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AKC Meet the Breeds: Alaskan Malamute

American Kennel Club, Inc. (c) 2011

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.
  • Freighting.

AKC Meet the Breeds is a registered trademark of the American Kennel Club, Inc.

Comments (2)

  • Lindsey Schaaf 14 May, 2012

    This is the correct weight and size. Those are Giant Malamutes that are bred for the size. A normal mal can reach up to 125 lbs., but much larger isn't natural. I have 4 myself.

  • deaddoc105 14 Oct, 2010

    Actually Malamutes are a lot bigger. Just check out Wakon Malamutes; they are huge dogs easily passing 85lbs just as puppies.