Chd)

While minor concerns include:

  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma
  • Skin Problems
  • Diabetes

🤧 Important: Is Alaskan Malamute hypoallergenic? No.

✨ Bonus: Check out cool, creative, and funny names for Alaskan Malamute.


⚡ Alaskan Malamute Dog Breed Facts

What makes the Alaskan Malamute a great choice for families with young children?
The Alaskan Malamute is a great choice for families with young children because they are very affectionate and protective of their family. They love to play with children and can entertain them for hours. They are also known to be patient and gentle with kids, making them a suitable breed for families.

Is the Alaskan Malamute breed considered a suitable breed for apartment living?
The Alaskan Malamute breed is not considered a suitable breed for apartment living. They are large and active dogs that require a lot of space to roam and exercise. Living in an apartment may not provide them with enough room to meet their exercise needs, which can lead to behavioral issues.

How much exercise does a Alaskan Malamute require compared to other breeds?
The Alaskan Malamute requires a significant amount of exercise compared to other breeds. They are sled dogs by nature and have a lot of energy to burn. Daily walks and playtime are essential, and they thrive in an environment where they can engage in activities like hiking, running, or pulling a sled.

Is the Alaskan Malamute breed known for being good with other pets?
The Alaskan Malamute breed may not be the best choice for households with other pets, especially small animals like cats. They have a strong prey drive and may see smaller animals as prey unless they are trained and socialized from a young age to coexist peacefully with other pets.

What are other low-maintenance dog breeds similar to the Alaskan Malamute?
Some low-maintenance dog breeds similar to the Alaskan Malamute include the Siberian Husky and the Samoyed. These breeds also have thick double coats and are capable of withstanding cold climates. However, it’s important to note that no dog is entirely low-maintenance, and all dogs require proper care and attention.

What are the common health issues that Alaskan Malamutes are prone to?
Common health issues that Alaskan Malamutes are prone to include hip dysplasia, cataracts, and certain congenital conditions. Regular veterinary check-ups and proper care can help prevent or manage these health issues.

Are Alaskan Malamutes known to be easy to train compared to other breeds?
Alaskan Malamutes are known to be intelligent and quick learners, which makes them relatively easy to train compared to some other breeds. However, they can also be strong-willed and stubborn at times, so consistent and patient training methods are necessary.

Are Alaskan Malamutes more prone to separation anxiety compared to other breeds?
Alaskan Malamutes can be prone to separation anxiety if left alone for long periods. They are highly social and thrive on companionship, so they may become anxious or exhibit destructive behavior when separated from their owners for extended periods of time.

Are there any dog breeds similar to the Alaskan Malamute that are suitable for people with allergies?
If you have allergies but still want a dog similar to the Alaskan Malamute, you may consider breeds such as the Poodle or the Portuguese Water Dog. These breeds have hypoallergenic coats that produce fewer allergens, making them suitable for people with allergies.

What sizes of dogs similar to the Alaskan Malamute are best for individuals or families with limited space?
For individuals or families with limited space, smaller breeds similar to the Alaskan Malamute, such as the Shiba Inu or the Finnish Lapphund, may be more suitable. These breeds have similar characteristics but come in smaller sizes that can better accommodate limited living spaces.

Is the Alaskan Malamute breed known to be good with children with special needs?
The Alaskan Malamute breed is generally known to be good with children, including those with special needs. However, as with any dog, it’s important to supervise interactions between dogs and children to ensure safety and teach children how to properly interact with dogs.

How does the grooming and shedding needs of the Alaskan Malamute?
The grooming and shedding needs of the Alaskan Malamute are quite high compared to some other breeds. They have a thick double coat that requires regular brushing to prevent matting and shedding. During shedding seasons, they will shed heavily, so frequent grooming and vacuuming are necessary to manage the amount of fur in the house.


We use reliable and publicly available data and resources such as AKC and American Canine Registry to ensure that Alaskan Malamute dog breed information is accurate and up to date. If you spot an error, please don’t hesitate to bring it to our attention.

Max Kozinskiy
Max Kozinskiy
Max Kozinskiy is a seasoned writer and an enthusiast of dog breed expertise. Having dedicated over 5 years to studying the intricacies of different dog breeds and their unique characteristics. His profound insights and love for our four-legged friends have made him an invaluable part of our DogsInsights.com team.

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