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The Alaskan Malamute is one of the oldest Arctic sledge dogs that travelled to Alaska with native people thousands of years ago, where the modern breed developed. They have the same powerful bodies and robust build as other Nordic canines, like the Siberian Husky and Samoyed, as they were bred to haul heavy loads. As a result, they have high energy levels and impressive endurance.
Along with serving as a working and hunting dog, Alaskan Malamutes make excellent companion animals thanks to their people-loving nature and desire for family interaction. In addition, their wolf-like looks, long, thick coats and fluffy, curled tails make them an aesthetically beautiful breed.
Meet the Alaskan Malamute
This large dog stands around 2 feet tall and typically weighs an astonishing 75 to 100 pounds! These hefty canines have strong, muscular bodies designed to carry weight. Their heads are large with small ears that stand erect and brown almond-shaped eyes. Along with their dark eyes, most Malamutes will have black noses and gums, too.
Other distinctive features of the Alaskan Malamute are their large fluffy tails and a thick double coat. Their long undercoat is woolly and oily to repel water and cold weather. Then, their overcoat is thick and coarse, adding additional warmth. Their hair is longer on some body parts, such as the shoulders, neck, back, and thighs.
As you can imagine, this coat sheds a lot, so you'll have to get used to finding white fur all over your house! Moreover, they shed heavily twice a year when their hair falls out in large clumps. During this time, it's best to brush them every day. After that, it's sufficient to groom them two or three times a week.
All Alaskan Malamute's coats are white with another colour, usually grey, sable and black. Still, seal and red are both possible. They typically have white faces and inner ears with dark foreheads and outer ears. Additionally, their bellies are generally white, along with their feet and parts of their legs.
The temperament of an Alaskan Malamute
The Alaskan Malamute is a working dog; therefore, this breed has tonnes of energy and requires exercise and long walks multiple times a day. They love to run, play and go on hikes and don't tire easily. Moreover, they get bored quickly, and if their owner does not meet their high energy needs, they can become destructive.
Malamutes have strong hunting instincts and will chase cats and other small animals if they do not grow up around them. Therefore, they must have an enclosed garden to prevent them from getting out and terrorising the neighbourhood moggies! They also love to dig, so we recommend creating a sandpit or digging patch for them to release this urge and save your plants!
Malamutes are intelligent, but training them while young is essential for creating obedient pets. They may challenge their owners for the alpha position otherwise. However, although they can be stubborn with obedience training, housetraining them is effortless.
Alaskan Malamutes are relatively quiet, and they rarely bark, although some may howl. In addition, these dogs are super friendly towards people, and their pack instinct makes them want to be an integral part of the family.
10 reasons to add an Alaskan Malamute to your family
- They are super friendly - Malamutes love humans, so although they won't make a good guard dog, they will become best mates with all your friends and family.
- They don't bark much - This breed is pretty quiet and does not bark at visitors or people walking past the house.
- They are warm and cuddly - These dogs act as huge hot water bottles and are always up for a snuggle session.
- They make good house pets - Despite their large size and heavy build, Malamutes are surprisingly gentle in the house and seldom knock over objects. Moreover, their love of humans makes them ideal furry friends to cuddle with on the sofa.
- You don't have to worry about them in the winter - While some breeds can be sensitive to cold climates, these canines thrive in harsh British or Northern European winters. Thus, they can stay outside all day should they wish.
- They will keep you fit - Long walks are non-negotiable with Malamutes, so if you want to be more active but hate the gym, this pup may be the ideal fit.
- They love being in nature - Similarly, if you're looking for an excuse to get out more and connect to mother nature, this outdoorsy canine is it.
- They will help with the chores - This working dog is always looking for a job. If you're on a hike, they will happily carry your backpack, or if you need a cart of heavy items pulled around, they will always be ready to help
- They have sweet faces - Their white facial colouring, black noses and dark round eyes give them a very endearing expression
- They are gentle wolves - The Malamute may look like the ancestor of the domestic dog. Still, their sweet and friendly nature could not be any different.
Best homes for an Alaskan Malamute
This dog is made for cold temperatures, so they are not suited to a Mediterranean climate but can be a good choice for those living in Northern Europe or even the UK. Another essential requirement for their environment is plenty of space to run around and burn off their excess energy. Thus, they can be an ideal dog if you have a large, enclosed garden. Needless to say, they are not the right choice for those living in apartments.
The best human companion for an Alaskan Malamute is someone with previous experience with dogs. In addition, they will thrive with someone who leads an active life and will take them on plenty of walks, hikes, and runs. If their owner does not have the time or energy, Malamutes will get bored and become challenging to handle. Therefore, you may want to consider hiring a dog walker or sitter to help you out when you are busy.
If socialised early, the Alaskan Malamute can be friendly with other pets. However, some tend to become assertive, so they often do better as solo pets. Lastly, they are gentle around children but considering their strength and size; they are not the best choice for families with young kids.