Alaskan Malamute History
The Malamute is a descendant of dogs of the Mahlemuits tribe of upper western Alaska. These dogs had a prominent role with their human companions – working, hunting, and living alongside them. They are a member of the spitz family and ancestral remains have been dated back 2000 to 3000 years ago. During the Klondike gold rush of 1896, these dogs became extremely popular for their abilities to haul large amounts of freight over long distances.
Alaskan Malamute Temperament
Malamutes are generally friendly towards people, but they can have a aloof attitude and be independent. They do require a lot of exercise and prefer to run. They can be a socially dominant dog that can be agressive around same sex dogs and animals smaller than itself. This is not a dog breed that should be handled by a first time dog owner. Malamutes can also be easily bored which can lead to destructive behaviors like howling or digging.
Alaskan Malamute Appearance
Malamutes are large dogs and usually weigh between 70 to 85 pounds and stand 23 to 26 inches at the withers. They are a double coated breed and have an outer coat of guard hairs with a soft, downy under coat. Malamutes have pricked ears and a large, fluffy tail that it carried in a curl over it's back. The usual colors are various shades of gray and white, sable and white, black and white, red and white, or pure white.
Alaskan Malamute Grooming
Since Malamutes have a heavy double coat, it must be groomed frequently to keep up appearances which is usually once or twice weekly. These dogs are heavy seasonal shedders, as well.
Alaskan Malamute Life Expectancy and Health Problems
The average lifespan of an Alaskan Malamute is 10 to 14 years. The most common health problems that Malamutes have are Hip Displaysia, cancer and Cataracts.
Famous Alaskan Malamutes
In the 1960's the television show Yukon Challenge featured an Alaskan malamute named Yukon King. This show was an adaptation of the popular radio drama Sargent Preston of the Yukon and His Wonder Dog King.
Malamutes were also featured in the movie Eight Below.
Alaskan Malamute Pros and Cons
This simplified list may help you decide if an Alaskan Malamute might be a good fit for your lifestyle.
Do You Want
- a big fluffy dog?
- a dog that needs a lot of exercise like running?
Do You NOT Want
- a dog that is a heavy seasonal shedder and that requires a lot of grooming?
- a dog that REALLY likes to run?
- a dog that will howl when bored?
- a dog that can be aggressive toward other dogs and smaller animals?
- a dog that doesn't cope well in warm weather?
- a strong-willed and independent dog?
Useful Alaskan Malamute Links