Alaskan Malamute


A large sized Alaskan Malamute
Alaskan Malamute Quick Summary
Also Known As
Height (at withers)23-27in (58-68.5cm)
Weight75-110lbs (34-50kg)
Hair Colour(s)Wolf gray, black, sable, red
Lifespan10-12 years
Energy LevelHigh
Litter size4-10
Barking TendencyMild
Exercise requirementsVery High
Ease of trainingMedium
Suitability for kidsMedium
Animal compatabilityMedium
Aggression levelsMedium
Distress if leftMedium

The Alaskan Malamute is a sturdy, robust looking dog with a wide head, almond-shaped eyes that are obliquely spaced, and erect ears. The outer coat is harsh and thick, and there is a thick but softer undercoat. The underbody, feet, and the face mask all tend to be white, but the rest of the coat can vary in colour, which includes gray, black, sable and red. The Malamute has a thick plumed tail.


Alaskan Malamutes can become dignified and rather calm adults, but they are also energetic and love to play, making them ideal for those that enjoy spending time outdoors or exercising. They are affectionate and eager to please towards their owners and do need to enjoy quality time with them, because if neglected they can become bored easily, which often leads to destructive behaviour. Their friendly nature makes them fun to be around, but this also means they don't make the best guard or watchdogs. They can be aggressive around same sex dogs and smaller animals in general. They have strong hunting instincts and so care is needed when they are on the loose and around other animals. Despite their loving nature, Malamutes can be headstrong and stubborn and so they are best suited to experienced in dog owners. They are suitable for older children and can become dependable playmates. They are very possessive when it comes to food and so feeding should be kept separate from other pets. Early socialisation is essential to ensure they gets along with other animals and people.

History & Skills

Alaskan Malamutes originated in Alaska and were bred as pack and sledding dogs by the Mahlemuts tribe, hence their name. Their incredible strength and endurance meant they could carry heavy loads over long distances while requiring minimal food themselves. In later times they were used in polar expeditions, and are often used today in search and rescue missions. They also perform well in racing competitions.

Breed Specific Ailments

Alaskan Malamutes tend to live between 10-12 years. As with many of the larger breeds, Malamutes can be prone to hip dysplasia and chondrodysplasia (dwarfism). Other conditions to watch out for include thyroid problems, bleeding disorders, Chd, cataracts, ligament problems, skin conditions, and autoimmune problems. Because of their thick double coat, these dogs do not fare well in warmer climates and need protecting from heat. They also require a careful diet to avoid copper and zinc deficiencies, and enough exercise to prevent obesity.


Alaskan Malamutes are low shedders but they do shed heavily twice a year for periods of up to three weeks, and this can be year-round in warmer climates, and so they may not be suited to those suffering with allergies. The Malamute's double coat needs minimal brushing, usually in the region of twice a week in order to keep it in good condition. These dogs will self-groom to a degree and may only require bathing as little as three or four times a year.

Exercise & Environment

Alaskan Malamutes need at least one hour of high-energy exercise each day, and they preferably need other daily activities to help burn off their energy. They overheat easily due to their thick double coat and so need plenty of fresh water to avoid dehydration. They can live both indoors and out and need a generous garden or yard for play. However, as they love to dig, any fences must have adequately deep bases otherwise they can escape.


FCIFCI - Federation Cynologique Internationale
KCThe Kennel Club (UK)
AKCAKC - American Kennel Club

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