Alaskan Malamute (or the Malamute dog) is a wild wolf that is domesticated by the Malamute tribe. Malamute dogs are very closely related to the Siberian Husky and the Samoyed. Their closest ancestor is the legendary arctic wolf. Anyone seeing an Malamute for this first time will be impressed by the large physique, powerful body and the characteristics unique to wild wolves.
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Alaskan Malamute characteristics
Malamute dogs have an average height of 60 – 70 cm, and an average weight of 35 – 55 kg. In particular, the Giant Malamute can be as tall as 90cm, and weigh up to 80 kg. Malamutes have a very balanced proportion between their height, weight, skeleton and muscle. Purebred Malamutes have big and muscular legs, suitable for heavy-duty sledding.
Despite their balanced physique, their overall look is not as charming as the Husky. Instead, Malamutes tend to be bulky and tough like the North American wolf. Malamutes usually have brown or dark brown almond-shaped eyes. Their ears are small and covered with fur.
The coat is the most attractive feature of this breed. The two layers of coat are very thick and warm, coarse but soft, usually coming in black (gray) – white, brown (red) – white, blush. Some Malamutes are white snow while some have a mysterious black coat. The outer coat of the Malamute is waterproof.
In terms of texture, the inner coat is similar to fleece. It is shorter, softer and thinner than the outer coat but is excellent at keeping the body warm. As thick as the coat is, it requires a lot of care. Malamutes need daily hygiene care, weekly brush, monthly bath and sometimes even quarterly spa visit.
Alaskan Malamute temperament
Although their closest ancestors are snow wolves from which they inherits many wild traits, Malamutes are quite gentle. With many generations of crossbreeding by the Eskimos, they are mostly raised for sledding, which deteriorates their hunting instincts. Unlike the Samoyed or the Husky, the Malamute rarely chases after small pets, balls or objects. Instead, due to their herd behavior, if they are trained from a young age, they will regard you as their herd leader, following your orders and protecting your family from any intruders.
As working dogs, Malamutes love to exercise hard such as running long distances, pulling heavy objects like tires, weights,… If they do not exercise for a long time, they can become hyperactive, irritable and destructive. Therefore, you should let them work out regularly, for at least 1 hour per day to help them relieve their energy.