Serving dog breeds in the AKC Working Group
The Alaskan Malamute is the oldest and largest sledge dog native to North America. Unlike his racing “cousins”, the Malamute is specifically built for heavy freighting. His strength and endurance is second to none. It has often been said that the Malamute would work to the death for his master, thus explaining his self-confident, strong-willed personality.
The standard describes the Malamute as ideally standing 25” x 85 lbs. for males and 23” x 75 lbs. for bitches, but a range of sizes is allowed in the show ring. Their double coats are thick and coarse, enabling them to withstand severely cold temperatures. The oily, water-repellent texture needs little maintenance except during shedding, when the undercoat must be removed to promote healthy skin. Malamutes can tolerate most climates, though extra care is necessary to keep them comfortable in hot weather. They come in a variety of colors, the most common being gray & white and black & white. Distinctive and varying facial markings make each a unique specimen.
Malamutes are affectionate, friendly dogs, unsuitable for guard work, although their size alone will discourage intruders. They are happiest as outdoor dogs, given sufficient companionship, but many thrive as house pets. They demand attention and, failing to receive enough, will become nuisances, howling like wolves and digging holes that would put a backhoe to shame. Malamutes are patient with children but, like all large dogs, should be supervised during play. For athletic people, Malamutes are ideal. They are skilled in hunting and fishing, love backpacking, hiking and sledding, and excel in weight pulling. They do well in obedience even though their greatest joy in life is to entertain the audience with a series of comedy antics.
The Malamute is a true pack animal and the natural instinct to “lead or be led”; therefore training must begin as early as 3 to 5 months of age. This breed cannot be allowed to grow up lacking controlled socialization with humans and other animals, as they can become dominating over people they don’t respect and aggressive with other dogs of their same sex. A sensible combination of love and discipline will net the Malamute owner a devoted, trustworthy companion.
Breeders of Carolina Working Group Association:
For further information visit the AKC breed page: