Alaskan Malamute

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FCI GROUP: Spitz and primitive types


Allowed as pet in Singapore HDB Flat: No

Origin: United States; the Alaskan Malamute one of the most ancient breeds believed to be the descendant of the Arctic wolf.

Original Purpose: Sled dog; hunter of polar bear.

Behaviour and Temperament: Alaskan Malamutes are affectionate, social, extremely loyal, dominant, tenacious, and strong-willed.

Breed Characteristics: The Alaskan Malamute is the largest of the sled dogs and really enjoys pulling. Very powerful. Generally well mannered in the home if properly exercised. Good sense of smell. Can withstand an immense amount of cold, but has very low heat tolerance. A digger, and may be a howler. Like many northern breeds, he has a wonderful smile. A roamer who should not be let off a leash in an unfenced area. Best with an experienced owner.

Physical Features: Typically 58.5 to 63.5 cm and 34 to 38 kg; a definite wolf-like appearance. The usual colours range from light grey through intermediate shadings to black, sable, and shading of sable to red. Pure white Alaskan Malamutes are rare.

Coat Type and Grooming: Medium-long, harsh, dense outer coat; soft, oily undercoat. Some come in a “woolly” variety, which, while unacceptable for show dogs, has a certain charm. High maintenance; needs weekly brushing, daily brushing when shedding, which is seasonally very heavy. Professional grooming is optional. Estimated grooming Charges in Singapore: Full, S$150 – S$200, Basic, S$ 90 – S$120.

Life Expectancy: 12 to 16 years.

Health Concerns: Glaucoma, hip dysplasia, zinc-deficiency skin disorders, chondrodysplasia (dwarfism), also prone to bloat.

Exercise: High; must have vigorous daily exercise (be careful not to overdo it in warm weather); without exercise, can be hyperactive or destructive or become overweight. Lack of exercise can contribute to problem behaviours like digging and barking.

Housing: Not suited for apartment life; Alaskan Malamutes need a high fenced-in yard with base buried as they can dig their way out.

Sociability: Not a one-person dog. Good with older kids, but should be supervised; not good with young children. He is ridiculously friendly, and will probably kiss anyone who breaks into your house. Alaskan Malamutes seem to have no inclination to guard your property. He is not a good guard dog. Can be quite aggressive toward other dogs, at least until the hierarchy is established; will not like your cat or other small pets.

Trainability: Low to average; does best with a strong, experienced, patient trainer. Will try to dominate his owner unless trained well and early; does not make a good obedience dog. Although it can be difficult to train Malamutes for formal obedience, it is not particularly hard to train them to be well mannered because they love to please. Some may be difficult to housebreak.

Activities: Sledding, skijoring, search and rescue, weight-pulling and racing.

1 Response


March 09, 2016

Very useful information! Helps to prepare me for what to expect from this breed. Thanks a lot!

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