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Alaskan Malamute

Country/Date of Origin: United States/3000 BC

This is the sled dog of stamina and strength rather than speed. The Malamute gets its name from the Malamute tribe, an Inuit people of northwestern Alaska. These nomadic Eskimos used the dogs to haul their possessions between camps. The breed type was stabilized in the 1920s and accepted for showing in the American Kennel Club in 1935. After that the Malamute gained immense recognition because of its use as a war dog.

Other Names Body Type Personality Coat Health Concerns

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AKC Group: Working

Breed Club: Alaskan Malamute Club of America

Rescue Club: Alaskan Malamute Assistance League

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Body Type:

  • A sled dog of the Spitz family. Compact and muscular with a wolf-like expression
  • Height: 23-28 inches (at shoulder)
  • Weight: 85-125 pounds
  • The tail is large, plumed and carried over the back. It is never altered
  • The ears are erect and are not altered. In line with what you would expect from a Northern dog, the ears are small and heavily furred.


  • Quarrelsome with other dogs
  • Friendly by nature towards humans but really stubborn
  • Prefers to be outdoors
  • Not easily trained


  • Thick double coat of short to medium length; the outer coat is coarse and the undercoat is oily and woolly
  • Permissible colors are various shades of gray to black with white underbody and white marking on legs, feet and face
  • Sheds heavily in the spring. At other times grooming is moderate

Health Concerns:

  • Usually very hardy
  • Possible hip dysplasia
  • Subject to anemia
  • Possible day blindness
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Tasty Tidbits:
  • Admiral Byrd used Alaskan Malamutes on his polar expeditions
  • The legendary Balto, who carried the diphtheria serum to the stranded children of Nome, was an Alaskan Malamute
  • Endurance is legendary, as is strength; an Alaskan Malamute can carry a pack that weighs 50 pounds twenty miles or more a day for extended periods
  • Reverts to pack instincts when in the company of other dogs
  • Big, strong and bold, this is not a breed for the first-time dog owner

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