Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamute
Alaskan Malamute pictures
Alaskan Malamute suitability

In my own words


Sure, I’m big, I have large teeth and I look a lot like a wolf, but I’m not as scary as I might seem! Actually, I’m really just a big old softie. Some people think I’d make a ferocious guard dog, but I’m more likely to give an intruder a friendly lick than scare him off… sorry! I just love to make new friends, whoever they might be. I love it when you have visitors over because I get to say hello to lots of new people. How could you not enjoy that? Why don’t you have a party? That way, I can get lots of pats and tummy rubs from loads of different people!

When I’m not making new friends, I like to get out and about. I’m a pretty active, sporty dog. Actually, I’m VERY active and sporty. Running, jogging, hiking, long walks, swimming, hunting… I do it all. Oh and if it’s snowing and you happen to have a sled around then I’d be happy to pull it! After all, that’s what I was born to do. Just, whatever you do, promise you won’t leave me on my own OK? I tend to get upset when I don’t have company around.


My ideal owner(s)


People who live in cold climates

County folk

People who enjoy the outdoors

Active people


Experienced dog owners


What they say about me


Gentle giant


Affectionate and loving

Playful yet mellow

Eager to please

Wolf like appearance


Please read on to find out more about me, and whether I’ll be someone you’ll be happy to live with for the next 15 years!


Is this Alaskan Malamute for you?

Test your knowledge about the Alaskan Malamute

Information essential about the Alaskan Malamute


Kennel Club Group:



Large: Weight Male 84 – 123 lb (38 – 56 kg) Female 84 – 123 lb (38 – 56 kg)

Height Male 25 – 28” (64 – 71 cm) Female 23 – 26” (58 – 66 cm)




The Alaskan Malamute has long been loved as a family pet and is a popular animal in films and written stories, including in Rudyard Kipling. Over the past few years, the Malamute has received a surge of popularity in the UK due to their lovable, loyal, gentle and wonderfully social nature.


Breed History:


Originating from Northwestern Alaska and dating back around 2000 years, the Malamute was developed by a tribe of Inuit called the Mahlemuts who needed a dog which could cope with the extreme cold weather and hauling heavy loads like food and supplies, whilst also being a skilled hunter. The breed was created from a mix of Russian Samoyed, Siberian Husky, Labrador and the Eskimo dogs of Greenland.

There is a common myth that the Malamute is descended from the Arctic Wolf, however this is in fact not true. The Malamute is not a hybrid of dog and wolf and attempting to breed Malamutes with wolves is firmly discouraged.

The Malamute has an important part in history, as it assisted on the polar expeditions undertaken by explorers Perry, Cook and Byrd. They were integral to pulling heavy loads on the expeditions.

The Malamute is not a fast dog and it is more used for power and strength than speed. During the gold rush era in America, some breeders tried to make the Malamute quicker by breeding it with speedier Arctic dogs, but breed enthusiasts such as the Seeleys worked hard to purify the breed and return it to its original breed standard and slow, strong pace.




Your Alaskan Malamute is a loveable, charming, people loving dog. Malamutes will make friends with anyone and everyone, and love to play. Their friendly nature means they don’t make good watch or guard dogs, but they are fantastically sociable around your guests and visitors and wonderful with children. Your Malamute’s strong prey drive means that he should be supervised around smaller animals and non-canine pets. Though a playful dog, Alaskan Malamutes tend to mature into mellow, relaxed and easy going pets that are a content member of the family and cause little trouble. Your Malamute was bred to work and the breed was originally used to haul sleds and freight, so they need a substantial amount of exercise and mental stimulation. This is not a breed that will live happily as a couch potato, so owners need to be prepared to take their Malamute on long and vigorous walks – jogging is even better! Due to their size and energy they are not suitable for life in an apartment and will do best in a house with a large enclosed garden. Be sure to install a high fence with a buried base as your Malamute loves to explore and dig.




Your Alaskan Malamute is a true pack dog and hates to be left alone. If you will not be able to stay with your dog throughout the day, then a Malamute is not a suitable breed for your lifestyle as he will become stressed, anxious and upset leading to behaviour problems such as destruction. Generally, Alaskan Malamutes get on well with other dogs but they may show dominance to dogs of the same gender. Despite the Malamute’s wolf like appearance your Malamute is wonderfully gentle and can be trusted around children, though they should be trained to treat children with particular care and not be left unsupervised while with children. As your Malamute was bred to be a working dog and he has a lot of energy to burn up, he will thoroughly enjoy agility classes. It’s important to train your Alaskan Malamute from an early age and to teach him that he is not dominant over the rest of the household. These dogs are large and require a confident owner who will show the Malamute an air of authority in order to create a submissive, content pet who shows respect. Most Malamutes are fairly quiet, however they do like to occasionally howl or let out a ‘woo woo’ sound which is typical for the breed.




The Alaskan Malamute is often mistaken for the Siberian Husky. The breed shows a sturdy, substantial, powerful and large frame. The head is broad with a faint furrow between the eyes, which are almond shaped and brown. Triangular ears stand erect and the nose is usually brown but may also be streaked in lighter coloured dogs. The muzzle’s length and depth is almost uniform throughout and the large teeth meet in a scissor bite. The body is heavily boned and well-muscled with a deep, strong chest and strong, slightly arched neck. The tail has a plume like appearance which follows the line of the spine and is used by the dog to wrap around the face and body during cold weather. The Alaskan Malamute’s coat has a thick and coarse outer coat of a moderate length and oily, dense undercoat. The coat was originally used to protect the Malamute from harsh, snowy conditions in Alaska.




The Alaskan Malamute’s coat commonly ranges from light grey to shadings of black, but also comes in sable to shadings of sable and red. The face markings are a distinguishing feature of the breed and show a cap over the head with a white face that may be marked with a bar or mask.




Your Alaskan Malamute will be a pleasure to train providing you use the correct training methods and show him you’re in charge. This is because he is not only highly intelligent but also loves to please his family. However, as your Malamute is a dominant breed he needs an owner who will be firm, consistent and confident with training otherwise he will be unlikely to listen and show obedience to you. Positive, reward based training with plenty of praise and affection will yield the best results from your Malamute as well as creating a well-mannered, polite and happy pet.




Your Malamute’s heavy coat requires a good amount of grooming in order to keep it healthy. Daily brushing is an absolute necessity, and you may even want to brush him more than once a day when he goes through the shedding seasons which occur twice each year. Baths generally aren’t necessary with the Alaskan Malamute as his coat is resistant to dirt and bathing can actually harm the protective coating the coat has. Dry shampooing every other month should be enough to keep his coat clean. Be sure to brush his teeth a few times per week and trim the nail regularly as they grow.




The Alaskan Malamute is a generally healthy breed, though dogs in the UK tend to suffer from more health problems than elsewhere, such as the USA, as they were bred from a smaller gene pool. Hip dysplasia can be an issue for the Malamute as can chrondodysplasia and polyneuropathy, a condition in which issues occur with muscle tone and weakness. Cataracts and vision problems are a known problem for older Alaskan Malamutes. The average lifespan of the Alaskan Malamute is between 9 and 15 years.


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The following grid gives a fast track review which covers all breeds. You can apply it to help you decide if an Alaskan Malamute is suitable for you, the environment where you live, your personality and your lifestyle. On the grid, 1 = strongly disagree, and 5 = strongly agree. For example, if you are looking for a dog that you can take on long walks, look down the list under ‘activities’ and you will see that Alaskan Malamutes are excellent jogging companions, scoring 5. If you are looking for a dog that would make a good watch dog, look under ‘role and suitability’ and you’ll see an Alaskan Malamute would not be a good choice, scoring just 1. You might like to save or print off this section and keep it for reference while you check some other breeds before making your choice.


Be the first to rate this breed »

Noahs Breed Rating | Community Breed Rating

Good jogging companion5/5
Good walking companion5/5
Likes water/swimming5/5
Likes learning new tricks5/5
Likes to hunt5/5
Likes to fetch5/5
Good gundog/retriever4/5
Barks a lot2/5
Gets easily jealous3/5
Friendly with strangers5/5
Expensive to insure3/5
Expensive to feed5/5
Happy to sleep outside3/5
Prefers countryside5/5
Suits urban environment1/5
Prefers temperate climate3/5
Prefers hot climate1/5
Prefers cold climate5/5
Moults a lot3/5
Requires lots of grooming4/5
Role and Suitability
Ideal for elderly2/5
Ideal for singles3/5
Ideal for couples with no children5/5
Ideal for family with children5/5
Good watch dog1/5
Good guard dog1/5
Good with other pets2/5
Good with other dogs4/5
Time and Energy
Happy being left alone for 4hrs1/5
Happy being left alone for 2hrs2/5
Requires lots of exercise5/5
Training and Obedience
Good for first time owners2/5
Good for experienced owners5/5
Good recall4/5
Easy to train4/5
Good jogging companion0/5
Good walking companion0/5
Likes water/swimming0/5
Likes learning new tricks0/5
Likes to hunt0/5
Likes to fetch0/5
Good gundog/retriever0/5
Barks a lot0/5
Gets easily jealous0/5
Friendly with strangers0/5
Expensive to insure0/5
Expensive to feed0/5
Happy to sleep outside0/5
Prefers countryside0/5
Suits urban environment0/5
Prefers temperate climate0/5
Prefers hot climate0/5
Prefers cold climate0/5
Moults a lot0/5
Requires lots of grooming0/5
Role and Suitability
Ideal for elderly0/5
Ideal for singles0/5
Ideal for couples with no children0/5
Ideal for family with children0/5
Good watch dog0/5
Good guard dog0/5
Good with other pets0/5
Good with other dogs0/5
Time and Energy
Happy being left alone for 4hrs0/5
Happy being left alone for 2hrs0/5
Requires lots of exercise0/5
Training and Obedience
Good for first time owners0/5
Good for experienced owners0/5
Good recall0/5
Easy to train0/5

*PLEASE NOTE: All our breed profiles are general, and all dogs are individuals. Always talk to the breeders and meet the owners you are buying from. Try to meet the dog and its parents if it is a puppy in their home environment.

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