Affectionate, Cheerful, Friendly, Loyal, Playful
The Alaskan Malamute is one of the oldest Arctic sled dogs. An expert study published in July 2013, showed that the Malamute has a similar East Asian origin to other Arctic sled dogs (Inuit, Eskimo and Greenland dogs) and probably a mix of Siberian Husky. These sled dogs predates the European settlers that came to America along with their dogs.
The breed got its name from the Inuit of the Mahlemut tribe in upper western Alaska and was primarily used as an all-around working and hunting dog. It has an excellent hunting instinct and was used by the tribe in hunting large game such as bears and seals. This mutually beneficial relationship enabled the dog and the Mahlemut tribe to prosper in the harsh Arctic tundra. In 1896, at the start of the Klondike Gold Rush, the Alaskan Malamute and other breeds of sled dogs became in-demand to the newly arrived prospectors and settlers. Some were crossbred with other sled dogs and were used as freighting sled dogs, pulling heavy loads at steady speeds.
The Alaskan Malamute is a special breed of working dog known for strength and endurance. It is very affectionate, friendly, loyal and a devoted companion. It loves people so it does make a good guard dog. It will use its independence and intellect to institute relationships with other people that it meets, whether a family member or stranger. It does not bark but it makes an intimidating howl.
The Alaskan Malamute is as strong-willed as it is friendly. When it decides to do something, it is often difficult to take away its attention from it. Early training in obedience during puppy stage is imperative in order to have a pet that will always listen to his master. Males are more dominant than females. Early socialization with people and other pet animals especially cats and other small animals is highly recommended.
The Alaskan Malamute has a dense double coat that is water repellent and requires regular grooming. Brushing once to thrice a week will help clean the coat of any dirt and loose hair. Brushing will also keep the coat and skin healthy as this will distribute the oil in the hairs evenly. It sheds heavily once or twice a year, in which case, it requires frequent brushing with a hard bristle brush or an undercoat wire brush to help keep the coat in good condition.
This hardy breed is a very robust dog that can take any extreme weather anytime. It is a highly adaptable dog that can withstand extreme cold and heat, provided that it is given shade and plenty of water to drink. It only requires little food but it will eat almost anything offered to it.
Common health issues known to affect the Alaskan Malamute include bloating, canine hip dysplasia and chondrodysplasia or dwarfism. A healthy breed will live between 8 to 10 years.
This breed is a hard-working dog that can travel miles and miles on end in its native environment. As a pet, the Alaskan Malamute needs a great deal of exercise. It will in fact, take as much exercise as you can throw at it. Regular daily exercise such as long walks is a must for this breed to stay physically and mentally fit. A bored Malamute can become destructive and will dig through plants and chew on whatever it can sink its teeth on. A well-fenced yard that is large enough for it to run around all day long is an ideal home for the Malamute. It is not suitable as an apartment dog because it is fairly active indoors.
Malamutes are generally a friendly breed towards people, but they don’t do well with other dogs especially those of the same sex. They are known to hunt down and kill other small animals, including cats and livestock. It is great with children old enough to handle a large breed and old enough to play with the dog safely.