What type of dog is a Alaskan Malamute?

Are you looking for a dog that is strong, loyal, and intelligent? Look no further than the Alaskan Malamute! These beautiful dogs have been used for thousands of years by indigenous people in Alaska and Canada for hauling heavy loads. In this blog post, we'll explore the history, physical characteristics, personality traits, and more about the Alaskan Malamute to help you decide if this is the right breed for you.

Dog Breeds
15. Jun 2023
What type of dog is a Alaskan Malamute?

The History and Origins of the Alaskan Malamute

The Alaskan Malamute is an ancient breed of dog that has been used by indigenous people in Alaska and Canada for thousands of years for hauling heavy loads. They were bred for their strength and endurance, and were originally used for transportation and hunting.

The Alaskan Malamute was also used in several expeditions to the polar regions, including Admiral Byrd's expedition to the South Pole. They were valued for their ability to pull heavy loads and withstand the extreme cold temperatures.

In the early 1900s, Alaskan Malamutes were brought to the United States and were primarily used for sled racing. They quickly became popular as family pets due to their friendly, loyal nature and their love of children.

Today, the Alaskan Malamute is still used for sledding and other forms of work, but is also a beloved companion and family pet. They are a symbol of the Alaskan wilderness and are known for their strength, intelligence, and loyalty.

Physical Characteristics and Appearance of the Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamutes are impressive dogs in terms of their size and strength. They have a big, heavy-boned build and a broad head with a muzzle that tapers slightly toward the nose. Their thick, furry coat keeps them warm in even the harshest conditions.


Alaskan Malamutes are a large breed, typically weighing anywhere from 75 to 100 pounds and standing up to 25 inches tall at the shoulder. Females are generally smaller than males.


The Alaskan Malamute's coat is unique in that it is a double coat with a dense, thick undercoat and a coarse, longer outer coat. This provides excellent insulation from the cold, but it also means that they shed heavily twice a year. They come in a variety of colors, including gray, black, sable, and red.

Head and Face

The Alaskan Malamute has a broad head with a furrowed brow and a powerful jaw. Their ears are triangular and erect, and their eyes are almond-shaped and may be brown or blue. They have a distinctive mask-like marking on their face


The Alaskan Malamute has a strong, muscular body with a deep chest, broad shoulders, and a straight back. Their legs are sturdy and well-boned, and their paws are large and snowshoe-like, which helps them walk more easily on icy terrain.


The Alaskan Malamute's tail is one of their most distinctive features, as it is plumed and curls over the back, much like a husky's. This was an adaptation to help keep their nose and face warm when they slept out in the open on the tundra.

Personality Traits and Temperament of the Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamutes are known for their loyalty, intelligence, and love of people. They have a friendly and outgoing personality and enjoy spending time with their owners. However, they can also be stubborn and independent at times, which can make training them a challenge.

These dogs are generally good with children and make great family pets, but they do have a strong prey drive and should be supervised around smaller animals. Because of their strong pack mentality, they may also be protective of their family and can be prone to excessive barking or howling if they feel threatened or anxious.

Alaskan Malamutes thrive on attention and love to be included in family activities. They enjoy outdoor activities and can make great running partners, but they also enjoy cuddling up on the couch and snuggling with their owners. Because of their high energy level, daily exercise and lots of mental stimulation are essential for keeping them happy and healthy.

Training and Exercise for Alaskan Malamutes

Alaskan Malamutes are highly energetic dogs that require a lot of exercise and activity to stay happy and healthy. Here are some important things to keep in mind when training and exercising your Alaskan Malamute:

Exercise Needs

  • Alaskan Malamutes should have at least one hour of vigorous exercise per day, including walks, runs, and playtime.

  • They love to run, hike, and explore the outdoors, so regular trips to the park or hiking trail are a great way to give them the exercise they need.

  • It's important to keep your Alaskan Malamute on a leash or within a secure, fenced area, as they have a strong prey drive and may take off after small animals.

Training Tips

  • Alaskan Malamutes are intelligent dogs that respond well to positive reinforcement training, such as praise and treats.

  • Start training your Alaskan Malamute early and be consistent with commands and expectations.

  • Be patient and use a calm, confident tone when training your Alaskan Malamute, as they can easily pick up on your emotions.

  • Some Alaskan Malamutes can be stubborn and independent, so it's important to establish yourself as the pack leader and set clear boundaries.

  • Socialization is important for Alaskan Malamutes, so make sure to expose them to new people, animals, and environments from a young age.

Activities to Try

  • Agility training: Alaskan Malamutes excel at agility courses and this activity is a great way to exercise both their mind and body.

  • Sledding: While not practical for most pet owners, Alaskan Malamutes were historically bred for sledding and it's a great way to channel their energy and work together as a team.

  • Swimming: Many Alaskan Malamutes love to swim, but it's important to supervise them around water as they can tire easily due to their thick coats.

  • Fetch: A classic game of fetch is a great way to bond with your Alaskan Malamute and give them some exercise.

Remember that a well-trained and exercised Alaskan Malamute is a happy and well-behaved dog. With patience, consistency, and lots of love and attention, you can help your Alaskan Malamute thrive both physically and mentally.

Feeding and Nutrition for Alaskan Malamutes

Alaskan Malamutes are large, active dogs that require a nutritious and balanced diet to support their energy needs. Here are some important points to consider when feeding your Alaskan Malamute:

Dietary Requirements

Alaskan Malamutes need a diet that is high in protein and fat to support their high energy level and active lifestyle. Look for dog food that includes real meat as the first ingredient and avoid food that contains fillers like corn, wheat and soy.

In addition to protein, your Alaskan Malamute's diet should also include fats for energy and a healthy coat, as well as carbohydrates for sustained energy. You may also want to consider feeding a diet that is fortified with vitamins and minerals to keep your dog healthy and strong.

Feeding Schedule

Alaskan Malamutes are prone to obesity, so it's important to feed them on a schedule to avoid overfeeding. You should feed your dog twice a day, with the total amount of food divided between the two meals.

Monitor your dog's weight and adjust the amount of food as necessary to maintain a healthy body weight. Always provide fresh, clean water for your dog to drink, and make sure your Alaskan Malamute has access to water at all times.


While treats can be a great way to reward your Alaskan Malamute during training, it's important to choose treats that are healthy and low in calories. Avoid treats that are high in sugar, fat, and artificial flavors or colors.

You may also want to consider giving your dog vegetables or fruits as a healthy treat option. Some good choices include carrots, green beans, and sliced apples.

Special Dietary Needs

If your Alaskan Malamute has specific dietary needs due to health issues like allergies, talk to your veterinarian about the best diet for your dog. Your vet may recommend a special prescription diet or suggest adding supplements to your dog's diet to support their health needs.

Remember, feeding your Alaskan Malamute a well-balanced and nutritious diet is essential to helping them live a long and healthy life.

Common Health Issues in Alaskan Malamutes

While Alaskan Malamutes are generally healthy dogs, there are a few health issues that are common in the breed:

  • Hip dysplasia: This is a genetic condition that causes the hip joint to develop abnormally, resulting in arthritis and pain. Regular hip evaluations can help prevent and manage hip dysplasia in Alaskan Malamutes.

  • Eye problems: Alaskan Malamutes can be prone to several eye issues, including cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, and corneal dystrophy. Regular eye exams and preventative care can help maintain good eye health in Alaskan Malamutes.

  • Hypothyroidism: This is a condition where the thyroid gland doesn't produce enough thyroid hormone. Symptoms can include weight gain, lethargy, and skin issues. Regular vet check-ups and medication can help manage hypothyroidism in Alaskan Malamutes.

It's important to work with a veterinarian who is knowledgeable about the breed to ensure early detection and proper management of any health issues that may arise in your Alaskan Malamute.

Grooming and Coat Care for Alaskan Malamutes

Alaskan Malamutes have a thick, double coat that requires regular grooming to keep it clean and healthy. Here are some tips for grooming and coat care:


Alaskan Malamutes should be brushed at least once a week and more frequently during shedding season to prevent matting and tangles. Use a slicker brush to remove loose fur and detangle the coat. A metal comb can also be used for more stubborn tangles.


Alaskan Malamutes only need to be bathed every few months, unless they get particularly dirty or smelly. Use a gentle dog shampoo and conditioner, and be sure to rinse thoroughly to avoid any skin irritation.

Nail Care

Alaskan Malamutes' nails should be trimmed every 2-3 weeks to keep them from getting too long. Use a dog nail clipper and be sure to avoid cutting the quick, which is the vein that runs through the nail.

Ear Cleaning

Alaskan Malamutes' ears should be checked and cleaned once a week. Use a gentle dog ear cleaner and a cotton ball to wipe away any dirt or debris. Be sure not to insert anything into the ear canal to avoid causing injury.

Coat Supplements

Coat supplements such as fish oil or omega-3 fatty acids can help keep your Alaskan Malamute's coat shiny and healthy. Consult with your vet to determine the appropriate dosage for your dog.

By following these grooming and coat care tips, you can help keep your Alaskan Malamute looking and feeling their best.

The Best Environment for Alaskan Malamutes

Alaskan Malamutes require a home with a secure and fenced yard, as they love to run and play. They are not recommended for apartment living unless they get daily exercise and mental stimulation. When they don't get enough exercise, they tend to become destructive and restless.

If you do not have a yard, ensure that you have space for a large crate or a dedicated room for them to play and exercise. Additionally, consider taking them to a dog park or other safe area for off-leash playtime.

It's essential to keep in mind that Alaskan Malamutes thrive in colder temperatures, so they may not be the best fit for hotter climates. If you live in a warmer region, ensure that your home has proper air conditioning and cool water available for your furry friend.

Overall, a home with an active lifestyle and lots of opportunities for play and exercise is the best environment for an Alaskan Malamute.

Alaskan Malamute Rescue and Adoption Considerations

If you're considering adopting an Alaskan Malamute, it's important to understand the responsibilities that come with owning this breed. While they are affectionate and loyal dogs, they also have high exercise needs and can be stubborn at times. Here are some considerations to keep in mind:

  • Adopting an adult Alaskan Malamute from a rescue organization can be a good option, as they may already be house-trained and have some basic training.

  • Make sure you have the time and dedication to provide your Alaskan Malamute with the exercise and mental stimulation they need to stay healthy and happy. This may include daily walks, runs, and playtime.

  • Consider the cost of ownership, including veterinary care, food, and grooming supplies.

  • If you have other pets, be aware that Alaskan Malamutes have a strong prey drive and may not do well in homes with smaller animals.

  • Ensure that you have a securely fenced yard or a safe and secure place to exercise your Alaskan Malamute off-leash.

If you feel that an Alaskan Malamute is the right breed for you, adopting from a rescue organization can be a rewarding experience. Not only are you providing a loving home to a deserving dog, but you may also be saving a life. Be sure to do your research, ask questions, and choose a reputable rescue organization.

Choosing the Right Alaskan Malamute Breeder

When choosing a breeder for your Alaskan Malamute, it is important to do your research and find a reputable one that has the best interests of the breed at heart. Here are some things to look for:

1. Knowledge and Expertise

Look for a breeder who knows the breed well and is knowledgeable about genetics, health issues, and temperament. A good breeder will be able to answer any questions you have and provide valuable advice.

2. Health Screening

A reputable breeder will conduct health screenings on their breeding dogs to ensure that they are free of any genetic health conditions. These may include hip dysplasia, eye problems, and hypothyroidism. Ask to see the results of these screenings before purchasing a puppy.

3. Socialization

It is important for puppies to be socialized properly from a young age to ensure that they grow up to be well-adjusted dogs. Look for a breeder who exposes their puppies to a variety of people, animals, and experiences.

4. Cleanliness

The breeder's facility should be clean and well-maintained, with proper hygiene practices in place. This will reduce the risk of illness and disease in both the puppies and the adult dogs.

5. Contract and Guarantees

A good breeder will provide a written contract that outlines the terms of the sale and any guarantees they offer. This may include a health guarantee, refund or replacement policies, and spay/neuter requirements.

When you find a breeder you are interested in, take the time to visit their facility and meet their dogs. This will give you a better idea of their breeding practices and the quality of their dogs. Remember, a responsible breeder will always prioritize the health and well-being of their dogs over profit.


Overall, the Alaskan Malamute is a strong, intelligent, and loyal breed that makes a great family pet for the right owner. They require lots of exercise, a high-quality diet, and regular grooming, but the rewards of having an Alaskan Malamute in your life are worth it. Whether you choose to adopt from a rescue organization or purchase from a reputable breeder, be sure to do your research and choose the best fit for your lifestyle and needs on puppiessalenearme.com.

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