Alaskan malamute in winter forest

Alaskan Malamute: Why It’s Special

The Alaskan Malamute is a large, powerful dog that is strong-willed, independent, obedient, and loving towards its owners. They are a family-oriented dog breed that is friendly towards people but can be overly aggressive towards other animals, especially dogs. These dogs love running and pulling a sled.

History Of The Alaskan Malamute

As its name suggests, the Malamute originated in Alaska, where its original job was hunting big game animals and as a sled dog. Today the Alaskan Malamute is primarily for sled pulling.

Like other members of the Spitz family, the Alaskan Malamute started in the Arctic region and is home to a cold climate. These dogs lived with people known as the Mahlemuts, who lived on Alaska’s northwest coast near the [wiki]Norton Sound[/wiki]. “Mahlemut” comes from Mahle, a tribal name, and “mutt” means village.



The breed was used for hunting big game, specifically seals and polar bears. The dog’s talent lay in their strength and size rather than speed, so the Malamute would often hunt with several smaller, faster dogs to find the prey. They would then use their great size and strength to drag the carcasses back to their masters’ villages.

The breed likes to be one of the family. They were essential to the survival of the Arctic people. However, the Alaskan Malamute was not pampered like today’s house dog. The Arctic weather can be very unforgiving; dogs are often killed if they are not helpful for hunting.



Military Service

During [wiki]World War II[/wiki], the Malamutes were service dogs used for search and rescue missions, freight haulers, and pack animals. After the war, their numbers continued to grow as the breed became more and more popular. The AKC officially recognized the breed in 1935.

Taking Care of the Alaskan Malamute

The Alaskan Malamute is a breed at home in cold weather. They love to haul heavy sleds in the snow and can run for miles without stopping. The dog can become frustrated and destructive without proper daily exercise to work these high-energy levels, so outdoor fun and games are necessary.



The Alaskan Malamute has two coats on its body. The undercoat can be up to two inches thick and has an oily, fuzzy texture. The outer guard coat is rough and protrudes more from the body at the withers but not farther than one inch from the sides.

Compared to the Siberian Husky, developed for speed, the Alaskan Malamute is a heavy dog with a more intimidating demeanor and structure. When at attention, the ears are small relative to the head and firmly upright. The initial purpose of the Alaskan Malamute, as well as what the breed standard demands of Alaskan Malamute breeders, is power and endurance.

As Family Pets

These dogs are among the most affectionate dog breeds. For this reason alone, they need lots of human interaction. Although they can sleep outside at night in cold temperatures, they are well-mannered and prefer to be inside and close to the rest of the family. Their heavy coat needs a good brushing twice weekly or daily during shedding season.

Malamutes are highly devoted to their owners, making them popular family pets but unreliable watchdogs because they don’t usually bark. Malamutes are agile around furniture and other tiny objects, which makes them perfect house dogs—as long as they receive enough time outside to meet their high exercise needs.

Due to their kind demeanor, Alaskan Malamutes frequently participate in animal therapy programs like visiting hospital patients. They prefer snow in the wintertime. Letting them play in a baby pool with cold water in the summer will keep them cool if they are year-round outside dogs.

Where To Buy An Alaskan Malamute

The Alaskan Malamute price can vary depending on factors such as age, pedigree, and breeder. On average, you can expect to pay between $1,500 to $3,000 for an Alaskan Malamute puppy from a reputable breeder.

It’s essential to avoid buying from pet stores or puppy mills, as these sources often prioritize profit over the well-being of the animals. Instead, you can search for a breeder through the Alaskan Malamute Club of America or visit local rescue organizations to adopt an older Alaskan Malamute who needs a loving home.

Health Concerns

The Alaskan Malamute has an average lifespan of between ten and twelve years. The two main health concerns are cataracts and CHD. Minor health problems that may show up are [wiki]hypothyroidism[/wiki] and [wiki]chondrodysplasia[/wiki]. Veterinarians suggest that Alaskan Malamute dogs get tested for potential hip, thyroid, and eye problems.

More Information

The Alaskan Malamute Club of America, Inc. is AKC’s parent club for this breed.


The Alaskan Malamute is a magnificent dog breed that has captured many’s hearts. With their striking appearance, strong work ethic, and loyal personalities, they make excellent companions for those who have the time, patience, and commitment to meet their needs.

While they were initially bred for their strength and endurance, today’s Alaskan Malamutes are also known for their gentle and affectionate nature. They thrive on human interaction and love spending time with their owners.

It’s important to remember that this breed requires significant exercise and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy. They can become destructive and difficult to handle without proper training and socialization.

Despite their challenges, the Alaskan Malamute is a breed that is truly worth the effort. They are intelligent, loyal, and loving animals that can provide their owners with a lifetime of companionship and joy.

Overall, if you’re considering adding an Alaskan Malamute to your family, it’s essential to research and ensure you’re up to the task. This remarkable breed can make an excellent addition to any household with the proper care and attention.




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