HomeDog BreedsAlaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamute

  • Temperament: Affectionate, Devoted, Friendly, Loyal, Dignified, Playful
  • Height: 24-26 (male), 22-24
  • Weight: 85 / 75 … >100lb
  • Lifespan: 10-12 years
  • Drive: Draft
  • Group: Working


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About the Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamutes are natives of northwest Alaska, where they served as hunting partners, pack dogs, and sled dogs for the Mahlemut people, an Innuit tribe. The dogs were vital to the peoples’ survival. In the mid-1900s, Malamutes were used in many of the Artic exploratory expeditions and also served in World War II.

This breed is large and substantial, standing 23 to 25 inches tall and weighing between 75 and 85 pounds, although many are larger. His head is broad and deep, ears are upright, and eyes are medium-sized, almond-shaped, and dark brown. With a deep chest, powerful shoulders, heavy bones, strong legs, and good feet, this is a breed designed to work hard. The outer coat is thick and coarse; the undercoat is dense. The tail is a plume that is carried low when working. Malamutes need brushing at least twice per week, but during the shedding seasons, primarily spring and fall, daily brushing is needed to keep the hair under control.

Exercise is important; this breed is a working dog bred to carry packs or pull sleds. A long, brisk walk morning and evening and a play session in between is the least exercise this dog can tolerate. A Malamute would be thrilled to have an owner who does skijoring, sled dog training, carting, hiking, or backpacking. Although they were bred to work, and Malamutes love to have something to do, they can also be a little independent and often have a touch of stubbornness. The key is to make training interesting and fun. Don’t battle a Malamute; intrigue him instead and teach him compliance. Socialization is also important and should begin early.

This breed is a wonderful companion for people who are leaders; he can be domineering over people who are too soft. The breed may be dog-aggressive; males especially may be aggressive toward other male dogs. All interactions with small pets should be carefully supervised. Health concerns include hip dysplasia, bloat, and torsion.

Working Group Summary

Dogs in the Working Group are quick learners who are usually strong, watchful, and loyal to their owners. These dogs are bred to assist humans in a number of activities, including: guarding, pulling sleds, herding animals, and performing functions for the police and military like search and rescue. These dogs make for great companions, however due to their large size and protective nature, prospective owners should know how to properly train and socialize a dog. That said, not all Working Group breeds are suitable for first-time dog owners. Other examples of popular breeds in the Working Group are Akitas and Bernese Mountain Dogs.

Behavior & Training

Dog Ownership