Alaskan Malamute
(AKC Working Group)
Alaskan Malamute
The Alaskan Malamute is a large, strong, heavy-boned Arctic dog with a thick, coarse double coat and a well-furred plumed tail held over the back. The breed is built for endurance and strength, not for speed. The powerful chest is about half as deep as the height at the shoulder. The feet are furry and have tough pads. The head is broad with erect ears and brown, triangular, wide-set eyes (the eyes should never be blue). There should be a slight furrow between the eyes.

The Alaskan Malamute has a double coat made of a coarse, outer-guard coat and a dense, wooly, oily undercoat. Colors are white, black and white, wolf gray, wolf sable (red undercoat with dark gray outer coat), or red, often with darker highlights and sometimes with a dark mask or cap. White is the only solid color allowed. All the other colors should be in combinations, with white as the predominant color on the underbelly. A white blaze on the forehead and/or collar is a plus. For every coat color, except the reds, the rims of the eyes, the nose, and the lips should be black. A scissors bite is standard. In some areas, dogs may be either smaller or larger than the official standard.

The Alaskan Malamute was originally used 2,000 to 3,000 years ago by the Mahlemuit Eskimos of Alaska. The dogs helped hunt large animals and were the only form of transportation for the Eskimos. They pulled light traveling sleds and hauled heavy loads, including food supplies. The dogs were highly valued but never pampered. Almost lost from interbreeding during the Alaskan Gold Rush, the breed was recovered. Later, the Malamute went with Admiral Byrd's 1933 expedition to the South Pole. This breed has amazing strength, endurance, and heart.
Key Facts:

A rambunctious puppy, this breed is great with children who are old enough to play with him safely. Generally matures into a dignified and mellow adult. Very friendly—not suitable as a guard dog. Malamutes are happiest living outdoors as long as they receive enough companionship, but they also enjoy living indoors where their human "pack" lives. Without attention, these dogs may become destructive nuisances. In one case, a single dog ruined an entire living room of furniture valued at $15,000 in just three hours! Malamutes love outdoor activities and even do well in obedience with firm encouragement. Although it can be difficult to train Malamutes for formal obedience, it is not particularly hard to train them to be well-mannered because they love to please. Males can be very dominant.