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Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan-Malamute

A Dignified Arctic Sled Dog

Independent, sociable, loyal

Alaskan Malamutes are strong-willed, fun-loving, and powerful, large dogs. This arctic breed is good with children and often aloof toward unfamiliar dogs. They are capable of getting along with other pets if properly socialized at an early age. Mals are great for experienced dog handlers, active individuals, and cold climate dwellers. Without plenty of exercise, this breed may become frustrated and destructive.

Understanding their unique needs will help keep them healthy and create a strong bond between the two of you. Explore this page to learn more about the breed’s history, health concerns, characteristics, and care needs. 

Breed Details

Height:23-25 in. Weight:75-85 lb Lifespan:10-12 years

Size
4

1=small 5=large

Grooming requirements
3

1 = little grooming - 5 = much grooming

Energy level
3

1 = low energy - 5 = high energy

Ease of training
1

1 = difficult - 5 = easy

Affection toward owners
5

1 = independent - 5 = very affectionate

Friendliness toward strangers
4

1 = shy - 5 = very friendly

Routine Care: Alaskan Malamutes are large dogs with lots of energy, so keep their mind and body active, or they'll get bored. That's when the naughty stuff starts. They are expert diggers and climbers, so it is recommended that you bury your fence and that it is at least 6 feet tall. Alaskan Malamutes can be affected by snow nose, which is a loss of pigment from the nose making them prone to sunburn. They will need dog-safe sunscreen.

Grooming: Brush their coat as needed and at least weekly.

Dental: Alaskan Malamutes often have serious problems with their teeth, so you'll need to brush them at least three times a week!

Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don't worry - your veterinarian can show you how!

Alaskan Malamutes love daily exercise, but also enjoy just hanging out with their family. Mals are very vocal and may howl, but they don’t bark a lot.

Positive Traits:

  • An affectionate companion and family dog

  • Outgoing and friendly personality

  • Good with children

  • Playful and energetic

  • Loyal and loving companion

  • Large, strong, and athletic, with lots of stamina in cooler climates

Negative Traits:

  • Needs a lot of activity and mental stimulation to avoid boredom vices

  • Early obedience training and socialization is recommended

  • Needs to be brushed regularly to keep coat mat-free

  • Likes to dig

  • Sees cats and small animals as prey unless trained otherwise  

Whether you are considering adding a new Alaskan Malamute to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Alaskan Malamute will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds. 

By exploring the health concerns specific to the Alaskan Malamute you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important concerns to watch for at home. They are counting on you to be their health expert.

Some health issues an Alaskan Malamute could encounter:

  • VKH syndrome

  • Diabetes

  • Anal sac tumor

  • Sebaceous gland tumors

  • Alopecia X

  • Skin infections

  • Mange

  • Bleeding disorders

  • Retained puppy teeth

  • Heart disease

Alaskan Malamutes are the largest and oldest of the Arctic Sled dogs. Originating over 4000 years ago, Mals were kept by the Mahlemuts, an Inuit Tribe in Alaska. They are known for their stamina, not their speed, when pulling heavy sled loads. Alaskan Malamutes are a relatively healthy breed with an average lifespan of 12 years, but they can suffer from some common conditions like hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and bloat.

Consult with a veterinarian if your Alaskan Malamute shows signs of the following:

  • Leg stiffness, reluctance to rise, sit, use stairs, run, jump, or "bunny hopping"

  • Dry heaving or a large, tight, painful abdomen

  • Dull coat, hair loss, sluggish, weight gain

  • Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

  • Dilated pupils in daylight, or increased "eye shine" at night

  • Cloudiness to eye lens

  • Any abnormal shaking, trembling, or excessive involuntary tremors

  • Redness to the eyes, loss of pigment to the nose and other skin areas

  • Increased hunger and thirst, weight loss

  • Red, hairless, crusting sores in specific spots on face or foot pads

  • Dry, scaly, sometimes itchy hairless patches on face or paws

  • Bruises easily or bleeds a lot from a small wound

  • Puppy teeth alongside adult teeth

  • Coughing, exercise intolerance, rapid breathing at rest

 

 

  • Care

    Routine Care: Alaskan Malamutes are large dogs with lots of energy, so keep their mind and body active, or they'll get bored. That's when the naughty stuff starts. They are expert diggers and climbers, so it is recommended that you bury your fence and that it is at least 6 feet tall. Alaskan Malamutes can be affected by snow nose, which is a loss of pigment from the nose making them prone to sunburn. They will need dog-safe sunscreen.

    Grooming: Brush their coat as needed and at least weekly.

    Dental: Alaskan Malamutes often have serious problems with their teeth, so you'll need to brush them at least three times a week!

    Ear Care: Clean their ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don't worry - your veterinarian can show you how!

  • Characteristics

    Alaskan Malamutes love daily exercise, but also enjoy just hanging out with their family. Mals are very vocal and may howl, but they don’t bark a lot.

    Positive Traits:

    • An affectionate companion and family dog

    • Outgoing and friendly personality

    • Good with children

    • Playful and energetic

    • Loyal and loving companion

    • Large, strong, and athletic, with lots of stamina in cooler climates

    Negative Traits:

    • Needs a lot of activity and mental stimulation to avoid boredom vices

    • Early obedience training and socialization is recommended

    • Needs to be brushed regularly to keep coat mat-free

    • Likes to dig

    • Sees cats and small animals as prey unless trained otherwise  

  • Health Concerns

    Whether you are considering adding a new Alaskan Malamute to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Alaskan Malamute will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds. 

    By exploring the health concerns specific to the Alaskan Malamute you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important concerns to watch for at home. They are counting on you to be their health expert.

    Some health issues an Alaskan Malamute could encounter:

    • VKH syndrome

    • Diabetes

    • Anal sac tumor

    • Sebaceous gland tumors

    • Alopecia X

    • Skin infections

    • Mange

    • Bleeding disorders

    • Retained puppy teeth

    • Heart disease

  • History

    Alaskan Malamutes are the largest and oldest of the Arctic Sled dogs. Originating over 4000 years ago, Mals were kept by the Mahlemuts, an Inuit Tribe in Alaska. They are known for their stamina, not their speed, when pulling heavy sled loads. Alaskan Malamutes are a relatively healthy breed with an average lifespan of 12 years, but they can suffer from some common conditions like hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and bloat.

  • Watch Out For

    Consult with a veterinarian if your Alaskan Malamute shows signs of the following:

    • Leg stiffness, reluctance to rise, sit, use stairs, run, jump, or "bunny hopping"

    • Dry heaving or a large, tight, painful abdomen

    • Dull coat, hair loss, sluggish, weight gain

    • Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

    • Dilated pupils in daylight, or increased "eye shine" at night

    • Cloudiness to eye lens

    • Any abnormal shaking, trembling, or excessive involuntary tremors

    • Redness to the eyes, loss of pigment to the nose and other skin areas

    • Increased hunger and thirst, weight loss

    • Red, hairless, crusting sores in specific spots on face or foot pads

    • Dry, scaly, sometimes itchy hairless patches on face or paws

    • Bruises easily or bleeds a lot from a small wound

    • Puppy teeth alongside adult teeth

    • Coughing, exercise intolerance, rapid breathing at rest

     

     

Alaskan Malamute Discussions

Share your thoughts and experiences, ask questions, or just show your love for the Alaskan Malamute breed here!

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To view the sources for the information listed on this page, see our Dog Breed Guide Reference page.

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