Unsurprisingly we originate from Alaska and are named after a local Inuit tribe (“Mahlemut”). We were bred of course for pulling sleds over long distances and over some pretty demanding terrain. We boast a distinguished history – aiding Rear Admiral Richard Byrd to the South Pole; working with the miners who came to Alaska during the Gold Rush of 1896, as well as serving in World War II primarily as search and rescue dogs in Greenland. We are the biggest of all sled dog breeds and were the first shown outside our native country, back in the 1920s. Since then we have become very popular around the world and are currently displaying particular popularity in the U.K.
What do I look like?
We are quite a distinctive breed so you’ve probably seen us around. We’re powerful and striking. Our face is often black and white with piercing brown eyes. Our head is broad with a large muzzle. All parts of our body are muscular as you would expect for a dog that pulls sleds. We have a thick curly tail. Our coat is naturally thick with a coarse overcoat and a woolly undercoat. We can be seen in a variety of colours ranging from solid white through to solid black and shades of gold and liver brown. However our underbody, legs and feet are always white!
What do I need from you?
A sled?! Seriously, we’re not a fast dog but we have loads of endurance, which means we really need owners that like long walks. We’ll never tire so it would be up to you as to how far we go. We do need careful training. Although we are quite friendly with people and good with children, we do not always get on well with other dogs. Good initial training should help to socialise us. However, our natural personality is strong independence. This means we struggle to obey an owner’s every command. This means we really need a trainer that understands us and how to keep us motivated.
What I will give in return
Well in bad weather, you’ll want us around although there is more to us than coping with snow. We are great at agility and make a good show dog – equally we make good pets. We tend not to be the best watch dogs in the world. We tend to be accepting of most people so discriminating good from bad is not always easy. Also we are not great barkers – which is really more a howl in our case!
How big will I get?
We grow to around 25in – 28in (64cm – 71cm) and can weigh up to 125lb (56kg).
How long should I be around for?
Alaskan Malamutes have a reasonable life span, due perhaps to our genetic disposition to survival. We should live to around 11 years but can equally survive for as long as 16 years.
We’re currently recruiting breeders and adopters to go here. Could that be you?
Our own special community
Disclaimer: the views expressed on this page and any comments below are only a guide to typical traits and views on the breed. Individual circumstance and traits will always vary so we can be in no way responsible for any of the information provided.