Alaskan Malamute Dog Breed Profile

by Dr. Chris

Alaskan Malamute Dog

Alaskan Malamute Dog

AKC Group: Working Group

The Alaskan Malamute is sturdy, strong, rugged dog which one might expect given its origins as a hauler. Today they are used as pets and for "mushing" though they are not as fast as some smaller breeds.


The Malamute is one of the oldest dogs, with its history tracing back some 2000-3000 years. It was once crossed with wolves and is one of the most "unadulterated" of the AKC breeds, staying true to its original form and function.

It is a descendant of the dogs of the Mahlemut tribes of upper Alaska. They worked alongside their human companions and their sturdy composition allowed them to thrive in the harsh climate above the Arctic Circle.

Physical Features

Today's dog tends to be approximately 23-26 inches in height and will weigh about 75-90 pounds. They have the dense, double coat typical of the northern dog. The coat is thick and of sufficient length to cover a wooly, oily undercoat. Their usual colors are shades of gray and white, sable and white, black and white; some are red and white or just plain white.

Facial markings are important and include a "cap" over the head when the body color is all white or a bar/ mask. The eyes are slanted and shades of brown which can be dark to light brown and are alert and appear curious. The head of the Malamute is broad and the ears are erect and triangular in shape.

The dog has a proud stance with heavy bones and it is slightly longer than it is tall. The tail is furry and hangs curled over the rump, but is not cork-screwed as the Akita's.


The Alaskan Malamute is playful when invited to play; as it matures it becomes more "dignified." This is an affectionate, friendly pet. It is a loyal, devoted companion. It is efficient as a watchdog and will alert owners to things that are suspicious. If used as working dog it may want to dominate; but otherwise not dominant.

Common Health Problems

They are prone to hip dysplasia, hereditary cataracts and polyneuropathy, chondrodysplasia, heart defects and PDA.

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