The Alaskan Malamute is the largest breed of sled dog recognised by the UK Kennel Club. Its original function was to pull heavy weights over long distances and his strength and endurance are second to none.
The name ‘Malamute’ derives from the indigenous Mahlemut tribes of Alaska who used this particular type of dog for hunting expeditions to capture seals and polar bears and to haul the hunter’s heavy loads across the frozen tundra. During the Gold Rush the need for sled dogs increased, breeds were mixed together to produce different types of substance and quality. However, due to the remoteness of the Mahlemut tribe, their dogs remained relatively untainted and pure.
The breed was officially recognised by the American Kennel Club in 1935. The first malamutes were brought into the UK in 1959. The Alaskan Malamute can be found in the Working Group category of the Kennel Club Breeds. It had Rare Breed Classification until the Breed was granted the allocation of Challenge Certificates in 2006. In the same year the Breed gained its 1st Champion.
The Alaskan Malamute as a puppy is affectionate and full of life. He loves children but, like all large dogs, should be supervised during interaction. As an adult, he is majestic and dignified, strong willed and self-confident. You may find him to be more reserved with strangers. He is a true athlete – a dog with which you can enjoy sledding, weight-pulling, back packing, jogging and even swimming.
A sensible combination of love and discipline will result in a devoted, trustworthy companion.
He is unsuitable for guard work due to his good-nature. The malamute requires socialisation with both humans and animals or he may become dominant over people, dogs and cats that he doesn't respect. It is not unusual for a malamute to become intolerant of other dogs of the same sex, so care should be exercised when introducing him to other dogs.
Malamutes thrive on a high quality diet and whilst not a high-maintenance dog, the malamute’s coat should receive regular combing and brushing to remove dead hair.
Hip Dysplasia and Eyes can be a problem and all breeding stock should be tested before mating. Eyes should be tested annually and whilst there is ongoing research into Hereditary Cataracts, at present there is no DNA marker for this.