Aug 8, 2013
Origin and brief history
The Alaskan malamute has a long history of working alongside humans as the breed has been used by the Eskimo groups of upper Alaska as all-purpose dogs for over 3000 years and is one of only a handful of dogs that can be considered ancient. They were used as hunting and working dogs as well as sled dogs due to their strength and stamina. These were the traits that also made these dogs very popular during the Alaskan gold rush of the late 19th century. They were also used during world war 2 as search and rescue dogs and can be considered a truly domesticated dog.
Due to the length of time this breed has coexisted with humans they are very fond and comfortable around people. They still retain a lot of their wolf like instincts though and have been known to attack smaller animals and pets (especially if in a group) The howl rather than bark and need lots of exercise and time outdoors otherwise their behavior can deteriorate. As they are very intelligent they can be hard to train and could be considered stubborn. They must be constantly stimulated and challenged or they will become bored.
The two coats of the Malamute are very different from each other with the upper coat being wiry and the undercoat being oily and thick(this also makes them waterproof). They are very clean and odor free and as such need minimal bathing to ensure the coat is not damaged by chemicals. The coat needs brushing once a month as the Malamute will groom itself very well. The dog will shed at random and this can be influenced by the weather but with regular brushing this should not be a problem.
Specification of breed
The dog is a mid-range breed and the females will grow to about 75 pounds and the males about 10 pounds heavier. The tails are bushy like those of a fox and can reach all the way around the head when the dog is curled up (this is how the dog protects its face against the cold). Coloration is normally black and white with the legs and chest being the white part. They are very compact and strong with large feet and muscly legs.
As mentioned above the dog should not be kept with smaller animals as the hunting instinct will easily kick in and they can also be difficult to train so the owner needs to be able to challenge the animal constantly. The malamute does often suffer from diabetes which will appear from about age 5 and cancer which will kill about one third of all dogs. If the animal is healthy they will live as long as 15 years and will be active all the way until they die.
image credit wikipedia.org