Alaskan Malamute: from sledge dog to family dog

Alaskan Malamute in de sneeuw

The Alaskan Malamute comes from Alaska and was used there in the past to pull heavy loads on the sled. This impressive dog looks powerful and muscular. Besides its imposing appearance, the Alaskan Malamute has a fine character that makes it suitable as a family dog. They are friendly, social and obedient.

Towards their owner they are devoted and affectionate. This dog breed is energetic and loves to exercise. They can play independently, but also like to do activities with their owner. Are you curious about the Alaskan Malamute and would you like to learn more about this dog breed? Then read this article!

 

The history: the official state dog of Alaska

The Alaskan Malamute is native to the Arctic and is one of the oldest sled dog breeds. It is thought to be the descendants of wolf dogs that lived some four thousand years ago. Since 2010, the Alaskan Malamute has been the official state dog of Alaska. The name is derived from the people who lived in northwest Alaska, namely the Mahlemiut. They developed the Alaskan Malamute, and these dogs were initially used for pulling sleds.

They also had other duties such as carrying heavy backpacks, locating breathing holes in the ice for seals, and distracting bears while hunting. The difference from a Siberian Husky is that the Alaskan Malamute has been compared to a cargo ship. They pull large loads on the sled and have a low speed. A Siberian Husky has a higher speed, but can carry a lighter load.

 

The character: affectionate, playful and loyal

The Alaskan Malamute is playful, affectionate and devoted. They are friendly dogs that are loyal to their owner. It is a strong dog breed and can have a mind of its own. Because of their friendly nature, an Alaskan Malamute is not suitable as a watchdog.

By nature they have a strong instinct, so it is important to keep an eye on these dogs around small animals. The dogs should be well socialized as a puppy and have good experiences with other (domestic) animals, people and children. It is very important to help the dog with this, then they generally become social dogs who like to work for their owners.

They are energetic dogs and it is important that they get enough exercise. They prefer to play outside all day. In warm weather you must be careful that they do not get too hot because of their thick coat.

Alaskan Malamute geeft pootje

The appearance of an Alaskan Malamute

The Alaskan Malamute is an impressive dog to see. He has a powerful and muscular body. In general, an Alaskan Malamute stands up straight and has a proud attitude. A male dog weighs an average of 38 kg and has a height at the withers between 55 and 63 centimeters. A female weighs an average of 31 kg and has a height at the withers between 50 and 58 centimeters.

The head of an Alaskan Malamute is broad. The eyes are medium sized and almond or brown in color. The ears are erect and are triangular. In proportion to the rest of the head, the ears are small. The muzzle is bulky and not pointed or long. The tail is well haired and is carried over the back. The legs of an Alaskan Malamute are broad and muscular.

The Alaskan Malamute has a thick coat that consists of two layers. The undercoat is woolly and the top coat is coarse and has enough length to protect the skin. In the summer, the coat is often somewhat thinner and shorter. The coat can have different colors and markings ranging from white to silver-gray to black. The facial marking is a distinguishing feature, it consists of a completely white face and is marked with a bar and/or mask.

 

The grooming

The Alaskan Malamute has a thick, waterproof double coat that is well adapted to the cold in Alaska. The coat requires a lot of maintenance and should be brushed every day. This is best done with and pin brush and a metal comb. Twice a year an Alaskan Malamute sheds more and must also be brushed with an undercoat rake. When brushing, be alert for mold and mats in the coat.

Every six to eight weeks an Alaskan Malamute needs a bath. If the coat feels dry, you can use a conditioner specifically for dogs. You should not do this too often and only use it when the coat feels dry.

The nails should be checked regularly and trimmed if necessary. If there is brine on the streets in the winter, it is important to check the soles of the feet and rinse them with water. Teeth should also be checked regularly and, if necessary, brushed with special dog toothpaste. If there is dirt in the corners of the eyes, then it is important to clean it. Cleaning with a damp paper towel is often sufficient.

Besides the external care, the physical care of an Alaskan Malamute is also very important. Make sure your dog gets enough exercise to get rid of his energy.