Alaskan Malamute Guide – Breed Information

Country of origin: USA
Shoulder height: 56 – 66 cm
Weight: 34 – 43 kg
Age: 12 – 14 years
Colour: light gray to black and sable with or without white
Use: Companion dog, sled dog

The Alaskan Malamute is the largest of the four sled dog breeds (Malamute, Greenland DogSiberian Husky, and Samoyed ). He is a persistent, strong dog that needs a lot of living space, meaningful tasks, and careful training. The stubborn nature boy is not suitable for dog beginners or life in the city.

Origin and history

The Alaskan Malamute is one of the oldest arctic dog breeds and originated in Siberia. The ancestors of the Mahlemiut Inuit tribe crossed the Bering Strait from Siberia to Alaska. Over the years of isolation, the Nordic dogs that we brought with us developed into the “dog of the Mahlemiutes”, the Alaskan Malamute.

These extremely powerful and enduring dogs were used by the Inuits for centuries as hunting helpers and pack animals. Only at the beginning of the 20th century did they also become popular in sled dog sports. Pure breeding of this breed began in 1926. In 1935, the breed standard was officially formulated and recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC).


The Alaskan Malamute is the largest and most powerful sled dog. Its muscular and stocky build makes it clear that this dog was bred for heavy-pack work and not for sled dog racing. In contrast to the Siberian Husky, the Malamute has a much heavier build. It has a broad head with a massive muzzle that narrows only slightly from base to nose. The eyes are almond-shaped and set at an angle. In contrast to the husky, the malamute never has blue eyes, but always brown eyes. The triangular erect ears appear relatively small about the large head.

The fur of the Alaskan Malamute is also thicker and denser than that of the Husky. It consists of a rough, smooth top coat and plenty of undercoats. The top coat varies in length, as does the undercoat. It is relatively short to medium length on the sides of the body while being longer around the neck and shoulders, down the back, on the hamstrings, and the bushy tail. The tail is carried over the back.

Malamutes can have a variety of coat colors – from light gray to black and sable with or without white. Typical is a head drawing that extends over the head like a cap, with the face being either entirely white or showing a line and/or mask.


The Alaskan Malamute has a calm, easy-going disposition, being friendly and outgoing with people, but not particularly bonding with one person. He has a pronounced hunting instinct, is considered dominant, assertive, and not very willing to submit. Its protective and watchful instincts, on the other hand, are not particularly developed.

With its strong will and irrepressible power, the Malamute is not a dog for beginners. He needs a “pack leader” with expertise, experience, leadership qualities, and the will to deal intensively with the dog. Raising a malamute requires a lot of empathy, patience, and consistency without any harshness. From puppyhood to old age, the self-reliant Malamute will continually try to push the boundaries and tip the established hierarchy in its favor.

The Alaskan Malamute is not an apartment or city dog. He needs a lot of living space and to be outdoors. He should have the opportunity to work on the sled or wagon. The Malamute only becomes a well-balanced, friendly family member if it is sufficiently busy with work and activities in the great outdoors.

The dense double coat is easy to care for but sheds profusely during spring and fall molting.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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