The Alaskan Malamute is a very strong breed and is the largest breed of dogs recognised by the UK Kennel Club as a sled dog. It's unique use was to pull overwhelming weights over long distances and their quality and continuance are second to none.
The name "Malamute" gets from the indigenous Mahlemut tribes of Alaska who utilized this specific kind of canine for chasing to catch seals and polar bears and to pull the seeker's substantial loads over the solidified tundra. Amid the Gold Rush the requirement for sled puppies expanded, breeds were combined to create diverse sorts of substance and quality. Be that as it may, because of the remoteness of the Mahlemut tribe, their mutts remained generally untainted and unadulterated.
The breed was authoritatively perceived by the American Kennel Club in 1935. The first malamutes were imported into the UK back in 1959. The Alaskan Malamute can be found in the Working Group classification of the Kennel Club Breeds. They had a Rare Breed Classification until the Breed was finally given the Challenge Certificates in 2006.
The Alaskan Malamute is probably one of the hardest-working dog breeds in the world. It is a heavy-boned, powerful dog with a strong, well-muscled body, deep chest, powerful shoulders, alert eyes and a head that stands erect and proud. The brown eyes are almond shaped and of medium size. It has a broad head with medium-sized, triangular ears that stand erect and point slightly forward when the dog is alert, but sometimes folded against the skull when the dog is at work. It has a bulky muzzle that is neither pointed nor long with a black nose, lips and eye rims (except for red coats where the nose, lips and eye rims can be brown). The Malamute’s double coat is made up of a thick, coarse top coat of sufficient length with a dense, oily, woolly undercoat that is 2.5 cm to 5 cm in length. This helps protect the breed against the harsh, Arctic conditions. The coat comes in a variety of colours with face markings that distinguish the Alaskan Malamute from other breed of dogs. These markings include a cap over the head, with a bar and/or mask on the face or its either an all-white face. The well-feathered tail is carried over the back with an appearance of a waving plume – a true hallmark of the breed.
The front legs and the hind legs are well-muscled and heavily boned, which are required for this hard-working breed. The stifles are moderately bent. The feet of the Malamute are tight and deep with well-cushioned pads and protective hairs in between toes, truly well-adapted to the unforgiving weather of Alaska.
A typical male Alaskan Malamute weighs up to 39 kg and is on average 64 cm tall from the withers while a female can weigh up to 34 kg and stands at 59 cm tall from withers.
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.