Alaskan Malamute

 

The Alaskan Malamute is one of the sled dog breeds. They descend from the dogs bred by the natives of Alaska. The Malamute is considered a “basal” breed meaning they predate the emergence of modern breeds. In their ancestral home, they are used as working dogs and hunting dogs. They can pull sleds but are not fast enough for racing. They are typically between 70-90 pounds.

 

The Alaskan Malamute was bred and adapted to a harsh environment. Their temperament reflect that adaptation. They are independent and resourceful. They have a very high prey drive and Malamute owners should be watchful of their dogs when they are around small children and small animals. Malamutes are very people friendly which makes them great family dogs, but poor watch dogs. They are nimble inside homes, so they can live inside, but they require a lot of exercise. Malamutes do not bark much, but they do vocalize in a way that is reminiscent of talking! They also can howl.

 

Malamutes are still used as sled dogs, but only for hauling freight or for trips that do not require great speed. They are too slow for racing. But the majority of Malamutes are family pets these days. Alaskan Malamutes are occasionally used in weight pulling contests where they do very well. They require a lot of exercise so they are best in a home where their physical demands can be met. The Malamute has a very thick coat with an outer coat and an under coat. This is what keeps them warm in the icy conditions of the frozen north. But down at lower latitudes, it can cause them to overheat. Given a Malamute access to a wading pool in summer is a good idea. In the winter, they of course love playing in the snow!

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