A fairly large and strong draft dog, formerly known as the “locomotive of the North”. Physically fit, strong, with thick, hard bristles with an abundant undercoat. Balanced, devoted to the family, but without excessive exuberance. The energy spreading the Alaskan Malamute must find an outlet somewhere, so providing movement and new challenges should be one of the most important tasks of its owner. Its existence is due to Innuitów, also called Mahlamutes (hence the name of the breed).
Alaskan malamute is a dog with a strong character, balanced and willing to work. He has a lot of independence, so he will never surrender to a man. Gentle and friendly to people, he is not suitable as a watchman.
For dogs kept in the garden, remember to keep the fence tight and high enough. Malamutes are escape masters – they can undermine, jump over a two-meter fence and even climb a net. The tendency to hunt means that when released loose, they can chase a deer or a hare. They forget about the whole world and do not respond to the call. Usually, the pursuit does not last long and after a while, the dog returns to the owner himself.
Representatives of this breed like to live in a family and should not be isolated. Their relationships with children are good. They are patient and tolerant of them, but as with any dog, their play should be monitored. Malamutes are strong animals, so children should not walk them on their own.
A malamute’s friendly attitude towards people does not mean that he will treat quadrupeds in a similar way. Relations between dogs in their own herd are not always correct. Same-sex individuals may not accept. Malamutes exhibit dominant behavior towards foreign kins, but not provoked should not attack. Other pets will accept if we get used to them.
The dog of this breed is hardy, lively and active. It is necessary to provide him with classes, a lot of movement and new challenges. He does not have to run in a team, you can find another form of training for him – jogging or running with a bike will effectively discharge his energy. Bored and left alone, the malamute makes life difficult for the household members and neighbors.
The Alaskan malamute was called the “locomotive of the North”. In addition to carrying loads, he helped in hunting and defended against predators. During both world wars, it was used to transport the wounded and equipment.
Currently, it is primarily a dog for sport and company. You can compete in dog sled races, go skiing (a dog in a harness pulls a man on skis), bikejoring (a dog pulls a bike), canicross (cross-country walking), dogtrekking (walking with a dog), take part in pull tests (weithpulling). There are also dogs of this breed that compete even in agility, and selected and specially trained also work well in dogotherapy.
Training and education
Malamut is an intelligent, intelligent dog, eager to learn, but does not like monotonous exercises. It requires an individual approach, consistency and appropriate motivation. Works best in short 10-15 minutes sessions.
He does not strictly comply with the guide and does not immediately follow the instructions, so you need to spend a lot of time on training and be very patient. The key to success is to develop an individual relationship with the mentee. It is best to start learning at the dog kindergarten.
Dogs of this breed can be prepared for teamwork from the age of six months. However, he cannot be pushed either physically or mentally – work should be a pleasure for him, otherwise, he will be discouraged. Workouts start at small distances, gradually lengthening them. The animal is also accustomed to pulling, e.g. by attaching a weight-matched tire to the harness. You can also teach him basic commands.
Young dogs learn to work in a team by running with an experienced individual. Growing animals of this breed cannot pull heavy things (e.g. sleds) or run by bicycle until the end of the year. Let’s not allow them to jump and race with grown-ups. It is better not to drag during the teeth exchange period, because you can deform the bite.
Who is this race for?
Malamut is not a dog for everyone. It has a strong character and considerable requirements. It is not suitable for housemates, it should lead an active lifestyle.
Advantages and disadvantages
- tends to self-drive
- bored can howl and destroy things
- manifests dominant behavior towards individuals of the same sex
- sociable, likes to be with the family
- gentle to people
- gets along well with children
- active, can play dog sports
- barely barks
Alaskan malamute is resistant by nature and rarely has health problems. Has a tendency to hip dysplasia (sometimes elbow). In our country, you do not need to be tested for these diseases, however, the Alaskan Malamute Breed Club operating at the Kennel Club in Poland introduced such an obligation for all dogs used in breeding (the acceptable result is A or B, and it is not recommended to pair two individuals with B).
There are genetic eye diseases: cataracts, PRA (progressive retinal atrophy), distichiasis (a defect involving the presence of an additional row or individual eyelashes at the inner edge of the lower edge of the eye that can irritate the sclera). Sometimes there is hypothyroidism and a hair disease called coat funk (alopecia) – the hair becomes weak and brittle, falls out and does not grow back despite treatment.
Mention should also be made of chondrodysplasia (genetic dwarfism), which leads to inhibition of limb bone growth and curvature, with normal development of the trunk and skull. Occasionally stomach enlargement and torsion and allergies can occur.
It is important to systematically protect malamutes against ticks, because due to the very dense coat it is much harder to notice parasites on their body than in other breeds. Dogs that get soaked and not dried thoroughly may have a skin condition called “hot spot” – this is a sharp, oozing inflammation of the top layer of the skin combined with a secondary bacterial infection, manifested by redness, hairless foci; the changes are accompanied by severe itching and pain.
Alaskan malamute is resistant to both low and high temperatures. However, a dog who is constantly at home can get sick if he is moved to the playpen in the middle of winter. The change of conditions will also bear badly, which we will take to a heated room from day today. In summer, protect your pet from overheating, provide him with constant access to water, and train early.
The method of feeding a malamute depends on its age, living conditions and the type of effort the dog is subjected to. You can use ready-made high-class food for large breeds or prepare meals yourself. Homemade food must be supplemented with calcium and vitamin preparations. The diet should not lack measures to protect the joints (with the addition of glucosamine and chondroitin). Good effects are also brought by serving jelly from chicken legs or feet.
Many growers use the BARF diet (natural raw food). The daily dose is best divided into at least two meals. During the garment exchange period, you can add natural oil (linseed, fish), preparations with biotin, zinc and unsaturated fatty acids (omega3 and 6).
Intensely training dogs receive special HMB supplements, which include increase the body’s efficiency and reduce post-workout skeletal muscle damage.
Males of this breed usually molt once a year in the summer. Bitches change their hair more often – usually twice a year, a few weeks before the heat. Puppies for the first time coat fall around 8-12. month (they change puppies’ clothes to adults). The intensity and frequency of molting depends on the conditions in which the dogs are kept. Those kept in flats lose hair virtually all the time.
Malamutes living outside have a denser and better coat. Their molting runs quite rapidly, is abundant but short-lived. When changing the hair, we comb the dog up to twice a day. Outside of the molting period, it is enough to do it 1-2 times every two weeks.
Show dogs should be combed daily against the hair. For the care of fur, the best will be a powder brush, a double-sided metal comb with rare and dense teeth (for combing the neck and the orifice), a metal comb with a mixed length of teeth and an ordinary metal brush, which will brush the tail and give the garment the final look, e.g. before entering the ring.
Preparing a malamute for an exhibition requires some work. First, you have to brush the coat thoroughly. Then we bathe it twice in lukewarm water – first in a whitening shampoo, which will remove yellowness (a special gel can be applied to heavily soiled areas), and then in a shampoo for rough-haired dogs.
Malamut should have a fluffy robe that protrudes from the body. If we use softening cosmetics – e.g. for long-haired dogs – the coat will stick to the body and get oily quickly. After the bath, we use a rinse conditioner stiffening and increasing the volume of the hair. We wipe the dog thoroughly with a towel, then lightly dry and comb it with a brush under the hair. We put a spray conditioner on the torso and legs, which will facilitate combing and make the hair more fluffy, and then continue drying.
At the end, we can use special cosmetics refreshing and giving the final shape to the garment.
Some exhibitors use silk oil (one drop for the whole dog) just before entering the ring, which makes the coat shiny. Currently, there is a shift away from the use of varnishes that stick the hair. It is not allowed to correct the coat, you can only model the fur on your paws. We present a representative of this breed on a ring or in a thin chain.
It is best to walk the dog in a half-clamp collar with a strap (with a stopper) and on a strong double leash for walks. Toys should be solid and of adequate size so that they do not swallow them. Natural teethers may be given. It is worth getting your pet caged, especially if you plan trips to exhibitions.
Sled dogs were reportedly used as a means of transport much earlier than horses. Primitive peoples living in the northern parts of the earth led a nomadic life. Large, strong quadrupeds, capable of capturing the possessions of the entire tribe, helped them move to new areas.
One of the oldest primitive breeds is the Alaskan Malamute. Its existence is due to Innuitów, also called Mahlamutes (hence the name of the breed), a people living in the areas between the Bering Strait and eastern Greenland.
Malamutes took part in three polar expeditions of Admiral Richard E. Byrd to Antarctica.
In the nineteenth century, during the settlement of Alaska by white settlers, dogs were used to transport goods. When gold was discovered in Klondike in 1896, the demand for sled dogs like malamutes increased. To meet him, quadrupeds of other breeds, which were crossed with dogs from Alaska, were also massively imported.
The first people who decided to engage in breeding malamutes were Eva and Milton Seeley. In 1929, puppies of Yukon Jad and bitch Bessie were born in their Chinook kennel, which gave rise to the Kotzebue line. In 1935, the American Kennel Club initially recognized the breed, in the same year the Alaskan Malamute Club was established. The first registered malamute was Gripp of Yukon, whose appearance was used to develop the pattern.
During World War II, most of the Kotzebue dogs became extinct, which is why in the late 1940s, the AKC began accepting pets in the introductory book. Malamutes from the M-Loot line (Paul Voelker kennel) appeared at that time, which were much different in appearance from the dogs from Kotzebue – they were taller, of a different color, had different body proportions and character. Because the lines did not cooperate, malamutes began to differ more and more.
In the 1950s, Robert Zoller (Husky Pak kennel) unified the type by introducing the third line – Hinman-Irwin and combining it in the right proportions with the others. The ancestors of most modern malamutes are dogs derived from the combination of the three described lines. The AKC finally recognized the breed in 1953, and the FCI entered it in the register in 1960.
Alaskan malamute – group V FCI, section 1, reference number 243
- Country of origin: United States
- Size: the breed is naturally diverse in size; desirable dimensions of a sled dog: height 63.5 cm at withers, weight 38 kg for males and 58.5 cm and 34 kg for bitches
- Coat: coat, thick, compact, hard, standing; short to medium on the sides of the torso, elongate on the neck, shoulder blades, on the back, rump, trousers and tail; dense, greasy and woolly undercoat, 2.5 to 5.1 cm long; in the summer the coat is usually shorter and rarer
- Color: from light gray to black through all intermediate and sable colors and shades up to red; white dominates the stomach, parts of the limbs and the head, where it forms a mask; a white arrow on the head and / or a white collar and a stain at the nape of the neck are acceptable; the only possible solid color is white
- Maturity: 3-4 years
- Lifespan: 10-12 years
- Weather resistance: high
Two sled races are commonly mistaken for each other. Husky is smaller, finer, has higher set ears, can appear in different colors and often has blue eyes.
Malamute is a dog clearly larger, more powerful, and its ears are set more on the sides of the head. This occurs in gray, black, brown, fawn, with characteristic white markings. He should always have brown eyes.