Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamute


Group: Working Dog Group

Origin: United States

Height: Preferred height is 25 inches at the shoulder but can be up to 30 inches.

Weight: Average weight is approx 85 lbs but can weigh over 100 lbs.
– Females are generally 2 inches shorter and 10 pounds lighter.

Alaskan Malamute
Farrenmore’s Okefenokee (Soleil)
Photo: ©Farrenmore Kennels Perm Reg

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Breed Profile

The Alaskan Malamute was named for an Inuit tribe, the Mahlemut. Originally used in hunting seals, set loose in packs to chase polar bears, and to haul heavy sledges or pack in supplies — the Malamute was a true working dog. He is also known as the legendary freighting dog of polar expeditions and served the military during both World wars. Today the Malamute is mainly a companion dog but is also involved in: packing, weight pulling, sledding, skijoring, carting, conformation, and obedience.

The general appearance of the Alaskan Malamute should be that of a powerfully built dog with a broad, deep chest, large bone and a broad head. The Malamute adapts well to warmer climates but is definitely an outdoor type that needs lots of exercise and prefers the winter months — an ideal choice for the cold-weather sports enthusiast. The outer coat is thick and coarse in colours from light grey to black with white, and he also has very distinctive markings on the face.

He is self-confident, strong-willed, affectionate and friendly. Intelligent but often independent by nature, obedience training is strongly recommended for the new owner. With his friendly nature to people, he does not generally make a good guard dog, however, his appearance alone can be very intimidating. The Malamute will generally get along with other family pets if raised with them; however, he is not usually tolerant of strange animals that he comes into contact with. Not a big barker, the Malamute does however, carry on conversations by “talking” and may occasionally howl.


Health Issues

If you are considering the adoption of a Alaskan Malamute puppy, or any breed, it is very important to be selective in choosing a responsible and reputable breeder. Ensure that the prospective puppy’s parents have all health clearances. Breeding of any dog should not be done until after they have been proven to be free of evidence of significant hereditary diseases. (For more information on selecting a breeder, see the articles on the General Information page.)

Recommended Health Screening:

For the Alaskan Malamute, the CHICNote 1 database includes health screening for the following:

  • Hip Dysplasia and
  • Eye Examination by a board Ophthalmologist
  • Optional sceening includes: Autoimmune Thyroiditis, Elbow Dysplasia, and Polyneuropathy

Additional Health Resources:

Alaskan Malamute
“Lily” CH Sanekats Sharaden Diamond Lil
Photo credit: Sanekats Registered Kennel

Grooming Information

  • Grooming — This section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website includes tips, articles and information covering all aspects of dog grooming along with a listing of Groomers from across Canada.


Training Resources


Additional Information

  • So, You Think You Want a Malamute…
  • Clubs, Sports & Activities — For information on the many sports and activities you can get involved in with your dog.
  • Working Dogs — The Working Dogs section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website provides information and listings of organizations that are involved in various dog jobs, such as Guide Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Police Dogs, Protection Dogs, and much more.

*NOTE 1: CHIC – The Canine Health Information Center “is a database of consolidated health screening results from multiple sources. Co-sponsored by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and the American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Health Foundation, CHIC works with parent clubs to identify health screening protocols appropriate for individual breeds. Dogs tested in accordance with the parent club established requirements, that have their results registered and made available in the public domain are issued CHIC numbers.” To learn more, visit:

*NOTE 2: The Fédération Cynologique International (FCI) is the World Canine Organization, which includes 91 members and contract partners (one member per country) that each issue their own pedigrees and train their own judges. The FCI recognizes 344 breeds, with each being the “property” of a specific country. The “owner” countries write the standards of these breeds in co-operation with the Standards and Scientific Commissions of the FCI, and the translation and updating are carried out by the FCI. The FCI is not a breed registry nor does it issue pedigrees.

Breed Listing

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