The Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamute mom and pup

Power and Beauty

Strikingly beautiful and incredibly powerful, the Malamute is an impressive creature. Given that they were originally bred by the Innuit to haul sleds through extreme Arctic conditions, it is not surprising that they retain certain traits to this day: tenacity, endurance, strong character to mention only a few.

Experienced owners of Malamutes will often say that they would choose no other breed, but for first time owners, a Malamute can be more than a handful.

Alaskan Malamute Puppies

Alaskan Malamute puppiesUnlike some of the other larger breeds which are content to be couch potatoes, Malamutes need a lot of exercise. As a youngster expect your Malamute puppy to be ricocheting off the walls with energy. A tired puppy is a good puppy but you should not overstress growing bones with too much physical strain (especially jumping) so how to burn off some off that excess? Lots and lots of games.

As an intelligent dog, Malamutes need both mental and physical stimulation. Playing with your pup, lots of early training exercises and having fun will both help you bond with the pup and tire the little blighter out.

Though very people friendly Malamutes need a lot of socialization with other dogs. In general they are good with kids but again, introducing children to the pup under controlled circumstances and from an early age is the key.  As with all breeds, it is a good idea to read as much as you can about their general temperament, conformation and any health problems that might be commonly found in the breed.

Despite their long coats, Malamutes do not shed excessively most of the time but they will ‘blow’ their coat twice a year. If you are considering a Malamute for your family be prepared for snowstorms of undercoat every six months.

Malamutes are sensitive to diet. They are enthusiastic about food but eat less than you would expect them to for their size. Too rich a diet can cause ‘hot spots’, irritating patches of red skin and loose hair.

Genetically Malamutes can be prone to hip dysplasia and eye problems though a reputable breeder will have undertaken the necessary screening to ensure that the line your pup comes from is free of these disorders.

Do I have a Malamute or a Husky?

Unless you have bought from a breeder you may have rescued a ‘husky’ type dog but be unsure as whether he is more Malamute or Siberian Husky. What are the differences? Malamutes are bigger for one thing, chunky, like big teddy bears. They have large heads, thick coats and an imposing presence. Huskies are finer, moref oxy, with a more pronounced ‘stop’ – that drop from forehead to nose.

Malamute’s eyes are not blue. They may be warm to dark brown but it is the Siberian’s that have the startling blue eyes although their eyes may also be blue or even mixed – one blue one brown.

There are differences in character too. Siberian’s can be crazy-active, extremely hyper and even destructive if not mentally and physically exercised enough. Mal’s while still needing both mental and physical workouts, are more laid back

Both Malamutes and Siberian Huskies are fabulous dogs, but not necessarily for first time dog owners.

If you feel that an Alaskan malamute might be the perfect addition to your pack, you might want to investigate the various Malamute Rescue websites for your area. If there is no appropriate link for you here just Google for it, e.g. Alaskan Malamute Rescue UK.

Alaskan Malamute Rescue

Canada: Alaskan Malamute Help League

US: Alaskan Malamute Assistance League