Alaskan Malamute Facts
Strength, spirit, and stamina are the defining breed characteristics of Alaskan Malamutes. The Malamute was bred in the frozen tundra of the Alaskan North, but the true origins of how the breed came to be are shrouded in mystery. It’s believed that Alaskan Malamutes relied on humans as much as humans relied on the breed, as food was scarce in Alaska and often needed to be tracked and carried back long distances. Malamutes helped with both tasks, their unmatched strength and relatively low dietary needs made them an ideal choice for hunting expeditions.
One common misconception is that Alaskan Malamutes are direct descendants of wolves. However, the Mahlemut people from which the breed was named insist they were strictly domestic. In fact, throughout history people have tried to crossbreed the two animals with less than ideal results. Though a shared beauty exists between wolves and Alaskan Malamutes, that’s where similarities stop.
Alaskan Malamute Size
The Alaskan Malamutes size can range greatly depending upon bloodlines and crossbreeding in ancestors. The breed standard for Alaskan Malamute size has males standing at just over two feet and weighing in around 85 pounds, with females slightly smaller in both respects. As far as show requirements, the Malamute only needs to be proportional and will not be penalized for excessive size or weight. In recent years, the people have sought larger examples of the breed, some weighing in at well over 100 pounds. This can present joint and bone issues, as well as a potential for heart problems. Regardless of the Alaskan Malamutes weight, the dogs appear much larger due to their dense coat.
Alaskan Malamute Temperament
When it comes to Alaskan Malamute Temperament, expect a stoic and dignified dog. The Malamute was bred to be a partner more than a pet. Don’t expect a Malamute to sit idly by during day-to-day life. They are hard-working dogs and love to be challenged and put to work themselves. Throughout their history the Alaskan Malamute was expected to work alongside their human counterparts, and they still crave that interaction today.
Malamutes love for people makes them the farthest thing from a watchdog or guard dog, they’ll likely welcome intruders with an affectionate smile. Devotion to people is one of the outstanding characteristics of the Alaskan Malamute Temperament and should be embraced for the blessing that it is. In fact, their devotion knows no human bounds. That pleasant temperament is what make the Malamute great with children of all ages. They are a patient and caring breed, making them suitable companions for even the most rambunctious child.
Alaskan Malamute Personality
As a partner, not a pet, the Alaskan Malamute personality trait that’s most prominent is independence. Malamutes are eager to please, but if they deem a task unnecessary they are unlikely to obey even the firmest command. The Malamute is strong-minded from birth, and needs to be taught from day one who’s in charge. Left untrained, and to their own devices, Malamutes can have destructive tendencies. The breed wants to work, and if not given a job, they will find their own.
Do Alaskan Malamutes Shed?
Alaskan Malamutes thrived for thousands of year n the frigid climate of Alaska. Their double layer coat is one of legendary status. As a result, Alaskan Malamute shedding may be a concern for some owners, and rightly so. Brushing and grooming is a must starting from a young age. Remember at close to one hundred pounds and strong-willed, Malamutes can be a formidable opponent if they find that sitting still for a brushing is not to their liking. Regular brushing can minimize the clumps of hair rolling around the living room, but expect a few “tumbleweed” wild west moments. The height of Alaskan Malamute shedding comes when the weather begins to warm, or cool in some cases, and the breed “blows” its coat.
A blown coat sounds more dramatic than it is. This is simply a time of year when the Malamute needs to thicken or thin his soft undercoat. The Malamutes undercoat is one of mother nature’s marvels, able to keep the dogs warm and dry in the sub-zero conditions. Caring for the coat during this time is no small feat. Some owners report filling entire trash bags with fur during one brushing.
Alaskan Malamute Training
Independent and a strong will lead to challenges during an Alaskan Malamutes training. As with all dogs, some are more submissive than other. The level of human submissions will dictate how headstrong the Alaskan Malamute will be during training. Malamutes need leaders. The breed does not make a great choice for those who have never had a dog before, or who are unwilling to devote time and effort to establishing themselves as the alpha in the pack. Malamutes quickly learn their owners breaking points, and will hold out long enough to reach them. An unwavering commitment is recommended for anyone considering this breed. They need firm, but not physical, motivation and patience is a must.
Alaskan Malamute vs Husky
Another common misconception is that the Malamute is just a large Husky. The Alaskan Malamute vs Husky comparison ends at appearance. Siberian Huskies are another beautiful, wolf-like in appearance, breed. However, the Siberian Husky is actually a product of Asia, not Alaska. Huskies are much smaller and have dramatically different personalities, temperaments, and overall breed characteristics.
The facts about Alaskan Malamutes are that they are powerful and beautiful. They make wonderful additions to any family, with the right training and pack leaders. Browse our available selection of Alaskan Malamutes. We work with the best Alaskan Malamute Breeders in the country to get happy, healthy, and pedigreed Alaskan Malamute puppies. Contact us today to learn more about our available puppies.