The Alaskan Malamute

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Alaskan Malamute
Weight: 75 — 85 lbs
Height: 23” — 25”
AKC Rank 2008 #57
Lifespan: 10—12 yrs
Group: Working
Origin: Alaska

Dog Breed Info - The Alaskan Malamute

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Origin, Ancient times. Original function, Heavy sled pulling, big game hunting. Today, Sled pulling, Companion. A popular family dog.

This dog was first known to be living among the native Inuit people known as the Mahlamuts, who lived along Norton Sound on Alaska's Northwest Coast. The dogs served as hunting partners for big game such as seals and polar bears and hauled the heavy carcasses back home. The unforgiving environment meant that a less than optimal dog probably would not have been kept. When the first outside explorers came to the region in the 1700’s, they were impressed not only by the hardy dogs but also by the owners’ obvious attachment to them. When gold was discovered in 1896, a ton of outsiders came to Alaska.

The AKC registered the breed in 1935 and the Alaskan Malamute became a favorite family companion dog.


Yes. Malamutes do well in training and are used not only for sled pulling but in search and rescue work. clicker training works well. Actually, the CLICKER should be used for all your dogs.

Crate Training

Want to crate train your Alaskan Malamute puppy? It's easy and if you're interested, take a look and you'll see what to do. Crate training your puppy will save many headaches and problems.

Potty Training

Some Alaskan Malamute puppies are slow/difficult to house train, potty train, toilet train, housebreak or whatever you want to call it. If you have a puppy, decide if you want to crate or paper potty train it. For the best results, we have a page at Crate vs Paper Potty Training which will help you decide and from there you can get all the information you need to get the job done. Always praise the pup profusely when she goes potty in the RIGHT PLACE so she knows she has done a good thing. Either method will work for this breed.

If you have an older dog, take the dog outside every two hours until she gets the idea which door leads to her potty area. Older dogs catch on to the potty or housebreaking pretty fast once they are shown what to do.

Alaskan Malamute
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Alaskan Malamute’s are independent, strong-willed, fun-loving working dogs and family companions. This dog loves to run and roam as well as pull carts and sleds. It is a family dog and as long as it gets enough daily exercise, it is well mannered in the home. If missing the proper exercise, this breed can become frustrated and destructive. The Alaskan Malamute is friendly and sociable toward people but may become aggressive toward strange pets or dogs. Some Malamutes tend to dominate; others dig and howl. It is important that this breed is heavily socialized starting very young and continued through life. They need to be managed with a firm but kind hand and am owner who can be an alpha leader and maintain a dominant position over the dog at all times.

If you happen to get an Alaskan Malamute with a separation anxiety problem, that can be dealt with by investing a few hours of work on your part and some "tough love."

Friendly Toward Other Dogs

No, Enjoys company of his own pack of sled dogs, but not strange dogs.

Friendly Toward Other Pets

No, Malamutes need to be raised with them.


Friendly Toward Strangers

Yes, likes people in general.


Yes, somewhat playful. Rate 6 bars out of 10.


Very affectionate. Alaskan Malamute’s love their family and people overall.

Good with children?

Yes, good with older children (6 and up) Younger kids need close supervision, as this is a big, heavy dog and while tolerant, can accidentally cause harm to toddlers. Otherwise, they get along well with kids.

Good with Seniors over 65?

No. Malamutes need too much exercise.

Living environment

House with a medium sized fenced yard is best, or a farm or ranch. Loves cold weather. Can not be left out in hot weather.


Energy level

Moderately high. They have lots of stamina.

Exercise needs, daily

High. Alaskan Malamutes can run for miles. They need adequate walks on leash and vigorous games of fetch or a good jogging session.


Somewhat. Malamutes like people a little too much.

Guard dog

Somewhat. Will protect family if threatened.




Brushing 2 times a week, daily in summer when shedding. Use a stiff bristle brush from the pet store.



Suggested Reading For The Alaskan Malamute
Click on the cover photo for more book information and reviews.

  • 3rd book from left - "A Dog Who's Always Welcome" takes obedience training way beyond the normal and into THERAPY DOG territory for the best mannered, most admired dog in the neighborhood. Your Malamute will be welcome everywhere!

  • The book on the right is by the American National Red Cross and deals wqitrh dog emergencies, illnesses and injuries. It's a valuable reference manual for all dog owners and should be kept close at hand.

Alaskan Malamute Breeders

In the event you decide to go looking for Alaskan Malamute puppies, be SURE to find reputable breeders that really know what they are doing. Be sure the puppy has been VERY well socialized and started in obedience training. It's not often that Malamutes turn up in dog pounds and shelters but you might check anyway.
Alaskan Malemute Breeders with puppies for sale. You should find what you need at this site.

Alaskan Malamute Rescue

In the event you are seriously considering the adoption of an Alaskan Malamute and are looking for a rescue group or groups in your state, here are several links that might help:
Petfinder - Alaskan Malamute Rescue -- Nationwide If you adopt one, try to locate dog health records for possible future use.
Alaskan Malamute Rescue League.
You can get email and phone numbers to contact various people or groups with these dogs for adoption. You may need to go online to search for Alaskan Malamute Rescue if you don't find what you need at these sites.

Dog Health Issues For The Alaskan Malamute
Below are the dog illness / illnesses or medical problems listed for the Alaskan Malamute by various vets.

This is basically a healthy breed. Don’t let the list below scare you! Your own dog will probably never have ANY of these problems. These are dog illness and medical problems this breed is prone to that have been listed by various veterinarians at different times over the past decade or so and some pertain to puppies and very young dogs that a breeder would deal with.

The information contained herein has been gathered from numerous books by veterinarians and is intended as general information only. Every dog and situation is different. You must see your vet. Our information is for general interest only and not intended to replace the advice provided by your own veterinarian.

  • Hip dysplasia - Hind end limping, back leg acts lame. Wear and time causes the femur to fit poorly into the pelvic socket with improper rotation causing great pain, lameness and difficulty walking for the Alaskan Malamute. You may notice the dog “hopping”” like a rabbit when running plus hesitating to climb stairs, all due to pain in the hind quarters. The problem actually starts as a very young puppy with an abnormal formation of the hip joint and grows progressively. A vet can locate this with a diagnostics test.

  • Hemophilia—A lack of a clotting factor in the blood. The mutation responsible for canine hemophilia B is a lack of factor IX in the affected dogs and requires gene therapy. Obviously, if you find your dog is bleeding and the bleeding won't stop, you go to the vet, NOW.

  • Cataracts - Hazy or cloudy vision similar to humans and if not treated can lead to blindness.

  • Hypothyroidism—An underactive thyroid gland produces too little thyroid hormone which reduces the dog's metabolism level. Hypothyroidism stems from the dog’s immune system attacking the tissues of the thyroid gland. Bottom line is the dog becomes symptomatic. The cause can be a predisposition for thyroid problems, air pollution and allergies. A FEW symptoms of the disorder include lethargy, weight gain, skin infections, dry skin, hair loss, slow heart rate, ear infections, depression. See your set right away.

  • Demodicosis—Demodectic mange—A skin disease known as “Red Mange.” Loss of hair, itching, reddening of skin and areas can become crusty. Sometimes cured with topical creams. May spread. Treatment is in the form of medications.

  • Anal sac adenocarcinoma—A malignant tumor in the tissue of the anal sac. Very aggressive cancer. Small tumors of this cancer are located by rectal exams by the vet. If not treated, these tumors will metastasize to lymph nodes and spread quickly to other organs. If this develops into hypercalcaemia, you’ll see increased thirst, urination, loss of appetite, weight loss, vomiting and a slow heart rate and “scooting.”. The larger the tumor, the poorer the prognosis. See your vet immediately upon suspecting any kind of problem.

  • Hypertrophic osteodystrophy—Orthopedic bone disease in Alaskan Malamute puppies, 2 to 6 months old. Very painful and possibly caused by poor nutrition. There will be pain and swelling in the affected legs. Look for lameness or a desire not to move at all, and loss of appetite plus a high fever may also occur. Medication, bed rest and a special diet are usually given. The disease can be fatal.

  • Renal dysplasia—Disease of the kidney. Improper function of the kidney. If you own an Alaskan Malamute , or other breed prone to this, check twice a year with your vet for kidney function or.... sooner if you observe any unusual symptoms such as... increased drinking, increased or decreased urination, very little color to the urine, depression, loss of appetite, bad odor in breath plus any other unusual behaviors. See vet immediately!

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy—(PRA) An inherited, untreatable disease of the retina affecting both eyes causing blindness. It’s in the genes of the dog and is not painful. Starts with night blindness and progresses as the retina gradually deteriorates.

  • Zinc responsive dermatosis - The Siberian Husky tends to run short on zinc in the body. This can show up around 1 to 3 years of age. Look for hair loss and crusting around the mouth, eyes, ears and genital areas. See your vet.

  • Gastric Torsion—Sometimes called Dog Bloat or “Twisted stomach.” Mainly in larger, deep-cheated dogs. Here's a brief description of the problem:
    Symptoms include excessive drooling, nervous pacing, agitation, weakness, attempt to vomit, bulging stomach area, heavy breathing, retching and gagging, shock or total collapse..

  • Diabetes—The pancreas manufactures the hormone INSULIN. If the pancreas stops making, or makes less than the normal amount of insulin, or if the tissues in the body become resistant to the insulin, the result is called “diabetes.” The dog can NOT control her blood sugar without injections of insulin on a regular basis, but given the insulin, the Alaskan Malamute can live a normal life like a human can. If the dog does not receive the insulin injections at the same time each day of her life, the dog will go into a coma and she will die. Some causes of diabetes may be chronic pancreatitis, heredity, obesity or old age, but no one is sure. Symptoms are excess drinking and urination, dehydration, weight loss, increased appetite, weight gain, and cataracts may develop suddenly. Treatment is in the form of the insulin injections daily and a strict diet low in carbohydrates and sugars. Home cooking may be suggested in some cases. Frequent trips to the vet for blood monitoring will be needed but diabetes is not a death sentence.

  • Hemeralopia—Known as "Malamute Day Blindness. The inability to see properly in bright sunlight. Vision is fine indoors and out of sunlight.

  • Polyneuropathy—A hereditary neuromuscular disorder that is breed related in the Alaskan Malamute. It’s a collection of peripheral motor nerves that become dysfunctional. Symptoms include reduced reflexes, poor muscle tone, lameness, weakness, paralysis and normally occurs in the rear legs. This is generally a chronic problem and comes on gradually, starting around 1 to 2 years of age. See your vet.

  • Glaucoma - Painful pressure builds in the eyes and if not treated eventually will cause total blindness.

  • Seizures - a serious disorder that usually shows up at around 2 to 4 or 5 years of age in the dog.
Other problems could occur with your Alaskan Malamute. If you notice any problems with your dog, take it to the vet immediately. This website is for general information only and is not intended to, in any way, be a medical guide.


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