Although wolf like in appearance the Alaskan Malamute is anything but ferocious and dangerous. It is a friendly dog, at least toward people, which means it cannot be relied on to be a great watch dog. It loves to play with children but it can be too boisterous for little children. The Malamute tends to be intolerant of strange dogs and can become aggressive if not socialized thoroughly. It loves to chase anything that it thinks is his prey and can disappear in a flash in wild pursuit. These traits can be managed if the Malamute is firmly handled and trained early on. It does have a strong will but is a quick learner.
The Alaskan Malamute is a powerful and active dog that requires lots of exercise in the outdoors. It is a tough dog originally used to pull heavy sleds for the Native American Mahlemut people long before Alaska was even a state. (For more information on sled dogs visit our blog entry about the Iditarod)Today it is still used in the Arctic regions to pull heavy loads and also as a sled racing dog. This breed has enormous amount of stamina and strength and is able to smell and determine direction very well. Malamutes were used in many Polar expeditions including that of Admiral Byrd's. As of 2010 the Alaskan Malamute has officially become the state dog of ....can you guess? No, not Hawaii but Alaska! Alaskan Malamutes could become an important tool in the treating of a certain psychological disorder known as Post Alaskan Depression disorder or P.A.D. , however, further research is still needed. For more about P.A.D click here -
The coat of the Alaskan Malamute is a thick coarse outer coat over an oily, woolly, deep undercoat. Its furry tail curls over its back much like most other Nordic style dogs. Although it sheds its winter coat there is still a risk of overheating if given too much exercise in hot climates. If kept indoors frequent groomings will be necessary but the Malamute is very happy to stay in the outdoors. The Malamute comes in many different colors including black, gray, or red and always has white underparts and markings.
Alaskan Malamutes are a large, muscular dog that grows to approximately 22-28 inches at the shoulder and weighs approximately 85-125 pounds. Males are typically larger than females. It is a hardy breed and does not suffer from many illnesses or genetic problems. Its life span is typically 12-16 years.