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Alaskan Malamute

Personality:Affectionate, loyal, playful but dignified

Coat & Grooming:The thick double coat requires frequent brushing to minimize shedding; the undercoat sheds out about twice a year

Energy Level:Somewhat Active; A very strong dog built for heavy work, the big guy craves regular exercise

Originally: Alaska

Nicknames: Mal

Size: Large

Meet the Alaskan Malamute

​The Alaskan Malamute is a powerful, rugged working dog standing 23 to 25 inches at the shoulder and weighing 75 to 85 pounds. Everything about Mals suggests their origin as an arctic sledge dog: The heavy bone, deep chest, powerful shoulders, and dense, weatherproof coat all scream, “I work hard for a living!” But their sweet almond-shaped eyes have an affectionate sparkle, suggesting these big bruisers enjoy a good snuggle with their humans when the work day is done.

What's Their Story?

​The Malamute gets its name from the Mahlemiut, an Inuit tribe that settled in north Alaska a long, long time ago. The dog the Mahlemiuts developed is a sledge dog, created to haul heavy loads at low speeds over long distances. (Sled dogs, like the Siberian Husky, pull lighter loads at faster speeds. Huskies are racers; Malamutes are freighters.) Mals also earned their keep in the Arctic as hunting partners, backpack carriers, and loyal family companions.

What are they Like?

​Malamutes are pack animals, and a pack can have just one leader. And in your family “pack,” the leader must be you. If a Mal doesn’t respect you, he’ll wind up owning you instead of the other way around. Firm but loving training should begin in early puppyhood. That said, a well-behaved Malamute is a joy to be with—playful, gentle, friendly, and great with kids. This breed is especially good for families who enjoy outdoor fun like hiking and camping.

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