The Alaskan Malamute is a very beautiful dog with almond brown eyes and a heavy coat. These dogs are known for their intelligence and energy as well their pleasing characteristic. Because of their intelligence, the Malamute can be easily trained. They are very protective as well as very friendly and trusting, even of strangers. This makes them unsuitable as guard dogs.
Origin and History
The Alaskan Malamute, often called Mal, is one of the dog breeds that were not altered throughout time. They are one of the oldest dog breeds that exist today. The Mals were traditionally used in sledding by the Mahlemut tribe in the mountainous areas of Western Alaska.
They were used to transport heavy loads and also served as means of transportation as early 2000 to 3000 years ago by the Mehlemut Eskimos. They have been very helpful during expeditions because of their strength and excellent senses.
Details and Specifications
This extra-large, well-built, and energetic dog is the largest among the Arctic dogs. They have a thick double coat that protects them from extreme weather conditions. Their medium-size coat sheds heavily. Their thick coat comes in various shades of white and gray. Both male and female Mals can grow to a height of 23 to 25 inches, weighing 75 to 85 pounds.
Aside from their very active and energetic character, the Mal is also affectionate and trusting of people. They do not bark often but love to howl and dig around the yard. Because of their strong prey instinct, they don’t deal well with smaller pets in the house, unless properly socialized while still young.
Malamutes love to be with the human family, both indoors and outdoors. This type of dog should be given a lot of physical activities to keep them from getting bored and destructive.
Obedience training and early socialization is highly recommended for this dog because of its very independent nature.
Male Mals are more dominant and difficult to train than female Mals. Their training should include more proper manners rather than formal obedience.
It is important that they be given positive rewards. A large space is necessary in order for them to release their tremendous amount of energy.
Caring and Nurturing (Haircut, Fur Treatment, Washing…)
Mals should be given a cooler place to stay because their thick coating is supposedly their protection for the harshly cold environment. Despite their heavy coat, this dog does not smell and does not need bathing often. Their hair sheds off dirt by itself. Brushing of the Mal’s teeth should be done as often as brushing its hair.
Common health problems of Alaskan Malamutes are those associated with aging, which are also common with other large dog breeds. Mals are generally healthy dogs, but also experience hip dysplasia, cataracts, dwarfism, and bloating.
Food, Equipment & Games
Mals do not eat much, so owners should make sure that they get fed balanced and nutritious food. Protein content of the food should be 24% to 30%. They can be fed with a balanced combination of rice, poultry, lamb meat, and fish.