Alaskan Malamute

With that said, I’m sure you can’t wait to find your Alaskan Malamute and start this journey into dog ownership. And I hope that you will find this article helpful in deciding if an Alaskan Malamute is the right pet for you.

Alaskan Malamutes are a beautiful breed of dog with a rich history. While they have high exercise needs and require frequent grooming, they make good family companions.

Malamute History

The Alaskan Malamute is one of the oldest Arctic sled dogs. They have been used for transport in their native Alaska since before Westerners arrived. Captain William Barry was the first Westerner to write about this breed, describing them as a “large and powerful dog, used by the natives in drawing their sleds.”

The Natives credit the wolf with teaching them how to train dogs and use them for pulling sleds. The Malamute’s ancestors are believed to be some of the first domesticated dogs on earth, with an origin in Asia. They were brought to North America by way of migration thousands of years ago.

The original tribe that inhabited what is now known as Alaska had traveled across the frozen waters from Siberia, bringing their favorite companions along with them: these hardy and reliable canines who would later become known as Alaskan Malamutes.

Are Alaskan Malamutes part wolf?

If you’re even vaguely familiar with Alaskan Malamutes, you probably already know that they look an awful lot like wolves. For this reason, many people find themselves wondering whether the two are actually related. The short answer is: no. The long answer is a little more complicated than that, but it’s certainly a question worth exploring if you want to learn more about these gorgeous dogs and their history!

Malamutes are visually quite similar to wolves in that both species have double coats of fur (that is, a top layer called the guard hair and an undercoat), pointed ears, and bushy tails. However, Malamutes have shorter legs than wolves do, leading some scientists to speculate that they may be descended from coyotes instead of from wolves.

Other differences between the two breeds include skull shape—wolf skulls typically have longer jaws than those of malamute puppies—and coat coloration: most malamutes will be varying shades of gray mixed with cream or black, while wolves tend toward being pure white or all brown/black in coloration.

Another difference between the two breeds is eye coloration; many malamute puppies have blue eyes at birth which change over time into green as they mature into adulthood, while wolf eyes remain dark throughout their lives. This change in eye color can be attributed to melanin deposits within each pup’s irises (the colored part).

Characteristics of the Alaskan Malamute

In summary, here’s what you should know about the Alaskan Malamute:

  • They are large dogs. Male Alaskan Malamutes weigh between 75 and 85 pounds, whereas females range from 65 to 75 pounds.
  • They are heavy boned. This means that despite their size, they don’t look like huskies or greyhounds. Instead of being tall and skinny, they’re thick and sturdy—built for pulling heavy loads in cold weather over long distances.
  • They have a double coat. The top layer of fur is usually gray and white, while the undercoat can be lighter shades of gray as well as brown and black. They get really fluffy in wintertime!
  • They are friendly (but not always). Because of their history working with humans in teams, these dogs tend to bond closely with their owners—though there are exceptions to every rule, especially when it comes to individual personalities.

alaskan malamute dog

Size and weight

How big are they? Well, the weight of Alaskan Malamutes ranges from 75 to 85 pounds for males, and 65 to 75 pounds for females. The height at withers (the highest point of their back) is between 23 and 25 inches for males, and 21 to 23 inches for females.

While these characteristics can vary slightly depending on the size of the sire and dam, a good breeder will be able to tell you exactly what you can expect about your puppy’s adult size.

Malamutes are definitely not small dogs—so if you want something tiny or cuddly, this isn’t the breed for you!


  • The Alaskan Malamute is a beautiful-looking dog with a thick, fluffy coat.
  • They have strong bodies and are suitable for cold climates.
  • Their tails are bushy and curl up over their backs at all times.


  • Alaskan Malamutes have a very thick coat that should be brushed weekly, and daily during shedding season. They do not need to be bathed too often.
  • Brushing will help keep their coat from becoming matted and remove any dead hair. These dogs shed a lot, and it’s important to use the right brush for grooming your dog since they have such a heavy double-coat.
  • The Malamute requires an experienced owner who has plenty of space, time, and attention to spare. These dogs love human company, so leaving them alone for hours at a time is unfair on them.
  • You mustn’t let them get bored either – if you can’t provide enough exercise or mental stimulation they’re likely to become destructive or aggressive.
  • They thrive in cold climates, but are ill-suited to warmer weather as they are highly sensitive to heat; they may also be susceptible to cold air too! Alaskan Malamutes can live outside in colder climates, provided that there is good shelter from wind and rain (they do like snow).
  • In some countries, it may be illegal for your dog’s breed type not having access inside during extreme temperatures – even though the malamute is not one of these types of dogs who would like this – because he would much rather just spend every waking moment with his family!


  • The Alaskan malamute is a generally healthy dog breed.
  • With that being said, there are common health issues you should be aware of.
  • Ask your vet about hip dysplasia, which can lead to arthritis and pain for malamutes.
  • Also ask your vet about eye diseases, like cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy.
  • Keep an eye on your malamute’s weight, especially if you live in warmer climates. Extra fat makes malamutes more likely to develop diabetes!


The temperament is the combination of mental and emotional traits that a dog displays. It’s affected by genetics, environment, and training. Temperament is a lifelong characteristic, so it’s important to remember that individual Malamutes may not be good with children.

However, breed-wide, most Malamutes are excellent with children if they have been socialized properly.


Although Malamutes are sometimes used as sled dogs, they are not true racing sled dogs like huskies or other similar breeds. They were bred to carry heavy loads over long distances and do well in both cold- and warm-weather climates.

Malamutes excel at pulling heavy loads over moderate distances, making them ideal for recreational mushing and weight pulling. They don’t tolerate the monotony of running on a dog sled team day after day, but they love to run and play around in the snow with their family.

Together, these qualities make the Alaskan Malamute a wonderful companion dog for active families who can provide plenty of exercise opportunities for this large working breed.


Alaskan Malamutes are known for their loyal, affectionate nature. They tend to be playful and are generally good with other dogs. However, they can be destructive both inside and outside your home if left alone for long periods of time. They also have a tendency to dig holes in the garden or escape from the backyard by digging under the fence.

Unlike some breeds, Malamutes are not fierce protectors of their owners or property. This means they will not alert you when someone approaches your home and most likely greets friends and strangers alike with an open mouth and wagging tail (which may result in friendly slobber).

These dogs can make excellent companions in the home, but may not be suitable for families with young children who have yet to learn how to interact safely with animals (they could easily knock the dog over).

Are Malamutes hard to train?

Training a Malamute can be a challenge, but it’s not necessarily difficult. They are intelligent dogs and will learn quickly with consistent training. However, they can be stubborn and need a strong leader that they respect.

The best way to train your Malamute is to establish yourself as their pack leader from the start by setting boundaries, rules, and expectations regarding behavior.

Malamutes also tend to be very independent and may think for themselves rather than following your commands. This does not mean that you shouldn’t train them—it simply means it could take more work than with other breeds.

You can achieve success by being firm but fair in your training sessions when your dog is young and still learning right from wrong behaviors. Remember that positive reinforcement is always better than yelling or punishment as an adult!

Are Alaskan Malamutes good family dogs?

Alaskan Malamutes are usually very friendly and sociable with people, other dogs, and other kinds of animals. They are often considered to be great family dogs, but there are some factors to consider before adding one to your family.

Alaskan Malamutes can be a good addition to a family with children, as long as the children are old enough to understand that the dog is not a toy or playmate and treated appropriately. The Alaskan Malamute will typically do fine with other pets if raised or introduced properly.

What is the difference between a husky and Alaskan Malamute?

If you find yourself asking what the difference is between a Siberian Husky and an Alaskan Malamute, it’s because they might seem very similar at first glance.

Both are large, fluffy dogs with light-colored eyes and thick fur that can withstand subzero temperatures. They’re also both working breeds. But here are some things to look for when distinguishing between the two:

  • Size: Huskies are smaller than Malamutes—the average adult male weighs 45 pounds, while an adult male Malamute can weigh up to about 100 pounds;
  • Weight: The heaviest Siberian Husky ever weighed was only 81 pounds, but the heaviest Alaskan Malamute on record weighed 150 pounds;
  • Purpose: While both of these dogs were bred to pull heavy loads over long distances through extreme climates, huskies were developed as sled dogs throughout their history (going all the way back to Siberia), while malamutes have been used for hauling lighter loads on dry land for thousands of years.

How much do Alaskan Malamutes usually cost?

Alaskan Malamutes are one of the more expensive dog breeds. According to PuppyFind, most purebred Alaskan Malamute puppies cost between $1,500 and $3,500. The exact price will depend on several factors like the reputation of the breeder, bloodline, and appearance.


The Alaskan Malamute is like the Siberian Husky in many respects, but it’s a different breed. While this article might not have taught you everything there is to know about Alaskan Malamutes, I hope it gave you a better understanding of this magnificent dog that was bred by the Mahlemut Inuit of Alaska.

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