Malamute in snowIntroduction to the Alaskan Malamute

The Breed for You?

Alaskan Malamutes are big, powerful, friendly, intelligent, active, superb-looking dogs.

They are also extremely stubborn, demanding and may be aggressive with other dogs. 

Their size and amazing strength makes them unsuitable for many people - they are simply too powerful to be left under the control of children or the elderly.  And while the fact that they do not usually bark can often be an advantage, they have a howl which will send shivers up any spine.

If you are not a person who enjoys getting out and involving yourself and your dog in a whole range of activities, this may not be the breed for you.  However, for those people looking for a dog whose lovable nature and extreme cuddle-ability is only matched by its intelligence and personality, the Alaskan Malamute offers a lifetime of enjoyment and fun.


Alaskan Malamutes are friendly, intelligent dogs that love all people. 

Because of this they are not guard dogs, although their size and appearance makes them an effective visual deterrent.  However, they are as strong-willed and determined as they are friendly, and should have obedience training from an early age.  If a Malamute makes up its mind to chase something, they are in most cases impossible to call back until they are ready to return.  For this reason they should not be walked off lead.

What’s more, this friendliness does not always extend to other dogs - especially those of the same sex.  Malamutes are not “one-man” dogs, offering blind faith and obedience.  Rather, they use their independence and intelligence to establish relationships with those people they come in contact with, be they family members or strangers.  They are superb companions, ready to please and eager to take part in an active and exciting life.

Malamute in the snowCare & Feeding

Bred for their ability to pull heavy loads over long distances, Alaskan Malamutes need a large amount of exercise and can take all the activity you can dish up.

The mental stimulation of regular exercise is also important, as a bored Malamute easily becomes a one-dog garden remodelling unit.  Good fences are essential.

They are a hardy, durable breed, capable of enduring extreme cold, yet also able to deal with the heat of an Australian summer given shade, plenty of cool water and the care of an owner who is aware of the dangers of overheating.  They should not be clipped or shaved.

They need surprisingly little food, having an extremely efficient metabolism.  However, a Malamute will eat anything it can lay its paws on - having a survival instinct which leads it to believe that any meal could be its last.  For this reason the Malamute owner needs to limit what gets put in the food bowl to prevent their Malamute from becoming overweight, which is very uncomfortable for the dog and can lead to serious health problems.

And, of course, there’s hair - they have a large drop at least once, sometimes twice, a year.  At other times of year all they require is a good brush to keep them clean.  Malamutes do not need much washing, in fact washing too frequently can dry out their coat and skin.

Malamutes backpackingActivities

The Alaskan Malamute Club offers a range of activities that the Malamute loves to do, including obedience, showing, sledding, weight-pulling and backpacking. 

To introduce newcomers to these activities the club conducts a number of “Introduction to Activities” days and displays throughout the year.  These events are an ideal way for new or prospective Malamute owners to find out more about the breed, and learn about the various activities in a friendly, non-competitive environment.  The club provides equipment and instructors at these days and we encourage Malamute owners to take the opportunity to try out what’s on offer. 

Another highlight of club activities is our annual Snow Weekend at Dinner Plain and all club members and their Malamutes are welcome to come along.

The Alaskan Malamute is the ideal breed for anyone who wants to enjoy everything the great outdoors has to offer, from leisurely neighourhood walks to snow sledding in the high country, from the glamour of dog shows to the excitement of sled dog racing and the challenge of obedience work.  Malamutes will happily take part in any activity their owners can organise.

Malamutes are hard working individuals who apply themselves to any task with enthusiasm and energy in abundance.

Malamutes snow sleddingThe Breed

Malamutes range in size with the desirable freighting sizes being:  Dogs - 63.5 cm (25 inches) at the shoulder, weight 38.5 kg, Bitches - 58.5 cm (23 inches) at the shoulder, weight 34 kg.  However, size considerations should not outweigh that of type, proportion, movement and other functional attributes.

Malamutes have a large head with wide set ears and brown eyes (blue eyes do not occur in Malamutes).

Markings on the head and body vary greatly, however they should be even.
Malamutes come in a variety of colours, from light grey through to black, sable and shadings of sable through to red.  All white is the only solid colour, however, all dogs have one thing in common - a thick course guard coat combined with a dense, woolly undercoat.

Questions to ask when buying a Malamute

·    Malamute puppiesHow long has the breeder been involved in the breed?
·    Does the breeder belong to the breed club?
·    Can you see the puppies?
·    Will the parents of the litter be there to view?
·    Are the puppies purebred with pedigree papers?
·    Have both parents been tested for thyroid and eye problems
·    Have both parents been x-rayed for hip & elbow dysplasia?
·    Are the health test results available for you to view?
·    Does the breeder offer a guarantee?
·    Will you or the breeder select the puppy?
·    How much will the puppy cost?
·    Does the breeder provide information about the breed?

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