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Alaskan Malamute


Basic Information

United States
Breed Group
Harsh and Rough,Thick
25 - 35 Pounds
14 - 16 Inches



The Alaskan Malamute is often mistaken for a Husky, but they are larger than most of the other "Spitz" type dogs which includes the Husky. Malamutes are heavy, well-boned dogs that were originally bred by the Mahlemuts, an Inuit tribe to pull heavy sledges through the snow in some of the harshest conditions of the Artic of western Alaska.

Today, Malamutes have become a popular choice of dogs with people both in the UK and elsewhere in the world. They are dominant characters by nature and need to be handled and trained from a young age by an experienced dog owner. In short, a Malamute is not the best choice of dogs for first-time owners. These dogs need to know their place in the pack and who is the Alpha Dog. They are intelligent, but they are not generally very quick to respond to commands which is something to bear in mind during their training.

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Malamutes are native to Alaska as their name suggests. They were bred by an Inuit tribe called Mahlemuts to pull sledges and being highly skilled hunters, they helped their masters track down food dogs creating an interdependance between dog and man. These dogs were bred to be resilient and strong enough to cope with the harshest Artic climate and they share the same ancestry as other dogs from artic regions of the world, namely the Eskimo dogs of Greenland, the Labrador, the Siberian Husky and the Russian Samoyed.

During the 1890's Klondike Gold Rush, the Malamute and other sled dogs became extremely valuable to recently landed prospectors and settlers who frequently crossbred them with imported breeds with the end goal being to improve the breed and to make up the numbers of dogs available because true Alaskan Malamutes were few and far between at the time. This cross-breeding almost led to the true breed nearly vanishing altogether, but the Inuit tribes continued to breed pure bred Malamutes and later American enthusiasts ensured these dignified, proud looking dogs did not disappear off the face of the planet for good.

The Mahlamutes bred these dogs to be powerful and strong rather than for their speed and they looked and cared for them forming an interdependance that insured both the people and their dogs prospered and thrived. The breed was discovered by settlers during the mid eighteen hundreds and there are those who believe that Alaskan Malamutes were used on Peary, Cook and Byrd's expedition to the North Pole in 1909.

Similar to the Husky, recent DNA analysis shows that the Malamute is one of the oldest breeds of dog on the planet. It was only in 1935 that the breed was officially recognised by the American Kennel Club and they were accepted by The Kennel Club here in the UK a little later in time. In 2010, the breed was named as being Alaska's official state dog.

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