Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamutes are big, powerful active dogs that have been bred for their ability to pull heavy loads over long distances.


Average lifespan
These large dogs usually live for eight years, but with loving care and sound nutrition Alaskan Malamutes can live up to ten years of age.

Average size and weight
Alaskan Malamute females in peak condition normally weigh up to 34kg and are 59cm tall, while the male usually weighs up to 39kg and is 64cm tall.

Care requirements

Breed personality, characteristics & temperament
Alaskan Malamutes are friendly, intelligent dogs that love people. Because of this they are not good guard dogs and cannot be attack-trained (although their size and appearance makes them an effective visual deterrent). They are, however, as strong-willed and determined as they are friendly, and must have obedience training in order to be under control at all times. If Malamutes make up their mind to chase something, they are frequently impossible to call back until they are ready to return.

What's more, their friendliness does not extend to other dogs - especially those of the same sex. Malamutes can, and often will, take the opportunity to scrap with other dogs, and have been known to hunt down and kill other animals, especially cats, squirrels and farm livestock. They will also dig up gardens and plants with equal vigour.

Malamutes are not one-man dogs - rather, they use their independence and intelligence to establish relationships with people they come in contact with, whether they are family members or strangers. These dogs make superb companions as they are anxious to please and eager to take part in an active and exciting life.

Compatibility with other pets
The breed is known for showing aggression towards other dogs.

Care requirements
Alaskan Malamutes need a large amount of exercise and will take as much as you can provide. The mental stimulation gained through regular exercise is also important, as a bored Malamute can easily remodel your garden - good fences are essential.

These are hardy, robust dogs capable of enduring extreme cold, yet also able to deal with the heat of an Australian summer, provided that they are given shade, plenty of cool water and the care of an owner who is aware of the dangers of them overheating.

Malamutes need surprisingly little food, being extremely efficient eaters. However, they will eat anything they can lay their paws on - having a survival instinct that leads them to believe that any meal could be their last. This breed also drops hair constantly, all over the house, car, clothes and furniture and they have a major moult at least once, sometimes twice, a year.

Please take note
The breed's size and amazing strength makes it unsuitable for many people - these dogs are simply too powerful to be left under the control of children or the elderly. While the fact that they do not bark can often be an advantage, it should be noted that they have a daunting howl.

Decision time

Ideal owners
Unless you are a person who enjoys getting out and involving yourself and your dog in a wide range of activities, this may not be the breed for you. Likewise, if having a dog that likes to look you in the eye (usually by putting its paws on your shoulder) does not appeal, look elsewhere. However, for those people seeking a dog whose lovable nature and good looks is matched only by its intelligence and personality, an Alaskan Malamute can offer a lifetime of enjoyment and fun.

Click here for advice on adopting a rescue dog and finding a breeder. All information has been provided by the Kennel Club.
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