This large, powerful spitz-type dog has long been used by North American Inuit to hunt polar bears and wolves and to guard caribou herds. Arctic explorers teamed Malamutes to haul sleds on expeditions to the North Pole. In summer, the Malamutes were saddled with packs weighing as much as 22.5 kilograms (50 pounds), which they carried as far as 32 kilometers (20 miles a day). Though the snowmobile has reduced the usefulness of the Malamute, the dog remains a beloved family pet and guard dog.
Origin of Alaskan Malamute
The Alaskan Malamute is believed to descend from the boreal wolf. The pure strain of Malamute would have become extinct if not for the efforts of a few determined breeders.
Characteristics of Alaskan Malamute
General appearance: hardy, compact, well-built.
Height: under F.C.I. standards, 55 to 67 cm (21 '/, to 26'/, in.). under American standards, 63.5 cm (25 in.).
Weight: under F.C.I. standards, 29 to 35 kg (64 to 77 Ib). Under American standards, 38.6 kg (85 Ib) for the adult dog; 34 kg (75 Ib) for the bitch. Elsewhere, 38.6 to 56.7 kg (85 to 125 Ib).
Head: large, well proportioned. Broad skull, slightly rounded between the ears. Broad, thick muzzle. Black nose. Strong jaws. Broad, strong teeth. Scissor bite.
Eyes: large, almond-shaped, dark, slanting.
Ears: small, wide-set at back of head, triangular.
Body: powerful, well-developed, deep chest, straight back sloping gently to hips, very muscular loin.
Tail: full, carried curved over the back.
Forequarters: legs strong, straight, and muscular.
Hindquarters: broad and very muscular thighs. Strong, well-balanced hocks.
Coat: thick, coarse outer coat; woolly undercoat.
Color: usually light gray or black and white.
Practical information about Alaskan Malamute
A hardy dog, rarely ill, the Alaskan Malamute needs exercise and prefers to live outside. It must be brushed and curried several times a week (daily when shedding). Training must be strict and consistent, without sacrificing encouragement and affection. The Malamute prefers the cold, but it can live in a temperate climate.