The Alaskan Malamute is the largest of the Arctic dogs. The head should be wide, with good erect ears. It looks similar to the wolf, but has a sweeter look. The eyes are medium and dark in colour is desired. White or blue eyes are considered being a fault and are not desirable by the written standards. It should have large feet, with thick pads. Thick double coat of fur, that is about three inches long. Colours come in a range of grey’s sable or red. Within the colouring should be shadings. Here you can have wolf grey, black and white, red or sable to red. The only non shaded colour allowed is white. The dog nearly always has white legs. The standard sizes can vary.
History: The Alaskan Malamute dog is a descendent from the arctic wolf. First used as a work dog some 3000 years ago. This is a Nordic sledge dog, which comes from the Mahlemuts. This is a tribe who raised these dogs and where the name comes from. These dogs have been used for a long time as sledge pullers and can pull large weights over great distances.
Temperament: With the Alaskan Malamute dog you will find a loyal dog with intelligence. They can be very loving to their owner. This bred is good with older children, but you need to teach the child what is acceptable play for this dog. With the right handling, this dog can mature to a fine dog. This dog needs firm handling and a clear leader of their pack, which must be the owner. They need companionship, daily mental stimulation, and physical exercise to get the best from this breed. Feeding can be an issue, and you need to watch size of meals as they can eat more than they need. The Alaskan needs good supervision around small animals and other dogs as it has got a strong prey instinct. This dog benefits from obedience training, and it is highly recommended. If you do not train this dog well you could have a lot of problems, as if they get bored, they can do a lot of damage in a short time.
Health issues: The Alaskan Malamute dog can suffer from bloat, this can be very serous and not to be taken as just a bit of wind. They can have hip dysplasia which should be checked before they are sold. Another thing this breed can get is dwarfism called chondrodysplasia.
Grooming: The grooming of the Alaskan Malamute is relative easy, and the breed only requires brushing twice weekly. When it sheds it is very heavy shedding, with the undercoat coming out in clumps. Bathing is not needed, as dirt will come off in the shedding. While this dog doesn’t need bathing it is not smelly but clean and smells fine. You can use dry shampoo if you so desire but only occasionally.
Living conditions: With the Alaskan Malamute we have a dog that can happily live outside but will wish for the company of the owner. Due to the fact this is an active dog, apartment living is not recommended. They will need at least a good size garden, with high well made fencing. Think about the fact this dog can dig, and will do so, there for some form of an underground fence can be needed. Here we have a dog that can cope well in cold weather but in the warm weather you will need to offer good shading and clean cool water to drink.