In this series we will profile breeds registered with the American Kennel Club to give dog owners some ideas of what to expect of their dog. At Denver Dog Works we work with a network of breeders and with 20 years experience and training thousands of dogs we can help the new dog owner choose a breed that is right for you, your family and lifestyle.
Trainers Notes: This was the breed of choice for our lead trainer, Michele Forto for years as a family breed. Having owned Malamutes she has first hand knowledge of the breed and with me being a northern breed enthusiast I have seen many Mal’s over the years in working dog events, sled dog races and weight pulling trials. The Alaskan Malamute is an affectionate, friendly dog, not a “one man” dog. He is a loyal, devoted companion, playful in invitation, but generally impressive by his dignity after maturity.
The largest and oldest of the Arctic sled dogs, the Alaskan Malamute possesses great strength and endurance. He is not designed to race, but rather to carry large loads over long distances. Today, many Malamutes are family pets, but are highly athletic and still capable of enjoying sledding, weight-pulling, back-packing, jogging and swimming with their owners. The Malamute coat is thick and coarse, with a plumed tail carried over the back. The coat usually ranges in color from light gray to black or from sable to red. Face markings, including a cap on the head and a bar/mask on the face are often distinguishing features.
A Look Back
An American breed, the Alaskan Malamute was named after the native Innuit tribe called Mahlemuts, who settled in Alaska. They have always been used as sled dogs for heavy freighting in the Arctic. The breed is cousin to the other Arctic breeds: the Samoyed, the Siberian Husky and the American Eskimo dog.
Right Breed for You?
Majestic and dignified, the Alaskan Malamute is an affectionate and friendly family dog. He is highly intelligent and learns quickly, but can also be strong-willed, so training should start early. As an athletic breed, daily exercise is a necessity. The Malamute’s coat requires regular brushing and occasional bathing.
- Working Group; AKC recognized in 1935.
- Ideal size: Males – 25 inches tall at the shoulder and 85 pounds; Females – 23 inches tall at the shoulder and 75 pounds.
© The American Kennel Club, Inc. http://www.akc.org
Dr. Robert Forto the owner of Denver Dog Works and Alaska Dog Works, is a musher training for his first Iditarod under the Team Ineka banner and the host of the popular radio shows, Mush! You Huskies and Dog Works Radio Shows