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Malamute Information

The ALASKAN MALAMUTE is the native dog of Alaska , one of the oldest breeds known to man... a large, powerful dog of great beauty, admirably suited by nature for his original purpose as a heavy work dog of the Far North. Here is one of the true Northern dogs: a product of evolution, not a man-made breed like most others recognized by the Canadian Kennel Club.

There is a natural range in size in Malamute. The average male is 25" at the shoulder and weighs 85 lbs. Females are somewhat smaller, averaging 23" at the shoulder and weighs 75 lbs.

The breed is roughly comparable to the German Shepherd in size but the Malamute is thicker-set, heavier boned, more powerful and compact in build with shorter ears, broader head and shorter, heavier muzzle. He is distinguished by his white trim, beautiful wolf-like "cap" or "mask" face markings, heavy furring and plume-like tail generally carried up over his back.

Malamutes come in a variety of colours but are usually "wolf grey" or black and white. Colour and markings are symmetrical. The disposition of this breed is excellent. Rumors to the contrary are completely unfounded. Owners label their Malamutes "the best dog we've ever owned!"

FAMILY PET: Despite his formidable appearance and great strength, the Malamute adapts well to the modern way of life. He is a wonderful pet and companion dog, dependable and extremely affectionate. The Malamute loves people. He is remarkably clean and odour-free as a dog can be. He can live outdoors or indoors, and thrives in any climate. His good manner makes him the ideal large dog family pet.

SLED DOG: The Alaskan Malamute is the heavy freighting dog of the Arctic types, and nature has endowed him with the temperament and physique to perform his work with almost unbelievable courage and efficiency. As sled dogs, this breed helped write history in the high latitudes in both hemispheres and is at its best when the going gets toughest. Because of this eager attitude to his work, the Malamute has found a niche in many winter sports. With training, he and his owner can derive great enjoyment from skijoring, backpacking, weight-pulling, and sled outings (even sled races).

SHOW DOG: Show ring appearances of this magnificent breed were comparatively rare until recent years, but the Alaskan Malamute is now seen with increasing frequency. Our dogs have defeated many of the finest show dogs in Canada in Best-In-Show and Group competition. If you are interested in showing your dog, you will find extra satisfaction in owning a Malamute: competition in our breed is more fun with many of the dogs being working sled dogs or family pets handled by their owners.

OBEDIENCE DOG: Malamutes are comparatively new to standard obedience work, but this breed is highly intelligent and trains beautifully.  They have won every possible obedience degree from C.D. (Companion Dog) through U.D.T. (Utility Dog, Tracking).  This type of dog activity is particularly rewarding with Malamutes, and an increasing number are now participating in obedience work.

CARE AND FEEDING: This breed should be raised the same as any other large breed of high quality dog. The Working Alaskan Malamute Club of Manitoba, as all other Canadian dog clubs, urges all dog owners to study and learn the fundamentals of good dog care.  There are many authoritative books available on this subject as bookstores or libraries and your veterinarian is always ready and willing to help.

The mature Malamute is a very light eater for his size.  He is a hardy dog and can be raised successfully indoors or out in any climate.

Grooming requirements are minimal.  Malamutes keep themselves cleaner than most domestic breeds and are as odour-free as an animal can be.  Under normal circumstances bathing is rarely necessary and an occasional brushing is all that is required to keep your Malamute beautiful.

However for utmost satisfaction the Malamute owner should be prepared to offer his dog large daily doses of affection and companionship.  We believe in this day and age in most areas any dog of any breed should be under complete control at all times.  It is the disciplined, dependable dog who can be allowed the most privileges and leads the safest and happiest life.  Almost every city of size has a kennel club which offers obedience training for dogs and their owners, and this is highly recommended.  We believe no dog in the world will give his owner more pride and satisfaction than a well-trained Alaskan Malamute of either sex.  

PROBLEMS: Almost all the larger breeds of dog, Alaskan Malamutes included, are beset with an inherited hip deformity that varies in severity, called hip dysplasia.  It does not occur with any predictability and thus no one can foresee which dog or dogs it will strike.  The parents and grandparents of a litter of pups can all have perfect hips and yet bear dysplastic pups, while dysplastic parents can and have borne pups with fine hips.  Dysplasia can only be detected with certainty by x-rays of the hips of dogs eighteen months or older, though in severe cases, it will manifest itself sooner.  Dysplasia causes the dog difficulty and pain in movements.

In addition, another inherited problem which trouble the Malamute breed, among other breeds, is a form of inherited dwarfism called Chondrodysplasia.  This deformity, also detectable by x-ray, can be detected at a very young age in the puppy, and conscientious breeders, if they suspect this problem, are quick to have it checked by their veterinarian.  The Malamute breed clubs, to their great credit, have had a committee organized for sometime which makes available to owners and breeders, information based on complicated genetic research, to determine their dog's likelihood of bearing chondrodysplastic puppies.  

HOW TO BUY AN ALASKAN MALAMUTE: There is quality variation in Alaskan Malamutes as any other breed, but do not be confused by mixed breed "huskies", the ancestors of which were brought out of the Arctic and passed off as Alaskan Malamutes.  Your safest buy is to select your puppy from a reputable breeder of high quality, CKC registered, animals.  The breeder should provide a written guarantee of health and soundness, particularly against hip dysplasia and chondrodysplasia, the two inherited problems previously described.  Most of these breeders belong to this club or the Alaskan Malamute Club of Canada, often both.  If you intend to show or breed your dog, select with special care.  Bear in mind that it costs money to maintain top quality breeding stock, to prove the quality of breeding stock and bloodlines in the show ring in any breed and especially in the rare and wonderful Malamute.  In this breed perhaps more than any other you are likely to get just what you pay for.  With proper care your Malamute will be a member of your family for many years, so donít hesitate to buy the very best.    

 ..... Remember, if any dog can be called the King of Dogs, it is the alert, fearless and powerful Alaskan Malamute....

Following are a group of articles which first appeared in the AMCC newsletter, the Malamute Review. They are included here with the kind permission of the author, Ruth Kellogg. Ruth's articles are a staple of the Malamute Review and highly regarded by all in the Canadian Malamute community. We are honored to host them on this site.

Puppy Training:

Malamute Personality:

Dog Training Techniques:

Dog Equipment Choices:


Click here to see more of Ruth's articles hosted at the AMCC web site.


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