The Alaskan Malamute dog breed

The Alaskan Malamute dog breed is very old. It was used, and still is, in the northern countries, for sledding and pack driving. But because of its character has become today also an excellent companion dog. Its origins are not clear, but it is thought to date back more than 3000 years ago, when a nomadic population of Inuit stock migrated from eastern Siberia and after crossing the Bering Strait settled in northwestern Alaska, in an area called Kotzebue”.  This population was called Malhemute. In the Inuit language “miut” means “people”, literally translated it means “people of Mahle”.

These dogs within the population were part of the family, lived in the huts, and were playmates of children and with their thick fur warmed the people. They were used not only to pull sleds but also to hunt seals, which were the main sustenance of these populations. In packs they also hunted bears, they were in fact able to surround the bear and attack it while waiting for the hunter. So this race has been preserved intact for a very long time, living in these very isolated villages.

Unfortunately, when the pioneers arrived in Alaska, attracted by the gold rush towards the end of the 1800’s, the breed degraded considerably due to crossbreeding with dogs of other breeds. Due to the invasion that took place in those territories, really massive, the natural balance was upset, the game diminished considerably and all this led to a decimation of the natives and their dogs, which risked almost extinction. Luckily some sled drivers managed to save some specimens.  The breed was officially safeguarded by the United States in 1926.

Unfortunately, the Alaskan Malamute was almost decimated during World War II because it was recruited by the army, but fortunately, the intervention of Eva Seeley and her husband made the breed recover and the two began a breeding program.

The Alaskan Malamute dog breed is not a very common breed, in Europe the first specimens appeared in the middle of the 50’s, in Italy in the early 80’s, but thanks to breeders who worked hard and conscientiously in the selection and who still continue to do so, the breed has begun to be more and more known.

Character of the Alaskan Malamute dog breed

The Alaskan Malamute is a calm, sociable dog, eager for relationships with humans and also for affection. It establishes a special relationship with its owner, whom it must see as its pack leader. In fact, its training requires time and patience, although it is much easier than in other specimens. The Alaskan is never servile and maintains a marked independence which, especially at a young age, must be controlled.

It is not a great guard dog because it is very sociable and barks very rarely, it can be aggressive with its peers as it tends to dominate as a temperament, for this reason an early and firm socialization is to be considered.

With the family and especially with children is very sweet and affectionate, he likes to play, so it is an excellent companion. However, it needs its own space. He can also live in an apartment, but must be alone as little as possible and must go out several times in a day. He loves a lot of digging and running, but you must consider keeping him cool during the summer season in the hot hours, although he suffers from heat less than you think seeing him.

It is an ideal companion for excursions among nature, whether running, cycling or sledding. In fact, he loves the outdoors, so a garden is ideal for this dog between walks.

Alaskan Malamute dog breed appearance

As appearance the Alaskan Malamute resemble very much the wolves, they are very resistant and have a powerful physique.  The body structure is vigorous, very muscular but still agile, has a very proud bearing and a gait that is not light, but not overly heavy either.

It is a medium-large dog, the male reaches an average of 63 cm at the withers for about 38 kg. The female slightly less.  The front legs are very strong and muscular, while the hind legs are vigorous and big. The tail is covered with a thick coat, carried on the back, but not rolled up tight.

The head is very similar to that of the wolf, wide and strong with a broad skull, the muzzle is large and equipped with powerful jaws, the truffle, lips and eyelid rims are black, in red-haired specimens the truffle is brown. The eyes are almond-shaped, not very big and generally brown. The ears are small compared to the head, they are erect and well spaced, they are triangular in shape with slightly rounded tips.

The coat of the Alaskan Malamute has the hair standing upright on the body, thick and hard, it also has a thick undercoat which is woolly. The length of the coat is medium. Slightly longer in various areas of the body, such as on the shoulders, neck, along the back, rump, thighs and tail.

The colors of the Alaskan’s coat are many, but it is characterized by areas of white that is predominant throughout the lower body and on a part of the muzzle that forms a mask.  Otherwise, the colors usually include light gray, black, brown, golden and dark red.

Alaskan Malamute Dog Breed Health and Care

The Alaskan Malamute is a sturdy and hardy breed, and has no particular health problems. It has an average life expectancy of 10 to 12 years. It is important to take care of the cleaning of the ears, to provide him with a balanced diet with a daily ration of good quality food, to which one or two tablespoons of oil should be added to take care of his coat, and to give him plenty of exercise.

As for the care of the coat, these dogs do not give big problems, it is enough to brush it once a week and in the moulting period also every day.  The bath will be done only if absolutely necessary as it is a very clean dog that cleans itself by licking its coat, and also to avoid altering the hydro lipid layer of the skin leading to an excessive dryness of the skin, favouring the onset of more or less serious problems.

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